Geography: An Exploration of Connections
After you read this chapter, you will be able to discuss the following geographic themes as
they relate to the five thematic concepts:
Humans are altering the planet at an unprecedented rate,
causing sometimes drastic effects on ecosystems and the climate. Multiple
environmental factors often interact to influence the vulnerability of a location to the
impacts of climate change. These vulnerabilities have a spatial pattern.
and Development: Global flows of information, goods, and
people are transforming patterns of economic development. Local self-sufficiency is
giving way to global interdependence as people and places are increasingly becoming
connected, sometimes across vast distances.
3. Power and Politics:
There are major differences across the world in the ways
that power is wielded in societies. Modes of governing that are more authoritarian are
based on the power of the state or community leaders. Modes that are based on notions
of political freedom and democracy give the general public greater power over
themselves and more of a role in deciding how policies are developed and governments
are run. There are also many other ways of managing political power.
The development of manufacturing and service economies has
taken place largely in cities, drawing people from the countryside into urban areas.
Many of these new urbanites were displaced by the mechanization of agriculture in rural
areas, which drastically reduced the need for agricultural labor and left people with no
means of support and a reduced access to food.
5. Population and Gender:
Population growth is slowing across the world for a
number of reasons. Chief among these are urbanization and the lifestyle changes that it
brings; the contraction of agricultural labor as a result of the mechanization of farming;
and perhaps most important, the increasing numbers of women who are delaying
childbearing as they pursue educational and work opportunities outside the home. The
availability of birth control is an important contributing factor in determining success in
FIGURE 1.1 Regions of the world.
WHERE IS IT? WHY IS IT THERE? WHY DOES IT MATTER?