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Geography 400 Blog
Geography, History, Economics, World
Curated by Derek Ethier
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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

The Mekong Rivers and its powerful waters provide industrial opportunities. This river was primitive and very untouched by civilization even as recently as when the United States was present in the region during the Vietnam War. This 5,000 km river can employ many citizens in industrial sectors as they build over 70 dams in Laos alone, but there is also collateral damage. Many fisherman are unhappy, claiming that the dam will block channels crucial for migratory fish, damaging the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. However, even village leaders are in support of dams which will greatly advance the area and improve the economy.


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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 8:03 PM

It seems to be a theme that across the bored, people are building things that directly and negatively impact the environment and the local people. There are always two sides to the problem. On one hand, the dam can help with the development of Laos because it will bring in money, but it will also destroy the fish population and therefore many fishermen will lose their jobs and people will lose a food source. It is a difficult problem because Laos needs money because there is a lot of poverty in this rural country and the fishermen do not add a whole lot to the economy, but the people need a way to survive and make money for their families as well. It's a problem that I think will be around for generation to come.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

Seems the price of modernizing will be the local economy that as existed here for centuries.  It is not a small industy either, it is according to the report a billion dollar fishing industry.  However with a growing population and a demand for electricity the river is the perfect source for this power.  This globalization, like all globalization, will help some and will hurt some.  What you have to ask yourself is will it help more than it hurts?  Will it help in the long run, over time?  For everyone involoved in globalization these answeres are never the same everywhere.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 9:21 PM

The Mekong river is a river that many fisherman in Laos depend on for food and income. Plans to build dams that will cause the fish to seek an alternate route to migrate upstream. Critics of the dams say that the dams will cause the fish to abandon the Mekong river and go through their neighboring rivers, leaving the residents without a source of income. Many in favor of the dams say the reverse, that building the dams will boost economy and cause the area to flourish.

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India's Census: Lots Of Cellphones, Too Few Toilets

Following its decolonization, India has become a major spot were outsourcing of the telecommunications business has become common. An emerging middle class has managed to throw off many of the ancient yokes of Hinduism and caste beliefs. Many middle class Indians have access to the internet, computers and cell phones. However, the government has had a hard time keeping up with the nation's booming population. Poor sanitation and lack of things as simple as toilets have become serious problems in this industrializing nation.


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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:59 AM

This sound clip highlights an interesting issue today in India, as the population has exploded the logistics to support these people is nonexistent while access to modern technology is present. Its an odd concept that one can readily find cheap accessible technology such as cell phones or TVs yet something as basic as a toilet or running water is out of reach for many. This is the problem when a population expands faster than it is possible to increase its logistical capacity.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:18 PM

With the lack of toilets and the uprising in the use of cell phones in India, the sanitation and living standards of the people of the country are lacking which in turn comes to a place of hazard. With more people moving into the country and from other areas it is causing a massive uprise in the use of technology but government funding and jobs do not create enough money to continuously keep up with the upgrades needed in sanitation and public safety.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:27 PM

there is a constantly recurring theme here, mass population growth and the government of said country not being able to grow at the same rate to provide simple services to its people

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God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

In the 1980s, Sudan and South Sudan waged a terrible war based solely on religion. It's terrible that over 25,000 boys in South Sudan had to flee for their lives in fear that they would be murdered just because they were Catholic. The three young boys had to travel thousands of miles to flee to Ethiopia to avoid persecution and eminent death. By escaping their country, they also escaped bomb raids, dehydration, starvation and genocide. Eventually, these boys manage to make it to America, surviving their valiant journey.


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Rise of solar panel energy in Bangladesh

The use of solar panel energy in Bangladesh is an example of using good green energy in a developing country. It is ridiculous to conceive Bangaldesh would build power plants, but solar energy is in abundance in Bangaldesh. It is important that we take new initiatives to alternate energy sources to creater a greener and more sustainable planet. Even developed nations like the United States could take lessons from Bangadesh.


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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:32 AM

The fact that a Nation like Bangladesh which has such a high population and with it a high poverty rate is is turning to renewable energy is fantastic. While the production and implementation of these panels will be costly initially over time they will pay for themselves. To transport and distribute other forms of energy to so many people is not only logistically a nightmare but also incredibly expensive. By using solar energy their is a far greater chance a wider audience of people will have access to power. 

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:26 AM

I believe solar energy will help improve living in places such as Bangladesh. With solar energy, it can provide light at night, store food, and help to produce and cook food. Telecommunications would also be easier to access.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:28 PM

Because of the rise in solar power energy it is allowing what I would consider a dark country is so important is because it is allowing the people of the area to have a longer day. Most people would be at home in the dark but with this cheap and affordable government funded solar panel they are able to have a longer day and seem to be able to be healthier lifestyle as they are not left out in the dark and able to go to a pharmacy at all times. These solar panels can run up to two light bulbs for ten hours allowing life to continue whether its dark or not.

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

Schools in South Africa remain as deeply divided as ever. Although Apartheid is over, blacks and whites are still segregated in schools based on where they grow up/income inequality/etc. This very situation still occurs in America today as well. Although Jim Crow laws in the South are long gone, the segregated school system remains today. Entire urban neighborhood are occupied by black residents and so school patterns are reflected by this. White flight has left many whites in suburban areas and better funded schools. In a way, post-Aparthied South Africa and post-Jim Crow America have many things in common.


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Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:14 PM

It's difficult to overcome something as oppressive as colonial rule and apartheid. South Africa's schools are still trying do so in a post-apartheid era. Judging from this video, the students have the desire to learn and better themselves to become what the country needs in order to succeed but the teachers and education system itself lacks the desire. I loved seeing the that some of the students actually step up and take charge of the class to help them learn. It's difficult to educate youth if the teachers have no desire to do so and you can't expect the students to move on to college and become a doctor or a chemist if they are unable to pass their science class. It amazed me that with all the struggles these students were going through in their personal lives, they were upbeat and ready and willing to learn.

 

Also, the singing impressed. Not because they were good, but I imagined trying to get a class of 15 year old students in America that were not taking a specifically music class to sing. I could only imagine the groans and refusal to participate from them!

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:28 PM

Watching this video makes me glad that I live where I do, it also makes me feel bad for those that are not as lucky as myself and other students of colleges and universities. these students in South Africa's schools are not getting a proper education, the teachers sometimes do not show up, so in some cases the students will assume position and teach those who do not understand the material. It is also sad to know that there are so many out there with great ambitions for their lives and because of their poor education and understanding of subjects, they are failing and might not be able to reach their goals for life. It is good to see though there is a teacher that gets the kids engaged everyday  as a morning warm up to sing. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:06 PM

what i dont understand is how south africa can be on such an upward trend which motivation and nationalism but the rest of africa just refuses to get on the same track. the success of south africa and their constantly improving country should be motivation and a model for the rest of the continent.