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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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industry

Istanbul’s Proposed Canal: Big Business and Sweeping Consequences

Turkey

“The ambitious Canal Istanbul project could displace thousands of people, imperil the city’s tenuous water supply, and impact ocean life, critics say.”

Source: news.nationalgeographic.com

Istanbul’s location on the Bosporus has been vital to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire as well as the modern state of Turkey.  This is one of those crucial chokepoints of global commerce like the Straits of Malacca, and the demands on both of these natural waterways will soon exceed their capacity.  Thailand is working on the Thai canal to relieve the pressures on the Straits of Malacca (and enrich themselves in the process); Nicaragua is also seeking to create an alternative to the Panama Canal which is in the process of expanding their locks to accommodate the massive container ships.

Istanbul is likewise looking to find other ways the keep their locational advantage as the gateway to the Black Sea region and beyond.  Projects on this grand of a scale have tremendous real estate, trading, transportation and even tourism impacts. They can also bring negative impacts to the local water supply, wildlife, other environmental concerns.  The bigger the project, the bigger the environmental risks and the greater the economic rewards.

GeoEd Tags: transportation, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political ecology, Turkey.

Scoop.it Tags: transportation, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political ecology, Turkey.

U.S. Trade Numbers

thailand-trade

“We offer a variety of resources on U.S. Export/Import Trade with the World with millions of free datasets.” Source: U.S. Trade Numbers

This data visualization tool is very reminiscent of the Atlas of Economic Complexity.  While the Atlas of Economic Complexity is better for exploring global trade patterns, this site adds a local impact to the global economy.  Users can explore the major port of entries and see what goods are entering or leaving the United States from particular cities as nodes in global transportation networks.  The permeability of borders are an economic necessity to take advantage of the economies of scale.

GeoEd TAGS:   statistics, transportation, globalization, industry, borders, economic.
Scoop.it Tags: statistics, transportation, globalization, industry, economic, borders, mapping.

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

“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.

Source: www.theguardian.com

Worker Safety?

Source: www.youtube.com

This is old video is still shocking because of the blatant disregard for worker safety during the huge rush to get Beijing ready for the 2012 Olympics. This can been seen as large cities host global events such as the World Cup or the Olympics.  As was seen in Rio de Janeiro, leaders will try to sweep some problems under the rug before the global spotlight shines on them. This video can also be used to lead to a discussion concerning China’s continued economic growth. What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?" How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?

 

GeoEd Tags: industry, labor, China.

Scoop.it Tags: industry, labor, China

The last Blockbuster: ‘I’m proud that we’ve survived’

“The company was founded in 1985 in Dallas, Texas, and it was worth billions of dollars at its peak, employing dozens of thousands of people. It was so popular across the US that, in 1989, a new store was opening every 17 hours. The rapid rise of digital services such as Netflix, which launched in 1999, and online retailers, like Amazon, made Blockbuster’s video and DVD business model practically obsolete.”

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

In my neighborhood, as in neighborhoods around America, there is an old Blockbuster building that is used to sell fireworks before the 4th of July and Halloween paraphernalia in October.  Most of the year however the property is a vacant lot where you might find police officers filling out their paperwork in the parking lot.  If video killed the radio star, Netflix killed the Blockbuster store.  Creative destruction leaves littered industries that, because of technological innovations, are no longer viable (if you want a deep dive into the demise of Blockbuster that goes beyond the obvious rise of streaming technology, this article by Retail Dive is solid).  

In addition to technological changes, some product shifts hint at societal and demographic changes (see this witty article about the demise of mayo). 

GeoEd TAGS: globalization, industry, economic.

Scoop.it Tags: globalizationindustry, economic.

Job openings in U.S. down

On the last business day of May 2018, the number of job openings edged down to 6.6 million from a revised April level of 6.8 million, a series high. Combined, over one-third of those job openings were in professional and business services (1,190,000) and health care and social assistance (1,119,000).

Source: www.bls.gov

I’m not sharing this article because of the monthly fluctuations in labor.  The interactive chart in this article is an excellent visualization of the shifts in labor in the various economic sectors. 

Tags: laborvisualization, economicindustry

WordPress TAGS: labor, visualization, economic, industry.

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

“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.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

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.

Geo-economics of the Thai Canal

A group of influential Thai officials is promoting the construction of a long-envisioned megaproject, known as the Thai Canal. If built, it would transform the regional maritime dynamics and give Thailand a substantial stake in global trade. Yet, as ambitious as the project it, there are equally credible drawbacks that could reshape the geo-economic fortunes of Southeast Asia.

Source: www.youtube.com

The Straits of Malacca is an incredibly busy waterway.  Around 20% of global trade and 30% of the world’s crude oil travel through this tiny choke point.  At its narrowest, the Straits of Malacca is less than 2 miles wide and as Asian economies grow, alternative shipping lanes are becoming more attractive.  China is looking to bankroll a canal that would bisect the Malay Peninsula and reduce their dependency on the Straits of Malacca.  This is still uncertain, but would represent a major geo-engineering project that

 

Perspectives: What are the positives and negatives of this plan for Thailand?  China?  The United States? 

 

Tags: Thailand, Southeast Asiatransportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage?

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

Source: www.racked.com

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

 

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

 

Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty

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