“For 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.”
This is a fascinating article that can be a great case study to share with students to allow them to analyze the factors that can improve infant mortality rates. In Finland the government provided oversight to improve infant mortality rates, pre-natal care and promote good parenting in a way that has had tangible results.
Tags: Finland, medical, population,demographic transition model, unit 2 population.
“Sovereignty over land defines nation states since 1648. In contrast, sovereign right over the sea was formalised only in 1982. While land borders are well-known, sea borders escape the limelight.”
These maritime borders mark the economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line. This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example). This interactive map of the EEZs also shows the ‘donut holes,’ or the seas that are no state can claim that no state can claim. Given the number of conflicts that are occurring–especially in East Asia–this map becomes a very valuable online resource for teaching political geography.
Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth’s land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies? Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions?
Tags: economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.
Scientists have issued a new warning to the world’s coastal megacities that the threat from subsiding land is a more immediate problem than rising sea levels caused by global warming.
A new paper from the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands published in April identified regions of the globe where the ground level is falling 10 times faster than water levels are rising – with human activity often to blame.
In Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest city, the population has grown from around half a million in the 1930s to just under 10 million today, with heavily populated areas dropping by as much as six and a half feet as groundwater is pumped up from the Earth to drink.
The same practice led to Tokyo’s ground level falling by two meters before new restrictions were introduced, and in Venice, this sort of extraction has only compounded the effects of natural subsidence caused by long-term geological processes.
Tags: coastal, climate change, urban, megacities, water, environment, urban ecology.
“The Nicaraguan government and the company behind plans to build a canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean have settled on a route.”
A Chinese firm (HKND) is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama’s. I’ve been following this issue as I prepared to co-author an article for Maps 101 with Julie Dixon and it is clearly a major environmental issue. However, this issue is much more geographic than just the angle; China and Nicaragua are vying for greater control and access to the shipping lanes that dominate the global economy and international trade. This shows that they are each attempting to bolster their regional and international impact compared to their rivals (the United States for China and Panama for Nicaragua).
Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.
INDIA’S general election will take place before May. The front-runner to be the next prime minister is Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, currently chief minister of Gujarat. A former tea-seller, he has previously attacked leaders of the ruling Congress party as elitist, corrupt and out of touch. Now he is emphasising his humble caste origins. In a speech in January he said ‘high caste’ Congress leaders were scared of taking on a rival from ‘a backward caste’. If Mr Modi does win, he would be the first prime minister drawn from the ‘other backward classes’, or OBC, group. He is not the only politician to see electoral advantage in bringing up the subject: caste still matters enormously to most Indians.”
This article from the Economist is dated since Mr. Modi is now the prime minister of India, but this analysis of how caste was used as a political asset in the election is a timely reminder that while the caste system has been officially abolished, the cultural ripples are still being felt today in a myriad of ways that impact social interactions (marriage, jobs, etc.).
Tags: folk cultures, culture, development, India, socioeconomic, economic, poverty, gender.
While identifying most of the territory that is a part of the United States is fairly straightforward, the interesting political geography is in discussing the places that aren’t straightforward, such as American Samoa, Puerto Rico and Palmyra Atoll.
Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, CGP Grey.
Editor’s note: This story is one in a series on a crisis in America’s Breadbasket –the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer and its effects on a region that hel…
This isn’t new, but it is a new development that the media is covering the issue that has been going on for decades. The Ogallala aquifer is the primary water source in an agricultural region from Texas to Nebraska in dry, but agriculturally productive states. The reason behind their agricultural success in the dry high plains is that more water is being extracted from the aquifer than is naturally being replenished. This is the obvious result of a human-environmental interaction where the individual actors are incentivized to deplete a communal resource.
Tags: agriculture, agribusiness, water, environment, resources.
Both Hispanics and Asians been among the fastest-growing racial/ethnic groups in recent years, but since 2010, number of Asians have increased at a faster rate.
It is often noted that the cultural composition of the United States is undergoing a shift, referred to by some as the “Browning of America.” The story of Asian and Hispanic growth in the United States are occurring simultaneously, which makes many assume that they are growing for the same reasons. The data clearly shows that this is not the case.
Tags: migration, USA, ethnicity.
“Why are all the gas stations, cafes and restaurants in one crowded spot? As two competitive cousins vie for ice-cream-selling domination on one small beach, discover how game theory and the Nash Equilibrium inform these retail hotspots.”
This TED-ED lesson shows the economic and spatial factors that lead to businesses to cluster together. This video is a very simple introduction to the concept of agglomeration that is based on competition.
Tags: APHG, TED, models, spatial, K12, location.
“Last week, a major tourist thruway in Yellowstone National Park had to be shut down because the road melted. The road’s Wicked Witch of the West impression was caused by high temperatures in both the air and under the ground. Yellowstone sits atop a volcanic hotspot, and that heat helped cause the asphalt to soften and oil to well up onto the surface.”