MLC Geo400 class portfolio
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World-Wide geography information for GEO 400
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Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education
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Human/Environmental Interactions

To give you further understanding of what has happened in the past 30 or so years. This mismanagement of land use by the Soviet, and then by farmers has truly made a once natural resource, beauty to a barren land. A desert which once was covered by water is all that remains of the Aral Sea. As seen in this video, there are those hwo have never even seen water in this area because it is now very minimal. To know that there is no other reason to blame but people is extremely sad. People will do what they need to do to survive, but at what cost? Will we as a people continue to harm our planet and destroy our enviroment? The answer for many will be yes because we need to survive but we must also be strategic about what we are doing and how in the long run it will affect us. It has and will continue to create health issues for many. Many will die from malnutrition and as I mentioned in a previous article its due to the fact that many can not relocate. However, once there is no water or resource to create good crops I guarantee that people will find a way to move and find what they need. If all this can be prevented why not do it ahead of time? We need to start giving some importance to our natural resources. -- M. Carvajal


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 1:11 PM

This has to be one of the most telling video of an environmental disaster I have even seen.  A whole sea, 26,000 square miles, bigger than the state of West Virginia, is bascially gone due to Soviet mismanagement.  This is an environmental disaster now that the Russians do not have to deal with as it is now located in the independant country of Kazakhstan.  It effects them as well as the new countries that have come to be withthe collapse of the USSR.  Seems Russian dodged this just like Chernobyl.  This is something we need to lean from, on how not to use a natural resource until it literally has dried up.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 12:24 PM

The Aral Sea, located in Central Asia is a very important water source for the entire region.  Unfortunately, the Soviet Union designated this water sources as one which would provide water to rice and cotton crops, which are both very water-intensive crops.  This has resulted in desertification of the area due to the cyclical shrinking volume of the lake.  Sands and chemicals are now free to blow around, affecting people's health.  This is one of the best examples on earth of environmental exploitation due to a lack of environmental planning.  When the lake dries up, the inhabitants of the surrounding countries will be in huge trouble.

Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 6, 2014 10:38 PM

The Aral Sea was a source of food for the residents, as it was home to thousands of fish and water was used to irrigate crops.Also acted as a climate regulator. Therefore, its virtual disappearance has caused winters and summers are extreme.Today the drought is considered one of the greatest ecological disasters caused by man. scientists estimated that the Aral sea will disappear before 2020. A plan to expand the cultivation of cotton throughout Central Asia and thus a system of canals for irrigation that significantly decreased the amount of water reaching the Aral Sea. It angers me to see that the human has being causing many natural disasters.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.

 

The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   

 

--We need to consider many things when we see this video. First and foremost, the mill was a main source for labor and economic growth in this small town. Many generations have worked in this location post- Soviet issues. The fact that in those times it was not considered a source of harm for the wildlife and human life that surrounded it, means a great deal. You have to consider that people were focused on production and exporting what they had in order to maintain a stable place in the trade field. People were not focusing on the long term effects but rather being able to provide food and shelter for their families. Many people to this day put their lives at risk working in less than safe locations around the world. We have to see the need for these people to continue putting themselves at risk. Now, enviromentalists are saying that the waste and the pollution associated with the mill is harmful and can cause devastation to the wildlife and lake. Yes, it is true. However, to what extent can they continue to push this mill to close down and to what extent will their conscience give in and realize that by closing this location down they are contributing to the deaths of many because there will be no way for them to earn money and survive. Of course no one wants to destory a beautiful lake or the wildlife in it, but have enviromentalists considered ways of making the mill more enviromental friendly? -- M. Carvajal

 

Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.


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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities. 

Louis Helyes's curator insight, October 10, 2016 2:12 PM

This video talks about a paper mill in Russia. It is saying that environmentalists are pressuring the mill to close down due to the environmental impact that the paper mill is doing to the surrounding area, such as killing the crops, trees and plants. It also talks about them losing their jobs because they may be unable to find other jobs in their area.

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Venice sinking five times faster than thought?

Venice sinking five times faster than thought? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

Venice, by virtue of its geographic situation will always be sinking as a course of nature.  A research team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the UCSD has recently concluded that Venice is sinking 2 millimeters per year...not catastrophic on a single year basis, but threatens the long-term viability and sustainability of the location. 

 

Urban ecology: what economic forces created the rationale for building Venice?  What environmental factors are currently threatening it?  Will economic or environmental forces win out? Location: do the economic advantages of a location outweigh the environmental liabilities of the location?  How do these competing factors influence the development of a city?  For additional information on this story see: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-venice-hasnt.html

 

-The fact that Venice is slowly sinking is not surprising as here in the US we have our own states with cities that are easily affected by hurricanes etc due to their sea level. The interesting point about Venice is however, that they began to build a wall with gate that would close off the rising sea level to Venice and prevent it from possibly flooding during an event where the water would try to get in. In the article it is stated that the wall/gate itself is sinking as well every year as the ground sinks. Now, these expensive flood walls will need to be patched as the sink in order to keep the height at a level where it will still protect the city. To what extent will this continue is uncertain and can the flooding plus the sinking eventually ruin Venice forever?  I believe that the city was originally made this way to allow the import and export of goods as it was easier to transport from one side of venice to the other through water. With this being said, it was easier for people to stand by and buy off the boat/gandola and for the merchant it was easier to hand up as well. This being my opinion, reasons could have been different and the thought of what could potentially happen to the city were probably no where near. We still have to take into consideration that no matter how profitable it may have been to have a city with water streets, it created a liability for the people that reside in this area. - M.C


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:36 PM

Day to day, even looking into next year the rate of 2 millimeters per year may not seem drastic.  To a city that has been around for hundreds of years, it's assumed the city plans to stay standing for hundreds more.  Considering the age of the city, say in a couple hundred more years, some buildings could begin to take in water.  It is also possible that certain parts of the city could be sinking faster than others.  There is a similar situation in Mexico City where it was built on a lake and each year that source diminishes due to the demand of water by its residents.  Certain parts of the city are sinking and some buildings are slanted due to the results.  These cities are beautiful  but reality shows that as time passes, it will probably only get worse.  Hopefully preventions can be taken to at least reduce the speed of sinking so that people after us can appreciate the architecture and atmosphere the city has provided all these years.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:11 PM

Venice is a city that capitalized on its geography and developed canals so the city could grow despite being so close to sea level. Now that sea levels are rising, Venice is in trouble because its survival is dependent on the water levels, as they become out of control Venice will not be able to withstand the change. There are similar circumstances like in the Maldives where global warming and rising sea levels will put entire countries under water.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 15, 2015 6:58 PM

As you mentioned in class, we are living on constantly moving land features. In the case of Venice, the water is moving in on the city so it is actually sinking and has been for quite some time. What is new to the equation is that it might be sinking “five times more than” originally “calculated or “7.8 inches every hundred years.” I say might be because there are others who quibble about this new find, saying it is inaccurate. Also, there is a damn project in the works to try and combat the sinking. While I am happy that the city is working on slowing the process, I am curious to know what their solution is going to be when the city finally does go under. As I was reading this all I could think of was saving all the rich art and history that this Italian city is famous for. In some ways it is great that the city knows ahead of time that it is sinking because they have time to plan a way to save the important aspects of the city. On another hand though, the city is so below sea level that a natural disaster could cause far more damage than anyone could have foreseen. I just hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon because Venice is definitely on my bucket list.  

 

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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
The Mekong River was once a wild and primitive backwater. Today, growing demands for electricity and rapid economic growth are changing the character of what is the world's 12th-longest river.

 

Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others.  The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiences some impacts of globalization with residents having mixed feelings about the prospects. 


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Michelle Carvajal's insight:

There must be a better way to transport items and in return save the Mekong river from being degredated. Technological innovations are affecting the life in the river as local fishermen are seeing less and less fish traveling in the river. This is impacting them in the sense that they use these fish for their survival as well as for selling. They fear that in building dams and creating advanced roads over the Mekong will change their enviroment altogether and will hinder their livelihood. This is a beautiful river and I personally feel there could be a better way but there is always something sacrficed when the government choses a location to build on. - M. Carvajal

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 8:03 PM

It seems to be a theme that across the bored, people are building things that directly and negatively impact the environment and the local people. There are always two sides to the problem. On one hand, the dam can help with the development of Laos because it will bring in money, but it will also destroy the fish population and therefore many fishermen will lose their jobs and people will lose a food source. It is a difficult problem because Laos needs money because there is a lot of poverty in this rural country and the fishermen do not add a whole lot to the economy, but the people need a way to survive and make money for their families as well. It's a problem that I think will be around for generation to come.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

Seems the price of modernizing will be the local economy that as existed here for centuries.  It is not a small industy either, it is according to the report a billion dollar fishing industry.  However with a growing population and a demand for electricity the river is the perfect source for this power.  This globalization, like all globalization, will help some and will hurt some.  What you have to ask yourself is will it help more than it hurts?  Will it help in the long run, over time?  For everyone involoved in globalization these answeres are never the same everywhere.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 9:21 PM

The Mekong river is a river that many fisherman in Laos depend on for food and income. Plans to build dams that will cause the fish to seek an alternate route to migrate upstream. Critics of the dams say that the dams will cause the fish to abandon the Mekong river and go through their neighboring rivers, leaving the residents without a source of income. Many in favor of the dams say the reverse, that building the dams will boost economy and cause the area to flourish.

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Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change

Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.

 

It's sad to see how the enviroment is being affected based on how people are using it in order to survive. There is really no win win situation here unless people chose to leave and start their life elsewhere. We also have to take consideration the fact that many of the people around the Aral Sea do not have the means to relocate. The Aral Sea has progressively lost its size based on crops that have been farmed around its area. As more and more crops are grown, more and more water is being taken from the sea. Pretty soon there will be no more than just a dry land that once was a water source for life. Again, many of the people in this area rely on their crops to survive, but what will happen once the water has run dry? There is always a way to prevent things from happening but it takes a great effort and times are not giving people that option. -- M. Carvajal


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Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 13, 2014 2:25 PM

Clearly the water level has decreased in Kazakhstan from 1990 until now. Farming, mining, and building are all indirectly changing the geography of some places. The use of rivers for cotton irrigation has shrunk by 3 quarters in the last 50 years and it is extremely affecting the Aral Sea. 

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 3:10 PM

Is sad to see how humans are changing the environment forcing the wild creatures to abandon the places they've been living for hundred or years or die of starvation. I wonder what will happen in 300 years when there is no more big lakes and the oceans will be completed polluted .

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 2:57 PM

Great tool to show students how human use of natural resources can change landscapes and have permanent impacts on geographical landmarks such as the aerial sea. How do we stop it? Can we undo the damage done? How do we prevent these tragedies from happening in the future?

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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

Haiti: Legacy of Disaster | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

"Even before the earthquake Haiti's environment teetered on the brink of disaster. Brent and Craig Renaud report on the country's deforestation problems."

 

-As previously stated in another scoop I have mentioned that Haiti is indeed a very poor country in terms of its economy and way of living for the citizens there. The fact that country is stil 97% deforested is a simple way for us to see how bad the economy can get that without consideration of long term effects, people being to live off the land and create there own enviromental issues. Haiti geographically is already a target for hurricanes for its location on an island, however it is much more vulnerable because of the lack of forest and support that trees give to prevent mudslides and heavy flooding. Its neighbor country Dominican Republic is fine because they have a better economic advantage with their forest still existing and the incoming money from US citizens who send money back to their families. Haiti on the other hand is suffering because once they exhaust all possible resources, they dig for more and cut down for more. In order for there to be a growth in economy and a way of people surviving there has to be some way that they can work to earn money without having to destroy their natural resources.

People living in huts, hardly any electricity and poor nutrition is shocking because you rarely think that people still live this way. A major investment to this country for electricity and re planting of trees would benefit its people. Not only that but if there could be some form of economic gain through tourism, maybe the country would see a chance in change instead of its downhill spiral. The government needs to find a remedy for their issues and take the time to care for those who have no place to live. A solution must be available to save the country from an economic downfall as well as  a decrease in its population due to health and natural problems- M.C


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James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 2014 10:26 AM

(Central America topic 2)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case:

Which came first, the deforestation or the disparity?

I believe the answer can be both.

At first such a country's inhabitants might not know what devastating impacts manmade environmental changes such as deforestation can have - or, they might just have no other choice. Here disparity comes first. But unfortunately such effects can be far reaching. Deforestation can 'come back around' and be the cause (not only the result) of disparity: erosion, flooding, landslides, lack of natural resources. These all contribute to further disasters and crises, which continue the repeating trend.

Dr. Bonin has held classes pertaining to this same issue of deforestation, among the other issues which Haitians face. IN addition, the company I work for has been sponsoring a campaign to help humanitarian efforts in the country, and I have worked with people who have lived there.

Lastly, I can't help but notice an uncanny similarity between the deforestation of Haiti and that of Easter Island. I hope Easter Is. will be used as a warning message.

 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, September 29, 2015 3:13 PM

Conditions in Haiti were bad in Haiti even before the disaster of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake occurred. The video shows images of the clear deforestation Haiti is suffering as a country. A lot of the mountain tops and hills are seen white without those bright green colors. It is said that the country is already 97% deforested. The reason so is because charcoal is basically the only way Haitians can cook and even make money off of if possible. Sometimes people do not like to accept that the countries own people, are affecting their living environment. Haitians live in a country where nights are spent in the dark in rural areas. The charcoal is the light Haitians depend on as well.

Haiti is a country of extreme poverty that don't offer an alternative to charcoal, which is the reason for its deforestation. A lot of Haitians blame the governed for the lack of infrastructure in the country but its all the mudslides fault. It is something that physically humans can not contain unless alternative methods are used to prevent deforestation. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 8:05 PM

Conditions in Haiti are just terrible. This place is 90% deforested and people use charcoal and such to cook. Haiti was hit by an earthquake in 2010, but even before the earthquake, deforestation was a major problem. Most of the people that live here live in darkness with no electricity. To get light, people use charcoal, charcoal has very many great uses in Haiti. Individual survival means cutting down as many trees as possible to get charcoal so you can provide for family. Problems with this country is that technologically and natural disaster survivalness is poor. Floods and mudslides will continue to happen and people will die, also the infrastructure will not improve. A lot of problem would come from the government too, lack of help from a government creates a failing nation. 

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Brazilian Ethanol

Brazilian Ethanol | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

"Distilling ethanol from tropical sugarcane takes less land and uses less fossil fuel than starting with corn grown in temperate climes. That makes Brazilian ethanol, unlike the pampered and grotesquely wasteful American version, competitive with hydrocarbons and genuinely good for the environment." 

 

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  For a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol, see: http://cei.org/studies-issue-analysis/brazilian-sugarcane-ethanol-experience  

 

--Well in this given situation though the benefit would be great to have alternative fuel and hopefully a reduction in price, does it affect the enviroment to the point where it can cause issues for the people of the land where it is being created..Meaning, all politics to the side, will the creation of such fuels and transport of fuels damage the land, cause a lack of resources for the people there etc. I believe this is what is being weighed and it should be since we have already used up most of the natural resources we were provided with.--Michelle Carvajal


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:25 AM

Brazil is taking advantage of its natural resources to make themselves competitive in the global market. Today geography can change the shape of the economics around the globe. The prospect of economic growth and energy competitiveness has made them short sighted.  Brazil has to beware of becoming a mono-commodity country that relies on a business that is not sustainable.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:35 PM

While only Brazil is taking part in this and it hasn't completely replaced gasoline it is without a doubt a step in the right direction that hopefully other nations can learn from. While the hypotheses over how much oil fluctuates it is undeniable it isn't a permanent solution, the future of fuel must lie in renewal resources. Unfortunately oil companies hold so much sway in politics its unknown how much change is actually possible today. Regardless of this hopefully one day the world as a whole will realize this and seek to emulate Brazil's in innovation.

Taylor S's curator insight, March 23, 2016 7:58 PM

It is being said that the use of Brazilian, sugarcane produced ethanol is an effective means of self-sustainable energy, more officiant then the corn produced products. the reason this relates to my 5 year plan is due to the proposal that this energy can be used to reduce the emissions given off by different industries and provide clean energy. I believe that this is important as it would reduce the type of impact these organisations have on the environment.