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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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South America

Colombia rejects FARC deal: What’s next?

“A narrow win for Colombia’s opponents to a government peace deal with FARC rebels has thrown the country into disarray, leading one journalist to starkly declare, ‘Nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow.’  Likened to the fallout from the United Kingdom’s ‘Brexit’ referendum, the vote’s unexpected failure has left the Colombian political classes reeling and unsure how to respond in order to save four years of hard negotiation with the Marxist militia.”

Source: www.cnn.com

The Colombian peace negotiations with FARC (the insurgent rebels in drug producing regions) were hailed as the key for Colombia to move past it’s violent, drug-cartel past and move into the future.  As the Colombian population rejected the deal by the slimmest of margins (50.22% against), it leaves the government “without a Plan B.” There are more questions than answers at this point about what might happen (if you are asking what’s FARC?, then this primer will walk you through it). 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics, conflict.

FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized

Negotiators seeking to end the insurgency in Colombia, one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, said they had reached a final peace deal.

Source: www.cnn.com

Farclandia has long been an insurgent state where the Colombian government had no real power to enforce the rule of law and their sovereignty over this area that all the political maps say are Colombia.   This shadowy place became a place where drug cartels could operate freely and many of the concessions that Colombia is making for this deal to happen involve amnesty for past crimes. 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics. conflict.

Why the Catholic Church is losing Latin America, and how it’s trying to get it back

“A religious revolution is underway in Latin America. Between 1900 and 1960, 90% of Latin Americans were Catholics. But in the last fifty years, that figure has slumped to 69%, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center (from which most of the data in this article are taken). The continent may still be home to 425 million Catholics—40% of the world’s total—but the Vatican’s grip is slipping.”

 

Tags: culture, religionChristianityMiddle America, South America.

Source: qz.com

Making Ethanol from Sugarcane

This segment highlights how sugarcane is processed into ethanol for fuel and other uses.

Source: www.youtube.com

Sugarcane ethanol has proven to be one of the most environmentally safe alternative fuel sources. In addition to its green energy properties, sugarcane ethanol has fueled the Brazilian economy for over a decade. The Brazilian automotive industry have developed a complex, “Flex Fuel” engine that allows vehicles to run off of both gasoline and ethanol. Also, sugarcane ethanol has been one of their leading exports in the global economy. Due to recently discovered fuel deposits in Brazil and around the globe, there has been a decline in the need for sugarcane ethanol. This has negatively impacted the economy in addition to the Brazilian job market. But thanks to the engineering of cellulosic ethanol, Brazil is striving to become the green energy superpower yet again.

 

Questions to Ponder: Since cellulosic ethanol production is so expensive, do you think that will deter production and customers from purchasing it? Do you think that Brazil will ever become independent of fossil fuels as a result of their successful sugarcane ethanol production?

 

Tagsenergy, resourcespolitical ecologyagriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

Bolivian Commuters Soar Through The Sky

“The world’s biggest urban gondola system, known as Mi Teleférico, opened in La Paz, Bolivia, in May 2014. The 6-mile-long system is an engineering feat.”

 

Tags: transportation, South America, Bolivia, urban, planningarchitecture.

Source: www.youtube.com

There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor

“Venezuela has become a failed state.  According to the International Monetary Fund’s latest projections, it has the world’s worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate that’s gotten 100 times worse itself the past four years. And in case all that wasn’t bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99 percent of its value since the start of 2012. It’s what you call a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Never has a country that should have been so rich been so poor.  There’s no mystery here. Venezuela’s government is to blame–which is to say that Venezuela is a man-made disaster. It’s a gangster state that doesn’t know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself.”

 

Tags: Venezuela, South America, op-ed, economic, political, governance.

 

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

NASA and the World Cup

“NASA goes to the World Cup! Satellite imagery from each country playing.”

Source: www.arcgis.com

Not that we need any extra incentive to view NASA’s gorgeous satellite imagery, but now that the World Cup has entered the knockout rounds, it is the perfect opportunity to view selected images from the participating countries.  This gallery of a dozen World Cup StoryMaps are but a few of the thousands of Esri StoryMaps that can serve as motivation to get your K-12 U.S. school an organizational account for ArcGIS online (then your students can make cool maps like these). 


Tags: sport, Brazil, South America, Esri, fun, mapping, remote sensing, geospatial, images, perspective.

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