Categories
Geography

Global Warming

The Natural Resources Defense Council states that global warming is caused by a collection of carbon monoxide and air pollution within the atmosphere. This event causes an effect such as that of a thick blanket covering the earth, by trapping heat from the sun. This is called the Greenhouse Effect and is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Two main sources of these emissions are coal-burning power plants and automobile exhaust (NRDC). According to the National Geographic magazine, global warming cyclically affects climate rhythms and the lives of all living things on earth (Global Warming). In short, the earth is heating up which will continue to threaten life on earth as it is known.

Global Warming Statistics

            Currently, there are no signs that global warming will cease to exist, as the earth is already showing damage from its effects. As reported by NASA, average worldwide earth temperatures have risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees Celsius since the year 1880, and the majority of this climb in temperature occurred within recent decades and the rate is increasing. In addition, climate studies show the last two decades of the 20th century had the hottest temperatures during the last 400 years and possibly the last 1,000 years. Moreover, as reported by the United Nations, 11 out of the last 12 years were warmer since 1850, and even scarier is the fact that the Arctic is getting warmer. Average temperatures in this region (which includes Alaska, parts of Canada, and eastern Russia) have doubled the global average, according to a report from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment organization (NRDC).

Consequences of Global Warming

With ice melting in the Arctic, polar bears, penguins, and other Arctic wildlife, as well as indigenous cultures are threatened. Also, glaciers and mountain snow tops are also melting such as in Glacier National Park in Montana which is down to only 27 glaciers instead of 150 that were there as recently as 1910. In addition, sea temperatures are rising and coral reefs are dying off at rates of up to 70 percent. Global warming has also caused a record amount of natural events such as tropical storms, tornadoes, wildfires, heat waves, tsunamis, and floods in various parts of the world (NRDC). All of these events create domino effects throughout the circle of life on this planet and affects all living things – animals, plant life, and humans.

Predictions and Efforts to Change Global Warming

            It is reported that the United States is the largest culprit as a source of global warming pollution, producing 25 percent of the problem by burning fossil fuels (NRDC). Clearly, an obvious prevention opportunity is for the United States to curtail its use of fossil fuels. There are technologies in place to help with this effort; however, they are not yet completely mainstream. Using renewable energy sources such as from the wind and the sun will help the global warming problem, and some states have already regulated this to be put in place by large utility companies by 2017 (NRDC). This is a relief; however, this effort needs to be expedited by the United States as well as other nations of the world. Everyone can do a part to conserve energy and not pollute any more than we already have. Too many people are oblivious to the facts about global warming and they do not pay much attention to it. There should be more in-your-face awareness and more broadcasts about the current and future effects of this threat to humanity. Global warming is everybody’s problem.

Works Cited

Global Warming. n.d. <http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/>.

NRDC. Global Warming Basics. 18 October 2005. <http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/f101.asp>.

Categories
Geography

Geography Research Paper: Global Warming

Abstract

People have been adding Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere in ever increasing amounts over the past few decades. This research paper, based on a quiz form of assessment, will help to demonstrate a greater understanding of the issues surrounding the increase in the amount of Carbon Dioxide which is present in the earth’s atmosphere. The build-up of this gas has been identified as one of the main causes of global warming, with human activity responsible for the large increases in the amount of this gas in the earth’s atmosphere. This assessment will allow me to demonstrate that I can assimilate, understand and use data around the issue of CO2 build up in the earth’s atmosphere, and how it is changing and developing.

Categories
Geography

Brothers a Novel: Critique and Analysis

Author Yu Hua’s book Brothers tells the story of two boys who grow up during and after the Chinese Communist revolution. Yu Hua is the author of several other books, including Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, and is known as one of China’s preeminent contemporary writers. Yu Hua often tackles social issues in his works, and Brothers is no exception (Li, 2011). By offering the life story of these two brothers, Baldy Li and Song Gang, author Yu Hua also offers a strong social commentary on recent Chinese history (In Ji and In Wu, 2000). The story covers the lives and deaths of these two characters, while also offering insight into the changes China went through from the time of the revolution until the early 20th century. Yu Hua tells his story with few details about the physical and regional settings in which the events take place, and lets the action and the plot give readers the opportunity to imagine for themselves what the world was like in the years covered in the story.

Categories
Geography

Rock Outcropping

Rock formations of all kinds are important parts of the landscape, but can often be overlooked as the result of people not understanding their rather remarkable nature and the history of their formations. Identification of rock formations and a knowledge of their history is an important part of earth science education. This paper will seek to give a general description of the rock outcropping presented in the photographs, and go on to talk about limestone rock in general, as well as touching on the possibility of fossil presence in the outcropping.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The outcropping in the photographs presented is long and is striated; its surface is a combination of white and pale gray and it appears somewhat smooth and weathered. It also appears to be formed of multiple, somewhat thin layers of rock. It is covered with a layer of vegetation (most coniferous to judge from the photos of the flora and by the large mat of pine needs at the base of the outcropping). The rock appears to have been cut to make way for development, to judge from the manicured strip of grass at its base and is immediately next to some sort of developed area, going by the closeness of the parking lot in one of the pictures .

LIMESTONE AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS

Most likely this outcropping is made out of limestone, which is a common sedimentary rock. It is formed largely of calcite, a form of calcium carbonate. Limestone occurs when detritus such as the skeletons and shells of small marine mammals, along with clay, silt, sand, and animal waste, settle in layers at the bottom of warm, shallows seas and eventually lithify. Because of the nature of its formation, with layer upon layer of detritus building up as the limestone forms, it is considered to be a sedimentary rock and this would account for the layers clearly visible in the outcropping from the photograph. The white strata in the outcropping could well be calcium carbonate; limestone, though, because of the presence of various minerals, silts and clays, can have a wide range of color.

POTENTIAL PRESCENCE OF FOSSILS

There is no visible evidence of fossils to be seen in this photograph, but the presence of fossils in limestone is very likely, since limestone is formed from the calcium carbonate to be found in the skeletons and shells of sea creatures like clams, brachiopods, bryozoa, crinoids and corals; silica-rich organisms like diatoms may also be present. Some types of limestone, called coquina, is brittle, poorly cemented masses of broken shell debris, and another limestone, called fossiliferous limestone, contains abundant fossils. However, this does not seem to be the case with the limestone photograph presented in this picture.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, this outcropping does appear to be of limestone, formed by layers of skeletons and shells of marine animals which lithified over time. To judge from the presence of the limestone it might be possible to speculate that this area was once covered by shallow, warm seas in the distant past, where much limestone is formed. It is also possible to speculate upon the possibility of the presence of fossils in this rock, remnants of the marine animals from whose skeletons and shells the limestone eventually was made.

 

 

 

Categories
Geography

Beyond Survival? Wilderness and Canadian Identity into the 21st Century

Introduction

This paper provides a critique of the article by Emily Gibson[1] ‘Beyond Survival? Wilderness and Canadian National Identity into the twenty first century’. (Gibson) An illustration of Canadian Art and Literature that draws upon the theme of wilderness and the impact of the human footprint on the land.  The contemporary artists of Canada are rewriting narratives that associate the wilderness with the national identity of Canada. The purpose being to get the reader to re-examine the role of man living in co-existance with the wilderness and to realise the fragility of this setting.  It is the question of man understanding his role in the world and his relationship with nature.

Article critique

| Thesis – The article attempts to explore the impact that the increased human presence has on the natural environment and wilderness of Canada. Contemporary artists in Canada are evoking the public to think deeper about the relationship of man with nature.  Are we really a constructive part of it or an external influence that is helping to destroy it.  There are many examples in Canada like the Oil sands developments in Alberta or open cast mining that are destroying the landscape and environment in our thirst for natural resources. Although this has largely been written towards a Canadian academic audience it has universal appeal to environmentalist and those interested in the preservation of our planet.

Categories
Geography

Depletion of Ozone Layer

Depletion of the Ozone layer

The ozone layer is situated in the stratosphere, and it protects the harshness of the ultraviolet radiations from the sun. The thickness Ozone layer is different depending on the geography and season. However, during the past few decades, it has been recorded that the ozone layer is depleting due to human activities and some natural causes as well. Depletion of the Ozone layer leads to various skin cancers and other diseases in humans. It also causes significant damage to the vegetation including; forests, crops and wildlife. This paper will discuss some of the human activities responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer and how it can be prevented.[1]

Categories
Geography

Ageing Demographic in Japan & the 6th Stage of the Transition Model

Introduction

Population monitoring is an essential tool for our modern world because it helps to quantify the growth of the populace and assess how these changes will affect the planet as a whole. Some countries are worried about overpopulation and others about under-population. Countries such as China and India, which are in stage three of the demographic transition model, are experiencing decreased death rates even though the country’s birth rates are still high. China is worried about overpopulation, so it has introduced policies such as the “One child policy”, which did help to reduce the birth rates. Although India has the same problem, they have not instituted any policies to check their population growth.

The condition of overpopulation is a problem that many developing countries must deal with and, in the case of Japan the reduction in births combined with the longevity of life has created an inverted dynamic of the demographic model.  As the global population continues to grow, the planet is struggling to provide everyone with the essential resources to live. The water supply is short and there are already future wars predicted over the resource. The same with food, we are not able to reproduce it fast enough in order to feed everyone. Overpopulation causes pollution and taxation of natural resources. Currently, we are reaching the limits of oil reserves and lots of forest is being cut out like the Amazon rain forest. In the developed countries such as Japan, the situation is different. As there is more education provided, women think more about their careers than about immediately starting families, so either they have no children at all or they have few at an older age using family planning.

Concepts of Population

Human geography focuses on human groups and their accomplishments, such as language, industry, and the building of cities, making it a social science. Regional geography describes and analyzes places in terms of categories such as local population, customs, politics, economy, and religion (Libicki, et al., 2011). The depiction typically begins with a description of the local physical environment, such as the climate, land-forms, soils, and other physical attributes (Libicki, et al., 2011). Density describes the rate of incidence in relation to geographic area of the occurrence, usually expressed as a number per square kilometer or square mile (Morgan, 2013). The term concentration refers to the distribution of the phenomenon within a given area with respect to the proximity of the instances such that if they are close together they are considered concentrated, but if they are scattered far from each other they are described as dispersed (Libicki, et al., 2011).

Diffusion is the process of an item or feature spreading through time. Relocation diffusion transpires between extensively separated points, as in a nomadic tribe peripatetic until locates similar grounds to settle on separating it from contiguous, or contagious diffusion, which has historically been instigated by the dispersion of artistic styles and spreads from one place to a neighboring place through direct contact, similar to the spread of a contagious disease (Morgan, 2013). The fertility rate refers to the number of live births in a population relative to the number of women of reproductive age, which is considered between around 15-44 years old (Angeles, 2010). This can be expressed as a number per 1,000 or as a number out of another number, such as 1.6 children per woman (Morgan, 2013). The mortality rate is the number of deaths in a population, measured in a similar fashion to the fertility rates, such as 9 out of 1,000 individuals.

Other terms that are used when talking about demography include age composition and life expectancy, whereas the age composition of a population delineates the age structure of the population and the life expectancy indicates how old each individual is expected to age. In Japan, the life expectancy of men is about 87years women are expected to live for 81 years and the age composition of the population is described as having a large number of older individuals (CIA World Fact Book, 2012). The demography of Japan is illustrated in the population pyramid in Figure 1, which is used to illustrate information about age composition and life expectancy (Haub, 2007).

Figure 1: Japan Demography by Age and Sex, 2055 Projections

This pyramid illustrates the projected demography of Japan for the year 2055, showing that as much as 19% of Japan’s population will be over the age of retirement, including as many as 634,000 centenarians (Coulmas, 2007). The decrease in the number of births is expected to have the effect of decreasing the country’s population from its current account of about 128 million to about 90 million (CIA World Fact Book, 2012). The consequences for the country’s birth restrictions have facilitated the modern concerns regarding Japan’s birth rate, which has reached the state of a national crisis (Haub, 2007). Although young couples are now encouraged to have more children, it will take much more than that to change the projection model in Figure 1 significantly enough to pull Japan out of the instability of Stage Five and back to the security of Stage Four (Haub, 2007).

Demographic Transition Model

The demographic transition theory is a concept used to explain the phases of population growth for developing nations over time (Angeles, 2010). Prior to industrialization, many nations had extremely high birth and death rates, but they were almost congruent, so the population was able to remain stable, as illustrated in Figure 2, adapted from (Glenn, 22013). Analysis of the difference between birth and death rates and study of the population growth enables theorists to evaluate how populations increase based on its development (Angeles, 2010). This discourse will continue to explain the first five stages of the demographic transition theory model, as it is divided into five stages, and theorists speculate that there may be a sixth stage (Angeles, 2010).

Figure 2: Five Stage Demographic Transition Model

As the model demonstrates, during Stage One, the prevalence of poor living conditions and disease cause high mortality rates that nullify the high birth rates, preventing population growth and not many countries are currently at this stage in modern times (Morgan, 2013). During Stage Two, improved quality of life through adequate health care, sanitation, and nutritious food improves health and mortality rates decrease, so the population increases (Okita, 2011). As countries progress to Stage Three, the industrialization and urbanization leads to better living conditions, but fewer children, so the birth rates decline with the death rates and the population growth becomes slower (Komine & Kabe, 2009). Most modern developed nations are at Stage Four, which occurs within a fully industrialized and developed nation that has low birth and death rates as well as decreased population growth that makes the population stationary (Phillips, 2000). Nations such as Japan are speculated to be in a new stage considered as Stage Five, where the birth rate has dropped below the death rate, causing the population to decrease, as is the case in similar countries such as Germany and Austria (Angeles, 2010).

Main Body

Population Structure of Japan

Japan is an island country in the North Pacific Ocean off the east coast of mainland Asia across from Russia, Korea, and China made up of four large islands and thousands of smaller ones. The four main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku, with a population of about 128 million. The Japanese call their country Nippon (or Nihon), which means Source of the Sun. Japan is from the Italian name Zipangu, given to the country by Marco Polo (Allison, 2010). So much of the country is covered by mountains and hills that ninety percent of the population lives on the narrow plains of land along the coasts, which is about twenty percent of Japan’s land mass. The Tokyo metropolitan region is the most populous urban region in the world.

About two thirds of Japanese people live in the three main urban areas: Tokyo, which includes Kawasaki and Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya (Allison, 2010). These cities are testaments to the prosperity of Japan and the high standard of living enjoyed by the city’s occupants. Modern high-rise apartments and traditional Japanese housing can both be found in these cities, despite Japan having the most expensive land prices in the world (Allison, 2010). In traditional homes, the rooms are separated by sliding, paper screens, the floors are covered with straw mats called tatami, and people sit on cushions and sleep on padded quilts called futons. Although crime and poverty are not major problems, overcrowding, air and water pollution are all major problems of these huge cities (Allison, 2010).

As one of the leading countries in today’s world economy, Japan consumes significant resources, has a largest employment population, is the largest importers/exporter of goods, and has been financially stable for a significant period of time (Serrano, 2010). Information gathered from several sources was used to determine the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GDP growth rate, market structure, and the size of the labor force (Serrano, 2010). The GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in a country during a given period (Serrano, 2010). Based on this information, Japan has the world’s second largest economy with a 2008 estimated GDP of $4.487 trillion, with 72.1 % from the service sector, 26.4% from the industrial sector, and 1.4% from the agricultural sector, and an annual GDP growth rate of about 0.7 % (CIA World Fact Book, 2012). Additionally, 66.15 million Japanese were employed in 2008 and only 4.2 % of the population was unemployed (CIA World Fact Book, 2012).

Existence of Native Tribes Globally

The term ‘Indigenous Peoples’ has been claimed by or applied to individuals who regard themselves as the offspring of the pre-colonial natives of the Americas, New Zealand and the circumpolar Arctic, Australia, including a wide variety of groups living in the Amazon, Aboriginal Australians, Native Americans in the USA, the Inuit of the Arctic, and the New Zealand Maoris (UN, n.d.). Additionally, in numerous Asian and African countries, ostracized minority ethnic groups, often called tribal populations, have a cultures diverse from the nationwide model and have historically occupied certain regions also define themselves as Indigenous Peoples, which includes the hill tribes in Thailand and the Ainu in Japan (UN, n.d.). Indigenous Peoples have come to be accepted over the past few years as a distinctive social and cultural group under international law and in some nations’ general law (Wickeri & Kalhan, 2010). The degree of recognition of Indigenous Peoples varies widely across different countries (Wickeri & Kalhan, 2010). In countries such as Australia, Canada, most Latin American countries, and the USA, Indigenous Peoples are officially recognized in law (Scheinin, 2004).

However, in some countries, only certain groups are acknowledged as ‘indigenous’ although other castes might assert that description, and in other countries indigenous groups are not formally accepted at all (Kugelmann, 2007). Although disparity exists within different national contexts, the adoption of the UN Declaration and the ILO Convention on Indigenous Peoples proposes an emerging trend toward greater respect of indigenous rights (IACHR, 2009). The term ‘Indigenous Peoples’ has evolved to include a widening assortment of individuals and cultures, and this diversity has contributed to the confusion regarding establishing an internationally recognized legal definition of ‘Indigenous Peoples’ (IITCHRCB, 2008).   The UN estimates that there are more than 370 million Indigenous Peoples in approximately 70 countries worldwide today (UN, n.d.). However, apart from their variances, Indigenous Peoples are considered to have many similarities between their historic experiences, grievances, organisational positions within their respective nation-states, interests, and aspirations. Nonetheless, there remains no precise definition of Indigenous Peoples in international law, with the prevalent notion regarding such a definition being that it is not necessary in order to protect their human rights (Kugelmann, 2007).

The Japanese are descended from migrants from other parts of Asia that came from the northeastern part of the continent, passing through the Korean peninsula. Japan’s population consists mainly of ethnic Japanese, with a minority populace consisting of Koreans, Chinese, Brazilians, and Ainu, an indigenous Japanese subculture (Allison, 2010). About two percent of Japan’s population consists of a group of Japanese known as the Burakumin, which come from villages traditionally associated with tasks such as the slaughter of cattle, execution of criminals, and the tanning of leather, occupations considered unclean according to Japanese religious traditions (Allison, 2010). These natives live in segregated slums or special villages (Allison, 2010). Farm families in rural areas make up the remaining one third of the Japanese population.

About 15% of farm households live off the income generated by their farming alone (Allison, 2010). Many farm workers have taken additional jobs, maintaining average incomes slightly higher than the urban workers. However, rural populations are declining as the children of farmers leave the countryside to work in Japan’s cities (Allison, 2010). Society imposes strong expectations on Japanese women and men, expecting women to marry in their mid-twenties, become a mother, and stay home attending to her husband’s needs and raising children. Men are expected to be the sole wage earners and support their families. To promote this, many employers provide male workers with a family allowance. Although this is widely accepted by Japanese men, most Japanese women do hold jobs at some point in their lives and some are reluctant to give up their jobs in their twenties to marry and start families, opting to keep working into their late twenties or thirties before starting families. However, female employees are not paid the same wages as males, receive fewer benefits, any have no job security (Allison, 2010).

Japan Ageing Population & the 5 Stages of Demographic Transition

The diminishing size of Japan’s youthful population demonstrates that this nation has surpassed the first four stages of the demographic transition model. Having had a stable economy for many years, Japan perfected stage four with the imposed birth regimes demarcating that couples should only have one child and have paid the price with the declining youth populace, as reflected in the inverted pyramid illustrated in Figure 1. This has placed Japan in the next and largely unanticipated stage of development that theorists are calling the fifth stage of the demographic transition model (Phillips, 2000). Countries of the developed world have primarily constructed models that encourage two income families and the traditional model of the female remaining at home to parent numerous children is not a common feature of Japanese society as it once was. Theorists speculate that the success of Stage Four has facilitated the complacency responsible for the Stage Five construct. It is additionally thought that the progressive states of development in many nations has eliminated the existence of Stage One, which leaves the Stage Five construct to replace the previous Stage Four in the model as each phase is elevated with the elimination of Stage One. Despite the incongruences of the Stage Five classification within the demographic theoretical model, the consensus is that the three main indicators of Stage Five include a low birth rate, a low death rate and a slow decrease of the total population with little to no increase (Morgan, 2013).

Japanese Tribes & the new Stages of the Transition Model

Having a long history of social and political stability, the Japanese maintained a Tokugawa government successfully for several centuries, but, the government’s poor financial situation led to riots and extreme unrest among the farm population. Regular natural disasters and famine led to the breakdown of the social hierarchy. Corruption, incompetence and a decline of morals led to further problems within the government (Allison, 2010). At the end of the 18th century, pressure for Japan to establish external trade routes began to build, allowing Commodore Perry to bully the Tokugawa government into opening a limited number of ports for international trade in 1853 and 1854 (Allison, 2010). As a result of these instabilities, Japan was still in Stage Four, where the birth and death rates were fluctuating as in Stage One, but at a much lower level such that the birth rates were as many as 10 per 1,000 and the death rates are the same (Phillips, 2000). Despite the political turbulence of the era, the total population remained stable and high, but there was less of a desire to construct large families due to the financial obligations of children and many couples preferred to enjoy the luxuries of life, such as holidays and cars (Okita, 2011). This kept the birth rate low and the death rate remained low due to improved healthcare.

Beginning in 1867, during the reign of Emperor Meiji, Japan underwent an intense period of Westernization in an attempt to regain independence from European and American rule (Allison, 2010). The emperor aimed to make Japan a democratic state with equality among its people, allow freedom of religion, and eliminate the boundaries between the social classes (Allison, 2010). The agrarian economy was transformed into an industrial one and Japanese scholars were sent abroad to study Western science and languages, while foreign experts were allowed to teach in Japan. Large governmental investments were made to improve transportation and communication networks. The currency system was reformed in the 1880’s due to the financial crisis caused by the large governmental reformation expenditures, which prompted the establishment of the Bank of Japan. The rapid growth of the textile industry kept it the largest Japanese industry until WW2 (Allison, 2010). The transition of power to Emperor Taisho in 1912 shifted political power from oligarchic to the parliament and democratic parties. This, along with the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and 1929’s worldwide depression considerably weakened Japan’s economy, allowing the military to establish significant control over the government in the 1930’s (Allison, 2010). Japan’s alliance with Germany and Italy put them at odds with the United States and the country was devastated as a result of WW2 (Allison, 2010). The economy did not recover until after the Korean War, however, the oil shortage in 1973 upset the Japanese economy, which was heavily dependent on oil (Allison, 2010). This facilitated the shift to high technology industries, transforming the Japanese economy into one of the largest in the world today. Japan’s main export goods are cars, electronic devices and computers and their main imports are textiles and raw materials such as oil, foodstuffs and wood (History of Japan, 2010).

The exponential expansion of the Japanese economy without concurrent growth in population has left the populace in the new construct of Stage Five, with a birth rate of 7 per1,000, and a death rate remaining at 10 per 1,000 (Coulmas, 2007). As death rate exceeds the birth rate, the total population is beginning to decrease for the first time. The recent economic crisis has further exacerbated the condition of couples not having any children while the number of elderly people is continuing to increase (Angeles, 2010). Furthering the decision to forgo children is the fact that many adults in their reproductive prime have to care for elderly relatives and simply do not have time to raise a family, contributing to the decrease in birth rates. However, the death rate has continued to remain stable as the elderly remain to be cared for.

Analysis of the Sixth Stage

Many theorists surmise that speculation of a Stage Six of the demographic transition model is due to the surplus of nations with low demographics of young people and inordinately high populaces of individuals over the age of 65 (Morgan, 2013). However, others indicate that the demise of the first stage due to the growth and development of many unindustrialized nations has shifted the model forward. Essentially, many feel that Stage Two has now become Stage One; Stage Three is now Stage Two; Stage Four has shifted to Stage Three; and the newly developed Stage Five is actually stage Four. In this scenario, the theorized extension to Stage Six is not a plausible occurrence. Nonetheless, some theorists speculate that the addition of the fifth stage can support the potential formation of a Stage Six since the conditions of concern in nations such as Japan will eventually perpetuate such a standard. The Stage Six model is characterized by the decreasing birth rate and a lack of increase in the working aged population since the 1950’s, as in Japan, will cause the decline in both the children and working aged cohorts and a sharp increase in the over 65 year old group. Overall, the existence of Stage Six is based on whether the original Stage One is perpetuated in the model or if it is phased out to maintain the original four stage model, at which point, Stage Six would replace Stage Five.

Conclusion

Although the world population continues to grow as a whole, the populace of Japan is not increasing despite the country’s economic affluence and, is in fact declining. The projection that the Japanese population will decrease to 90 million shows a staggering 29.69% population drop between now and 2055. Despite efforts to rectify the damage done by reproductive restrictions, many youth are still not motivated to forgo careers in favor of the immediate family. Although new technological advances have made it possible for women to conceive children even after they have reached menopause, in modern Asia, many women work outside the home before they are married and often after their children leave home. Asian families typically have strong kinship ties, but familial customs are reflective of their son bias, with many ceremonies geared towards celebrating the sons (Edmonds & Smith, 2010). The females are not made to feel part of the family unit, since they will eventually marry out and become part of their husband’s family. Conversely, the women that marry into the family are considered ‘outsiders’, and it is very difficult for them to earn acceptance from their new family, thus it is very easy for a female to feel nonexistent in this social structure (Spector, 2009).

 

 

 

Bibliography

Allison, G. D., 2010. Japan. [Online]
Available at: http://www.worldbookonline.com/advanced/article?id=ar285600&st=japanese+culture

Angeles, L., 2010. Demographic transitions: analyzing the effects of mortality on fertility. Journal Of Population Economics, 23(1), p. 99.

CIA World Fact Book, 2012. CIA World Fact Book: Japan. [Online]
Available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html
[Accessed 20 April 2013].

Coulmas, F., 2007. Population decline and ageing in Japan: the social consequences. London: Routledge.

Edmonds, R. L. & Smith, R. J., 2010. China. [Online]
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Glenn, A. S., 22013. The Importance of Population. [Online]
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[Accessed 21 April 2013].

Haub, C., 2007. Global Aging and the Demographic Divide. Public Policy & Aging Report, 17(4).

Komine, T. & Kabe, S., 2009. Long-Term Forecast of the Demographic Transition in Japan and Asia. Asian Economic Policy Review, 4(1), pp. 19-38.

Libicki, M. C., Shatz, H. J. & Taylor, J., 2011. Global Demographic Change and Its Implications for Military Power. Santa Monica, CA, USA: RAND Corporation.

Miller, B., 2007. Cultural Anthropology. Boston: Allyn & Beacon.

Morgan, E., 2013. Looking at the New Demography. [Online]
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Okita, Y., 2011. A Stochastic Forecast Model for Japan’s Population. Japanese Economy, 38(2), p. 19.

Phillips, D. R., 2000. Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Policies and Future Trends. Richmond, Surrey, GBR: Curzon Press Limited.

Quarrie, K., 2009. Do Lost Amazonian Tribes Exist? Colonel Fawcett’s Lost City of Z Adventure-Expedition to the Lost City. [Online]
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Spector, R., 2009. Cultural diversity in health and illness. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River(New Jersey): Pearson Education Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Geography

Domino Effect of Leftist Culture in Latin American Society

During the twentieth century, Latin America has experienced a plethora of New Social Movements initially designed to improve the lives and welfare of its citizens.  Many Latin American countries became dissatisfied with their government and adopted a more left-wing political stance to promote an equal society.  Examples of left-wing political movements are communism, socialism, and anarchism.  Throughout the century, Latin America’s revolutions have been both success failures and have yielded both positive and negative results.  The concern is that the leftist movements, which are perceived to be radical, will spread throughout Latin American nations and cause citizens to overthrow their government.

Categories
Geography

From Educational Haven to a Vacation Paradise: Defining the Advancement of Tourism in Villars-sur-Ollon in Switzerland

Introduction

            When the name Villars-Sur-Ollon comes to ear, it could be pictured as the cradle of the most expensive international education ever offered in the world today. Elite families often send their studying children in the area to perfect their skills and become more academically excellent especially when it comes to the studies that they are trying to complete. Relatively, it is the environment that defines Villars-sur-Ollon that makes it a haven for studying. The coolness of the weather and the serenity of the place, almost undisturbed by the essence of modern living [like it is in modern cities  today], students are given the chance to relax and concentrate to their heart’s fullest.

Categories
Geography

Locally Grown Foods

Interpretation (30)

Many benefits result from growing and eating local foods, such as providing access to freshness, giving locals a means of making their living, and creating a community among the people.

Categories
Geography

The Pros and Cons of Hydraulic Fracturing

In an age where oil dominates world economies, the search for alternative forms of fuel has become more of a concern than perhaps ever before. One such option is found in underground reserves of natural gas. There are several methods of extracting natural gas from the earth, each with their own pros and cons, but hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has recently gained the most international attention. Large reserves of natural gas are believed to be trapped in shale throughout North America, and many other parts of the world. Fracking is a technique that allows the gas to reach the surface for collection, by breaking through the rock with high-pressure fluids. The growing popularity of this process has positioned fracking as a key in the progression away from coal fuels, but controversy has arisen about the potential harm of the technology, and if these risks are balanced by the potential benefits (Colborn et al. 1039).

Categories
Geography

International Disasters

International Disasters

International disasters are significant to the lives of countless individuals during and after the event. These catastrophes are capable of striking in countries that are underdeveloped as well as highly industrialized areas. It is highly important to have an effective management team ready before and after the disaster to decrease costs associated with recovery as well as the negative emotions felt by the individuals involved. This paper focuses on the natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, which struck the southern portion of the United States in September 2005.

Natural Disasters and the Communication Breakdown

Occurrences such as Hurricane Katrina will affect not only a large geographic radius, but a wide populous as well. This can range from an economic impact to an impact along the lines of human morbidity and mortality. It is quite difficult for private and public organizations to handle such catastrophes as they occur and ever more of a challenge to take care of those involved in the days to months ahead as everyone rebuilds and attempts to return to some form of normal life as they once knew (Schneider, 2005). During a natural disaster, most people are focused with survival and finding shelter, food and clothing for themselves and their loved ones. They are not focused on what the government is and is not doing to help them until after the situation has calmed and they have taken a moment to assess the complete picture. At least this is what happened during September 2005.

In the case of Katrina, there were massive problems and a continual breakdown in the communication efforts both inside the local camp of New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as outside from the state and federal levels. In a perfect scenario, an emergency management system administration will provide the needed aid immediately after the storm as soon as it is humanly possible to get outside and rescue individuals from houses or cars (Schneider, 2005). Also, they will ensure food delivery and proper shelter is provided to all who require this necessity. However, in the case of Hurricane Katrina, the consistent miscommunication of these agencies or entire lack of agency communication caused a problem of epic proportions from food delivery units to shelter to rescue efforts and there were multiple agencies involved in this (Schneider, 2005). Upon an initial assessment, it was found that government efforts were weak, at best and they were unable to respond quickly or effectively to the multiple problems occurring on an escalating scale.

According to Schneider (1995), there is an established process for responding to natural disasters and the government is supposed to follow this when assisting states and locales in their rescue and recovery efforts. The process resembles a ladder and essentially begins with the government at the local level. It then follows through the state emergency management agencies and finally to the federal emergency management organizations. However, in Katrina’s case, there was a breakdown and a complete lack of consistency with all levels of emergency management causing every branch to confuse the other branch (Schneider, 1995). This essentially led to a decrease in the amount of aid coming in to the victims and almost no rescue effort for days until media publicity scrutinized the government enough so they began taking action.

State of Louisiana

For starters, the state of Louisiana was not prepared for Hurricane Katrina and was overwhelmed with the sheer size of the storm. Therefore, they did not make the necessary preparations to evacuate citizens until the storm had reached a category much too large to get everyone out of the state in time, especially those in the poorest of neighborhoods (Coker, et al., 2006). Also, the levee system in New Orleans, because of the fact the city is below sea level, was extremely out of date and did not withstand the pressure of incoming water generated by this massive scale hurricane (Schneider, 2005). Once the levees began to break, chaos was the general feeling amongst those in New Orleans and all of its surrounding areas. Several areas in the city and outer wards flooded, thus causing further problems in addition to those already existing from the initial storm. Add this to the fact many civilians were losing their homes to the flooding and winds caused by the storm and there is a recipe for disaster that no person seemed to have an answer for (Schneider, 2005).

Because the governor of Louisiana was unwilling to allow National Guardsmen to be under the control of the federal government, even only for a short while, there was no ability to stabilize the situation from within due to scarce resources and the fact that the federal government was moving too slow to import additional resources into the area (Schneider, 2005). Although the official declaration for assistance was given three days after the storm, there was no concrete help available from the government until at least five days after the storm (Schneider, 2005).

During the five days while citizens were in the midst of chaos and waiting to be evacuated or rescued from rooftops, there was an even larger problem occurring inside the Superdome. This had been the official storm shelter before the hurricane and had quickly turned into mass chaos after part of the roof was blown away by the excessive winds and water damage incurred during the event (Schneider, 2005). There were riots, assaults, and other unspeakable events which captured the eye of national and international news media and most likely led to the aid of these citizens more quickly (Coker, et al., 2006).

Because of the strength of the category 3 storm making impact along the Gulf Coast region around Gulfport, Mississippi, and the breaching of levees causing floods in so many areas of the outer lying wards in the New Orleans area, millions of citizens were without housing, power, food, and clothing. This storm has actually been called the most massive hurricane to strike the nation in several generations (Eisenman, Cordasco, Asch, Golden, & Glik, 2007). The citizens who were able to be evacuated after the storm found shelter in a stadium for three weeks in Houston, Texas. These citizens faced a traumatic experience; one unprecedented in recent history.

It was evident many of the evacuees and victims of the hurricane were experiencing the first effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and experts believe due to the low socioeconomic conditions and the fact the victims faced conditions no human should have to ever live through, this only made manifestations for the conditions much worse than even normal with post-traumatic stress disorder victims (Coker, et al., 2006). Government officials did provide psychological and psychiatric help to those willing to speak with someone about their experiences during the storm and in the aftermath; however, with the condition of post-traumatic stress disorder often it is much later than immediately after an event when things begin to affect a person. This was, of course, true in many cases with the citizens of Louisiana (Coker, et al., 2006).

Why This Storm Was So Terrible

Obviously, the storm in itself was a catastrophe. Even in the best case scenarios and with the utmost preparations there will be problems and glitches causing issues with citizens and the evacuation of innocent people. However, the number one thing causing this storm to be so terrible was the miscommunication between local, state, and federal officials. There was almost a “political” agenda and the innocent victims got pushed to the side with no shelter, food, or way to take care of themselves (Coker, et al., 2006).

For example, there were several buses sitting in a parking lot ready to evacuate citizens of New Orleans before the storm was supposed to strike. All that was needed was the authorization from an official. That authorization never came. The buses sat there, filled with fuel, during the entire duration of the storm. These were buses that could have gone from ward to ward and helped poor individuals who had no other means of transportation evacuate out of the area and out of danger (Coker, et al., 2006). Unfortunately, everyone wants to point a finger at another person. There is no person willing to take responsibility and everyone says, “not me” when asked who is responsible for the miscommunication that led to countless lives being put at risk and injuring multiple rescue workers who were only attempting to help an already overworked and understaffed police force.

As a matter of fact, it is reported that many members of the police force actually resigned because they had no homes or belongings and they went with their families to other areas as soon as it was safe to do so (Schneider, 2005). Loitering became the issue in the streets and businesses actually began handing out all of the food left to anyone who would accept it so that starvation would not be such a widespread issue (Eisenman, Cordasco, Asch, Golden, & Glik, 2007). The situation was really a travesty.

How We May Learn

The question is, how can we learn from the mistakes made by our local and state as well as federal governments? How can we understand the problems that were had in the past so that the future does not repeat itself? Obviously, there will be another natural disaster of some sort and there will be horrible ramifications which occur along with the disaster. But these subsequent issues do not have to define the disaster. There are things we as a nation learn from the issues of today will help us face the problems of tomorrow.

On the level of emergency management, there is a need for consistent communication between the local, state, and federal agencies to ensure no further breakdown when a tragedy such as this one strikes again. Although things in this disaster would have happened to a certain extent, yes, there would have been other alternatives in place to ensure chaos could have been kept minimal and recovery costs would have been decreased. Perhaps a liaison between agencies could be more effective than having the government agencies contact one another and have bureaucratic red tape when time is of the essence (Eisenman, Cordasco, Asch, Golden, & Glik, 2007). This is not to say what works in one situation will necessarily work in the next. However, there will be a situation where procedures will help benefit victims involved in another future situation and policies enforced at this point in time will ultimately help all citizens.

As with our example of the buses and their lack of evacuation order to collect victims, this should have never happened. A policy instated by local or state officials to ensure this is not a problem would add a safety net to the transportation issue for citizens without other options and those citizens would be further comforted knowing they had a means out of the city when needed (Eisenman, Cordasco, Asch, Golden, & Glik, 2007). Also, with the levees and their breach, this should never have occurred. If monetary funds had been allocated as intended years ago, the levees would have been taken care of and perhaps the flooding would have been less of an impact on the citizens than when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

Yes, we can go back and say ‘what if’ and explain how to change the situation. What remains, however, is the fact that until communication becomes a priority between officials on all levels of government, there will not be a better way to plan for disasters that threaten our citizens. This goes for natural or man-made disasters.  Satellite phones are another thing that would prove useful during times of trouble in the aftermath of a storm (Eisenman, Cordasco, Asch, Golden, & Glik, 2007). Gas lines, electrical lines, and cellular towers were all but obliterated in much of the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas (Eisenman, Cordasco, Asch, Golden, & Glik, 2007). However, the satellite phones would have offered a better way of connected with officials to get help to those who needed it the most. These phones were used to some extent, but a larger deployment of these phones would provide beneficial to the needs of citizens all around.

This disaster was both a negative and positive one. It was negative because of the costs associated with it in terms of monetary costs, recovery efforts, and harm done to the environment. However, it was a positive disaster in the fact there will be more hurricanes in the near future. There was a hurricane just recently in the upper eastern United States and this hurricane also caused a massive amount of damage. The hope is that the storm of 2005 helped in a positive way and impacted lives on a positive level in regards to the communication efforts and management efforts with government agencies (state and federal) so that others afterward would have better experiences after the fact and not have to go through as much devastation while waiting for relief.

Hurricane Katrina was a small storm and we did not see this storm coming until it was a bit too late, but this is not an excuse to be prepared for whatever is in our path. Preparedness and communication are the keys to successful survival of a catastrophe and millions of citizens could possibly have prepared better had the government taken the time to take things a bit more seriously instead of brushing this particular storm off as “just another storm” (Schneider, 2005). In the years since, the areas have been rebuilding and the city is revitalizing itself (Schneider, 2005). Although it will never be the same as it once was, the levees are being made more modern and funds are being put into modernizing many aspects of the city’s pumping system for water distribution due to the fact it is below sea level (Schneider, 2005). There is nothing the city may do about the natural disaster occurrences. There is something the city may do about preparedness.

 

References

Coker, A., Hanks, J., Eggleston, K., Risser, J., Tee, P., Chronister, P., & Troisi, C. (2006). Social and mental needs assessment of Katrina evacuees. Disaster Management and Response, 4(3), 88-94.

Eisenman, D., Cordasco, K., Asch, S., Golden, J., & Glik, D. (2007). Disaster planning and risk communication with vulnerable communities: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina. American Journal of Public Health, 97(S1), S109.

Schneider, Saundra K. 1995. Flirting with Disaster: Public Management in Crisis Situations.

Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.

Schneider, S. (2005). Administrative breakdowns in the governmental response to Hurricane Katrina. Public Admistration Review, 65(5), 515-516.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Geography Other

Geographical map description

Our group chose to work on map 3 where three primary trees stand as the main marker of the corners of the said mapping site. The said lane of trees continues towards the southern part of map 1 making them at least five tall trees in a single lane. Meanwhile, a light post that also has a continuation located on map 4 marks the lower right side corner of map 3. The student’s lounge located at the upper central section of map 3 has a continued figure on map 1, which is the end tail of the lounge. On the overall positioning of the campus map, the said element is central to the entire campus making a primary attraction in the campus.

Categories
Geography

NASA Earth Observatory Articles

The article by Michael Carlowicz is about the hottest place on earth. The author attempts to locate the hottest place on earth by looking at the regions and places that have recorded high temperatures throughout history. In this article the author highlights some interesting facts about the hottest places on earth. The most notable finding is that cities tend to record higher air temperatures compared to deserts because of the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon in which cities trap heat and experience gradual temperature increases which are higher than the surrounding natural environment. The author finds that air temperatures in cities in the U.S. can be up to 6°C warmer than the surrounding rural and suburban areas.