Geography Education
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Healthy Nation Rankings: These Are the Healthiest Countries

Healthy Nation Rankings: These Are the Healthiest Countries | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Maybe it’s something in the gazpacho or paella, as Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This data offers excellent insight into regional developmental patterns around the world--it is very much worth exploring.  However I'm sharing this also for it's mapping project potential; the data behind this map is available in the article and students can make their own maps with it.  

 

GeoEd Tags: mortality, medical, development, food, mapping.

Scoop.it Tagsmortality, medicaldevelopmentfood, mapping.

 

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Renee's curator insight, May 14, 5:45 AM
This data will be helpful for students to exam how where a person lives influences their wellbeing (health with a focus on two Asian countries, as per curriculum descriptors). This can be a starting point for learner investigations of; reasons for, and consequences of, spatial variations in human wellbeing on a regional scale within India or another country of the Asia region (ACHGK079 - Scootle )
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99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2018

99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2018 | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For the last 12 months, the global media has been focused on a lot of bad news. But there were other things happening out there too: conservation successes, huge wins for global health, more peace and tolerance, less war and violence, rising living standards, some big clean energy milestones, and a quiet turning of the tide in the fight against plastic. Stories of human progress, that didn’t make it into the evening broadcasts, or onto your social media feeds.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The world isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but far too often the news will give us an overly pessimistic viewpoint about the world (as mentioned in Hans Rosling’s Book, FACTFULNESS).  Slow, incremental progress isn't dramatic enough to make the headlines, and consequently we often miss the evidence that will demonstrate the ways in which the world is improving.  This article wrapping up some positive news from 2018 then, is a welcome bit of news that might change how we perceive some aspects of world.  

 

Scoop.it Tagsstatistics, development, perspective.

WordPress Tags: statistics, development, perspective.

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The Enlightenment Is Working

The Enlightenment Is Working | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Don’t listen to the gloom-sayers. The world has improved by every measure of human flourishing over the past two centuries, and the progress continues, writes Steven Pinker."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great article that only reiterates what was said in Hans Rosling's Book, FACTFULNESS, that the world is getting better. 

Scoop.it Tagsstatistics, development, perspective.

Wordpress Tags: statistics, development, perspective.

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Renata Hill's comment, December 7, 2018 4:17 PM
I'm aware that the book was written by the most privileged of people on the planet: a white male. Of course he has a rosy view. For those of without such privilege, especially people of color in poor socio-economic stratas, life is difficult.
#CheckYourself
dustin colprit's curator insight, December 10, 2018 9:35 AM
It is important for more information providing facts supporting how the world is in fact becoming more enlightened. In today's current society a lot of people gather information from social media and other information outlets that are not always accurate. But their research will often stop here and they will already form an opinion. I think moving away from this and getting more accurate information to people would help the progress of enlightenment. 
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Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage?

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

 

Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty

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Obesity: not just a rich-world problem

"Obesity is a global problem, but more people are getting fatter in developing countries than anywhere else. If current trends continue, obese children will soon outnumber those who are undernourished. Nearly half of the world’s overweight and obese children under five years old, live in Asia. And in Africa, the number of overweight children under five has increased by nearly 50% since 2000. Hunger still blights many parts of the world. But the share of people who do not have enough to eat is in decline. Globally one in nine people in the world suffer from chronic undernourishment. One in ten are obese. If current trends continue, the share of obese children in the world will surpass the number of undernourished by 2022. Africa has the fastest-growing middle class in the world. A move from traditional foods to high-calorie fast food and a more sedentary lifestyle is driving the rise in obesity. Health systems in Africa, more focused on treating malnourishment and diseases like malaria and HIV, are ill equipped to deal with obesity-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. "

 

Tagsmortality, medicaldevelopmentfood.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 2018 11:27 AM
This video has taught me some new facts in regard to the obesity crisis going on in the world. Growing up, I would hear so much about the obesity crisis here in America and how the rest of the world is so healthy for the most part. This video has given me a new perspective on the current obesity crisis, and that it isn't just an American problem anymore, but is now becoming a global problem.
One part of this video in particular which stood out to me was that in all of these developing nations that are suddenly becoming obese, American fast food chains are embedding themselves in their societies. It's no wonder that obesity is no longer just an American problem, but becoming a wold crisis since all of these American fast food chains are moving into these developing nations. It seems as though if the world wants to see a decline in obesity, we must stop eating so much processed food from these types of restaurants and get the proper amount of exercise needed for a healthy lifestyle.
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Globalization, Trade, and Poverty

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

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

 

Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course

 

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

Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world | Geography Education | 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: SingaporeSouthEastAsia, politicaldevelopment.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Who else is high on the list of the most powerful passports in the world?  This tier system is based on the number of visa-free entries available to the holder of the visa:

1. Singapore

2. Germany

3. Sweden

3. South Korea

4. Denmark

4. Finland

4. Italy

4. France

4. Spain

4. Norway

4. Japan

4. United Kingdom

5. Luxembourg

5. Switzerland

5. Netherlands

5. Belgium

5. Austria

5. Poland

6. Malaysia

6. Ireland

6. USA (that's tied for 19th for you competitive sorts)

6. Canada

7. Greece

7. New Zealand

7. Australia

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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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Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement

Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For centuries, South Asia has had its own Khawaja Sira or third gender culture. Now, some third gender people in Pakistan say the modern transgender identity is threatening their ancient culture.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Sometimes our assumptions about a society, and how they might react to cultural issues are just that...assumptions.  I for one was very surprised to learn that Pakistan had a traditional third gender. 

 

Tags: culture, developmentpodcast, genderPakistansexuality, South Asia, religion.

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David Stiger's curator insight, November 11, 2018 5:11 PM
From an outsider's perspective, cultures are often hard to pin down. This became clear again when trying to comprehend Pakistan's third gender community. Not to be confused with the more modern transgender community, the third gender - or Khawaja Sira - is manifested in the traditional roots of Islam. It seems like a religiously accepted mode of existing to transcend gender. Because Khawaja Sira falls under the precepts of Islam, it is therefore tolerated but not necessarily embraced. What is interesting is that because there are rules and traditional codes outlining how a Muslim can be Khawaja Sira, there a good deal of hostility towards the modern Western notion of transgender - referring more to a person who "transitions" from the gender of their birth to a gender they more strongly identify with. One would think that Pakistan's third gender community would be more open and understanding of the West's transgender movement. This is not the case. When a Westerner is traveling in Pakistan and notices a third gender option, the person should not assume Pakistan is a bastion for liberal-minded progressives. Instead, Pakistan is just being Pakistan. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 1:55 PM
A topic to discuss. People who don't agree with the beliefs or rights of people in the LGBTQ community will talk about how this is a new issue. That it is the new generation that is creating these ideas.  But multiple genders and sexualities have been around for hundreds of years in many different ways. There are Native American tribes whose people had "two-spirits". Those people fulfilled the third gender ceremonial roles for their communities. In this story, they discuss Khawaja siras are "God's chosen people", the third gender people who can bless or curse anyone. But "God's chosen people" are also greatly discriminated against in society. You see the contradictions that society puts on people who don't conform to what is supposedly right.
 
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The Fallacy of Endless Economic Growth

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Kimmy Jay's curator insight, May 10, 2017 3:51 PM
This would be good to show during 6th grade lesson on refugees 

Matt Richardson's curator insight, May 10, 2017 6:43 PM
The multiple catastrophes occurring in Central Africa at the moment are among the worst in recorded history. These traumatized people need to be heard, understood, and helped. 
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Water Is Life

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

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

 

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

 

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

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, April 8, 2017 11:49 PM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Interrelationships; Geographic Perspective;
Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 5, 2017 12:15 PM

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

 

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

 

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

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Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

 

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

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 31, 2018 3:36 PM
When I think of dumps or garbage I usually don’t think of them being deadly.  Unfortunately in Addis Ababa, part of the dump collapsed and 113 people ended up dying.  Not only did the collapse injure people, but it also wiped out the homes that surround the area.  The lack of codes about infrastructure in the city is most likely the cause of this incident.  There were no regulations about how garbage had to be dumped in order to keep it from collapsing.  There were also no rules about how homes should be built or where they could be built.  This article points out that there were attempts made in order to stop dumping at this particular landfill, but the dumping was resumed right before the collapse.  The government also relocated some of the residents that lived by the dump, but were not able to move everyone before the accident.  Although efforts were made to avoid a situation like this, the government wasn’t forceful or fast enough to prevent it.  Many of the victims of this were women and children which is telling of the culture of the city.  The women and children scavenge the landfill in order to find things they can either repurpose for themselves or sell to make money.  The last section of the article also says that Ethiopia prides itself as being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.  But this incident shows that they still have a ways to go before they can become a more developed country.
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 2018 3:26 PM
Inside the Koshe landfill in Ethiopia, there were makeshift mud and stick homes.  Residents say the collapse the has killed over a hundred residents could have been because of protests at another landfill and some blamed the construction at a new waste to energy plant at Koshe.  families who lost loved ones haverecieved or will receive any where from $430 to $650 each and will be resettled permanently in the coming years.  It is sad to see people living like this but most of all to see a government allow such situations to exist.
Matt Manish's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:08 AM
According to this article, Ethiopia has one of Africa's fastest growing economies. This tragic event makes me wonder about the spatial inequality of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa. Especially, since capital cities in most nations are usually the most developed part of the country. It would seem that is a more highly developed area like a capital city in Ethiopia, that there would be more adequate housing for residents than a landfill, even if those residents are considered to be poor. From looking at this article it seems as though there must be a wealthier class in the city that is developing rapidly, while the poorer community is forced to live on the outskirts in the landfill. Hopefully a tragedy such as this one never happens again and more suitable housing can be found for the lower class in Ethiopia.
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Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman

Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At first, the trial and convictions in the death of Farkhunda Malikzada seemed a victory in the long struggle to give Afghan women their due in court. But a deeper look suggests otherwise.
Seth Dixon's insight:

DISCLAIMER: I strongly recommend that the video not be shown in class (I wouldn't show the embedded video in my college classes, but I would discuss the article).  The video is as horrific as anything I've ever seen and yet I feel compelled to share the story because it is important to understand the cultural and institutional problems of Afghanistan to get a handle on the deeply entrenched issues. This also shows parts of Afghanistan are seeking to make the transition into a more modern society, but there are other elements that are firmly rooted in the past where mob rule was once more easily justified.  

 

Tags: Afghanistan, culture, developmentgender

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Why China Ended its One-Child Policy

"China has huge ambitions for the 21st century. But it’s demographic problems will be a significant challenge on the way there."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I know that YOU know that China ended the One-Child Policy, but many incoming college freshman have a world view about population that is a generation behind on many of the current population trends.  This video discusses most of the APHG population topics using China as the world's most important population case study--that makes this video excellent to show in a regional or human geography course.

 

GeoEd Tags: China, population, industry, development, statistics, economic, video, APHG.

Scoop.it TagsChina, population, industry, development, statistics, economic, video, APHG.  

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Iqaluit’s population turns to Amazon Prime

Iqaluit’s population turns to Amazon Prime | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Sky-high food prices in the North have led many residents of Iqaluit to turn to Amazon Prime to save on necessities. But is that a sustainable solution?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Nunavut is remote...far more remote than most of our students can imagine.  They live over 1,000 miles from any city with half a million people.  The entire territory is enormous, but sparsely populated with only 36,000 people.  Try to image getting commercial goods to such a remote location.  The Canadian government has invested heavily to subsidize systems to get food products and other necessities to Nunavut.  Still, the transportation costs are so high, and the numbers are so few that economies of scale can’t help this situation. 

Enter Amazon Prime in 2005, and the online retail giant began offering free shipping for “Prime” customers for a flat yearly subscription fee (today $99 in the U.S.).  This was simply too good to be true for many customers in far-flung settlements in Nunavut.  Amazon, probably not anticipating the overwhelming transportation costs associated with a place like Nunavut, in 2015 stopped offering Prime membership for Nunavut customers that do not live in the capital city of Iqaluit.  Still, the capital city looks to Amazon Prime more so than the Canadian or territorial government as their lifeline to the global economy.  Some even argue that Amazon Prime has done more to improve the standard of living  and providing food security for Nunavut residents than the government.            

Scoop.it TagsCanada, distanceindigenous, poverty, development, economicfood, food distribution, density.

WordPress TAGS: Canada, distance, indigenous, poverty, development, economic, food distribution, density.

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Factfulness

"The three authors of Factfulness explain why they decided to write the book that is now available in 24 languages."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I just finished Hans Rosling’s book, Factfulness.  It was an absolutely delightful read (who wouldn’t want to imagine hearing Hans Rosling’s voice while relaxing on the beach?).  So much of the populace have outdated paradigms about the world and too many have an overly pessimistic worldview that everything is getting worse.  This is why FACTFULNESS is so needed day.  This term is used to describe a fact-based, data-driven worldview that is not overly dramatic, or fear-based.  In so many ways, the world has been consistently getting quantifiable better; this derived from an optimistic perspective, but a factful understanding of the world today.  This book is his clarion call to understand the world as it actually is and is the culmination of his professional achievements.  Now that he has passed away, it feels like a major part of his lasting legacy.  If you’ve ever used his TED talks, Gapminder, the Ignorance Project, or Dollar Street resources, this is a must read.

 

Tagsstatistics, models, gapminderdevelopment, perspective, book reviews.

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Income and Wealth Inequality

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

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

 

Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course

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Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 2018 6:33 PM
It is interesting to see how unequal some income is for people around the world. Especially in countries like China and India that have some of the world's largest populations. These same countries also have some of the lowest incomes in the world for the majority of their citizens. Adding to that, it is intriguing to see how only a small percentage of people hold most of the wealth in the world, while the vast majority of the world population aren't even close to that level of wealth. While the income inequality gap has increased significantly since the time of the industrial revolution and continues to grow bigger.
theascen sionhouse's comment, March 17, 2018 12:54 AM
nice
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 29, 2018 10:57 PM
Inequality of income and wealth has resulted in numerous issues through out history. While many people are unhappy about inequality in wealth, I don't believe it is a problem that will be worked out easily. It is unfair but in many situations, those with money influence or hold positions of power. This prevents action being taken. In other situations in equality may be a result of another issue. Hopefully the gaps in inequality and wealth will be shortened and provide aid those in poverty.
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As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger

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

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

 

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

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Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 2018 9:57 AM
The article explores the devastation that Venezuela is feeling right now. After the economy collapsed in 2014, the entire country has been in shambles. Because of the inflation caused by the economy collapse, food has been nearly impossible to find. The article discusses multiple families who lost their children as a result of severe malnutrition. However, the government has turned a blind eye to the increasing infant mortality rate, often telling doctors and hospitals to not record many deaths.
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Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds

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

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

 

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

 

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

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Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 2018 8:41 PM
This video is extremely interesting seeing as it points out the differences between two very different worlds that are only separated by a single border. The video shows how racist the Dominicans are to their neighbors and shows us how the Haitians live under such scrutiny. On each end of the border, there are two markets that are supposed to allow both the Haitians and the Dominicans to trade their goods, however, the strict border patrol officers keep the Haitians from entering until their neighbors have set up their shops at the best spots. The director of the video also notes that he believes the reason Haiti is much poorer than the Dominican Republic stems all the way back to when they were colonies of France and Spain. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 12:47 PM
I found this video to be very insightful into the relationship Haiti has with the Dominican Republic and how the Haitian government has formed into what it is today. It was especially informative for myself because I didn't know very much about these countries before watching this video. I knew Haiti was the first slave colony to have a successful revolt against their slave holders, but I didn't know or realize all the consequences of that slave uprising. It seems like Haiti wasn't given a proper chance right off the bat to succeed as a nation. The French overworked their land and destroyed the soil which is still a problem today. Once Haiti declared independence, many nations enforced embargoes on Haiti because it was considered a threat due to it being a black republic, which strangled their potential for a strong economy. Adding to that France demanded a large sum of money from Haiti after they declared independence because France was upset about losing profits from the colony, which hindered the Haitian economy even more. It's too bad that Haiti got a bad hand of cards right from the beginning, I hope that one day they can rise above adversity, and truly flourish as a nation.
tyrone perry's curator insight, March 14, 2018 10:43 PM
watching this showed many disturbing facts about the island shared by the D.R. and Haiti.  because of both of their previous owners the island went in two different directions.  Haiti owned by the French brought over many slaves to pillage and exploit their side of the Island.  Haiti could not flourish because of racism and debt.  D.R. had a different history the Spaniards integrated with the locals and worked together to help the country grow.  they took care of their land and their was no racism playing any role in destroying the people of that country.  driving up and down the you can see the difference on both sides.  Haiti has a bare and eroded land while the D.R. has lush jungles.  according to the narrator there is strong racism towards the Haitians by the Dominicans.  Even thou they both share the island the Dominicans look down on the Haitians and refuse to help them even thou D.R. is a so to speak rich nation they could really help improve and grow both nations as a whole.  Its sad to see that the reason people cant grow is because of systemic and blatant racism. 
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The World Bank is eliminating the term “developing country” from its data vocabulary

The World Bank is eliminating the term “developing country” from its data vocabulary | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In the 2016 edition of its World Development Indicators, the World Bank has made a big choice: It’s no longer distinguishing between 'developed' countries and “developing” ones in the presentation of its data. The change marks an evolution in thinking about the geographic distribution of poverty and prosperity. But it sounds less radical when you consider that nobody has ever agreed on a definition for these terms in the first place. The International Monetary Fund says its own distinction between advanced and emerging market economies “is not based on strict criteria, economic or otherwise.” The United Nations doesn’t have an official definition of a developing country, despite slapping the label on 159 nations. And the World Bank itself had previously simply lumped countries in the bottom two-thirds of gross national income (GNI) into the category, but even that comparatively strict cut-off wasn’t very useful."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Labels and categories are so often problematic, but they are also necessary to make sense of the vast amount of information.  Regional geography is inherently about lumping places together that have commonalities, but acknowledging that many differences from place to place makes the world infinitely varied and complex.  Since we can’t process an infinite amount of complexity, we categorize, for better or for worse.  In education, we are continually trying to show how some categorizations fail, hoping that our students will categorize the information they receive in better ways (non-racist ways for example).  The regional terms we use--Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, etc.—impacts how we think about the world.  Each of those terms highlights a few similarities and ignores some important differences.  The terms More Developed Countries (MDCs), Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs), and Less Developed (LDCs) is how many people have socioeconomically categorized the world’s countries, some preferring developing countries instead of LDCs because it less stigmatizing.  In 2015, many at the World Bank have thought that the term “Developing Countries” obscures more than it reveals.  In 2016, the World Bank removed the term from its database since there are more differences than similarities in the economic structures and trajectories of developing countries.         

 

Questions to Ponder: What are some of the major problems that you see with the term developing country?  Even with its problems, what utility is there in the term?  Will you keep using the term or will you abandon it?  How come? 

 

Tagsdevelopment, statistics, economicindustry.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 29, 2017 3:06 AM

Global challenges: Development

James Piccolino's curator insight, February 8, 2018 6:51 AM
I agree that it is important to categorize in order to learn and group things together. I understand some of the implications but it is nonetheless important to the way we learn about other areas. To do away with all labels of this kind will not make the topic and world view more inclusive, but instead make things so complicated that people will either not understand it or not bother with it's complexities. Things need to be distinguished between qualities and traits in order for proper analysis. 
othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 2:55 AM
This article explains how the World Bank is removing the term "developing country" from its data. This means that developed countries and developing countries all get lumped into one. This can change the way we view some countries compared to others. This can also help remove the stigma people have for certain countries. The downside to this is countries identify themselves differently from other countries and want to be identified as their own country. This can strip the identities of a country if it gets lumped together with another region or as one continent. 
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As U.S. Life Expectancies Climb, People In A Few Places Are Dying Younger

As U.S. Life Expectancies Climb, People In A Few Places Are Dying Younger | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The wealthiest country, which spends the most money on care for the sick, has far from the best health outcomes. Babies born in eastern Kentucky, along the Mississippi Delta and on Native American reservations in the Dakotas have the lowest life expectancies in the country. If current health trends continue, they aren’t expected to live much beyond an average of 70 years. Meanwhile, a baby born along the wealthy coast of California can be expected to live as long as 85 years, the authors found."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What geographic and socioeconomic factors shape mortality rates?  What is better about society today then before?  Has anything worsened?  How come?

 

Tagsmortality, medical, developmentregions, USA, population, statistics.

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Julia May's curator insight, July 20, 2017 1:21 PM
Very interesting article but a haunting truth! 
Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 9:00 PM

Questions to Ponder: What geographic and socioeconomic factors shape mortality rates?  What is better about society today then before?  Has anything worsened?  How come?

 

Tagsmortality, medical, developmentregions, USA, population, statistics.

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Anti-vaccine activists spark Minnesota’s worst measles outbreak in decades

Anti-vaccine activists spark Minnesota’s worst measles outbreak in decades | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Minnesota, the Somali American community has been hit hard, with a fourth of the young patients hospitalized.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I had measles as a child. I am so disheartened to see this now-perfectly preventable disease that nearly killed me resurface in the United States because of a fear-baiting, anti-intellectual movement.  The spread of any disease carries spatial component that interests geographers, but there is also cultural geographies that help to understand, explain, and (hopefully) combat this issue.  Please vaccinate the ones you love.   

 

Tagsmedicaldiffusion, culture, mortality, development, cultural norms.

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Why do women live longer than men?

Why do women live longer than men? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Despite the social inequality women experience, they live longer than men. This is the case without a single exception, in all countries.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The question “why do women live longer than men?” is both biological and cultural.  This means that 1) gender as a cultural construct that influences behavior is a mitigating factor and 2) sex, as a biochemical issue, is a separate set of determining factors.  Estrogen benefits women because it lowers “bad” cholesterol) and “good” cholesterol, but testosterone does the opposite.  Women are more likely to have chronic diseases, but non-fatal chronic disease, but men are more prone to the more fatal chronic illnesses.  For the cultural reasons, men are less likely to seek treatment, adhere to the prescribed treatment, commit suicide, and engage in more risky behavior.  While these may read like a list of gendered stereotypes that don’t apply to all, when looking at the global data sets, these trends hold  and are more likely to be true.  How masculinity and femininity is constructed certainly shapes many of these factors and deserves some discussion. 

 

Tags: culture, population, mortality, development, cultural norms, statisticsgender

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Senegal's Great Green Wall combats desertification

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 31, 2018 9:34 PM
This “Green Wall” was originally supposed to span the southern border of the Sahara from the east to west coast of Africa. It was made up of trees and elements of forests in order to prevent the desert from expanding and reducing the amount of land available for food production. This seems like it would be a great idea that would work well, but the plan has some flaws. In the early stages of building up the barrier, nomadic herders are supposed to be prohibited from using the land, as their cattle would destroy it. However, the system in place in Somolia sees only one soldier guarding hundreds of kilometers by himself. The nomadic people are often desperate for food, so they often try to break in and sometimes resort to violence. This is problematic because it defeats the purpose of the barrier in increasing the farm land. Many of the countries in along the “Green Wall” do not maintain it as well as they should and Nigeria actually abandoned the project all together. For this reason many ecologists believe the effort is a waste and the climate change can not be stopped. But the efforts of the Somalians has paid off. Crops such as grapefruit and watermelon have been grown in areas that would have been unsuitable for such crops a few years ago. Migratory European birds also settle in the area during the winter. Another benefit that comes from the Wall is that nomads are not forced to join terrorist organizations as their only sources for food, because farming is made easier in the Sahel. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 2018 3:12 PM
The great green wall is a man made ecological wall from the Atlantic ocean thru 10 countries to the red sea.  This is to prevent the desert from expanding, but also it is protected from nomadic herders, and loss of food.  This project still has a long way to go but ha not been completely abandoned yet. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 10:12 AM
Although Senegal is one of the few countries in the Sahel to actually follow through on its promise of building its green wall, it may be fruitless in the long run. The expansion of desert regions seems relentless. However, what is most surprising is how rapidly the ecosystems have changed and the crops that can be grown there. Watermelon, grapefruit, and European migratory songbirds have all taken hold, drastically altering the agriculture and environment of the region. 
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How did Zimbabwe get so poor?

President Mugabe's economic mismanagement of Zimbabwe has brought the country poverty and malnutrition. After 36 years in charge, he's looking to extend his rule by 5 more years.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Poverty at the national level is usually not a function of limited resources, but more often it is a sign of weak institutions.  This is but one example of how governmental mismanagement can put a country's developmental progress back decades.

 

Tags: Africa, Zimbabwe, development, economic, political.

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Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 10:02 AM
Robert Mugabe's blatant and stunning incompetence and corruption destroyed the value of the Zimbabwean dollar and the resulting hyperinflation decimated the national economy. This is one of the premier examples of how a total lack of competent and powerful institutions can undermine a once promising economy and devolve a nation into one of the poorest on earth. 
David Stiger's curator insight, November 7, 2018 11:40 AM
Setting the record for world history's worst case of hyperinflation should send a signal to any sane person that a change of course is drastically needed. But, it seems Zimbabwe's chief dictator (parading as a "president"), Robert Mugabe, made one-too-many errors leading to the collapse of his country's economy. The unemployment rate hit 95% in 2008. One could argue this disaster started with British racism and exploitation. To deal with the complex legacy of European colonialism, Mugabe confiscated all the commercial farmland from white owners and redistributed the business to friends, loyalists, and family who did not have any expertise in running agricultural businesses. To make a few short-term gains, the valuable lands were sold off and neglected. Consequently, the agricultural sector crumpled severely reducing the flow of revenue and trade. To combat this, Mugabe decided to cheat and print more money - causing a process of vicious hyperinflation. The excessive regulations and taxes also make it difficult for new businesses in Zimbabwe to get off the ground. 

In relation to geography, it is interesting to analyze how the aftermath of British colonialism and good natural resources are present in the world's poorest country. Mugabe's decision to push out white farmers was clearly a big man method of dealing with the shame, grief, and anger of colonial exploitation, theft, and degradation. This aggressive backfired as even though the land is quite arable, it requires special knowledge, management, and dedication on part of the land's stewards to reap success. This seems to be a trend in some African countries. They are endowed with good natural resources to build a strong economy. The problems created by colonialism, however, and the lack of human capital in these African nations have led to cases of severe mismanagement and struggle. 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 11, 2018 2:30 PM
ItIt is horrible that after Zimbabwe gained it independence from a apartheid like government that oppressed some of its people, its leaders including Mugabe turned around and continued to oppress certain people. They kicked out all the white farmers (a majority of farms at the time in Zimbabwe were owned by whites)  and replaced them with government friends. This obviously leads to famine with not many crops being grown. The market was decimated because Zimbabwe went from being a bread basket of African agriculture to a malnutrition state begging for economic aide to prevent mass starvation. History may repeat itself today where South Africa is attempting to make the same mistake.