GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography
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Kiribati and Climate Change

You might not be feeling the effects of climate change, but Kiribati, a small country in the Pacific, is actually drowning because of rising sea levels. Check out how the government there is trying to run a country that might not exist in a few years.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Oceania) This short video explores Kiribati, a small group of islands between Australia and Hawaii. At the highest point, the land is 10 feet above the water, posing a major problem with raising sea levels. Due to climate change, half the population was already forced to migrate. Many islands face the same problem, and in the next few decades much more land will probably be underwater.
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Fred Issa's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:39 PM

The people who do not agree that Climate change is real, need to look further than their own neighborhoods for proof that it is real. This really blew me away. Entire island populations that have to relocate to other islands, as their home island of Kiribati continues to sink lower and lower until you are walking in water when the high tide comes in? Imagine that the highest reference point on your island or chain of islands is your town's dump? What is positive about these people's plight is that they are being trained professionally in much needed fields, and second is that they are openly welcomed to other nearby islands. Fred Issa,

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:15 PM

this is an example of a small, innocent nation being hit harder by something caused by large nations which are having no negative impact on them. these large nations will not take responsibility until they must face the same results as Kiribati.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:07 PM

The video explains how the volcanic island will eventually disappear. The reason that the island will disappear is because of erosion and the sea is eating away at it. What makes them so easy to erode is the fact that the volcanoes are no longer active. Soon, coral reefs that are created will be the only thing holding the island together. Most of the island will be destroyed eventually and what is left behind will be in the shape of a caldera. 

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Sweet potatoes might have arrived in Polynesia long before humans

Sweet potatoes might have arrived in Polynesia long before humans | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Genetic analysis suggests that sweet potatoes were present in Polynesia over 100,000 years ago, and didn’t need help crossing the Pacific.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(ORIGINAL) (Southeast Asia) Europeans first found sweet potatoes cultivated by the natives of America. So how did the indigenous peoples of Polynesia, islands 4,500 miles away, also have access to it? While the traditional view is that Polynesians reached the Americas somehow in ancient history, new evidence suggests that sweet potatoes have existed for thousands of years before migration to the islands.

The sweet potatoes of the Americas and southeast Asia are genetically dissimilar, leading researchers to believe that sweet potatoes or seeds traveled to Polynesia by water or birds about 100,000 years ago. Yet the evidence is only based on one preserved Polynesian sweet potato from 1769 and two crops raised separately would be unlikely to look similar. Additionally, human interference can not be ruled out. Polynesians were extremely skilled on water, and one tribe of Native American's word for the crop is very close to the Polynesian word.
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The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally

The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"This year, we’ve seen alarming bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, caused by warm sea temperatures. A recently completed aerial survey of the reef found that 93 percent of the smaller reefs that comprise it showed at least some bleaching, and in the northern sector of the reef, the large majority of reefs saw bleaching that was severe — meaning many of these corals could die.  There was already considerable murmuring that this event, which damages a famous World Heritage site and could deal a blow to a highly valuable tourism industry, did not simply happen by chance. And now, a near real-time analysis by a group of Australian climate and coral reef researchers has affirmed that the extremely warm March sea temperatures in the Coral Sea, which are responsible for the event, were hardly natural."

 

Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Oceania) As expected, the warm sea temperature that is killing the Great Barrier Reef is man-made. A new all-time high recorded warmth in the Coral Sea is due to climate change. In fact, scientists found that in simulations, the bleaching of the coral reefs is 175 times more likely under climate change and is only 0.1% likely in a natural climate. However, a strong El Nino in March 2016 also played a part in the destruction of worldwide reefs, in addition to sea temperatures rising dramatically.
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Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 2018 10:30 PM
As the temperature of the sea rises, the great barrier reef has seen some devastating bleaching. Because of its severity, many of these corals, that were once beautiful and pigmented, could die. Researchers have discovered that this rise in temperature is due to humans.
K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:30 PM
The Great barrier Reef is ana amazing area to explore. Its truly a marvel and a beautiful site. It is also a major boost for tourism and well the majorty of the Reef is seeing heavy bleaching. The updated analysis is that most of the damage has done done by higher sea temps caused by climate change through human beings. Most of these studies however, have not been peer reviewed, but the study was very through. If this continues to happen we will see one of the worlds great marvels continue to to bleach and many of the corals could die.  This is devasting for a few reasons first off people that want to visit this beautiful site and take it in this limits there opportunity. Also for the locals this will greatly hurt the tourism business. Tourism is a huge ecnomic boost in this area and if the Reef continues to be damaged we could see a major turn in the economics in this area. This could eventually lead to the upright in migration from this area and could cause other issues within the country. People owning businesses in the area could be greatly affected as well. This would be a shame to see a beautiful area be tarnished.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 5:30 PM
A terrible occurrence in many ways for the Great Barrier reef in Australia. This bleaching is occurring because of warm sea temperatures. The damage could cause many corals to die and that forces other animals to adapt and migrate. This is an environmental issue that definitely needs to be looked at, but it is also an issue for Australia's tourism. Ecotourism is a huge pull for Australia that gets people and money into the country so it is in their best interests to figure out a way to save the Great Barrier Reef.
 
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Floods cover more than half of Philippine capital

Floods cover more than half of Philippine capital | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day."


Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Southeast Asia) Monsoon season occurs naturally in Southeast Asia, but a powerful storm and industrial practices have undoubtedly amplified its impact. In this report from 2013, the rains became deadly with extreme flooding (1 in. of rain/hour) in Manila. The floods destroyed homes and caused at least 7 deaths, mostly from drowning in neck-deep water. In a state of emergency, everything besides response services were closed. An estimated 600,000 Filipinos were affected by the rains. Flooding is especially destructive in the agricultural villages because of increased isolation and less infrastructure. Deforestation, malfunctioning dams and dikes, and inadequate city development also worsened the flooding.
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Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 26, 2015 1:24 PM

For the second day in a row, the Philippines government has been forced to shut down all work, except for rescuers and disaster responders. Flooding has submerged more than half of the cities capital, Manila. Roads have turned to rivers and tens of thousands of people are trapped in homes and shelters. 7 deaths have been recorded so far. The capital holds 12 million people and more than 200 hundred evacuation centers have been opened. The monsoon that caused the floods is expected to travel north and cause havoc throughout the provinces surrounding Manila.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 11:03 PM

The area of Minila received more rainfall in day than it typically gets in a month.  Flights were delayed and cancelled, roads were turned into rivers.  Some of the thoughts of why this is happening are because of deforestation of mountains, clogged waterways and canals where large squatter communities live, and poor urban planning

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 28, 2015 6:44 AM

Flash flooding is probably the least understood natural disaster in the world. People often underestimate, how dangerous a flash flooding situation can become. The Philippines and South East Asia suffer from widespread monsoons. The regions fertile farmland is a result of the widespread heavy rainfall. A darker consequence of this phenomenon is the occurrence of dangerous flash flooding conditions. This particular rain in the Philippians was strong enough to submerge more than half of the capital underwater. The government in Manila has suspended all government operations that do not pertain to response and rescue missions. There will be major economic effects from this event. The loss of private property, and infrastructure such as roads will put a dent into the local economy.

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Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world

Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

Historically, the top ten most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. Since early 2017, Singapore has tied for number one position with Germany. For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world. It is a testament of Singapore's inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy."

 

Tag: Singapore, SouthEastAsia, political, development.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Southeast Asia) I never thought about passports having different restrictions for different countries, let alone that it could be a measure of a country's power and greatness. Formerly tied with Germany, Singapore managed to scrape off another visa requirement from Paraguay, bringing Singapore's visa-free score to 159. The city-state, a major global commerce center, has become the first Asian nation to have the most useful passport. Visa-free requirements reflect a country's ability to negotiate foreign relations. While the country is poor in land size and resources, Singapore excels in their economy and statecraft.
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David Stiger's curator insight, November 27, 2018 1:22 PM
This articles highlights the logistics and technical minutia of globalization in real life. When people think about people traveling, it is easy to forget that there are barriers such as visas. Depending on the prestige and status of a country, a passport can allow a traveler to enter a foreign land visa free or at least hassle free. As the world becomes more interdependent and borders lose their strict nationalistic rigidity, this ability to traverse freely and more easily is important. One might not think that the small nation of Singapore now has the most capable passport out of 195 countries worldwide. Once tied with Germany to access 158 countries visa-free, Singapore pulled ahead when Paraguay reduced its visa restrictions for Singapore. This serves as another sign that Asia and the "global south" is truly catching up to the Western world. As these other nations catch up to the West's development, even surpassing the West's premier status, people's attitudes will eventually change towards these Asian, African, and Latin American nations. The positive associations will attract more business and more travel giving rise to new opportunities and stronger globalized connections. In the end, Singapore's win over Germany in international travel is a victory for globalization. Now whether one thinks globalization is good or bad is another matter entirely. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 4:37 PM
The Singaporean passport is the most powerful passport in the world, which is a great tagline but what does it mean? Well, passports are created for you to travel between borders and usually to create to another country you need to obtain a visa, but if you have a passport from Singapore you now have the most visa-less passport in the world. Allowing you to travel more freely and will allow many people better opportunities. 
 
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 17, 2018 11:26 AM
Singapore has become the holder of the most powerful passport in the world. This means that people from this country has free access to the most countries around the world. America thought they had the most powerful visa in the world however that's the farthest from the truth. Since Donald Trump has become president America's visa has gone down even more while Singapore has been quietly climbing the totem pole.
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Homeland of tea

Homeland of tea | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea. Different regions are famous for growing different types of tea. Hangzhou is famous for producing a type of green tea called Longjing or the Dragon Well tea. Tea tastes also vary regionally. Drinkers in Beijing tend to prefer jasmine tea while in Shanghai prefer green tea. Processing raw tea leaves for consumption is a time and labor-intensive activity and still done by hand in many areas in China. The Chinese tea industry employs around 80 million people as farmers, pickers and sales people. Tea pickers tend to be seasonal workers who migrate from all parts of the country during harvest time. In 2016, China produced 2.43 million tons of tea."

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(East Asia) China, the founder of tea, is the largest producer of the most consumed drink in the world. With such an enormous country, regional differences between tea cultivation and culture naturally developed. There are approximately 80 million people involved in tea cultivation, which is non-mechanized in many parts. Linking tea with sanctity, farmers work long hours and come from across China seasonally.

A series of images follows the article. Most remarkable are the depictions of old and young Chinese farmers handpicking tea leaves, the vast plantations and agricultural architecture, and the tea tourism industry
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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 11, 2018 1:11 PM
When I first read that tea was the most popular drink in the world I was a bit surprised.  But once I thought about where tea was popular, specifically China and the United Kingdom (not to mention all the areas that they once colonized), it definitely made sense that tea was consumed by so many.  After looking at all of the images regarding tea production, a few things stood out to me.  First, almost all of the employees on the tea plantations were females.  I’m guessing that women are probably not educated to the same extent as men in the regions where most tea is grown and that is why they must take the low skill jobs of picking tea leaves.  Another thing that caught my attention was how much land is used to produce tea.  The regions in China where tea is grown have vast, rolling fields of tea that seem to reflect what the economies in these areas are based off.  It doesn’t seem like too many people that do not work in the tea industry live in these areas because tea takes up most of the land and because there seem to be no jobs outside of the industry.  I’ve heard of tourism based on cuisine or alcohol consumption, but I wasn’t aware there was entire tea tourism industry.  This article highlighted tea expos where people would gather to work as tea art masters or sample teas from the region.  The tea industry is much larger and more complex than I ever would have guessed, but it tells me that my perspective on the world is tainted with a Western point of view.  Obviously a lot of Americans drink tea, but it is not as popular a beverage as say Coca-Cola.  But the rest of the world drinks so much tea, that entire regions of China are shaped by the industry.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:45 AM
This shows the importance of a product to a countries economy, culture, and use of physical geography. China is the worlds biggest producer of tea. This stimulates the economy greatly, and gives 80 millions people jobs as farmers, pickets and in sales. Exporting the tea to other countries also helps the economy. The workers are seasonal, and travel to the tea come harvest season. This also boost the economy in the travel sector. Tea is also hugely part of the cultural geography of China as it is believed to bring wisdom and lift the spirit to a higher level. 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 2018 10:04 PM
This article looks into how the popular beverage, tea, is produced. China is not only the world's largest producer, but also creates many different types of tea including green, black and dragons well. The drink was discovered in 2737 by a Chinese emperor, and the industry employs approximately 80 million people and it produced 2.43 million tons in 2016
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Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis

Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
A shortage of developable land have pushed Hong Kong's housing prices skyward, leading some to live in spaces the size of closets.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(East Asia) Unlike Singapore's regimented government housing, Hong Kong faces a severe housing crisis, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to live in tiny 4 by 6 foot homes. Hong Kong has a population of 7.3 million but only 7% of the city is cleared for housing. Therefore, landlords have to get creative. Stacking these "coffin homes" one on top of another is a great way to save space while providing the bare minimum housing. The coffin homes, little more than closets, have no windows or room to move around. Skyrocketing housing prices have caused extremely dense buildings as the elderly, disabled, young, and poor are forced to move in.
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Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 8:35 PM
The photo gallery in this article helps to give an accurate depiction of the housing crisis in Hong Kong with many people living in units that are 4 by 6 feet. Many families have to live in separate units because they are so small and can't usually fit more than one person. The bright side of the housing crisis in Hong Kong is that these "coffin homes" allow people to live in the major city at a cheaper cost, although it definitely comes with a hefty price with such tiny living quarters. The future looks positive though, as Hong Kong promises to build over 400,000 new homes over the next decade. This will help improve the housing crisis and hopefully phase these "coffin homes" out of existence once and for all.
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 2018 9:31 AM
Now this is a major housing crisis. I thought apartments in NYC were small, but nothing like this. In Hong Kong they have what is called "coffin homes" they are stacked on top of each other to try to fit as many in as possible. With increasing population and just 7% of the land properly zoned for housing it caused a major crunch in the housing market. Currently prices are going for $1,350 per square foot. Obviously this is a major problem and causes living conditions to be brutal especially for the elderly or for families that have to split up due to space. So what to do to fix this problem? Well one would say just make more land available for housing, well that comes with problems as well. There probably is a reason that there is limited land for housing due to geographical issues. So yes we can build more homes, but would we run into new problems such as natural disasters that cause more debt for the people in the country. There definitely needs to be a solution for these people, but it might not be so simple. I will never go back to NYC now and say how small the apartments are, because well you could be in Hong Kong.
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Deleting old scoops

ciao
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
Hey prof I'm about to hit that 50 scoop limit so I'm gonna delete some of the Portfolio Check 1 scoops but not my original ones, OK thanks, see you at the final
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Kiribati and Climate Change

You might not be feeling the effects of climate change, but Kiribati, a small country in the Pacific, is actually drowning because of rising sea levels. Check out how the government there is trying to run a country that might not exist in a few years.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Oceania) This short video explores Kiribati, a small group of islands between Australia and Hawaii. At the highest point, the land is 10 feet above the water, posing a major problem with raising sea levels. Due to climate change, half the population was already forced to migrate. Many islands face the same problem, and in the next few decades much more land will probably be underwater.
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Fred Issa's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:39 PM

The people who do not agree that Climate change is real, need to look further than their own neighborhoods for proof that it is real. This really blew me away. Entire island populations that have to relocate to other islands, as their home island of Kiribati continues to sink lower and lower until you are walking in water when the high tide comes in? Imagine that the highest reference point on your island or chain of islands is your town's dump? What is positive about these people's plight is that they are being trained professionally in much needed fields, and second is that they are openly welcomed to other nearby islands. Fred Issa,

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:15 PM

this is an example of a small, innocent nation being hit harder by something caused by large nations which are having no negative impact on them. these large nations will not take responsibility until they must face the same results as Kiribati.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:07 PM

The video explains how the volcanic island will eventually disappear. The reason that the island will disappear is because of erosion and the sea is eating away at it. What makes them so easy to erode is the fact that the volcanoes are no longer active. Soon, coral reefs that are created will be the only thing holding the island together. Most of the island will be destroyed eventually and what is left behind will be in the shape of a caldera. 

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India introduces death penalty for child rapists

India introduces death penalty for child rapists | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The change to the penal code comes amid nationwide outrage over high-profile cases of child rape.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(ORIGINAL) (South Asia) Recently, the Indian government instituted the death penalty for rape of girls under 12 in an attempt to crush the increasing rates. Although only three executions have been carried out in India in the last ten years, more than 50 cases of child rape are reported each day. The governments' heightened strictness hopefully leads to growing modernization for this economic giant.
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India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt

India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"At least 800 people have died in a major heatwave that has swept across India, melting roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).  Hospitals are on alert to treat victims of heatstroke and authorities advised people to stay indoors with no end in sight to the searing conditions.  In the worst-hit state of Andhra Pradesh, in the south, 551 people have died in the past week as temperatures hit 47 degrees Celsius on Monday." 


Tags: physical, weather and climate, India, South Asia.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(South Asia) India, with the second largest population in the world and a developing infrastructure, often faces heatwaves due to its climate. But recently the heat, spurred by climate change, led to hundreds of deaths. There is no doubt that there are more deaths than can be reported due to the country's largely isolated and rural populations. In this article from 2015, the temperature reached 122 Fahrenheit. The heat causes numerous urban problems, such as  power outages due to ACs and melting roads, but most deaths typically happen in poorer areas.
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Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 4:24 PM

we really ever hear about extreme weather like this unless it affects us directly. "551 people have died in the last week" This is a state of emergency but those in the west will never hear about it. What a shame. I wonder if part of it is that politics in the west wouldn't want you hearing about this as it might support the climate change agenda.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 5, 2018 2:34 PM
Not to make a joke of a serious situation, but I almost cannot function when the weather hits 80 degrees and I value air conditioning as much as oxygen sometimes (I am a baby when it comes to heat).  So the fact that people in New Delhi and the surrounding areas had to deal with temperatures of 122 degrees makes me cringe and sweat just thinking about it.  This article brings up some interesting points about how sometimes the weather can reveal the shortcomings of a society.  First of all, the fact that people actually died because of heat says to me that the government was not prepared to deal with this type of crisis.  There wasn't adequate resources to give people the necessities of water and shelter when facing such high temperatures.  It seems like in this type of heat people probably cannot function as they normally can, so it seems like a system should have been better prepared to keep people indoors and hydrated.  Another flaw of the government that is revealed in this type of weather is poor infrastructure.  The article says that the electrical grids of cities are being overwhelmed by air conditioning use and wide outages were possible.  In an area with a high population and the potential of facing such extreme weather, there should be more of a priority placed on repairing and maintaining electrical grids and wiring.  The high heat also exposed that the roads weren't built to sustain this weather because it literally started melting.  This unfortunate incident in India shows that humans can control a lot these days, but the weather is still untouchable.  The best way to deal with extreme weather is to be better prepared to face it.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:50 PM
India is facing a change in their physical geography as climate change continues to prove itself to be a real problem. The amount of energy being used to air condition homes is astounding and the government is worried of massive power outages. "India's power industry has long struggled to meet rapidly rising demand in Asia's third largest economy, with poorly maintained transmission lines and overloaded grids." Physical geography can effect the economy as well. 
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The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers

The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

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

 

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

 

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

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(South Asia) With a population of 1.3 billion people, India is bound to have serious problems with pollution. But pollution has a profound impact on a religion closely tied with nature and geographic locations for thousands of years. Rivers that were previously seen as the "nurturers of Hinduism" are now drying up because of climate change or are polluting the area. The destruction of Indian rivers is not given proper public attention and the loss of rivers could lead to the loss of Indian history and the meaning of Hindu culture.
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Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 1:21 AM
Religion is shaped by the geography of the region in which it develops.  For example, Hinduism is heavily influenced by the rivers of India, and these rivers are considered holy places sites and places of cleansing and purification.  However, the cleansing power of the rivers is diminished by pollution that makes it unsafe to take part in ritual bathing.  Pollution, climate change, and deforestation are also having an impact on other aspects of Hinduism, which is about celebrating nature in it's entirety, including monsoons, forests, and agriculture.  As nature continues to be negatively impacted by human activity, many aspects of Hinduism will also be negatively impacted.
David Stiger's curator insight, November 12, 2018 3:19 PM
Sometimes both sides can be wrong in an argument, as illustrated in this article. The secular left in India has mistaken their conservative Hindu counterparts as a people stuck in tradition, unable to address the environmental calamities facing modern society. The more right-leaning Hindus believe the secular environmentalism of their countrymen to be antagonistic to the practice of Hinduism - such as the environmental restrictions on firecrackers. Hindus celebrating Diwali feel that fireworks are a central part of the festivities and do not want environmentalists restricting them. The author notes that both sides have missed the point. Hinduism is closely tied to nature and expresses notions of environmental stewardship as a holy endeavor. Liberal Indians do not need to see Hinduism as opposed to environmental sustainability and should stop criticizing Hinduism as a whole. Traditionally religious Hindus should be aware that their own faith would have them be environmentalists - not because of secularism - but because of divine inspirations to coexist with nature. While both sides bicker, failing to understand how Hinduism is pro-nature, the rivers are being ruined by pollution. This pollution will destroy nature, and nature is the foundation and driving force of the Hindu religion. This is because Hinduism was founded around a  river valley civilization - the river and arable land being central to the culture's vitality. 

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


Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:08 PM
The river plays a key role in India. Whether its culture, religion, histor,y in agriculture, in transportation, and in many other aspects. These once bountiful rivers that sustained Indian civilizations are now threatened by pollution, climate change, damns, and other man made reasons. At best if this is problem is not solved it will lead to drastic changes in Indian society, at worse it could lead to the collapse of Indian society, Starting with the end of Hindu rituals. 
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South Africa jailed a white woman for racial abuse for the first time, here are the legal implications —

South Africa jailed a white woman for racial abuse for the first time, here are the legal implications — | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Vicki Momberg, a South African estate agent, was caught on video verbally abusing a black policeman. She used the word kaffirs repeatedly during her tirade against men who were trying to assist. The word is deeply offensive and considered the most racist in South Africa. The state brought a case of crimen injuria agains
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(ORIGINAL) (Africa) Almost 30 years after the legal end of apartheid, white dominance is still strong in South Africa. This landmark case sentenced a woman to serve two years in jail for using the "k-word" (the most racist term in SA) against a black police officer. The woman was charged with "crimen injuria" for intentionally impairing the man's human right to dignity, established in their constitution. The South African court is making a huge decision by suggesting that the "k-word" and other discriminatory slurs will now be universally punished. It is interesting to both note both the the racial separation still in place and the government's new stance on hate speech.
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Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy

Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"Though unrecognized by the international community, the country benefits from a strong social contract between government and citizens."

 

Drop a pin on a map of eastern Africa and chances are it will not land on a healthy democracy. Somalia and South Sudan are failed states. Sudan is a dictatorship, as are the police states of Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia. In this context tiny Somaliland stands out. Somaliland was a British protectorate, before it merged with Italian Somalia in 1960 to form a unified Somalia. It broke away in 1991, and now has a strong sense of national identity. It was one of the few entities carved up by European colonists that actually made some sense. Somaliland is more socially homogeneous than Somalia or indeed most other African states (and greater homogeneity tends to mean higher levels of trust between citizens). For fear of encouraging other separatist movements in the region, the international community, following the African Union, has never obliged [to recognize Somaliland]. Nation-building on a shoestring helped keep Somaliland’s politicians relatively accountable, and helped to keep the delicate balance between clans.

 

Tags: devolution, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, unit 4 political, Somalia, Africa.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Africa) Somaliland, an universally unrecognized state in Somalia, recently held it's sixth peaceful election. Originally a British colony that then merged with Italian Somalia, Somaliland declared independence in 1991, leaving the rest of the war-torn and lawless country. Despite their constitution and pursuit of democracy, no other country will acknowledge their sovereignty to prevent other African separatist movements. Usually democratic reform in Africa comes from foreign aid but without external help citizens of Somaliland created a working representative system. Yet, like most of the continent, corruption and delayed elections poses a problem for the autonomous state, and it is hard to tell the future of the only democracy in east Africa.
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David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 29, 2018 7:46 PM
Its ironic that a small unrecognized country like Somaliland holds elections and is one of the most democratic "nations" in the region. With countries that have western backing falling to corruption and endless war. This nation has peacefully had elections for almost two decades, while there has been some problems. That being said their is a remarkable bond between the people and the people that they elect. They have also gained some notice from nations like the United Arab Emirates. It is interesting to see how this small democratic country develops.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 6:14 PM
Although it is not recognized as its own country Somaliland is Somalia's strongest state. Surrounded by dictatorships, Somaliland built a strong state by creating a strong contract between the government the people. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 1:48 PM
Although plagued by many of the problems facing African democracies; corruption, abuse of power and delayed elections, Somaliland remains one of the bright spots of African democratic movements. The natural democratic development of the autonomous state within Somalia has been a prime example of how a relatively stable democracy can develop when people can trust the government and are left to their own means to form a free and open government.
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First photographs emerge of new Pacific island off Tonga

First photographs emerge of new Pacific island off Tonga | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

The first photographs have emerged of a newly formed volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean after three men climbed to the peak of the land mass off the coast of Tonga. Experts believe a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded until an island formed. The island is expected to erode back into the ocean in a matter of months.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Oceania) It's not often we get to see the formation of a new island, but in a historical geological perspective they occur rather frequently, especially in the Pacific. The island was formed off the coast of the sovereign Polynesian state of Tonga from underwater volcanic activity in 2015 and is less than a square mile. However, some islands like this are temporary and will be eroded by the ocean. Already, the island has developed an ecosystem consisting of birds from the neighboring chain of islands, and when eroded, could provide a home for shallow water fish.
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Louis Mazza's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:17 AM

A new one mile island of the coast of Tonga in Oceania west coast of Australia. A volcano exploded underwater, turning lava in rock and pushing through the surface of the ocean to expose a new island. Three men have scaled the peak of the mountain to date. The men say the surface was still hot and the green lake in the crater smelt strongly of sulfur.

                This is great example of geography constantly undergoing changes and new looks and features. Officials say that this island will be eroded away within the next month so they will not even name it I wonder how many islands like this has happened to, or if inhabitants went to live there then the next day there home is underwater. This is another great example of plate tectonic and active under sea forces that we do not see with our eyes, and what most people do not think of on a daily basis, but is working on a daily basis, constantly changing geography and our world. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 9:34 PM

I just find this fascinating.  History is excellent to study but so is the watching history in the making.  This volcanic island formation off the coast of Tonga is a modern day phenomenon which will one day be history.  Some people predict it will erode back into the water but some others think it will be able to last longer.  Either way stuff like this is pretty cool to watch and study while it is happening before your very own eyes.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:20 PM

This is pretty cool that a new island is being formed, due to a volcano that erupted under water. I am sure there are many more in other places, but it is a new opportunity for life, development and travel. Although since it is new, obviously now would not be a good time because you do not want a volcano erupting on people, that would not be an ideal situation. Although, I hope to one day be able to travel to this new island to check it out. 

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The World's Newest (Official) Ocean

The World's Newest (Official) Ocean | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"The Southern Ocean extends from the coast of Antarctica north to 60 degrees south latitude. The Southern Ocean is now the fourth largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean, but larger than the Arctic Ocean). The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has  declared, named, and demarcated the Southern Ocean as a fifth, separate ocean."

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Oceania) Geography experts now claim the waters around Antarctica will join the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic as the fifth ocean. Almost every member of the International Hydrographic Organization declared the existence of the South Ocean, which extends to 60° S latitude and is double the size of the United States. While it might seem trivial, the Southern Ocean has the most powerful water current, a different circulation, and a unique ecosystem, marking it separate from other bodies of water.
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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 11, 2018 12:47 PM
The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Artic as an American student growing up those were the Oceans that I grew up learning about. So to see an article talking about the Southern Ocean comes as kind of a surprise. We learn as young American students about "Atlantic trade" or our West Coast with "Pacific Trade" we as young students learn about the mysterious Indian Ocean and the unattainable Artic Ocean,  but for some reason the Southern Ocean has been left out. The Southern Ocean as the article explains is the 5th and newest Ocean. Ocean scientist thought it was necessary to name the the body of water south of the Pacific but north of the Artic. While it might not seem that important to some it is key to identify with areas. When we discuss Atlantic trade for the most part in the United States we know we are discussing trade with the Europeans or on our East Coast. When discussing Pacific trade we understand that to be West Coast and probably dealing with China or other Asian countries. As an Australian resident or student they grow up learning about this key body of water to them. They can use it to identity where they are and where they are going. We can also use the body of water to discuss different weather pattern and effects on the countries in Oceania region of the world. An interesting read if  you want to learn more about our forgotten 5th Ocean. 
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 24, 2018 12:22 PM
This is slightly embarrassing to admit, but I have never heard of the Southern Ocean.  I think it is because, as mentioned in class the other day, we do not talk about the Southern Hemisphere very often.  When looking a globe this entire ocean is on the bottom and pretty much out of sight.  I thought that it was interesting that the creation of this ocean was created within my lifetime because all of the rest of the world’s oceans are well documented throughout history.  Even though the water in the Southern Ocean has been there just as long as the other oceans, it hadn’t been designated as an ocean.  I think another reason that I haven’t heard much about the Southern Ocean is because it doesn’t really have any direct impacts on Americans.  All of our trade routes avoid this area of the world, we don’t have any landclaims within the ocean, and very few Americans have actually gone to Anarctica.  This article also talks about the boundaries and the conflict regarding how far north the boundaries of the ocean would be.  Most members of the IHO supported the boundary being at 60 degrees.  However, 7 countries pushed to have the boundary set at 50 degrees.  The reason most countries supported the 60 degree boundary is because it doesn’t add any land outside of Anarctica to the ocean.  Although this article doesn’t state which countries wanted the boundary at 50 degrees, I am guessing its countries with land very far south, like Argentina, Chile, Australia, and maybe South Africa.  This would allow them control over the Southern Ocean that they can’t get with the current boundaries.  It is interesting that it took until 2002 for the point to be raised that the Southern Ocean is district enough from the other oceans, that it should be considered a separate ocean.
K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:30 PM
The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Artic as an American student growing up those were the Oceans that I grew up learning about. So to see an article talking about the Southern Ocean comes as kind of a surprise. We learn as young American students about "Atlantic trade" or our West Coast with "Pacific Trade" we as young students learn about the mysterious Indian Ocean and the unattainable Artic Ocean,  but for some reason the Southern Ocean has been left out. The Southern Ocean as the article explains is the 5th and newest Ocean. Ocean scientist thought it was necessary to name the the body of water south of the Pacific but north of the Artic. While it might not seem that important to some it is key to identify with areas. When we discuss Atlantic trade for the most part in the United States we know we are discussing trade with the Europeans or on our East Coast. When discussing Pacific trade we understand that to be West Coast and probably dealing with China or other Asian countries. As an Australian resident or student they grow up learning about this key body of water to them. They can use it to identity where they are and where they are going. We can also use the body of water to discuss different weather pattern and effects on the countries in Oceania region of the world. An interesting read if  you want to learn more about our forgotten 5th Ocean. 
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The other Asian tiger

The other Asian tiger | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"Vietnam's success merits a closer look."

 

Which Asian country has roared ahead over the past quarter-century, with millions of its people escaping poverty? And which Asian economy, still mainly rural, will be the continent’s next dynamo? Most would probably respond “China” to the first question and “India” to the second. But these answers would overlook a country that, in any other part of the world, would stand out for its past success and future promise.

Vietnam, with a population of more than 90m, has notched up the world’s second-fastest growth rate per person since 1990, behind only China. If it can maintain a 7% pace over the next decade, it will follow the same trajectory as erstwhile Asian tigers such as South Korea and Taiwan. Quite an achievement for a country that in the 1980s was emerging from decades of war and was as poor as Ethiopia.

 

Tags: Vietnam, globalization, development, economic, SouthEastAsia.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Southeast Asia) This article argues the importance of Vietnam as an upcoming Asian Tiger. Vietnam has the second highest growth rate in the world, leading to a current population of 92.7 million. By reducing trading regulations, Vietnam is a cheap substitute for hosting companies in China. Each region of the country was stimulated to have different economies, causing a variety of services to Vietnam. Additionally, Vietnam spends a large budget on education in order to produce reliable workers for the economy. However, the dictatorial government, state owned businesses, and China's dominance of international markets poses a problem for its ascension to a highly developed nation.
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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 20, 2018 11:33 AM
Like this article points out in the beginning, Vietnam is not a country I typically think of when talking about countries who's economies are growing rapidly.  I think that there are still leftover thoughts from the Vietnam War over the state that the country is in.  By expanding manufacturing, they were able to boost employment and exports- two keys to a healthy economy.  Vietnam has also become heavily involved in global trade, which now accounts for a large part of its GDP.  They have been able to take advantage of their physical location nearby China by offering lower prices for businesses looking to develop in Asia, particularly those looking to do business with China.  Vietnam has also invested heavily in education which has made their population competitive in math and science.  Vietnam has done such a good job of managing and growing their economy that they are actually the second fastest growing economy in the world.  They have also encouraged competition among their provinces which has given the country a greater variety in valuable industries.  The obstacles that Vietnam faces into becoming an even more powerful economy are lack of domestic supply chains, meaning they have to import goods to sustain their own population, and a one-party government that is unstable.  Without changes to this, they will struggle to become a major world economy.  However, they show that it is possible for small, developing countries to grow their economies and gain the status of being a developed country.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 3, 2018 3:11 PM
This showcases how quickly economies can bounce back or change. For a long time China and India were thought to be Asia's two economic dynamic duo. However, despite the decades of war that struck the country and ruined the economy and were as poor as Ethiopia, Vietnam has had a 7% increase the growth rate per person. This alters political geographies and economic geographies. 
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The unbearable sadness of being Taiwan, a liberal island other democracies refuse to talk to

The unbearable sadness of being Taiwan, a liberal island other democracies refuse to talk to | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"An island, a territory, a self-governing entity, a renegade province, a breakaway part of China, the place formerly known as Formosa—call Taiwan any of those things, but never a country, a state, or a nation. The simple fact that it took a phone call between US president-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to draw attention to one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies highlights the humiliating plight of Taiwan in the international arena. The irony that the US and other democratic countries cannot openly recognize Taiwan’s achievements for fear of incurring Beijing’s wrath has not been lost on many observers, who nevertheless fear that a cavalier move by Trump to upend diplomatic protocol in such a way could ultimately end badly for little Taiwan."

 

Tags: Taiwan, political, states, borders, geopolitics, East Asia.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(East Asia) The countries of the world cannot identify Taiwan's sovereignty because of China's indignation. Although Taiwan claims to be the true China, most countries recognize the hugely powerful PRC instead. China has prevented Taiwan from entering the United Nations and has pressured countries to perceive Taiwanese citizens as Chinese. However, Taiwan has followed the UN's regulations on issues such as climate change and may soon be the first Asian area to legalize same-sex marriage. While a strong democracy, China strong-arms other nations to exclude Taiwan.
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Loreto Vargas's curator insight, December 12, 2016 10:01 AM
This behaviour towards Taiwan of the so-called “democratic” countries is unfair and their submission to China is unacceptable. But that’s the way things go and Chile is benefiting from this cowardice. Let’s put a stop to the made in China!
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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South’s Moon Hold Historic Summit

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South’s Moon Hold Historic Summit | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War when he stepped across the military demarcation line Friday and shook hands with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(ORIGINAL) (East Asia) The last two weeks have seen a rapid deescalation of the Korean Conflict. Last Friday, Kim Jong Un met with Moon Jae-in in South Korea, marking the first time since the Korean War that a North Korean leader crossed the DMZ. Additionally, in the next few months Kim is expected to meet with Trump. Prior to the meeting, Kim declared that North Korea would stop testing long-range missiles. Probably crippled by sanctions due to the tests, Kim's goal is to improve the north's economy, remove U.S. troops from the south, and seems open to increased peace across the peninsula. While there are still a lot of open ends, the image of the two Korean leaders shaking hands is a powerful sign.
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The Two Koreas

The Two Koreas | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. What follows is a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and where the crisis could go from here. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate rulers of the peninsula. Tensions between north and south gradually mounted, until finally, in June 1950, hundreds of thousands of North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel. The unsuspecting South Korean defenders were outgunned and outnumbered, and beat a hasty retreat southward."

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(East Asia) This article explains the relationship between the Korean War and modern tensions. After WWII, the USSR occupied territory to the north of the 38th parallel and the US occupied the south. The governments of each half both claimed to be the true government of the whole peninsula until North Korea invaded the South, starting the Korean War. Communist China's entry forced UN and US troops into a stalemate at the parallel, eventually leading to an armistice establishing the DMZ, the most defended border in the world. In subsequent decades, North Koreans have dug tunnels under the DMZ to start a new invasion.

With Soviet help, Kim Il-sung created a military communist dictatorship in the north while the UN created a democracy in South Korea.

Despite common cultural heritage, there is a stark contrast between the two countries. The north has half the population, a higher birth rate, and a life expectancy 12 years lower, displaying the country's mismanagement. While the South has free press, free travel, and is the strongest economy in Asia, North Korea subjugates through punishment and is almost completely isolated. North Koreans have little access to food, electricity, and roads.

North Korea has developed a more aggressive policy in the last decade. Many successful missile tests have been made, including one fired over Japan into the Pacific Ocean last year. Even China, North Korea's one ally, has imposed sanctions on the country. Some think a peaceful solution is still available, while others watch the USA-NK Twitter war in anticipation.
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Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 9:10 PM
The two Koreas are polar opposites literally, North and South. The Korean war that took place some 68 years ago never formally ended because they could not come to peace agreements. So the border between North and South Korea known as the DMZ is the most heavily fortified border in the world because tensions still run high. The DMZ is the cease fire line. Both sides fear invasion, however in the current state of things it seems as if the North is more aggressive towards invasion that the South, as the South has found some secret tunnels and fear there's more by the North Koreans. Economically the North is severely behind in the world because of there dictators. While the South has become an economic Tiger thanks to the UN and USA trying to promote democracy in the area.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:51 PM
The two Koreas are a great example of how Capitalism, Democracy, and liberty are far better than Communism. Just the difference in light visible from satellites at night in the two countries speaks volumes. The war being technically not over and only under cease-fire always leaves that chance for the conflict to reopen. Though today they are taking major steps toward peace and making moves that have never been done before. The amount of famine and overall  sub quality of life in North Korea is mind blowing, and with much of it kept secret its hard to imagine how bad it really is.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 3:54 PM
For the two Korean nations, there are stark contrasts in the standard of living and wealth of the people. While the Korean war began in the 1950's it never formally ended a ceasefire was called and has just not flared up in a massive battle again. The two nations are uneasy with each other having different ideas for what Korea should be, but both nations do want a joint Korea. Looking at a map of the energy consumption by the two nations there is a line between those who have it and those who do not. These two have shown solidarity as well in the Olympics joining as one nation, but tensions will continue to flare for a long time.
 
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The most isolated tribe in the world? - Survival International

The most isolated tribe in the world? - Survival International | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Survival helps tribal peoples defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(ORIGINAL) (Oceania) The Sentinelese, a small tribe in the North Sentinel Island, is believed to be the most isolated tribe in the world, violently refusing contact with all outside peoples. The tribe has likely remained on the small island for thousands of years. However, it is likely a well-founded fear of outsiders that causes their aggressive disposition. "Civilized" tribes on nearby islands suffered massive casualties due to a lack of immunity to foreign disease. The island is left autonomous. Any attempt at contact has resulted in volleys of arrows from the natives.
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A Tit for Tat: A Spratly Island Spat!

If you haven't yet discovered http://www.plaidavenger.com/ I recommend exploring it (numerous World Regional resources). You'll find its brand of geography has a whole lot of personality; you'll decide soon enough whether that personality works for your classroom.  This particular 'plaidcast' discussion focuses on political geography, the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), and the strategic importance of overseas exclaves using the Spratly Island example in the South China Sea.

Minor correction to video: Territorial waters only extend 12 miles offshore, not the 200 miles of the exclusive economic zone. 

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Southeast Asia) The Spratly Islands in the South China Sea are a hotbed of tension as China militarizes its navy to spread further into southeast Asian waters. It all has to do with Exclusive Economic Zones, which gives a country exclusive access to the waters around its land. The islands are simultaneously claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Although China is not particularly close to the islands, it patrols the area with battleships and interrupts ships from neighboring countries. Besides the miles of ocean radius the island provides, it may hold oil and is a spot for a potential navy base. The dispute is a major regional issue and could lead any of the countries into a lopsided war against China.
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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:30 PM

This is definitely an interesting tool to use in the classroom. But it also gives the viewer an animated expression of geographic topics. The EEZ that make countries fight over small useless islands because it allows for access to profitable seas. I like this goofy host and the way he takes on serious topics in a way that makes them engaging for people who would otherwise be bored when just reading about it in a text book.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 8:08 PM

I truly believe that if a World War III erupts, it will solely be the fault of China. China isn't contempt with the current land it possesses. As one of the world's super power, China is trying to expand its territory to become a holder of the global economy. Not solely on China, but countries that lie on the South China Sea are claiming the scattered island that lies in the middle of the sea. But the problem comes with the definition of how much land outside of a country can a country possess? If China were to possess this land, what would happen to all of the natives?

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:06 PM

what i would like to know about in relation to this would be what the people of these islands see themselves as. also i think that one of the reasons these countries especially china wants these islands is because it would expand their territory in the ocean (200 miles off the coast) that they would now own.

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Why this India priest carried an 'untouchable' into a temple

Why this India priest carried an 'untouchable' into a temple | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The dramatic gesture made headlines because Dalits have historically been denied entry into temples.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(ORIGINAL) (South Asia) Although the caste system has been outlawed for nearly 70 years, it is still a very real part of Indian life. When a Hindu priest allows a member of the lowest class into a temple, it highlights the widespread social inequality. The man recreated a Hindu legend in which a priest carries an untouchable on his shoulders into the temple. Declaring everyone equal under god, the priest challenged modern constructed segregation. Still, India has a long way to go for social equality, as the caste structure is deeply rooted in Hinduism.
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The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India

The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The country’s future depends on keeping the holy river alive.
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(South Asia) Varanasi, the oldest city in India and the religious center of Hinduism, has an enormous business focusing around cremating bodies to scatter in the Ganges River. Hindus believe the Ganges can break the cycle of reincarnation, so many who do not have money to pay for cremation drop their deceased directly into the river to help them break this cycle. However, the river supports approximately 10% of the entire worlds' population and belief in Ganga, "the self-cleaning river god" allows for Indians to poison the same water they drink out of. It is estimated that 70% of people that use the water become diseased by the sewage and industrial waste poured into it.
India cannot stop dependence on the river. Hindus bath in the holy water of the Ganges, and an increasing population means increased water consumption. It will take concentrated efforts from government and spiritual leaders to change the dominate opinion.
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Sarah Holloway's curator insight, February 16, 2016 6:26 PM

This article touches on very serious religious and environmental issues connected to the Ganges River.  The Ganges is the sacred river of Hinduism and in part because the river valley is the most heavily populated region of India.  Simultaneously, this holy river is an incredibly polluted river as it's the watershed for a industrial region that struggles with significant sanitation problems; this is a great article on the environmental and cultural issues of development.

brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:39 PM
This article showcases how different aspects of geography can both help and harm a country. The Ganges River is incredibly important to India. It is a sacred place where the people believe in Ganges, the idea of allowing the dead to reach eternal liberation. Here, hundreds of bodies are burned a day. If they aren't burned, family members of the deceased let the dead float down the river. This phenomenon attracts many tourist and allows for the economy of India to thrive. However, the bodies are beginning to seriously pollute the river. Areas have become stagnant, full of disease. The problem doesn't end however, as India's population is increasing steadily as well. Water needs to be cleaned to meet the demand or India will face a true crisis.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 2:52 PM
10. Approximately 10% of the world's population lives on the Ganges river basin. Soak that in for a second. 10 % of the world's population rely on one way or another this religiously significant river. The god of the river, Ganga, is worshipped, but the river is also highly polluted. With waste both artificial and human, being thrown into the river and the number of dead bodies that float down to Varanasi, the oldest city in India, to be cremated. As dead bodies flow down the river the people still need to use it to wash. There are ceremonies that the people on the river hold where they dump waste into the river as they know that Ganga will clean the river. The pollution of the river is an issue that will, unfortunately, continue as India's population continues to grow. 
 
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South Africa xenophobic attacks: How did we get here?

South Africa xenophobic attacks: How did we get here? | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it

"As attacks against foreigners and their businesses rage on, killing at least six people this week, other nations in the continent are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from South Africa. But this is not the first time xenophobic violence has exploded in a country that tries to portray itself as a diverse 'rainbow' nation.

What triggered this week's attacks? They started after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini said at a recent gathering that foreigners 'should pack their bags and go' because they are taking jobs from citizens, local media reported. Shortly after his comments, violence against immigrants erupted in the port city of Durban."


Tags: South Africa, Africa, conflict, racism, ethnicity, migration.

Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Africa) South Africa has been prone to sporadic spurts of violence against foreigners resulting in looting and murders. Like other countries, poor areas of South Africans blame immigrants for crime and unemployment - which is now at 26.6%. Undocumented immigrants make up an estimated 4% of the population, attracted because of its modernity and stability. The government of South Africa is strictly against these xenophobic mobs, with hundreds of arrests and condemnation by the president. These attacks are light compared to violence in other parts of the continent, but it is disheartening to see South Africa's continued close connection to discrimination.
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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 7:07 PM

This was an interesting article to read, because it deals with a topic that I know almost nothing about. While I am, of course, familiar with the larger idea of xenophobia, I did not know that it is such a persistent and violent problem in South Africa. It seems that citizens of South Africa are concerned about their jobs being taken by immigrants and local businesses being undermined by foreign owned businesses. Immigrants have also been blamed for increased crime and poverty rates. 

 

This article just goes to show that regardless of time or geographic location, xenophobia will always exist and for the same reasons. Most Americans will remember how hot button an issue immigration was in the early 2000s. U.S. citizens were concerned that immigrants from Mexico and South and Central America were flooding into the country in alarmingly high numbers and were poised to take jobs away from Americans. This atmosphere seems to be echoed in South Africa and the attacks that have occurred there as a result of xenophobia. This is especially significant in a country where xenophobic tensions have shaped politics and social relations for so long. Unfortunately, South Africa just seems to be yet another link in the continuing trend of xenophobia that continues to occur across the globe. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:30 PM

South Africa has always had major issues with race and ethnicity, especially in recent years. this has continued to get worse and worse, and it must be hoped that eventually the situation will be sorted out.

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Too rich for its own good

Too rich for its own good | GEOG 200.01: World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The Democratic Republic of Congo is potentially one of the richest countries on earth, but colonialism, slavery and corruption have turned it into one of the poorest
Zavier Lineberger's insight:
(Africa) This article chronicles why the Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the lowest ranked countries on the Human Development Index despite its plethora of resources. The inciting action leading to DRC's modern problems is slavery. The Portuguese promoted internal warfare to topple the advanced Kingdom of Kongo in the late 1400s to allow better access to slaves. Later, the Congo's vast natural resources would actually be their bane; Europeans would be attracted to the land's fertile river soil, gold, diamonds, oil, and other minerals. The British and Belgian conquered the region ruthlessly first for rubber, then copper for WWI, then uranium for WWII, all the while keeping the Congolese subjugated without rights.

When the DRC gained independence in 1960, there was no framework or educated citizens who could provide stability and civil war predictably ensued, leading to a dictator unchallenged by the modernized world because of his sale of resources. Several African countries invaded, leading to hundreds of domestic and foreign militants fighting in chaos. Now, there is almost no infrastructure. The country's problems go back hundreds of years to a series of inhumane foreign interventions powered by the DRC's wealth potential.
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David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 28, 2018 12:55 PM
This article highlights that resources don't mean that a country will succeed. Resources can bring success or failure to a nation. The Congo has resources that are critical to the digital world's gadgets and toys but is a country that is decimated by events in and outside of its borders. Since the 15th century, the nation of the Congo has had its course be dictated by foreign forces. Either by imperial forces like the Belgians or by fellow African nations. The country is rich with resources that have been critical to civilizations since the Victorian era with resources like rubber being in high demand. This would carrier even further into the 20th century with the overnight demand for uranium with developments into nuclear power and weaponry. After World War II under the Atlantic Charter, the Belgians had to give up its hold of the Congo. Its "leader" decided to violate human rights in Rwanda and due to this was toppled by an alliance of 9 nations. Unfortunately, this would not be the of atrocities in the nation, the puppet government that was installed decided to act without Rwanda's guidance and war would begin again. With the demand high for the resources this nation holds has given birth to even worst atrocities. Children are conspribted into the army and have miners to harvest the resources that lie underneath its soil. If the West is going to buy resources from this country then it needs to step up its game and help end the conflict through diplomatic means. 
 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, November 19, 2018 1:45 PM
It is mind blowing sometimes to look at a country at face value having that much wealth yet  being poor. There has been a struggle in the Congo for hundreds of years ranging from colonialism, to civil war, to today with rebel groups fighting for mineral control. The issues of needing minerals from the Congo, with its unstable corrupt government, will always lead to rebel groups (or the government itself) creating conflict to attain resources for wealth.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 1:30 PM
Why are so many resource-rich countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo so poor and unstable? More modern reasons like the corruption, the dictators, and wars come to mind sure, but what put countries like the DRC is these positions? Naturally, it all goes back to colonialism and slavery. The second that Europeans learned of the immense resources they carve up the territory, they have a skirmish to see who gets a bigger slice, and oppress the people so there is no chance of rebellion. In the DRC after Belgium finally left the Congolese had none of their own who were trained or had the experience to run a nation. I am sure there are people fighting for the best of the country, but when you have been kicked down for so long by so many peoples it is tough to get back up.