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Picture this: Tourists visiting one of your city's most prominent attractions are unable to see it because of smog, haze and a bevy of other airborne pollutants. What's the solution?
Pollution is becoming ubiquitous in our urban environments. If your primary concern is the environment, it is clear that this situation in Hong Kong must be changed. But what if the environment is not the concern of policy makers? What economic and planning arguments could you make in favor of a more sustainable course?
Tags: pollution, China, development, economic, megacities, East Asia, industry, sustainability, urban ecology.
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The efforts of the Chinese government to cut corners and save money in every project they do has lead to the high amount of pollution in the countries urbanized cities. They surely do not have the enviornment in mind when drawing up policies, instead only the best interests of their country. Until China cleans up it's factories and uses safer appraoches to construction, this problem will continue. The tourists will continue to take pictures in front of panoramas and will be unable to see the skyline of most of the cities they visit.
If the pollution is getting worse in Hong Kong why is it not being addresed? What are the people in charge focusing on? To me pollution would be a very important thing to fix because it could cause deaths if it is not fixed and just continues to get worse.
While this is a kind of comical fascade for tourists, it draws attention to the insane amounts of pollution present in Hong Kong. The ships that dock in one of the world's largest ports are a great contributor to the thick smog that hovers over the city in addition to the normal urban pollutants like traffic, smoking and industry. Pollution is a major problem in all urban cities and government regulation needs to crack down on the subject because the dense smog that citizens are inhaling all day is slowly killing them.
Pollution leads to various cancers and other health problems which in China may help decrease the population but it will cause many more problems than it will solve. Hong Kong is an urban megacity center where thousands of corporations have their headquarters and important offices and pollution may get bad enough to drive certain companies out. Pollution can also destroy the value of any raw goods that come from the areas or perhaps even poison certain factory made products. With smog this thick, the pollutants are everywhere and can do serious damage to the environement and those who inhabit it.
........"Linking the Chinese pollution data to mortality statistics from 1991 to 2000, the researchers found a sharp difference in mortality rates on either side of the border formed by the Huai River. They also found the variation to be attributable to cardiorespiratory illness, and not to other causes of death."
High levels of air pollution in northern China – much of it caused by an over-reliance on burning coal for heat – will cause 500 million people to lose an aggregate 2.5 billion years from their lives, the authors predict in the study, published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Also read this compilation of articles and resources to get a sense of how bad the pollution is is China.
les chemins de la puissance: la Chine, les revers de la croissance économique chinoise.
Estudios sobre los graves efectos de la polución en la salud pública china
We talked in class about how certain poor working conditions or pollution emissions are permissible in countries whose laws allow for such situations, and how countries like the US arrange for certain work to be done in those countries. This 'work' stuff all centers around an ever-necessary "profit" that exists as a carrot being dangled in front of a horse as it runs all of its life, blinded to everything else. It is almost cartoonish, that for a percentage increase in profit due to minimalized expenses, a moral businessman might yield and give in to the temptation of exposing workers to dangerous conditions... or that all businesses might do the same thing... It is socially dangerous; a hazard like bullying, or cheating, using others as human shields to collect the damage while someone else collects the benefits. I don't think that any life form should be exposed to such unfairness, because it just does not resonate with my philosophical consciousness that any individual should have a better life than another (or worse). And why make it worse for someone? Why pollute their areas? Why steal their natural resources? Why... Capitalism at all? I do not think greed is innate to human nature, because selflessness does occur, and is often leaned towards in conventional modern morality/ethics. I think that the vicious cycle that capitalism puts us in causes us to self-servingly run around like angry rats trying to feed ourselves, which causes us to take out risks on other people, and polluting other people's living space. It really is sad, because this planet is alive... there is so much life on this planet, assumedly and debateably from this planet, this planet that we consider our home. To be killing ourselves by not keeping our home clean and healthy is like a very bad habit- it's like smoking. And it is taking a toll on the planet, as well as its inhabitants
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM and Maps.com KEYSTONE PIPELINE AND CANADIAN TAR SANDS CONTROVERSY Supporters and protesters continue to lobby both the White House and U.S.
This is a Geography in the News dealing with the background of the Keystone pipeline proposal and Canadian tar sands.
One thing I bet most people did not know is that we get most of our foregin oil from Canada ans not an OPEC country at all. This source really can help the US, but it does have drawbacks. Expensive to refine, dangerous to ship in the proposed pipeline as it can corrode the pide easily. Again seems a cost benefit analysis needs to be done, especailly with the US have large oil reserves in shale oil. Is that source of oil cheaper to produce thereby growing domestic oil production?? Or is it cheaper to import the oil because of other considerations, like labor and environmental regulations?
This controversial pipeline project would allow the transportation of crude oil from Alberta, Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands to the United State's Gulf Cost. This proves to be a difficult feat. Extracting oil from this source is very difficult since it is also mixed with clay and sand, making it very dirty. Transportation of this dirty substance through the pipeline would be equally as hard and risky since there is a risk that the oil could corrode the pipe. This poses severe environmental and safety risks. This pipeline passes through an international border and seven U.S. states which play huge roles in feeding the country. A pipeline passing through this area could easily pollute the Mississippi River Basin, which is the main water source for the people and the crops located in the central area of the country. There have also been cases where corroded pipelines have allowed widespread fires to occur, which is a possibility here. Extracting oil from this source would allow North America to be self-reliant, however, there are many drawbacks to creating such a huge pipeline which originates in such dirty oil sources.
Read the Transcript: http://to.pbs.org/b6sR86 The capital of the South Asian country Bangladesh, Dhaka, has a population that is booming. However, it stands ...
This is a great introduction to the demographic explosion of the slums within megacities. This is applicable to many themes within geography.
Tags: Bangladesh, water, pollution, poverty, squatter, planning, density, South Asia, development, economic, megacities.
This is a good youtube link on Urbanisation
See attached video clips!
I've posted on this topic now, so regular readers will know that I love a good flashmob that changes our perception of public places. This flashmob from Quebec makes me wonder, "if there were a bottle on the ground, would I pick it up and recycle it?" I'd like to think that I would, but the numbers show that most people would just walk right on by. For more of my favorite flashmobs in public places, see http://geographyeducation.org/whats-new/articles/place-and-flash-mobs/
I love this...We are in Quebec City..this is in Montreal but it is the same. Very little recycling is done...people in homes do it then in the news we hear how it sits outside and rots, rusts or is wasted as the recylcing plant can not handle the amount it receives.This fact causes people to be upset and then to junk what they have.
I have to confess that I probably wouldn't pick up a bottle in a public place because I would be worried with germs. I most definately would at work or somewhere I was fimilar with or had a sink available to wash my hands. I probably sound like a germ nut but you never know. I think when people are fimilar with an area or care about the appearance of a place they are more likely to pick it up. I did appreciate the cheers after the lady picked it up.
This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive). Most people can't answer this question. A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it. This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water. This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.
Tags: GIS, water, fluvial, environment, ESRI, pollution, development, consumption, resources, mapping, environment depend, cartography, geospatial.
water is a resource we all depend on. Some of my best studies were on local Chesapeake Bay issues.
A new global survey suggests world's the most wasteful countries feel the least guilty—and vice-versa.
Our consumption patterns, ecological footprint and lifestyle choices have a significant impact on how we feel about sustainability initiatives and human/environmental interactions.
By importing goods from polluting factories in Asia, Americans and others in developed countries underwrite carbon emissions...
This is a compelling question: are reductions in greenhouse gases best measured by production or consumption? The question that this article is posing is essentially trying to find blame for greenhouse gas emmision, but thinking geographically, ponders where along the commodity chain should the bulk of the blame be placed. What do you think?
What factors lead to high pollution rates in Bakersfield, Los Angeles and Fresno? How are economic, industrial, political and environmental factors contributing to or mitigating the situation?
New data shows Shell dramatically under-estimated the damage of a 2008 spill that devastated the lives of tens of thousands of people in Niger Delta. Shell has yet to compensate victims.
The volume of oil spilt at Bodo was more than 60 times the volume Shell has repeatedly claimed leaked. This is but one example of a international corporation exploiting the natural resources of a developing country.
This article talks about how Shell seems to have underestimated the damage caused by the oil spill in 2008 when tens of thousands of barrels of oil polluted the land and creeks surrounding Bodo. The spill has compromised the access to clean food and water, destroyed livelyhoods and put health at risk. Shell still has not compositated the people of Bodo with the bags of food to replace what was destroyed nor have they cleaned up the spill. These poor people, they have had so much destroyed and need help from shell and they refuse to step up and take responsibility and do what it right.
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.
Absolutely frightening to see a city so empty. To only imgine what could have been in Chernobyl today if this nuclear disaster didn't happen.
The pictures are breathtaking. What was once a modern and prosperous area is now completely devestated and basically irreparable for hundreds of years to come. In some of the pictures it is possible to see the haste and desertion of buildings and rooms which gives a sense of fear and panic that the people experienced. There is surely still so much that can be explored, but the radiation limits people and the danger of the area is hard for civilians to be within the boundaries of Chernobyl. Places like this show how drastic the rise and fall of the Soviet Union really was. Similar to mono-towns in Siberia, these areas were set up for people to flourish and become successful, but as history went on and disasters ensued, the great empire came crashing down.
These photo's are rather gripping. Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years. The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.
Scientists model where and when the debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami will be. The likelihood that the debris (not radioactive) will reach the U.S. west coast is increasingly likely. Look at the great video attached to the article.
It will be very interesting to see if this floating pile of junk actually reaches the west coast of the United States. It seems possible that it could, but some of the scientists and other experts believe that it could also break up and sink before it reaches us. One of my questions going in was whehter or not the wreckage was radioactive? Luckily it is not radioactive and that should not be a concern for anyone.
This video showed time elasped which stopped in the summer of 2013, it is now December. At the time of the video the mass was entering the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean so I'm curious to where it is now. I can't find any current imagery of the vast ocean but it would be a neat, yet dangerous spectacle. I could only imagine any of the harm it's causing on the sealife on its way across the pacific. We can only hope that doesn't bring too many issues once it washes up on the west coast, if at all.
Hopefully none of the wreckage that reaches the US is radioactive.... But the projected travel of the debris shows how ocean currents create, almost, a "natural" globalization of natural disasters.
The discharge of 20 tons of the carcinogenic metal cadmium into the Longjiang River in southern China's Guangxi Province is an environmental tragedy that has become depressingly familiar.
Are China's environmental and labor policies connected to their economic success? Is this economic growth sustainable?
"Pittsburgh, called 'hell with the lid taken off' in the 19th century because of its industrial filth, is now an academic leader in the green movement."
This is a great article on regional sustainability initiatives and education in the Pittsburgh area. Given Pittsburgh's history, that makes these clean industrial projects all the more impressive.
We've all heard stories about the horrible air quality in Beijing (especially during the 2008 Olympics). Here's a picture of Beijing by Tom Anderson that I find riveting. The skies are obviously polluted but this image shows two competing cities that are vying for control of China's future. In the foreground we see a cosmopolitan capital that is sophisticated and technologically advanced, engaged in the great connections that come from industrial growth. On the other side we see the industrial city that is recklessly producing copious amounts of consumer products with little regard for the environment or worker safety that can be seen as the dirty side of globalization. Both images are true reflections of China in the 21st century and the tension between the two will be one of China's great issues in the foreseeable future.
Tags: pollution, China, development, economic, megacities, East Asia, industry.
A major capital and one that will only grow in global importance.
Beijing has one of the worst pollution issues in the world. The pollution is from the factories and burning coal and not filtering factories so the pollution goes out in the air. In the image you can see the city of Beijing and the factories located in the back and they are both in competition with each other.
Tags: pollution, infographic, ecology.
What do you think about these images?Do you you agree?or not?
really interesting infograph please have a look on it, will warn and make you think about the pollution that plastic bags cause.
Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide pop out over certain shipping lanes in observations made by the Aura satellite between 2005-2012. The signal was the strongest over the northeastern Indian Ocean.
Tags: transportation, globalization, diffusion, remote sensing, industry, economic, unit 6 industry.
The Straits of Malacca show up as a highly affected band - and this from traffic that is not even bound for, or related to, Malaysia.
Ships are causing pollution all over the ocean because of its fuels being used. Is there other fuels we can use for ships? By finding a safer fuel it could reduce the oceans pollution. Pollution probably effects the wildlife and drinking water as well and we often eat foods and drink from the water. It not only effects the ocean it effects us as well.
10 ways to go green this holiday season. Zero Waste holiday tips from Eco-Cycle.
This infographic combined with these recommendations are some simple reminders that mass consumption and waste does not contribute to global joy or cheer.
beautiful, as Susan
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.
The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal. Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era. While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.
Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.
We never heard about this during the Soviet Union as the news was controlled. Also during the Soviet time I do not believe environmentalists would have gotton the chance to investigate the area. With the fall of the USSR the world can now see some of the environmental effects that communism had on Russia. These towns are built around the factory. Much like the old steele towns in PA, like Allentown. However Allentown chnaged with the times and is able to support, although it is difficult, the population that was focused on the steele industry. Here is this remote area of Russia, there is nothing else in the area. There is no service economy in the area, just the paper factory. It has been kept open because of Putin who basically said to ignore all environmental laws and regulations and he made sure the environmental groups are not an issue anymore. Not surprising from a former KGB Lt. Colonel and the Director of the FSB, the sucessor of the KGB. To solve the issue in these monotowns I think there needs to be government intervention to transition the economies in theses areas. To keep these factories running in the long run will just hurt all the people in the towns with no end in sight. However, I do not think this will happen unless there is a change in the leadership of Russia, something I do not think will happen anytime soon.
The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides". The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain. The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy. This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited. Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town. This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.
THough the Soviet Union has been gone since the early 90s, it's hold on Russia is still creating problems. The creations of monotowns were already flawed. But to have this one monotown on Lake Baikal has gained the attention of enviromentalists. All odds are against that monotown. Without it's paper factory they have no jobs and no need for the town. It is a fight between enviromental geography and human geography in this area of the world. These people are stuck in a time where even the Soviet Union looked a little better than the constant wondering of your finacial stability in an up and coming capitalist nation.
It's not two photos stitched together, and it's not an installation. This red line is the stain of toxic sludge.
This is a great issue that highlights the human-environmental interactions theme. In 2011, this site in Hungary witnessed a horrific toxic sludge spill at an aluminum oxide plant that literally created a toxic mudslide.
Jeff Larson has seen just about everything wash up on the shores of Santa Cruz: bottles, toys, shotgun shells, busted surfboards and fishing floats that looked like they had bobbed across the Pacific.
This is just another long-term 'after-shock' of the tsunami that devasted Japan over 1 year ago.
While this image does not show the whole work of art, I wanted to show a close-up so that the circuitry could be seen. Susan Stockwell is a cartographically inspired artist, who has frequently used maps as both medium and theme of her artwork. With e-waste being a growing concern, the meanings behind this installation expands our understands of this piece. For more of her work, see: http://www.susanstockwell.co.uk/
A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.
This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities. This video as a part of the article is especially useful. Click on the title to read the accompanying article.
This video is incredibly interesting in that it describes just what it means to be the fastest growing megacity in the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are moving to Dhaka, Bangladesh from smaller towns outside the capital city. The current population of Dhaka is 15 million but people are migrating to the city so quickly that it does not take very long for the census data to become outdated. People are moving to Dhaka with hopes of a better life for themselves and their families. Their situation upon moving goes from worst to bad. People move out of slums and squatter settlements in their hometowns into other slums and squatter settlements in Dhaka, but they still believe they are beginning a better life. There are many interesting aspects of this video. For one, there is a girl who is happy because she works in a fabric factory and she might receive a $4/month increase in pay. To us in the United States, this is nothing, but to her, it is a huge help to her and her family. Also, there is a girl who could rarely afford fish or meats but she can now buy one good piece of meat each week because she can afford it in Dhaka. While there are many glimpses of hope and opportunities to live better lives in Dhaka as seen in this video, there are many geographical implications for Dhaka as it becomes larger and larger each day. The government is very informal and people who move to Dhaka do not have any land to build homes on, so they build illegally on someone else's land. Also, traffic on Dhaka's streets is, for lack of a better term, insane. The city just cannot handle all of the migration from elsewhere. Resources such as clean water and food are very slim. Even though Dhaka might suffer as a city due to its rapid growth and inability to support everyone, newcomers still choose Dhaka as the gateway to a better life.
I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed. In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City. I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few. The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka. The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land. According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point. This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there. It's simply chaos. There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!
The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.
This site has several infographics showing the impact of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Homegrown air pollution is bad enough, but for years scientists have tracked pollution rising out of Asia, crossing the Pacific Ocean, and descending over the western United States. A research team found that the Asian contribution over the southwestern United States could amount to 15 parts per billion of ozone (orange-red on three consecutive days in panels, left to right). That could become even more troublesome, the authors note, if Asian imports increase as expected in the coming decades."
So in essence, sending manufacturing to China to avoid the Clean Air Act costs doesn't always lower our monetary costs nor does lower our environmental costs (not if our air is still polluted). Geography is all about understanding the whole system, and the atmosphere does not recognize any international borders. The Earth is our system.
You know pollution is getting bad when it starts to affect countries oceans away. Society depicts that there is a pollution problem, but they do not take action-they merely address it. If humans are to find a solution to this problem, however, we need to actually take action.
I believe that Asia should think about what they are doing to the world. They are effecting the climate and the other countries with their burning of fossil fuels. It's not just them though because China is at the point where they have to wear mask out. we need to come together and make the world greener.-Amanda