The Need for Geographic Awareness

The Washington Post has an opinion piece by David Keeling, a professor of geography at Western Kentucky University and a member of the American Geographical Society Writers’ Circle.  In it, Keeling writes that many of the pressing concerns of our planet (both natural and man-made) and our ability to address them “is very much linked to geographic awareness, or the lack thereof.”  Furthermore, Keeling argues “Never before in the history of the United States have the political consequences of a lack of geographic awareness been so critical to the future of the entire planet yet so ignored by the media and the general public.”  Rattling off Harvard, Tufts, Columbia, Wellesley, Princeton and Yale, Keeling points out that many of the leading policy-makers in this country have attended educational institutions that don’t offer geography.  Ending his piece, Keeling reiterates that “Developing greater geographic awareness among policymakers and the general public is crucial if our society is to manage serious challenges like natural disasters, climate change and conflict more successfully.”

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