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

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Oxford University Press, USA, Sep 1, 2005 - History - 308 pages
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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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User Review  - bodhisattva - LibraryThing

This is the first edition of this outstanding book, published in Sept. 2005. The 2nd edition, under the name "Why Geography Matters: More Than Ever" was just released yesterday (8/18/2012), providing ... Read full review

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User Review  - gmicksmith - LibraryThing

This is a work that is at war with itself. An intriguing title, geography, climate, China, and global terrorism, all beckon the reader, yet de Blij fails to reconcile these discordant topics although ... Read full review

Contents

Why Geography Matters
3
Reading Maps and Facing Threats
23
Earths Changeable Environments
52
Copyright

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About the author (2005)


Harm de Blijis 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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