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Geography, History, Economics, World
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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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Worker safety in China

The worker safety in China, or lackthereof, shows why they are allowed to advance to newfound heights economically. They cut corners on workers safety, environmental regulations and other codes to meet capitalist interests. The workers risk their lives daily for meager wages that are often below sustenance levels. Hopefully they will modify their system of codes soon.


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Alexis Rickey's curator insight, April 7, 2:20 PM
This youtube clip captures an incredibly hazardous situation involving Chinese constructions workers. In the video, a contruction worker hops on the end of an excavator and dangles over nearly five stories of a dangerous construction zone on the top of a vacant building to sets off an explosive to help the building crumble. This video makes you question the legality of the labor force in China: What are the safety violations, if any, that were violated while performing this concerning task? Are the workers covered/ insured for work-place injuries? How frequent are these dangerous tasks performed? Is the cheap and hazardous labor the main reasons that China is has one of the highest global economies in the world? These are just a few questions that came to mind after watching the video. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 12:06 PM
This mentality towards worker safety is why the United States cannot compete with Chinese labor costs. The blatant disregard for safety as seen in the video allows Chinese manufacturers and industry to focus on reaching as high a level of production as possible. In a way, workers are seen as expendable parts to the entire process. Combine that with the low wages paid to these workers have allowed the country to develop in an incredibly short period of time. By disregarding worker safety, China has a massive edge over more developed nations with strict worker safety regulations.
Matt Chapman's curator insight, April 26, 12:31 PM
This video shows why China gets stuff done for so much cheaper than other countries in the world.  Worker safety and workplace safety is non-existent which is why jobs get done for so much cheaper in China.
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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

Russia's struggle to transition from Communist to Capitalist society is being put on display on the shores of Lake Baikal. Due to the one factory towns created under Communism, Russia's economy is heavily reliant on industry. One town along the shores of the planet's last truly primordial lake struggle as environmentalists pressure their paper mill company. Due to continued environmental violations committed by the company, they recently shut their doors. This resulted in massive unemployment followed by strike due to job loss and back pay. Communism, the workers argued, at least stabilized their lives. The tumultuous times of a new era in Russia has literally left millions homeless, starving and even dead. 


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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities. 

Louis Helyes's curator insight, October 10, 2016 2:12 PM

This video talks about a paper mill in Russia. It is saying that environmentalists are pressuring the mill to close down due to the environmental impact that the paper mill is doing to the surrounding area, such as killing the crops, trees and plants. It also talks about them losing their jobs because they may be unable to find other jobs in their area.