Switch on your television, listen to the radio or pick up a newspaper and the environment seems to be top of everyone’s agenda. We are bombarded with facts and figures relating to the need for energy conservation and climate change. For instance, did you know that:
- each person in Northern Ireland uses an average of 145 litres of water per day;
- every household in the UK generates around six tonnes of carbon dioxide every year; and
- UK households are wasting approximately £979 million worth of energy per year by leaving gadgets and appliances unnecessarily on standby.
Sustainability is the buzz word of the 21st century. The study of geography helps students have a clearer understanding of this important world issue. Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments – both its physical features and its political and cultural characteristics. Geographers work to examine and solve issues like those above by looking at:
- patterns on the earth and the processes that created them;
- how places differ from one another;
- the impact of people on the environment;
- the sources and impact of pollution; and
- strategies for environmental protection and restoration.
Geography involves a synthesis of facts, figures, ideas and perspectives to help us understand and protect the world we live in. By studying geography, students learn about important contemporary issues like global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding.