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HMHS History
"Where liberty is, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin
Curated by Michael Miller
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Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Who Owns The North Pole?

"Though uninhabited and full of melting ice caps, the Arctic is surprisingly an appealing piece of real estate. Many countries have already claimed parts of the region. So who technically owns the North Pole? And why do these nations want it so bad?"

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 5, 2014 4:20 PM

Denmark is now being more assertive in their claimsWhy is this happening now?  As climate change threatens polar ice caps, some see the receding ice as an economic and political opportunity.  Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and the U.S. are all seeking to expand their maritime claims in the Arctic.  When trapped under ice, extracting resources is cost prohibitive, but the melting sea ice will make the Arctic's resources all the more valuable (including the expanded shipping lanes).  Even a global disaster like climate change can make countries behave like jackals, ready to feast on a dead carcass.  For more, read this National Geographic blogpost.  

TagsArctic, economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, unit 4 politicalclimate change, political ecology.

Rich Schultz's curator insight, January 2, 5:52 PM

Great question!  I think we all know the answer...Santa Claus!! ;)

Sammy Shershevsky's curator insight, January 17, 4:57 PM

The video discusses a big topic in discussion today - Who really owns the North Pole? Although the North Pole is uninhabited, many countries have claimed to take ownership of the vast majority of land (or, ice). Canada has already claimed that the North Pole is part of its nation. Russia has put up Russian flags on the North Pole (such as underwater) but does that really make North Pole a Russian territory? The media plays a role in this by offering different opinions on who should and who deserves the right to own the North Pole. You might read a Canadian article that lists all the outright reasons why the North Pole is or deserves to be a Canadian territory. 

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Brazil's ethanol revolution

"United Nations, June 2008 - The bio-fuel, ethanol, is generating a revolution in renewable energy that could help reduce the world's thirst for oil. In Brazil, the production of ethanol from sugarcane is booming, but what is not clear is the impact it is having on the industry's sugarcane cutters."  Transcript of video available here.

Via Seth Dixon
Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 30, 2014 7:38 PM

Brazil's ethanol revolution is showing how the country is using its agriculture to help out its economy, but with the increase in cane production comes the laying off of all the manual cutters. Essentially, the countries success in ethanol production is resulting in job loss for the workers that made the production of ethanol as popular as it.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 5, 2014 10:32 AM

This video highlights one of the negative impacts of globalization and economic development. As a country grows and become more economically powerful, the effects of success often outpaces the poorer classes of its society. Ethanol production has become an established and important part of Brazil's economy, and its success has begun to create negative social impacts. As the ethanol business continues to grow the more it relies on heavy machinery and other technology to maintain it, and the less the low-skilled manual laborers are needed. In order to avoid larger social problems, the government and ethanol companies in Brazil will need to find ways to integrate their already existing labor force into the expanding ethanol industry.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 2:04 PM

Brazil is one of the only countries in the world that is no longer dependent on oil. Increased sugarcane production has allowed for the large production of the bio-fuel ethanol, and now the country no longer really needs to export oil from other countries. This will allow Brazil to no longer be dependent on other countries or corporations for oil, and it could potentially lead to Brazil exporting ethanol and making a profit. 


On the other hand, many worry about how the switch from manual labor to mechanized production will affect the workers. Large lay offs could result in more people moving to the cities in order to find work, thus creating more slums. Luckily, the government is attempting to make jobs within the bustling bio-fuel business in order keep people employed.

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | HMHS History |
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.

Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 2014 12:59 PM

Colonial ties are still very prevalent due to Europe's dependence upon the resources of Africa. European countries like England and France invest billions in Africa, not to help those African nations, but to build infrastructure for resource extraction or to keep governments stable. Though the true exploitation of Africa has ended, the current situation certainly has the ring of exploitation as the people of Europe enjoy the diamonds and chocolate harvested by the multitudes of impoverished people of Africa.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age

Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age | HMHS History |

"It has taken between 50-300 million years to form, and yet we have managed to burn roughly half of all global oil reserves in merely 125 years or so."

Via Seth Dixon
Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, October 8, 2014 1:47 PM

the fact that oil is doomed is not such a bad thing perhaps fracking but I believe that solar energy is the way of the future

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:28 AM

Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 27, 2014 11:40 AM

Resources shape the behavior of people living in a given geographical region. On Earth, the abundance and efficiency of oil has caused our societies to be built and operated with the use of oil. Human's needed fuel and found oil to be a natural resource that could fit their needs. But all good things must come to an end. Even though oil and gas are cheap and efficient ways of fueling our society, there are disastrous consequences like environmental degregation and over dependence on foreign oil that leads countries to be entangled in conflict that cost lives everyday. Now that we have the analytically tools to project when oil will run out it allows people to reevaluate their use of oil and gas and weigh the cost of using a resources that will eventually run out and leave the earth in ecological distress. The global oil reserves have been cut in half in just 125 years, although this use of oil led to many technological and medical advances that propelled society into an age of advancement unprecedented it is time to pull back the reigns and calibrate our expectations on how much oil and gas we should keep using.

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | HMHS History |

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.


Via Seth Dixon
Michael Miller's insight:

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.

Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2013 12:29 PM

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

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:58 PM

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.

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Hot Commodities

Hot Commodities | HMHS History |

"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.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 24, 2013 6:55 PM

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.  

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 24, 2013 10:55 PM

Just in time for Industry!

Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 7, 2013 8:52 PM

intensive or extensive agriculture? Why?