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The railroad industry is eager to be the go-to oil shipper, but some worry it's moving too fast.
Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers. As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.
Tags: transportation, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.
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The idea of using trains instead of oil pipelines in the North Dakota regions is smart, over the idea of the time and energy it takes to transport oil through pipes. Big industry always causes parts of the enviornment to suffer but the lesser of the evils must be chosen. In the area of shipping oil on trains it is the sandy prarie like areas that can suffer physically. With oil business fracking has also been a big issue were rocks deep beneath the ground are broken up to release oil up to the surface. Yes this brings companies lots of money, but causes harm to homes, leaking oil, causing explosions and even earthquakes. This can be tricky especially when these kinds of companies are supported by the federal government
"Forward on climate?" This news is backwards and at least 40,000 people who attended "Forward on Climate" rallies throughout our nation in February 2013 will continue to question, protest peacefully, and convince others that we MUST reduce our dependence on oil no matter how it is transported!
As steel and rail built this county, oil and rail will rebuild it.
"Water is an essential theme in social studies, science, and geography. Whether teaching about natural or human systems, water is part of the story. This course, framed around California's Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), focuses on ocean and freshwater topics and strategies for teaching environmental topics in Grades 4-8. Resources and support are provided for how to use EEI to implement Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy."
This new MOOC on water resources in California is project supported by National Geographic Education and Annenberg Learner. This is a course is designed to span the disciplines and create an awareness in students about environmental issues that impact them.
Tags: consumption, California, water, environment, resources, environment depend.
Starts in October.
I find this video very informative because I didn’t know, that they have this type of course. I feel this course should be teach in every classroom around the United States, because is not only the adult that needs to learn how to protect the environment. We also need to educate our children because they are the future of America. I think that by taking this class people will learn which places have the more environmental problem, and by becoming more aware of the issue , we all together will find the solution.
The world is in the palm of your hand; what will you do? This is a question that each generation collectively needs to ask itself. We can consider ourselves stewards of this planet with its vast natural resources and abundant potential. If we make choices that are sustainable for the future we will keep many of these amazing possibilities open to future generations. (For Hi-res image click here). Just one more reason to read Geography Education.
Tags: resources, sustainability.
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?
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.
This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here). How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past? How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent?
Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.
In the literall sense these colonial powers are no more. All theses countries have theire own form of indepenece and many have o officall ties to their mother countries. But what theses mother countries did to many of their colonies was cut them down at the knees where ther would need to continually rely on the mother for help or face damnation. These mother countries make alot of the commercial decsions for their previous colonial states and with that they hold the power to affect the whole nation.
Thousands of workers have flooded into the town. But they're reluctant to call it home.
This oil boom is visible from space; it has created a real estate market where a one-bedroom apartment goes for $2100 a month (census map showing population increase -slide 4). Still, the overwhelmingly male population that works here is not willing to move their families with them and truly put down some roots. Some fear a potential "bust" on this economic prosperity and others don't see the amenities that encourage lasting settlement growth (schools, parks, cultural events, etc.). The city of Williston, North Dakota "feels like a frontier town" and will build a huge recreational center and other things to entice these temporary workers to become permanent residents. More than just jobs are needed to made a city attractive to potential migrants.
Tags: migration, podcast, urban.
A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.
"[This] data show an alarming rate of decrease in total water storage in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins, which currently have the second fastest rate of groundwater storage loss on Earth, after India," said Jay Famiglietti, principal investigator of the study and a hydrologist and professor at UC Irvine. "The rate was especially striking after the 2007 drought. Meanwhile, demand for freshwater continues to rise, and the region does not coordinate its water management because of different interpretations of international laws."
Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, Middle East, Iraq.
This is a perfect example of geospatial technologies can lead to a better understanding of how the Earth's physical systems are changing because of human geography. Teaching geography is about showing how these systems are interconnected.
Higher prices HUGGERS?
Oil-rich, velvet-rope-poor Azerbaijan, a country about the size of South Carolina on the Caspian Sea, would very much like to be the world’s next party capital.
Azerbaijan has limited cultural prestige and international recognition, but it has great quantities of oil, and they are parlaying that wealth into an important geopolitical position in Central Asia. It appears that Baku has ambitions to become the next Dubai.
Tags: Azerbaijan, political, development, Central Asia, unit 4 political.
Azerbaijan is tiny about the size of South Carolina, home to 9.2 million people, it produces nothing the world wants and has no major unviversities. So why is it such a big deal? It has Oil. Back in 2006 they began pumping oil from the caspian sea and with the help of BP they now pump one million barrels of oil daily. If the proposed pipeline running from turkey to Austria is built it could bring in billions of dollars a year. Azerbijan is overwhelmingly Muslim and buys advanced weapons systems from Israel in exchange for oil, they are a new member of the UN and sided with the US against Russia on the issue of Syria. Azerbaijan is making a rise in the world all thanks to their oil goldmine
Much like Dubai they are using their oil wealth to build a city on the ocean. Also they share a border with Iran, which makes the US even more interested in the area. They also as of late have supported the US against Russia in the Syria conflict. This small, but oil rich and strategically located country is getting involved in geo-politics and want to make sure people know its on the map. Long a part of the USSR it is establishing itself as a country in the world and on its way to make its own idenity. They are also looking to lay a gas pipeline that will just increase their standing in the economy of the area and the world. They still have thier issues, Russia could flex its muscle in the area and there is the the ongoing conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. Going to be an interesting time in this part of the world.
If you are up in space looking down on America west of the Mississippi, one of the brightest patches of light at night is on the Great Plains in North Dakota. It's not a city, not a town, not a military installation.
This patch of light is baffled me since clusters of light on this image almost always are connected to high levels of urbanization and North Dakota has no major population center of that magnitude. This is the Bakken formation, a new oil and gas field that is producing over 600,000 barrels a day. The lights are oil rigs that are lit up at night, but even more because many gas flares are burning leading locals to call the area "Kuwait on the Prairie." Oil men from far and wide are flocking to the rural, lightly populated area raising rents sky-high. This has caused a huge localized gender imbalance, changing the demographic and cultural character of the region because of the drastic the economic and environmental shifts in the area (see the national gender balance here). This is a great reminder that the physical and human geographies of a region are fully intermeshed one with another.
Tags: resources, gender, environment, economic, migration.
Jeffrey Gettleman, The Times’s Nairobi bureau chief, reports on how Kenya’s wildlife conservation corps is learning from a reformed poacher how to counter the growing threat to elephants.
In Somalia, former pirates are helping to patrol the coasts to prevent piracy. This idea of reforming and recruiting past criminals is also seen in Kenya as former poachers are trying to protect elephants that are essential to the local ecology as well as the tourism-driven economy. In addition to the attached video is this article which expands on these issues.
Tags: biogeography, tourism, Africa, consumption, resources, ecology, Kenya.
Energy conservation starts at home....
This interesting National Geographic article emphasizes how consumption patterns in the home are connected to some of the serious global issues that we currently face. This article becomes an exploration into how to go about creating a more environmentally sustainable home.
The best energy is the one we don´t consumpt!!
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.
Where in the United States is fracking unlocking natural gas from shale rock?
New to the APHG course content is term political ecology. Briefly, the Political Ecology Society defines it as the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment. Anytime people are managing the environment in a way that is politically contentious (such as fracking in the USA), that topic can be analyzed using political ecology.
Tags: political ecology, fracking, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.
Many communities are fighting fracking. In Texas a man sued oil company and the oil company lost so they conter sued the man for defamation. Parts of Colorado have recently passed laws to keep fracking out of their communities.
In class we studied "fracking," or the fracturing of shale deep in the Earth with blasts of fluid, which produces a harvestable oil yield and much pollution to aquifers in the area. I live at a house sometimes, where the water is rusty- and it really prevents me from doing much of anything with the water. I can't cook with it, I can't shower in it, I can't drink it, I have to use bottled water to even brush my teeth because the simple rust content is so vile. I cannot even imagine what the industrial acid- hydrochloric acid, as well as other contaminants in the water- would do to the water someone relies on... I think of situations where neighbors trees are dangling over someone else's property, and how branches may be required to be cut down because of their interference with neighboring property, and I would hope that something can be done about protection of aquifers, along the same times... If there is something negative or unwanted affecting someone's water, something really should be done about it. Knowing that there are negative consequences that come along with fracking, I really can't fathom why people do it! I live in a protected watershed area in Scituate that does not allow development of any kind on one side of the road because of the Scituate Reservoir. People are not allowed in the Reservoir Property at all, let alone not allowed to dump waste or cause any sort of harm to the environment, because a huge portion of the state of RI gets their water from that reservoir. I am not an absolute tree-hugger, but I also don't think that such problematic activites should be 'stirred up' in areas that affect something that humans rely on and need to survive. While I see that I am not affected by these shale fracking ops as are indicated on the map, I also DO care about the peope in those areas! Why should they be subjected to such putrification of their water resources? I am once again perplexed by the darkness of humanity.
This was a very interesting topic to read about, its clear the issue of fracking has so many cracks to it(haha). While whats occuring is completly unnatural, the economic forces behind it are clear, this is a big way to help give amercans cheeper gas. However the effects it has locally are increadibly destuctive and will likely have futher consiquences as fracking continues. I noticed by looking at this map that policialy it seem like fracking is occuring in the red states, seems they want to use there land for the resouces even though it might destroy. While politicaly librals want to protect there enviorments of there blue states. This really adds anouther levle to it and how the placment of these new gas companys is panning out arcosss america.
"Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside."
This website, Dangers of Fracking, is clearly not produced by the oil industry. What I enjoy about this resource is that as you scroll down, it adds more context to the environmental issues and geographic factors. This type of website promotes holistic thinking and an interdisciplinary approach to complex problems. Why am I leery of the fracking companies and what they say? This is why.
Tags: energy, resources, environment, environment modify, ecology.
Great visual aid about the dangers of fracking. this article is obviously siding with antifracking beliefs so it may be a little biest but in all honest facking may be the worst form of producing energy in the past 100 years. Offshore drilling may be unpleseant to see but as long as it dont exploded then the ecosystem around it stays intak. Fracking on the other hand can be evident miles down the road with chemtrails and runoff. I can understand why people do alot of things for money but devastating the local water supply when there is multiple new ways to produce clean energy is just shameful.
Hydrographic Turing puts people in safety and health risks. Because the water is contaminated and because of the oil spills, blow outs, and fires. They put chemicals into the ground in order to make cracks in the earth to collect natural oil, but they use people's land in order to collect the oil. People are complaining about these industries because they now have to buy water every month instead of getting it from their sinks or wells. Not to mention some houses have already blew up or caught on favor thanks to hydro fracturing. They need to put a stop to this, at least do it on land that is not being used and far away from people.
The development of gas is important for energy but there are health and safety risks with cracking in neighborhoods. Quality of air and water is important for survival. Nature matters and people matter, they need to find a middle ground.
Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.
The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here. "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."
Tags: water, agriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.
The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.
Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.
For years, China claimed to hold an estimated 50000 rivers within its borders. Now, more than half of them have abruptly vanished.
More good news from China.
There could be enough food for everyone #IF... Use this activity to help your pupils complete the sentence bit.ly/YngX9o #ukedchat— Oxfam Education (@OxfamEducation) April 10, 2013
There could be enough food for everyone #IF... Use this activity to help your pupils complete the sentence bit.ly/YngX9o #ukedchat
How could this prompt (with accompanying activities and lesson plans) fit in with what you teach or study?
Tags: consumption, food, development, resources, sustainability.
Useful for teh Fodd Security section which will be in the National Curriculum. The video provides an animated presentation of reasons for inequity in food availability over the globe. The activities on Oxfam site are useable resources.
An arid region grew even drier between 2003 and 2009 due to human consumption of water for drinking and agriculture.
As drought conditions have hit the Middle East, growing populations are using more water per capita then ever. See this on Google Earth with this KMZ file.
Great Google Earth resources looking at the shrinking of water storage in the Middle East. Critical reading for our water unit and a superb example of how powerful imaging like Google Earth can be.
What we don't learn from the past is bound to repeat itself-over and over again.
Year 10 - Inland water
"77 Photos of the mass production of the Earth's natural resources. In the picture above, a Tibetan villager works in a salt field. Salt has been the most common food preservative, especially for meat, for thousands of years."
Tags: consumption, agriculture, resources, labor, industry, economic, unit 6 industry.
Coal, steel, gold, iron, copper, aluminum and oil are all incredibly important commodities. Agricultural products such as rice, cotton, corn, wheat and coffee all travel far beyond their area of origin. Where do these resources come from? How are they produced? This gallery of 77 pictures is a fantastic tour of the resources that are key cogs in the global economy.
Just in time for Industry!
intensive or extensive agriculture? Why?
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/where-we-get-our-fresh-water-christiana-z-peppard Fresh water accounts for only 2.5% of Earth's...
How much of the Earth's water is fresh water? How much of that is used for industrial, agricultural or domestic uses? Why is groundwater becoming increasingly utilized? Enjoy this TED-ED video for the answers.
Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.
PULL a spring, let it go, and it will snap back into shape. Pull it further and yet further and it will go on springing back until, quite suddenly, it won't....
This is an interesting article discussing the limits that the Earth's physical systems have and the importance not exceeding any tipping point that could destabilize the planet if we "overstrech the springs."
A useful discussion on limits of the planet
An interesting counter-balance to the work of the Planetary Boundaries group.
While city lights at night serve as a good proxy for population density, North Korea provides a dark exception.
This image is appears to be a regional inset of the classic Earth at Night composite image however this nighttime remote sensing image was taken from Sept. 2012. The Earth at Night image is typically used in classrooms to discuss what this actually means for human geography (Population density? Development? Consumption? Where? How come?). However, this particular portion of the global image focused on the Korean Peninsula highlights two other specific issues:
Tags: economic, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, territoriality, states, unit 4 political, remote sensing.
Amazing photo! Population density is a good issue but also political geography and economic geography as well.
This cliché image of "North Korea in the dark" reinforces preconceived ideas about the "totalitarian" state and how terrible life must be without electricity. Well, one aspect of this political geography is the effect of US-backed sanctions against North Korea and the severe ecological and energy crisis under which it has struggled for the last two decades. Just as electricity is not simply a "natural" resource, neither is energe consumption nor shortage.
CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.
Most everyone knows about the importance of Middle Eastern oil to the global economy and how that impacts geopolitics. What isn't well-known is that the Middle East's own demand for oil has been increasing as their wealth and standard of living has been rising. This chart does not show the amount of oil consumption, but the "energy intensity." This is the amount of energy (often oil) used to produce a unit of GDP for a country's economy.
Questions to Ponder: How will this change oil-producing countries economic development in the future? How does this make us re-assess these economies? Does this impact how we think about climate change issues?
Tags: energy, resources, Middle East, development.
"Most everyone knows about the importance of Middle Eastern oil to the global economy and how that impacts geopolitics. What isn't well-known is that the Middle East's own demand for oil has been increasing as their wealth and standard of living has been rising. This chart does not show the amount of oil consumption, but the "energy intensity." This is the amount of energy (often oil) used to produce a unit of GDP for a country's economy.
Questions to Ponder: How will this change oil-producing countries economic development in the future? How does this make us re-assess these economies? Does this impact how we think about climate change issues?"
In an impoverished country, elephant poaching is a quick way to make big money. A pair of poachers explain how they track and kill elephants in one of Africa's top game reserves.
The illegal sale of ivory in places such as Asia drive the elephant poachers to prey on Elephants in protected game reserves and national parks. The Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland and yet they only have 10 rangers to protect and patrol the wildlife.
Tags: biogeography, poverty, globalization, Africa, consumption, resources, ecology, podcast.