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A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In this article Professor Arnon Sofer begins to make the link between the conflicts in Syria and all other middle eastern countries with high birth rate and drought. Over the last 60 years the middle easts population has doubled but their water supply has not in fact it is 85% desert and Turkey has siezed much of the water that flowed into Syria. Many people have begun digging illegal water wells pushing the water table even lower and civil wars throughout Syria have broken out in the areas hit hardest by drought. 

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 11:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 8:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3

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Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In Argentina there is a proposed plan to build a tunnel that would be the longest tunnel in the Americas through the mountains. It would make billions of dollars worth of Chinese electronics, Chilean wine, Argentine food and Brazilian Cars cheaper and more competitive. It would save millions on shipping and safe time on shipping as well. The only pass through the Andes at the moment is in the south and gets buried in snow in the winter stranding shipments. If this is put into place many people believe that it cut travel time by a third.     

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 27, 11:06 PM

Building a tunnel through the Andes is said to be a "$3.5 Billion private railway" but it would be worth it because it will cut down the time it takes to ship and would essentially save millions of dollars. The railway would unite two different countries and allow for trade to become easier and more accessible.

 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 4, 2:36 PM

A tunnel running under the Andes mountains could have major economic benefits for much of South America, but making shipping easier, more accessible, and cheaper. It could help Argentina and Brazil reach their opposite coasts, which could boost their economies tremendously. Brazil, a BRIC country, could especially benefit as the tunnel will help speed their development. The tunneling project is even more appealing as the current plan does not rely on government funding.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 6:53 PM

While on the outside this article seems to be highlighting the interest in trade and mobility many have in South America in fact it's showing the political maneuvering of China. The Chinese are looking for ways to get around using the American dominated Panama Canal. It will be interesting to see how China's presence continues to grow not only in South America but also in Africa and the Middle East.

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New Evidence Reveals Shell Wildly Underreported Niger Delta Oil Spill

New Evidence Reveals Shell Wildly Underreported Niger Delta Oil Spill | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
New data shows Shell dramatically under-estimated the damage of a 2008 spill that devastated the lives of tens of thousands of people in Niger Delta. Shell has yet to compensate victims.

 

The volume of oil spilt at Bodo was more than 60 times the volume Shell has repeatedly claimed leaked.  This is but one example of a international corporation exploiting the natural resources of a developing country.


Via John Peterson, Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This article talks about how Shell seems to have underestimated the damage caused by the oil spill in 2008 when tens of thousands of barrels of oil polluted the land and creeks surrounding Bodo. The spill has compromised the access to clean food and water, destroyed livelyhoods and put health at risk. Shell still has not compositated the people of Bodo with the bags of food to replace what was destroyed nor have they cleaned up the spill. These poor people, they have had so much destroyed and need help from shell and they refuse to step up and take responsibility and do what it right. 

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Pakistan: Flood impact to worsen unless aid increases

Pakistan: Flood impact to worsen unless aid increases | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Pakistan’s monsoon floods have devastated millions of lives, but one month on, the international response remains sluggish, raising fears of a worsening humanitarian situation.

 

With the strong concentration of the population living in floodplains, the seasonal monsoons will always be a major struggle for South Asia.


Via CGIAR Climate, Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Pakistans monsoon floods have devastated millions and international response remains slow. They are not coming forward to provide funds and about 850,000 people live in shelters because of the flooding. Three million acres of crops were destroyed, a third cattle lost and half a million homes lost. Because so much of the population lives in the flood plains the monsoons are a constant struggle for South Asia. 

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:53 PM

The flood impact in Pakistan has already been a devastating one, and it is only going to continue as time passes.  The flood has not been a center story for media coverage which has made the problem even worse.  Many people do not know that Pakistan is battling a flood, so aid has not increased.  Pakistanis are still recovering from a 2010 flood, which makes the current situation even more difficult.  Why is the international response so small?

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Inside the Colorado deluge

Inside the Colorado deluge | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"Two things that helped make this rainfall historic are breadth and duration. Colorado can get much higher rainfall rates for brief periods and over small areas."


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The devastating flooding in Colorado has impacted so many. The rainfall Colorado has experienced makes it the most on record. The massive amounts of flooding and devestation in areas like Boulder are caused by the highly populated valley areas.  

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 16, 2013 8:20 AM

Our thoughts are with our colleagues and friends in Colorado as they are dealing with the impact of this historic weather event.  The geographic factors that contributed to this flooding are explained in this article from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).  Some are calling this a millennial flood, as it is well past the 100-year stage of flooding.  You may view the areas impacted on an ESRI storymap. and in this NASA imagery


Tags: physical, disasters, environment, water, weather and climate.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 17, 2013 4:13 PM

Almost seems like a perfect storm scenario.  Large amouts of rain over a long perod of time over a large area.  This combined with a late summer/early fall heat wave and tons of moisture in the air, with climate change all contributed to the disater in Colorado.  They also believe the changes made by people to the physical geography over the last hundred years or somade have contributed to teh flooding in the area.  Development can effect the way a place floods.  Where there were once open fields and trees, there are now parking lots and houses which just can't absorb rainfall.  Makes you ask the question, shouldn't there be more study of where we exapnd our cities and what effect this will have in case of a major rainfall, earthquake, blizzard, etc?

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, September 18, 2013 5:27 PM

      What was interesting about this particular deluge was how much rain fell and how it happened in such a short time. Meteroligist high wet density levels of vapor that rose to high altitutdes and was able to condense into water and help in a perfect combination of weather to create a powerfully dangerous flash flood.

    The article recounts a former major colorodo flood that occured in 1978 and had killed over 150 people during a centenial celebration.

   After this occurence warning signs were put up beside the roads to warn travelers of flash flood possiblities and to promote safety. These floods do not happen in Colorado often and are usually a surprise. They do not when the nextmajor flash flood may occur in the boulder region but they know through historical patterns that it will happen again. 

This article stood out to me because I have friends that live in these areas and had to run for safety and move their cars to prevent damage in these same areas. The good thing is that the people that I know from this area are doing ok.

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'Sharp drop' in India poverty

'Sharp drop' in India poverty | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Poverty in India has dropped sharply thanks to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, the country's Planning Commission says.

 

KV: Government intervention has decrease poverty in rural India. More people are getting out of poverty in rural areas than urban areas. Programs funded by the government to help the poor has significantly changed many lives. People are given education, welfare, and proper sanitation. Once assistance is provided to the poor, the welfare and well being drastically changes for the better. As the Indian government prospers because of new business ventures, some of the increased revenue should be set aside to help many regions that are affected by poverty.

 

SD: For more resources on population, see this scoopit topic on the environment and society by KV.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Poverty in rural India has declined drastically, and much faster then in urban India. The decline is due to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, and rural poverty fell by 8% while urban poverty fell by 4.8%. I think this is great that the government is finally taking action and helping their people, instead of just 'sweeping them under the rug' in a way and pretending the issue isnt there.

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Eliza Thng's curator insight, February 1, 2013 12:03 PM

This article says that the number of people suffering from poverty in India has decreased. I'm glad that the government is finally doing something to help the less fortunate.The government is finally doing their job by looking over the welfare of people. It's touching just by the thought of lesser people suffering from poverty. Just increased spending on rural welfare programmes is able to make a 7.4% decrease percentage of people living in poverty. I think they should continue having these welfare programmes and they should also spend more time and money caring for the less fortunate. I wonder if other countries will attempt to do the same thing as India's government so as to decrease the number of people suffering from poverty in their own country.

Bryan Tan's curator insight, February 2, 2013 10:54 AM

After reading this article, I am convinced that the gorverment in India know and want to do something about their currebt situation of being one of the poorest state in the world. Poepla are treated better given benefits, edeucation,welfare of the citizens and hygiene are all being taken care of by the gorverment. The gorvement starts improving their ties with other countries in the world helping it to gain more advantage. This helps to decrease the rate of poverty in India.

luisvivas64@hotmail.'s comment, February 3, 2013 10:19 AM
La pobreza es el càncer de la sociedad humana, ojalà sea posible reducirla, aunque soy escèptico, el dinero es muy sabroso y los pocos que lo tienen no lo sueltan, de allì las revoluciones, guerras ect.
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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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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 12:22 PM

Agricultural development in Indonesia threatens local mangrove ecosystems as well as global systems. Indonesia's growing palm oil industry is providing an increased income for the country, but at what cost? Mangrove swamps are one of the most beneficial ecosystems to have, and the list of positive impacts includes decreased erosion. decreased water turbidity, better air quality, larger fish populations, just to name a few. But, global interests in palm oil are swaying Indonesia to convert these environments into agricultural lands. Combined with Indonesia's high rate of deforestation, this is causing major erosion issues as well as affecting the coral reefs. Fish populations are being affected since habitats are destroyed, affecting fishermen. Though these issues are prevalent, the trade off of one environment for money is causing Indonesia's integrated environments to collapse, which in time will be an incredibly expensive issue.

 

This brings into debate the issues involved when wealthier countries take interest in the resources of other countries. While the less developed country may need the economic resources provided by the developed country, often times the environmental impacts are not considered. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:33 PM

These mangroves are key areas for palm oil development and are the source of income for many people who live in the areas with they grow. But the cost of using these Mangroves is devastating to the environment. They protect the coast from flooding as well as help with carbon sequestration. What needs to be done is the locals need to be educated on the long term damage being done by destroying the mangroves. Also there has to be an economic alternative, if the locals have no other way to make a living why would they stop? 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 5:29 PM

Measures need to taken to manage, regenerate and conserve mangrove areas. Geo-literacy/education is also important in creating awareness for those who continue to cut down mangrove forests.