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The Mysterious Life (and Death) of Africa’s Oldest Trees

The Mysterious Life (and Death) of Africa’s Oldest Trees | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Learn about one of the world's most iconic tree species, the baobab tree, and discover why these endangered trees might be on their way to extinction—or might outlive us all."

Seth Dixon's insight:

So are the endangered baobab trees victims of the effects of climate change?  The baobab, which has made so many wax poetic, is undergoing a steep decline.  Although scientists are unsure of the reasons and possible solutions, this is a nice piece exploring the cultural and ecological significance of one of the more magnificent trees on our planet.      

 

GeoEd Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Africa,political ecology, Botswana.

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Pacific nation Tuvalu has grown by 73 hectares over 40 years

Pacific nation Tuvalu has grown by 73 hectares over 40 years | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu – once thought to be under threat from rising sea levels – has grown the size of California's Disneyland over the past 40 years. It's mostly thanks to waves dumping extra sediment, sand and gravel on shore lines, according to research by Auckland University scientists. The study, published in the Nature Communications journal on Friday, was the first in-depth look at how much each of Tuvalu's 101 islands have changed over the decades."

 

Tags: Oceaniawatercoastal, environment, physical, geomorphology, erosiongeology, landforms.

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Borders and the Arctic Ocean

The ice in the Arctic is disappearing. Melting Arctic ice means new economic opportunities: trade routes in the Arctic ocean, and access to natural resources. Because of this, the Arctic nations are now moving to expand their border claims. Russia has shown that it’s the most ambitious, using a potent combination of soft power and military buildup to advance its agenda. They’ve said the Arctic is rightfully theirs.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is the second video in "Vox borders" series that is shaping up to be an excellent resources for geography educators.  This focus is on Svalbard and Russia's designs within the Arctic, but this TestTube episode is a shorter version that emphasizes how receding summer ice is being seen as an economic opportunity for all maritime claims in the Arctic.  Canada, the U.S., Russia, and Denmark (Greenland) all are subtly expanding their maritime claims.

 

Questions to Ponder: How do borders impact the develop/preservation of the Arctic?  How should uninhabited lands and waters be administered politically?

 

 

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Matt Manish's curator insight, February 17, 2018 3:31 AM
Since the 1980's a significant amount of ice in Antarctic ocean has melted away. This is a big deal because this is causing the changing of borders in this part of the world. With all the ice melting in Antarctica, this opens up new shipping lanes with much faster routes. This also makes it much easier for to drill for natural resources such as gas and oil, that were once difficult to get to because they were covered in ice. This is causing countries like Russia, Canada, Finland, and others to desire for new borders to be drawn up, hopefully in favor of their nation. Russia has even started developing military bases on some of the coast line that is opening up in Antarctica. It will be interesting to see how the borders in the Arctic circle are going to change and how it will also effect world trade in that part of the world.
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 2018 11:36 AM

Preliminary - Political Geography 

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 8:09 PM
In this video, Vox Borders looks into who owns the Arctic. Because of the significant melting ice, the water ways of the Arctic may be opening up… this video looks into the efforts that Russia has made to declare the region. For example, off the coast of Russia, near the north pole lies a mining town, that was established to make sure Russia has a spot that they can declare as their own in the Arctic.
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Alluvial Fans

Alluvial Fans | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When a mountain stream carries a lot of sediment (clay, silt, sand, gravel, cobbles, and boulders) and leaves the confines of the canyon, the sediment is deposited. Over time, this process creates a fan-shaped deposit. The sediment is deposited not because the gradient of the stream decreased, but because the power of the stream dissipates beyond the canyon mouth as the water is spread thin and infiitrates. Many cities are built on alluvium fans, often leading to hazards from flash floods and mudflows."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In mountainous, interior deserts, the largest settlements are usually not deep in the deserts or on top of the mountains but in that in between space.  Many settlements in Central Asia are built on these alluvial fans

 

Tags: environment, physical, geomorphology, erosiongeology, California, landforms.

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othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 8:41 AM
This post explains when a mountain stream carries a lot of sediment and leaves a canyon, the sediment is deposited. "The sediment is deposited not because the gradient of the stream decreased, but because the power of the stream dissipates." Over time, it creates a fan-shaped deposit. This called an alluvial fan. Many cities are built on alluvium fans, which can cause flash floods and mud flows. Alluvial fans are found in deserts and humid regions.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, October 29, 2018 3:29 PM
What is an Alluvial Fan? 

An Alluvial fan is a fan or cone shaped deposit of sediments ( clay silt, sand, gravel, cobbles or boulders) that cross and build up in streams and over time creates this fan shaped deposit. The sediment is not deposited because the slope of the stream decreased, but because the power and velocity of the stream became too thin. Many villages and towns build around Alluvial fans but there is always often floods and mudflows.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 4:09 PM
The Alluvial Fans have a unique layout and supports the cities that have formed around it. Yes, there can be flash floods and mud-flows but the resources there keep the agriculture flourishing. 
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"The Last of the Free Seas"

"The Last of the Free Seas" | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Last of the Free Seas is the title of this fantastic map of the Great Lakes made by Boris Artzbasheff.  It was published in Fortune Magazine in July 1940."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The inland waterways were absolutely critical to the demographic and economic development of the eastern part of the United States, especially from 1820-1940.  Before World War II, Great Lakes shipping exceeded the tonnage of U.S. Pacific Coast shipping (see hi-res map here). World War II and the beginning of the Cold War led to a consolidation of naval power for the United States and its allies, greatly expanding Pacific shipping trade and spurring fast-developing economies countries. 

 

Great Lakes shipping dramatically declined, in part because steel production has gone to lower-cost producers that were connected to the U.S. economy through the expanded trade.  Some could see irony since the steel warships created from the Great Lakes manufacturing enabled expanded Pacific and Atlantic trade that led to the decline of Great Lakes manufacturing and regional struggles in the rust belt.  Still, more than 200 million tons of cargo, mostly iron ore, coal, and grain, travel across the Great Lakes annually.

 

This deindustrialization clearly is a huge economic negative but the environmental impacts for lakeside communities has been enormous.  Industrial emissions in the watershed and shipping pollution in the lakes went down as waterfowl populations returned and more waterfront property became swimmable again.  Still this map of the environmental stress on the Great Lakes shows they are far from pristine.    

 

Tagsenvironment, historicalwater, resources, transportation, industry, economicregions, globalization.

 

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, August 9, 2017 2:08 AM
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A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard

A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Henderson Island is isolated and uninhabited—but its beaches are still covered in garbage.  

 

Henderson Island (article or podcast) is about the most remote place you can visit without leaving the planet. It sits squarely in the middle of the South Pacific, 3,500 miles from New Zealand in one direction and another 3,500 miles from South America in the other.  Henderson should be pristine. It is uninhabited. Tourists don’t go there. There’s no one around to drop any litter. The whole place was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1988. The nearest settlement is 71 miles away, and has just 40 people on it. And yet, seafaring plastic has turned it into yet another of humanity’s scrapheaps.

 

Tags: pollutionOceaniawater, environmentsustainability, consumption.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 26, 2018 6:49 PM
If I had looked at this picture without the context, I would think it was somewhere where people had stayed for a while and then left the place trashed with their own garbage.  In reality,  this is an island that is 3500 miles away from the nearest major settlement and doesn’t have any human inhabitants.  This really exemplifies that even though plastic waste may not be in one’s backyard, it never truly goes away.  Plastic is a material that cannot be broken down, so when it is dumped it just moves around until it hits land.  The article pointed out that plastic is incredibly difficult to clean up, particularly on places like Henderson Island.  When it floats in the ocean for a long time, it becomes brittle and breaks into very small fragments.  Those small fragments then mix with the sand and get buried, making it impossible to get rid of.  Another fact about this island that was shocking is that 3,750 pieces of litter wash up everyday, which is 100,000 times than other islands.  Henderson Island is not suitable for humans to live on, as there is no freshwater, frequent storms, and incredibly sharp terrain.  It is interesting that an island that keeps humans away can’t defend itself against plastic.  The reach of humans extends far beyond what they imagine and even uninhabitable land is infested with human waste.  No matter how remote a place is, it will still be effected by people.
David Stiger's curator insight, December 5, 2018 5:08 PM
Although a remote place like Henderson Island is uninhabited, the amount of trash that blankets its shores should still be alarming to humans. It is highly visual evidence of the damage that human waste is having on the earth as a whole. If this much trash if landing on the shores of an island, which is surely degrading the environmental quality and ecosystem, then how much trash lies underneath the waves of our blue planet? This means that coral reefs, the source of fish, and ocean water that transforms into water vapor forming clouds is all contaminated. If something ends up in the oceans, it will eventually end up in our food chain. The marred beaches of Henderson Island illustrate what is happening to nature's cycles. 

While human behavior is the driving force, we can also discern that another main culprit is a global culture of plastic. Humans use way too much plastic and its constant disposal is creating a toxic environment in which people live. It is not enough to say this is a tragic situation and forget about it. It is also not enough to examine one's own life and decide to reduce their personal plastic consumption. No, this is a systemic problem that runs deep in our modern societies. This requires mass political action. The photos and morbid stories serve as devices to inform people and have them feel something. It is up to people to demand policies and laws from both governments and corporations to change our ways. As the article stated, a cleanup of the island (and other islands) will be futile. The only thing to do is to mitigate the worst effects by cutting the problem at its source - the production of plastic. And, it has to be done on a global scale. 

Shifting away from plastic to a more environmentally friendly material will be difficult but not impossible. In this case, if there is a will there is a way. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 16, 2018 1:36 AM
It is sickening to see how a uninhabited island can still be ruined by human products. People need to realize that they are hurting more and more islands and need to open their eyes. With people so far away we can still effect ecosystems terribly. 
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The Fallacy of Endless Economic Growth

The Fallacy of Endless Economic Growth | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What economists around the world get wrong about the future.

 

The idea that economic growth can continue forever on a finite planet is the unifying faith of industrial civilization. That it is nonsensical in the extreme, a deluded fantasy, doesn't appear to bother us. We hear the holy truth in the decrees of elected officials, in the laments of economists about flagging GDP, in the authoritative pages of opinion, in the whirligig of advertising, at the World Bank and on Wall Street, in the prospectuses of globe-spanning corporations and in the halls of the smallest small-town chambers of commerce. Growth is sacrosanct. Growth will bring jobs and income, which allow us entry into the state of grace known as affluence, which permits us to consume more, providing more jobs for more people producing more goods and services so that the all-mighty economy can continue to grow. "Growth is our idol, our golden calf," Herman Daly, an economist known for his anti-growth heresies, told me recently.

 

Tagsop-ed, economicindustry, sustainability, development, consumption, climate change, environment, resources.

 

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How Cookiecutter Sharks Eat Is Terrifying

Do not be fooled by its adorable name—the cookiecutter shark attacks by suctioning its lips to the flesh of its victims, spins, and ejects a cylindrical plug of flesh from its prey!
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is the most delightfully fun video about one of the creepiest critters of the deep. 

 

Tags: water, biogeography, environment, physical, National Geographic.

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Water Is Life

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled South Sudan to escape the civil war. When they arrive in Uganda, water is what they need most. Without it, they will die.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Next to nothing in this video will make you happy about the way things operate for refugees in Northern Uganda who have fled from South Sudan.  We all know the about the dire conditions that refugees face, but knowing about the specifics, and hearing stories from the refugees about their lives and living conditions is powerful.  A huge influx of refugees can tax local resources, especially water.  Food can be shipped in, but water a much more locally variable resource.   The UN refugee camps recommend at least 15 liters of water per person be made available each day, but often it is more like 4-8 liters in these camps.  Dedicated wells (or boreholes) are more effective, but costly.  Trucking in water from the Nile River is the preferred method to simply keep these drowning people’s heads above water.    

 

Questions to Ponder: Consider how much water you drink, use for cooking, bathing, etc. per day in your household.  How difficult would it be to live on 4 liters of water a day?  What about your lifestyle would be changed? 

 

TagsAfrica, development, Uganda, South Sudan, migrationrefugees, environment, waterenvironment depend, sustainability, resources.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, April 9, 2017 4:49 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Interrelationships; Geographic Perspective;
Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 5, 2017 5:15 PM

Next to nothing in this video will make you happy about the way things operate for refugees in Northern Uganda who have fled from South Sudan.  We all know the about the dire conditions that refugees face, but knowing about the specifics, and hearing stories from the refugees about their lives and living conditions is powerful.  A huge influx of refugees can tax local resources, especially water.  Food can be shipped in, but water a much more locally variable resource.   The UN refugee camps recommend at least 15 liters of water per person be made available each day, but often it is more like 4-8 liters in these camps.  Dedicated wells (or boreholes) are more effective, but costly.  Trucking in water from the Nile River is the preferred method to simply keep these drowning people’s heads above water.    

 

Questions to Ponder: Consider how much water you drink, use for cooking, bathing, etc. per day in your household.  How difficult would it be to live on 4 liters of water a day?  What about your lifestyle would be changed? 

 

TagsAfrica, development, Uganda, South Sudan, migrationrefugees, environment, water,  environment depend, sustainability, resources.

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Senegal's Great Green Wall combats desertification

"A 7,000 km barrier is being built along the footsteps of the Sahara to stop the desert expanding. The Great Green Wall project started in 2007 in Senegal, along with 10 countries in Africa to combat the effects of climate change. Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Widou, deep in the Sahel."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Great Green Wall initiative is composed of 11 countries that are cooperating together to combat the physical and human geographic characteristics that make the Sahel one of the more vulnerable ecosystems in the world.  This swath running through Africa is the transition zone where tropical Africa meets the Sahara.  The Sahel is susceptible to drought, overgrazing, land degradation and desertification.  These issues of resource management and land use transcend international borders so this "Green Wall" was created with the intent to protect the environment, landscapes and people of the Sahel from desert encroachment (the shorter, social media friendly version of this video is available here).

 

Tags: Africa, Senegal, development, environment, waterbiogeography, ecology, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, supranationalism, political ecology.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 1, 2018 2:34 AM
This “Green Wall” was originally supposed to span the southern border of the Sahara from the east to west coast of Africa. It was made up of trees and elements of forests in order to prevent the desert from expanding and reducing the amount of land available for food production. This seems like it would be a great idea that would work well, but the plan has some flaws. In the early stages of building up the barrier, nomadic herders are supposed to be prohibited from using the land, as their cattle would destroy it. However, the system in place in Somolia sees only one soldier guarding hundreds of kilometers by himself. The nomadic people are often desperate for food, so they often try to break in and sometimes resort to violence. This is problematic because it defeats the purpose of the barrier in increasing the farm land. Many of the countries in along the “Green Wall” do not maintain it as well as they should and Nigeria actually abandoned the project all together. For this reason many ecologists believe the effort is a waste and the climate change can not be stopped. But the efforts of the Somalians has paid off. Crops such as grapefruit and watermelon have been grown in areas that would have been unsuitable for such crops a few years ago. Migratory European birds also settle in the area during the winter. Another benefit that comes from the Wall is that nomads are not forced to join terrorist organizations as their only sources for food, because farming is made easier in the Sahel. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 2018 8:12 PM
The great green wall is a man made ecological wall from the Atlantic ocean thru 10 countries to the red sea.  This is to prevent the desert from expanding, but also it is protected from nomadic herders, and loss of food.  This project still has a long way to go but ha not been completely abandoned yet. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 3:12 PM
Although Senegal is one of the few countries in the Sahel to actually follow through on its promise of building its green wall, it may be fruitless in the long run. The expansion of desert regions seems relentless. However, what is most surprising is how rapidly the ecosystems have changed and the crops that can be grown there. Watermelon, grapefruit, and European migratory songbirds have all taken hold, drastically altering the agriculture and environment of the region. 
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As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A costly plan to build floating islands shows how climate change is pushing the search for innovative solutions, but some critics ask who will ultimately benefit.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As coastal communities are considering what the tangible impacts of climate change might be, things that were once considered science fiction could be a part of how people adapt to the modifications we've collectively made to our global environment that we depend on to sustain life.  

 

Tags: physicaltechnologysustainability, climate change, environment, resources, watercoastal, environment dependenvironment adapt, environment modify.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 15, 2017 12:49 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships, Geographic Perspective.
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Creating RI's Off-Shore Wind Farm

Creating RI's Off-Shore Wind Farm | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Today, to the southeast of Block Island, there are five new structures rising from the ocean. These are the towers of the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF), the first offshore wind energy installation in the United States. The turbines will generate 30 megawatts of energy; providing electricity to 17,000 households on Block Island and coastal Rhode Island (McCann, 2016), and replacing the diesel generators that previously powered New Shoreham. The turbines are on schedule to begin turning in November 2016 once commissioning is complete.
Seth Dixon's insight:

One of the overriding, major take-home points of this ESRI StoryMap, is that a project of this scale, scope, and magnitude requires geographic data across many disciplines (to see the largest off-shore wind farm in the world, click here).

 

Tags: mapping, Rhode IslandESRIStoryMap, GISresources, water, coastalenergy, environment depend.

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WORKSHEETS: Climate Migrants

WORKSHEETS: Climate Migrants | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The ESRI storymap on climate refugees does a phenomenal job sampling locations in the world that experience migration effects as a result of climate change. Attached is a guided worksheet that accompanies the ESRI Climate Migrant Storymap."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This StoryMap shows some key regions where migrants are fleeing some of the negative impacts of climate change and one APHG teacher has created a fabulous worksheet to guide students through this great resource.   

 

TagsAPHG, climate changemigrationrefugees, environment, coastalmappingESRIStoryMap, political ecology.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, January 26, 2017 7:51 PM
Geographic Concepts: Spatial Significance, Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships, Geographic Perspective
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Identifying Illegal Overfishing

Identifying Illegal Overfishing | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The vast majority of fishing vessels follow the rules governing fishing – but many are not, and these bad actors can cause a lot of damage. Vessels may take too many fish ­– overfishing – which is causing our fisheries to collapse. Then there is the problem of illegal fishing, which can occur in protected areas, in another country’s waters or on the high seas. This threatens jobs and food security for millions of people, all around the world.

The trouble is, so much of this illegal activity is hidden – it happens out to sea, making it difficult to scrutinize what individual vessels are getting up to. Fortunately, we are now beginning to see what happens after commercial fishing vessels leave port.

The interactive map we created allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to see the activities of the commercial fishing fleet globally."

 

Scoop.it Tags: water, conservation, biogeography, environmentpollution, resourcesmappingfood production, agriculture.

WordPress TAGS: water, biogeography, environment, pollution, resources, mapping, food production, agriculture.

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How to Defeat Drought

How to Defeat Drought | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Cape Town is running out of water. Israel offers some lessons on how to avoid that fate.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most droughts are caused by a combination of human and physical geographic factors. Cape Town is current in the midst of a 3 year long drought that is causing many officials to consider drastic measures such as cutting off all private water taps and rationing out 13 gallons per resident per day.  

 

I would like for us to also consider cases beyond South Africa, and think about the the broader issues of resource management, urbanization, resilience, and changing climatic conditions.  Resources Watch discusses critical water shortages in Morocco, India, Iraq and Spain with excellent maps, charts, and graphs. This article from Foreign Policy demonstrates how Israel has worked to maximize their minimal water resources (recycling grey water for agriculture and desalinization). The World Resources Institute discusses 3 things cities can glean from the South African crisis (1. Understand risks, 2. Manage the water budget, and 3. Invest in resilience).  

 

Tags: drought, water, environment, technologyenvironment modify, South AfricaIsrael, Spain, MoroccoIndiaIraq.

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dustin colprit's curator insight, September 30, 2018 4:52 AM
Droughts are a serious issue that many countries can often experience. Developing more solutions to future droughts and water supply will be beneficial for everyone. 
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The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers

The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Hinduism shares an intricate, intimate relationship with the climate, geography, and biodiversity of South Asia; its festivals, deities, mythology, scriptures, calendar, rituals, and even superstitions are rooted in nature. There is a strong bond between Hinduism and South Asia’s forests, wildlife, rivers, seasons, mountains, soils, climate, and richly varied geography, which is manifest in the traditional layout of a typical Hindu household’s annual schedule. Hinduism’s existence is tied to all of these natural entities, and more prominently, to South Asia’s rivers.

 

Hinduism as a religion celebrates nature’s bounty, and what could be more representative of nature’s bounty than a river valley? South Asian rivers have sustained and nourished Hindu civilizations for centuries. They are responsible for our prosperous agriculture, timely monsoons, diverse aquatic ecosystems, riverine trade and commerce, and cultural richness.  Heavily dammed, drying in patches, infested by sand mafia and land grabbers, poisoned by untreated sewage and industrial waste, and hit by climate change — our rivers, the cradle of Hinduism, are in a sorry state.

 

If there is ever a threat to Hinduism, this is it. Destroy South Asia’s rivers and with it, Hinduism’s history and mythology will be destroyed. Rituals will turn into mockery, festivals, a farce, and Hinduism itself, a glaring example of man’s hypocritical relationship with nature. The fact that we worship our rivers as mothers and then choke them to death with all sorts of filth is already eminent.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This might be a controversial op-ed because it has a strong perspective on the religious and environmental dimensions of modern Indian politics...that said, I think it is well worth the read.  The Ganges is both a holy river, and a polluted river; that juxtaposition leads to many issues confronting India today. 

 

Tagsculturereligion, India, South Asia, Hinduism, pollution, industry,   environment, sustainability, consumption, fluvial

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Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:21 AM
Religion is shaped by the geography of the region in which it develops.  For example, Hinduism is heavily influenced by the rivers of India, and these rivers are considered holy places sites and places of cleansing and purification.  However, the cleansing power of the rivers is diminished by pollution that makes it unsafe to take part in ritual bathing.  Pollution, climate change, and deforestation are also having an impact on other aspects of Hinduism, which is about celebrating nature in it's entirety, including monsoons, forests, and agriculture.  As nature continues to be negatively impacted by human activity, many aspects of Hinduism will also be negatively impacted.
David Stiger's curator insight, November 12, 2018 8:19 PM
Sometimes both sides can be wrong in an argument, as illustrated in this article. The secular left in India has mistaken their conservative Hindu counterparts as a people stuck in tradition, unable to address the environmental calamities facing modern society. The more right-leaning Hindus believe the secular environmentalism of their countrymen to be antagonistic to the practice of Hinduism - such as the environmental restrictions on firecrackers. Hindus celebrating Diwali feel that fireworks are a central part of the festivities and do not want environmentalists restricting them. The author notes that both sides have missed the point. Hinduism is closely tied to nature and expresses notions of environmental stewardship as a holy endeavor. Liberal Indians do not need to see Hinduism as opposed to environmental sustainability and should stop criticizing Hinduism as a whole. Traditionally religious Hindus should be aware that their own faith would have them be environmentalists - not because of secularism - but because of divine inspirations to coexist with nature. While both sides bicker, failing to understand how Hinduism is pro-nature, the rivers are being ruined by pollution. This pollution will destroy nature, and nature is the foundation and driving force of the Hindu religion. This is because Hinduism was founded around a  river valley civilization - the river and arable land being central to the culture's vitality. 

In some ways, this situation reminds me of Christianity in America. Liberals are very concerned about the environment and climate change in particular. Conservative Christians, buying into a theology of "Dominionism" of Genesis, believe God gave the earth to humans to use however they please. Paired with a suspicion of science, conservative evangelicals have largely shunned environmental sustainability and conservation. A closer reading of the Bible would show that God values nature and wants creation to grow and thrive. Humans should be stewards of the environment - its destined caretakers. Instead, liberals think Christianity preaches stupidity while conservative Christians believe the science behind environmentalism is anti-God, aligned with communism, and probably a hoax to manipulate the faithful. 


Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 8:08 PM
The river plays a key role in India. Whether its culture, religion, histor,y in agriculture, in transportation, and in many other aspects. These once bountiful rivers that sustained Indian civilizations are now threatened by pollution, climate change, damns, and other man made reasons. At best if this is problem is not solved it will lead to drastic changes in Indian society, at worse it could lead to the collapse of Indian society, Starting with the end of Hindu rituals. 
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The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics

The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"[A new paper], published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, calculates that rivers contribute between 410,000 and 4 million tonnes a year to oceanic plastic debris, with 88 to 95% [of that total] coming from only 10. Those rivers are the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl, Amur and Mekong in east Asia, the Indus and Ganges Delta in south Asia, and the Niger and Nile in Africa."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Of river-based plastic pollution, these 10 rivers are responsible for 88%-95% of all the plastic gyrating in the world's oceans.  Improvement in these key places could make a world of difference in improving marine ecosystems (NOTE: the map came from this alternative article on the same subject).

 

Tags: pollution, water, environmentsustainability, consumption, fluvial.

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Matt Richardson's curator insight, January 3, 2018 6:22 PM
Baltimore harbor has an odd contraption that is scooping plastic out of Jones Falls before it reaches the outer harbor. If only this machine could operate in these 10 river systems, which are contributing waste to our embattled/trashed/overfished/warming oceans. .
Matt Manish's curator insight, April 4, 2018 5:44 PM
It struck me as odd to learn that the majority of plastic that winds up in the ocean isn't actually from ocean activities. Also, that these ten rivers contribute up to 88 to 95% of plastics in the ocean. This is a huge margin of these materials coming from these ten major river systems, most of them being in Asia. This makes me wonder why are mostly Asia's rivers carrying so much trash to ocean. It could be the major cities sitting along the banks that are dumping trash into the river and letting float down steam. Also, I wonder if there possibly isn't an efficient enough sanitation system set up in Asia which could lead to more people just throwing their trash into these rivers. To summarize, something from the data in this article tells me that their is a common denominator as to why most of the rivers that carry the largest amount of plastic materials to the ocean every year are located in Asia.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, December 14, 2018 6:48 PM
In East Asia the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl Amur, Mekong. South Asia, Indus, Ganges Delta and in Africa the Niger and Nile River are responsible for dumping 4 million tonnes of plastic into the sea each year. Previous research has found 1/4 of plastic and trash comes from marine activity such as ships, fishing boats or drilling platforms. The 4/5 left comes from land totals 4.8 to 12 million tonnes. 
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Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise

Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Federal maps help determine who on the coast must buy flood insurance, but many don't include the latest data. Maryland is now making its own flood maps, so homeowners can see if they're at risk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geographic themes are overflowing (it was an unintended pun, but I'll just let that wash over you) in this podcast.  I suggest playing a game early in the year/semester called "find the geography."  What geographic theme/content areas will your students find in this podcast? 

 

Tagspodcast, mapping, cartography, climate change, environment, watercoastal,  urban, planningurban ecology.

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M Sullivan's curator insight, August 7, 2017 2:14 AM
Useful for Geographical Processes Unit of Inquiry
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America's Best Long Trails

America's Best Long Trails | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Plan your next big hike with this map of America's most-loved long trails.
Seth Dixon's insight:

My uncle hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail and as a kid the enormity of that feat was both inspirational and mind-boggling.  Recently I watched an incredible documentary about an ultra-marathoner's quest on Vermont's Long Trail (Finding Traction: free on Amazon Prime--trailer here).  While I doubt most of us could go the full length of these trails given our jobs, fitness levels, etc., I do think that getting outside to explore some of the physical environments in our local areas this summer sounds like a fantastic idea (high-res map here).  

 

Tags: transportation, landscape, place, sportphysical, environment, mappingmap.

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Short Film: How Water Gets From The Nile To Thirsty Refugees

Short Film: How Water Gets From The Nile To Thirsty Refugees | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled the civil war in South Sudan and resettled in Uganda. This 12-minute documentary shows the daily struggle to get water.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Next to nothing in this video will make you happy about the way things operate for refugees in Northern Uganda who have fled from South Sudan.  We all know the about the dire conditions that refugees face, but knowing about the specifics, and hearing stories from the refugees about their lives and living conditions is powerful.  A huge influx of refugees can tax local resources, especially water.  Food can be shipped in, but water a much more locally variable resource.   The UN refugee camps recommend at least 15 liters of water per person be made available each day, but often it is more like 4-8 liters in these camps.  Dedicated wells (or boreholes) are more effective, but costly.  Trucking in water from the Nile River is the preferred method to simply keep these drowning people’s heads above water.    

Questions to Ponder: Consider how much water you drink, use for cooking, bathing, etc. per day in your household.  How difficult would it be to live on 4 liters of water a day?  What about your lifestyle would be changed? 

 

Tags: Africa, development, Uganda, migrationrefugees, environment, water, sustainability, resources.

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Kimmy Jay's curator insight, May 10, 2017 8:51 PM
This would be good to show during 6th grade lesson on refugees 

Matt Richardson's curator insight, May 10, 2017 11:43 PM
The multiple catastrophes occurring in Central Africa at the moment are among the worst in recorded history. These traumatized people need to be heard, understood, and helped. 
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Mapping the human impact on the Great Lakes

Mapping the human impact on the Great Lakes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"It’s no secret that the Great Lakes are suffering tremendous ecological strain — Lake Erie was even pronounced “dead” for a time during the 1960s because of an overload of phosphorus from municipal waste. Back in 1615, though, when the entire region was pristine and explorers Samuel de Champlain and Étienne Brûlé gazed out together from Lake Huron’s shores, they dubbed it la mer douce, 'the sweet sea.' Today roughly one-quarter of Canada’s population and a 10th of America’s population drink from the Great Lakes basin; the beleaguered lakes alone hold more than a fifth of Earth’s freshwater."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What watershed do you live in?  Where does your drinking water come from?  When you flush the toilet, where does it go? How are places in your watershed linked?  How does this similar map shed more light on these issues?  

 

TagsCanada, environment, resources, waterspatial, scale

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Lou Salza's curator insight, April 15, 2017 4:52 PM
These lakes are a tremendous resource, not only for the region but the nation as well. They need our attention and protection.-Lou 
 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, February 9, 2018 2:58 AM
It is amazing, in a sad way, to see how in just four centuries these lakes have gone from "la mer douce" to "dead." This map is a reminder of the damage humans do to the environment on a daily basis, and of the importance of protecting our natural resources.  Considering the fact that these lakes hold roughly one fifth of all of the fresh water on the planet and provide drinking water for millions of people in both the U.S. and Canada, we need to think about the impact we have on the world around us and how that impact can come back to bite us on the rear end.
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Jackalopes Return to Yellowstone Ecosystem

Jackalopes Return to Yellowstone Ecosystem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
After a 93 year hiatus, the elusive Jackalope has returned to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem! These beautiful, yet frightening, creatures were once widely collected by tourists, but better management practices have allowed a re-introduced pack to thrive again. These guys have been sporadically spotted all around the west, including Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico. Idaho allowed a “shoot on sight” policy for jackalopes, so they have not been seen there in quite a while.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Long live the Jackalope!!  May the majestic creature once again flourish in the West. 

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, fun.

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Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A host of environmental factors are threatening to push a crowded capital toward a breaking point."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Urban ecology, environmental justice, gendered inequities, primate city politics, the struggle of growing megacities…it’s all here in this fantastic piece of investigative reporting.  The article highlights the ecological problems that Mexico City faces (high-altitude exacerbates air pollution, interior drainage worsens water pollution, limited aquifers that are overworked lead to subsidence, importing water outside of the basin requires enormous amounts of energy, etc.).  just because the article doesn't use the word 'geography' doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly geographic. All of these problems are at the heart of human-environmental nexus of 21st century urbanization. 

   

Tags: urban, megacities, water, environment, Mexico.

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Danielle Yen's curator insight, March 3, 2017 1:45 PM

Urban ecology, environmental justice, gendered inequities, primate city politics, the struggle of growing megacities…it’s all here in this fantastic piece of investigative reporting.  The article highlights the ecological problems that Mexico City faces (high-altitude exacerbates air pollution, interior drainage worsens water pollution, limited aquifers that are overworked lead to subsidence, importing water outside of the basin requires enormous amounts of energy, etc.).  just because the article doesn't use the word 'geography' doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly geographic. All of these problems are at the heart of human-environmental nexus of 21st century urbanization. 

   

Tags: urban, megacities, water, environment, Mexico.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 8, 2018 6:04 PM
(Mexico/Central America) Mexico city seems to be built in the worst way possible. The original Aztec architects could not imagine the locational problems the city faces today. Originally built on an island, Spanish conquerors drained the lakes and created an inland, mountainous position that causes the city to sink inches every year. Ironically, the city is now forced to use underground water sources or expensively import drinking water and poor locals can rarely count on tap water. The uneven clay and volcanic soil foundation and climate change further drives subsidence of this unplanned metropolis. Climate change will also create a series of floods and droughts and the inefficient sewage and water system will lead to devastation.
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Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here | Geography Education | Scoop.it
One of the driest countries on Earth now makes more freshwater than it needs

 

Driven by necessity, Israel is learning to squeeze more out of a drop of water than any country on Earth; researchers have pioneered new techniques in drip irrigation, water treatment and desalination. “The Middle East is drying up,” says Osnat Gillor, a professor at the Zuckerberg Institute who studies the use of recycled wastewater on crops. “The only country that isn’t suffering acute water stress is Israel.” That water stress has been a major factor in the turmoil tearing apart the Middle East, but Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause.

 

Tags: drought, water, environment, Israeltechnology, Middle East.

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Susan Grice's curator insight, February 4, 2017 1:51 PM
GReat!
1
Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 5, 2017 10:03 PM
Geographic Concepts: Spatial Significance, Geographic Perspective
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 9:16 PM
This connects to the physical geography of Israel as it was once incredibly dry, facing a decade long drought. This ruined the agriculture sector of their economy as well, along with changing the people's way of life. However, desalination has saved the country, and Israel really had no other choice. Instead, the country is now a water giant, and has an overabundance through new technologies. 
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Paris mayor unveils plan ​to restrict traffic and pedestrianize city center

Paris mayor unveils plan ​to restrict traffic and pedestrianize city center | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Anne Hidalgo says she wants to cut the number of cars in French capital by half as part of campaign to tackle pollution
Seth Dixon's insight:

The world's biggest cities are struggling to maintain access to congested downtown areas and still ensure that the downtown maintains it's historic sense of place that generate so much tourism and concentration of cultural amenities.  Pollution is driving cities to change as the private automobile as the default mode of transportation becomes less feasible and unsustainable as cities expand to be far larger than they ever have been before.  

 

Tags: urban, environmentpollution, urban ecology, France, place, tourism, Paris, megacities, transportation.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, February 6, 2018 3:02 PM
Traffic, nobody likes to hear that word, but we are always unable to avoid it. In any major city traffic is a way of life, but how can we control it. The Mayor or Paris Anne Hidalgo has been looking for a way to limit the amount of the cars in the city or find a way to diverge traffic to some areas. Some of the reasons behind it are to address pollution issues in a city that has seen incredible increase in population and a rise in cars, which obviously gives way pollution. However, it will take time to improve public transportation and they can divert traffic as much as possible, however people still need to be able to get to work and from place to place. Also for foreigners  on vacation in Paris, obviously a popular place to go, how do you deal with population problems and vacationers?  Tourism is very important for Paris and there is a few concerns with cars, first off if the city becomes overtaken by smog that is never a good thing. Second, if you divert traffic to areas it may confuse travelers, and thirdly if you make major changes to roads or buildings do you change the beautiful landscape of Paris? These issues will be challenges for many Mayors or government officials all over the world, sadly there is not an easy answer. 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 7:05 PM
In an effort to clear some of the traffic in Paris, the mayor has created plans that will prevent some of the traffic in the country’s capital city. She is making these plans because of the pollution that covers the city. By getting rid of half of the traffic, having an electric tram, and introducing more bike lanes, mayor Anne Hidalgo is planning to make the city “green”.