Geography is always on the move, so let’s catch up with it!
Hello fellow geoggers! If you love geography or would like to know more about this amazing subject then you have come to the right place. ‘Let’s Geog’ was first uploaded in July 2013 and for me is the best example of killing two birds with one stone. When thinking originally about creating a blog my first intentions were to do with education, as I am hoping to expand my subject knowledge before commencing a Geography degree at University, however I then also realised that I love to write, especially creatively (one of my small plays was performed in the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester this year) and I thought that if I created a blog then I can channel my creativity with my love for geography, so ‘Let’s Geog’ was born.
More about me – My name is Thomas Hoather and I am currently 17 years old but will turn 18 in May next year, 19 the May after that and you get the picture. I grew up in Winsford in Cheshire and I go to Knutsford Academy sixth form. I studied five AS levels and I’m awaiting the results, nails bitten to the quick. I chose Geography, History Conflict, Maths Applied, Psychology and English Language. I decided that I wanted to take Geography on to degree level for, well, many reasons. One is that I have enjoyed geography lessons since about the age of 11 where I was first properly introduced to it in year 7 (or 6th grade for those American geoggers out there), there are great geography teachers at my school, both current teachers are BA human geographers. I just found the whole subject interesting, especially the idea that humans affect the earth and the earth affects humans. The best example of this is with natural hazards such as avalanches. Avalanches can be caused by human activity (e.g. hiking) but this then impacts the humans on the mountain pass by either killing them or making them homeless (there are many more primary and secondary impacts with natural hazards, but these are the main two) I will explore more in my ongoing posts.
Another reason is that the world is always changing therefore so is geography. Tectonic plates, urbanisation, migration even soil erosion is changing everyday due to many internal and external factors and thus the subject has to change to suit this process. Geographers can now use computer software and mapping that they just didn’t have 15 years ago and that makes me wonder, what will geography hold for us in the next 15 years? Therefore I guess that you could say that I like geography because it’s always evolving, like us.
Thanks for taking your time to read this page and I hope that you stay to enjoy the weekly posts that I will be uploading. Right then, have a nice day and keep on geogging.
Hello fellow geoggers! The world is always changing, sometimes for the better, and unfortunately, sometimes for the worst. This can be through earthquakes, landslides and flooding, but one problem that changes a landscape that I just don’t know that much about is Bush Fires. The reason why I’m bringing this topic up is because currently in Australia ‘a state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales as Australian firefighters try to contain the area’s worst bushfires in more than a decade’. I found this on the Sky News website, and you can find the whole article here. So far they report that ‘a total of 208 homes have been destroyed, another 122 have been damaged, and there has been at least one death’, but how do bush fires start? And why isn’t it a problem here in the UK? Well these were the types of questions that came to mind when I read the article, therefore I decided to go and find out some more information about Bush Fires
Firstly it’s important to take into account Australia’s climate. Australia as a country is hot, dry and prone to drought, thus creating the perfect climate for wildfires to not only start, but to spread uncontrollably as well. However this is only the bones of the Bush Fire body, there are plenty of other factors to complete it. More specifically to Australia, there are what is known as ‘the five seasons’ which reflects the continent’s different weather patterns and how it affects different areas of Australia at different times of the year. For most of southern Australia, the danger period is summer and autumn, however for the area that is being affected in the Sky News article (New South Wales), the peak risk usually occurs in spring and early summer, therefore it isn’t surprising that there are bush fires happening now in New South Wales. Looking at factors more specifically, it is documented that Bush fires tend to occur when light and heavy fuel loads in Eucalyptus forests have dried out, usually following periods of low rainfall. And due to the type of season that New South Wales are currently in, this could well be a factor to the current Bush fire problem.
Hello fellow geoggers! Recently there has been a big debate stirring around about the use of fracking here in the UK, and I wanted to find out more. In basic terms fracking is where you force liquid into rocks in the earth to force it to crack open and release oil and/or shale gas, and with the talk of riches for Lancashire under the ground I thought that I would ‘dig deeper’.
Just to let you geoggers know, almost everything that I talk about in this post has it’s source linked with it, so you can find out more if you find it necessary.
The UK has significant shale gas resources. The North of England is estimated to have 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas in one place.
Britain would be making a big mistake if it ruled out fracking for natural gas on environmental grounds, David Cameron has said, adding that the UK could be “missing out big time” on cheaper energy bills and new jobs because of worries about the impact on the countryside.
Liz Stanton, a Preston resident and Greenpeace supporter, told the Guardian that she was protesting because fracking was not going to bring Lancashire any benefits. “It’s going to bring heavy industrial aggravation, water pollution, and it’s not going to bring the jobs like we’ve been promised.” (you can find out more here)
Campaigners have warned that the drilling could pollute drinking water and scar the landscape. Gas companies in the US have had to compensate residents where fracking practices have damaged the environment. (More on that here)
David Cameron said: “I think we would be making a big mistake as a nation if we did not think hard about how to encourage fracking and cheaper prices right here in the UK.
“If you look at what’s happening in America with the advent of shale gas and fracking, their energy costs in business and their gas prices are half the level of ours.
“Nothing is going to happen in this country unless its environmentally safe. There is no question of having earthquakes and fire coming out of taps and all the rest of it. There will be very clear environmental procedures and certificates you will have to get before you can frack.”
Companies are preparing to start fracking at several sites in Britain, despite a growing protest movement. The technique involves pumping liquids underground at high pressure to split rock and extract gas or oil.
A ban on fracking was lifted by the government last year, after it decided tremors caused by drilling near Blackpool did not mean the technique posed a significant risk of earthquakes.
Pumping water underground at geothermal power plants can lead to dangerous earthquakes even in regions not prone to tremors, according to scientists. They say that quake risk should be factored into decisions about where to site geothermal plants and other drilling rigs where water is pumped underground – for example in shale gas fracking.
Prof Emily Brodsky, who led a study of earthquakes at a geothermal power plant in California, said: “For scientists to make themselves useful in this field we need to be able to tell operators how many gallons of water they can pump into the ground in a particular location and how many earthquakes that will produce.”