Geography Education
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Nicaragua's Controversial Canal

The proposed Nicaragua Canal could be one of the largest engineering projects in history and promises to bring thousands of jobs to the impoverished country. But the government’s secretive deal with a Chinese-led firm has some Nicaraguans raising the alarm about displacement and environmental destruction in the canal’s path.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm fascinated by massive geo-engineering projects.  Usually, the proponents of the project will support it claiming that by reconfiguring the geographic settings it will lead to the economic growth of the country and strengthen their political situation.  Opponents cite that traditional land use patterns will get disrupted, the poor will be displaced, and the environment will be degraded. This canal is not so very different from many other geo-engineering projects in that respect.

 

Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political, resourcespolitical ecology.

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Blake Joseph's curator insight, April 24, 2015 4:38 PM

The Chinese government is seriously considering plans to build a new canal through Nicaragua that will rival the United States' Panama canal. The size of the planned canal will be much larger than the Panama canal, allowing much bigger freighters and cargo vessels to be able to pass through it to and from the Chinese mainland. While many Nicaraguans are enthusiastic about the potential jobs and money involved in the project, others can see through this and sense great problems for the country if completed. The canal would destroy many environments within Nicaragua such as Lake Nicaragua and the forest that are located nearby, displacing many people who live and depend on the area for food and work. China is fast becoming a world superpower, and is alarmingly similar to the old Soviet Union as far as a lack of environmental protection and the welfare of citizens. I fear the future environmental impact this will have on Nicaragua could be devastatingly similar to the fatal impacts of other old Soviet failures like the Aral Sea or Chernobyl (without the radioactive isotopes, of course). I think many Nicaraguans do as well.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 1, 2015 2:13 AM


Chapter 5

Humans value, change and protect landscapes

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:12 AM

I'm fascinated by massive geo-engineering projects.  Usually, the proponents of the project will support it claiming that by reconfiguring the geographic settings it will lead to the economic growth of the country and strengthen their political situation.  Opponents cite that traditional land use patterns will get disrupted, the poor will be displaced, and the environment will be degraded. This canal is not so very different from many other geo-engineering projects in that respect.

 

Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political, resources, political ecology.

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China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua

China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By the end of this year, digging could begin on a waterway that would stretch roughly 180 miles across Nicaragua to unite the Atlantic and Pacific oceans."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America; China is strategically working on strengthening their geopolitical position in the South China Sea and all international waters.  This is one reason why a Chinese firms are planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  This article highlights the reasons for concern (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what else Maps 101 has to offer). 


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

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Chris Costa's curator insight, September 23, 2015 2:39 PM

I remember reading that this was the original location for where the canal to connect the Pacific and Atlantic was going to be, but the technology available at the time made it impossible for the plan to be set into motion. It would be interesting to see if it can be done, as there is a variety of environmental factors at play that would make its construction complicated. I bet the venture would be very profitable for the nation's government, but I doubt that much of this work would end up helping the Nicaraguan people, and it would irreversibly alter the geographic landscape of the surrounding area. I would also be interested to see how the US would react to its construction. China is our biggest economic competitor and not an explicit ally of our's, so I wonder how comfortable the government would be with a Chinese firm exerting so much influence over a region that is very much in our own backyard. Its construction would have a number of political, economic, social, and cultural consequences, not only for Nicaragua, but for Central America and the US as well.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 7:30 PM

Here in this article, it is discussed why the plan to dig a canal across Nicaragua could be a very bad idea. One main concern is the fact the Wing Jang's company has no prior infrastructure construction background, where the money is coming from, the whole $40 billion. Jang denies the government will have a role in paying. There is also the environmental standpoint. A proposed route would cut through Central America's largest fresh water lake, Lake Nicaragua. The lake is a major source of drinking water and irrigation, and home to rare freshwater sharks and other fish of commercial and scientific value.There is also the possibility of Pacific sea life entering the freshwater of the lake. Economic benefits from this new canal are not even guaranteed. That is just to name a few.  Overall, it seems to me that the earth's environmental affects would outweigh the monetary economics because the potential damage that could be done is devastating to both wild life and people of the country and region.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:18 AM

Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America; China is strategically working on strengthening their geopolitical position in the South China Sea and all international waters.  This is one reason why a Chinese firms are planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  This article highlights the reasons for concern (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what else Maps 101 has to offer). 


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

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Geographic Ignorance

Geographic Ignorance | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:
The Comedy Troupe 'The Mighty Boosh' doesn't need to work too hard when Chelsea Handler makes it so easy. 
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Sabrina Conroy's curator insight, July 15, 2013 11:33 AM

Just another prime example of American ignorance. We're all guilty! But to what extent is this our fault and to what extent is it what we're taught at a young age in school. 

David Madrid's curator insight, July 25, 2013 8:27 PM

Existe la ignorancia geofrafica en personajes publicos.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, September 11, 2013 2:44 PM

Oh wow...

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Nicaragua unveils major canal route

Nicaragua unveils major canal route | Geography Education | 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."

Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 7:16 PM

This article is quite interesting... It seems as though this new canal might be good just because it will be much bigger than the current Panama Canal, allowing tankers and other large ships that cannot traverse the Panama Canal to be able to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific or vise versa. The only thing that does not sound so good about it is the fact that it may cut through Lake Nicaragua, which is the largest source of fresh water. On top of that, it claims it will not rival the Panama Canal, but to me it seems as if it would because ships would not have to travel as far south as they do now to get to the Panama Canal. Another good feature about this canal though is the canal might be able to lift Nicaragua out of Poverty and formal employment will increase because of the Canal. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:35 PM

Having a new canal that is going through the area of Nicaragua seems to be a Nicaragua and China fighting for rights to get through Central America with the US and Panama. If this were approved it could boost economic taxes between the two nations as they would be presumably argue over who is going to have the cheaper taxes. Not sure if this is a good idea or a bad one.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:15 AM

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.

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Launch of world's biggest 'ship'

Launch of world's biggest 'ship' | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A floating vessel that is longer than the Empire State Building is high has taken to the water for the first time.  Despite appearances, Prelude cannot strictly be described as a ship as it needs to be towed to its destination rather than travelling under its own power."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a floating testament that economies of scale will continue to push the limits.  Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America.  This is one reason why Nicaragua is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what Maps 101 has to offer). 


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

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Cam E's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:34 PM

I've got a weak spot for massive ships, plain and simple. I think there's even a future in ship-based cities which move around the world's oceans. Eventually ships can become so large and so advanced that the normal threats associated with the open ocean will do little to scratch them. For a comparison, the ship pictured is the Prelude FLNG, and it's almost twice the length of the Titanic.

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 2016 8:51 PM
unit 6
BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:19 AM

This is a floating testament that economies of scale will continue to push the limits.  Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America.  This is one reason why Nicaragua is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what Maps 101 has to offer). 


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