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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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sustainability

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.

Source: www.youtube.com

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.

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

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.

Source: www.nytimes.com

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.

Why houses in Bermuda have white stepped roofs

The island of Bermuda has no fresh-water springs, rivers or lakes so the design of its roofs is essential for collecting rainwater.

Source: www.bbc.com

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.

The Environmental Cost of Consumption

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

Source: www.theguardian.com

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.

China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing

“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.”

Source: www.bbc.com

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.

China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing

“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.”

Source: www.bbc.com

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.

Sustaining Seven Billion People

“With seven billion people now living on Earth, the ever growing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on global resources—especially forests, water, and food. How can Earth’s resources be managed best to support so many people? One key is tracking the sum of what is available, and perhaps nothing is better suited to that task than satellites.”

Source: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Agricultural production is one of the ways in which people modify the environment more than any other.  Global population is expected to top out at around 9 billion around 2050, so will we be able to sustainably feed all of the entire human population?  Satellite imagery can help answer these questions. 

Tagsremote sensing, geospatial, images, sustainability, agriculture, food production, environment modify, unit 5 agriculture

Developing World Cities and Population Density

Without a question, we are living in an urban era. More people now live in cities than anywhere else on the planet and I’ve repeatedly argued that cities are our most important economic engine. As a result of these shifts, we’re seeing megacities at a scale the world has never seen before.

Source: sustainablecitiescollective.com

As our cities have massively expanded in the last 70 years, so has the ecological footprint of these metropolitan areas.  This article discusses some of the challenges confronting megacities and their functions within the global urban network. 

Tags: sustainabilitydensity, megacities, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities. 

The Rise of Innovative Districts

“Today, innovation is taking place where people can come together, not in isolated spaces. Innovation districts are this century’s productive geography, they are both competitive places and ‘cool spaces’ and they will transform your city and metropolis.”

As described by the Brookings Institution in their exploration regarding innovation districts, they are geographic areas where leading-edge companies, research institutions, start-ups, and business incubators are located in dense proximity. These districts are created to facilitate new connections and ideas, speed up the commercialization of those ideas, and support urban economies by growing jobs in ways that leverage their distinct economic position.

Tags: density, sustainability, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities, labor.

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