Does global warming matter? (April 2010)

This is a blog post from April 2010.

The video below aims to answer two questions: (i) Do the causes of global warming matter? (ii) Does global warming itself matter?

Rebranding Strategies

How can places rebrand themselves?

(These are notes I have taken out a textbook)

– Renaming a place usually happens for political reasons e.g. Bombay became Mumbai

– Authorities can take different routes into regeneration. In this post I want to look at 6.

1. SPORT

Engineering changes around sports venues and sports events are a popular method adopted for rebranding especially in poorer areas. It attracts much private investment. The Olympic Games in London Docklands 2012 is being used to help regenerate the poorer areas of London e.g. Newham, whilst building the City of Manchester Stadium for the Commonwealth Games was the keystone in the redevelopment of this old industrial area.

2. CULTURAL FACILITIES

The development of art galleries, museums and cultural ‘events’ has been central to the regeneration of many inner city areas in the UK including Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol etc. In the past we have seen this type of regeneration for inner cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds etc. Margaret Thatcher created ‘garden festivals’ which aimed to create a green image of inner cities and attract private investors. Today these sorts of events still exist in regeneration. For instance, Cornwall holds Du Maurier festivals in May to attract tourists.

3. TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE

A specific ‘hub’ of scientific activity is sometimes created to act as a catalyst, speeding up the arrival of new high tech industries. These can be combined with leisure and fun activities. For instance, the area around GreenPark Business Park in Reading has come up.

4. RETAIL DEVELOPMENT

The term ‘food desert’ was created a years ago to describe urban areas that lacked adequate shopping facilities. After years of out-of-town shopping developments, planners have frequently used in-town retail developments as key elements in urban regeneration schemes. Manchester for instance has seen an economic injection since Trafford Centre (shopping mall) was opened. ‘Stratford City’ was a shopping mall that was going to be constructed in Newham but since we won the Olympic bid, plans have been diminished. That area of land is now used for the Olympics venue.

5. EDUCATION

This route is closely linked with using technology and science but it is different. Money is spent here in developments in universities and their departments. We have seen a successful example of this in California. ‘Silicon Valley’ for instance has a close relationship with Stanford University. The more the university is funded the better it gets and more ‘hi-tech’, quaternary sector businesses are attracted to the area. In rural Cornwall, something of a similar nature has happened. University College Falmouth and Exeter University have joined forces to create the Combined Universities of Cornwall (CUC). This has been done to improve the quality of education hence stop the brain drain and attract private investors. 

6. LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

In Blackpool, they created a £500 million multi-themed entertainment complex called ‘Storm City’ and a controversial flagship development, a new casino! To ensure perennial tourism and attract other private investors of a similar nature.

Global Groupings

Global Groupings 

AIM: In this post I want to show you how we can classify countries economically and politically. Then I want to explore how these groupings can change over time as a result of international trade agreements and changes in wealth and power.

Originally it was only Western countries like the UK and  the USA who were fortunate enough to be rich. However, in recent years we have seen that some countries such as Singapore have been lucky enough to join this group. The richest countries where TNCs like to base themselves are in the continents of Europe, North America and Europe. This grouping is known as the triad. Around 80% of all global wealth and trade is concentrated in this triad, which is linked through a complex system of global finance, stock exchanges, international airports and government centres. 

Economic groupings

In geography we tend to measure economic development in countries through their GNI (Gross National Income). In the past the Brandt line was the common way to economically group countries ‘rich North’ and ‘poor South’. However, the world is more complex than this and international trade has changed this making the Brandt line dated. So in the table below, there are some examples of economic groupings.

Group

Examples

Explanation 

MEDCs (More economically developed countries)

UK, USA, Canada

Services account for 70%+ jobs. These are high income countries.

NIC (Newly industrialized countries)

China, Brazil, Taiwan

These are service economies with significant manufacturing industry. Primary and Secondary sectors are decreasing.

Recently industrialized countries 

Thailand, Indonesia, Tunisia 

Significant primary industry but in cities manufacturing industry is starting to grow.

LEDCs (Less economically developed countries)

Egypt, Peru, the Philippines island

Primary industry provides 40%+ jobs. These are low income countries where development is slow.

LDC (Less developed countries)

Malawi, Bangladesh, Haiti

Dependent on primary industry. High levels of poverty exist and they are in the low income bracket. They are claimed to be getting poorer in real terms.

Political groupings 

Political groupings are sometimes referred to as inter-government organisations (IGOs) because they consist if countries which have signed some sort of protocol or agreement which is usually to aid economic development. So lets look at some of the groupings in the table below.

Grouping

Members?

Role

Global importance?

European Union (EU)

27 European countries inc. UK

Economic union allowing international trade and population movement.

31% of the world’s GDP

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

30 Democratic and market economies – 25 of which are fully developed.

Monitors economic performance and reduces corruption and bribery. It is like economic maintenance for rich countries.

75% of world’s GDP.

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

12 Major oil exporting countries in the middle east

Aims to safeguard oil exporting countries  and has a large influence on global oil price.

65% global oil reserves

Group of eight (G8)

UK, USA, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia

An informal forum for super-rich and powerful countries

65% of global GDP

Group of twenty developing nations (G20)

21 countries including Brazil, China and India

To press developing nations to open their markets to world trade

20% of global GDP

Group of 77 (G77)

Most African, Asian and Latin American nations

They give a collective voice to developed nations

Influence is decreasing especially after China left.

Trading Blocs…

So what are trading blocs?

These are countries grouped together to improve their economic interests and trade patterns. 

What can they do?

Formal trading blocs such as the European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) allow free trade without taxes, tariffs or quotas between member states. If any another nation outside the bloc wishes to trade with them they have to pay a tariff. This helps protect the trading blocs.

So are there any powers stopping these trade blocs?

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is constantly trying to remove trade barriers between trading blocs because free trade is seen to be as something good. So the world is constantly caught between the two forces of trading blocs and the World Trade Organisation.

So how has international trade lead to changes in wealth and power?

    1. There are many organisations such as OECD which support wealthy countries. Therefore, these countries such as the UK has maintained their ‘top slot’ in the world.

 

  • The ‘Asian Tigers’ NICs have developed to almost the standard of developed countries thanks to the economic injections brought in by international trade.
  • In the last 10 years, BRIC countries have formed which means that there is increased economic strength and power in these once LEDC countries.
  • Asian and Latin American countries, NIC and RIC, have grown in a ‘boom and bust’ fashion due to the fluctuations in international trade.
  • Many African countries have barely benefited, with populating outstripping economic growth, there is income stagnation. 
  • Also, many African countries such as Senegal are left worse of than before because they cannot cope with the cheap prices that Western countries demand. Particularly as they are not exposed to capital goods to help them out. 

 

So what are the three organisations which aim to help the global economy?

    1. World Trade Organisation (WTO) – They aim to reduce trade barriers and tariffs between various countries and trading blocs in the world.
    2. World Bank –  They promote investment globally and provide loans for countries who agree to certain conditions.
    3. International Monetary Fund (IMF) – This forces countries to privatise government assets. They encourage TNCs to buy these assets and open up international trade. Some say this is why poorer countries have sold of their assets to large TNCs.

 

 

Review Questions 

  1. Define triad (2)
  2. Name two economic grouping and give examples of countries involved (4)
  3. What measurement for economic development did geographers used to use? What was wrong with it? (3)
  4. What is the new way geographers measure economic development? (1)
  5. Give two examples of political groupings and explain them? Provide details. (8)
  6. What are trading blocs and give an example (2)
  7. What two organisations are constantly in conflict and why? (3)
  8. Give two ways in which international trade has changed the distribution of global power and wealth? (2)
  9. What is the IMF? (3)
  10. What does ASEAN stand for?(1)

 

Suggested Answers (There are other answers but this is what I came up with)

  1. Triad is the three continents: North America, Asia and Europe (1) where TNCs like to base themselves (1)
  2. MEDCs (More economically developed countries) (1) e.g. UK, USA, Canada (1). LDC (Less developed countries) (1) e.g. Bangladesh, Malawi, Haiti (1)
  3. The Brandt line (1) which simply split the world into the two hemispheres and state that the North was rich and the South was poor (1) This method is dated because this has changed with the world e.g. Australia and Singapore are in the Southern hemisphere but are rich (1)
  4. GNI (Gross national Income)
  5. EU (European Union) (1) consists of 27 countries (1). It allows free trade and movement of population (1) It provides 31% of the global GDP (1) OECD (Organisation for economic cooperation and development) (1) this consists of 30 democratic and market economies (1) They monitor economic performance and seek to reduce corruption and bribery (1) They produce 75% of the world’s GDP (1)
  6. Trading bloc are groups of countries that seek to develop their economic interests and trade patterns (1) e.g. MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market) (1)
  7. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) (1) and various trading blocs such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area) (1). This is because trading blocs encourage free trade between groups of countries not between the whole world whereas the WTO seeks to encourage global free trade (1)
  8. Rich and powerful countries such as the UK have maintained ‘top slots’ in the world thanks to organisations such as the OECD (1) BRIC countries have been given increased power and economic strength thanks to international trade (1)
  9. The International Monetary Fund (1) encourage the privatisation of government assets (1) and they usually encourage TNCs to buy these assets (1)
  10. ASEAN – Association for South East Asian Nations (1)

 

 

Social and economic factors affecting population and migration in the UK

Social and economic factors affecting population and migration… (UK)

SOCIAL FACTORS

ECONOMIC FACTORS

Population factors

  1. Infant mortality increased
  2. Increased number of women in the workforce
  3. Increased divorce rates
  4. Medical advancements have increased
  5. The acceptance and availability of contraception have increased
  6. Women are having children later
  7. Fashion/Lifestyles have changed
  8. People are more aware of health
  1. Increased and improved education and training
  2. The cost of raising children has increased
  3. The need for children has decreased
  4. There was a depression in the 1930s
  5. A global recession in 2008 (oil crisis)
  6. Better economic incentives elsewhere compared to kids
  7. It is more profitable and economical for women to work rather than have kids.

Result?

  1. We have an ageing population.
  2. Our birth rate has decreased
  3. Our death rate has fallen too
  4. Natural increase has fallen too
  5. The replacement level has reduced too

Migration factors

  1. English is claimed to be a universal language
  2. The UK once had a large empire hence it has  many colonial links
  3. There are also many ethic enclaves which influence friends and families decisions to migrate
  4. More displaced persons due to conflicts such as the war in Iraq
  5. “Health tourists” are becoming popular
  6. We have a generous welfare system
  7. Has the world’s best universities and people are reluctant to go back after studying
  1. The EU has a free movement of labour act with A8 and A2 countries
  2. Exchange rates means that sometimes people can earn 10 times as much in the UK than elsewhere
  3. There is political stability in the UK
  4. Economic migrants are popular
  5. Remunerations and child benefits even if the child is in the source country are easy to access
  6. The retirement age is increasing in the UK

Result?

  1. Immigration has increased
  2. Emigration of economically active people have fallen
  3. Net immigration
  4. Immigrants manly from EU sources (esp. Eastern Europe)
  5. The ageing population are migrating to spain

Why is rebranding important and needed?

Why is rebranding important and needed?

 

There are three main reasons which you may have already read in my earlier post.

  1. Loss of industry – In the 1980s, Asia grew in manufacturing goods and resources. Hence, importing goods from overseas became so cheap that firms stopped buying goods and resources from the UK and switched to imports. This meant that people who were trained and working in the primary and secondary sector lost their jobs as firms could not compete with import prices.
  2. Population change – This meant that people started emigrating to other part of the country in search of jobs for which they had skills. The state of the economy changed because economy was now made up of majority of service sector and many people did not have the skills to deal with these jobs.
  3. The spiral of decline – This is the negative multiplier effect. People emigrating, business declining and a lack of jobs meant that even if a business did start up as people did not jobs they did not have the money to spend on it hence the new business would suffer to. This would carry on into a negative multiplier circle

So what about East London, Cornwall and Manchester?

London Docklands used to be one of the largest docks in London. However, they had to shut which lead to the deprivation of the area. They had to shut because ships increased in size and they needed deeper water which the docks could not provide. So Tilbury 20 miles downstream and Felixstowe 70 miles away was better adapted to larger ships and commerce moved to those places leaving the original docks deprived and derelict.

 

Why did Cornwall need rebranding?

Cornwall is peripheral town in the South West of England. Due to lack of access and cheaper abroad holidays the number of visitors has been declining in Cornwall. Seasonal tourism is what is prevalent in Cornwall and this means that many business suffer. Also, as with the docklands many primary sectors jobs especially farmers lost there job because importing agricultural goods become cheaper.  The end result was that the negative multiplier effect took place and Cornwall became deprived.

Why did Manchester need rebranding

Manchester had a negatively perceived image because of the decline in textile and mill factories which led to the spiral of decline just like in the Docks.It led to gun crime and violence, giving Manchester the name ‘Gunchester’. To put the icing on the cake, Manchester was bombed by the IRA making the rebranding process a necessity.

So why is rebranding important?

 

Rebranding is important because it makes derelict landscapes dynamic and vibrant again. The main thing is that it is tried and tested method of increasing quality of life for local residents.

 

Suburbanisation in Los Angeles

LA SUBURBANISATION CASE STUDY

SUBURBANISATION: This is the physical growth of areas on the fringes of major cities because of more and more people moving in suburbs.

Los Angeles as a ‘donut city’

Los Angles was booming with industry in the centre of the city with all sort of manufacturing firms e.g. car, steel and tyres industries. Then the city de-industrialised i.e. secondary industry died down and there was a growth in tertiary and quaternary sector. As many of these industries were footloose i.e. can be located anywhere they choose to be located on suburbs because there was big greenfield sites which had fewer planning regulations. This left the centre derelict and full of migrants, unemployment and crime. So that is when suburbanisation took place. Today this hole has been filled with TNCs as a way of attracting people back into inner cities.

So why did suburbanisation occur  in Los Angles?

One of the reasons this has happened because access to the fringes of cities had been improved and increased due to the construction of highways and most importantly the popularity of  CARS. To a certain extent the creation of  the electric tramway have also helped encourage suburbanisation. This meant that now people could live is quite and peaceful areas while gaining the economic benefits of cities e.g. working in cities, shopping in cities etc.

Push and pull factors are the crucial reasons why the introduction of motor vehicles and electric tramways had such a major impacts. In the table below I have put together push and pull factors of urban areas like Los Angles.

Urban Push

Suburban Pull

Pollution

Cheaper land for larger properties

Declining Jobs – because there was a change in economy (decline in manufacturing and increase in services) and it appeared to be that average incomes were higher in suburbs 

Accessible – electric tramways/cars and higher personal mobility because of this. Before fuel was relatively cheap making commuting less expensive. The government had made large investments in transport services.

High Land rents

Large shopping centres

Fears for safety

Better schools and services

Businesses were looking for greenfield sites – there are huge land masses in suburban areas and fewer planning regulations

More open spaces

Crowded housing 

Low density, single family housing 

Congestions and overcrowding

Safer neighborhoods

Poor schools and services

So where to some of these migrants move to?

  1. Anaheim 
  2. Irvine
  3. Ontario

Problems of suburban sprawl:

  1. Time spent travelling meant that there may be no time left for family and friends
  2. Communities may only exist at night time – dormitory settlements
  3. Congested highways = more air pollution
  4. Loss of some of the best farmland 

REVIEW QUESTIONS 

1. What is suburbanisation?

2. What left L.A. with a hole in the middle? This was why it was called ‘donut city’.

3. What has now filled the hole?

4. Explain two urban push factors.

5.Explain two rural pull factors.

6. Where did migrants move to i.e. names of suburbs?

7. Suggest three problems of urban sprawl

8. Define a megacity

9. Define megalopolis 

10. Define urban agglomerations 

SUGGESTED ANSWERS

1. Suburbanisation is the physical growth of suburbs due to increased number of people moving to suburbs.

2. Deindustrialisation

3. TNCs

4. Pollution – factories causes air, visual and noise pollution and high land rent rates due to high demand and high land prices.

5. Accessibility – electric tramways and motor vehicles made this possible and better schools and services 

6. Irvine, Anaheim and Ontario

7. (i) Dormitory settlements (ii) increased air pollution and congested highways (iii) loss of some of the best farmland.

8. A City with a population of 10 million

9. A large urban area with several metropolitan centres

10. An extended city of town e.g. urban areas spreading out into suburbs