Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism

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Oxford University Press, Sep 1, 2005 - Political Science - 320 pages
32 Reviews
Over the next half century, the human population, divided by culture and economics and armed with weapons of mass destruction, will expand to nearly 9 billion people. Abrupt climate change may throw the global system into chaos; China will emerge as a superpower; and Islamic terrorism and insurgency will threaten vital American interests. How can we understand these and other global challenges? Harm de Blij has a simple answer: by improving our understanding of the world's geography. De Blij demonstrates how geography's perspectives yield unique and penetrating insights into the interconnections that mark our shrinking world. Centuries ago a surge of climate change halted China's maritime plans; more recently, environmental calamity altered the course of geopolitical events in East Asia; today, terrorists look for failed and malfunctioning states to base their operations--and some of these are in our own hemisphere. Preparing for climate change, averting a cold war with China, defeating terrorism: all of this requires geographic knowledge. In Why Geography Matters, de Blij makes an urgent call to restore geography to America's educational curriculum. He shows how and why the U.S. has become the world's most geographically illiterate society of consequence--and demonstrates that this geographic illiteracy is a direct risk to America's national security. In this personal and engaging book, de Blij provides a geographer's perspective on the challenges of this new century. As he states, "We are crossing the threshold to a century that will witness massive environmental change, major population shifts, persistent civilizational conflicts [and] while geographic knowledge by itself cannot solve these problems, they will not be effectively approached without it."
  

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Review: Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism

User Review  - John - Goodreads

This took a while to get started. I think pages were wasted on trying to establish the writer's credibility, which could have easily been satisfied in the colophon. That said, Mr. de Blij posits some ... Read full review

Review: Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism

User Review  - Jessica - Goodreads

It brought up some good points and ideas, but herbed ally didn't interest me at all. I had to read for an AP Human Geography class my freshman year of high school and absolutely hated it. It was probably good if you are into that type of stuff. Read full review

Contents

1 Why Geography Matters
3
2 Reading Maps and Facing Threats
23
3 Earths Changeable Environments
52
4 Climate and Civilization
74
5 A Future Geography of Human Population
91
6 The Mesh of Civilizations
108
Chinas Geopolitical Gauntlet
125
8 Terrorisms Widening Circle
150
9 From Terrorism to Insurgency
174
10 European Superpower?
197
Trouble on the Eastern Front
231
12 Hope for Africa?
255
Epilogue
275
Works Cited
283
Index
287
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Harm de Blij is Distinguished Professor of Geography at Michigan State University. He is an honorary life member of the National Geographic Society and for seven years was the Geography Editor on ABC's "Good Morning America."

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