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Scooped by Gene Gagne

Highly concentrated population distribution

Highly concentrated population distribution | history | Scoop.it

"Only 2% of Australia's population lives in the yellow area. "

Gene Gagne's insight:

The yellow represents desert and with no rainfall what are you going to grow. the white area is the area that gets plenty of rain, good farmland for raising livestock, excellent natural harbors and resources. the yellow upper part probably is not desert but I bet its cold up there.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 4:13 PM
This distribution of Australia's population should come to no surprise to people who have a vague idea of the continent's geography. The coastal areas are by far preferable to the desert areas of the continent's interior. A good example of how geography impacts population density and where people decide to live.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 10:20 PM
The population of Australia is highly concentrated at the coast. Only about two percent of the population lives in the yellow shaded area on the image present in the article. The reason for the middle of Australia being so lightly populated is because the harsh climates. Where most people do not live the climate resembles the Sahara desert, which is very dry, and lacks rainfall. While the coastal areas where most of the population is concentrated resembles climates like Brazil, California, and India. These climates that most people live are not as harsh on the human and better for agriculture, cattle and port cities are known to be economically more powerful and populated. Since they access to the sea is so imperative these days.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 4:38 PM
The area often referred to as the "Outback" of Australia is one of the most sparsely populated areas on the planet. Due to the harsh environment and lack of resources not many people live their at all with the exceptions being some scientist, anthropologist, and native aboriginal tribes. This environment to many   seems like a horrible, desolate place. Hence why it was a great setting for Mad Max to help Illustrate the gravity and desperateness of the situation. To people that know the land better there is a lot there and a vast array of species only found in the Outback. 
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Vanuatu: Meet The Natives

"Five men from the remote Pacific island of Tanna arrive in America to experience western culture for the first time, and force us to look at ourselves through brand new eyes..."

This cross-cultural experiment reinforces numerous stereotypes, but also seeks to get viewers to look at issues from a variety of perspectives.  Folk cultures, modernization and globalization are all major themes of this show.     

Gene Gagne's insight:

This reminds me of what we learned in class about American people or white folks in general go to a native island and want to see the natives uncivilized and not up with the times of technology, clothes, homes made of up to date material. They want to see grass skirts, old tools, tribal living. The white folks see modern times already they want to see old things.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, May 1, 2015 6:59 PM

This is a very interesting as both men travel to America from a place where they have lived all their lives. A cross cultural experiment that shows globalization and modernization and how it takes effect. its pretty interesting as i know multiple people who have had to adjust to the lives in the western worlds, and try to find a place within the society and try to blend in, but end up hating it and moving back to their roots so its a very interesting take on modernization, global culture with the culture they are used to.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:19 PM

I think exercises like this are really cool, there are a lot of these experiments that go on with culture swaps and I always find the reactions when returning home to be probably the most interesting, just like in this video it is a large celebrations and it helps to put things in perspective

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:42 PM

This is a show that is based on how we see and view daily life of native people as compared to our own. How ever I feel as though this show is more based on the how these people actually live rather then adapting and learning to the area that they are in. It does show how globalization plays an important role in the show.

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New Zealand panel unveils four alternate flag options, to a largely negative reaction.

New Zealand panel unveils four alternate flag options, to a largely negative reaction. | history | Scoop.it
Kiwis aren't showing their enthusiasm toward the final four alternate flags they'll be allowed to choose between. We analyze the results.
Gene Gagne's insight:

a flag is a strong national symbol. How strong? enough to have a change of heart on the black silver fern. This is where globally a crisis in one country can have an impact on what other countries do. New Zealand decided the colors were Isis colors and didn't want to send the wrong message. This reminds me of gang colors. It affects anything from colors of bandanas to professional sport wear. innocent sport fans have been targeted by gang members for the colors of their jersey.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 4:03 AM

To be honest I feel as though the changing of the new Zealand flag has more to do with outside opinion than their own. Two of the main reasons they wished to change their flag was to first be differentiated from Australia and two please the native population. Unfortunately when you have a long time it is very difficult to change because people identify with it. I personally think they should keep the old flag for they make their identity and culture not the flag. Also if they must choose it should be the second from the left since it looks the closest to the old flag keeping traditionalists happy while adding new elements. Plus the swirl one to be honest looks pretty bad.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 11, 2018 10:16 AM
We might think a flag choice is not that important. However, think about it for one second. Think of the feeling you get when you see a certian flag or a certain symbol. If your a Red Sox fan and see a Yankees symbol think of what that means to you or if your a Red Sox fan and your in a foreign area and see a Red Sox hat and that feeling that you get knowing someone is like you in that area. Symbols are important and how we feel about these symbols are important. New Zealand was looking to unviel a new flag and much of the reaction was negative. Most thought they were uncreative and unorginal and overall just not a fan of the final four choices. I thought a good quote from the article was " This reeks of design by committee. Get enough people in a room and soon something that is good to average is now not." I agree we try to get together to "make everyone happy" and well we end up making no one happy. This is a cruical decsion for these people to vote on and they should be proud of their new symbol of their country.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, December 14, 2018 11:42 PM
A flag is intended to represent a people and a government while also portraying a common heritage and a sense of timelessness. The symbols on the flags can be incredibly potent politically and culturally, which the Kiwi's aren't enthusiastic about.The four flags below are the final four flags they can choose from.
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Walled World

Walled World | history | Scoop.it
We chart the routes of, and reasons for, the barriers which are once again dividing populations
Gene Gagne's insight:

the social impact is we do not get to mingle with people of different culture, religion, ethnicity. Economically businesses do not grow at least on the small business side. There is no chance of growth. what about population once again if you stay with in a section divided by walls then the population stays within. a society would have to stay above the 2.06 fertility rate to keep their population stable.

Whitney Souery's curator insight, May 28, 2014 6:51 PM

Walls are a symbol of political boundaries and motives, usually intended to keep certain people in or out. This website in particular clearly highlights this idea in human geography as it explores the various walls that mark our landscape and thus contribute to changing policies and borders. Walls can also affect the landscape, not just mark it, as an effect of asserting either political dominance or border policies, as best seen by the resulting environmental results that come from it and the displacement of people (as seen on Palestinian-Israeli border). 

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:06 AM

We looked at this map in class its really interesting nd weird to see all the dividing walls in the world and to discover ones youve never seen before.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 12, 2015 9:53 PM

The video attached to this article reminded me made me think "racism". It is not Americas first time targeting one cultural group and antagonizing them. We did it to the Indians, Jews, at one time we denied Chinese immigrants the right to enter the country or become a citizen. The projection of walls in my opinion only creates more room for crime. I would love to research what benefits its had. I think the world is lacking the understand that people are people .period. This segregation and division is so unnecessary and creates wars, tension, hostility, and divide.


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Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive?

Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive? | history | Scoop.it
Sixty of Mexico's native languages are at risk of being silenced forever—but many people are working to keep them alive, experts say.
Gene Gagne's insight:

This is one of the reasons that when immigrants come into this country its important they keep their native language going as well as learning to speak English. The sharing of culture, and language is indeed very important. Lots of people come to America and are told to speak English and eventually they lose their native language as well as culture. The English speaking only citizens of this country lose out on a good education about someone's native country. Its too bad. Just think music, language, food, values etc...there is a lot to learn.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 20, 2015 10:28 PM

Monolingualism is great in the sense that it facilitates greater communication across a wider range of people, creating a sense of unity among those same people. However, lingual differences are one of the most beautiful aspects of human culture and civilization, with thousands of specific idioms and uses pertaining to each language shaping a millennium of various human experiences scattered across the globe. I often must explain to my friends that something that sounds good in one language I speak (I am moderately fluent in Portuguese) does not translate well in the other when each individual word is translated rather than the sentiment of the phrase as a whole. It is sad to think that this collection of specific nuances and experiences pertaining to a multitude of languages could be lost by the end of the century; in our desire to be closer to each other, we are losing the best of what we have to offer one another.  I hope that efforts to reverse this trend are successful. On a more light-hearted note, I did chuckle a little while reading that two of the last speakers of one of these indigenous languages in Mexico are two old men who refuse to speak to one another. They have the power to save something much larger than themselves, and yet are unable to do so because of petty, earthly rivalries. Humans are a complicated bunch.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 22, 2015 8:29 AM

The demise of a language is a truly tragic event. I am heartened to see that there are efforts being undertaken to preserve these historic languages. New technologies  will hopefully aid us in this effort. I imagine that the United States probably faces similar issues when it comes to language loss. We should coordinate some sort of national policy in how to deal with the issue. The current state of political affairs will probably hamper  the cause, but it is still worth a shot. I am in full support of all efforts that might preserve these classic languages.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 24, 2018 10:45 PM
Languages are greatly important which is why I see the urgency in wanting to keep those endangered languages alive. Globalization through this article shows to be affecting cultural geography as Mexicans no longer see the need to know any other language but Spanish since it domains. This is causing the culture of Mexico to be forgotten. Just like Harrison said, "Each of the Mexican indigenous languages contains millennia of human experience, wisdom, and practical knowledge about the natural environment." The many languages are one of the things that shape Mexico and its people. 
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More Mexicans leave than enter USA in historic shift

More Mexicans leave than enter USA in historic shift | history | Scoop.it
After four decades of mass migration to the U.S., more Mexicans are now returning home.
Gene Gagne's insight:

With less jobs now in the u.s. and the economic growth in Mexico this is a good reason for Mexicans to head back home. What people do not realize at least I did not is the fact that there is a lot of entrepreneurship on the streets of Mexico. Since 2000 the changes that have occurred in Mexico is economy, education, politics and lower birth rates. 

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, November 27, 2015 4:33 PM


Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:17 PM

The first thing I thought while I was reading this was "I wonder if Donald Trump, and his flock of moron followers have seen these statistics?" I mean, never let the truth get in the way of a good hate speech right?! But as I continued reading I couldn't help but worry about the effect this could have on the American economy. The truth is that illegal's do the work we aren't willing to do. Do you know any American kids who want to work in the fields of Alabama picking watermelon's for $5 an hour? Hell, do you know any American kids who want to work, period? Do I actually think a watermelon is worth $13?

John Puchein's curator insight, December 4, 2015 6:51 AM

Due to a Mexican economy rebounding and a slow down in the American economy making it harder to find jobs, we are seeing a change in Mexican immigration patterns. While this has been suspected for years, Pew research finalized a study. 

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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style | history | Scoop.it
A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youth in Cambodia.


This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization.  Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography).  What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?

Gene Gagne's insight:

I thought this was a good video because it talks about a person who was probably living in the u.s. all his life and got hooked on the wrong side of the track and now forced to leave the u.s. The good news is he is seeing a country he was probably born in and never saw. he is able to bring with him some American culture such as breakdancing, music, his tattoos his English language. At the same time he is going to learn his culture.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 30, 2015 3:10 PM

This video is a very important aspect to bringing two countries together. It not only brings out the a better education for the young people but it also bringsin one country with another giving it a similiar style. Break dancing in America and being taught in another country by someone who was here and then deported means that the countries will have a similiar thing in common. This man is teaching the foundations of a better life and a life without drugs and an intrigal part of adulthood so they are able to get jobs and a better way of living.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:08 PM

this is a wonderful example of someone giving back to their adoptive [if ancestral] home. this is a good way to keep kids out of trouble while also introducing them to a new culture and style of dance.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:03 PM

this is great, making the best of a bad situation and working with kids to make sure that they do not make the same mistakes as you did is a great thing. also the examples of cultural diffusion or great as well. everyone knows that there is nothign better for kids growing up than to be a part of after school programs where they can continue to learn different things.

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How Vietnam became a coffee giant

How Vietnam became a coffee giant | history | Scoop.it

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

Gene Gagne's insight:

Well for one thing this gives a chance for growth at the expense of others. I noticed though that the numbers stated that since the end of the war in 1975 the poverty level has decreased from 60% to 10%. But what about the possibility of corruption? environmentally there appears to be  deforestation, lots of water usage therefore future water shortage.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 3, 2018 8:22 AM
So how does a traditionally tea drinking country, become the 2nd biggest export of coffee? Well we need to look at colonization and well desperation. While the Vietnamese still prefer to drink tea many of the French that were there during colonization prefered coffee. However, coffee production never really took off until post Vietnam War and with a desperation move to help the economy. With a floundering economy and practices that were not working the government turned its eye to coffee production. At the time 60% of Vietnamese people lived below the poverty line, however nowadays they are just about under 10%. It is not without its problems as it has caused problems with destruction of land and heading into the future they have started to exhaust all of the lands that they can use to produce coffee.  They will need to continue to be innovative if they want to continue to see a surge in the coffee market. It is definitely interesting to see why and how certain items are exported out of countries and the history behind it. I for one would never think Vietnam would be a coffee giant.  
tyrone perry's curator insight, May 1, 2018 12:59 PM
Vietnam is one of the highest coffee producers of the world.  It help bring down the poverty level in the country.  But when something good happens of course something negative has to happen.  Many of Vietnam’s fields are thought to still be filled with mines from the war.  Because of that many forests have been cut down to provide fields to grow the coffee.  Needless to say their environmental dangers are rising.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 17, 2018 12:51 PM
Vietnam does cultivate rice but it is the worlds second largest exporter of coffee. Vietnamese do not drink coffee much they are more of tea drinkers. The cultivation of coffee has been good economically for the country but environmentally it has ruined the country.
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In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms

In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms | history | Scoop.it
In an era when the United States has been focused on new forms of conflict, the dangerous contest suddenly erupting in the East China Sea seems almost like a throwback to the Cold War.
Gene Gagne's insight:

I understand that the united states has been the most powerful country in the world for the last 100 or so years and that china was not so powerful. But now china thinks it is time to grow and can do so because of its great economic situation and its building of military. China has rapidly moved up the ranks in these two titles and finally they want to show the world how powerful it got. i don't know what happens in the future but china knows it got America nervous though we would never admit it. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:29 PM

There will always be problems with every country. China needs to focus on their new issues and deal with them properly.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:38 PM

There will always be problems with every country. China needs to focus on their new issues and deal with them properly.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:35 PM

As China grows more aggressive in its territorial claims, Japan and South Korea are both adjusting their militaries to fit the situation. Both countries are expanding their military presence throughout the disputed region as they worry about China's expansion. The article states that China may be attempting to push American presence further away from their shores, and explains the increasing tensions between the two.

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Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style

Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style | history | Scoop.it
At a new restaurant, expats find a taste of home and locals try foreign treats like fortune cookies.

Imagine living in China and missing Chinese food. It happens. American expatriates who grew up with popular takeout dishes like General Tso's chicken can't find it in China because it essentially doesn't exist here. Much of the Chinese food we grew up with isn't really Chinese. It's an American version of Chinese food. Chinese immigrants created it over time, adapting recipes with U.S. ingredients to appeal to American palates.  Now, Americans living in Shanghai can get a fix of their beloved Chinatown cuisine at a new restaurant.

Gene Gagne's insight:

This is the opposite of American franchises going into a foreign country. The franchises have to cater to the culture foods or go out of business. McDonalds as we see it in America serve hamburgers but in some Asian countries they serve oriental soups and must cater to their culture foods or go out of business. Here in this article its the culture of America's way of making Chinese food and bringing it into china.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 20, 2014 8:53 AM
Most people in the United States do not question cultural authenticity in regards to ethnic food. It is safe to say that most ethnic foods in the US could be considered fusion. What is incredibly interesting, is that globalization has allowed for different cultural communities to thrive in foreign countries. The substantial American population in Shanghai has allowed for the blossoming of a new American-Chinese restaurant. It would not be surprising if this theme of American fusion restaurants spreads to other places with high ex-pat populations.
Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 13, 2015 11:50 AM

This is a cool article because many times we assume Chinese food is actually Chinese when it isn't. All of the food we eat that we think is Chinese is just our own American versions of it. If you go to that part of the world, that type of food isn't even found there. Now Americans living in Shanghai can go to a restaurant and experience what they would if they were living in America. American-Chinese food is very popular and to see it reach Shanghai is incredible because of how influential it has become. They faced many problems and not many people even believed that they'd stay open but their success has brought joy to the people living in that area. 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 7:10 PM

Genius idea for these two guys to capitalize on a market that would seem to be non-existent.  I have always thought that Chinese food in America was the way it was in China.  Knowing that it is not and knowing how many Americans are in China, not to mention how much American culture has an effect in China, especially food, this is a great way to bring American culture to the East.  Like the one lady said, she felt like she was at home when she ate the meal.  The power of food is amazing.

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China to end one-child policy

China to end one-child policy | history | Scoop.it

"All couples will now be allowed to have two children, the state-run news agency said, citing a statement from the Communist Party. The controversial policy was introduced nationally in 1979, to reduce the country's birth rate and slow the population growth rate. However, concerns at China's aging population led to pressure for change."

Gene Gagne's insight:

Lets not forget the expansion of china also with its economic strength and its military strength which is a threat to other countries in the area because china can take control and with Chinese moving into Africa and United states as residents china is going to need to populate its own country.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 24, 2015 6:58 AM

Chinas change in policy can be directly attributed to the need of unskilled labor. China has become an economic superpower, by exploiting its vast resources of labor. For decades, China has had a vast reservoir of cheap labor to rely on. In recent years, that vast reservoir has begun to run dry. This new phenomenon can be traced to the governments one child policy.  The lack of multiple new births has lead to an older population. An older population can provide the type of manual labor, that China needs to compete in the global market. The government  hopes to revesre the aging trend by ending this policy. If successful, China would likely see another era of great growth within its economy.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:55 PM

First implemented in 1979 and diminished in 2013 It is good to hear something like this has finally come to an end. Although it deemed successful by stopping the birth of an estimated 400 million babies, there were some places that allowed two children in rural areas if the first was a girl. It is assumed though that even though this is no longer a required policy, many couples may only have one child since it is accepted as a social norm. 

Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 8:42 PM
China enacted a one child policy in hopes of controlling the overpopulation problem in the major cities. It was not a strict law per say that you would go to jail if you had a second child, you got tax breaks if you managed to only have one child. The one child policy ended up working and because of it there are 300 million less children than if they did not have this policy. However they stopped the policy because of the problems that the future generations and rural families faced. The one child policy was bad for rural farmers because they needed more than one child to work the land or work in general to help support the family. There was also a surplus of males because of the ultrasound, the females were usually aborted because makes are seen as more valuable. As well one child will also be burdened with taking care of all there elders, which is costly for one person.  
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Aral Sea Basin

Aral Sea Basin | history | Scoop.it

"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."

Gene Gagne's insight:

Once there is less water in a lake there is less water in the air therefore less rain. The long term consequences is that the fishing industry is destroyed where once upon a time there were 61000 workers and now there are under 2000. The water is more saltier. The lands are now ill suited and unbuildable. Also the people there are prone to health problems.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 9:24 AM

This startling picture from space of the Aral Sea is heartbreaking.  The destruction of this inland sea is a terrible thing to behold.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:36 PM

The Aral Sea Basin has been a topic of conversation throughout geography for many reasons. What used to be filled with water is now blowing dust because its that dry? This basin is no longer a natural resource.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 3:30 PM

Here is a question. Do you think perhaps in the future this could happen to lake Mead in Nevada/Arizona? With all the non-stop building and no rain perhaps one day could it run dry or do we have a way to stop it.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

"Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.
Related Article: http://nyti.ms/gSvOkM"

Gene Gagne's insight:

I can relate to this article seeing my research article is about Lake Baikal. You are right it is a bit outdated but most of the 2000 people who have lost their jobs are receiving help from the state even if it is short term. The people who have important skills are being relocated while others are given some other form of training. Others are waiting  for something to open up while in the meantime they are raising chickens and farming. There could be a bright side in the future economically as there has been talk about building a Russian type Disneyland which could produce income and jobs for people. The problem is there is a lot of environmental liquid waste to clean up which is cost effective. But it could attract investors in the future.

Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 20, 2018 12:18 PM
The Soviet Union's command and control economy allowed totally impractical industrial ventures like a paper mill on Lake Baikal to exist. This mill only served to employ workers and produce a good that would be sold at a set cost where profit is irrelevant. However, the mill's location away from any industrial center or shipping hub made the operation of such an isolated factory in a capitalistic economy totally unfeasible. Also, factors such as the environmental perfection of the lake's ecosystem adds additional pressure to cease operations. What can function in the Soviet Union does not always survive the forces of political and economic changes. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, March 24, 2018 2:38 AM
This shines a light on a couple of different issues.  First, the economic implications of monotowns.  Monotowns are towns with planned formal economies that are based on one industry.  Other, small businesses pop up to cater to the needs of the people who work in that central industry.  These monotowns were utilized throughout the Soviet Union, and some survive today.  One example of such a town is Baikalsk, a town on Lake Baikal that is centered around a paper mill.  The economic well-being of every resident of Baikalsk--the mill's employees, their families, and the owners of small businesses in the town-- is based in the success of the paper mill.  But on the other hand, the process of paper making has been polluting Lake Baikal for decades, which has led to environmentalists campaigning for the mill to be closed.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 3:52 PM
Lake Baikal is in the middle of environmental destruction and the people of a small Siberian mono-town being out of work. This is a huge crisis because mono-towns are areas where the economy is revolved around one industry. The industry that is located around Lake Baikal is one that is severely polluting the Lake. The problem with shutting down this one industry which is a paper company is that all the people that live in this mono-town work at the paper company, so the whole community will be out of work. Lake Baikal could be a source of revenue for Russia as a whole however Putin is bypassing environmental guidelines to keep these workers in a job. Its sad that polluting the worlds deepest Lake is second to these workers. Ruining this lake will have a long term effect on Russia and it will not be good. There should better steps to be put in place to protect this natural wonder as well as keep people in work.
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New Zealand oil spill

New Zealand oil spill | history | Scoop.it
View New Zealand oil spill pictures on Yahoo! News. See New Zealand oil spill photos and find more pictures in our photo galleries.


There are many geographic applications in this…Environment, globalization, economies of scale, etc.

Gene Gagne's insight:

this is a major environmental problem. It will cost billions to clean up and it will end up at the expense of citizens all over the world as prices increase on products. If there is any major fines they do not take the hit consumers do.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 23, 2014 6:40 PM

This gallery of photos show the cargo tumbling into the waters of New Zealand causing the oil spill. It is crazy to see each cargo container tip and a ship of such great mass go down. 

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 26, 2014 2:28 PM

These images of the New Zealand oil spill are sad to see. It seems oil spills are occurring more and more throughout the world. Large ships holding oil should be inspected closely before going out to sea to prevent accidents such as this one from occurring. 

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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | history | Scoop.it
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.
Gene Gagne's insight:

the government punishing a whole culture for crimes is outrageous. Not all are guilty but all are punished. it is proven fact that more minorities in this country are incarcerated for drug usage than whites but that doesn't mean you jail all black people. The government is being racist because the aboriginal are poverty stricken group who do not contribute to society, they only have a population of 300,000 people. In the governments eyes they just exist on the land and do nothing for the economy. Well it must have some influence because they are protesting by not allowing tourists climb Uluru or Ayers rock. I guess the government will not be collecting permit fees or other fees associated with the climbing of the rock. Tourism should take a hit from hotel accomendations  to hiking tour guides to purchasing gear etc...

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:38 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, this article is about Aborigines in Australia protesting "racist" government policies. It sounds like the Australian version of what would happen if America's Native Americans teamed up with a racial oppression organization. They are apparently threatening to shut down the most famous landmark in Australia to visitors if the government doesn't change it's position. I don't blame them, fight the power!!

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:22 PM

Australia has always had troubles dealing with their past actions against the native population of their island, and this will hopefully be a wake up call on the policies they have taken.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 5:24 PM
Interesting how the Aboriginal people of Australia are using geography as a form of protest, claiming that they will close down a popular tourist attraction in response to legislation.  Additionally, this article tackles the issue of race; the Aboriginal people were angry with the government in the first place was as a result of prejudiced legislation that targeted Aboriginal communities. It banned pornography and alcohol in 70 communities in an effort to curb the sexual abuse of children, which is reported at rates seven times higher among the Aboriginal people than the Australian average.  Although this is a serious problem that must be addressed, biased legislation is not the answer.
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Kiribati and Climate Change

You might not be feeling the effects of climate change, but Kiribati, a small country in the Pacific, is actually drowning because of rising sea levels. Check out how the government there is trying to run a country that might not exist in a few years.
Gene Gagne's insight:

The people are at least being educated in fields that will attract other countries to accepting them. The effects of other countries accepting them will also result in population growth, also another culture loss.

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

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

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

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

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 25, 2018 8:51 PM
(Oceania) This short video explores Kiribati, a small group of islands between Australia and Hawaii. At the highest point, the land is 10 feet above the water, posing a major problem with raising sea levels. Due to climate change, half the population was already forced to migrate. Many islands face the same problem, and in the next few decades much more land will probably be underwater.
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Will American Pot Farmers Put the Cartels out of Business?

Will American Pot Farmers Put the Cartels out of Business? | history | Scoop.it
They've driven prices so low that Mexican growers are giving up.

For the first time ever, many of the farmers who supply Mexican drug cartels have stopped planting marijuana, reports the Washington Post. "It's not worth it anymore," said Rodrigo Silla, a lifelong cannabis farmer from central Mexico. "I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization."  Facing stiff competition from pot grown legally and illegally north of the border, the price for a kilogram of Mexican schwag has plummeted by 75 percent, from $100 to $25.

Gene Gagne's insight:

there is also a negative side affect on this and that is now that planting marijuana is not making any money for the growers it is time to move to bigger and more dangerous stuff. The united states though the government  will not admit to, has a major drug usage problem and so it would be time to bring in another form of drug to make a profit. every so often there is something new that pops up on the streets and Americans want to experience them.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 21, 2015 10:16 AM

I expect that one day, anti-marijuana legislation will be talked about in classrooms in much the same manner that prohibition is talked about today. Legalization movements are sweeping the country, with two states already legalizing it for recreational use and basking in the additional tax income. I remember reading that Colorado is actually planning on giving some of the excessive revenue gathered from taxes on marijuana back to citizens- if that is not enough evidence for those opposed to legalization that the benefits of legalizing the drug FAR outweigh the potential drawbacks, than I can only point to these developments in Mexico as further proof. Cartels cannot keep up with US pot growers, and are suffering as a result. Although this could potentially lead to increased violence in the States as cartels push northwards, the nation-wide legalization of the drug would do more to weaken the cartels than billions of dollars in funding for the DEA has ever done. The War on Drugs has already shown how ineffective a policy it really is. Why not give the people the power to choose for themselves what they may put in their bodies within the privacy of their home?. God knows we could use the additional revenue to help schools! Legalize it!

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:51 PM

Events that we think of as local (Washington and Colorado legalizing marijuana use) have national and global implications, especially in a globalized economy.  This article is but one example of why geographers try to approach every issue at a variety of scales to more fully comprehend the ramifications and ripple effects of any given phenomenon. 


Tags: Mexiconarcoticsscale

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 9, 2017 12:06 PM
unit 4 unit 5
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Why the Violence in Mexico is Getting Worse

"Mass killings have become increasingly common across Mexico due to the country's ongoing war on drugs. Cartels and gangs, often working with help from local police, are murdering innocent victims by the dozens and leaving them in unmarked graves. So just how bad is the violence in Mexico, and what is the Mexican President doing to stop it?"

Gene Gagne's insight:

It is hard for the Mexican authorities to do anything about it, they know who the drug dealers are but think about it a police chief who is honest has a life expectancy of 18 months on the force.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 21, 2015 9:48 AM

I don't think there has ever been a domestic or foreign policy in US history that has fallen as flat as the War on Drugs. It seems like every success is met with a dozen failures, and policy after policy is scrapped after realizing it does more harm than it solves. This video embodies that sentiment; in attempting to tackle the cartels by taking their leaders out of power, Mexican and US officials have only made the problem worse, as hundreds of local leaders now violently squabble over power, leaving thousands dead in their wake. Attempts to reduce the bloodshed have revealed the extent of the corruption in Mexico's local police forces, where men on lowly wages are easily bought out by the cartels. Tackling the issue on a local level has, as a result, been grossly unsuccessful, and millions of Mexicans are outraged by the continued persistence of mass killings and political assassinations. Although fighting the cartel head-on should be a priority of the Mexican government, aiding the nation's budding economy- therefore offering thousands of unemployed, angry Mexican cartel members legal employment- could do more to weaken the cartel than any raid could.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, October 28, 2015 12:23 PM

This video was very informative on the mass killing related to drug cartels. It clearly shows that the war on drugs comes at a high price of human lives. There is not real viable solution to stopping these drugs cartels because as seen in this video, many law enforcement agency cracked down on the head of the cartels but it backfired instead. Many factions or "little snakes" exists now because the head of it is gone. In my opinion we cannot stop drugs violence if there is no reason to make drugs in the first place (the consumers). 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 5:34 PM

After watching a video like this, I have nothing to feel except sadness, all the missing people and all the dead because of drugs... What really through me for a loop was when the narrator said the police handed people over to a cartel. Who does that? Clearly it is an issue if it makes the top five for most widely reported mass killings, plus who knows however many more going unreported. It appears as something good was being done by capturing and or killing drug cartel leaders, but apparently doing good, made things worse, because without leaders, new factions were made and apparently  those new factions were much worse, being more violent and creating more incidents. Having corruption within is also probably making things much worse.

Scooped by Gene Gagne

BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest

BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest | history | Scoop.it
A simple initiative in the Philippines is bringing a bit of brightness into the lives of the country's poorest people.


Gene Gagne's insight:

what a genius! of course as mentioned in class this works in the Philippines because of the tin roofs and the climate. You could not do this in cold places because the water would freeze. but this is just another sign that communities figure out ways to survive. What works in one place isn't always good for others but this sure works here.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 12:32 PM

The term "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is brought to new light with this video. Increased urbanization in the Philippines is creating a landscape of small, wall-to-wall huts with no windows. The lack of natural light coupled with limited energy resources makes these houses incredibly dark on the inside. One man figured out an ingenious  way to battle this issue while also reusing materials that otherwise would be considered trash. By using plastic soda bottles and a bleach solution, this man has created a type of skylight, providing light to those living in the slums of Philippines. 


This project has incredible potential not just in the Philippines, but on a global scale. Self-help housing all over the world could benefit from a light source while decreasing local problems with plastic waste.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:31 PM

This is very innovative as people in the Philippines have found a way to light their homes with just a plastic bottle. Using bleach and water and a piece of metal, there is temporary light for many people who would otherwise live in darkness. Starting with just 1 bottle in 1 home, this homemade product's total is now 15,000 units. I was very impressed that something as simple as a bottle filled with water can cost just $1 to make and give off even more light than an average light-bulb. I predict that this mini invention will become even more widespread as more poor countries catch on to this new, resourceful idea. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 2015 3:45 PM

The solution to a problem in this video owes itself to geographical factors, had this been a problem in the US, the solution would have been different.  Having said this, the "American Way" to solve problems isn't always the best way to do so.  The Philippines is a collection of islands and they are ravaged by hurricanes, so to put above ground powerlines would be highly expensive, and to connect the whole nations infrastructure would require the nation running very expensive powerlines underneath the ocean.  What the man does in this video is ingenious given the location and the solution to the problem.  Since the Philippines are a warm country and the houses only have a single roof layer, by cutting a whole in the roof taping a coke bottle into the whole (filled with water and a bit of chlorine) allows a cheap and effective source of light.  By doing this, the people will not have to spend a great deal on electricity (if it is in their region) and if they do not have electricity then they still have a source of light. 

Scooped by Gene Gagne

In Burma (Myanmar), China's Scramble for Energy Threatens Livelihoods of Villagers

In Burma (Myanmar), China's Scramble for Energy Threatens Livelihoods of Villagers | history | Scoop.it
In western Myanmar a Chinese-backed energy and trading hub is taking shape on a remote island.

Tags: Burma, Southeast Asia, energy.

Gene Gagne's insight:

this is where china grows at the expense of others. How are these people going to fight back? China is forced to do this because it wants to be the strongest nation in the world and as long as they are importing oil it relies on someone that can cut them off. And as long as they now are allowing the birth of two children the population growth in china is forcing china to expand and will do whatever means necessary to do so.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:29 PM

With China making use of all its natural resources, I question how long will they last before running out of their resources and having to rely on other countries to supply them with something as basic as energy. Though I am overjoyed at the recent decline in gas prices, I am also concerned at what price countries such as China are selling their natural resources. Often times, it is the people living in villages that tend to pay for these consequences. It is from them that these resources are being extracted from and being massed produce to meet the needs of other countries. Before committing to projects that will meet the needs of other countries, they need to start making their people their number one priority.

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 14, 2015 1:16 PM

While reading this article I found it quite shocking to see that Myanmar is scrambling for energy, such as selling oil, this money is used in lanterns as a cheaper alternative to kerosene. People will do anything just to receive money and use it to help out their families. Money is not something easily  accessible and neither is energy.Yet, even though Myanmar is struggling right now, places such as Beijing still see Myanmar and Ramree Island as the main way to have safe and fast trade. 

The article also states that there are promising signs to China, and Southeast Asia to come back into the picture such as they are likely to have development that will focus on manufacturing in textiles and construction materials to help the country to gain power and energy back. 

The photographs in this article give for a good example of how China is striving for energy such as the women holding up the teapot that is considered to be a lamp with the use of oil. People in China are working hard and using different resources to serve as energy. Shouldn't people even out of China use up what they have and not be wasteful? 

Places in Southeast Asia can think of ways to gain energy, power and comfort because their whole motto on life is different than that of the United States of America.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 4:28 AM

An interesting article that highlights important geographic disparities. The problem for Burma is that it has lagged behind in the world from its isolation. As a result when globalization such as the proposed trade zone in the article come about there is disastrous consequences. Unlike the west they are catching up and didn't have an adjusting period. Furthermore in China's race to keep its economy superior and out due America they have been going on wild spending sprees such as this deal to give them a global edge. Unfortunately this will leave many of the poor in Burma worse off than before. Plus their government will not likely help them because of their oppressive nature. Maybe all of this will create of revolution to give the Burmese freedom so that they can make these decisions for themselves as they enter the global community(also so they are not exploited as companies everywhere will likely be looking at its cheap labor and resources).

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Maeklong Railway Market

"Multi-purpose land use."

Gene Gagne's insight:

we have talked about this in class and what works in one place doesn't mean it will work everywhere. This is a sign that people adapt and build there own community whatever works to survive. This is a norm for them as you do not see any panic in the people and they have a set up that was planned out. They all grab a canopy and the train as just passed by and they are already put the canopy back up. what bothers me is the food that is just laying there and the right back side is right on top of the food. for us it is a sanitation problem to them it is a business to survive. They must hear the train coming because it can not be a schedule program what would happen if the train is not on time or early? I wonder if disaster has ever struck. I mean we wouldn't hear about it but I would have to think it has happened.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:15 PM
Definitely a good way for multi-purpose land use. They are utilizing the space they have conservatively, they really nailed this one on the head coming up with an idea to put a market right on a railroad track. Is this concept even safe or sanitary? Most definitely not. First off, it is not sanitary because that train on a daily basis has gone through all sorts of dirt and the train is literally passing right over the farmer's food that he is still going to sell to customers. Also, probably not the safest, because the people are just inches away from the passing train and with the wrong move, they can possibly fall onto the track and they are dead. I will hand it to them though, they act in an orderly fashion and move swiftly both when it comes and when it leaves. As a matter of fact, they go on with life so well after it leaves, it is almost like the train never passed through in the first place.
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 2:57 AM
In one video we see issues surrounding urban development, city planning (or lack thereof), population density, and land use, among other topics. As more and more people move into Southeast Asia's unplanned cities, there will be more crowding and people will have to use every last available inch of land, even if that means going right up to the train tracks. This is a culture shock to people in the West, where most land is single-use only.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:16 PM
Urban planning in a rapidly urbanizing area can be difficult, but in this area two very different urban entities use the land together so beautifully. This market was built around the train tracks and when the train passes through at a slow speed the market clears the tracks and both work together so flawlessly. This is uncommon for us to see because many cities in America had room to grow and expand and had ample planning time because urbanization happened much slower than it is in Asia, with urbanization happening so fast the countries need to use their space flexibly. 
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Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea

Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea | history | Scoop.it
The U.S. Department of Defense’s latest assessment of the Chinese military provided new detail on China’s land reclamation efforts on several of the islets that it occupies in the South China Sea. These include Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson South Reef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef in the Spratly archipelago. By December 2014, the report estimated that China had reclaimed as much as 500 acres of new land, creating full-fledged islands where only coral reefs or sand spits existed before. Since then, China has only accelerated its efforts, expanding the total land area that it has reclaimed to 2,000 acres and building military facilities, ports, and at least one airstrip on the islands.
Gene Gagne's insight:

I was wondering with the world being 80% ocean how much ocean can be transformed into land with these man made islands. Once again creating military strategic posts.

Marc Meynardi's curator insight, May 13, 2015 1:49 AM

By doing so, China is not only digging land, but also preparing futur heavy discord. It's so strange : China critisize US hegemony and try to balance it. As result, China is having the same agressive attitude that US Bush era. Of course, not using bombs, but "pacifically" invading south China Sea.

Scooped by Gene Gagne

China's Maritime Claims

ONE reason China’s spectacular rise sometimes alarms its neighbours is that it is not a status quo power. From its inland, western borders to its eastern and southern seaboard, it claims territory it does not control.
Gene Gagne's insight:

One reason to care about minor islands is the 200 nautical miles off the coast for the EEZ. This would give china more water territory for drilling of oil which I believe is there in those waters. Flexing more muscle for their navy to grow. Strategically the Chinese could take over these small islands and build air strips for future which would give them a chance to reach places they wouldn't be able to before and this would be good supply transactions during war, fueling, maneuver of man power. The other small countries also would lose their independence and would have to fall under china's rule. With the building of the man made islands and the Chinese navy protecting their people while they continue to build these islands and daring anyone to try and stop them is a sign that china is trying to dominate and expand with muscle. It is their time they have the economic, and military power to do so. Of course they don't want to deal with the u.s. and their allies militarily but it doesn't benefit the u.s. either. I don't believe u.s. wants to get involved in a battle with china and their allies.

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, November 25, 2015 9:52 AM

This is one  geopolitical conflict that I really do not understand why this is happening. There are so many more important things that should be addressed rather than fighting over sections of water. What should be on the top of the priority list is how to clean the environment and waters from the nuclear plant explosion. The ignorance that people have for the environment, not just China, but the whole world, is not good.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 3:06 PM

Chinese expansion into the South Sea has been a longtime coming, and China's actions in the region are both a reflection of its growing strength and a huge diplomatic headache for the US and every other nation in the region. China's construction of artificial islands allows it to claim autonomy over a larger body of water, challenging the maritime power of every other nation in South East Asia, many of whom have economies reliant on the waters China now claims as its own, some 500 miles away from the Chinese mainland. With the emergence of the Chinese economy as a global power, its ambitious leaders have made plans to transform China from a regional military force to a new superpower- one that the established order, the US included, is entirely unsure of. Which of these nations can truly challenge China's decision to make these waters it's personal pond? It would be economic and political suicide, as China is an enormous global trading power, and has the potential to crush any of these nations in a military engagement. Could Japan? Perhaps, but the Chinese have already pressed ahead with their plans, regardless of Japanese political pressure. Involvement of the US is perhaps the last thing anyone wants- particularly both the US and China- but it is perhaps the only way China will heed pressure from abroad and cease  Chinese expansion in the region. The US and China must be allies, for the sake of global prosperity, but actions like these cannot be tolerated, by either party.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:17 PM

Claiming territory it does not control, causes a lot of controversy with other country. The main problem here now is China is having a dispute with Japan about some islands. There could possibly be oil or natural resources.Japan says that the land was always theirs. China clearly likes to just put itself out there and make claims or place oil rigs wherever. This could be a big problem for them because if someone gets too offended by their actions there could end up being a war or some sort of conflict. Especially since they like to use military forces such as navy and air guarding "territory." 

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European women marry, give hope to Samaritans

European women marry, give hope to Samaritans | history | Scoop.it
MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (AP) — The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture.
Gene Gagne's insight:

This is why Denmark gives plenty of incentives for women to have babies so to make sure the population growth stays above 2.06 which is the average number needed to keep a steady population.

Cam E's curator insight, February 18, 2014 12:00 PM

It's a very interesting and sad phenomenon when groups that thrived in the past begin to dwindle to a point where the acts of individuals can decide the entire future of the demographic. It brings in questions of tradition and if those people have a duty to propagate their genes to keep their group alive. I can only imagine how tense the environment could be when single accidents or deaths could mean the end of your people.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 12:14 PM

This article describes a how the small religious group, the Samaritans, have seen their numbers shrink to unsustainable levels and have been forced to turn outside to find wives. These men are importing brides from places like Ukraine because of a significant gender imbalance and heightened risk of birth defects due to genetic homogenization over the centuries. These circumstances present an fairly unique case of migration, one which should it become a standard practice, could have an effect on the culture of the Samaritan communities.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:43 PM

The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture. Five young women from Russia and Ukraine have moved to this hilltop village in recent years to marry local men, breathing new life into the community that has been plagued by genetic diseases caused by generations of intermarriage. Husni Cohen, a 69-year-old village elder, said the marriages are not ideal, since there is always a risk that the newcomers may decide to leave. But in a community whose population has fallen to roughly 360 people, he saw little choice.

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Russia and the Curse of Geography

Russia and the Curse of Geography | history | Scoop.it
Want to understand why Putin does what he does? Look at a map.


As things stand, Putin, like Russian leaders before him, likely feels he has no choice but to at least try to control the flatlands to Russia’s west. So it is with landscapes around the world—their physical features imprison political leaders, constraining their choices and room for maneuver. These rules of geography are especially clear in Russia, where power is hard to defend, and where for centuries leaders have compensated by pushing outward.

Gene Gagne's insight:

This reminds me of the reason Russia fought Afganistan because it wanted to expand its borders especially if Russia could get control of the Wakhan corridor

Diana Morey's curator insight, February 11, 2016 9:24 AM

good reading for political geography

brielle blais's curator insight, March 25, 2018 10:24 PM
This article connects to geography because it shows the importance of the physical geography of a country when it comes to natural defense from invaders. Russia, from at least the south and southeast, are very hard to invade. This is thanks to Ivan the Terrible, who expanded the territory of Russia and gained better natural barriers such as to the east to the Ural Mountains, south to the Caspian Sea, and north toward the Arctic Circle. Now, Russia needs to figure out how to control the flatlands to the west, which is why Putin wishes there were mountains east to the Ukraine.
David Stiger's curator insight, October 21, 2018 12:02 PM
Russia's geographic situation appears to greatly influence, perhaps even determine, the Russian state's political behavior. The world's largest territorial country has a number of geographic disadvantages that have caused Russia to act aggressively in securing its territory. Firstly, it lacks warm-water sea ports as the ones it has access to in the Arctic Ocean freeze for long periods of time. The area of their Pacific Ocean seaport has been commercially dominated by Japan. Secondly, Russia extends across an open European plain which is largely unguarded to the south and southeast of Eurasia. Similar to its southeast region, Russia's western front has few if any natural defenses leaving it wide open to European encroachment. The only natural barriers Russia has going for it are the Ural Mountains cutting down the middle of Russia, the Arctic to the north, and its territorial vastness along with a harsh, cold climate that makes foreign invasion challenging - but not impossible. Geographically then, Russia is highly insecure. Seeing itself as a major world power, Russia struggles to access the sea for trade and is unnerved by its massive open border. This explains why Moscow was very pleased with a pro-Russian government in Kiev but became extremely nervous when Ukraine toppled its government selecting a pro-Western, NATO-loving administration. Even if NATO and the EU did not intent to directly confront Russia, the two organizations certainly planned to transform Ukraine and influence the region - leaving Russia feeling exposed. Despite its aggressive nature, Russia went on the "defensive" and annexed Crimea in order to secure its coveted seaport while also locking down a buffer zone between itself and the West who could march through Ukraine. It was surely brazen and unethical, but the geography explains the logic behind Putin's move.