The Thai capital, built on swampland, is slowly sinking and the floods in Bangkok could be merely a foretaste of a grim future as climate change makes its...
If 'natural' disasters are becoming more fierce and impacting human societies more, we need to ask ourselves: are the physical geographic systems shifting independently or is it human society that is causing the changes? Is it the force of the hurricanes, earthquakes, floods etc. that have intensified or is the way within which humans live on the land that make us more susceptible and vulnerable to the effects of these disasters?
This situation with Bangkok is the same problem that New Orleans is facing. Building on lands that used to get regular deposits of silt is a bad idea. The ground not only continues to compact and essentially "sink" but the planet is covered in water that changes level regularly. Unfortunately, New Orleans has shown that levees don't really work and the earth will always reclaim the land it wants back.
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.
Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs. The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.
Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe? What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity? What are some negative impacts? Are these impacts the same in all places? Explain.
Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.
Bhutan has made some money selling hydropower to India and they plan to use that money to build more hydropower plants to increase their wealth. The country is also emphasizing happiness of its citizens over material wealth. All of these things will continue to provide growth and opportunity to Bhutan and its citizens.
Cutting corners in safety and cleanliness has caused pollution in the rivers. All the money they saved cutting corners now has to be invested in diverting clean water to northern areas of the country. I hope someday they realize that you cannot do things super cheaply without paying for it in another area.
The one-child policy has caused more problems than it has solved. China now has a larger male population than its female population and competition for brides is rampant. The labor camps were not actually training people in the way they wanted to, it was just an excuse to lock up people for petty crime and get free labor out of them. Hopefully, China will continue analyzing their social policies and making changes to better the country
MERS has been in Saudi Arabia for a couple of years now so Yemen knew what it was. In the 21st century there has been extensive travel across the globe and diseases are obvious markers of that. This report lists cases in the Middle East and parts of Europe. Hopefully we will be able to identify the most deadly of these diseases before they travel too far from the source of outbreak.
"Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete. Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall."
It is extremely difficult to divide a river. The Ethiopians will benefit immensely from this project but the Egyptians could lose everything if the Nile dries up. This is going to be a difficult problem to solve.
The soaring demand for quinoa has helped raise farmers’ incomes in Boliva. But fewer Bolivians can afford it.
Via Allison Anthony
Tracy Galvin's insight:
It is so hard to think about the fact that as the world becomes familiar with a product and the producers of that product gain more wealth, the price of it goes up so much that the producers cannot afford it. Quinoa is such a wonderful food item because of its high nutritional value. As Bolivians become more exposed to the rest of the world they also become exposed to our non-nutritional food offerings and the health of their families declines.
a pretty decent description of why particular areas have more earthquakes than other areas. Places like these that get lots of earthquakes are much better prepared and recover much faster than areas that aren't used to them.
Living near volcanoes is beneficial and risky at the same time. The volcanic ash provides lots of minerals that enrich the soil to grow more things but when the volcano erupts it destroys everything in its path including killing many people.
"People choose to live in some pretty baffling places, like those towns sitting at the base of volcanos or the precariously placed monasteries in the Himalayan mountains. Here’s one that looks like it might have been hit by a meteor and residents just decided to carry on as usual…Welcome to the town of Setenil de las Bodegas in Spain, where around 3,000 inhabitants are living quite literally, under a rock."
I can't tell if this is real or satire. If it is real, there are people in Poland wasting court time with absolute silliness. What changes if they become an official religion? What happens to people that need to be Gluten-Free? Can they sue them for discrimination? Absolute insanity.
It is nice to see an organization that is not just blindly giving resources to people in need but actually empowering them and training them to be able to get the things they need through work. The women in this story describe how they have learned to make and sell things in order to take care of their families and they describe how empowering that feels.
It is very sad that people have to move to a polluted, crowded mess of a place in order to get a better life. The man says at the end that if they can make it work in Dhaka, they could make it work in any city but the beginning is too monumental to get over. I think that maybe some government control over the outer limits of the city and offering a place nearby with some resources may allow more control over the growth of the city at least temporarily.
This seems to work well for both the tea growers and the workers. The workers are compensated well and they have a job for life and the tea that is picked is of the highest quality. Unfortunately, most places on the planet go with the cheapest price, not the best quality, so I do not know how much longer this arrangement will be feasible.
There doesn't seem to be a resolution anywhere in the future. Both sides are saying that they are retaliating against something the other one did. Unless they both agree to just start over it will be constant back-and-forth.
LivemintAustralian geologists prove that a South Pacific island does not existio9Australian geologists prove that a South Pacific island does not exist A South Pacific island that's been on scientific charts for at least a decade — including Google...
this really reminds me of the times when they would draw in something they imagined would be in the place that they have never actually been. Crazy sea serpents in remote parts of the ocean, elephants in the interior of the African continent.
Water struggles in the Nile Basin have recently intensified as Egyptian nationalists denounce Ethiopia’s building of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, the river’s largest tributary.
Tracy Galvin's insight:
even though the dam will be used for power and not irrigation I would be nervous as well if I lived in Egypt. These are desert areas with high evaporation rates and there is Sudan in the middle that would love more water for irrigation of their crops. Egypt is in a very risky position.
Waves of up to 2.1m (6ft) have hit some areas in Chile, and there have been power cuts, fires and landslides. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in affected areas, where a state of emergency has been declared. Chilean TV broadcast pictures of traffic jams as people tried to leave. Officials said the dead included people who were crushed by collapsing walls or died of heart attacks. Iquique Governor Gonzalo Prieto told local media that in addition to those killed, several people had been seriously injured. While the government said it had no reports of significant damage to coastal areas, a number of adobe homes were reported destroyed in Arica.
Another example of how the most beautiful places to live can also be some of the most dangerous. Fortunately this happens often enough here that there is a warning system already established which saves lives.
It is sad that for the poor people moving to Dhaka, living in a slum is considered an improvement. The more people that move to the city the more polluted it becomes. How long until it is no longer able to support all this growth and the city collapses?
the alluvium that is deposited in these desert regions comes from high in the mountains, and it contains elements that help crops grow. The surrounding desert areas do not contain soil that can sustain crops without investing lots of money into the area. There is also frequent flooding and with a well designed irrigation system the farmers do not have to invest lots of money to get benefits.
The Bureau of Statistics predicted Melbourne’s population will overtake Sydney’s by 2053. Other forecasters reckon the Victorian capital’s numerical ascendancy could arrive by the late 2030s or even earlier.
Melbourne's business district is more centrally located and therefore a shorter commute for anyone that lives in the city. In order for Sydney to be able to compete they will probably have to establish a second business district in the West to attract people that live on that side of the city.
The Pertamina Energy Tower's curved façade is precisely calibrated for Jakarta's proximity to the equator to mitigate solar heat gain year-round.
The world's first net-zero energy skyscraper soon will grace the center of Jakarta, Indonesia — the Pertamina Energy Tower. When it's finished in 2019, it will be 99 stories high and serve as the headquarters of the national energy company. In addition to the 20,000 people who will work there, it will be the centerpiece of a campus that has a mosque, a sports center and a 2,000-seat auditorium for the performing arts.
Shaped like a funnel, the top of the tower opens at the top, capturing wind and sucking it inside to run a series of vertical wind turbines that provide 25 percent of the building's electricity.
The building is designed to be a symbol of Indonesia's commitment to sustainable development. Find more details at the link.
Hopefully, this will be the wave of the future. The building is designed specifically for the place it is going to sit and how it can gain the most energy from the natural resources available. They are taking advantage of the sunlight and geothermal sources of energy that do not pollute the environment and never run out.