The coal economy in Central Appalachia is in an unprecedented freefall. Which isn't making it easier for workers to move on.
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
The coal economy in Central Appalachia is in an unprecedented freefall. Which isn't making it easier for workers to move on.
West Virginia and 'coal country' are in steep economic decline, but that doesn't mean people are eager to leave. Leaving for many is a last resort, but when residents feel a familial and emotional connection to a place--to the land--that can create a rationale for staying that is stronger than economic push factors. This video set in West Virgina captures the strong sense of place and community that can exist in a place even in in the face of tough times economic prospects. Geographer Ben Marsh wrote about in a 1987 Annals article: "The residents of the anthracite towns of northeastern Pennsylvania show a considerable loyalty to a landscape that provides them with little of material value. This should remind the observer that any broad concept of place must address two different aspects of a landscape: the physical support it provides (means) and the intangible rewards it offers (meaning). "
Charts showing how Americans have moved between states for 112 years.
This incredible series of interactive charts from the New York Times show where the residents of every U.S. state were born and how that data has changed over time (update: now available as an interactive map). This graph of Florida shows that around 1900, most people living in Florida were from the South. Around the middle of the 20th century more people from other parts of the U.S. and from outside the U.S. started moving in. What changes in U.S. society led to these demographic shifts? How has demographics of your state changes over the last 114 years?
On the flip side, many people have been leaving California and this article charts the demographic impact of Californians on other states.
Both Hispanics and Asians been among the fastest-growing racial/ethnic groups in recent years, but since 2010, number of Asians have increased at a faster rate.
It is often noted that the cultural composition of the United States is undergoing a shift, referred to by some as the "Browning of America." The story of Asian and Hispanic growth in the United States are occurring simultaneously, which makes many assume that they are growing for the same reasons. The data clearly shows that this is not the case.
"There are more people displaced by violence and conflict on the planet right now than at any time since World War II. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says the number of people forcibly displaced, including refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons has now reached over 51 million."
Today's volume of immigrants, in some ways, is a return to America’s past.
The source of migrants today has changed the cultural composition of the United States from what is was 100 years ago. Cultures are not static and migration is one of the key drivers of change. These maps produced by the Pew Research Center. Despite what media reports would have you believe, immigration into the United States is not on the rise, but maps such as these can be construed to imagine that there is a flow of immigrant coming from south of the border. The reality is that migration from Mexico to the United States has steadily dropped since 1999.
In China's Second Continent, Howard French explores the Chinese presence in 15 African countries. The relationship goes beyond economics: more than a million Chinese citizens have migrated to Africa.
He says there's a debate about the long-term consequences of China's push into the African continent: Will it create development and prosperity, or will it lead to exploitation reminiscent of 19th-century European colonialism?
This is an excellent podcast with many geographic strands running through it.
Cedric Thompson retraced some of the steps that led him from L.A. to a dusty California outpost to, finally, the Gophers football team.
A young man for the tough streets of South Central Los Angeles found refuge from from gang troubles out in the desert in a community on the Salton Sea. His family believes this unconventional move was key to him becoming a successful football player at the University of Minnesota. His personal geographies follows uncommon migrational patterns, but it demonstrates that personal geographies can show some of the great diversity that is a part of the human mosaic.
Back in 1992, most legal immigrants came from Latin America and Europe. Nowadays, they tend to come from Asia and Africa.
These statistics only include documented migrants although the number of undocumented migration (mostly from Latin America and the Caribbean) has declined since 2007.
"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944. However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."
|Suggested by Heather Ramsey|
"In April, the Associated Press decided the word 'illegal' should only be used to describe actions, not people. It's one of several major news outlets that have been reconsidering how to refer to people who are in this country illegally."
There is power in the words we choose, especially for those those that are in the media that influence the way we frame any topic. If a reporter in a news article, for example, were to describe a group as freedom fighters instead of insurgent rebels it impacts our perception of the news. See also this gallery of images on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Stratfor Europe Analyst Adriano Bosoni discusses the political implications of the increasing number of migrants from the European Union's periphery to its c...
The economic crisis has contributed to rising anti-immigration sentiment and policies in Europe. Immigrants from Eastern Europe continue to enter the core, but now more from the struggling southern periphery of Europe are also on the move.
One of the free response questions in the 2012 AP Human Geography test focused on increasing Muslim population in many European countries. This video some background context for that particular Free Response Question (as would this article from Al Jazeera titled Europe's failure to integrate Muslims).
"Geographer Reece Jones discusses his recent book Border Walls, examining the history of how and why societies have chosen to literally wall themselves apart. He gives a brief history of political maps, how international lines reshape landscapes, and how the trend towards increased border wall construction contrasts with the view of a “borderless” world under globalization."
This 30-minute audio podcast is a great preview of Reece Jones' book Border Walls; and discusses many concepts important to political geography. The physical construction of barriers is an old practice (Great Wall of China, Hadrian's Wall), but those borders were the exceptions. The recent proliferatrion of walls to separate countries is dramatically reshaping our borders and impacting economics, politics, migration and other geographic patterns (How recent? Over half of the borders with walls and fences we see today have been constructed since 2000). Although walls are often justified as a means to prevent terrorism, most of the world's walls can best be explained as dividing wealthy and relatively poorer countries to prevent migration (download podcast episode here). You can also read his New York Times article on the same topic.
"Another refugee camp opened today in Mrajeeb al-Fhood, Jordan, to accommodate the reported 1,500 to 2,000 Syrians fleeing to Jordan daily. Just over a year ago the Big Picture posted an entry of the growing number of people displaced due to the conflict that now has lasted over two years. The United Nations recently said a total of around 7,000 to 8,000 Syrians are leaving their country daily; there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more have been displaced inside Syria since the start of the conflict. Posted here is another glimpse of daily life for those displaced since the beginning of this year."
These 37 images are excellent, but I chose to share this particular one, because the combination of poverty and happiness embody the purpose behind refugee camps. While the living conditions are grim and far from ideal, they are better than the alternative for these refugees and the assistance that they are receiving from the international community can be a ray of hope for the future of these children. In this picture, Syrian refugee children play in Sidon, located in southern Lebanon.
Guinea pigs are popular pets in the U.S., but in parts of South America, they're a delicacy. Some environmental and humanitarian groups are making a real push to encourage guinea pig farming as an eco-friendly alternative to beef.
First off, my apologies if you find the image distressing (I have two guinea pigs in my house and I will not be showing this picture to my children). However, the fact that many readers might find this image disturbing but wouldn't think twice about the sight of chicken grilling on the barbeque highlights the cultural taboos surrounding what we consider appropriate food sources. The tradition has diffused to the United States as more South American immigrants have come to the United States. While the meat is more environmentally sustainable (less resources are required to raise one pound of guinea pig meat than one pound of beef), many potential costumers are leery to eat something that they consider a pet.
What would the perfect immigration system look like? We asked three economists to dream big.
This is an intriguing podcast focused on how to best manage national borders if the only goal were to strengthen the economy (they center the conversatri on the United States). These economists envision plans with more incentives to attract a labor force that is more highly-skilled is crucial to having a rational migration policy. How how you manage the borders if you were in charge? How would your plan strengthen the country?
Of all the changes announced by the 2011 census, one of the most startling is the rapid change in the ethnic composition of London's population.
The fact the immigrants moving to the UK have flocked to London is not surprising (View a map of the census data). Immigration isn't the only component to this situation. White Britons are also leaving London in large number, prompting some to refer to this as "White Flight." Today, white Britons are no longer the majority population within London (but still the largest ethnic group). Some feel that this story has gone underreported and deserves more analysis. What elements of human geography should an observer of this situation use in their analysis?
With the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. and a mountain of debt, the island is facing a declining population. But those who stay insist they're there for the long haul.
New demographic study in California reveals nation’s changing face. Plus how Pacific Islanders changed high school football in Utah and why a Somali Bantu band from Vermont is in demand around the country.
This news article of 'odds and ends' has some interesting geographic content. Having lived in Utah for many years, I can attest to the fact that the "Polynesian Pipeline" for Utah schools is incredibly important and represents a chain migration that has culturally shifted both the 'host' and 'migrant' population. The 'haka' is now institutionized as a part of Intermountain West football culture.
Also in this article:
--Hispanics to outnumber whites in California by 2014
--Somali Bantu band from Burlington, VT in demand across the country
An advertising campaign designed to illustrate the drawbacks of living in the U.K. is being planned to deter an expected surge of immigrants, according to reports
Immigration is a sensitive topic so I'll tread lightly. There appears to be some support for a campaign that would target would-be migrants specifically from Romania and Bulgaria that life in the U.K. isn't as as grand as it may seem (ironic coming of the heels of the Olympics). This obviously isn't something that is universally supported by the British, but it does highlight the fact that more and more European countries are seeking ways to deter migrants from crossing their borders as economic struggles continue.
Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.
Quick facts about the "new" Mexico:
Does that help in explaining why Mexicans aren't leaving to go to the United States anymore? In fact, more Mexicans are leaving the United States than entering in a clear example of changing push and pull factors.
|Suggested by Kara Charboneau|
MEXICO CITY — Juan Chiu Trujillo was 5 years old when he left his native Mexico for a visit to his father's hometown in southern China. He was 35 when he returned.
Migratory patterns and globalization can lead to some intriguing cultural blends that would seem improbable 100 years ago. This story of shows vividly how ethnicity does NOT always correspond to culture.