In class on Tuesday, we watched the film Black Gold, a film which, according to the New York Times, tells an “unresolved modern version of the age-old David and Goliath story.” David in this case are small Ethiopian coffee farmers, and the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-op Union, representing growers in southern Ethiopia, and the Goliath consists of the major multinational corporations that dominate the international coffee business.
The film highlights some of the inequalities in global trade, and urges consumers to support the notion of fair trade, and products which are designated as Fairtrade.
Hey! I’m worried!
The main reason that decided to offer you a “rolling final exam” was to give you the chance to write your exam essays early, while the topics covered in the questions are still fresh in your mind. But I notice from Blackboard that not many members of the class have downloaded the exam questions, and I notice too that nobody has yet submitted an exam essay. How do I tell you all politely that you are missing a great opportunity!!
UPDATE: Requests, anyone? If there is a topic from the course that you would like to write about, but don’t see on the exam, please feel free to make suggestions to me. Just send the question to me and, if I like it, I will add it to the exam!
This article was published today in the New York Times, reporting on the need to increase food production by 50 percent over the next two decades to meet the needs of a growing global population. It’s closely related to our class discussion last Tuesday – read it!
After Fall Break we will turn our attention to an examination of population issues in the Sub-Saharan African context. As a background to this discussion (particularly for those who have not taken World Regional Geography or Introductory Human Geography) I think it would be useful to discuss some basic ideas in demography and population geography. To this end, on Thursday October 15 we will watch the first part of a PBS Nova program called World in the Balance. The program examines the so-called ‘population paradox,’ the marked contrast between the rapidly growing populations of parts of the developing world, and the stable or declining populations of parts of the developed world. Although this documentary deals only in part with Africa, it provides useful global context for our discussions.
On Tuesday October 20, we will talk more specifically about Africa. Our discussion will focus on some of the issues you read about in the text, and we will also look at some African population data from the International Database of the US Census Bureau. If you are not familiar with this (recently updated) site, I suggest you take a look at it. (The site allows you to select any country in the world, and examine its historic and projected future populations, as well as information on birth rates, death rates, infant and child mortality rates, and other factors contributing to population change.
Please also be sure to read the article The Baby Bonanza, from The Economist (I have also posted a pdf copy of the article on Blackboard.)
I would like to make a time this week to meet with each group to discuss your research paper proposals. I have set aside half-hour time slots between 1 and 4 pm on Monday October 5 and Wednesday October 7 for this purpose. Please e-mail me to let me know what time your group would like to stop by, and I will add your names to the schedule on a first-come-first-served basis.
Monday October 5
3.00 Michelle, Rick, and Andrea (Clean water crisis)
3.30 Kristin and Meredith
Wednesday October 7th
1.00 Angela, Sara, Brianna (of HIV/AIDS in Southern sub-Saharan Africa)
1.30 Molly, Lee, and Chase
2.30 Nicky, Nate, and Samer
3.00 Colin and Stephanie
3.30 Sasha (101)