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Environment, Energy and Resilience

Indonesia has the largest share of the world's mangroves — coastal forests that have adapted to saltwater environments. They play important environmental and ecological roles.

 

Mangroves play a key role of acting as an ecological buffer in coastal region that provide the area with resilience against tsunamis, hurricanes and other forms of coastal flooding.  Their role in carbon sequestration is also vital as energy emissions globally continue to rise.  So let's jump scales: how are global issues locally important?  How is the local deeply global?  How can stakeholders at either scale find common ground with the other?  


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Indonesia is home to 1/4 of the worlds mangrove trees. These trees are salt tolerant and grow along the coastlines. They provide protection from tidal floods and erosion and provide homes for the islands biodiversity. The most important thing they do however is provide the villagers with wood  to make shrimp ponds and fire wood. They also protect the mangroves ecosystem. These trees are so very important to Indonesia, their economy and their life style. 

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 7:51 PM

It's nice to see that people are trying to save these forests and are experiencing some success. Deforestation has many bad consequences including flooding, an increase in carbon emissions, and a decrease in biodiversity. People everywhere need to learn that even though we can gain some money by using the land for something other than forest, it is more beneficial to leave the forest because it not only saves the environment, forests also directly helps humans because of the health and safety benefits. There are a lot of people around the world trying to save the forests, but sadly it is not an easy task.

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:45 PM

Mangroves are a natural barrier to hurricanes, tsunamis, and the flooding that come with it in a very important way. It's often suggested that there is a battle between opposing sides of the environment and business, but in a situation like this, and in many others, the natural environment exists for a reason and protects the land against severe damage. In this way there's an economic incentive to protect natural environments as well as an ecological one.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 14, 7:35 AM

The NPR report discusses how valuable the mangrove forests of Indonesia are not just locally important, but globally important as well. Locally, they provide protection from flooding and tsunami as well as being incredibly significant in the overall ecology of the area. Globally, the mangroves are incredibly efficient at reducing carbon dioxide compared to most other types of forests. The Indonesian people have an interest in protecting the mangroves for their own local benefits, but there is interest internationally in the mangroves as buying and protecting them allows for a country to earn carbon credits. The dilemma lies in that clearing the mangroves for agriculture is a large economic advantage, but ruins the environmental benefits. A balance needs to be struck with the international community to protect the mangroves for the world while providing significant economic benefits to Indonesia.

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Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor

Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.

 

Why do societies collapse?  Often they are overextended, consume too many resources for their hinterland network to supply or they aren't able to adapt to changes to the system.  Angkor Wat, the largest urban complex of the pre-industrial world, collapsed primarily due to drought conditions and a changing ecology.  Without sufficient water resources, the network collapsed.  What other environment 'collapses' can you think of?   


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Scientists have found that the ancient city of Angkor failed do to drought. Angkor has a system of moats, channels, and reservoirs, so with such a system in place how could they have such a drought? Simply there water system was unable to to handle the change in climate.  

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 3:38 PM
Societies can collapse if they fall victim to poor economics, poor political systems, and poor geographical reasons. In this case a major factor in Angkor's collapse was due to the change in climate. The drought was severe enough to crumble Angkor.
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:38 PM

This new study shows that even back in time people struggled with environmental challenges. We normally think of people in the past as being much more adaptive to their environments and that only in the modern age nature and humans have come into conflict. The surrender of Angkor Wat to drought shows that even though we have amazing technology today, water is still a staple of life. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:29 PM

It's easy to forget that for most of history, even the greatest of empires were subject to the whims of the climate. The ability to survive in places where humans really shouldn't thrive is only a recent development thanks to technology, but a drought is something the mightiest army can't fight, and all the wealth in the world will not stop, without the right technology.

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Myanmar's Isolation Gives Way To A Flood Of Visitors

The rapid pace of political change in Myanmar in the past year — capped by the recent election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament — has tourists and foreign investors rushing to the country.

 

So many tourists want to see the change come to the democratic institutions of Myanmar to become a politically just Burma.  And yet, they also nostalgically want to keep Myanmar in a non-globalized state.  In what can be called the paradox of progress, many westerners want an idealized pre-modern state. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Due to rapid pace of political change in the last year tourists and foriegn investors are flooding into Myanmar. The country went through 50 years of brutal military rule and isolation that has left them stuck in time. What has been so heartbreaking for the people of Myanmar has is they same thing that makes it attractive and appealing to tourists and brings them now pouring in. Many of the tourists like it there because it hasnt been "ruined" by corporations and fast food chains yet.  

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 7, 2012 1:05 AM
What a transition. Burma is now free. After suffocating under military rule, Myanmar now has the chance of progressing politically and economically.
Stacey Jackson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 8:40 PM

This article touches on something I've always thought about when considering tourism and development. Many of the cities and places I like to visit I go to because of there charm and lack of robust tourism culture. This is a bit of a dual edged sword. Cities and countries stand to gain considerable wealth from the expansion of their tourism industry. But, part of me wonders if something else is also lost. 

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Philippines Overtakes India as Hub of Call Centers

Philippines Overtakes India as Hub of Call Centers | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Many companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila to take advantage of workers who speak lightly accented English and are familiar with American culture.

 

The geography of globalization is epitomized by relentless change and marked by continual turnover.  Cultural and economic factors play significant roles in creating potential advantages for receiving outsourced jobs (whether that is beneficially long-term is another discussion). 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila because there the workers speak a lightly accented English and are more familiar with American culture then they are over in India. This shows the maturation of the outsourcing buisness and shows the preference for American English.  

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Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 1:40 AM

I liked this article simply because I could relate it to my own personal experiences speaking with someone at a call center.  I guess it is kind of interesting that the Phillippines has overtaken India in terms of number of call centers.  What was reallly interesting though was how familiar those at the call centers were of Americans. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:41 PM

The fact that so many Filipinos speak English is an important one to understand. This brings jobs to the Philippines, but at the expense of local culture. High income and social standing in the Philippines is often correlated with English, as many of the high-ranking citizens attend universities in the United States and return with degrees, and in turn teach their children English. This marginalizes their own language in a way, and is something to keep aware of, as it's one thing that the United States does not face in many areas, that most other countries around the world do.