NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development
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North Dakota Town Evacuated Following Fiery Oil Train Derailment

North Dakota Town Evacuated Following Fiery Oil Train Derailment | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
The entire population of  Heimdal, North Dakota has been evacuated Wednesday morning after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded. A BNSF Railway oil train derailed around 7:30 am, setting at least 10 oil tanker cars on fire. The Bismarck Tribune spoke with emergency responders who "said the the sky was black with smoke near the derailment site."

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 6, 2015 4:55 PM

Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers.  As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.  Trains, however, are not the safest way to transport oil, even if they are efficient in the short run.    


Tagstransportationpollution, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

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Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age

Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

"It has taken between 50-300 million years to form, and yet we have managed to burn roughly half of all global oil reserves in merely 125 years or so."


Via Seth Dixon
Nevermore Sithole's insight:

Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, October 8, 2014 1:47 PM

the fact that oil is doomed is not such a bad thing perhaps fracking but I believe that solar energy is the way of the future

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 27, 2014 11:40 AM

Resources shape the behavior of people living in a given geographical region. On Earth, the abundance and efficiency of oil has caused our societies to be built and operated with the use of oil. Human's needed fuel and found oil to be a natural resource that could fit their needs. But all good things must come to an end. Even though oil and gas are cheap and efficient ways of fueling our society, there are disastrous consequences like environmental degregation and over dependence on foreign oil that leads countries to be entangled in conflict that cost lives everyday. Now that we have the analytically tools to project when oil will run out it allows people to reevaluate their use of oil and gas and weigh the cost of using a resources that will eventually run out and leave the earth in ecological distress. The global oil reserves have been cut in half in just 125 years, although this use of oil led to many technological and medical advances that propelled society into an age of advancement unprecedented it is time to pull back the reigns and calibrate our expectations on how much oil and gas we should keep using.

Molly McComb's curator insight, May 27, 2015 11:11 AM

Talking how the global oil and gas output has decreased and how it will decrease in the future with the creation and use of other forms of energy. 

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Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile?

Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile? | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

"Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.  Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall."


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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 1, 2014 3:06 PM

In an area fraught with political instability, non state actors, and rebel groups all too willing to fight for power and the wealth that comes from it - it will be interesting to see how the conflicts shift over time as this dam gets closer to completion. Will Egypt attempt to sabotage it or will they take a more diplomatic approach and try to work with the Ethiopian government diplomatically again?  Perhaps Egypt will whisper in to the ear of Sudan or the various "rebel" groups in the region, considering diplomatic means have apparently failed so far. With Sudan's use of the Blue River also going to be affected by Ethiopia's damming, it will be interesting to see if a cooperation between Egypt and Sudan occurs. Perhaps Ethiopia would like to see a deeper conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, keeping their affected neighbor off balance.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 16, 2014 6:47 PM

It is extremely difficult to divide a river. The Ethiopians will benefit immensely from this project but the Egyptians could lose everything if the Nile dries up. This is going to be a difficult problem to solve.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:45 PM

There is no way the whole Nile river is going to be dried up because of this damn. Ethiopia won't let that happen. To say that the river is going to have the same amount of water in it, thats not going to happen. Obviously the Gerd is going to have a huge impact on the water supply of the Nile but it definitely isn't going to dry up the whole thing!

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Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Three African leaders sign an initial deal to end a long-running dispute over the sharing of Nile waters and the building of Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam.

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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 7:22 PM

This article discusses the dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of a dam that would provide Ethiopia with a larger share of the Nile's water. Egypt is wholly opposed to this dam because it would mean less water for the country, which so desperately needs it. With 95% of the population of Egypt living within 20km of the Nile River, a reduction in the amount of water supplied to these tens of millions could potentially spell slow disaster. At the same time, however, Ethiopia desperately needs water from the Nile in order to provide sustainable energy for its citizens. 

 

The Nile has been a source of life and energy for thousands of years in an oppressively hot, dry place. The ancient Egyptians counted on the Nile to flood every year so that they would have arable land and used the large river to irrigate their farmland. It is almost ironic, therefore, that Egyptians are once again counting on the water of the Nile to help them survive in such a harsh climate. It seems that the Nile is one of those natural geographic features that is pivotal to political, economic, and social wellbeing. It represents the nexus between natural landforms and the political and economic goals of human beings and nations. Dispute over use of the Nile as a natural and life-giving resource is not the first instance of human debate over possession or use of natural geography and it likely won't be the last. 

Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 31, 11:57 AM

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, supranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 1, 12:19 AM

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, supranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

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Brazil's ethanol revolution

"United Nations, June 2008 - The bio-fuel, ethanol, is generating a revolution in renewable energy that could help reduce the world's thirst for oil. In Brazil, the production of ethanol from sugarcane is booming, but what is not clear is the impact it is having on the industry's sugarcane cutters."  Transcript of video available here.


Via Seth Dixon
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Production of ethanol from sugarcane is booming

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Patty B's curator insight, November 10, 2015 5:19 PM

S. AMERICA SCOOP:

The 'ethanol revolution' occurring in Brazil is a critical topic to examine in terms of global geography. With it's ethanol export rising 70% as of 2007-08, and with an abundance of sugarcane, Brazil is now beginning to offer an alternative to tradition fuels (especially for cars). Brazil is exporting a great deal of ethanol which is stimulating its economy, but there is a negative side to this energy boom. It's causing a great deal of unemployment in Brazil due to the mechanization of the process of sugarcane cultivation. The effects of a country or region's main commodity always goes under this mechanization process, it just depends on when the need for that commodity arises (this kind of relates to "Guns, Germs, and Steel" and the idea of determinism).

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:01 PM
This sounds like something that people need to learn from, making fuel from sugar and alcohol. It is said that because of this Brazil is a world leader in in this sector. Doing so reduces emissions making a cleaner environment. This is future. .Doing things such as this and making machine mechanized cutters is good too, because now humans do not have to do it. When humans by hand get the sugar they have to burn plants, and burning plants pollutes the air because of the fire and the fire can cause severe destruction if it gets out of hand. With hand picking going out, it will be better overall. Delivering ethanol to the rest of the world is believed to lift the developing world out of poverty. .
BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:43 PM

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.  Click here for a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol.  

 

Tagsenergy, resources, political ecology, agriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

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The Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia

The Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Located on a dense site next to ‘Sustainability Street’ at the University of British Columbia, the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability [CIRS] houses 200 researchers from private, public, and NGO sectors, who work together with the common mission of accelerating sustainability.

The 5,675m2 ‘living lab’ is organized around two four-story wings linked by a central atrium. The atrium serves as a building lobby and entry to a daylit auditorium, and as a social and educational space from which all of the project’s sustainable strategies are visible.

The CIRS building has embraced the ambitious sustainability goals of the Living Building Challenge, including those of net zero water consumption; waste water treatment on site; net zero energy consumption, and construction and operational carbon neutrality...
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