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Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself. Our blue and green world is becoming greyer by the second. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world with up to 2.8bn tonnes."

 

GeoEd Tags: industry, sustainability, consumption, climate change, environment, architecture, resources.

Scoop.it Tags: industry, sustainability, consumption, climate change, environment, resources.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 30, 5:44 AM
Natural resources
Owenchung's comment, May 13, 11:45 PM
terrible .
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The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers

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

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

 

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

 

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

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Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 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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A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard

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

 

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

 

Tags: pollutionOceaniawater, environmentsustainability, consumption.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 26, 2018 1:49 PM
If I had looked at this picture without the context, I would think it was somewhere where people had stayed for a while and then left the place trashed with their own garbage.  In reality,  this is an island that is 3500 miles away from the nearest major settlement and doesn’t have any human inhabitants.  This really exemplifies that even though plastic waste may not be in one’s backyard, it never truly goes away.  Plastic is a material that cannot be broken down, so when it is dumped it just moves around until it hits land.  The article pointed out that plastic is incredibly difficult to clean up, particularly on places like Henderson Island.  When it floats in the ocean for a long time, it becomes brittle and breaks into very small fragments.  Those small fragments then mix with the sand and get buried, making it impossible to get rid of.  Another fact about this island that was shocking is that 3,750 pieces of litter wash up everyday, which is 100,000 times than other islands.  Henderson Island is not suitable for humans to live on, as there is no freshwater, frequent storms, and incredibly sharp terrain.  It is interesting that an island that keeps humans away can’t defend itself against plastic.  The reach of humans extends far beyond what they imagine and even uninhabitable land is infested with human waste.  No matter how remote a place is, it will still be effected by people.
David Stiger's curator insight, December 5, 2018 12:08 PM
Although a remote place like Henderson Island is uninhabited, the amount of trash that blankets its shores should still be alarming to humans. It is highly visual evidence of the damage that human waste is having on the earth as a whole. If this much trash if landing on the shores of an island, which is surely degrading the environmental quality and ecosystem, then how much trash lies underneath the waves of our blue planet? This means that coral reefs, the source of fish, and ocean water that transforms into water vapor forming clouds is all contaminated. If something ends up in the oceans, it will eventually end up in our food chain. The marred beaches of Henderson Island illustrate what is happening to nature's cycles. 

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

Shifting away from plastic to a more environmentally friendly material will be difficult but not impossible. In this case, if there is a will there is a way. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 8:36 PM
It is sickening to see how a uninhabited island can still be ruined by human products. People need to realize that they are hurting more and more islands and need to open their eyes. With people so far away we can still effect ecosystems terribly. 
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Making cities sustainable with urban agriculture

Making cities sustainable with urban agriculture | Geography Education | Scoop.it
To reduce the pressure on the world's productive land and to help assure long-term food security, writes Herbert Girardet, city people are well advised to revive urban or peri-urban agriculture. While large cities will always have to import some food, local food growing is a key component of sustainable urban living.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Urban agriculture is right at the perfect intersection for human geographers who focus on both urban networks and food systems--clearly this is an important overlap that deserves a more detailed look. 

 

Tags: food, consumption, sustainability, socioeconomic, food desert, food, urban, unit 5 agriculture

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Matt Le Lacheur's curator insight, May 14, 2017 7:29 PM

This article links well with my Authentic Learning post on my blog http://mattgdlt.weebly.com/the-whiteboard.html . A unit of work could easily be designed around the concept of sustainable food in an urban environment. The topic links in to the year 9 content descriptor (ACSSU176) under Science Understanding Biological Science.

M Sullivan's curator insight, August 28, 2017 8:48 AM
Urban farming - an important factor in making megacities sustainable.
Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 9:02 PM

Urban agriculture is right at the perfect intersection for human geographers who focus on both urban networks and food systems--clearly this is an important overlap that deserves a more detailed look. 

 

Tags: food, consumption, sustainability, socioeconomic, food desert, food, urban, unit 5 agriculture

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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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As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

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

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

 

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

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 14, 2017 7:49 PM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships, Geographic Perspective.
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The Environmental Cost of Consumption

The Environmental Cost of Consumption | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Environmental artist J Henry Fair captures the beauty and destruction of industrial sites to illustrate the hidden impacts of the things we buy – the polluted air, destroyed habitats and the invisible carbon heating the planet
Seth Dixon's insight:

This artistic portrayal shows the extent of the massive modifications we've made to the landscape with some striking examples.  Pictured above is one of 17 images in this article that promotes the launch of the new book entitled, Industrial Scars: the Environmental Cost of Consumption.  In the image above we see mountaintop coal mining in West Virginia.  "This lonely stand of trees disappeared in barely a day. The small bulldozer on the upper level pushes loose material down to the loader, which scoops it up into the next earth mover in line, which will in turn dump it into a nearby ‘valley fill’, burying the stream there." This might be the most beautiful and ugly set of images that you'll see today. 

 

Tags: pollution, industry, sustainability, images, art, landscape, unit 6 industry.

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Sally Egan's curator insight, October 30, 2016 6:28 PM
Photographic essay illustrates the impacts of human use of resources. The beautiful images illustrate the extreme impact on the environment.
Sally Egan's curator insight, October 30, 2016 6:30 PM
Photographic essay illustrates the impact of human activity on environments.
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 16, 2016 5:37 PM

Production and consumption - interconnections and consequences 

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Look Inside The Doomsday Vault That Protects Seeds Of The World

Scientists set up a vault in the Norwegian Arctic to keep as many varieties of seeds as possible in case of a catastrophe.
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's nice to know that if there is a cataclysmic disaster, that Norway has the world's back...you know, just in case.  I really hope that the asteroid of the future doesn't hit the island of Svalbard now.   

 

Tags: sustainabilitydisasters, agriculture, food production, unit 5 agriculture. Norway.

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It's official: a global mass extinction is under way

It's official: a global mass extinction is under way | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tagsphysical, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 28, 2016 7:03 PM

Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends; Interrelationships;

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Land Use and Watersheds

Land Use and Watersheds | Geography Education | Scoop.it
George Monbiot: Every year billions are spent in Britain and Europe on policies that wreck homes and lives through flooding
Seth Dixon's insight:

Governments and property owners often act as though a parcel of land is not connected to the broader forces and systems that reshape our Earth.  This article is a reminder that what happens upstream can impact the entire watershed.

 

Tags: environmentwaterUK, land use, sustainability.

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China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing

China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Schools in Beijing are closed and outdoor construction halted as the Chinese capital's first ever pollution "red alert" comes into effect over smog levels."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A large part of China's rapid economic growth has been dependent on cutting corners in labor and environmental standards.  This is one reason why I don't think that the Chinese economy can continue this growth indefinitely.

 

Tags: pollutionChina, development, economic, megacities, East Asia, industry, sustainability, urban ecology.

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Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 16, 2015 6:39 PM

It's horrible to see China come to this. Soon, air pollution will be just as bad everywhere else if it is not stopped. We, everyone, has to do something to stop air pollution. This world is polluted enough. Stop air pollution so future generations can have a chance to have a good life and not have to worry about PM levels are in the air on a daily basis.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 11:35 PM
Another example of the impacts of China's disregard for environmentally sustainable practices. The city's industry and thousands of cars produce massive amounts of pollutants, making the air difficult to breathe on most days.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 10:00 AM
This article shows the harm one country can cause when prioritizing their economic growth over protecting the environment and maintaining public safety. The geography of China is that it is surrounded in the South and East by industrialized cities. This has increased air pollution such as smog and forces the people to wear masks and even drive cars on an alternating schedule. This calls for a new global deal on climate change to fix the air quality and way of life for people in China and around the world. 
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The Electronic Afterlife

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


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

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Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, November 10, 2015 11:37 AM

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

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The Ogallala Aquifer

The Ogallala Aquifer | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Hidden beneath the 245,000 square miles that make up the Great Plains, resides a lake that’s one of our greatest water assets: The Ogallala Aquifer. Haven’t heard of it? Farming the plains would be unprofitable at best without it, as shown by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the time, the aquifer’s existence was known, but the technology to tap into it wasn’t.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  This podcast explores the environmental and economic impacts of this unsustainable situation.


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, podcast.

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

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

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The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

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

Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it's inedible -- but because it doesn't look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.
Seth Dixon's insight:

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.

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Sabrina Ortiz's curator insight, March 5, 2017 7:29 PM
My scoop it opinion piece was on global food waste. How globally food is thrown by the tons daily. Its audience is everyone and its purpose is to try to get people to open their eyes and waste less. America makes over four times the amount needed to feed its people. We are hurting the environment by making so much food that just go to waste. The purpose of this is to illustrate the huge issue we have with countries of people who don’t have food to begin with and here we are throwing away perfectly good food that could be use for these people or to feed pigs to make more meat. His exigence is all the food that could be use for other people or animals and its going to land fills daily. Its like a ticking time bomb hurting earth. His constraints are the laws set on food given to live stock in Europe and companies and the corporations that control the food. He urges people to use the amount of food they truly believe they will eat.
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Why houses in Bermuda have white stepped roofs

Why houses in Bermuda have white stepped roofs | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The island of Bermuda has no fresh-water springs, rivers or lakes so the design of its roofs is essential for collecting rainwater.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is such as distinct, localized example of how people adapt to their physical environment.  It explains why a particularly cultural landscape is prevalent, and the article nicely shows how traditional island living comes into conflict with tourist expectations and consumption patterns.  Tons of good geographic factors in this issue for students to analyze. 

 

Tags: water, tourism, sustainabilityarchitecture, consumption, landscape, Bermuda, environment adapt.

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Bad Earth: the human cost of pollution in China – in pictures

Bad Earth: the human cost of pollution in China – in pictures | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This series of images shows the extent of China’s pollution problems and the human toll of exponential growth on local communities in China’s vast and severely damaged northern region

 

Ghazlan Mandukai, 52, left, looks out over the vast, toxic tailings lake beyond the industrial city of Baotou, Inner Mongolia. He farmed in this area for 40 years until the influx of steel and rare earth metal factories rendered local lands infertile. Poisonous waste that results from refining rare earths is continually dumped into the Weikuang Dam, as seen here.

 

Tags: pollutionChina, East Asia, industry, sustainability, images, art, landscape.

 

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Keone Sinnott-Suardana's curator insight, June 22, 2016 10:21 PM
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 10:30 PM
China has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world: but at what cost? They make themselves competitive in global markets by delivering goods and services at low prices, which they achieve through under-paying workers, not using resources to ensure workers' safety, and polluting the environment by ignoring protocols for safely disposing of waste products, which costs time and money.  The result is air that is unsafe to breathe, millions of people and animals with poisoned water supplies, and land that cannot be farmed.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:39 PM
CHina's pollution issues are pretty bad, possibly the worst polluter in the world. The air quality can be so terrible it reminds me of Industrial revolution London, except Chinese cities are even worse. Not just air pollution from smoke stacks but land pollution from dirty mining and water pollution in rivers from factories all play key roles in China's pollution problem. Some estimates put the number as high as a million Chinese deaths per a year attributed to pollution. This article does a good job of breaking down the pollution issue into simple terms.   
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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today's extinction, humans are the culprit.  [In this podcast] our guest is Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the book The Sixth Extinction.  The book begins with a history of the big five extinctions of the past and goes on to explain how human behavior is creating this sixth, including our use of fossil fuels which has led to climate change."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tagsphysicalpodcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

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Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, March 20, 2016 8:22 AM

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tags: physical, podcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

Jukka Melaranta's curator insight, March 20, 2016 2:41 PM

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tagsphysicalpodcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

Tania Gammage's curator insight, March 20, 2016 9:26 PM

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tags: physical, podcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

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How ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger

How ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger | Geography Education | Scoop.it
About a third of the planet’s food goes to waste, often because of its looks. That’s enough to feed two billion people.
Seth Dixon's insight:

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions.  In a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates, food waste needs to made more explicit. 


Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, unit 5 agriculture.

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FDH Editor Team's curator insight, March 9, 2016 7:50 PM

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust). 

 

This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions.  In a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates, food waste needs to made more explicit. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, unit 5 agriculture.

Katerina Stojanovski's curator insight, March 10, 2016 6:10 AM

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions.  In a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates, food waste needs to made more explicit. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, unit 5 agriculture.

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, March 11, 2016 9:29 PM
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Dam Collapse

Dam Collapse | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"On November 5, 2015, two dams collapsed at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil. The dam is owned by Samarco, a joint-venture between the mining companies Vale and BHP Billiton. News outlets estimate that more than 62 million cubic meters of wastewater have been unleashed so far with catastrophic consequences. The immediate release of sludge wiped out numerous villages including Bento Rodrigues (shown in greater detail above), causing the death of twelve people. Eleven others are still missing. Because of this pollution, more than half a million people do not have access to clean water for drinking or irrigating their crops. By November 23, the contaminated waters covered a 400 mile stretch of the Rio Doce River and entered into the sea, killing significant amounts of planet and animal life along the way. Officials are concerned that the toxins will threaten the Comboios Nature Reserve, a protected area for the endangered leatherback turtle."

 

Tags: dam, environment, land use, sustainability, landscape, images, environment modify, pollution.

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

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

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

 

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

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 19, 2015 7:57 AM

elements abundance

16s3d's curator insight, November 23, 2015 7:16 AM

Morphisme du tableau périodique des éléments en fonction de leur abondance

Lilydale High School's curator insight, May 17, 2016 5:57 AM
science!
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The Geography of E-Waste

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


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

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 6, 2015 5:22 PM

Areas of proaction and consumption / glean connections between places

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 9:56 AM

summer work

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