Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Brains in Action!

Nothing to do with geography really apart from the fact that I keep harping on about the next war being about water. OK I just like it!

Monday, 26 May 2008

Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green

Some strange ideas here about what going green means e.g. people of Manhattan are really environmentally friendly because fewer drive cars than other parts of the USA. I still need a lot of convincing on these. What do you think?

Chinese troops tackle quake lake

Troops in China are trying to clear a river blocked during the recent earthquake, amid fears millions could be at risk of flooding.
About 1,800 soldiers took explosives to the newly formed "quake lake" to try to blast away debris, state media said.
The official death toll from the earthquake rose to 65,080 on Monday, with another 23,150 missing.
Look at this page showing the lakes forming.
The lake is now holding more than 128 million cubic metres of water and may cause a devastating flood if the barrier bursts. Read the whole article here. There is a video of the aftershocks here and the dangers of the dams bursting.

Factory Farming - The Meatrix

Thanks to Alan Parkinson for reminding us of this one. See former links in the farming section on the right here and the revision posts for grade too.

Interesting video about how Americans see the world here

Thanks to Tony Cassidy for highlighting this one. Cool maps and a bit of a weird world if you ask me. Explains a lot though!

Eurovision odds against UK

Micro ways to develop

Microfinance has crucial objectives: it allows people to escape from the vicious circle of excessive interest rates, promotes equal rights for women, helps to overcome some of the failings in the traditional banking system and provides a financial safety net for those wishing to invest. Thus, for its 130 million beneficiaries throughout the world, it responds to a real need. Read here


Nice video here

Spain's drought

Barcelona’s fountains and beach showers are dry, its ornamental lakes and private swimming pools drained and hosepipes banned. Children are now being taught how to save water as part of their school day. The whole country is suffering from its worst drought in 40 years. Catalan winemakers recognise that the change is permanent; some are planting new vineyards further north as the area becomes hotter and drier. More than 70 per cent of Spain's water goes on agriculture, much of it wasted on old fashioned irrigation systems and the growing of thirsty crops unsuitable for these dry lands. High-density tourist resorts sprinkled with swimming pools, patio showers and golf courses along Spain's desertified southern coast, where it rarely rains, cannot continue.
Read the whole article here

Amazon Indians lead battle against power giant's plan to flood rainforest

At stake are plans to flood large areas of rainforest to make way for the huge Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on the Xingu river. Critics complain the environmental and social costs are too high. For people living beside the river, the dam will bring an end to their way of life. Thousands of homes will be flooded. The reservoir will flood up to 6,140 square kilometres (2,371 square miles). Scientists say it will cause a dramatic increase in greenhouse-gas emissions. from the decomposition of organic matter in the stagnant water of the reservoir.
"Hydroelectric dams have severe social impacts," Philip Fearnside, one of the world's leading rainforest scientists explains, "including flooding the lands of indigenous peoples, displacing non-indigenous residents and destroying fisheries."
Dr Fearnside said the project helps aluminium plants looking to cash in on exports but does little for local needs, and in fact increases the health risks to local populations, including malaria. Read here

Farmers face losing EU subsidies unless they promise to go green

The European Commission is to announce today an end to the controversial set-aside payment scheme - under which farmers were paid to leave about 8 per cent of their fields fallow - as part of further reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
The payments, intended originally to prevent the creation of grain mountains in Europe, are regarded as outdated, given the worldwide shortage of grain that is being driven by demand from China and India.
The payments were suspended this year, but the European Union has ruled that this should now be permanent. Farmers will continue receiving payments from the EU, however, if they make environmental improvements to between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of their land. They will have to agree to keep field margins next to rivers, canals and streams out of production and free from pesticide sprays.
Defra has commissioned a series of reports to help it to reach a decision. The British Trust for Ornithology has been asked to conduct scientific modelling on the impact that the loss of set-aside land has had on farmland birds.

Burma and China: Tale of two disasters

There is a great summary here of how the two countries have reacted to their recent earthquakes and cyclone. China has mostly been praised highly for the way they have tried to save lives whereas Burma’s government has been strongly criticized and allowing it’s people to die. No country wants a disaster such as this but it is how they cope which the world sees as important now. Read this interesting article here.

This picture is a panoramic view and you should go to the original site to scroll left and right to see all the view of this tragedy

Thursday, 22 May 2008

China -The search stops and recovery begins

Watch the video here.
China quake deaths exceed 51,000. The death toll from the earthquake in China's Sichuan province has increased to more than 51,000, with another 30,000 people missing.

Post exam stress relief (?!!)

Ok not sure about the title but see what Dora thinks!
Link here

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Burma (Myanmar) cyclone

Monks above are appealing for help.

“Burma is guilty of inhuman action” says PM Gordon Brown
The official number of deaths from the cyclone disaster in Burma has risen to 78,000, as the country's military regime (the Junta) continues to stop aid from reaching 2.5 million survivors. Mr Brown called on the ruling junta to stop blocking foreign aid. ”This is inhuman. We have an intolerable situation, created by a natural disaster.
“It is being made into a man-made catastrophe by the negligence, the neglect and the inhuman treatment of the Burmese people by a regime that is failing to act and to allow the international community to do what it wants to do.” There are reports of disease, and accounts of hungry villages gathering along roadsides in the rain and mud, begging passing vehicles for food with clasped hands. Food and clean drinking water are practically unavailable in most places. As the Burmese authorities continued to guard the disaster area like a prison camp, the Red Cross warned that what the most desperate need now is for clean drinking water, if survivors are not to fall victim to dysentery and other diseases. "If clean water isn't available, it's going to be the biggest killer in the post-disaster environment," Thomas Gurtner, the head of operations for the Red Cross, said in Geneva. "Food is urgent, but you die in three days from acute diarrhoea. You die of starvation in a period of weeks."

Flood fears spark evacuation from quake-hit city

The official number of deaths from China's worst earthquake in 30 years rose to almost 29,000 as thousands of people were evacuated from areas near the epicentre because of the danger of flooding. Residents and relief workers left Beichuan city for higher ground after it was reported that a river may burst its banks and flood the area. The river was jammed up by a landslide; now that may burst.
Read articles here

Friday, 16 May 2008

Atmosphere revision - Higher

A good site here to help you revise this difficult section. Remember there is a strong possibility of this coming up this year. See the site here.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

China quake deaths close to 15,000

Nearly 15,000 people died in the devastating earthquake that hit China's Sichuan province. More than 25,000 are still trapped in the rubble two days after the 7.9 quake struck, causing landslides and razing homes, schools and whole villages. Soldiers have rushed to a dam above one city over fears for its stability. Roads in the mountainous area have been badly damaged by the earthquake or have been covered by landslides. Workers are digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings with their bare hands. Read more here.

A country Devastated and Isolated? Burma

Burma's junta has tightened access to areas hit by Cyclone Nargis, despite pleas to allow in foreign aid workers. A UN official says the regime has erected more checkpoints to ensure foreigners cannot reach affected areas.
The latest official figures put the death toll at almost 38,500 with 27,838 more missing. Meanwhile, forecasters say another cyclone is forming off Burma's coast.
Watch the video here.
Aid agencies fear the death toll could be far higher than official estimates.
The Red Cross said it had studied figures from 22 organisations and warned the toll could be as high as 128,000. A UN body, the International Organisation for Migration, says it may already be too late to save the many victims who are in need of aid.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

China aftermath of 'Quake

The official death toll across the whole of China had been put as 11,921. But the state-run news reported that more than 12,000 people were killed in Sichuan alone. The guess at the numbers who died have been rising steadily throughout the day.
Road, rail, air and phone links to the epicentre of the 7.9-magnitude quake were cut, and this stops people getting in to help. It is feared that the quake was China's deadliest since 1976, when 240,000 people were killed in the city of Tangshan, near Beijing. There are still many, many people out in the streets. They don't want to go back into the buildings because there are rumours of aftershocks.

A professor at the University of Leeds who has researched earthquakes in China, said: "You can get very large earthquakes occurring where buildings are well constructed, and you might get 50 or 100 people dying. If the buildings are poorly constructed, you can get 10,000 or 20,000 deaths."
Just east of the epicenter, 1,000 students and teachers were killed or missing at a collapsed high school . Many mums and dads are still waiting outside schools to see if their “only child” is going to be pulled out of the rubble under the collapsed buildings. Many school pupils are still missing and this is their future.

See this in pictures here or here . Read more here. There is a reminder on how earthquakes happen also here from the BBC.

Burma Says “NO” to help from foreign aid workers

The disturbing story of Burma (officially called Myanmar now) refusing to allow foreign aid workers in and the aid being stolen from the people who desperately need it, is harrowing. You can watch a video here and read the article here.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Oxfam Advert

I love this. It has a great message and hits hard.

Thousands dead in Chinese quake

A powerful earthquake has killed at least 8,500 people in China's south-western Sichuan province, up to 5,000 of them in just one county.
Many more have been killed and injured in other parts of the country after the 7.8-magnitude quake struck. At least 50 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a school where an estimated 900 students were buried. Nine hours after the quake, Xinhua reported, a rescue team had still not been able to get to Wenchuan. The earthquake was China's worst since 242,000 people were killed in 1976 by the Tangshan quake.
Sichuan province is the most populated part of China - home to 87 million people. The BBC as ever has excellent info on this here including a short video. There is a Guardian video here. This online newspaper also has a good interactive short introduction here. Another article here

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Mass Movements in Action

A landslip described as "the worst for 100 years" has destroyed more than 400 metres (1,312 ft) of Dorset's World Heritage Jurassic Coast.
The earth movement blocked a stretch of beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth at 2031 BST on Tuesday. The area is part of 95 miles (153 km) of Dorset and east Devon known as the Jurassic Coast, with rocks recording 185 million years of the earth's history. See video here and here

Lyme Regis is built on a particularly unstable stretch of coastline and previous smaller landslips have exposed fossils on the beaches.
The coastline has seen numerous stabilisation projects in the past to stop it from crumbling into the sea.

Aid arriving in cyclone-hit Burma

The bodies of dead people and animals litter the flooded fields in Burma.

Sorry haven't had time to blog recently -adv higher deadlines and just finished the Higher course this week. (Yes I took a paddy today because of your answers. YOU CAN DO THIS EXAM and do it well. Now work hard - not just a few hours - LOTS needed.)

A cyclone that has left more than 22,000 people dead. Burmese state media reported on Tuesday that 22,464 people had now been confirmed dead and another 41,054 people were missing as a result of Cyclone Nargis.
Neighbouring countries and the UN have dispatched planes carrying supplies. S4 should think of short and long term aid given. PREPARE FOR FRIDAY and you will get the results you deserve. A huge area of the southern Irrawaddy delta remains under water. The UN's World Food Programme has dispatched an additional four planes loaded with supplies including high-energy biscuits . Chinese media say a plane carrying 60 tonnes of aid has landed in the biggest city, Rangoon. The storm was followed by tidal waves and ships are marooned. Survivors face poor sanitation and a lack of access to clean water.
Flooding could lead to outbreaks of mosquito-borne malaria and dengue fever, while water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery are also a threat.

Follow the links from the BBC page here.

Good Luck to all S4 with all their S grade exam. Remember Geography is "In your face!"

Map jigsaws

Cool atlas jigsaws- but sorry I don’t have the patience. I always hated them anyway. Maybe your thing?
Try here

Chilean volcano

Chaiten volcano in the southern Patagonia region began erupting on Friday 3rd May for the first time in 450 years, taking surprising everyone.
An ash cloud from the volcano caused disruption as far away as Argentina.
Chile is one of the most volcanic countries on Earth, with more than 100 active volcanoes.

Video here and BBC one here.

Thousands of people in southern Chile have been forced to leave their homes after a long-dormant volcano erupted unexpectedly.See pictures here. This is a nice and short newsround article here. And another one here.

Green Revolution

There are problems in the Indian region of Punjab, where science once seemed to have found answers for a hungry world. They use pesticides and fertilizers as part of the Green Revolution. The sprays all have instructions demanding that they should only be used with face masks and protective clothing. But the farm workers here do not use protective equipment, and they spray far more than the recommended amount. High oil prices, drought, over-intensive farming leading to lower yields, increased food demand in India and China and the loss of land to biofuels have all played their part in ending the long period of cheap food that the world has enjoyed for the past 30 years. Read article here.

Who'd live in an eco-house like this?

Eco-house in Cotswold sells for a world record £7.2m The house was modelled on a bee orchid. The mystery buyer - believed to be in the entertainment industry - will get a lakeside home complete with a glass-sided badger set in the garden.
Brad Pitt has looked at the plans for Orchid House, while Kylie Minogue has stayed at the estate. It is hoped the home will produce more energy than it uses, with an underground heat pump and geothermal heating. However you can't live here all year round - and not at all in January. All rules because of the wildlife. Read the complete article here.
I want to live here. Nae chance!