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

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Oxford University Press, 2005 M09 1 - 320 pages
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. In Why Geography Matters, de Blij demonstrates how geography's perspectives yield unique and penetrating insights into the interconnections that mark our shrinking world. Preparing for climate change, averting a cold war with China, defeating terrorism: all of this requires geographic knowledge. De Blij also 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 the great risk this poses to America's national security. Peppering his writing with anecdotes from his own professional travels, de Blij provides an original treatise that is as engaging as it is eye opening. Casual or professional readers in areas such as education, politics, or national security will find themselves with a stimulating new perspective on geography as it continues to affect our world.

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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


1 Why Geography Matters
2 Reading Maps and Facing Threats
3 Earths Changeable Environments
4 Climate and Civilization
5 A Future Geography of Human Population
6 The Mesh of Civilizations
Chinas Geopolitical Gauntlet
8 Terrorisms Widening Circle
9 From Terrorism to Insurgency
10 European Superpower?
Trouble on the Eastern Front
12 Hope for Africa?
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About the author (2005)

Harm de Blij is Distinguished Professor of Geography at Michigan State University. The author of over 30 books, he is an honorary life member of the National Geographic Society and was for seven years the Geography Editor on ABC's "Good Morning America."

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