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Geoscience and Society

The last half century has been a golden age for geology, a time of major scientific revolutions (e.g., plate tectonics, Earth in space, organic evolution, and imaging). Times have changed, however there are still many exciting questions left to be answered by many geologists government organizations, academia, and industry(Moores, 1996), Understanding the Earth system –its weather, climate, atmosphere, water, land, geodynamics, natural resources, ecosystems, and natural and human-induced hazards – is crucial to enhancing human health, safety and welfare, alleviating human suffering including poverty, protecting the global environment, reducing disaster losses, and achieving sustainable development.

Many geologists government organizations, academia, and industry have faced disruption of careers or underemployment as downsizing has hit and the projected shortage of advanced degree holders did not materialize (Moores, 1996), and Despite sharply rising commodity prices since 2002/2003, student enrolment in the Earth sciences did not grow in most of the developing countries (Woodfork & Mulder, 2008).

Despite quite significant and accelerated progress in the Earth sciences over the past four decades resulting in paradigm shifts on the stability of the Earth’s crust (plate tectonics), the understanding of Earth processes (assisted by physical and numerical modeling), the resolution in time (at annual levels to at least 800,000 years ago), and the transparency of the composition of the planet (seismic tomography, geological mapping and digital data storage and processing), public awareness of the Earth sciences seemed to have been in decline since the early 1980s. Evidence of such decline was expressed by the numbers of students enrolling in Earth science departments of universities, mining schools and other education centers (Woodfork & Mulder, 2008).

Geoscience need for understanding the ways in which dynamic Earth systems interact with personal decisions, public infrastructure, and public policies has escalated dramatically over the past decade. Today, our daily lives are so dependent on the products and scientific outcomes of geoscience research that we are rarely conscious of their continuing evolution and impact. We live in a world real-time satellite imagery on daily weather programs is commonplace, new cars are equipped with global positioning technology, and large communities continue to grow and thrive, situated at tectonically active plate boundaries.

Concern for the lack of interest in Earth science related careers among young people has been one of the main drivers in the search for a better and more realistic profiling of the profession. Other factors that drove the initiative included the lack of awareness among politicians of the importance of including Earth-related factors in decision making (Woodfork & Mulder, 2008).

The last decade has seen exploration companies focusing increasing attention on access to digital data and their proper management. Reviewing technology, business and methodology evolution over this period reveals a number of factors that have caused a new recognition of the link between effective data management and exploration performance. In the 90’s, computer technology was the focus of attention as hardware and software emerged that was capable of processing the large volumes of public and proprietary data utilized during integrated interpretation. During the same period, the Internet evolved being an entertaining curiosity to a core component of routine information management and computing infrastructures. In addition, enormous technological change, mergers, and the shift away internal capacity to outsourcing resulted in increased mobility for exploration staff.

The geopolitical agenda, the economic and political significance of mineral resources and the strategic direction of the power have changed over time, influenced by national and international relations and by the reflections of the economy and world politics. However, to use the global economic system as a vector for a new geopolitical arising oceans and seas, we need to understand the term “world-economy”, introduced by Fernand Braudel [1] the German word Weltwirtschaft, which means the economy of just one portion of our planet.

The population of our planet is increasing, the finiteness of mineral resources is becoming more and more obvious, clean drinking water is not available in many parts of the world, soil protection has become a central topic, the ecosystems are under rising pressure and the climate is changing. This is why the geosciences are among the survival-sciences for mankind. It is therefore all the more important that they be firmly anchored in our educational system, in the schools and outside. True to the principle “You only can and want to protect what you know”.

Geosciences and Education

Because of the rapidly changing nature of our field, many geoscience departments struggle with questions concerning the appropriate course content of today’s bachelor’s degree in geology. Those of us who completed our undergraduate education prior to 1980 probably have in common ~90% of our undergraduate geoscience courses, which would likely have included a “core” of physical and historical geology, mineralogy (2 terms), structural geology, sedimentation and stratigraphy, regional geology, paleontology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, sedimentary petrology, geomorphology, and a 6–8 week summer field course. Our predecessors designed this more-or-less standardized curriculum to provide essential knowledge in what were then largely disparate subfields of geology. All of these subjects were considered vital background for employment—mainly in the mineral and energy industries—and for advanced study in specialized graduate programs.

 

Faced with significant decline in enrolments, geoscience programs need to rethink their teaching and delivery strategies. Studies have identified that for geoscience students to visualize complex geological and geophysical phenomena, an extrapolation of concepts into additional spatial and temporal dimensions is required. This makes geosciences unique amongst the sciences, and further supports the need to expedite development of cognitive tools using available visualization technologies.

Geoscience and Culture

Geology and landscape have profoundly influenced society, civilization, and the cultural diversity of our planet. Although the World Heritage Convention does recognize geological sites of universal value there is no system of international recognition of geological heritage sites of national or regional importance. Many important geological sites do not fulfill the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List. The initiative of UNESCO to support Geoparks responds to the strong need expressed by numerous countries for an international framework to conserve and enhance the value of the Earth’s heritage, its landscapes and geological formations, which are key witnesses to the history of our planet.

More and more countries have started to develop schemes for recognizing important geological and geomorphological sites or landscapes within their national boundaries. Such Earth heritage sites are important for educating the general public in environmental matters. They also serve as tools for demonstrating sustainable development and for illustrating methods of site conservation by recalling that rocks, minerals, fossils, soils, landforms and landscapes are both the products and records of the evolution of our planet Earth and, as such, form an integral part of the natural world.

Historic resources include buildings, structures, objects, districts, sites, or areas that are significant in the history, architecture, archeology, or culture of a place or time. Cultural resources include sites, artifacts, or materials that relate to the way people live or lived, for example, archeological sites, rock carvings, ruins, and the like. These resources are generally defined based on existing documentation or artifacts discovered relating to activities of people who lived, worked, or recreated in the area during a period in history.

I assemblage as a Late Pleistocene abandoned toolkit rests primarily on the premise of a single brief occupation at the site. The limited contextual data presented do not discount a palimpsest of no contemporaneous assemblages in secondary contexts associated with a lag deposit. Spatial patterning, lithic assemblage patterning, artifact surface alteration, and disparate radiocarbon dates at the site, as well as geological data the Nogahabara and nearby Kobuk dunes, indicate that the cultural material was subjected to post-depositional disturbance. Alternate hypotheses of site formation and avenues for testing these hypotheses are considered

Geosciences and Economic

Faced with Despite unprecedented economic growth in the 20th century, persistent poverty and inequality still affect too many people, especially those that are most vulnerable. Conflicts continue to draw attention to the need for building a culture of peace. The global financial and economic crises highlights the risks of unsustainable economic development models and practices based on short-term gains. The food crisis and world hunger are an increasingly serious issue. Unsustainable production and consumption patterns are creating ecological impacts that compromise the options of current and future generations and the sustainability of life on Earth, as climate change is showing. A decade into the 21st century, the world faces substantial, complex and interlinked development and lifestyle challenges and problems. The challenges arise values that have created unsustainable societies. The challenges are interlinked, and their resolution requires stronger political commitment and decisive action. We have the knowledge, technology and the skills available to turn the situation around. We now need to mobilise our potential to make use of all opportunities for improving action and change.

On average, resource-abundant countries have experienced lower growth over the last four decades than their resource-poor counterparts. But the most interesting aspect of the paradox of plenty is not the average effect of natural resources, but its variation. For every Nigeria or Venezuela there is a Norway or a Botswana. Why do natural resources induce prosperity in some countries but stagnation in others? This paper gives an overview of the dimensions along which resource-abundant winners and losers differ. In light of this, it then discusses different theory models of the resource curse, with a particular emphasis on recent developments in political economy.

Much research has gone into the effects of oil and other natural resources on growth in which political institutions are often seen as the link between the two. Since institutions are difficult to measure and change very slowly over time, the analysis has largely been confined to cross country comparisons, most frequently investigating the effects on levels of democracy.

The 1973 oil crisis made the Dutch government more aware of the importance of the large reserves of the Groningen gas field which could ensure the country’s energy demand for a very long time. Therefore the Dutch government developed a policy which is known as the “policy of small fields”. According to this policy exploration for and production small/medium sized fields has been encouraged and the Groningen gas field is used as a swing producer. This will ensure that The Netherlands have a security of gas supply, that small fields will be developed and that international fluctuations in energy supply have less impact. In this way the Groningen gas field should exist until the last small gas fields in the Netherlands are exhausted

Geosciences and Natural Resource Curse

Natural resource has it own impact on the economy. While the economy going to become a single industry based in most cases resource brings curse for the economy. But they can also avoid the curse by making a natural resource fund and a good policy for using it. Our studies investigate the rising mining industry in Greenlandic and suggest them how they can escape the resource curse and can able to gain a sustainable economic growth.

 

A tax regime that is progressive and based on profits is considered best practice for natural-resource endowed countries. These regimes promise to capture the bulk of resource rents the sector while ensuring the required investment associated with high-risk, capital-intensive exploration and extraction. But developing countries often find this model challenging and even impossible to enforce. Instead, underlying political economy drivers and the resulting institutionally weak and fragmented oil and mining revenue administration often lead to excessive reliance on regressive indirect fiscal regimes or those based on proxies to profits. High uncertainty, price volatility, and political pressures make fiscal regimes prone to change and instability, impairing further prospects of attracting investments needed to develop the sector

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