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MS Geography Resources
Resources for teaching geography for middle school kids.
Curated by Lori Johnson
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The Ship-Breakers

The Ship-Breakers | MS Geography Resources |
In Bangladesh men desperate for work perform one of the world’s most dangerous jobs.

Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 20, 2014 1:32 PM

I'm not even really sure what to say about this besides the fact that is very unfortunate.  Well off countries send their old cargo, tanker and other large ships to poorer countries to be broken down for a lot cheaper than it costs them to have it done in their home country.  Since safety doesn't take priority in countries such as Bangladesh the cost to have a ship pulled apart is a lot cheaper.  These people have an extremely dangerous job, the falling steel, the gas buildup causing fires and other general unsafe working conditions lead these workers to have the potential to die every day.  There job is basically to take apart a ship that was meant to be indestructible.  Doing this is extremely dangerous.  The problem seems to be that these people in Bangladesh need the jobs so bad that they can't so much worry about the possibility of death, as long as they get their check at the end of the week.  Not only are there unsafe working conditions for these workers but the toxic chemicals that are used in the construction of these vessels are getting into the environment and creating more problems for Bangladeshi's down the road. 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 6:18 PM

Ship scrapping is a very symbolic business. Desperate countries pick at the leftovers of an incredibly lucrative globalized business, scavenging what money that they can from an industry that would otherwise have nothing to do with them. Bangladesh's ship scrapping business is incredibly dangerous and the workers make an incredibly small portion of the profits. Some of the poorest people in the country take part in ship-breaking and they risk catching on fire, falling, getting crushed, or suffering in the long run from the different pollutants involved with the industry. These large ships are unable to be processed in an efficient manner, which is another reason why the hard work is left to those that absolutely have no other option. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:17 PM

Little government oversight into working conditions in Bangladesh attracts many companies who use the country to perform dangerous jobs for a low price. The local workers are exposed to dangerous work environments for little pay, and safety concerns are ignored and downplayed to avoid attracting attention to the situation. This lack of concern for workers also led to the collapse of a garment factory last year.

Rescooped by Lori Johnson from Geography Education!

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade | MS Geography Resources |
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — South American engineers are trying to tackle one of the continent's greatest natural challenges: the towering Andes mountain chain that creates a costly physical barrier for...

At the NCGE conference, noted author Harm De Blij mentioned a daring project that would link Eastern South America with the Pacific as engineers were planning to tunnel under the Andes mountains.  Here is a link to an article on this intermodal transportation project that would lower the shipping costs from East Asia to the Southern Atlantic.  Government officials in both Argentina and Brazil have described the  project as a matter of "national interest."  

Tags: transportation, LatinAmerica, globalization, industry, economic, development, unit 6 industry.

Via Seth Dixon
Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 27, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 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.