This is why we study history…

Actually, it’s an even better example of why interdisciplinary studies is so essential – a nexus of history, geography, geology, history and chemistry. Perhaps ‘archeaogeochemistry’.

From the World Economic Forum:

Now, Jared Diamond, author of Collapse, may have something to say about it but, either way, this article and its revelations highlight the necessity of teaching history.

I always introduce history to my Grade 7s with, amongst others, the variation on George Santayana‘s quote, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” (The original is “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”)

Sadly, our current society is the product of many failed learnings and memories. But there is still hope…


Brilliant essay: This World is enough

John Quiggin, professor of Economics at the University of Queensland states, 

For the first time in history we could end poverty while protecting the global environment. But do we have the will?

This world is enough is a must-read essay from Aeon for every teacher and student of IB DP Geography, A Level Geography and Ontario’s World Issues (CGW-4U) course, not to mention many university courses on geography, economics and resources.

Quiggan covers every major topic in these courses, from population changes, Malthusian and anti-Malthusian views and disparity to changing resource consumption, industrial agriculture, GMOs, global climate change and basic economics. Students may need to have the article broken down into sections to fully understand all he is saying, but it is worth the time spent analyzing Quiggan’s arguments.

Ancient world’s uncovered as Siberian permafrost melts

A fascinating glimpse of thousands of years of climate data and biota is being revealed as the world’s largest mega slump or thermokarst develops in Siberia. The Batagaika Crater is north of Irkutsk, Russia and is exactly what climate scientists have been predicting from the increased warming in the Arctic – and is a classic example of positive feedback.