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Exploring farms from above

Exploring farms from above | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"Stunning gallery of 15 images depicting agricultural landscapes.  Shown above are cut flower fields in Carlsbad, California circa 1989."


Via Seth Dixon
Mary Rack's insight:

These are really beautiful and interesting, but I wish  photos could also reveal what substances are used on the land: fertilizers, pest killers, etc. I will go to his site and see if he addresses that. 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 22, 2013 4:33 PM

"Aerial photographer Alex MacLean estimates he has spent about 6,000 hours in the sky photographing American farms.  His unique perspective depicts the dramatically changing agricultural landscape in the U.S., something he has been drawn to since he started flying nearly 40 years ago.  'I’ve been photographing agricultural lands since I started flying, in the early 1970s,' he says. 'I was drawn to the aesthetics of farmland, in part because of its natural response to environmental conditions, climates, soils and topography…A lot of what I photograph is through discovery of seeing crops, seeing patterns.' 


Tags: agriculture, landscape, images.

Mary Rack's comment, May 23, 2013 10:35 AM
MacLean's http://www.alexmaclean.com/ is a rich treasure trove of beauty and information! I could lose myself in it for the rest of the day. I recommend it to all thoughtful people.
Linda Alexander's curator insight, May 26, 2013 10:31 AM

When photography of farmland becomes an art form..!

Today's Issues
The many issues that confront us today: Information, Discussion, Insights
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Exploring farms from above

Exploring farms from above | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"Stunning gallery of 15 images depicting agricultural landscapes.  Shown above are cut flower fields in Carlsbad, California circa 1989."


Via Seth Dixon
Mary Rack's insight:

These are really beautiful and interesting, but I wish  photos could also reveal what substances are used on the land: fertilizers, pest killers, etc. I will go to his site and see if he addresses that. 

more...
Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 22, 2013 4:33 PM

"Aerial photographer Alex MacLean estimates he has spent about 6,000 hours in the sky photographing American farms.  His unique perspective depicts the dramatically changing agricultural landscape in the U.S., something he has been drawn to since he started flying nearly 40 years ago.  'I’ve been photographing agricultural lands since I started flying, in the early 1970s,' he says. 'I was drawn to the aesthetics of farmland, in part because of its natural response to environmental conditions, climates, soils and topography…A lot of what I photograph is through discovery of seeing crops, seeing patterns.' 


Tags: agriculture, landscape, images.

Mary Rack's comment, May 23, 2013 10:35 AM
MacLean's http://www.alexmaclean.com/ is a rich treasure trove of beauty and information! I could lose myself in it for the rest of the day. I recommend it to all thoughtful people.
Linda Alexander's curator insight, May 26, 2013 10:31 AM

When photography of farmland becomes an art form..!

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First taste of chocolate

"To be honest I do not know what they make of my beans," says farmer N'Da Alphonse. "I've heard they're used as flavoring in cooking, but I've never seen it. I do not even know if it's true." Watch how the Dutch respond to a cocoa bean in return or you can watch our entire episode on chocolate here.


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Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, August 6, 10:51 PM

Such an interesting video. The costs and benefits of our chocolate fetish.

Mathijs Booden's curator insight, August 13, 5:28 AM

Reminds of this video of a Foxconn factory worker that sees a working iPad for the first time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE7A58nez8A

Keegan Johns's curator insight, August 27, 10:01 AM

I think it is good for them to see and taste chocolate because they work very hard to grow and harvest the beans, but don't even know what they are used for. These people deserve to know what they are helping create because they work so hard and don't get paid that much for it.

 

-KJ

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How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away

How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"Saying 'you're not welcome here'—with spikes."


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Michael MacNeil's curator insight, August 2, 8:38 AM

Lack of understanding of mental disability can lead to heartlessness. There is so much that needs to be done.

dilaycock's curator insight, August 3, 3:50 AM

I'd never really taken notice, or heard of some,  of the architectural deterrents mentioned here. I can't believe that we, as a society, go to such lengths to make life even more difficult for those already struggling. 

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 6:52 PM

APHG-U7

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Donut Holes in Law of the Sea

Donut Holes in Law of the Sea | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"Sovereignty over land defines nation states since 1648. In contrast, sovereign right over the sea was formalised only in 1982. While land borders are well-known, sea borders escape the limelight."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 8, 9:28 PM

These maritime borders mark the economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line.  This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).  This interactive map of the EEZs also shows the 'donut holes,' or the seas that are no state can claim that no state can claim.  Given the number of conflicts that are occurring--especially in East Asia--this map becomes a very valuable online resource for teaching political geography. 


Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies?  Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions? 


Tagseconomic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 29, 5:48 PM

Option topic Marine  Environments and management

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 6:52 PM

APHG-U4

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Nicaragua unveils major canal route

Nicaragua unveils major canal route | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"The Nicaraguan government and the company behind plans to build a canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean have settled on a route."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 8, 12:04 PM

A Chinese firm (HKND) is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  I've been following this issue as I prepared to co-author an article  for Maps 101 with Julie Dixon and it is clearly a major environmental issue.  However, this issue is much more geographic than just the angle; China and Nicaragua are vying for greater control and access to the shipping lanes that dominate the global economy and international trade.  This shows that they are each attempting to bolster their regional and international impact compared to their rivals (the United States for China and Panama for Nicaragua).   


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Richard Lloyd Thomas's curator insight, July 29, 7:55 AM

Now, who will pay for it?

Dave Cottrell's comment, July 31, 2:37 PM
You can be sure this will accommodate ships much larger than what the Panama Canal will accommodate.
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Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards."


Via Seth Dixon
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Catherine Smyth's curator insight, July 21, 11:21 PM

Making sense of poverty.

 

Gina Panighetti's curator insight, August 4, 4:54 PM

"Access"--North America Unit

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 7:01 PM

APHG-U2 & U6

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Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City

Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
As the sprawling Zaatari camp evolves into an informal city — with an economy and even gentrification — aid workers say camps can be potential urban incubators that benefit host countries like Jordan.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 7, 12:03 PM

This is an intriguing article that explores the difficulties of forced migrations that arise from civil war, but it also looks at city planning as refugee camps are established to make homes for the displaced.  These camps have become into de-facto cities. The maps, videos and photographs embedded in the article show the rapid development of these insta-cities which organically have evolved to fit the needs of incoming refugees.  Size not investing in permanent infrastructure has some serious social, sanitation and financial cost, there are some efforts to add structure to the chaos, to formalize the informal.  Truly this is a fascinating case study of in urban geography as we are increasingly living on what Mike Davis refers to as a "Planet of Slums."  


Tags: refugees, migration, conflict, political, warsquatter, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities. 

Enrico De Angelis's curator insight, July 13, 11:06 AM

beautiful intriguing post telling the story of something I - personally - never considered. It pictures a new city growing, with not only basic needs, ...

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 7:02 PM

APHG-U4

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Chinese Uyghurs defy Ramadan ban

Chinese Uyghurs defy Ramadan ban | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"The government's attempt to clamp down on religious expression has backfired among Uyghurs."


Via Seth Dixon
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Céline's curator insight, July 11, 2:32 PM
"Seth Dixon's insight:

China has used various means to eliminate minority groups' cultural identity, and human rights groups argue that this ban on Ramadan is no different (children and government employees are banned from fasting, allegedly for health and safety concerns).  Ethnic Uyghurs speak a Turkic language are more culturally connected to Cental Asia than East Asia.  Predominantly Muslim, the Uyghurs are defying some of the more controversial laws that they feel single them out."

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, July 16, 10:50 AM

unit 3 and 4

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 7:04 PM

APHG-U3

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The Rise of Innovative Districts

"Today, innovation is taking place where people can come together, not in isolated spaces. Innovation districts are this century's productive geography, they are both competitive places and 'cool spaces' and they will transform your city and metropolis."


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 20, 2:19 PM

As described by the Brookings Institution in their exploration regarding innovation districts, they are geographic areas where leading-edge companies, research institutions, start-ups, and business incubators are located in dense proximity. These districts are created to facilitate new connections and ideas, speed up the commercialization of those ideas, and support urban economies by growing jobs in ways that leverage their distinct economic position.


Tags: density, sustainability, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities, labor.

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High-School Dropouts and College Grads Are Moving to Very Different Places

High-School Dropouts and College Grads Are Moving to Very Different Places | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
Cities like Washington and San Francisco are gaining the highly skilled but losing their less-educated workforce.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 16, 2:56 PM

This article, with its charts and interactive maps, is worth exploring to show some of the important spatial patterns of internal migration.  It's not hard to realize that larger, cosmopolitan metro areas will have an advantage in attracting and keeping prospective college graduates; the question that we should be asking our students is how will this impact neighborhoods, cities and regions?    


Tags: migration, USA, mappingcensus, education.

Kaylin Burleson's curator insight, June 19, 8:47 AM

Good charts/grafts - worth looking at and using with the concept of migration.   

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

 

The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?

 

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


Via Seth Dixon
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Eli Levine's curator insight, June 12, 9:18 PM

These folks are no good.

 

They're as dangerous, mean-spirited, and delusional as the conservatives of our own society.

 

Motivated by religious fervor (doesn't matter which one it is), and an authoritarian desire to impose their vision of how a perfect society ought to be, these people ought to be put into mental health clinics and given actual treatment for being dangers to themselves and dangers to others.

 

We, the United States, cannot, and should not, do anything to stop ISIS initially.  We should let them take over, let their brutality lead to popular insurgency against them.

THEN, we ask the people of the region, collectively, whether or not they want our assistance in removing ISIS from control and influence in their society.  We want them to be turning these folks in, to be reporting those who are seeking to join these conservative movements to authorities.  Then, we can advise the authorities to treat the incoming prisoner like the mentally ill and psychologically disturbed/traumatized individuals that they seem to be.

 

We need a mandate and a request from the people living in their SOCIETIES, before we can go in and fight (if we're going to do such a thing, given our current state of war weariness and spent accounts).  We should not be taking direction just from their governments, and we shouldn't read their governments' requests as the need and will of their general public.

 

When fighting these kinds of conflicts, it's of the utmost importance that you maintain popular legitimacy and the mandate from the people to use force against what would otherwise be a persistent and deep-seated problem.  These conservatives can only be removed from the social scene when the public wants them to be removed AND, you must be as kind, benevolent, and effective as possible at handling the people afterward.  No impositions, no expectations; just let them lead their lives on their own, once you help them remove a tumor from their society that they want to have removed.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

 

Think about it.

sledderwool's comment, June 13, 1:26 AM
Thats brilliant...
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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

 

The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence. 

 

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


Via Seth Dixon
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Eli Levine's curator insight, June 12, 9:18 PM

These folks are no good.

 

They're as dangerous, mean-spirited, and delusional as the conservatives of our own society.

 

Motivated by religious fervor (doesn't matter which one it is), and an authoritarian desire to impose their vision of how a perfect society ought to be, these people ought to be put into mental health clinics and given actual treatment for being dangers to themselves and dangers to others.

 

We, the United States, cannot, and should not, do anything to stop ISIS initially.  We should let them take over, let their brutality lead to popular insurgency against them.

THEN, we ask the people of the region, collectively, whether or not they want our assistance in removing ISIS from control and influence in their society.  We want them to be turning these folks in, to be reporting those who are seeking to join these conservative movements to authorities.  Then, we can advise the authorities to treat the incoming prisoner like the mentally ill and psychologically disturbed/traumatized individuals that they seem to be.

 

We need a mandate and a request from the people living in their SOCIETIES, before we can go in and fight (if we're going to do such a thing, given our current state of war weariness and spent accounts).  We should not be taking direction just from their governments, and we shouldn't read their governments' requests as the need and will of their general public.

 

When fighting these kinds of conflicts, it's of the utmost importance that you maintain popular legitimacy and the mandate from the people to use force against what would otherwise be a persistent and deep-seated problem.  These conservatives can only be removed from the social scene when the public wants them to be removed AND, you must be as kind, benevolent, and effective as possible at handling the people afterward.  No impositions, no expectations; just let them lead their lives on their own, once you help them remove a tumor from their society that they want to have removed.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

 

Think about it.

sledderwool's comment, June 13, 1:26 AM
Thats brilliant...
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APHG Reader Suggestions

APHG Reader Suggestions | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 8, 10:26 AM

I've had a wonderful week in Cincinnati at the APHG reading.  Teachers love to share ideas and resources when we gather together and we've compiled 4 pages of links, books, websites and other resources that APHG readers have suggested for classroom use.  Here is a 4-page compilation of APHG reader-suggested resources. Additionally, here is the final newsletter (earlier editions of the newsletter archived here).   I'll miss the friendliness and professional expertise of this fantastic network of geography educators.  See you next year!

MsPerry's curator insight, August 25, 4:45 PM

APHG-Teacher Info

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What Happens When a Hurricane Meets a Volcano?

What Happens When a Hurricane Meets a Volcano? | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
When Iselle crosses the Big Island of Hawaii, it will offer a rare glimpse at a clash of the titans

 

Tags: disasters, Oceania, physical, weather and climate.


Via Seth Dixon
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MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 10:49 AM

APHG-Physical Geography

Nolan Walters's curator insight, August 21, 10:21 AM

This could be a very deadly disaster over nature that may happen.  Volcano and Hurricane mixed together- not a very good combination.  But it could turn out to slow down the hurricane or actually make the hurricane not as severe. Let's just hope for the best.

Cassie Brannan's curator insight, August 27, 9:55 AM

When Hurricane Iselle crosses Hawaii, people will wonder what will happen to the Kilauea Volcano. The gases and particles that pour out of the volcano could make the hurricane severe and it could put people in great danger. Change in pressure from a large storm can generate earthquakes. Most of the volcano's actions take place underground and it would make the Earthquake less threatening.

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Poop Stories

Poop Stories | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"From the time we’re about 6 years old, everyone loves a good poop joke, right? But is there something more meaningful lurking beneath the bathroom banter? Take a look at some international potty humor and then follow the jokes to a deeper understanding. Every laugh on this page reflects a life and death issue: the very real sanitation problems facing India today."


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Gina Panighetti's curator insight, August 4, 4:48 PM

Example of "access", or lack thereof, for North America unit.

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 10:51 AM

APHG-U2 & U6

Roman Mirando's curator insight, August 21, 10:21 AM

I do not want to use public bathrooms in the first place but this makes me want to not use them more. It is frightening that three children die every minute because of poor sanitation. Also, 1.5 million children die every year because of poor sanitation. These facts are so horrific and now I am going to make sure I am sanitized.

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'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"One-third of the seafood Americans catch is sold abroad, but most of the seafood we eat here is imported and often of lower quality. Why? Author Paul Greenberg says it has to do with American tastes."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 9, 8:00 PM

The United States exports the best-quality seafood that Americans catch, but import primarily low-grade aquacultural products.  This is just one of the counter-intuitive issues withe U.S. fish consumption and production.  This bizarre dynamic has cultural and economic explanations and this NPR podcast nicely explains these spatial patterns that are bound to frustrate those that advocate for locally sourced food productions. 


Tagsfood production, industry, food, agriculture, agribusinessconsumptioneconomic, sustainability.

HazelAnne Prescott's curator insight, July 31, 10:56 AM

Seems like a messed up system.  We do not have "taste"

Abigail Mack's curator insight, July 31, 11:27 AM

What would make Americans opt for the lower quality, imported fish?

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The world's megacities that are sinking 10 times faster than water levels are rising

The world's megacities that are sinking 10 times faster than water levels are rising | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
Scientists have issued a new warning to the world’s coastal megacities that the threat from subsiding land is a more immediate problem than rising sea levels caused by global warming.

 

A new paper from the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands published in April identified regions of the globe where the ground level is falling 10 times faster than water levels are rising - with human activity often to blame.

In Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest city, the population has grown from around half a million in the 1930s to just under 10 million today, with heavily populated areas dropping by as much as six and a half feet as groundwater is pumped up from the Earth to drink.

The same practice led to Tokyo’s ground level falling by two meters before new restrictions were introduced, and in Venice, this sort of extraction has only compounded the effects of natural subsidence caused by long-term geological processes.

 

Tags: coastal, climate change, urban, megacities, water, environment, urban ecology.


Via Seth Dixon
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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, August 2, 12:32 AM

Perception!

Matt Evan Dobbie's curator insight, August 2, 6:55 PM

Huge problem when combined with sea level rise

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 6:53 PM

APHG-U7

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The Last Drop: America's Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis

The Last Drop: America's Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
Editor's note: This story is one in a series on a crisis in America's Breadbasket –the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer and its effects on a region that hel...

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Linda Denty's curator insight, July 24, 6:46 PM

Could this happen in Australia also?

Jamie Strickland's curator insight, July 25, 10:46 AM

Thanks to my good friend, Seth Dixon for the original scoop.  There had been quite a bit of news reporting on the drought in central California this year, but this midwestern region has been experiencing water stress for years with little national attention.  I plan to use this article in both an upcoming presentation as well as an example when I teach "Tragedy of the Commons" in my Environmental Dilemma class.

Kate Buckland's curator insight, July 26, 10:32 PM

Good to compare to how we use water resources in Australia

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Revealed: Where 5million Brits live abroad

Revealed: Where 5million Brits live abroad | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
Official data from the United Nations reveals where people born in the UK have chosen to settle, with the numbers emigrating up 23 per cent since 1990.

Via expatbrazil.co.uk
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Drought Drains Lake Mead to Lowest Level

Drought Drains Lake Mead to Lowest Level | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"The largest reservoir in the U.S. falls to its lowest water level in history, Nevada State Sen. Tick Segerblom introduced a bill title and issued a press release on July 8 calling for an 'independent scientific and economic audit of the Bureau of Reclamation’s strategies for Colorado River management.'"

 

This week’s history-making, bad-news event at Lake Mead has already triggered lots of news stories, but almost all of these stories focus on the water supply for Las Vegas, Phoenix and California. But what about the health of the river itself?

 

Tags: physical, fluvial, drought, water, environment.


Via Seth Dixon
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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 12, 3:09 AM

Consequences of urbanisation 

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 12, 3:10 AM

Option topic : Inland water and management

Tom Franta's curator insight, July 12, 11:40 AM

Many geographers are aware that future water resource issues in the American Southwest will have political, cultural, and social impacts.  What do you believe to be some approaching concerns after reading this article?

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Sustaining Seven Billion People

Sustaining Seven Billion People | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"With seven billion people now living on Earth, the ever growing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on global resources—especially forests, water, and food. How can Earth’s resources be managed best to support so many people? One key is tracking the sum of what is available, and perhaps nothing is better suited to that task than satellites."

 


Via Seth Dixon
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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, July 6, 12:09 PM

Such studies of the agriculture around the world are essential. The way we are doing agriculture to support seven billion people now, peaking at 9-10 billion in another 60 years, it is clear that we are putting severe strains on the environment.  But we have grown lazy, and we are doing it all wrong.

 

We CAN drastically reduce the amount of meat we consume, and thus quickly reduce the amount of arable land we need.  We CAN grow plants in ways that actually sequester more carbon and improve the soil it over time rather than erode and degrade.  And we CAN in fact grow all the food we need in the space we live in, thus enabling us to recycle all the water used as well, which is mostly just lost in evaporation. 

Tom Cockburn's curator insight, July 13, 5:52 AM

Vital debate for the future

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 7:44 PM

APHG-U2

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Five Things To Know on World Refugee Day

Five Things To Know on World Refugee Day | Today's Issues | Scoop.it

"There are more people displaced by violence and conflict on the planet right now than at any time since World War II.  The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says the number of people forcibly displaced, including refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons has now reached over 51 million." 


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 20, 1:51 PM

From the difference between refugees and internally displaced people, to the gendered impact of refugees, this shines some light on the problems confronting refugees as well as on some of the solutions. 


Tags: refugees, migration, conflict, political, war.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 23, 12:24 PM

unit 2

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Today's Issues | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

 

The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?

 

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


Via Seth Dixon
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Eli Levine's curator insight, June 12, 9:18 PM

These folks are no good.

 

They're as dangerous, mean-spirited, and delusional as the conservatives of our own society.

 

Motivated by religious fervor (doesn't matter which one it is), and an authoritarian desire to impose their vision of how a perfect society ought to be, these people ought to be put into mental health clinics and given actual treatment for being dangers to themselves and dangers to others.

 

We, the United States, cannot, and should not, do anything to stop ISIS initially.  We should let them take over, let their brutality lead to popular insurgency against them.

THEN, we ask the people of the region, collectively, whether or not they want our assistance in removing ISIS from control and influence in their society.  We want them to be turning these folks in, to be reporting those who are seeking to join these conservative movements to authorities.  Then, we can advise the authorities to treat the incoming prisoner like the mentally ill and psychologically disturbed/traumatized individuals that they seem to be.

 

We need a mandate and a request from the people living in their SOCIETIES, before we can go in and fight (if we're going to do such a thing, given our current state of war weariness and spent accounts).  We should not be taking direction just from their governments, and we shouldn't read their governments' requests as the need and will of their general public.

 

When fighting these kinds of conflicts, it's of the utmost importance that you maintain popular legitimacy and the mandate from the people to use force against what would otherwise be a persistent and deep-seated problem.  These conservatives can only be removed from the social scene when the public wants them to be removed AND, you must be as kind, benevolent, and effective as possible at handling the people afterward.  No impositions, no expectations; just let them lead their lives on their own, once you help them remove a tumor from their society that they want to have removed.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

 

Think about it.

sledderwool's comment, June 13, 1:26 AM
Thats brilliant...
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