Geography Education
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Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage?

Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In the garment industry, stories about workers who barely eke out an existence on 'starvation wages' are legion: Factory workers in New Delhi often describe living in makeshift hovels 'barely fit for animals.' A young woman from Myanmar might wrestle with the decision to feed her children or send them to school. In Bangladesh, sewing-machine operators frequently toil for 100 hours or more a week, only to run out of money before the end of the month. Workers have demanded higher pay in all those countries, of course, sometimes precipitating violence between protesters and police. Companies in general, however, have preferred to sidestep the issue altogether. In fact, no multinational brand or retailer currently claims to pay its garment workers a wage they can subsist on."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In some ways this isn't the right question to be asking.  While clothing brands don't want the bad PR from low wages, like all businesses, they are incentivized to minimize their inputs and maximize their profits.  If capitalistic logic were completely unrestrained, this situation would never change as long as their are low-skill workers.

 

Questions to Ponder: What institutions have the ability to change this situation and what are effective ways to bring about change?  Where are textile industries located in the international division of labor?  How do sweatshops impact the places where they locate in the international division of labor? 

 

Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty

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As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger

As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. But in the last three years its economy has collapsed. Hunger has gripped the nation for years. Now, it’s killing children. The Venezuelan government knows, but won’t admit it. Doctors are seeing record numbers of children with severe malnutrition. Before Venezuela’s economy started spiraling, doctors say, almost all of the child malnutrition cases they saw in public hospitals stemmed from neglect or abuse by parents. But as the economic crisis began to intensify in 2015 and 2016, the number of cases of severe malnutrition at the nation’s leading pediatric health center in the capital more than tripled, doctors say. 2017 was even worse."

 

Tagsmortality, medical, developmentfood, poverty, Venezuela, South America.

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Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 9:57 AM
The article explores the devastation that Venezuela is feeling right now. After the economy collapsed in 2014, the entire country has been in shambles. Because of the inflation caused by the economy collapse, food has been nearly impossible to find. The article discusses multiple families who lost their children as a result of severe malnutrition. However, the government has turned a blind eye to the increasing infant mortality rate, often telling doctors and hospitals to not record many deaths.
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Globalization, Trade, and Poverty

What is globalization? Is globalization a good thing or not. Well, I have an answer that may not surprise you: It's complicated. This week, Jacob and Adriene will argue that globalization is, in aggregate, good. Free trade and globalization tend to provide an overall benefit, and raises average incomes across the globe. The downside is that it isn't good for every individual in the system. In some countries, manufacturing jobs move to places where labor costs are lower. And some countries that receive the influx of jobs aren't prepared to deal with it, from a regulatory standpoint.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are many of the 35 videos in the Economics crash course set that touch on geographic issues, but I’d like to highlight episodes 16 and 17 especially.  Many see globalization as the path to economic growth and others see the process of globalization as what has created poverty.  In many ways both have a point as demonstrated in the 16th episode of this crash course.  In a follow-up video, they explain the difference between wealthy inequality and income inequality.  This video also has a nice layman's explanation of the GINI coefficient and how it measures inequality.   

 

Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course

 

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Marilyn Ramos Rios's curator insight, November 13, 2017 8:52 AM
Is globalization good thing or not?
Ivan Ius's curator insight, November 13, 2017 11:32 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Pattern and Trends; Interrelationships; Geographic Perspective;
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, November 29, 2017 8:51 AM
Globalization, Trade, and Poverty
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Drought and Famine

In which John Green teaches you a little bit about drought, which is a natural weather phenomenon, and famine, which is almost always the result of human activity. Throughout human history, when food shortages strike humanity, there was food around. There was just a failure to connect those people with the food that would keep them alive. There are a lot of reasons that food distribution breaks down, and John is going to teach you about them in the context of the late-19th century famines that struck British India.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Famine is exacerbated by natural factors such as drought, but those only stress the system, they rarely cause the actual starvation.  The real failure is that the political/economic systems created by governments and how they handle stains in the food production/distribution systems.  Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  Many of the recent examples have come from collectivation strategies that governments have implemented (currently Venezuela, but historically the Soviet Union and China).  The Choices program has some good resources about teaching current events with the famines today.

 

Tags: food, povertyhistoricalcolonialism, economic, political, governance, agriculture, crash course

 

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Battle Cry for the Bodega

Battle Cry for the Bodega | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Why the chainification of the corner store is a bigger deal than losing book stores and record stores combined.

 

The term Bodega originally referred to a neighborhood grocery in a mostly Spanish-speaking part of town, it has come to be used (in my experience) to cover just about any independently owned small grocer in the city. The fear is that the corporate behemoth (7-Eleven) will destroy the neighborhood bodega, a New York institution of long standing. The quintessential bodega is a beloved part of the fabric of the city.  The outcry has been loudest in the East Village, a neighborhood that despite gentrification still prides itself on its countercultural attitude and grimy authenticity.

Seth Dixon's insight:

When we discuss food deserts, we typically think about places that lack supermarkets.  In an urban context, the places that often fill this void are the bodegas.  In some major cities, these are going away as chains like 7-Eleven want to expand their reach and squeeze out these independent grocers. However you view this issue, “There’s no denying that the texture of the city would be flattened if the idiosyncratic bodega became an endangered species.”

 

Tags: food, urban, povertyplace, socioeconomic, food desert.

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'Crimetown' podcasts on Providence No. 1 on iTunes charts

'Crimetown' podcasts on Providence No. 1 on iTunes charts | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Providence, once the heart of the New England mafia, was chosen for the first season. The approximately 17 to 20 episodes will follow the patterns of corruption in Rhode Island up through the banking crisis of RISDIC, the impeachment of a Supreme Court justice, and City Hall corruption in Operation Plunder Dome."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not just a fascinating local story of my new hometown; this is a riveting portrayal of the urban social geographies of organized crime, corruption, and the cosa nostra.  With only three episode to date, they with entertain and inform listeners with delving into the inner working of the mob (and just a heads up--the language will be crass and actual crimes will be discussed--don't say I didn't warn you).  To be honest, of course season one of Crimetown dad to been about Providence, and it is all the more compelling knowing the neighborhoods that are being shaped in this historical portrayal of Rhode Island.    

 

Tagsurban, crime, Rhode Island, neighborhood, socioeconomic, poverty, podcast.

 

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Alexander peters's curator insight, December 13, 2016 12:24 PM
This was about the tv show that is about the new england mafia. I have watched the show
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India’s campaign to change cultural practices

India’s campaign to change cultural practices | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Television commercials and billboards now carry a message that strike at the heart of the Indian contradiction of being the world’s fastest-growing major economy and also where relieving oneself in the open is the norm in most villages. Research shows that one of the reasons for the stubborn social practice is the centuries-old caste system, in which cleaning human waste was a job reserved only for the lowest caste. Having a toilet at home is still considered unclean by many villagers. They regard it cleaner to go to the open farms, which can cause water-borne diseases, the second leading cause of death of Indian children younger than 5."

Seth Dixon's insight:

An aggressive new campaign is ridiculing those who are no longer poor but continue to defecate in the open--even this UNICEF campaign (some language and low-brow humor, so use your own discretion) is working hard to change the cultural patterns and practices surrounding defecation and sanitation.  There are more cellphones than toilets in India and the lack of adequate sanitation and toilets is serious enough that that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made building toilets a national priority.  Comics are using their platform to bring this issue of uneven development to light. 54% of people in India do not have regular access to toilets and these comedians are using their platform to not only get some laughs, but to advocate for social change. 

 

Tagsdevelopment, poverty, India.

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Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying.

Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Madagascar, the booming charcoal business is contributing to deforestation and may exacerbate the effects of global warming.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Deforestation does not happen in a vacuum--it occurs in an economic, political, and historical context.  Rural Africans have less access to high value commodities and converting forests into charcoal is one of the few options (similar to the issue in Haiti).  The short-term economic gain for a few individuals leads to long-term environmental problems such as soil erosion, flooding, and habitat destruction for many species.  

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, poverty, development, economic, labor, Madagascar, erosionAfrica, resourcespolitical ecology.

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Launceston College Geography's curator insight, June 13, 2017 9:51 PM

Deforestation drivers

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 9, 2017 9:41 AM
If we know that furthering education and economic opportunities will help alleviate the problems present here, why aren't we as a planet seeing that they are implemented? 
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 10:23 PM
Charcoal has become the unlikely hero of the informal economy of Africa. This is a positive for the economy. However, this is not a positive for the environment. Deforestation has become a large issue since the boom of more people using charcoal. This will speed up the issue of climate change. This post shows the negative and positives a product can have involving geography.
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How To Get A Country To Trust Its Banks

How To Get A Country To Trust Its Banks | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"It's something you can see on every block in most major cities. You probably see one every day and never give give it a second thought. But in Yangon, Myanmar in 2013, an ATM was a small miracle. For decades, Myanmar was cut off from the rest of the world. There were international sanctions, and no one from the U.S. or Europe did business there."

Seth Dixon's insight:

We often assume that one form of technology, a system, institute should work equally well where ever it is.  But the nuances of cultural geography mediate how societies interact with technological innovations, and as demonstrated in this Planet Money podcast, "People in Myanmar (Burma) were reluctant to use ATMs because they didn't trust the banks. They weren't sure that the machines would actually give them their money."  

 

Tags: Burma, Southeast Asia, poverty, development, economicpodcast.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 11, 9:11 AM
We often take for granted our infrastructe and in this case our banking system. Have we seen recessions, yes , have we seen our banks fail yes, but to not trust them at all well thats another story. In pretty much every American city and most major cities around the world ATMs are very common. I am pretty sure most of us have used an ATM at least once if not all of the time. So when the small country of Myanmar had its sanctions lifted and VISA and Mastecard had the opportunity to put in ATMs they went for it and thought it would be a great ooportunity. They did forsee what would happen though. Myanmar citizens had almost no confidence in their banking system thus most people just kept their money at home with them. So since they did not have money in the banks they did not need to use the ATMs. Its very important for companies, even big ones such as Visa and Mastercard, to understand the market and the culture of the population in which they are setting up the business. If Visa and Mastercard had done a little more research they might have foreseen this problem. In this ever global world it is important for businesses to remain culuturally aware or risk losing mililons.  For start up companies or investment companies it becomes even more important as they do market research as well.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 3, 3:33 PM
This showcases how different cultures in different places really are. The idea of credit cards in Myanmar isn't exactly greeted with positivity. Most people are skeptical of the banks and keep their money at home instead. This way of living seems so different to people from places like the US because Myanmar doesn't have and connection to the US with institutions such as banks and atm. However this way of running a country does not allow for anything to be fixed, which is why is it so rugged, with cars with no floors, awful roads, and anything else that a bank would normally help fund. 
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Haiti: From Recovery to Sustainable Development

"Since the 2010 earthquake, Haiti has successfully pulled through the humanitarian recovery phase and seen significant socioeconomic gains. Yet as Haiti moves toward long-term, sustainable development, the country faces significant challenges. The political system remains fragile, sustainable jobs are scarce, and the environment is still as vulnerable now as it was then."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is primarily a promotional campaign for the UNDP's efforts in Haiti, it nicely contextualizes the problems that Haiti faces before discussing how to improve the situation.  Some keys for the future include: 

  • Governance and Rule of Law
  • Recovery and Poverty Reduction
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Environmental Management
  • Medical Outbreak Management  

 

Tagsdisasters, Haiti, NGOspoverty, development, video.

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Keone Sinnott-Suardana's curator insight, June 22, 2016 10:19 PM
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The Ever-Expanding Slums

"Slums lack:

  • Permanent housing
  • Sufficient space
  • Clean water
  • Sanitation
  • Personal safety
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is a slum?  Why do so many people around the world live in slums?  What are the largest slums in the world?  These are the questions that this video seeks to answer as the TestTube team tackles one of the more pressing issues of confronting urban areas in the developing world.   

 

Tagspoverty, squatter settlements, development.

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Rebecca Geevarghese's curator insight, May 8, 2016 6:29 AM
Another GREAT resource to show to Geography students! 
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 2, 2016 12:29 AM

The liveability of urban slums in the developing world makes an interesting study linking access to services and facilities, community identity, social connectedness, environmental quality and safety. 

 

Follow an introduction to slums using this video clip and 8.11 with the following resources that investigate the impact of rapid urbanisation on the liveability of cities.

 

Slums are a consequence of urbanisation studied in more depth  in Changing Places (Stage 9) - consequences of urbanisation. Limit the study of slums to liveability issues in stage 4 or an introduction to factors influencing liveability. 

 

GeoWorld 7 NSW

Chapter 7: Liveability:Measurement and environmental factors 

7.6 Access to shelter

Chapter 8 Urban, rural and remote places

8.6 An urban world

8.7 Why go to town?

8.8 Large cities attract people

8.10 Skyscrapers and slums

8.11 Kibera slums and flying toilets

Geothink people live in cities - Figure 8.14.3

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 13, 2017 11:07 AM
unit 7
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The Real Irish-American Story Not Taught in Schools

The Real Irish-American Story Not Taught in Schools | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The crop failure in Ireland affected only the potato—during the worst famine years, other food production was robust. Michael Pollan notes in The Botany of Desire, 'Ireland’s was surely the biggest experiment in monoculture ever attempted and surely the most convincing proof of its folly.' But if only this one variety of potato, the Lumper, failed, and other crops thrived, why did people starve?  Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy’s Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry—food that could have prevented those deaths. Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I teach my students that famines reflect a lack of power (political and economic) more so than they are indicative of an absence of food in that region.  The Irish potato famine exemplifies the three main causes of food insecurity: 

1. Redirection of food

2. Destruction of capacity to grow food

3. neglect of the starving

 

Images 13 and 14 in this blogpost powerfully highlight that the famine was not an accident, but the result of a deliberate British policy. 

 

TagsIreland, foodeconomiccolonialism, poverty.

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Brien Shanahan's curator insight, March 24, 2016 10:04 AM

I teach my students that famines reflect a lack of power (political and economic) more so than they are indicative of an absence of food in that region.  The Irish potato famine exemplifies the three main causes of food insecurity: 

1. Redirection of food

2. Destruction of capacity to grow food

3. neglect of the starving

 

Images 13 and 14 in this blogpost powerfully highlight that the famine was not an accident, but the result of a deliberate British policy. 

 

Tags: Ireland, food, economic, colonialism, poverty.

ismokuhanen's curator insight, March 27, 2016 7:32 AM

I teach my students that famines reflect a lack of power (political and economic) more so than they are indicative of an absence of food in that region.  The Irish potato famine exemplifies the three main causes of food insecurity: 

1. Redirection of food

2. Destruction of capacity to grow food

3. neglect of the starving

 

Images 13 and 14 in this blogpost powerfully highlight that the famine was not an accident, but the result of a deliberate British policy. 

 

Tags: Ireland, food, economic, colonialism, poverty.

Bob Zavitz's curator insight, March 28, 2016 7:05 PM

I teach my students that famines reflect a lack of power (political and economic) more so than they are indicative of an absence of food in that region.  The Irish potato famine exemplifies the three main causes of food insecurity: 

1. Redirection of food

2. Destruction of capacity to grow food

3. neglect of the starving

 

Images 13 and 14 in this blogpost powerfully highlight that the famine was not an accident, but the result of a deliberate British policy. 

 

Tags: Ireland, food, economic, colonialism, poverty.

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National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans | Geography Education | Scoop.it

DEMOGRAPHICS OF HOMELESS VETERANS

12% of the homeless adult population are veterans
20% of the male homeless population are veterans
68% reside in principal cities
51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
50% have serious mental illness
70% have substance abuse problems

Seth Dixon's insight:

Things to remember on Veteran's Day...homelessness is a major problem for the urban geography of most American cities and veterans are disproportionately affected (including Providence, RI).  Let's remember them on the 364 other days of the year too. 


Tags: urban, poverty, military.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 11, 2015 8:58 PM

Things to remember on Veteran's Day...homelessness is a major problem for the urban geography of most American cities and veterans are disproportionately affected (including Providence, RI).  Let's remember them on the 364 other days of the year too. 


Tags: urban, poverty, military.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 16, 2015 1:27 PM

Being a Marine myself I think of it everyday already. Its sad that at  a young age of 17 with parent consent and a high school diploma or 18 on up a person male or female can enlist into the military and put their life on the line regardless of wartime or not and somehow or someway find themselves homeless or worse homeless with substance abuse and mental illness all at the same time. Keep in mind this was not the issue before enlisting. This, if I am not mistaken as always been a problem for all the years we had a military. Marine Corp birthday 10 November 1776.

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Income and Wealth Inequality

Inequality is a big, big subject. There's racial inequality, gender inequality, and lots and lots of other kinds of inequality. This is Econ, so we're going to talk about wealth inequality and income inequality. There's no question that economic inequality is real. But there is disagreement as to whether income inequality is a problem, and what can or should be done about it.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are many of the 35 videos in the Economics crash course set that touch on geographic issues.   This crash course team explains the difference between wealthy inequality and income inequality.  This video also has a nice laymen’s explanation of the GINI coefficient and how it measures inequality.   In another video in the series, they demonstrate how globalization can be seen as the path to economic growth and others see the process of globalization as what has created poverty

 

Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course

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Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 6:33 PM
It is interesting to see how unequal some income is for people around the world. Especially in countries like China and India that have some of the world's largest populations. These same countries also have some of the lowest incomes in the world for the majority of their citizens. Adding to that, it is intriguing to see how only a small percentage of people hold most of the wealth in the world, while the vast majority of the world population aren't even close to that level of wealth. While the income inequality gap has increased significantly since the time of the industrial revolution and continues to grow bigger.
theascen sionhouse's comment, March 17, 12:54 AM
nice
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The 'War on Sitting' Has a New Front

The 'War on Sitting' Has a New Front | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Cities are removing benches in an effort to counter vagrancy and crime—at the same time that they’re adding them to make the public realm more age-friendly.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there.  Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision.  Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.'  These articles from the Society Pages, Atlas Obscura, the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering, skate boarding, and homelessness, which are all undesirable to local businesses.  This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.'  Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless (and here is an ingenious plan to curb public urination).  

    

Tags: urbanplanning, architecture, landscape, place, poverty.

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Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds

Haiti and the Dominican Republic share a border, and an island. But the two countries are very different today: the Dominican Republic enjoys higher quality of life for many factors than Haiti. I went to this island and visited both countries, to try and understand when and how their paths diverged.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is an exciting debut for the new series "Vox borders."  By just about every development metric available, the Dominican Republic is doing better than Haiti, the only bordering country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the DR.   

 

Questions to Ponder: How does the border impact both countries?  How has sharing one island with different colonial legacies shaped migrational push and pull factors?

 

Tags: Haiti, Dominican Republic, video, poverty, development, economic, labor, migration, political, borders.

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Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 8:41 PM
This video is extremely interesting seeing as it points out the differences between two very different worlds that are only separated by a single border. The video shows how racist the Dominicans are to their neighbors and shows us how the Haitians live under such scrutiny. On each end of the border, there are two markets that are supposed to allow both the Haitians and the Dominicans to trade their goods, however, the strict border patrol officers keep the Haitians from entering until their neighbors have set up their shops at the best spots. The director of the video also notes that he believes the reason Haiti is much poorer than the Dominican Republic stems all the way back to when they were colonies of France and Spain. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 12:47 PM
I found this video to be very insightful into the relationship Haiti has with the Dominican Republic and how the Haitian government has formed into what it is today. It was especially informative for myself because I didn't know very much about these countries before watching this video. I knew Haiti was the first slave colony to have a successful revolt against their slave holders, but I didn't know or realize all the consequences of that slave uprising. It seems like Haiti wasn't given a proper chance right off the bat to succeed as a nation. The French overworked their land and destroyed the soil which is still a problem today. Once Haiti declared independence, many nations enforced embargoes on Haiti because it was considered a threat due to it being a black republic, which strangled their potential for a strong economy. Adding to that France demanded a large sum of money from Haiti after they declared independence because France was upset about losing profits from the colony, which hindered the Haitian economy even more. It's too bad that Haiti got a bad hand of cards right from the beginning, I hope that one day they can rise above adversity, and truly flourish as a nation.
tyrone perry's curator insight, March 14, 10:43 PM
watching this showed many disturbing facts about the island shared by the D.R. and Haiti.  because of both of their previous owners the island went in two different directions.  Haiti owned by the French brought over many slaves to pillage and exploit their side of the Island.  Haiti could not flourish because of racism and debt.  D.R. had a different history the Spaniards integrated with the locals and worked together to help the country grow.  they took care of their land and their was no racism playing any role in destroying the people of that country.  driving up and down the you can see the difference on both sides.  Haiti has a bare and eroded land while the D.R. has lush jungles.  according to the narrator there is strong racism towards the Haitians by the Dominicans.  Even thou they both share the island the Dominicans look down on the Haitians and refuse to help them even thou D.R. is a so to speak rich nation they could really help improve and grow both nations as a whole.  Its sad to see that the reason people cant grow is because of systemic and blatant racism. 
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Venezuela Is Starving

Venezuela Is Starving | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Once Latin America’s richest country, Venezuela can no longer feed its people, hobbled by the nationalization of farms as well as price and currency controls. The resulting hunger and malnutrition are an unfolding tragedy.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  This is because food production is but a small part of a larger picture; the system of food production and distribution in Venezuela has been decimated by the nationalization of private farms.  Individual farmers can’t make a profit in the new political economy and consequently are going to stop producing for the market.  This vicious cycle is political in nature more so than in is agricultural. 

 

Tags: food, poverty, Venezuela, South America, economic, political, governance, agriculture, food production.

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Ms. Amanda Fairchild's curator insight, October 16, 2017 1:27 PM
Seth Dixon's insight: Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes. This is because food production is but a small part of a larger picture; the system of food production and distribution in Venezuela has been decimated by the nationalization of private farms. Individual farmers can’t make a profit in the new political economy and consequently are going to stop producing for the market. This vicious cycle is political in nature more so than in is agricultural.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 9, 10:46 PM
(South America) It's depressing to see the dramatic turn of events in Venezuela's political and economic climate in recent decades, coming from the richest country in Latin America to the country with the world's highest inflation rates and number two on country murder rating. This causes increased levels of crime, stealing and looting food for families to survive. The Venezuelan government has refused foreign aid and yet cannot find a solution to fixing the lack of food, healthcare, and medicine. This problem affects several South American countries and always poses a threat of travelling across borders. We tend to think of the Western World as more enlightened yet just south of the US we find authoritarian countries with the highest crime rates in the world, starving its own people.
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 15, 2:05 PM
Sometimes the world seems like a really hopeless place and this article definetly supports that train of thought.  Venezuela only a few years ago produced enough food to feed themselves and actually had enough surplus that they were able to export.  What they couldn’t grow they would import.  The food shortage that the country is facing is not an agriculture problem in the sense that the land is incapable of producing food or shipping routes have been compromised, but a problem with how the government started running the system.  As one farmer said, “‘The system is created so you can’t win.’”  The government took ownership of many large farms and fertilizer and feed production.  Those groups have barely been producing anything and causes the entire agricultural community to suffer and Venezuelans to starve.  Another problem that is making the situation in Venezuela even worse is that the economy collapsed and inflation is rampant.  The value of currency is so low that people cannot even afford the scarce food available.  There are few employment opportunities, making finances even more strained.  But perhaps the most upsetting part is that children are literally starving to death and there is nothing hospitals can do to stop these deaths because they themselves do not have the resources.  The combination of an economy in shambles and a botched agricultural system have left Venezuelans in turmoil with little government effort to help.  The government is not only not providing help, but they are literally refusing aid from foreign governments who have offered.  Geographically, Venezuela is located in an area with sufficient farm land and large reserves of oil, so they shouldn’t be struggling.  But people have the ability to ruin or ignore what nature has provided them and that is why Venezuelans are withering away.
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Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse

Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The death toll from a collapse at a landfill outside Ethiopia’s capital has risen sharply to 113, an Addis Ababa city official said Wednesday, as the country began three days of mourning for victims who were mostly women and children. Saturday’s collapse of a mountain of garbage buried makeshift mud-and-stick homes inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of the capital."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some geographies are uncomfortable to discuss because they expose some of the social and spatial inequalities that we wish weren't part of economic geographies.

 

Questions to Ponder: Why did this happen?  Why were so many people in the landfill?  

 

Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development, urbanpoverty, squatter.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 31, 3:36 PM
When I think of dumps or garbage I usually don’t think of them being deadly.  Unfortunately in Addis Ababa, part of the dump collapsed and 113 people ended up dying.  Not only did the collapse injure people, but it also wiped out the homes that surround the area.  The lack of codes about infrastructure in the city is most likely the cause of this incident.  There were no regulations about how garbage had to be dumped in order to keep it from collapsing.  There were also no rules about how homes should be built or where they could be built.  This article points out that there were attempts made in order to stop dumping at this particular landfill, but the dumping was resumed right before the collapse.  The government also relocated some of the residents that lived by the dump, but were not able to move everyone before the accident.  Although efforts were made to avoid a situation like this, the government wasn’t forceful or fast enough to prevent it.  Many of the victims of this were women and children which is telling of the culture of the city.  The women and children scavenge the landfill in order to find things they can either repurpose for themselves or sell to make money.  The last section of the article also says that Ethiopia prides itself as being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.  But this incident shows that they still have a ways to go before they can become a more developed country.
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 3:26 PM
Inside the Koshe landfill in Ethiopia, there were makeshift mud and stick homes.  Residents say the collapse the has killed over a hundred residents could have been because of protests at another landfill and some blamed the construction at a new waste to energy plant at Koshe.  families who lost loved ones haverecieved or will receive any where from $430 to $650 each and will be resettled permanently in the coming years.  It is sad to see people living like this but most of all to see a government allow such situations to exist.
Matt Manish's curator insight, May 3, 12:08 AM
According to this article, Ethiopia has one of Africa's fastest growing economies. This tragic event makes me wonder about the spatial inequality of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa. Especially, since capital cities in most nations are usually the most developed part of the country. It would seem that is a more highly developed area like a capital city in Ethiopia, that there would be more adequate housing for residents than a landfill, even if those residents are considered to be poor. From looking at this article it seems as though there must be a wealthier class in the city that is developing rapidly, while the poorer community is forced to live on the outskirts in the landfill. Hopefully a tragedy such as this one never happens again and more suitable housing can be found for the lower class in Ethiopia.
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11 Facts About Food Deserts

11 Facts About Food Deserts | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Food insecurity has a high correlation with increased diabetes rates. In Chicago, the death rate from diabetes in a food desert is twice that of areas with access to grocery stores."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Food deserts are places where residents have limited access to healthy food.  Here is a great map from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that shows low-income census tract that are more than one mile from supermarkets and rural areas that are more than 10 miles from the nearest supermarket.  Esri has also produced a food desert map that shows where unserved people (farther than 1 mile in urban/10 miles in rural) live in poverty.  For a household with a private automobile, distance to a supermarket isn’t that crucial an issue, but without an automobile, this lack of healthy food available becomes a significant challenge for residents that live in this neighborhood.  

 

Tags: food, urban, povertyplace, socioeconomic, food desert.

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Harley Bass's curator insight, January 10, 2017 3:11 PM

This article is connected to human geography by agriculture. We talk and learn about agriculture every day in the class room. I feel like this article is a eye opener to the naive mind of people who do not live in or around food desert areas.

Hailey Austin's curator insight, January 10, 2017 3:22 PM
This is connected to my class because its dealing with agriculture and how they have limited crops. So most of there food is manufactured and unhealthy. I think that food deserts should either be shut down or given better food options.In Chicago, the death rate from diabetes in a food desert is twice that of an area with access to a grocery store.
Mitchell Tasso's curator insight, January 11, 2017 8:57 PM

This article/scoop is very intriguing and cool to read. It goes along with the topic of agriculture and describes the 11 facts that it bares about food deserts whether those facts are good or bad. Overall, I liked this scoop because of the 11 facts and the detail that was provided with them.

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The Best News You Don’t Know

The Best News You Don’t Know | Geography Education | Scoop.it
I’ve covered massacres in South Sudan, concentration camps in Myanmar and widespread stunting in India, but it’s also important to acknowledge the backdrop of global progress. Otherwise, the public may perceive poverty as hopeless and see no point in carrying on the fight — at just the point when we’re making the most rapid gains ever recorded.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The world is winning the war on extreme poverty, but most Americans think that poverty is getting worse. Doom and gloom can dominate media coverage because a horrific tragedy gets better rating than slow incremental improvements.  The general public is often ignorant of the measurable improvements going on in the world today.  No, the world isn’t perfect, but it is getting better. 

 

Tags: mediapoverty, development, economic, perspective.

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Sally Egan's curator insight, October 6, 2016 9:36 PM
This article provides a positive look at the advances made in global development measures.
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The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile

The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Think your city doesn’t like you? You’re right.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there.  Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision.  Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.'  These articles from the Society Pages, Atlas Obscura, the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering, skate boarding, and homelessness, which are all undesirable to local businesses.  This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.'  Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless (and here is an ingenious plan to curb public urination).  

    

Tags: urbanplanning, architecture, landscape, place, poverty.

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Cutting Haiti's Forests

The major environmental problem facing Haiti's biodiversity is explained, including video of tree-cutting within a national park.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Deforestation does not happen in a vacuum--it occurs in an economic, political, and historical context.  Having successfully staged a slave revolution against France in 1806, they were ostracized from the global community (since the powers that be did not want to see slave rebellions or colonial uprising elsewhere) and were forced to look within for their own energy resources.  The nation's forests were (and still are) converted into charcoal, leading to long-term environmental problems such as soil erosion, flooding, and habitat destruction for many species.  All of this increased  increased Haiti's disaster vulnerability in the earthquake of 2010.     

 

Tags: Haiti, biogeography, environmentecology, video, poverty, development, economic, labor.

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chao pan's curator insight, June 15, 2017 6:50 PM

a good video to show how human activity negatively impacts the ecosystem. I will use this video in phase three

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Where Ships Go to Die, Workers Risk Everything

In Bangladesh, men desperate for work perform one of the world's most dangerous jobs. They demolish huge ships in grueling conditions, braving disease
Seth Dixon's insight:

What happens to massive cargo vessels after they are outdated?  There are tons of scrap metal on these ships, but they aren't designed to be taken apart.  The ship-breakers of South Asia (Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are 3 of the 4 global leaders in recycling ships) risk much to mine this resource.  This is an economic function that is a part of a globalized economy, but one than was never intended.  There are major health risks to the workers and pollutants to the local community that are endemic in this industry that manages to survive on the scraps of the global economy.

 

Tags: BangladeshNational Geographic, South Asia, poverty, development, economic, globalization, industry, labor.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, March 29, 8:57 PM
The workers in this video breaking down old cargo ships are indeed risking everything including their health and their lives for their jobs. The conditions and the hours in which they work are extremely hazardous and it seems like there are no rules where anything goes. There are no safety regulations or equipment for workers to wear. Also, their are multiple deaths that occur in this shipyard every year. This type of work is being brought to Bangladesh because the labor there is so cheap and one can see that these workers are truly being exploited for the type of work they are doing in so many ways. Not only is this very difficult work, but it is extremely dangerous to their health and their lives. More structure and safety regulations should be put in place so this industry in Bangladesh can grow and help the economy there, as well as keep their workers safe most importantly.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 23, 12:22 PM
The dangerous conditions of working on these ships is impossible to imagine. Toxic chemicals and fumes, risks of collapses, explosions, or falling debris makes this job borderline inhumane. The risks to workers seems irrelevant in the eyes of the owners of these ships who com to Bangladesh because they know the environmental and workplace regulations are nonexistent. However, this entire situation is created by the swelling pressures of globalization and rapidly accelerating international sea trade.
tyrone perry's curator insight, May 2, 12:24 PM
Bangladesh is one of the largest shipwrecking ports in the world.  This is a very dangerous and low paying job.  because work is so scarce in Bangladesh there are many skill less people looking for work at any cost.  many ships show up with dangerous gasses still in the ship and also lined with asbestos.  on average in the last few years about 15 people die a year.  This has become large because of cheap labor and low environmental and safety standards.
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I Have Been to the Mountaintop

Audio http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm
Seth Dixon's insight:

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.   Shared above is his last speech given the day before he died in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

Tags: historical, race, poverty

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Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 4, 2016 8:59 PM

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.   Shared above is his last speech given the day before he died in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

Tags: historical, race, poverty. 

Leonardo Wild's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:31 AM

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.   Shared above is his last speech given the day before he died in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

Tags: historical, race, poverty. 

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Why don't black and white Americans live together?

Why don't black and white Americans live together? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In many parts of the US, Americans of different races aren't neighbours - they don't go to the same schools, they don't always have access to the same services.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is filled with good geography (and more specifically AP Human Geography) vocabulary.  Redlining, blockbusting, and racial covenants are all discussed as spatial process that have shaped socioeconomic and racial characteristics in American cities. 

 

Tags: neighborhood, urban, socioeconomic, racepoverty, spatialhousing.

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