HMHS History
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HMHS History
"Where liberty is, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin
Curated by Michael Miller
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The Ogallala Aquifer

The Ogallala Aquifer | HMHS History | Scoop.it
Hidden beneath the 245,000 square miles that make up the Great Plains, resides a lake that’s one of our greatest water assets: The Ogallala Aquifer. Haven’t heard of it? Farming the plains would be unprofitable at best without it, as shown by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the time, the aquifer’s existence was known, but the technology to tap into it wasn’t.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 22, 2015 9:27 AM

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.  This podcast explores the environmental and economic impacts of this unsustainable situation.


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, podcast.

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How the warming Arctic might be behind Boston's deep freeze

How the warming Arctic might be behind Boston's deep freeze | HMHS History | Scoop.it
There may be a counterintuitive explanation for the deep freeze that hit New England this winter: The rapidly warming Arctic is causing big disruptions in the jet stream, which carries weather across North America. Is this the worst winter you've experienced?

 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, Arctic, Boston, climate change, podcast.


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Gail McAuliffe's curator insight, March 1, 2015 11:12 AM

Perhaps this article will sway some climate change skeptics...

Paul Farias's curator insight, April 9, 2015 11:33 AM

So bizarre how the rate of the arctic warming causes us to get smacked with the cold weather. Its one of those things that are like how does the jet stream actually work. Including the fact that California is getting hit with a major drought. 

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A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger

A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger | HMHS History | Scoop.it
Corn is not what you think. For starters: Most of the time, it's not human food.

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Nolan Walters's curator insight, October 25, 2014 11:29 AM

Most of the corn is not even going to us. Most of it goes to the animals, who eat it (which is cheaper than grass), which fatten them up for slaughter for humans.  Corn also gets turned into Corn Syrup, which fattens us.  The Corn industry is mostly to fatten up animals for meat for us humans in MDCs. 

Alex Lewis's curator insight, October 30, 2014 12:46 PM

The fact that we could use this land to grow surplus edible food instead of corn that isn't edible and goes to feed obese and unhealthy cows is sickening. There are millions of people dying in Africa and other LDC's from starvation, but we use our farmland to grow inedible corn and overfeed cows to the point of death. The corn is used to feed animals, and the animals are then slaughtered months, weeks or even days before they would've died of overfeeding. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:42 PM

Land use practices that determine what is grown in a particular place are partly determined by the health needs of a local population, but they are more directly shaped by economic markets.  Over 75% of the corn produced in the United States is destined for animal feed or fuel; since global population projections are now supposed to be 11 billion by 2100, these are some important issues for us to consider before we are forced to reassess our societal choices.    

 

Tagspodcast, political ecology, agriculture, food production, land use.

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Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming

Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming | HMHS History | Scoop.it
In Indonesia, efforts are underway to grow palms in a sustainable way. But that's putting a squeeze on small farmers.

 

Palm oil is in everything, from pizza dough and chocolate to laundry detergent and lipstick. Nongovernmental organizations blame it for contributing to assorted evils, from global warming to human rights abuses. But in the past year, this complex global industry has changed, as consumers put pressure on producers to show that they're not destroying forests, killing rare animals, grabbing land or exploiting workers.

 

Tags: Indonesia, conservation, environment, consumption, SouthEastAsia, podcast.


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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, May 3, 2015 9:00 AM

Will they also stop using Glyphosate to kill the old trees in order to plant new ones? Or use Glyphosate to keep the grass from growing in their fields? Sometimes the changes are more on the marketing side, than the actual day-to-day practices.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:06 PM

Look at many household goods, and you can be sure to find palm oil in the list of its ingredients. It is one of the most commonly traded commodities in the world, but it has come under increasing scrutiny from both governmental and civilian groups concerned with the environmental and human impacts of the trade. Indonesia, one of the largest exporters of the good in the world, has made moves to make sure the continued exportation of the crop is sustainable, as they do not want to lose the revenue and job creation generated by the continued existence of the trade. Proponents of the crop argue that it takes less space to cultivate than any other competing vegetable oil, making it the easiest crop to sustain at current rates of demand. Environmentally, government and civilian groups have rallied against deforestation and have made strides to reverse the practice in regions both within Indonesia and in other areas as well.

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Is it all over for Greece in the EU?

Robert Peston crunches the numbers as finance ministers meet for vital loan talks.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 22, 2015 9:58 PM

This audio clip shows how the Greek economic crisis is an issue on the national, regional, and global scales.  This BBC video and article also provide some nice context, asking the question, what would happen in Greece quits the Euro? 


Tags: Greece, Europe, supranationalism, currency, economic, podcast

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 28, 2015 6:50 PM

If Greece decides to no longer be a part of the United Nations (UN), this will ultimately have a significant impact on Europe’s Union economy. The impact will affect not only Greece as country but also to all members of the UN. In addition to this enormous problem, it will be hard to keep together all countries if Greece goes because as we know certain countries as a Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France are also facing economic issues. Success depends largely on UN giving consent for the members of the organization. The downfall in this disagreement will weaken the economies of the European Union as a whole. On the other hand, cheap currency will create new opportunities and be beneficial for tourists.

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The 11 American nations, in one map

The 11 American nations, in one map | HMHS History | Scoop.it

Red states and blue states? Flyover country and the coasts? How simplistic. Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.

“The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps — including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history,” Woodard writes in the Fall 2013 issue of Tufts University’s alumni magazine. “Our continent’s famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities.”

Take a look at his map.

 


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Alec Castagno's curator insight, September 23, 2014 12:54 PM

The first thing I noticed about this map, and really liked, was that the nations extend past the borders of the United States. That allows these nations to reflect the similarities shared among large regions. These cultural, economic, and political regions reflect something that extends beyond the political borders of any one country. Southern Arizona is very similar to Mexico just like Northern Idaho is similar to Canada. The region labeled the Far West lumps together many different areas, likely because of the similar geography. However, there is more diversity in these areas than the map shows, for example there is a fairly big difference between the culture and political beliefs of Nevada and Utah, and western New Mexico is very different from Montana.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 13, 2014 12:31 PM

The way this map has been broken up is rather accurate. With the Greater Appalachia, stretching through West Virginia and into northwest Texas. Also, El Norte being separated due to the linguistic differences that have always been around that area.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, January 27, 2015 6:47 PM

This article was very interesting because it gave you a different way to look at not only the Unites States but the North American continent as well. I never realized that this continent can be broken into 11 separate nation-states. These 11 different divisions all represent and explain the different cultures or view points of the people living in them. The divisions can be a result anywhere from voting choices, social issues, religious beliefs, or just that particular type of community. I live in the Yankeedom. Northeastern states value education and are more comfortable with government regulation versus other areas. I was unaware that within the El Norte region, southwest Texas and the border region is the oldest and most different in America. Areas where independence was valued more had higher levels of violent deaths rather than the areas that had more government interventions.