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Yale Environment 360: China’s Wind Energy Capacity Reached Record Levels in 2011

China installed a record 18,000 megawatts of new wind energy in 2011, boosting its total capacity to nearly 63,000 megawatts and widening its lead in the global wind energy sector, according to the Earth Policy Institute (EPI). The U.S., which was passed by China for total wind capacity, installed about 6,800 megawatts, increasing its total capacity to 47,000 megawatts, or enough to power 10 million homes. Worldwide, energy developers installed 41,000 megawatts of capacity during the year, increasing the global total to 283,000 megawatts — enough to provide electricity to 380 million people at European levels of consumption.

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In Fight to Save Coral Reefs, Finding Strategies that Work by : Yale Environment 360

In Fight to Save Coral Reefs, Finding Strategies that Work by : Yale Environment 360 | Geography | Scoop.it
In four decades as a marine biologist, Nancy Knowlton has played a key role in documenting the biodiversity of coral reefs and the threats they increasingly face.

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she assesses the state of the world’s corals and highlights conservation projects that offer hope of saving these irreplaceable ecosystems.

When marine biologist Nancy Knowlton began studying coral reefs in the early 1970s, the world’s scientists had little understanding of just how diverse and complex these ecosystems were — and the key role they played in the health of the planet’s oceans. Nor did they fully grasp the scale of the threats that would bear down on coral reefs in the coming decades.

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African voices respond to hyper-popular Kony 2012 viral campaign - Boing Boing

African voices respond to hyper-popular Kony 2012 viral campaign - Boing Boing | Geography | Scoop.it

The internets are all a-flutter with reactions to Kony 2012, a high-velocity viral fundraising campaign created by the "rebel soul dream evangelists" at Invisible Children to "raise awareness" about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and child soldiers. As noted in my previous post here on Boing Boing, the project has many critics.

But in that flood of attention, one set of voices has gone largely ignored: Africans themselves. Writers, journalists, activists; people of African descent who live and work and think about life on the continent. In this post, we'll round up some of their replies to #Kony2012.

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Fertility Rates Are Falling and the Global Population Is Aging, But That's Good for the Planet | Ecocentric | TIME.com

Fertility Rates Are Falling and the Global Population Is Aging, But That's Good for the Planet | Ecocentric | TIME.com | Geography | Scoop.it
I worked in Japan for a year as a journalist for TIME in 2006 and 2007, and here's what I realized: the Japanese do do everything first.
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Giving a ‘Visual Voice’ to the Changing Arctic Environment

Giving a ‘Visual Voice’ to the Changing Arctic Environment | Geography | Scoop.it
Arctic Security: The Arctic Institute is an authoritative, interdisciplinary, and independent source for information and in-depth analysis about the developments in the Arctic Region...

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Pass the Books. Hold the Oil.

Pass the Books. Hold the Oil. | Geography | Scoop.it
Education is a better economic driver than a country’s natural resources.

 

This NY Times article is compelling fodder for a discussion on economic development.  While having natural resources on the surface sounds like the best valuable asset for a nation economy, why does Friedman argue that an abundance of natural resource can hurt the national economy?  While an educated workforce is obviously an asset, just how important is it compared to other factors? 


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Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed?

Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed? | Geography | Scoop.it

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.   


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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:09 PM

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. 

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:43 AM

Although it's important to know where all of this trash is headed, this just makes me think of how we might prevent this. We can't prevent these catastrophic natural disasters, but how might we lessen it's effects on our cities and settlements? Furthermore, how might we lessen our impact on ecosystems during these times of catastrophe? 

It's only called a catastrophe when it hits human populations for a reason, it's not just devastating to us. Remnants of our lifestyle are carried far and wide, able to cause harm on many other species. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:37 PM

An example of how even without considering globalization the world is interconnected. The debris from the 2011 tsunami was never disposed of effectively and the United States may be effected more than they ever expected. If this pile of debris reaches US shores it will make many Americans consider how a tsunami across the globe will eventually hurt them at home. 

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California Takes the Lead With New Climate Initiatives by Mark Hertsgaard: Yale Environment 360

Long ahead of the rest of the U.S. on environmental policy, California is taking bold steps to tackle climate change — from committing to dramatic reductions in emissions, to establishing a cap-and-trade system, to mandating an increase in zero-emission vehicles. The bottom line, say state officials, is to foster an economy where sustainability is profitable.

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The urban sprawl of Las Vegas [NASA video]

In honor of Landsat 5's 28th birthday today (March 1st) here's how the desert city of Las Vegas has gone through a massive growth spurt.

The outward expansion of the city is shown in a false-color time lapse of data from all the Landsat satellites.

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MDG drinking water target being met is cause for celebration

MDG drinking water target being met is cause for celebration | Geography | Scoop.it
Sanjay Wijesekera: This achievement shows that where there is a will, it is possible to truly transform the lives of hundreds of millions of people for the better.

 

The MDG (Millennial Development Goal) to cut the global population that does not have access to clean drinking water was cut in half, and five years ahead of schedule. The World Health Organization and the United Nations are very pleased with this achievement, but it is a timely reminder of the developmental problems of poverty and access that still exist. For example, 783 million people still do not have access to clean drinking water.  3,000 children die each day from diarrheal diseases (usually from bad drinking water and poor sanitation). Although some success should be celebrated, the world, in the currently constituted social, economic and political framework, still does not provide the most basic of requirements for a sizeable portion of humanity.


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One billion slum dwellers

One billion slum dwellers | Geography | Scoop.it
One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged.

 

There was significant publicity last year when the world population reached 7 billion.  Barely a whisper was heard when the global population of slum dwellers exceeded 1 billion.  When the world's population reached 7 billion, it was used as a moment to reflect on sustainable growth, resources and the common good for humanity.  This 'milestone' of 1 billion slum dwellers needs to also serve as a teaching moment to reflect on urbanization, migration, human development and the underlying causes that have lead to this explosive growth primarily in the developing world. 


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Sean Lim Lin Yuan's comment, January 27, 2014 11:15 PM
Hi wow
Jung Dohun's comment, January 27, 2014 11:43 PM
It is not so easy as you think. There are many countries that does not have land suitable for farming. Also, farming requires water and many countries does not even have water for people to drink. If it was so easy for a country to be wealthy, there might not even be a poor country at all. There must be a good reason behind it and we, for now should not interfere. At most we can do is to donate :)
Ricardo Cabeza de Vaca's curator insight, May 27, 2015 2:53 AM

I believe this article should be very eyeopening to everyone 1 billion people is about 1/7 of our population and that they are all living in slums is even a worse thought to imagine. This article also says that that number could well likely double by 2030. These people that live in the slums lack fresh water and other basic necessities for life and this could be their permanent home. We all need to figure out a permanent solution for slum dwellers instead of them living in shacks or building lacking their needs.

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Asia is the world's largest petroleum consumer

Asia is the world's largest petroleum consumer | Geography | Scoop.it
Energy Information Administration - EIA - Official Energy Statistics from the U.S.

 

This goes nicely with the carbon footprint data that was recently posted.  Although that was data aggregated at the national level and this is on the 'world realms' level, many of the same patterns are visible without the same specificity. 


Via syarifah dalimunthe, Seth Dixon
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Global Partnership for Oceans |

Global Partnership for Oceans | | Geography | Scoop.it

Oceans are under stress. The Global Partnership for Oceans is a growing alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society groups, and private sector interests that will mobilize knowledge and financial resources to address threats to ocean health, resilience and productivity.

Site explores many of the Key Issues

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Yale Environment 360: Rising Seas, Coastal Flooding Threaten 3.7 Million in U.S., Study Says

Yale Environment 360: Rising Seas, Coastal Flooding Threaten 3.7 Million in U.S., Study Says | Geography | Scoop.it

Roughly 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and will face more frequent coastal floodingin the coming decades as a result of steadily rising seas, according to new research. Using improved estimates of land elevation near coastlines and tidal levels throughout the U.S., as well as 2010 census data, scientists at the non-profit group, Climate Central, calculated that the 3.7 million Americans living within 1 meter — 3.3 feet — of mean high tide level...

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Innovation is Not Enough: Why Polluters Must Pay by Gernot Wagner: Yale Environment 360

Innovation is Not Enough: Why Polluters Must Pay by Gernot Wagner: Yale Environment 360 | Geography | Scoop.it
Innovative energy technologies are certainly essential if the world is to curb carbon emissions.

But in response to a recent e360 article by the co-founders of the Breakthrough Institute, an economist argues we must also cap emissions or put a price on carbon in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

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Uganda Speaks

Uganda Speaks | Geography | Scoop.it
As part of the Kony Debate Al Jazeera highlights the voices of ordinary Ugandans who are weighing in on the issues.
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What America Manufactures

What America Manufactures | Geography | Scoop.it

"It's a myth that the U.S. doesn't make anything anymore."  The U.S. economy still produces more through manufacturing tangible goods ($1.5 trillion) than it does in providing services ($600 billion) for the international market.  The maps and graphs in this article are great teaching materials.  The impact of NAFTA is shown powerfully in the regionalization of U.S. trade partners, making this salient material for a discussion on supranationalism as well.   


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 7:09 PM


This is great because now we can witness the creation of jobs in the country which can help the country get out of the depression that it is in. it also can help people get jobs and not have to worry about if there unemployment check is going enough to cover there expenses. Also people that are working are less likely to get depressed because they are not trapped in there homes because now they have something that is distracting them. But the United States is seeing a great improvement because of all the things being manufactured here. One good example is the Honda accord power plant and the ford motor company plant and even general motors in Detroit. all of these companies is helping the Americans get back into the workforce.

Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:05 PM

i was surprised to see that our country still exports so many products. What i find even more surprising is that the top countries that are buying our good are our bordering countries, Canada and Mexico. As much Petroleum we receive from the middle east we still are exporting so much of it to Canada and Mexico. It seems that foreign cars such as ones from Japan are taking over the industry yet our top export to Canada is car parts. it is good to see that America still exports.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 12:03 PM

I was surprised and reassured to see how much the U.S. exports to other parts of the world.  I was unaware that the U.S exported to China because we physically surrounded by items made in China. Although our imports exceed exports, we are still producing,

 

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Genetically Modified Foods

"93% of Americans want the FDA to label genetically engineered foods. Watch the new video from Food, Inc. Filmmaker Robert Kenner to hear why we have the right to know what's in our food."

 

Clearly this video has a political agenda, but this is a pertinent video to show in an Agriculture unit.  Many countries around the world require the labeling of genetically modified food products, while the United States (currently) does not. 

 

For more on the organization that sponsored this video see: http://justlabelit.org/

 

For a Health blog about how this impacts nutrition, see: http://blogs.prevention.com/inspired-bites/2012/03/14/french-women-dont-eat-what/

 

For more on political action currently underway in the United States, see: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/55-congress-members-ask-fda-to-label-genetically-engineered-foods/


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Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 7, 2013 8:21 PM

Why does the United States not have laws on the books that force companies to list GMO products on labels?

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 4, 2013 2:51 PM

When looking at the issue of GMO there is one things that clear... people want to know what food is Genneictly Modified. While most poeple dont read every lable of every food product, it is different when decided how many claories something has versus knowing weather its been genneitcly enginegnered or not. I also think anouther factor why the US hasnt enforced the labeling of GMO is beacuse many companies may be forced out of business and could have a efffects on encomy.

Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:43 PM

Looking at the issue of GMOs, I think it is important to label the foods that we are consuming. As it is stated over and over in the video, we do have a right to know. If cigarettes are labelled to be dangerous and hazardous to your health, shouldn't we do the same thing with our foods that we eat on a daily basis? I feel that the map that was given in this video was very helpful and exposing. 

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Oil production, consumption and spills: Series of Infographics

Oil production, consumption and spills: Series of Infographics | Geography | Scoop.it

This site has several useful infographics showing many aspects of the production and consumption of oil, together with the impact of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 


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Invisible Children: Kony 2012

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

 

This needs to be included for many reasons.  1) The geopolitical problem of child soldiers and endemic warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa needs to be analyzed from a spatial and geographic perspective.  2) The social media aspects of this campaign highlight many of the traits of globalization and is a major online movement right now. 3) This would be a perfect opportunity to have a political activist moment in your class (seriously, who is opposed to mass murder?).  4) We can teach our classes that geographers are not just going to learn about all the crap that is wrong with our Earth...we are going to fix it and use our resources to improve the human condition.  Please visit:  http://www.invisiblechildren.com

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 8:22 PM

I was really glad to find this video on Professor Dixon's scoop it page because even after all that happened concerning the facts behind the video, it was still a very important part of 2012.  This video was not truthful as many later discovered and the man who led the movement was later arrested for indecency, bashing some of his credibility, but this video still drew uncountable amounts of attention to the poor people of Africa and the genocide and suffering of child soldiers. 

It is important for people to be aware of the problems in other parts of the world, especially senseless violence that has taken place in several African countries so this video did the world a service by alerting teens and adults to the horrors that take place on a continent that looks hopeless to the foreign eye.

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Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat - Telegraph

Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat  - Telegraph | Geography | Scoop.it
The low-lying Pacific nation of Kiribati is negotiating to buy land in Fiji so
it can relocate islanders under threat from rising sea levels.
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The Russian Cross

The Russian Cross | Geography | Scoop.it

The economic and social turmoil after the fall of the Soviet Union was profound enough to be seen in the demographic statistics.  Birth rates dropped as the death rates went up.  Typically when birth rates drop it is presented as an indicator of social development, but it clearly is not in this instance.  What explains these statistics?  


Via Seth Dixon
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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:52 PM

This graph shows that while we in the west think of the fall of communism as a freeing and positive event in reality many in Russia have been severely damaged by this. While the Soviet government was known for oppression it also provided security and was dependable. With its fall the people were plunged into confusion leading to a decline in birthrate and a raise in suicide and alcoholism.    

Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 16, 2015 7:42 PM

This graph of Births, Death and Natural Growth shows that the Natural Growth along with the Births in Russia have declined since 1950, the main downfall is during the collapse of the U.S.S.R. While the Deaths in Russia are increasing gradually as the collapse of the U.S.S.R approacher. There are many factors that could be causing deaths in Russia, people are not getting enough food into their systems and sickness is easily attracted. The real for the downfall in births is because women and men are not mating and having a child because they are too busy working and building a life for themselves. Back in 1950-1952 families were consisting of 3-4 children and now families only have one child at maximum 2.  How can Russia increase these birth and natural growth rates? The social development of Russia must increase and people have to start living life differently.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:08 PM

When looking at this graph it is showing that something had to have happened to make death rates go up and the birth rates to go down. The life expectancy of men dropped, alcohol poisoning occurred more frequently, suicide occurred, and a declining population of 1 million or so people a year. All of these factors can create  higher death rate with older people staying in place and the younger generation moving out. With this happening the birth rate would drop and the death rate would increase.

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Bill Gates' Clueless Fabrication on GMOs in Poor Countries

Microsoft founder Bill Gates' "charitable endeavors" may be dangerous, as he supports Monsanto and the growth of genetically modified (GM) foods.

 

This article raises some worthwhile discussion points about attempts to reduce hunger by the use of GM crops. It also would be a great starting point for a much wider discussion about the roles of philanthropists and NGOs in trying to find "solutions"  to major world "problems".

 

Expect a lively debate!!

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'Human safaris' pose threat to uncontacted Amazon tribe

'Human safaris' pose threat to uncontacted Amazon tribe | Geography | Scoop.it
After the Observer highlighted the human safaris scandal in India's Andaman Islands, fears are growing about illegal 'viewing' trips in Peru...

New concerns about "human safaris" are being raised in Peru, where tour operators are profiting from the exploitation of indigenous tribes in the Amazon jungle.

An increase in economic activity and tourism in the Manú region has led to a dramatic rise in the number of reported sightings of the Mashco-Piro – one of around 15 indigenous groups in Peru who have no regular contact with outsiders, and one of only 100 or so such tribes left in the world.

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State of the World 2012 Launch and Symposium | Worldwatch Institute

State of the World 2012 Launch and Symposium | Worldwatch Institute | Geography | Scoop.it

The Worldwatch Institute invites you to the official launch of State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity on April 11th. We will celebrate the release of this important Rio+20 edition of State of the World by inviting some of the book’s key contributors to discuss their ideas on how we can achieve “sustainable development.” Speakers will include Worldwatch President Robert Engelman; Project Co-Directors Michael Renner and Erik Assadourian; and report authors Joe Foti of the World Resources Institute, Mia MacDonald of Brighter Green, and Bo Normander of Worldwatch Europe. Also joining via satellite will be Severn Suzuki, who first shook the global community as a young girl making a strong declaration at the first Rio Summit and has acted as an environmental champion ever since.

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