Author Archives: kkbuchanan

Recyclers Cringe as Southeast Asia Says It’s Sick of the West’s Trash


Much of the western world tried to find ways to dispose of their trash, particularly plastic. One way of doing that was to unload all of their plastic onto Asian countries, with the hope that those countries would recycle the plastic. The trash would then be "out of sight, out of mind" as far as the western countries were concerned.

Unfortunately for them, Asia because fed up with receiving so much waste. It was causing pollution problems within the countries, and many residents were beginning to protest the presence of so much trash. Thus, Asian countries began to close off and in some cases ban all imports of trash into the country. Illegal recycling plants were shut down. Some trash was even sent back to its countries of origin.

One drawback of this crack down on imports is that some Asian countries were making decent money off of their recycling plants. In some cases the recycled material, when recycled properly, could become very valuable and be used in high end products. The article also mentions that without this growth in the recycling industry, this could potentially hinder efforts to clean up the oceans.

Scientists Warn That The Amazon’s Tipping Point Puts Brazil’s Agribusiness, Energy Sector At Risk

Author: Shanna Hanbury

Scientists are concerned about the rising rates of deforestation occurring to the Amazon rainforest, and investigated potential economic impacts. In 2020 deforestation reached an 11-year all time high (yearly deforestation measured from Aug 1-Jan 31). This increased amount is partially due to the lessening of protective measures in place that were made to reduce that amount of deforestation occurring. The article did not state whether the amounts of the rainforest destroyed from the wildfire that occurred in 2019 were included in their measurements, or if this number comes from purely human-forest interaction. Scientists are concerned that this deforestation will severely impact the amount of rainfall that the region receives, and thus negatively impact hydro projects and agriculture in a country that relies heavily on these resources for its economy.  

The Amazon rainforest is responsible for a huge amount of water flow. Not only do its rivers carry more than 17 billion metric tons of water through Brazil and into the Atlantic Ocean each year, but the trees themselves release over 20 billion tons of water into the air. The water that these trees release is often referred to as "flying rivers" due to the shear amount of water and movement that is produced. Deforestation impacts the amount of precipitation each year. The rainy season has been occurring later and later every year, according to the article. Many water loving plants conducive to significant amounts of evaporation and transpiration are being replaced with plants that tend to hold on to the water they take in. This reduces the movement of water that is crucial to sustain Brazil's agriculture and hydroelectric resources. According to the article, two-thirds of Brazil's energy comes from hydroelectric projects. In a worst-case scenario prediction, scientists warn that the Amazon rainforest could transition into a savannah before the end of the century. Hopefully, the predictions are wrong, but they still amplify a growing concern for the state of the Amazon rainforest, and the need to protect this invaluable resource for future generations.


The link to the arctic is here:

This article, though it was categorized as a news article, read more like a an explanatory piece. It seemed as if it were meant to give some backstory to other articles talking about specific events  rather than a news piece talking about any one new event. The article dug deeper into the ties between Ukraine and Russia, and illuminated the reader about some tensions between the two countries. It discusses how Ukraine is struggling with corruption and a desire to push ahead and become a world power, while making very little headway. The country is divided between trying to loosen ties to Russia and associate as more European, and staying true to the Russian roots of the country. Crimea was mentioned as a landmark in Ukranian and Russian history, with that land being the first to be annexed since the second world war. Crimea is a patch of land to the East of Ukraine, at the border between it and Russia. Its location between the two makes it a prime location to seize.

In essence, this piece discusses the ties and conflicts between the two countries. Their history is interwoven deeply, and independence from each other will be a long and difficult process. The article explains Russia attempting to keep Ukraine to itself, while the majority of Ukraine would like to increase the separation and mold itself into a thoroughly European country.

Hello all!

My name is Kat Buchanan. I am a senior at UAF pursuing a double major in Fine Art and Biology. I have also completed my Associates in Paramedicine at the UAF CTC campus. Currently, I am working as a firefighter/paramedic here in Fairbanks. I am taking this class because it was in the list of optional humanities/social sciences classes that I need to graduate, and this class looked interesting. I have studied geography a few times in grade school, but never in college. I do travel quite a bit though, if that counts as "studying".

The three locations I chose for my map were: Fairbanks, AK, Juneau, AK, and Antarctica. I currently live in Fairbanks, I was born in Juneau, and I really want to travel to Antarctica which I will (hopefully!) be doing January of 2021. I have to say, one of my main motivators for that destination is the possibility of seeing penguins. Penguins are rad.