This blog has been created to keep us connected. Throughout the course this will serve as a tool for us to communicate with each other. We will host online discussions, post links to useful and interesting media, and create a space for you to post comments, questions or concerns.
Canadian International Development Agency - The Canadian Government's agency responsible for delivering foreign aid. Generally CIDA is involved in Tied Aid programs.
Carbon Credit - Under the Kyoto Protocol nations are permitted to buy carbon credits from other nations in order to offset their carbon emissions and come in under their goals. This is significant because it undermines the entire system permitting rich countries to emit more greenhouse gasses.
Census - Completed every 5 years (major census every 10) the Census is the main tool of the government to collect information on demographics
Climate Change - The process of the earth's climate changing. It is generally believed (although not proven) that the global climate is changing due to human activity. This is significant because the changes are having a negative impact on our natural habitat.
Demographics - Information concerning populations. Demographics are studied by governments to help them better govern the people.
Demography - The study of Demographics
Dependancy Ratio - The number of people who are dependent on the working population in a given country. This is significant because a high dependency ration will put a large burden on the government to care for them.
GDP - Gross Domestic Product is the measure of all production in a given country. This is one of the measures used by the United Nations to rank a country of the Human Development Index
Gentrification - This is the process in which an urban area becomes more expensive to live. This is problematic as it forces certain demographics of people out of certain areas creating ghettos and an unequal delivery of civic services
Green House Gas - Gasses that are commonly believed to contribute to the warming of our planet.
Ground Water - Fresh water sources found underground, mainly in the form of aquifers. These are significant because they play such an integral role in human survival. Despite this human activities like pesticide use in agriculture is polluting this resource. Due to the nature of ground water it takes significantly more time to replenish than surface water.
Human Development Index/Report - An annual report published by the United Nations it ranks countries based on Adult Literacy, GDP and Life Expectancy. Provides a crude measure of living standards around the world (Canada was 4th in 2009)
Multilateral Aid - Foreign aid given by multiple countries for one purpose. Generally this aid is given in emergency situations like the Earthquake in Haiti
Multiplier Effect - The multiplier effect explains the rapid growth of cities called urbanization. Basic or "Town Forming Activities" like primary industry bring a number of people to live in one area. Secondary Activities or "Town Serving Activities" like banks, grocery stores and schools bring many more people into an area. In this way cities and towns grow larger. This is significant because without proper urban planning unchecked growth of a city can have major environmental and social consequences.
Poverty Cycle - The poverty cycle illustrates how people fall into poverty and how hard it is to get out of poverty situations. It is significant because by examining the causes of poverty we can find solutions to poverty and people living in poverty have a better chance of getting out.
Primary Industry - Primary Industry is the main "Town Forming Activity" and consist of harvesting raw resources from the earth.
Pull Factor - A pull factor is anything that convinces a person to move to a new place. They are significant because they can lead to rapid urbanization.
Push Factor - A pull factor is anything that convinces a person to leave their home. They are significant because they can lead to rapid urbanization.
Rural - A sparsely populated area.
Structural Adjustment Program - An SAP is instituted by international lending agencies like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in an attempt to help a nation's economy. They are significant because they often hold a western view of living standards and can lead a country into more debt and have many negative consequences.
Surface Water - Fresh water sources found above ground. They are significant because they make up the most easily accessible sources of drinking water yet they are easily polluted.
The Burden of Debt - An illustration of how a nation can fall into debt and remain locked in debt. It is significant because it illustrates the short comings of some international lending agencies and their policies.
The International Monetary Fund - An international lending agency set up to help majority world countries get out of debt. While there have been many success stories, sometimes their lending policies leave nations in worse situations than when they started.
The Kyoto Protocol - An international treaty signed by most nations (The USA did not sign) intended to fight climate change. It is significant in that it is not working due to fundamental flaws like carbon credits and major countries not signing on.
The World Bank - An international lending agency set up to help majority world countries get out of debt. While there have been many success stories, sometimes their lending policies leave nations in worse situations than when they started.
Tied Aid - A type of foreign aid where the donor country gives money and in return the receiving country agrees to spend a portion of that money on the donor country's goods.
Urban - A densely populated area
Urban Planning - Taking into consideration the growth of cities (urbanization) urban planning attempts to control that growth and steer it in ways that will cause the least damage to both the environment and society. Examples of positive urban planning are mixed developments, community gardens, green space and public transportation.
Urban Sprawl - Unchecked, unplanned growth of cities that takes over green space, agricultural land and destroys natural habitats.
Urbanization - The process of cities getting larger.