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Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography 400 at ric!

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | MLC Geo400 class portfolio |
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.

Via Seth Dixon, Elizabeth Allen
Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 2:43 PM

The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides".  The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain.  The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy.  This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place.  Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited.  Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town.  This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 1:42 AM

THough the Soviet Union has been gone since the early 90s, it's hold on Russia is still creating problems. The creations of monotowns were already flawed. But to have this one monotown on Lake Baikal has gained the attention of enviromentalists. All odds are against that monotown. Without it's paper factory they have no jobs and no need for the town. It is a fight between enviromental geography and human geography in this area of the world. These people are stuck in a time where even the Soviet Union looked a little better than the constant wondering of your finacial stability in an up and coming capitalist nation.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 12:05 PM

The Soviet Union scattered "monotowns" around their territory; these monotowns consist of a job-creating industrial institutions like factories which then allow the formation of towns around them.  They are located all around the former Soviet Union and are very isolated.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these towns continued to run due to the privatization of the industrial center.  Today, Russia's Lake Baikal, which is the deepest lake in the world and contains 20 percent of the Earth's fresh water, is home to one of these monotowns.  This particular town's economy is based on their paper mill which uses and deposits tons of chemicals.  Environmentalists are very concerned for the future of the lake while the citizens are only concerned with feeding their families and this is creating social unrest.  Due to the isolation and distance from Moscow, people cannot just pick up and leave.  Also, working with "cleaner" alternatives is way out of this town's budget.  Today, many citizens in these monotowns miss the support that the Soviet Union offered and people are literally stuck in a place where their only income is dirty.

Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education!

Perpetual Ocean by NASA

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio — the same team that recently brought us an animation of the moon as it will appear from Earth for each hour of 2012 — has also released a stunning video called “Perpetual Ocean,” a time lapse of the world’s ocean currents as calculated by the ECCO2 computational model.


This is an stunning visualization of ocean currents.  Thanks for the suggestion! 

Via Seth Dixon
Michelle Carvajal's insight:

This video is pretty awesome! I love how it shows the different ways that the currents move around the continents and in mid ocean. How are we not to expect for natural phenomenoms to be unpredictable when our oceansa re the same. i would have never expected to see so many idfferent flows and currents but they do exist. It gives you a look into how are planet works and also gives you a chilling thought of how easily a ship would get lost in deep ocean waters. - M. Carvajal

Michelle Carvajal's comment, December 11, 2012 9:08 PM
I actually own a Starry night Van Gogh painting Beth. I agree with what you say!
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:39 PM

This is an amazing video. The technology we have at our disposable is truly remarkable and we have reached a point where mapping all the currents of the ocean can be done and put up on youtube. This information is available to people who otherwise would have no idea how to interpret ocean currents.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:18 AM

This video shows just how technology is advancing, being able to show how the world's water currents move and, especially, showing how different our bodies of water are. I always thought the currents were somehow connected, but now I see that many move in their own way.

Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education!

Street View goes underwater

Street View goes underwater | MLC Geo400 class portfolio |
Amazing things about Google Earth - news, features, tips, technology, and applications...

I had to rescoop this for the simple fact that it is amazing and people should take advantage of all the new technology that is coming out. This benefits everyone who is interested in learning about the life under sea and the different locations in the world that these exist.

Via Seth Dixon
Michelle Carvajal's comment, September 26, 2012 10:31 AM
This new wave of technology that is being used and introduced to society is amazing! I never thought that they could expand into the sea but it is definetly something that could be to the benefit of those who work in the field. Also, it is a great way to create lessons for children and adults on how to protect our oceans from waste. They get a glimpse as to what lies beneath the surface. Raising the bar everyday. Thank you for this article!
Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 27, 2012 8:51 AM
Thanks. The mere sight of this turtle creates a lot of ideas,and hopes for a better future. We have to open up the eyes of our youth to take care of all things alive.
Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 27, 2012 8:51 AM
Thanks. The mere sight of this turtle creates a lot of ideas,and hopes for a better future. We have to open up the eyes of our youth to take care of all things alive.
Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education!

Video -- Dive into the Deep

Video -- Dive into the Deep | MLC Geo400 class portfolio |
March 26, 2012—In a state-of-the-art submersible, National Geographic explorer-in-residence and filmmaker James Cameron reached the deepest point of the Mariana Trench, breaking a world record for the deepest solo dive.


For those who haven't been following National Geographic news, James Cameron (director of "Titanic" and "The Abyss") entered a submarine named DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, and dove to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth. Enjoy this video describing this "lunar-like" environment that is so deep it is lightless and near lifeless with extreme pressure. For more on the expedition, read:

Via Seth Dixon
Michelle Carvajal's insight:

This is amazing! I love the fact there isalways one person willing to rishk his own life just to gain more knowledge of the world we live in. The Mariana Trench is definteley a scary place and by it being the deepest trench in the world, I can see why not many would consider going down there. I am looking forward to the release of any videos that may come from this expedition he took. - M. Carvajal

Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 5:06 PM

When the show South Park has made an entire episode based around you, you've certainly done something extraordinary.  James Cameron not only risked his life,  but proved a point and set a new standard in underwater exploration.  In a way, he literally went to the bottom of the earth, something that has been a mystical feat until now.  With technology advancing so quickly and people constantly pushing limits and standards it makes us wonder what will be discovered next.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 5:45 AM

It is mind boggling how much of our oceans are still to be discovered. Cameron's journey here is one that needs to be taken all over the world. We have more ocean that is unexplored than explored.  We may also find some answers to fundamental questions to human existence if we are able to research the deep sea more effectively.  It is hard to believe we have been able to research 36,000 feet below and still have more questions than answers. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:44 PM

This is a really cool video, the pressure that exist at the bottom of the ocean has kept humans trapped above a certain depth. Today technology has let us explore areas that have been off limits in the past. Letting an influential filmmaker like Cameron do this is a way to raise awareness about these expeditions to the pop culture obsessed audiences around the world.