New Release: IB Environmental Systems and Societies – Study & Revision Guide

We are delighted to announce the publication of our new study and revision guide for IB Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS). Written for the requirements of the 2017–2023 exam sessions, this revision guide offers succinct coverage of the whole syllabus for Environmental Systems and Societies, with extensive self-test material to help students prepare for mocks and final exams. Clearly structured to match the curriculum, it offers exam tips and original case studies.   Here’s what author Adrian Palmer said about his book: I have ...

Rising Inequalities

The richest 0.1% of the world’s population have increased their combined wealth by as much as the poorest 50%—some 3.8 billion people—since 1980. The World Inequality Report  found that the richest 1% of the world’s population accounted for 27% of the world’s wealth growth between 1980 and 2016. The top 0.1% accounted for 13%, while the top 0.001%—about 76,000 people—accounted for about 4% of all the new wealth created since 1980. World Distribution of Wealth The top 0.1% income group—about 7 ...

Mass Extinction

About 2 million species of plants, animals and fungi are currently known to science. There may be another 2 million left to discover, possibly 100 million. Nobody knows. However, even as thousands of new species are discovered each year, thousands more are becoming extinct in what is being called the sixth mass extinction. However, to establish that we are in a sixth mass extinction, scientists need to establish the number of species that exist, the rate at which species are currently ...

The Development of the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East before the outbreak of war in 2014 between the Houthi rebels and government forces. Since then Yemen has experienced the largest outbreak of cholera in the modern world and is on the brink of the harshest famine the world has seen for decades. Over 20 million people (out of a population of 28 million) are in need of help. The fighting involves many groups of people and goes back many years. ...

Re-foresting the West

Across much of the Republic of Ireland, conifer plantations appear to be on the increase. This is partly to do with the easy returns from converting farmland to woodland. During the 1920s, when Ireland first became independent, woodland covered about 1% of the land—just 90,000 ha of forest. Although forests have been widespread in the country, centuries of deforestation had occurred to create farmland and for fuel. From the seventeenth century onwards, trees were cut to build ships or for ...

Rise in Infections Due to Chickens

The rising trend of raising backyard chickens in US cities and suburbs is bringing with it huge increase in the number of illnesses from poultry-related diseases, at least one of them fatal. Between January 2017 and October 2017, over 1,100 people contracted salmonella poisoning from chickens and ducks in 48 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Almost 250 were hospitalized and one person died. The rate was four times higher than in 2015. The CDC estimates that the actual ...

Electric Vehicles in China

China wants to lead the world in the manufacture and use of clean-energy cars, and to achieve this it will need to ensure research and development in battery production. Batteries have become vital to the manufacture of clean energy cars. As part of China’s industry development plan (April 2017), the government pledged to promote research and development of key battery cell parts and improve management structures in the industry. Batteries are at the heart of clean energy vehicles because they are ...

Chocolate industry destroying rainforest in Cote d’Ivoire

The world’s chocolate industry is driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa. As global demand for chocolate booms, ‘dirty’ beans from deforested national parks have entered big business supply chains. As much as 40% of the world’s cocoa comes from Cote d’Ivoire, and the rainforest cover has been reduced by more than 80% since 1960. The chocolate industry has many small-scale farmers who grow cocoa on plantations, many of which are illegal as they are in national parks or protected ...

Saudi women allowed to drive

Clerics in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, have long struggled to justify the kingdom’s decades-old ban on women driving. None could cite a verse in the Koran to justify barring women from driving a vehicle. On September 26th the Kingdom decided to lift the ban. The decision was welcomed by women and many men. It will give Saudi women a freedom that others take for granted. It will have economic benefits, too, sparing families the cost of hiring a (male) ...

Ageing population in South Korea

Earlier this year, scientists predicted that women born in South Korea in 2030 will live, on average, until they are 90, thereby over-taking Japan in terms of female life expectancy. Basic demographic indicators Age structure % of the population 0-14 years 13.45% 15-24 years 13.08% 25-54 years 45.93% 55-64 years 14.01% 65 years + 13.53% Median age 41.2 years Crude birth rate 8.4% Crude death rate 5.8% Life expectancy 82.4 years (female 85.8 years, male 79.3 years) (Source CIA World Factbook) The study suggests that South Koreans will experience the greatest rise in life expectancy in the industrialised world, ...