Climate Change Is Changing Agriculture

Climate Change Is Changing Agriculture

In agriculture, adapting to climate change has become a necessity.

As weather patterns change around the globe, growers are learning to adapt in different ways. Some can afford to partner with scientists and plant experimental trees; others are forced to change their crops. For farmers, transitions to new product designs and operations are costly, and the viability of these transitions is as uncertain as the weather itself.


Video Spotlight: Growers Fighting Climate Change


This post is based on The New York Times article, In a Race Against Warming, Growers Try to Outsmart Climate Change, by M. Cone, September 21, 2019, and the YouTube video, Coffee Growers Combat Climate Changeby GreenTV, May 11, 2012. Image source:  Shutterstock/Valentyn Volkov

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the effects of climate change on agriculture and farmers’ lives?

Guidance: During warmer winters, there have not been enough chilly days for male trees to produce the pollen when female trees need it. Pests and diseases have increased. Extreme, sudden temperature changes have killed mature trees. Extreme heat waves and droughts have decimated crops and cattle. The effects of climate change on farmers’ lives are not negligible either: reduced income, increased Continue reading

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Apple Dodges Tariffs in Texas

Apple Dodges Tariffs in Texas

October 7, 2019

Apple is moving its Mac Pro production to Austin, Texas, as part of a plan to invest $350 billion in the U.S. economy by 2023.

Apple already has manufacturing locations in 36 states with 9,000 domestic suppliers. The move not only helps Apple to abate the impact of trade tariffs but also to have a product that is made entirely in USA.


Video Spotlight: Mac Pro to be manufactured in Texas


This post is based on the IB Times article, Apple News: Mac Pro Production Moves To Texas To Dodge Tariffs, by Thomas Kira, September 23, 2019, and the YouTube video, Mac Pro to be manufactured in Texas, by Newsy, September 23, 2019. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education

Discussion Questions:

1. In what ways is Apple’s decision to move its Mac Pro production to Austin, Texas, capacity-related?

Guidance: The move is a capacity-related decision because Apple has to determine what capacity it needs to make Mac Pro using only domestic suppliers and workers instead of outsourcing the assembly processes to China.

2. What are the reasons for Apple to move its Mac Pro production to Austin, Texas?

Guidance: Trade tariffs make it less economical to Continue reading

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Bionic Boost in the Workplace

Bionic Boost in the Workplace

September 20, 2019

Robotic shorts offer relief to fatigued workers.

The latest, exciting quest to improve working conditions has produced robotic shorts. Developed by a team of university researchers, the lightweight exosuit and its power system are designed to detect movements and assist their execution, thereby reducing the stress and injury associated with physical demands. The increased strength is expected to boost workers’ productivity.


Video Spotlight: Walking Faster with Robo Shorts


This post is based on the CNBC article, These Robotic Shorts Boost Workers’ Strength and Productivity. Here’s How., by S. Rega and L. Ioannou, August 29, 2019, and the YouTube video, Scientists Built Robo Shorts to Make Walking Easierby Tech World, August 16, 2019. Image source:  Shutterstock / Dm_Cherry

Discussion Questions:

1. What is productivity? How do robotic shorts help improve it?

Guidance: Productivity is the ratio of output to input. In reducing strain and increasing physical strength and speed, the robotic shorts may enable workers to do more work in less time. The shorts thus have the potential to increase output while reducing input, thereby resulting in substantial productivity gains.

2. How are the robotic shorts designed? How do they enhance working conditions?

Guidance Continue reading

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