You're probably already aware that Americans consume a disproportional amount of the world's stuff. You may even have bumped into some of the statistics:
Elizabeth Allen's insight:
The world would be in trouble if everyone lived like Americans. Just look at how much garbage we produce-- 40%. Not too mention what the environment would be like with the extra pollutions. Elizabeth Allen
TED Talks In the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world.
Our collective understanding of modern industrialization and globalization needs to go beyond the binary of "oppressors" and "victims." This lecture explores the voices and lives of Chinese workers that we so often simply see as simply victims of a system, but are full of ambition and agency.
This is an interesting video. Leslie Chang was able to gain such perspective from the girls who work in China's factories. Learning about how the girls are optimistic about their future. They don't want the Coach Bag or IPhone they are making- it would take months for them to afford it... They want an education and social mobility. It was uplifiting to hear that factory workers want education and more out of life, however as mentioned- they are "invisible" We (Westerners) avoid the idea that people in China working for next to nothing in response to our lifestyle and demands. This also makes you think about when you see a product that is considered an 'American Classic' it does not mean made in America. Elizabeth Allen
World news about North Korea. Breaking news and archival information about its people, politics and economy from The New York Times.
Elizabeth Allen's insight:
As mentioned in class, North and South Korea would be better off united. By the looks of things, that will not be happening. Scary to think that North Korea is "testing" missiles could endanger its close neighbors. But, maybe that was the intention. I thought a new, younger president would bring a modern way of thinking to North Korea, instead it sounds like they are spiralling downhill. High unemployment, high fuel and food prices. Hopefully South Korea is prepared for any wrongdoing on North Korea's part.... The Peace Dam may keep flooding away, however it is no match for nuclear weapons...
The Mekong River was once a wild and primitive backwater. Today, growing demands for electricity and rapid economic growth are changing the character of what is the world's 12th-longest river.
Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others. The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiences some impacts of globalization with residents having mixed feelings about the prospects.
The technological resources from the Mekong River are needed to keep up with population demands suchs as electricity. However in building dams, the wildlife and naturalness on the river is being stolen. Farmers and fishermen fear that fish will be destroyed and blocked by the dams. They are already noticing effects from upstream- the work China has done on the river is effecting Laos' societies. Elizabeth Allen
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.
The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network. This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable.
Traffic. Just waiting for your turn to move a few feet. I can only imagine the frustration of commuters in Jakarta. The governemnt needs to make improvements, quikly. If they provided more public transport and better infrastrucure, traffic conditions would greatly improve. Many other countries have faced this issue. Without the government's help, Jakarta may be congested for a long time. Carool regulations in a poor community provoke crime. If people can make a living helping others commute into the city, they will. The "jockeys" see an opportunity to provide for their families, while it is illegal- they are desperate enough to try an evade police and help the commuters. Elizabeth Allen
The rapid pace of political change in Myanmar in the past year — capped by the recent election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament — has tourists and foreign investors rushing to the country.
So many tourists want to see the change come to the democratic institutions of Myanmar to become a politically just Burma. And yet, they also nostalgically want to keep Myanmar in a non-globalized state. In what can be called the paradox of progress, many westerners want an idealized pre-modern state.
What a transition. Burma is now free. After suffocating under military rule, Myanmar now has the chance of progressing politically and economically. With better government practices in place, under the pro democracy leader- Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar is able to prosper financially. Hotels are a big boost to the economy. Because tourists are interested in the transition of Burma, many are flocking there. Hotels are able to raise prices and hire more workers. Myanmar is able to open its doors and allow others in. It appears to be a sense of an awakening for Burma- politically and economically.
This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety. This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow. What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?" How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?
My heart was in my throat watching this video. Is that the procedure for demolishing the entire building? Ironically this was to clear way because the Olympics were being held in Bejing. There is some irony here, representatives from other travelling down that main road would be appalled to see these working conditions. And for little pay on top of risking their lives. According to the National.ae.com, close to 80,000 people died in 2010 due to unsafe working conditions.
David Cameron, the British prime minister, pledged full support for Turkish membership to the European Union during a visit to Ankara.
Turkey's application to the European Union challenges the very definition of "Europe" as various constituencies disagree on whether Turkey should be admitted in the E.U. or not.
Turkey has made changes that should make her more attractive to the European Union. Turkey has done away with the death penalty and is more generous with women's rights. While it is not geographically in Europe, its location is profitable for commerce etc. I think Turkey will be accepted into the EU soon. It is better for the EU to have her ally with them and the EU is involved with Turkey in trade. France and its former President, Sarkozy, has been one the biggest opposers to Turkey's admission to the Union. Now that a new President, Francois Hollande, is in charge,Turkey is hoping that Hollande will see what a strong player Turkey can be.
This is a beautiful photoessay of the Hajj, with excellent captions that shows many of the cultural customs that are associated with the massive pilgrimage. The tremendous influx of tourists/pilgrims into the Mecca area, there is a huge economic industry that supports and depends on the tourists. For a BBC article about the market impacts of the Hajj, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11777483
The photos show what an immense congregation this event really is. If a picture is worth a thoudsand words, than this collection is a jackpot. The colors are captivating, green costumes of participants in the military parade, the hands holding the beads for sale. In the article from bbc.co.uk it is interesting to learn that such a religious event is an opportunity for economic gains. From merchants selling beads and rugs to visitors all the way to hotels capitalizing on the religious pilgrimage. It is amazing to know that every Muslim should make this trip as long as he/she is healthy and can afford to ( finances of the family are a higher priority). This truly is the ultimate worship practice. Elizabeth Allen
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...
A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement.
The eerieness of the photographs is so alarming. To see the shoe of a child, or the ferris wheel he or she never got to ride... firefighters who did not now what they were up against, who lost their lives. Many people died and the unknown consequences will be everlasting. Not only did this horrific event take the lives of people, but it effected wildlife, forests, and water resources. Elizabeth Allen
The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.
Corruption is inflicting Honduras. There are many factors causing this. High drug trafficking, poor governemnt system, and high murder rates. to hear that anywhere has a higher murde rate than Mexico- is astounding. And further, to know that many murders at at the hands of police is disturbing. Affiliation in gangs and gang warfare is costing lives. The police seem crooked, so I cannot imagine crime rate will decline anytime soon. It must be bad if the Peace Corp has vacated. According to BBC News, a politician running for office is offering free burials for those that cannot afford them. Honduras violent death rate is 1 every 74 minutes. And the police do not punish criminals.... Elizabeth Allen
Aziza al-Yousef said she took a 15- minute drive in the Saudi capital today to mark the first anniversary of a campaign to end the ban on women drivers in the kingdom.
Saudi women are not allowed to drive. Saudi women have restrictions on banking, education, going to the library. Their rights are extremely limited. They just received the right to vote! Many women are throwing caution to the wind and driving. There are activist groups fighting for the right to drive. Hopefully this move of defiance will help Saudi women reach new heights.
The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.
Why do societies collapse? Often they are overextended, consume too many resources for their hinterland network to supply or they aren't able to adapt to changes to the system. Angkor Wat, the largest urban complex of the pre-industrial world, collapsed primarily due to drought conditions and a changing ecology. Without sufficient water resources, the network collapsed. What other environment 'collapses' can you think of?
Societies can collapse if they fall victim to poor economics, poor political systems, and poor geographical reasons. In this case a major factor in Angkor's collapse was due to the change in climate. The drought was severe enough to crumble the city. Considering the times, Angkor had sufficiant modern technology to gain water resources; however it just was not enough. Here is an example of how drastic climate changes can effect a society. The image of Angkor Wat can be seen as a symbol of pride for Cambodia. The depiction is on Cambodia's flag. Elizabeth Allen
Amazing how this image can have such an impact. Seeing pics like this add the element of realness. Reading about history in books, gives the reader an understanding, but a map such as this is more telling. During the 8 months of bombing, London lost over 40,000 people, this map has a way of getting the message across Elizabeth Allen
A promotional video shows planned development of a state-level development zone by government of Lanzhou, a provincial capital in China's arid northwest...
The Lanzhou province is lightly populated mainly due to it's semi-arid climate and rugged topography. The goal is make a 500 square mile area (currently with 100,000 people) into a city with over 1 million people by 2030. To make this new metropolis, developers are planning to literally remove mountains to create a more 'ideal' urban environment. This makes some of the most ambitious environmental modification projects seem tame. For more read, the accompanying article from the Guardian.
Questions to Ponder: What potential environmental impacts come from this scale of modification? How will this massive influx of the population impact the region? Could this type of project happen in other part of the world?
The developer is claiming this will be "protective development." I am not sure if I buy that. They are moving mountains- which means everything that comes with that, wildlife, trees, etc... And they are building an airport and an oil refinery (amongst other things).. Urbanizing can be great for the economy- but at what cost. Elizabeth Allen
This reminds me of the power issues in the Phillipines. The use of soda bottles and water provide light for many villages in the Phillipines.... Here in Bangladesh they rely on green power- solar power. I am sure now that children can study better at night (because they have light) they have better progess at school. Pehaps people in Bangladesh without solar power should adopt the soda bottle technique from the Phillipines. Elizabeth Allen
Feel free to mute the commentary...this video demonstrates the truly 'back-breaking' work that is a part of paddy rice farming.
To watch these women break their backs(and their fingers must be shriveled from going in and out of water) for rice paddys, helps us recognize how important rice is. These women know they have to perform this work- Rice is a staple crop for Thailand; they need rice commodity to live. Not only do most of thai societies eat rice, it is also valuable as an export. Elizabeth Allen
A simple initiative in the Philippines is bringing a bit of brightness into the lives of the country's poorest people.
This clip is brimming with classroom potential. Development is a key component to this clip, but it could also become a service learning project as students adopt a great project to help others in more difficult financial situations. Learn more about the project at: http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/
This technique using an empty soda bottle, piece of metal, water, and a little bleach is affording communities to have light. Of course it is a great recycling practice as well. 60 watts for under a dollar is priceless in most Phillipine neighborhoods. More importantly,this new technique is being used in schools as well. This is truly amazing to see how innovative cultures can be. While they cannot afford electricity due to the high prices, they still have found an inexpensive alternative. Now with the mimicked lighting, people in poor areas of the Phillipines can still go on with their daily life uninterrupted. Elizabeth Allen
This article helps to see why population is declining so rapidly in Japan. There is not just one contributing factor, but many factors. There is a high suicide rate and low birth rate. Many single Japanese women decide not to have children, while countries such as the US, many single women choose to have children. Japan's high divorce rate will also cause decline in population(women do not tend to have babies out of wedlock) . Al of these factors that contribute to the decline in Japan's population is hurting the economy. If the population does not start to increase, Japan will be further in trouble. however, there is not much physical decline, most of Japan's population is enjoying a high life expectancy. Elizabeth Allen
In an area already stricken with poverty, the floods manifest the problems. High rains and low elevations cause massive floods in areas such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Most areas do not receive aid, especially the remote areas of the villages. The villages are left without drinking water, agriculture is destroyed, and economic activity is no where to be found. As Dr. Rouf explains, if the contaminated water is consumed people will be struck with sickness and disease. Nurses fear that dehydration levels will continue to increase if people are not provided claen drinking water.
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.
This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era. The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment.
I have always felt that Iraq is very complex. And it is. However the videos shed some light on clarifying what most of the turmoil is about. A valid question is why not divide Iraq into three seperate countries? One for the Kurdish, one for the Sunnis, and one for the Shiite? The video explains that it is not that easy. Iraq has been unstable since it formed after WWI.The Sunnis feel that the Shiite stole their power and they want to reclaim it. The three ethnicities are quarrelling for control and it has to do with more than religion. Resources play an important role in the dispute. The country cannot divide into three regions, because the Sunni (about 20% of Iraq's population) are in a region where they are not close to water and they have no oil. The Sunni and Kurdish are close to natural resources- water and oil. If the country divides, the Sunni will not last.
Tajik migrants working in Russia sent to $2.96 billion in remittances to their families in Tajikistan in 2011, over 30 percent more than the previous year, National Bank Deputy Chairman Malokhat Kholikzoda said on Thursday.
The higher the national dependence on remittances, the worse off the country is essentially at being economically independent and viable.
Yes the remittance work will hurt Tajikstan's chances of economic success. But, the workers have to provide for their families. The workers need to self-preserve, with that in mind, it is natural for them not be concerned about their home country's economics. With more than half of the population below poverty level, I doubt this labor pattern will change soon.
Gold fever is sweeping across South America and is at its most lethal in Colombia where it is fuelling the civil war.
Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.
Globalization has changed North American ethnic patterns as fewer European immigrants are migrating to Canada, and more are coming for Asia. Not surprisingly, the urban areas are the regions were this pattern is most pronounced.
Asians have been affiliated with Canada for many years. Many immigrant workers in the 1800s helped Canada build their railroads. Many Vietnamese refugees escaped to Canada during the Vietnam war. Today Asians are still migrating to Canada forming a multi-cultural society. In the 90s most immigrants were able to get cheap land, but now modern prices have inflated. Estimates show that migration patterns of Asians to Canada will continue.
King Abdullah announced on Sunday that Saudi women will be allowed to vote and run for office in municipal elections beginning in 2015.
Driving a car as simple as it may sound, is a method of enhancing mobility and that means freedom of spatial expression. This decision to allow women to vote has only demonstrated the cultural constraints of gender roles and how much more progress is needed.
To maintain power the government keeps strong restrictions on it's Saudi women. So frustrating in this day and age. I respect the preservation of cultures and religions; however Saudi women cannot drive and basic priveleges such as going to the library are restricted. It is similar to countries that dominated in colonial times- oppress a society and keep them far from an education, or else they will catch on to ideas of freedom, equal rights and so on. Of course I had to check other headlines for this issue. I found http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-28/saudi-women-urged-to-drive-on-anniversary-of-campaign-to-end-ban.html , which provides details of some rebellious young ladies who ignore the "ban". Many have to drive for necessity, the story speaks about a woman who had to drive her son to the hospital because of his severe asthma attack. I hope these rebellious ladies continue their crusade! Elizabeth Allen