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Infographic: United States of the Environment

Infographic: United States of the Environment | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Every U.S. state is No. 1 in some environmental category ... and No. 50 in another.

 

A fun map that can be used to discuss environmental issues at both the national and local level for American teachers. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I am always drawn to these type of maps where data is collected to determine which states are known for this or that.  I have seen maps regarding "state food" and favorite sports teams to name a few, but this one in particular isn't so fun.  It shows each state by negative aspects which in fact could actual be useful for things such as travel.  Say you have asthma or other respiratory problems, after viewing this map one would probably stay away from California or specificaly Los Angeles due to their levels of smog.  On the other hand, according to the map, being a vegetarian in the state of Oklahoma wouldn't be as easy as a more "fruitful" place considering the state has been rated to eat the fewest fruit and vegetables.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, September 22, 2014 3:11 PM

Rhode Island excels at having the lowest CO2 emissions. This makes a lot of sense when you consider the characteristics the State as it relates to pollution. Manufacturing is not a large part of Rhode Island's production, therefore CO2 emissions from factories is less than many other states. Furthermore CO2 from automobiles is low because of the small size of the state. Commutes for people working and living in Rhode Island are no longer than an hour each way. The minimal drive time for each person also cuts down possible emissions. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, November 1, 2014 8:41 PM

This fun and interactive map shows where each state excel and where they falter. Its interesting to see that in a state a small as Rhode Island, it has the highest rate of breast cancer in the nation. And the state of Colorado has the most avalanche deaths, which when you think of the state of Colorado, you wouldn't think of Colorado as a state with a lot of avalanches. What really surprised me  was Alaska as having the most airports per capita. One wouldn't think this of Alaska since it is a state covered mostly with snow. And it raises the question as to how many people travel in and out of the state. With all of the states surprises, one thing that shocked me a bit was how much organic food is grown in this land. That's one thing that is surprising. I once viewed this land as a of imports of just about everything, but looking at these two maps have changed my outlook of this land.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, January 24, 10:12 PM

Scary to look at the New England region as five of the six states are highest in a form of cancer.Is there a causal connection that should be investigated? Probably doesn't help we live next door to NY and NJ, highest in air pollution and most Superfund sites respectively. As a parent with a son who has autism, I feel for the folks in Ohio. Both California and Florida get the "duh" award for leading in smog and boating wrecks.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Sinica Geography 400 | 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.   

 

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


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

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.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 16, 2013 8:14 PM

We never heard about this during the Soviet Union as the news was controlled.  Also during the Soviet time I do not believe environmentalists would have gotton the chance to investigate the area.  With the fall of the USSR the world can now see some of the environmental effects that communism had on Russia.  These towns are built around the factory.  Much like the old steele towns in PA, like Allentown.  However Allentown chnaged with the times and is able to support, although it is difficult, the population that was focused on the steele industry.  Here is this remote area of Russia, there is nothing else in the area.  There is no service economy in the area, just the paper factory.  It has been kept open because of Putin who basically said to ignore all environmental laws and regulations and he made sure the environmental groups are not an issue anymore.  Not surprising from a former KGB Lt. Colonel and the Director of the FSB, the sucessor of the KGB.  To solve the issue in these monotowns I think there needs to be government intervention to transition the economies in theses areas.  To keep these factories running in the long run will just hurt all the people in the towns with no end in sight.  However, I do not think this will happen unless there is a change in the leadership of Russia, something I do not think will happen anytime soon.

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.

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...

 

A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The pictures are breathtaking.  What was once a modern and prosperous area is now completely devestated and basically irreparable for hundreds of years to come.  In some of the pictures it is possible to see the haste and desertion of buildings and rooms which gives a sense of fear and panic that the people experienced.  There is surely still so much that can be explored, but the radiation limits people and the danger of the area is hard for civilians to be within the boundaries of Chernobyl.  Places like this show how drastic the rise and fall of the Soviet Union really was.  Similar to mono-towns in Siberia, these areas were set up for people to flourish and become successful, but as history went on and disasters ensued, the great empire came crashing down.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 13, 2013 12:55 PM

I was 15 when this happened.  The scare of fallout was huge as this was a total meltdown.  I also remember Three Mile Island, PA in 1979 where the scare was not as big as it was only a partial meltdown.  Today though it is the newly independant countires of the Ukraine and Belarus, former Soviet republics, that have to deal with the long term issues.  The pictures here are just errie, like this place just stopped in time and since in can't be inhabited for 10,000 years, it will always look like 1986!

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:51 PM

Absolutely frightening to see a city so empty.  To only imgine what could have been in Chernobyl today if this nuclear disaster didn't happen.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:51 AM

These photo's are rather gripping.  Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years.  The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.

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Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed?

Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed? | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Scientists model where and when the debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami will be.  The likelihood that the debris (not radioactive) will reach the U.S. west coast is increasingly likely.  Look at the great video attached to the article.   


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This video showed time elasped which stopped in the summer of 2013, it is now December.  At the time of the video the mass was entering the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean so I'm curious to where it is now.  I can't find any current imagery of the vast ocean but it would be a neat, yet dangerous spectacle.  I could only imagine any of the harm it's causing on the sealife on its way across the pacific.  We can only hope that doesn't bring too many issues once it washes up on the west coast, if at all.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:09 PM

Hopefully none of the wreckage that reaches the US is radioactive.... But the projected travel of the debris shows how ocean currents create, almost, a "natural" globalization of natural disasters. 

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:43 AM

Although it's important to know where all of this trash is headed, this just makes me think of how we might prevent this. We can't prevent these catastrophic natural disasters, but how might we lessen it's effects on our cities and settlements? Furthermore, how might we lessen our impact on ecosystems during these times of catastrophe? 

It's only called a catastrophe when it hits human populations for a reason, it's not just devastating to us. Remnants of our lifestyle are carried far and wide, able to cause harm on many other species. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:37 PM

An example of how even without considering globalization the world is interconnected. The debris from the 2011 tsunami was never disposed of effectively and the United States may be effected more than they ever expected. If this pile of debris reaches US shores it will make many Americans consider how a tsunami across the globe will eventually hurt them at home. 

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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

Haiti: Legacy of Disaster | Sinica Geography 400 | 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."

 

What about a disaster is 'natural' and what about the disaster is attributable to how people live on the land?  This video highlights the poverty, architectural and environmental factors that exacerbated the problems in the Haitian Earthquake of 2010.  This is a merging of both the physical geography and human geography.  


Via Seth Dixon, Al Picozzi
Brett Sinica's insight:

Before the earthquake, much of Haiti was behind in modern infrastructure and technology.  Now three years later they are still worse than ever.  The deforestation that has plagued the land reduces the strength of the infrastructure.  It was almost as though a disaster like this was just waiting to happen in such a vulnerable area.  Aside from the trees and brush is how the people live in the cities there.  Many of the homes are poorly built because of a lack of money and resources.  The people aren't able to build strong buildings and the slightest of disasters can pose such damaging results.

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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, February 4, 2014 5:56 PM

This is an example of how civilizations can be hovering on the brink of destruction. The earthquake was the final straw it caused collapse of the whole system. The environment became a wasteland because humans that so not have their basic needs met cannot think about long term consequences of their actions. Need is immediate. If we want to help the country it needs to be in very small doses over many years. Their situation wasn't created overnight and the solution won't happen overnight either.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:49 PM

Natural disasters occur because of two things; the environmental reason and how people react to it. This earthquake was only half the reason Haiti is in a natural disaster state. The people who don't know how to respond to such "natural disasters" are the real reason of problematic changes.

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.

 

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China now eats twice the meat we do

China now eats twice the meat we do | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
We can learn a lot from examining the way China's diet has changed in the last 20 years -- as well as its required efficiencies and the agriculture that supports it.

 

The United States still consumes more meat per capita than China, but as China's economy has grown (along with it's income and standard of living), the consumer habits have changed as well.  What will the impacts of the rise in Chinese meat consumption mean?   How do they get all this meat?  http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1661841673/this-little-piggy-is-going-to-china


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is actuallty very believable considering the population growth that China has experienced.  It only makes sense that the more people there are, the more meat will be consumed.  It is part of their cuisine to include meat.  Pork and chicken are among many of the popular proteins which are found on their dishes.  There is also the expansion to go along with all of the growth.  The landscape of the eastern part of the country has become more agriculturally accomodating for crops and livestock alike.  Therefore to match the trend of growing population, is the need to match it with meat and other foods.

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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:15 PM

I wonder if this will bring on a meat shortage. At the least it is helping to full "factory" farmer and the feeding on cheep corn to cows. I wonder how much this will effect global warming.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 2014 6:25 PM

China now eats twice as much meat than America. However, this chart does not touch upon "per-capita" which plays a major role in where the food is being dispersed and consumed. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:55 PM

China's meat demand is being met by importing meat. As the standard of living rises more of China's population are looking to branch out in regards to their diet, what is interesting is that this is also an example of cultures blending. Food is a great indicator of cultural diffusion. As China becomes more globalized we are seeing their diet and consumption patterns becoming less local and tradition.

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Venice sinking five times faster than thought?

Venice sinking five times faster than thought? | Sinica Geography 400 | 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


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

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.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, September 30, 2013 8:47 PM

The famous city in Italy is sinking, and quickly.  It seems that the transient opportunities of a transient town are like that of other areas exposed to natural inclemence- such as New Orleans, and earthquake zones.  Sooner or later, places that are exposed to disaster will become inhabitable, and possibly abandoned.  When I hear of this city sinking, it makes me think of the Titanic, and how people should likely jump ship out of this situation, before the whole city 'goes under.'  I also think of marshy areas that would not be well-suited for development and inhabitance, and it seems that there is a history in the town that united people to live there in spite of the abundance of water.  Some of my ancestors were from Italy, and I wouldn't want harm to come to their homeland, but it really makes me wonder why they chose such a place to live...  It seems likely to me that the mere fact that it was sinking was not really considered much back then;  they were not as realistically concerned about the longevity of the city in the long run, than they were about the 'now' and the time at hand.  This reflects many facets of humanity and the hedonistic lifestyles that accompany many humans.  Humans that live for today and forget about tomorrow are doomed to live a life of sorry.  Humans that live for tomorrow and not today are out of touch and fail to seize the day.  Humans that live for today but remember tomorrow are the masons that build stairways to new lands for their descendents, and along with that, myriad new possibilities for positive opportunities.  I think some of the wisdom of Italy was put into its architecture and structural design, so that we might remember- we are dying in this life, just as Venice sinks, but we should live life as best as we can, and pave the way for future generations.  Like so, the dumping of wastes into the ocean seems tiny at first, but accumulates over many generations and will leave many ocean species dead, and harm the overall functionality of the Earth as a whole.  Let Venice be a reminder.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:27 PM

So not only is Mexico City sinking, but Venice is as well, and five times faster than we thought at that. If the heart of an urban, sprawling city becomes completely destroyed what changes will be made to the outlying areas? Will they break up into multiple, smaller districts each with a central area? Where will the rich who used to reside in the heart move to?

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.