Tag: environment

Age of Fire

We live in an age of wildfire. Last year northern California was devastated. These fires are happening so frequently that it’s impacting tourism in southern Oregon, where people wonder if they should still spend summer trips to enjoy outdoor recreation if the air might be filled with choking smoke. In northern Alberta, Fort McMurray was nearly …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2019/06/age-of-fire/

Book Review: Retreat from a Rising Sea

Pilkey, Orrin H., et al. Retreat from a Rising Sea : Hard Decisions in an Age of Climate Change. Columbia University Press, 2016. As I’ve worked on the previous editions of our textbook with Kim Brown, I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s important for educators to recognize that our task is not only to teach about …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2018/05/book-review-retreat-from-a-rising-sea/

Hope and Fear in the Amazon

In the 1980s the global media gave extensive coverage to deforestation in Amazonia. Over the last thirty years, there has been a significant decline in media attention to this topic, which partly reflects very real progress that Brazil and neighboring countries have made in slowing deforestation. Still, the problem remains. In 2014, Brazil decided not …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/04/amazonian-deforestation/

Will Jakarta be lost to the waters?

Globally, sea level rise will challenge coastal cities such as Miami, New Orleans, New York and Shanghai. All of these cities face overwhelming challenges, especially those located in developing nations. For a good look at the debates in one such city, Jakarta, I recommend Chris Bentley’s article in PRI, “Trying to confront a massive flood …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/12/will-jakarta-sink-beneath-the-waves/

The problem with de-extinction

In my “Introduction to International Studies” course my students this spring watched a TED talk by Stewart Brand that discussed the idea of bringing back extinct species. This idea has attracted a great deal of media attention, but major challenges remain As my students pointed out, there is distinction between bringing back an individual and bringing …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/06/the-problem-with-de-extinction/

World Population Growth

In less than six minutes, this brief video from WorldPopulationHistory.org covers two millennia of the earth’s population growth. The final 20 seconds are visually powerful, and make clear why it is impossible to discuss environmental issues without addressing population. Shawn Smallman, 2016

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/06/world-population-growth/

GIF of Global Warming

Like many people, I came across Edward Tufte’s book the Visual Display of Quantitative Information years ago and was fascinated with the charts and images that it contained. The graph that showed the diminishing size of the French army in Russia, matched against weather conditions, is terrifying in its simplicity. I do think that when …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/06/gif-of-global-warming/

A Hidden Wonder in Brazil

It’s not true that the age of discovery is over, and everything worth knowing has already been found. We live in an age of revelations, such as the resting site of one of the ships from the lost Franklin expedition, an immense canyon in Greenland, and an unknown tapir in the Amazon. How can an mammal …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/05/a-hidden-wonder-in-brazil/

Hakai Magazine

In International and Global Studies departments we often organize our curriculum by geographic region. At Portland State University, students in International and Global Studies can complete tracks in the major with a focus on Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. In many programs there is now a move towards focusing on topics …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/04/hakai-magazine/

Climate Change and the Middle East

I’ve blogged before regarding the argument that a disastrous drought helped to feed the conflict in Syria. It’s worth revisiting the topic, however, based on a report edited by Caitlin Werrel and Francesco Femia at the Center for Climate and Security.The report, “Climate Change and the Arab Spring,” was published in February 2013, and makes …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/10/climate-change-and-the-middle-east/