Geography Education
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OPEC's Worst Nightmare: Permian Is About to Pump a Lot More

OPEC's Worst Nightmare: Permian Is About to Pump a Lot More | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"An infestation of dots, thousands of them, represent oil wells in the Permian basin of West Texas and a slice of New Mexico. In less than a decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000. Many of them would turn a profit even with crude prices as low as $30 a barrel. OPEC’s bad dream only deepens next year, when Permian producers expect to iron out distribution snags that will add three pipelines and as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Overall global commodity prices are impacted by countless local production costs. A large shift in how business is done in one place (in this example, Texas' Permian Basin) can have reverberating impacts on the local productions of other places that focus on that same global commodity (OPEC).  

GeoEd Tags: energy, resources, economic, political ecology.

Scoop.it Tagsenergy, resources, economic, political ecology.

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Chile’s Energy Transformation Is Powered by Wind, Sun and Volcanoes

Chile’s Energy Transformation Is Powered by Wind, Sun and Volcanoes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Once energy dependent, Chile is on track to become a renewables powerhouse with the potential to export electricity. Chile is on track to rely on clean sources for 90 percent of its electricity needs by 2050, up from the current 45 percent."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The definition of a natural resource changes as the societal and technological context shifts.  Firewood was once the most important energy resource and now there are tree removal companies that haul are paid to haul away what some would consider very valuable goods. The coastal breeze of the Pacific, the harsh sun of the Atacama desert, and the rugged volcanic landscapes of Chile were never an energy resources...until they were made so by technological advancements and shifting economic paradigms.  As this article and embedded video demonstrate, Chile and South America are fully investing in the transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to renewable energy resources.

 

TagsChileSouth America, industry, sustainabilityeconomic, energy, resources, unit 6 industry.

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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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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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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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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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The Dakota Access Pipeline Map

The Dakota Access Pipeline Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Thousands of Native Americans and their allies have gathered on unceded Sioux land delimited by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie to try and stand in the way of the “black snake” that could poison the Standing Rock Reservation’s water supply. Many have noted that the pipeline corridor was repositioned from its original route north of Bismarck after white citizens spoke up against the threat a spill would pose to their drinking water ― a threat duly recognized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Yet the Corps failed its federal mandate for meaningful consultation with the Standing Rock Tribe before signing off on a route that moved the pipeline to their doorstep."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Maps can tell truths, and maps can be used to obscure other truths. Creating a map, choosing what data to include (and exclude) is an inherently political act.  Maps have the power to convey geographic perspectives that might otherwise be muted.

 

Tags: industryconflict, economic, energy, resources, environmentindigenous, ecology.

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Liz Caughlin's curator insight, November 4, 2016 4:03 PM
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Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know

Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Conflict between Native American protesters and private security personnel over construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has turned violent. What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?

 

Tags: industryconflict, economic, energy, resources, environmentindigenous, ecology.

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Making Ethanol from Sugarcane

This segment highlights how sugarcane is processed into ethanol for fuel and other uses.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Sugarcane ethanol has proven to be one of the most environmentally safe alternative fuel sources. In addition to its green energy properties, sugarcane ethanol has fueled the Brazilian economy for over a decade. The Brazilian automotive industry have developed a complex, “Flex Fuel” engine that allows vehicles to run off of both gasoline and ethanol. Also, sugarcane ethanol has been one of their leading exports in the global economy. Due to recently discovered fuel deposits in Brazil and around the globe, there has been a decline in the need for sugarcane ethanol. This has negatively impacted the economy in addition to the Brazilian job market. But thanks to the engineering of cellulosic ethanol, Brazil is striving to become the green energy superpower yet again.

 

Questions to Ponder: Since cellulosic ethanol production is so expensive, do you think that will deter production and customers from purchasing it? Do you think that Brazil will ever become independent of fossil fuels as a result of their successful sugarcane ethanol production?

 

Tagsenergy, resourcespolitical ecologyagriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 15, 2018 7:50 PM
While the process of making ethanol takes a long time and is expensive, I think it is worth investing in and pursuing as an alternative to fossil fuels.  Like most products, once the process of making the ethanol is perfected and made more efficient, it will be cheaper and easier to make.  Brazil has not invested as much time in the product after they found reserves of oil, because the oil was more profitable.  The demand in the world in extremely high and therefore it was more economically wise for Brazil to put focus on fossil fuel extraction.  However, they already have created technology that is able to run on ethanol and they’ve realized that the product is more environmentally friendly.  This means that the potential to stop relying on fossil fuels is realistic. Since sugar is a renewable resource, it makes more long term economic sense to invest into sugarcane and ethanol production because fossil fuels will eventually run out.
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Your Backyard is Bigger Than What You Can See

Your Backyard is Bigger Than What You Can See | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“Geography is linked to the environment,” says Connie Wyatt Anderson, of Canadian Geographic Education. “In the Lake Winnipeg watershed, what you throw into the Bow River in Calgary eventually ends up in Hudson Bay.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

More than anything I love the idea of using watersheds to connect students to their location environment and to think about places that are beyond the backyard, but are connected to them.  If they see themselves as more intimately connected to these places, it can only increase their spatial awareness, geo-literacy and hopefully their commitment to protect their expanded backyard.   This is an effective way to help students 'jump scale' in a way that will still keep things relevant to their lives. 


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?  


TagsCanada, environment, resources, water, environment depend, spatial, scale

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Digitalent's curator insight, March 16, 2016 7:29 AM

More than anything I love the idea of using watersheds to connect students to their location environment and to think about places that are beyond the backyard, but are connected to them.  If they see themselves as more intimately connected to these places, it can only increase their spatial awareness, geo-literacy and hopefully their commitment to protect their expanded backyard.   This is an effective way to help students 'jump scale' in a way that will still keep things relevant to their lives. 


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?  


Tags: Canada, environment, resources, water, environment depend, spatial, scale. 

Niall Conway's curator insight, March 16, 2016 5:38 PM

More than anything I love the idea of using watersheds to connect students to their location environment and to think about places that are beyond the backyard, but are connected to them.  If they see themselves as more intimately connected to these places, it can only increase their spatial awareness, geo-literacy and hopefully their commitment to protect their expanded backyard.   This is an effective way to help students 'jump scale' in a way that will still keep things relevant to their lives. 


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?  


Tags: Canada, environment, resources, water, environment depend, spatial, scale. 

ismokuhanen's curator insight, March 27, 2016 12:36 PM

More than anything I love the idea of using watersheds to connect students to their location environment and to think about places that are beyond the backyard, but are connected to them.  If they see themselves as more intimately connected to these places, it can only increase their spatial awareness, geo-literacy and hopefully their commitment to protect their expanded backyard.   This is an effective way to help students 'jump scale' in a way that will still keep things relevant to their lives. 


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?  


Tags: Canada, environment, resources, water, environment depend, spatial, scale. 

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Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica

Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For decades to come, Antarctica is supposed to be protected as a scientific preserve. But an array of countries are eager to assert greater influence.

 

TagsAntarcticaclimate changepoliticalresources, sovereignty.

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The Periodic Table of Elements Scaled to Show The Elements’ Actual Abundance on Earth

The Periodic Table of Elements Scaled to Show The Elements’ Actual Abundance on Earth | Geography Education | Scoop.it
When you learned about The Periodic Table of Elements in high school, it probably didn’t look like this. Above, we have a different way of visualizing the elements. Created by Professor William F. Sheehan at Santa Clara University in 1970, this chart takes the elements (usually shown like this) and scales them relative to their abundance on the Earth’s surface.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Periodic Table of Elements shows each element as a box, but that doesn’t help us understand which elements are the most scarce and abundant.  The “rare earths” are crucial ingredients in cell phones, laptops and magnets that create clean energy; China controls 95% of the rare earths production and are no longer exporting these materials to other countries (some consider the availability of rare earths a risk to U.S. national security).   This image is not a mathematically accurate representation of the true proportions, but an artist's rendition with the given limitations.  For an article on WHY the image above isn't (and can't be) mathematically accurate, read this article.    

 

Tagspollution, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify, sustainability.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 19, 2015 12:57 PM

elements abundance

16s3d's curator insight, November 23, 2015 12:16 PM

Morphisme du tableau périodique des éléments en fonction de leur abondance

Lilydale High School's curator insight, May 17, 2016 10:57 AM
science!
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The Geography of E-Waste

The Geography of E-Waste | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The world is increasingly going hi-tech. Many people in our high consumption society want the latest and the greatest; last year’s much anticipated laptops and cell phones are miles behind the newest models that are coming out. So what happens with the old models? Even thrift stores are politely not accepting them as donations. Even some workable machines that were highly valuable 10 years ago are now functionally trash in our society. We can’t put it to the curb to end up in the landfill because of the lead, mercury, and other hazardous materials that can leak into the environment. This type of trash is what we call e-waste. The geography of e-waste is an ‘out of sight out of mind’ problem that we rarely think about but need to due to the ecological impacts of our collective consumption.


Tags: pollutionsustainability, environment, resources, Ghana, Africa.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 6, 2015 10:22 PM

Areas of proaction and consumption / glean connections between places

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 2:56 PM

summer work

Kim Ruark's curator insight, February 5, 2017 10:33 PM
The other side of connectivity
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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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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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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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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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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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Climate Migrants

Climate Migrants | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Climate change has already displaced tens of thousands of people. If it continues unabated, it could lead to one of the largest mass human migrations in history.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This StoryMap shows some key regions where migrants are fleeing some of the negative impacts of climate change, a trend that appears very likely to increase in the future.  It is also an excellent example of the ESRI's new Cascade template for creating a web app. 

 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, climate change, environment, resources, watercoastalmappingESRIStoryMap, visualization, environment depend, political ecology.

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This is where your smartphone battery begins

This is where your smartphone battery begins | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Workers, including children, labor in harsh and dangerous conditions to meet the world’s soaring demand for cobalt, a mineral essential to powering electric vehicles, laptops, and smartphones, according to an investigation by The Washington Post.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a land rich with minerals and resources vital for high end consumer goods (laptops, cellphones, electric cars, etc.).  This in-depth investigation from the Washington Post of the cobalt mining districts in the DRC (60% of global cobalt production) is incredible.  It has great videos, maps, and an detailed article that cuts across the geographic themes (exploited local labor, global commodity chains, political governance, polluted water supply, medical geography, etc.).  

 

Just two days ago, the United States pulled the families of all governmental officials out of the DRC amid political turmoil and violence in the streets of Kinshasa, highlighting the fact that the weakness of political institutions in the DRC are a major reason for this situation.  

 

Tags: Congolaborwatermedical, environmentpollution, political, conflict, resourcespolitical ecology, Africa.

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David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 29, 2018 8:36 PM
We take the luxuries that we have for granite and forget where it comes from, or who pays the physical price for us to have them. One example is electronics and the Congo. The Congo is a country filled with Colbolt which is critical to lithium batteries which powers majority of products that are rechargeable. The price they pay is unsafe mining conditions, indecent wages, and environmental hazards to local communities. 60 percent of the cobalt used today comes from the Congo, and while some companies track it to make sure its "clean" some companies do not check its origins. In 2010 there was a push to add cobalt to a list of resources that come from the Congo to be from a militia free mine. Individual companies have started to be stricter about where they get their Cobalt it's still not mandatory under international law. However with the demand for cobalt is increasing due to more electric power styling for vehicles and other products. In order to meet these demands the cobalt will continue to come from abused people until companies or international law limits and outlines how to deal with the cobalt question.
2
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 7:10 PM
Given the absurd amount of minerals present in the country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo should be basking in immeasurable wealth. However, as shown by this inetractive and enormously in-depth piece by the Washington Post, the country constantly struggles with child labor, water pollution, and widespread dangerous working condition because of the global demand for minerals like cobalt and copper. 
David Stiger's curator insight, November 10, 2018 9:05 PM
The Congo, like Venezuela, is another example of a post-colonial country rich in valuable natural resources whose people, ironically, live in abject poverty. The Congo is a victim of its own geographical blessings as the industrialized world's bottomless need for Congo's cobalt, copper, and other minerals has put this former colony of Belgium on the map. The Congo reportedly supplies half of the world's cobalt. With few other options for mineral sources, lithium-ion battery manufacturers turn a blind eye as Congolese "diggers" endure inhumane, dangerous, and unfair conditions to produce cheap cobalt. Companies have not reacted to this injustice because of a desire to maximize their profits. With Western consumers acting as indirect accomplices, China leads the pack of this neo-colonial process of exploiting the Congo for its valuable underground minerals. The Chinese companies offer so little money for the cobalt that workers are forced to put up with hazardous conditions and unbelievably low pay for their labor. 

The problem lacks an easy solution because it is highly complicated by the forces of globalization and geographical factors. Congolese diggers obtain the raw materials, who sell it to Asian middlemen, who then sell it to big Chinese manufacturers. These manufactures produce rechargeable batteries to sell to Western companies like Apple and Samsung. These products are then sold all over the world. The long supply chain makes it difficult for consumers to feel and see how their actions are impacting the lives of other people. The companies who should be held accountable justify their business decisions because there are not sources of cobalt to turn to. If there were other sources, companies like Huayou Cobalt could turn to other sources that treat their workers better, forcing Congolese suppliers to raise their labor standards. 

A short-term remedy, it seems, would be to classify Congolese-based cobalt as a conflict mineral. Western countries should fine and punish companies that are linked to the unjust cobalt trade, forcing these companies to raise their standards. 
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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 14, 2017 2:51 AM

Deforestation drivers

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 9, 2017 2:41 PM
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 2, 2018 3:23 AM
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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Thirsty Yet? Eight Cities That Are Improbably Running out of Water

Thirsty Yet? Eight Cities That Are Improbably Running out of Water | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The amount of rainfall a place gets isn't the only factor in how much water is available to it. These major urban areas show how dire the coming global freshwater shortage could get.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Seen from space, this planet is a blue marble, a world where the surface is dominated by water.  The Pacific Ocean alone is nearly half of the surface area of our planet.  Add in polar ice caps and the rivers and lakes, we can see that water profoundly impacts Earth.  Yet most of that water is salt water (97%) and two-thirds of our non-salty water locked away in ice sheets (2% of the global water). Everything else, rivers, lakes, marshes, aquifers, and reservoirs represent that remaining 1% of the Earth's water supply--and that 1% of water is what sustains human settlements and allows for agricultural expansion.  The geography of this 1% is highly uneven and a huge water crisis can cause governments crumble--the fact that this precious resources has been wasted and polluted becomes more frustrating as water resources are being strained in so many places.  In this article, it  describes 8 major metro areas where water is being depleted rapidly -- Tokyo, Miami, London, Cairo, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Bangalore and Mexico City. 

 

Tags: urban, water, land use, megacities, urban ecology, consumption, environment, resources.

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The U.S. Is Pumping All This Oil, So Where Are The Benefits?

The U.S. Is Pumping All This Oil, So Where Are The Benefits? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
America has joined Saudi Arabia and Russia as one of the world's leading oil producers. Forecasters predicted this would usher in a golden age. It hasn't worked out that way.

 

Tags: environment, resources, economic.

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othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 5:27 PM
This article talks about how the United States has become one of the world's leaders in oil production. Saudi Arabia and Russia are the other world leaders of oil production. This surge in oil production in the United States began in 2008. This surge will dramatically increase the U.S. economy and help revive the manufacturing field. This also helps bring the cost of gas down. 
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The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing

The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Most of the 1,000 or so Marshall Islands, spread out over 29 narrow coral atolls in the South Pacific, are less than six feet above sea level — and few are more than a mile wide. For the Marshallese, the destructive power of the rising seas is already an inescapable part of daily life. Changing global trade winds have raised sea levels in the South Pacific about a foot over the past 30 years, faster than elsewhere. Scientists are studying whether those changing trade winds have anything to do with climate change.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The impacts of climate change might feel far off or something that will affect other places...not so for those in the Marshall Islands. 


Tags: Oceania, environment, resources, watercoastal, environment depend, climate change, political ecology.

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brielle blais's curator insight, April 26, 2018 4:45 PM
This post shows how climate change is currently impacting small island nations such as the Marshall Islands. Pacific Sea waters are rising and driving families out of their homes. It is changing the entire physical geography of the land. It is also changing the political climate between different nations as the battle over climate control continues and countries react in different ways to ideas and suggestions, or even laws stating nations like the United States would have to pay money to help those other countries being flooded. 
David Stiger's curator insight, December 7, 2018 4:00 PM
Catastrophic property destruction from sea level rising is (at this point in time) inevitable. A number of Islands that serve as homes for hundreds of thousands of people will be devastated and most likely destroyed. These spots will become uninhabitable and dangerous. The Marshall Islands is just one area that will suffer this fate. Trying to save the islands is a moot point. What is now needed is a discussion about ethics and fiscal responsibility. Industrialized and developed nations led the way in destroying parts of the planet and should be held accountable. To become wealthy, these affluent nations collectively sacrificed the world's fragile environment. With this understanding, people of the Marshall Islands should be given a new home and compensation for their losses. Fortunately, the United States has a deal with the Marshall Islands to allow people to immigrate to the U.S. While this is a good start, these people will require job training, education, homes, transportation, and funds to rebuild their lives. Instead of spending massive amounts of tax dollars on military and defense budgets, Congress needs to reassess its values and priorities. By committing to ethical and noble leadership, the U.S. will have more international prestige and leverage to build defense coalitions and negotiate through diplomatic means. An immense single-nation military-industrial complex will be less relevant. By reducing military spending, this country can address problems like the sinking Marshall Islands and our nation's energy needs. How would it look if the U.S. became a true champion of justice and a despotic nation like China attacked the U.S.? The world would be outraged. The U.N. would condemn the aggressor. Alliances could step forward, allowing America to step back as the world police officer which no one ever asked us to be.  
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 10, 2018 4:03 AM
Islands are already at a disadvantage of losing land for a few reasons. First the fact that the older the island gets the more corroding that takes place under the sea. Another reason is they are in the middle of no where so relocation is not easy, costly and not many countries these days are willing to take people in. The Marshall islands like I am sure many other islands are facing in recent years is global warming causing sea levels to rise. So know they have another reason to worry about losing lands. The global warming that takes place on earth never effects the contributors, it almost always effects the little guys who cannot doing anything to fight back. They just get to watch there homes be destroyed because of big time nations. More attention needs to be brought to the subject of global warming and everything and one who is negatively effected by it. What if we were in there shoes, we surely would change our ways then.
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The Electronic Afterlife

"E-Waste is a growing problem in our consumer-based society. The geography of e-waste is an ‘out of sight out of mind’ problem that we rarely think about but need to due to the ecological impacts of our collective consumption." http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-1LT


Tags: pollutionsustainability, environment, resources, Ghana, Africa.

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Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, November 10, 2015 4:37 PM

Maybe getting that new iPhone isn't such a good idea, eh?