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Why are the MINTcountries special?

Why are the MINTcountries special? | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it

"In 2001 the world began talking about the Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as potential powerhouses of the world economy. The term was coined by economist Jim O'Neill, who has now identified the 'MINT' countries - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey - as emerging economic giants. Here he explains why."

 

Tags: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, economic, development.


Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Indonesia as a MINT country has its challenges just as the rest of the MINT countries do.  Although it is already a producer of many commodities it was noted that it needs to be seen more in the consumer's eyes as a producer and really needs to focus on that.  A huge issue is the infrastructure.  The infrastructure needs to be drastically improved to get on board with the rest of the MINT countries and able to get into the top economies in the upcoming years.  Even with infrastructure being a serious issue there are many opportunities for growth regarding it.  The build up of the infrastructure is going to need people, as well as people to work to maintain and improve it.  Fixing the problems that Indonesia has will not only directly improve their economy but also move the country into a better direction to improve the economy on a global scale.  

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 2:45 PM

The next generation will come with more country's developments and those could be the MINT countries which are, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, their economy are increasing and are far more bigger than what it was in the 2003. That would be awesome to see all those countries with a developed economy. That will improve the lives of millions and specially Mexicans! Can't wait to see how it will turn out.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2015 2:05 PM

Mexico, along with the other countries in the MINT category, are developing countries that could one day become economic powerhouses.  Mexico, as noted in the article, is in a strong position to become an economic powerhouse, due to the fact that it is in between the United States and the developing countries to its south.  Mexico does face a battle however, as the country has been dominated by corruption for decades, yet the new president, who is young and energetic, is attempting to reform the system and put an end to the wide spread problem.  If Mexico can become a major economic powerhouse, it along with Canada and the United States, could from a strong North American Trio, originally envisioned when the NAFTA was signed into law, back in the 1990s. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:00 PM

The MINT countries aren't that surprising.  After China purchased some of the US debt, it really opened my eyes to who the new powerhouse is.  Mexico could certainly be another powerful country if they could get their act together.  It will be interesting to see the shifts taking place in the next 20 years.  

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Masses of Mercedes Thicken Hong Kong Pollution Mess

Masses of Mercedes Thicken Hong Kong Pollution Mess | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Hong Kong is one of the best places in the world to do business. As long as you don’t breathe.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Air pollution in Hong Kong is still an issue that isn't going away especially when more and more people are buying personal cars and driving them to work instead of taking public transportation.  The amount of idling cars sitting in bottleneck traffic in the multiple rush hours is not doing anything good for the environment.  Hong Kong unlike other cities and countries does not want to limit the amount of cars on the road because of the limiting factors it would have on the people who make enough money to pay for them.  Expanding the roads to ease the traffic jams doesn't really work as well since the city is situated on a giant port and laws restrict creating more land in the harbor that would support wider roads. An idea that has been put into motion is the implementation of more railroads.  Adding more of trains to the mix would increase the availability of public transportation and would help limit the toxins in the air, as long as people choose this option as a mode of transportation.  Helping people get into a new car that is more efficient than the older diesel models that people were driving is a major goal for the government.  They realize that if they don't limit the cars that people drive then they need to limit the pollution coming from them.  This is a cheaper way of ensuring that the pollution coming from cars is less than it has been in the past.  Although this doesn't even come close to solving the problem that Hong Kong has regarding air pollution it can start to help.  A little bit of help is better than nothing even if the people of Hong Kong have a far way to go until they can see blue skies again.

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Ship emissions blamed for worsening pollution in Hong Kong

Ship emissions blamed for worsening pollution in Hong Kong | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Smog is a common sight in Hong Kong, with the amount of polluted days increasing by 28 percent to 303 so far this year.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

At first Hong Kong took no responsibility for the amount of pollution they were actually themselves putting into the air.  Instead they decided to blame bordering South China for their industry waste coming into Hong Kong leading to dangerous levels of air pollution.  In time, however, the Hong Kong people have discovered that in reality a lot of the air pollution is from them and the ships that enter their harbors.  Then the connection between the amount of deaths and hospitalizations because of respiratory illnesses and the amount of pollution in the air became quite relevant quite quickly.  The amount of unnecessary and preventable visits to the hospital is outrageous plus putting a huge strain on the public health system in Hong Kong.  The amount of money going towards public health is beyond anything that it should be as well.  Without any regulations in place to mandate that ships use cleaner fuels in the vicinity of Hong Kong is a huge contributing factor to the pollution problem that is literally choking the people of Hong Kong.  Unfortunately the issue doesn't seem to be at the top of the list for the government continuously.  At some points there is a huge urgency for managing the pollutants going into the air while other times it doesn't seem to be as important.  The amount of money that can be saved as well as lives and the health of people is nothing in comparison to the amount that would have to go into creating regulations for ships entering the ports in Hong Kong.  Yes the cleaner fuel is more expensive than the dirty high sulfur content fuel but in the end the people that live in the port areas of Hong Kong will lead much healthier lives and will actually be able to see what the sky is actually supposed to look like behind the skyline, instead of a smog covered yellow haze in the distance.

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Hong Kong's pollution clouds its future - CNN.com

Hong Kong's pollution clouds its future - CNN.com | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
It was the skyline that he couldn't see that caused Joe DiSorbo to change his mind about moving from Singapore to Hong Kong.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Although this is an older article the points that it shares still hold true today.  Hong Kong if they keep up with the amount of pollution being put into the air does not have a bright future.  As it is people are moving away from the area, worried about the health of their family.  Major corporations are thinking twice about moving their companies here for the same reasons.  Corporations don't want to send their employees here where the  health of people is in such danger.  Some are taking legal action against Hong Kong and the amount of air pollution saying that is infringing on peoples basic human rights.  The campaign 'Action Blue Sky' was launched in hopes that people would take it upon themselves to reduce their own emissions and not let everything happen at the corporate level.  The way that Hong Kong is built too has an effect on why the air pollution is so high.  With tall buildings surrounding low lying streets the pollution sent into the air from the street is trapped by the buildings.  Hong Kong's government says that it has the capacity to take in a lot more people into the city but if the air pollution continues to be such a huge problem people aren't going to want to come to Hong Kong, but rather move away and not vacation here.  There has however been improvement, people argue that the skies are bluer and clearer than they were in 1997, which is true yes, but they are still no where near perfect or where they should be.  If Hong Kong wants to be this city that continues to grow and thrive they have to make themselves more marketable to people.  People do not want to bring their families to a place where there are so many health hazards even if the other benefits are high.  The sooner Hong Kong is able to see that the air pollution is hurting their marketability to people and businesses the sooner they will realize actually how important it is to clean up the pollution that is keeping people away.  Only then can Hong Kong say it is ready for an additional three million people to come live in the city comfortably.      

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Hong Kong launches electric bus in drive against pollution

Hong Kong launches electric bus in drive against pollution | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Hong Kong (AFP) Sept 09, 2013 - Hong Kong's first battery-powered public bus took to the streets Monday as part of a drive against the city's choking pollution.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

In an attempt to curb air pollution in Hong Kong, a new electric bus has been introduced.  Running off of a battery instead of various pollution making fuels, Hong Kong is slowly but surely making a difference in the environment.  Even though the fact that one bus will not make a difference in the amount of pollution being put into the atmosphere it is a start.  Many feel that Hong Kong can do a lot more than they are doing as they are behind the times with electric vehicles.  Tokyo and Singapore have are already way ahead of the Hong Kong in the amount of electric vehicles that they have in service today.  Unfortunately the worry for Hong Kong is the cost that will be encountered when going ahead and converting public transportation to environmentally friendly battery power.  There always seems to be a snag when it comes to money.  In a booming economy such as China's this shouldn't be an issue, but it is.  Hong Kong needs to step up the action and begin following other Asian countries and their ideas about electric vehicles and notice how much of a difference can be made by spending the money to make a safer environment for people being affected by this sickening smog.

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Hong Kong welcomes China's air pollution measures, to curb emissions too

Hong Kong welcomes China's measures to reduce air pollution. Following the mainland’s lead, the special administrative region also plans to take steps to curb its emissions.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Mainland China and Hong Kong work together under a One Country Two Systems policy.  This gives Hong Kong some autonomy of its own but keeps it part of the country as well.  This system doesn't act any differently when it comes to the problem of air pollution.  With China leading the way with changing policies regarding the air pollution that is plaguing the area, Hong Kong is on the path right behind them.  Hong Kong has seen the policies that mainland China has implemented and sees them as being beneficial to areas such as the Pearl River Delta in Hong Kong.  Like China, Hong Kong has placed limits on the amount of pollutants being put into the air from power plants in the city.  'A Clean Air Plan For Hong Kong' has been implemented to work with Guangdong on creating a better environment.  Not only is Hong Kong following in China's footsteps with the proposed policies for cleaner air but are taking their own steps to further improve the environment.  Hong Kong is creating regulations to create a fuel that is better for the environment while still being a cheaper alternative to other fuels for its ships.  Also plans are being made for a zero emission bus.  Having these buses will not only cut down on the emissions based on the fact that it doesn't produce emissions, but will add to public transportation.  With this people will be able to take the public transportation and not add to the pollution by driving their own cars.  Hong Kong is definitely on its way to creating a cleaner environment.  Having the One Country Two Systems system in place is beneficial to both countries.  Each system can use ideas from each other on how to improve upon the air pollution problem and use what works for them as well as creating standards that can be implemented across the board.

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Australia given another year to act on Great Barrier Reef

Australia given another year to act on Great Barrier Reef | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
The World Heritage Committee has given Australia another year to prove it's doing enough to protect the Great Barrier Reef or have it declared in danger.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

The Great Barrier Reef is a place that everyone knows is becoming more in danger than every before, especially with global climate change.  The increase in ocean temperature is hurting the coral reefs causing coral bleaching and a different variety of predators to thrive.  Along with global climate change is the increased storminess that is occurring.  More storms are hitting the area around Australia causing corals to break apart into pieces and die.  Australia is under the pressure of the fear of being humiliated to step up and keep this reef intact for many years to come and help the corals and other life forms thrive.  If Australia is not able to do this they suffer the embarrassment of having the Great Barrier Reef on the sites in danger list.  For starters Australia needs to be very wary of where it builds new ports and places new gas lines and drills.  Also they need to stop dredging to build new ports.  Not only for the environment and the reef does this need to be done, but the people don't want to see it happening anymore either.  In the year that Australia has been given to get the reef back on track for success and growth everyone is hoping and positive that Australia has the capability to make it happen. 

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Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.

 

This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.

 

"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes.  People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."

 

Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?

 

Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.


Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Having two villages in one in Papua New Guinea is an interesting concept.  One village has people living in the present and the other has people living in the past, the village that tourists want to see.  They come to this village and see half naked natives carving canoes, cooking over open fires, and other things that happened in the past.  This is beneficial because they are able to keep the culture alive, the language is able to still be used and traditions are kept from disappearing.  Unfortunately for these people they have seen western more modern life and don't like living in this past for the pleasure of tourists.  First we come in and take away their traditions, clothes and languages and now we come back begging for them to not leave any of it behind, well except the cannibalism. 

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Kendra King's curator insight, May 3, 2015 1:40 AM

The title of this article seemed to be a little bit of a misnomer given how the geographic forces impact Papua New Guinea. Part of the population caters to the tourist desire to see the "exotic." However, this Papaua New Guinea is in the past. While the rest of the population lives in the present where the citizens live without the tourist dictating how they live.   

 

Given the impact of the forces, the split makes figuring out which Papa New Guinea is actually the most "authentic" is tricky. There are elements of Papa New Guinea in each place. The perfect way to obtain authenticity is blending them as the title suggest, but that is not that case. Under the circumstances, I think the village in which tourist are not present are the most "authentic." It is because of the tourist that the past village exits and while some members of the population like that this helps preserve their past culture, Papa New Guinea has clearly started to move on.  It reminds me of the Plymouth plantation field trips in which the tourist view america during the times of the pilgrims. Clearly, America has moved on, but continues to honor their roots. Due to this idea of moving on, I think the other village that shows the present is more authentic because it is a closer measure of what the village realistically acts like without interference from the outside world.  


While, I realize Papa New Guinea is more than the past, a fair amount of the world doesn't. As a few tourist mentioned, they were eager to hear about cannibalism despite the practice stopping years ago. Yet, from an outsiders perspective, they don't see this other Papa New Guinea and because the country plays into this idea of a village stuck in the past, it gives the world the wrong impression. As such, I wonder how how much catering to the rest of the world holds Papa New Guinea back economically. Being perceived as less developed won't generate lenders and living up to that expectation curbs other modern economic sectors. So it seems the overall affect might actually be more detrimental then helpful from an economic stance.   

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 2015 12:38 PM

I believe these indigenous people found a way to survive.  They were smart!  Globalization and tourism were gonna happen with or without them.  Now they found away to keep on existing.  Authentic?  How do they live their lives now, thats authentic.  The past history is just that, the past.  Its a commodity because they've found a way to exploit their culture to benefit them.  

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:47 PM

This podcast talks about two different areas of the same area. One section living in the past and one living in the present. I believe that the section that is living in the past is more authentic. This is a group of people who have had to learn their way of life. The present would have had to learn to adapt to new ways in life and this new way would be truly authentic to their religion.

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Hostages Taken at Australian Chocolate Shop

Hostages Taken at Australian Chocolate Shop | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
At least one gunman took about a dozen people hostage Monday at a chocolate shop in Sydney, Australia, local TV news were reporting live. New South Wales pol...

Via InfoBlaze
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

This is scary, most people think of Australia as a pretty peaceful place to be, no wars no violent acts that make breaking news, but this incident changes that.  Hostages have been taken in the Lindt chocolate shop by a group that is thought to have terrorist ties.  Police both state and federal are on the scenes trying to get the hostages out safely.  Bus routes have been diverted and people have been warned to stay away for their own safety.  This situation has come after anti terrorist raids were made throughout the city.  The black banner that was being held up in the window was at first thought to be an ISIS banner but was later found out that it was a generic Middle East banner used as a battle banner.  These suggestions have led to the belief that it is in fact a terrorist attack on the people of Sydney.  

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Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, December 15, 2014 11:54 PM

Some of this information is tough to read about. Being a criminal justice major, i want to pursue a career in the FBI's anti hostage program. I know of the difficulties that are involved in a hostage situation and it is almost like a mission failure when you hear of casualties but it is good to hear that most of the hostages got out and that there weren't any more casualties than there were. What i found funny was the fact that the New South Whales Police Commissioner said," Do not let this sort of incident bring about any sort of loss of confidence about working and visiting in our city," which was funny because it is hard not to loose trust in a city when two people died because of a hostage situation. Unfortunately.

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At least 17 dead, 91 missing in landslide in Indonesia

At least 17 dead, 91 missing in landslide in Indonesia | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
At least 17 people have died and scores are missing in a landslide in Indonesia on Saturday, officials said.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

After mass amounts of rain falling in Indonesia on the island of Java a massive landslide leaving a wall of mud about fifteen feet high slid down the side of a mountain taking out everything in its path.  In this region of the world monsoon rains are quite common and a part of life.  On Java the mountainous terrain makes landslides all the more common.  In this particular landslide at least seventeen have been found dead, while at least fifteen people have been injured and many more missing.  Search and rescue teams, local police, the military and volunteers have all aided in the search of people in the aftermath of this slide.  At some points the searches have been called off due to the weather and the concern for the safety of the crews searching for others.  Although this is not the first nor the last landslide that has happened in Indonesia, this landslide has had a huge effect on the people in the area around the slide.  

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‘No palm oil’ label battle won’t start trade or court war: Malaysian minister

‘No palm oil’ label battle won’t start trade or court war: Malaysian minister | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
The Malaysian government says it is assessing what action it should take to address ‘no palm oil’ labels in France and Belgium, the legal grounds for which have come under scrutiny.

Via Frank Kusters
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

The way Malaysia reacted to the 'No Palm Oil' labels on goods in France and Belgium was very understandable.  I also like the way that they are addressing the issue.  With these labels on products being sold in these countries many people may begin to see that palm oil is something bad that they shouldn't be consuming and stop buying items with palm oils in them.  Like here in the United States we see products that say no GMOs or gluten free and begin to associate these with something we should stay away from.  The problem for Malaysia with this is that palm oil is a huge export and source of income for them.  If people stop buying this then their economy suffers tremendously.  Instead of immediately getting into legal action with France and Belgium they have decided to have a conversation first about why this is such an issue and the effects that it would have not only on Malaysia but their countries as well, which I applaud.  If people stop buying palm oil from Malaysia because of these labels then Malaysia stops buying air busses from France creating a lose lose situation for both parties involved.

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How Vietnam became a coffee giant

How Vietnam became a coffee giant | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it

"Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?"

 


Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Coffee has very much helped but also hurt Vietnam.  After the war Vietnam was a very poor country but with the introduction of coffee growing into the economy the number of poor people has greatly declined.  Although in Vietnam tea is the beverage of choice, coffee is grown as an export crop.  Not only is money coming in from the growth and exportation of the coffee bean but also from companies that have places in Vietnam to create coffee from start to finish, from bean to bag.  Unfortunately due to more coffee plantations being needed deforestation has happened at an alarming rate, making room for more places to grow coffee.  Also unexploded mines are still thought to be scattered throughout the country making the fields an extremely dangerous place to work.  The environment isn't being helped by the farmers either.  These farmers of coffee have no idea how to properly grow coffee and just throw a bunch of fertilizer and water on the plants and hope it grows.  This is a problem when there are better techniques that could be used to grow coffee that are better for the environment.  These people need to be taught how to constructively grow coffee so it doesn't have such a negative effect on the environment.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:29 PM
Typically I would always associate coffee and coffee beans coming from Spanish speaking countries and I would associate Asian countries with drinking tea. This threw me for a little twist, The Vietnamese do drink coffee though. Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in the 19th century by the French. A majority of their coffee beans are exported since the country needs money. After the Vietnam war had ended, their communist ally, The Soviet Union did nothing to help the crippled country. Agriculture was a disaster, bu the government decided to take a risk in the 80s with growing coffee. It was a success and kept increasing 20%-30% every year in the 90s. Now it employs over two million people. Even major brands like Nestle has coffee bean growing rights there.
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 3, 8:22 AM
So how does a traditionally tea drinking country, become the 2nd biggest export of coffee? Well we need to look at colonization and well desperation. While the Vietnamese still prefer to drink tea many of the French that were there during colonization prefered coffee. However, coffee production never really took off until post Vietnam War and with a desperation move to help the economy. With a floundering economy and practices that were not working the government turned its eye to coffee production. At the time 60% of Vietnamese people lived below the poverty line, however nowadays they are just about under 10%. It is not without its problems as it has caused problems with destruction of land and heading into the future they have started to exhaust all of the lands that they can use to produce coffee.  They will need to continue to be innovative if they want to continue to see a surge in the coffee market. It is definitely interesting to see why and how certain items are exported out of countries and the history behind it. I for one would never think Vietnam would be a coffee giant.  
tyrone perry's curator insight, May 1, 12:59 PM
Vietnam is one of the highest coffee producers of the world.  It help bring down the poverty level in the country.  But when something good happens of course something negative has to happen.  Many of Vietnam’s fields are thought to still be filled with mines from the war.  Because of that many forests have been cut down to provide fields to grow the coffee.  Needless to say their environmental dangers are rising.
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NatGeo Feature: Megacities

NatGeo Feature: Megacities | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it

"By 2030, two out of three people will live in an urban world, with most of the explosive growth occurring in developing countries. For a preview of the future, the last in the Challenges for Humanity series explores São Paulo, Brazil; Lagos, Nigeria; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hyderabad, India."


Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

As Bangkok, Thailand is slotted to be one of the up an coming biggest cities in the world it puts Thailand on the map.  People see that the clothes they wear were made in Thailand and we think of a sweatshop in a far east country where children are laboring away for long hours making little money.  Although this was true in the past, we see now that it isn't like that.   These cities are where a lot of people are crammed together and live, yes, but also full of people who are looking forward to a better life.  These people have hope in the future of the city that they live in and are ready to invest in the future.  When comes the time that a majority of people will live in cities these cities such as Bangkok will already be developed and thriving, a major plus for the people already living and working here. 

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Elle Reagan's curator insight, May 26, 2015 9:38 PM

I thought this article was good as it gave information on how the world as we know it is growing and cities are popping up everywhere. Developing countries are seeing a large increase in growth and with that comes the growth of cities. With this, more megacities will be born and hopefully the quality of life increases with life in cities.

L.Long's curator insight, August 28, 2015 6:08 AM

mega cities

L.Long's curator insight, August 28, 2015 6:09 AM

mega cities

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A Burmese spring?

A Burmese spring? | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it

"THE recent news from Myanmar, that beautiful, blighted land formerly known as Burma, has offered an all-too-rare cause for optimism." 


Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

This is interesting and hopefully turns out to be a good thing for Myanmar.  After being under so much oppression from not only its own government but from other countries as well.  Having this improved more relaxed government that works more for the people is a definite improvement for Myanmar.  Standing up to China about closing the dam because the people that live in Myanmar aren't benefiting from it and are still poor.  Stepping up and listening to the people that live in the country and standing up to others that are taking advantage of the country is a huge step in the right direction on improving the lives of those in the country.

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HongKong Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI)

HongKong Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI) | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
HongKong Air Pollution: PM2.5, PM10 Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

This site although not directly related to how air pollution can be solved in Hong Kong or what is causing the air pollution has a lot to do with the pollution levels in Hong Kong.  Looking at this it gives a very up front number and level of the air pollution in real time.  It also compares Hong Kong and other cities in China so you can see how it stacks up against each other.  Not only does it give the real time information but also the past two days so people can look at trending behaviors of the pollution levels in the air.  This is a super important website for people to know about, even if they don't live in Hong Kong.  People can see how bad the issue actually is.  Yes we hear about the smog issue and how Hong Kong can go a year and see less than a month of clear days but being able to actually track the information in real time can have a totally different effect on people.  Different pollutants can also be looked at and compared along side the temperature, humidity and dew points.  All of the information can be used together to show when the issues of air pollution are prevalent at which times, at what temperature and if humidity has an effect on the amount of pollutants.  Using this information together people, scientists, engineers and environmentalists can find out the most beneficial way to tackle this problem.  I hope that this website has an app for smartphones and that everyone in Hong Kong with a smartphone has the app.

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CNN video on Facebook - CNN.com Video

CNN video on Facebook - CNN.com Video
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

To add to the pollution that Hong Kong is already suffering from a sand storm from China made things even worse for the people breathing in the air in Hong Kong.  The dust and sand got trapped within the air and pollution causing even more harmful environment for people to be outside in.  People reported being able to feel the dust particles in the air.  It was strongly advised that people stay inside preventing children from going outside for recess and sporting events to take place.  It is sad to see a shop owner being more concerned about the customers that she would lose rather than her health.  She says that she wanted to wear a mask but didn't want the customers to be scared away from buying anything from her news stand.  Also she noted that the air wasn't as bad as it was the previous day.  What was nice to see is the computer that let people know of the air quality level.  These screens seem to be placed in heavily frequented areas such as a subway station letting people know of the danger that they were facing by being outside.  Clearly though, more needs to be done.  It is not okay for citizens to have to pass on their health so they can go home with some sort of income for the day.  It is sad that people that live and work in Hong Kong have to wait for the rain to come to help wash some of the hazardous particles out of the air.  People should not have to rely on weather to help the environment, but rather a system should be put into place helping the actual problem.  Having screens to tell people the air pollution levels are helpful, but in reality it is doing nothing to fix the problem only warning people about the dangers they face when they walk outside their front door.

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Polluted Hong Kong gets new electric taxis

Polluted Hong Kong gets new electric taxis | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Hong Kong, one of the most highly populated islands in the world, launches a trial run of a fleet of electric taxis in a bid to tackle its serious pollution problems.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Not only has Hong Kong introduced new battery powered buses to help curb pollution but the introduction of new battery powered taxis is also taking place.  Using public transportation helps to cut down on the amount of pollutants being put out into the air, but when the public transportation is a major producer of pollutants itself it isn't really helping much in the grand scheme of things.  Creating taxis that are battery powered and lowering the emissions of these vehicles is another step in the right direction for Hong Kong.  However not everyone is for this program.  Many taxi drivers have complained about the charging time of two hours for the battery powered cars.  Having two hours of down time for every 3000 kilometers is not as efficient in the economic sense as regular fuels are.  Loosing these two hours is going to be a setback for cabbies since normally in this lost time they would be out picking up passengers and making money.  Another issue cabbies have noted is that these battery powered cabs don't have the same power output as those cabs that run on fuel.  Fortunately for the cab drivers this is a trial run for the battery powered cabs.  During this trial run issues such as charging time and power can be discussed and plans can be made to improve on them.  This is leading Hong Kong into the reduction of air pollution and an excellent time to find out what works and what doesn't for the battery powered cabs before they put mass amounts of money into something that cab drivers and cab users don't like.

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Hong Kong announces new air pollution index

Hong Kong announces new air pollution index | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Hong Kong (AFP) Dec 06, 2013 - Hong Kong on Friday announced a new air quality health index, the first in Asia to use the system, in its ongoing battle to combat air pollution.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

In order to fix a problem you must know what exactly the problem is.  Hong Kong is doing just that.  With the implementation of a new air pollution index, The Air Quality Health Index, Hong Kong will be able to measure four pollutants including, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter, instead of using the antiquated Air Pollution Index.  Using the old system only the highest pollution causing element was measured.  With this new system all four pollutants are measured along with using records from health facilities regarding visits related to respiratory ailments.  Hong Kong is leading the way in Asia with this new index hoping that the rest of China will follow suit and adopt the same index.  It was noted that under the new system that uses a scale of 1-10 as well as 10+, people may experience more higher level pollution days rated as serious.  This is not necessarily because the air is getting worse but because of the new stringent scale that has been put into place.  With the new scale in place people will be warned of days that are in the 10+ range and told to stay indoors as much as possible.  To save money stations that were used with the old system will be retrofitted to be able to continue use with the new system.  Hong Kong knows that they have a rough path ahead of them and changing the environment will not be an easy task.  As a major shipping port the amount of emissions spewing ships that come in and out of the ports is huge and this is not going to be something that will be easily changed.  Works are in the process to change this though.  Hong Kong is taking a major step in the right direction with the implementation of a new scale and being the first in Asia to do so.  With this new scale they can see the relation between certain pollutants and what they do to people.  They can also use the new scale to learn about what exactly is in the air and how much, using this information to begin to fix the major problem of air pollution.

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Hong Kong Air Pollution: Restoring the Fragrant Harbour | The Energy Collective

Hong Kong Air Pollution: Restoring the Fragrant Harbour | The Energy Collective | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Hazardous air pollution not only continues to plague much of China, but is now also stifling Hong Kong, the vibrant city whose Chinese name means “Fragrant Harbour.”
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

How ironic that Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbor in Chinese.  The only fragrance people are smelling is that of diesel fuel and other carcinogens being spewed into the air.  A huge contributing factor to the air pollution in Hong Kong comes from the shipping industry because of the bunker fuel being burned in the ships.  Bunker fuel is known to be the dirtiest fuel in the world.  This isn't a few days of smog here and there but Hong Kong goes months without seeing a clear day.  This is sickening both figuratively and literally.  Air pollution is the cause of asthma, bronchitis, thousands of premature deaths and even more hospital visits.  In 2012 air pollution was the cause of seven million doctors visits,  there are seven million people that live in the city of Hong Kong.  This means that on average every single person that lived in Hong Kong went to see a doctor for an issue caused by the air pollution.  This is not something that is okay.  Although the leading cause of the smog in Hong Kong is the ships that are in the ports diesel vehicles and coal burning industrial plants are contributors to the issue as well.  Unfortunately Hong Kong is still working to increase the shipping industry.  With more cruise lines being implemented the increase in air pollution will not be tapered.  Instead the amount of pollutants put into the air will increase causing more problems for people, especially those that live close to the harbor.  Fortunately though, not all is bad in Hong Kong.  Seventeen shipping companies got together and signed the Fair Winds Charter, in doing this the companies have voluntarily decided to switch to a low sulfur fuel instead of the bunker fuel they had been using.  This is showing initiative on the companies part to change the environment and to improve the air quality in Hong Kong.  Not only are individual companies doing this but Hong Kong too is working to create Emission Control Areas.  These ECAs would limit the amount of sulfur content to 0.1 percent in the area of one hundred nautical miles of Hong Kong.  This would be a huge step in the right direction.  If ships cannot or will not adapt to these standards then they will not be allowed in the vicinity of Hong Kong.  As a major shipping port this would be detrimental to the companies who don't conform to the standards.  The sooner that Hong Kong can implement these policies the sooner people will get back to breathing better and living all around healthier lives.   

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Pink Lakes

Pink Lakes | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News (via Exposing the Truth   Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Middle island is the largest of the islands a...

Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Now this is bizarre.  A pink lake and no one is really sure as to why it is pink.  It is not on the top of my list of places to go swimming, that is for sure.  Although scientists don't seem too concerned about the safety of the lake for people but are curious as to what is causing the lake to be pink.  Thoughts on algea and bacteria levels or the amount of salt are included in the potential reasoning for the pink color.  Even on google earth you can see that the lake is in fact pink.  Even when scientists come to a conclusion as to what is causing the pink colored lake, as far as it isn't causing any environmental issues, I think that the lake should be left pink as a type of wonder of the world attraction for people to see.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 11:44 PM

The pink lake, Lake Hillier,  located in Western Australia is stunning. The aerial view of the lake makes the lake seem unreal that is was is fascinating. What gives the lake its pink color is a mystery, but it may be from bacteria, but it shows how some places in the world are affected differently than others and it produces remarkable results.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, May 7, 2015 11:54 AM

This article caught my eye because I have never seen a pink lake before. This lake is on Middle Island in Western Australia. The lake is 600 meters wide but the reasoning behind the color of it is still yet to be determined. White salt rims the lake and the color may be caused from a low nutrient concentration and even just bacteria. The pictures of this lake are beautiful and there is not anything like it. 

Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 23, 1:17 PM
As seen in many sea salt production facilities, the brine can often turn a pink color due to the high salinity and presence of certain bacteria. While no single cause can b attributed to this lake's pink hue, its stunning color has captivated all who have come across it. 
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New tourism promotional video from South Australia: Kangaroo Island Hyperlapse - "Home of the Soul"

Skift: "This gorgeous hyperlapse video of Kangaroo Islands in south Australia captures the natural landscape and incredible colors. The music relays what the South Australia tourism board calls, “the almost spiritual feeling that you get on the island from switching off and reconnecting with that is really important in life.”

This video is part of the Local Eyes Film in which local filmmakers showcase their own backyard. This sequence was put together with more than 7,356 photographs."


Via Julien Dos Reis Pedro
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

I've always wanted to go to Australia and this video pretty much made it something that I need to do.  The video of Kangaroo Island in South Australia showcases the islands beauties.  The white sand beaches to the green open pastures and the amount of stars you can see at night is stunning.  The music too adds to the effect of the video, it's very welcoming to people, not upbeat and high tempo giving way to a fast paced city life, but rather relates to what you see, relaxing and fun.  I never thought Australia to be such a colorful place, more of a brown outback with weird animals, but this video clearly proved me wrong.  The amount of color in a little over three minutes is brilliant.  Showing the amount of color that tourists can take it is breath taking.  The views of the sunsets along with the color of the water and the grasses in the fields is quite simply breathtaking.  Kangaroo Island will have to be put on the list of places to visit while in Australia.

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Strong earthquake rocks Papua New Guinea area

A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook the Papua New Guinea region on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Although this is a short article it just goes to prove how much the ring of fire affects Papua New Guinea.  Just yesterday a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Papua New Guinea, in August a volcano erupted here, and in April an earthquake shook the area.  These are just to name a few, nevermind the fact that it is only one year that these events have spanned.  Other areas don't see that in 100 years.  For Papua New Guinea living this close to the ring of fire, people have to be prepared.  The article mentions that no immediate damage was reported,  these people know how to prepare for these natural disasters and how to keep themselves and families safe as well.  

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Khmer Rouge No. 2 gives insight to his role in Cambodia's 'killing fields'

Khmer Rouge No. 2 gives insight to his role in Cambodia's 'killing fields' | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
Nuon Chea, the deputy leader of the Khmer Rouge regime blamed for 1.7 million deaths in Cambodia's 'killing fields' told the tribunal today that he carried out its policies to protect the country.

Via Amarji
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Some may wonder what the point is to put these near dead men on trial for their roles in the Cambodian Genocide 25+ years after it happened.  Many mention that they are about to die anyway so why waste the time and money on taking them to court.  There is not one simple answer to this question.  People that lived through this or had parents that went through this want to see these men get what they deserve.  Some people such as researchers want to know their side of the story, their thoughts on what they did and why they did it, to get a better understanding of the genocide as a whole.  Some may simply be looking for an apology, something that without this publicity these men are receiving, may never have happened.  In this case the number two in command of the Cambodian Genocide notes that he was doing what he did for his country.  He was trying to get away from being a slave to other countries.  He was also scared that Vietnam was going to take over his country, wipe Cambodia off the face of the planet.  He felt that what he was doing was in the best interest of his country and that is what people are looking to find out. 

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Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad

Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos.

Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

This is interesting, Laos pays for a railroad that they can't afford because China wants it? Now how does that make sense.  These people that barely make enough money to live as it is can no where near afford to have a railroad put through their country especially when they won't be able to reap many of the benefits.  Even with China's letting the country borrow the money to fund the project not only do they have to pay back the money but also give China minerals throughout the duration of the loan.  The people of Laos need to really think about the consequences to this railroad could be, both good and bad, for the country before any agreements are made to construct the railroad.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 4:53 PM

This article depicts the major problem between trade route going through Laos. Laos is upset because they have no input in anything even though the railways will intersect through their country by the Chinese and their railways for imports and exports. "China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos". China wants to link to  Bangkok and then on to the Bay of Bengal in Maymar expanding China’s  enormous trade with Southeast Asia. Creating no way for Laos to get out of this deal though there has been some hesitation there will not be any stopping the maintenance of the soon to be power railways suffocating Laos. 

 
Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:18 PM

The article discusses how China’s wish to build a rail road through southeast Asia will most likely incur a high cost from the country of Laos that the rail road will go through.  China is anxious to regain its power in the area and its terms for the rail road will leave Laos severely indebted to China to such an extent that many see it as China trying to make Laos a vessel state.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 28, 2015 7:01 AM

Once again China is getting its way without having to bear almost any coast. When the nation of China makes a deal with a neighboring nation, that deal is almost always one sided. China would not enter into this railroad agreement, if it was not beneficial to the governments bottom line. The looser in this scenario will be Laos. Laos is a rural largely undeveloped nation that would love to become a major economic partner with the dominate nation in the region. The problem with this scenario is, Laos will see little of the actual bennifits of this rail line . This railroad is being built to secure Chinese influence in the region. China hopes to dominate this region and make it a Chinese spear of influence. Laos will foot the bill for the railroad, and be dominated by China. Laos is getting the losing end of this bargain.

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Typhoon Haiyan Before & After

Typhoon Haiyan Before & After | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it
View interactive before and after images showing the devastation Typhoon Haiyan has caused in Tacloban City, Philippines.

Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

We know that natural disasters cause a lot of damage and personal loss but we don't really ever know how much damage is caused until we see it.  Even when we do see it if we don't know what it looked like before it really doesn't mean anything to us.  Using these before and after maps you can really understand how much destruction happened when the typhoon hit the Philippines.  You can see the loss of property, infrastructure and natural resources that were once there.  The loss of not only peoples homes, but entire neighborhoods wiped right off the map.  The remnants of roads can be seen but that is all they are, remnants.  The ability to see the before as well as the after really strikes a toll and makes people realize that this is serious and not just another storm for the people that live here.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 19, 2014 10:50 PM

By viewing the before and after images, one can see how destructive this typhoon was. Almost every building was absolutely destroyed and the damage looks overwhelming. Disaster's such as this can really set a country back, as the damage appears to be costly. Although sad to look at, these images were informational. 

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 7:01 PM

A great set of photos to show the great destructive force of a storm on coastlines. The Philippines are a bunch of small islands made up of primarily coastlines so this typhoon destroyed huge amounts of the country.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 2015 2:51 PM

Such powerful imagery. I was tinkering around with the pictures and moving the scroller from right to left, keeping my eye on a particular house that stood before the typhoon. To keep scrolling to the left and to watch that image of the house completely disappear was absolutely surreal. It made the news of the devastation wrought by the storm seem so much more real; here I was, sitting in class and watching a home- a place where a family once lived, where lives had been and were continuing to be forged- completely disappear from the face of the map, never to return. I have lived in the same home for 15 years, and I could never imagine watching my home disappear in such a manner. The psychological impact of this devastation on such a massive scale is unimaginable, something that must be endured in order to truly understand- and, unfortunately for the people living in these areas, they now understand it all too well. The financial recovery from this storm will eventually come- perhaps not as fast as hoped, but it will, as always- but the recovery in human costs will take much longer. For those affected, many will believe that there can never be a recovery. Watching that home disappear in the blink of an eye makes me feel that they are probably right.

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Why are the MINTcountries special?

Why are the MINTcountries special? | My Geography Blog | Scoop.it

"In 2001 the world began talking about the Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as potential powerhouses of the world economy. The term was coined by economist Jim O'Neill, who has now identified the 'MINT' countries - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey - as emerging economic giants. Here he explains why."

 

Tags: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, economic, development.


Via Seth Dixon
Nicole Kearsch's insight:

Indonesia as a MINT country has its challenges just as the rest of the MINT countries do.  Although it is already a producer of many commodities it was noted that it needs to be seen more in the consumer's eyes as a producer and really needs to focus on that.  A huge issue is the infrastructure.  The infrastructure needs to be drastically improved to get on board with the rest of the MINT countries and able to get into the top economies in the upcoming years.  Even with infrastructure being a serious issue there are many opportunities for growth regarding it.  The build up of the infrastructure is going to need people, as well as people to work to maintain and improve it.  Fixing the problems that Indonesia has will not only directly improve their economy but also move the country into a better direction to improve the economy on a global scale.  

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 2:45 PM

The next generation will come with more country's developments and those could be the MINT countries which are, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, their economy are increasing and are far more bigger than what it was in the 2003. That would be awesome to see all those countries with a developed economy. That will improve the lives of millions and specially Mexicans! Can't wait to see how it will turn out.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2015 2:05 PM

Mexico, along with the other countries in the MINT category, are developing countries that could one day become economic powerhouses.  Mexico, as noted in the article, is in a strong position to become an economic powerhouse, due to the fact that it is in between the United States and the developing countries to its south.  Mexico does face a battle however, as the country has been dominated by corruption for decades, yet the new president, who is young and energetic, is attempting to reform the system and put an end to the wide spread problem.  If Mexico can become a major economic powerhouse, it along with Canada and the United States, could from a strong North American Trio, originally envisioned when the NAFTA was signed into law, back in the 1990s. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:00 PM

The MINT countries aren't that surprising.  After China purchased some of the US debt, it really opened my eyes to who the new powerhouse is.  Mexico could certainly be another powerful country if they could get their act together.  It will be interesting to see the shifts taking place in the next 20 years.