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Geography III, Unit 4

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    Geography III, Unit 4

    Q: Where does most of Canada's population live? Why?
    A: Within 100 miles of the US border; the climate is less harsh than in northern regions.

    The correct answer is that most Canadians live within 100 miles of Canada's southern border. This may seem minor, and one might accept the suggested answer from a child. But it gave me pause.

    Q. What is the NAFTA? How has it benefited Mexico?
    A: NAFTA stands for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a trading bloc that allows Canada, the U.S., and Mexico to trade freely across their borders; Mexico greatly increased trade with the U.S. and Canada, and has become much stronger and stable economically.

    THAT still has my blood pressure elevated. For context, in the questions on Canada and the United States NAFTA is not mentioned and there are no questions about how it has benefited those nations. I shan't debate NAFTA, but will mention that I've never seen a peer-reviewed or international-quality publication refer to NAFTA in this way. I'll give a link below to a balanced article on NAFTA from Foreign Affairs.

    I think the NAFTA question reflects an institutional racial bias, to be honest, as do others which neglect the impact of Mayan and other indigenous cultures: a quick & flippant example of this impact is the ubiquity of corn. It is the sort error into which it is easy for publishers to fall if they have not been trained to read for such things. I don't believe that any harm is meant, but I also don't think that the authors have had the benefit of a standard university cultural geography course or textbook.

    If I may offer one suggestion: don't fret too much about the specific questions, but get subscriptions to the Economist and to Foreign Affairs for the authors, give them a paid couple of hours each week to read either of those journals, and then update the book in a few years. I think most of this stuff would solve itself.

    LINK: FOR MEMORIA PRESS' USE ONLY -- THIS IS A ONE-USER URL -- Here is a URL which will give one reader free access to the nicely-balanced Foreign Affairs article "NAFTA: Myths versus Facts."
    Last edited by serendipitous journey; 09-18-2021, 01:58 PM.
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