Part 1. Global Trends in Consumption

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question:

How does global development processes affect resource availability and consumption?

Key Content:

  1. Global and regional/continental progress towards poverty reduction, including the growth of the “new global middle class”
  2. Measuring trends in resource consumption, including individual, national and global ecological footprints
  3. An overview of global patterns and trends in the availability and consumption of:
    • water, including embedded water in food and manufactured goods
    • land/food, including changing diets in middle-income countries
    • energy, including the relative and changing importance of hydrocarbons, nuclear power, renewables, new sources of modern energy

​Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities
How different patterns and trends are interrelated and involve spatial interactions between different places.

Monday 20 November 2023

Global and regional/continental progress towards poverty reduction…

Rewind to the Year 2000. Watch the video below…

Fast forward to 2015. Now watch the video below…

Starter: Call yourself a Geographer?

How much do you know about the progress that the World has made in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s)?  Click on the link below to test your knowledge. 

Guardian MDG Quiz

Task 1. Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Using the Guardian Article (linked below) which summarises the progress in meeting Goal 1 – Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger, complete the fact finding mission worksheet. 

Guardian Article

Fact Finding Mission Worksheet (Google Doc)

Task 2. Progress in Eradicating Extreme Poverty

Use the map below to complete the questions for Task 2 on the Fact Finding Mission worksheet above.


Task 3. Human Development and Resource Use

Getting the overall picture of human development and resource use. Click on the link below to be taken on a journey of 24 slides that charts the history of human development and how global inequality developed quickly after the industrial revolution. The first 10 slides of particular use here. Complete Task 3 on the Fact Finding Mission worksheet.

Our World in Data Slides

Task 4. Infographic Analysis

Use this infographic below to complete the questions for Task 4 on the Fact Finding Mission worksheet.

Key Takeaways:

  • MDG was successful in reducing extreme global poverty from 2000 – 2015.
  • In 1990 50% of people in LIC’s lived on less than $1.25 per day.
  • By 2015 only 14% of people in LIC’s lived on less than $1.25 per day.
  • Number of people living in extreme poverty fell from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015.

Thursday 23 November 2023

The Growth of the “New Global Middle Class…”

The pattern of increasing wealth spreading globally through increasing economic development and a fall in the number of people living in absolute poverty conversely causes an increase in the numbers of middle class people globally.  If you rewind back to 1965, the total number of middle class people numbered around 732 MILLION out of a total population of 3.3 billion people. The estimates for 2030 are that middle class people will number 4.9 BILLION out of a total population of 8 billion! 

The increasing numbers of people in the middle classes is important economically as they demand consumer goods such as electronics, cars, increasing varieties of clothing, mobile phones and associated technologies such as app development and high speed 4G internet connection. They also demand more varied food stuffs and generally a rise in consumption of more “luxurious” food products such as beef as well as imported foods and beverages. Of course, these developments come at huge benefit to TNC’s but are potentially disastrous for the environment – think of additional land required for rearing cattle, increased energy demand and the process of e-waste disposal.

Starter: What are the top signs that you are part of the Middle Class?  

Task 1.

Complete the worksheet below.

The rise of the New Global Middle Class (Google Doc)

Task 2.

Read the four infographics below and watch the two videos. Take notes on the causes and consequences of an explosion of the numbers of people in the middle classes.  Try to incorporate the images from the infographic into your work where appropriate.


Monday 27 November 2023

Individual, national and global ecological footprints…

Task 1Click here to be taken an interactive site that shows global distribution of ecological footprint and biocapacity data. Use the worksheet below to complete the activities set out focusing on the following factors: 

1. Biocapacity
2. Ecological Footprint
3. Carbon Footprint
4. Ecological Creditor
5. Ecological Debtor
6. Global Hectare

Ecological Footprints (Google Doc)

Task 2. Take the Footprint calculator test to work out your individual impact on the planet. Where you have the option to ‘add more detail’, please do so. Take a note of your score as well as a screen shot of your further details and explain your overshoot day.  

How did you do? What features caused your footprint to be bigger or smaller than your peers in the class? Who reaches the overshoot threshold the quickest??

This overshoot graphic below is also very useful. 



Task 3. Match each of the following nations to their data sets by analysing the datasets in the document.

                China,   Niger,   Brazil,   USA,    Australia. 

Task 4. Click here to be taken back to the interactive site that shows global distribution of ecological footprint and biocapacity data. 

Take notes on the following countries: Canada, UAE and Ethiopia.

Take some additional notes on how the Ecological Footprint can be reduced in places such as the UAE (see video below). 


Option 1. Exam Corner

Choose ONE of the following questions and answer for homework for next lesson.

To what extent is a future global increase in ecological footprint inevitable due to a rapid growth of the Middle Class?  (10)

Evaluate ecological footprint versus biocapacity as a measure of sustainability between population size and resource consumption (10)

Tip: Try to use all six of the key terms covered in Task 1 at some point during your answer. 

Option 2. Climate Game

Complete this new Climate Game from the Guardian to assess how we can help to solve climate change.

Climate Game

Record your results in a Google Doc and explain your thought process behind each deicsion and what you found challenging.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Starter: Spend 10 minutes exploring this interactive site and watching the video linked below. This will introduce you to this new piece of work.  Complete the key data worksheet linked below by filling in the relevant information next to each piece of important data. 

Traditionally, you may have learnt about water shortages, physical and economic water scarcity and simple schemes to save water. However, some of the content in this piece of work is very new and includes virtual water footprints too. 

Water: Our Most Precious Resource (Google Doc)

Tasks 1 – 5 Worksheet (Google Doc)

Task 1. Using the worksheet above describe the differences in water use between HICs and L/MICs in the figure below UNESCO. Try to explain these differences by thinking about levels of development and economic activity. 


Task 2. Click on the blue tab below to access a brief summary report from UNESCO on the causes of water shortage and the likely future impacts. 


i. On the worksheet, take notes on the four main sources that create demand, namely agriculture, production of energy, industrial uses and human consumption.  Again, think back to previous work on rise of middle class population and continuing progress in global development (MDG’s – SDG’s). 

ii. Take notes on the likely impacts of climate change on future water supplies and vulnerable populations. 

Task 3. Study the virtual water footprint map below.  


The water footprint of a product is an empirical indicator of how much water is consumed, when and where, measured over the whole supply chain of the product. The water footprint is a multidimensional indicator, showing volumes but also making explicit the type of water use (evaporation of rainwater, surface water or groundwater, or pollution of water) and the location and timing of water use. The water footprint of an individual, community or business, is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business. The water footprint shows human appropriation of the world’s limited freshwater resources and thus provides a basis for assessing the impacts of goods and services on freshwater systems and formulating strategies to reduce those impacts.

Why is this important?
As nations work toward securing food, water, energy and other essential inputs for people’s well being, livelihoods and the country’s economic development, most countries rely on imports as well as exports of goods and services. A country may aim to be self-sufficient by relying primarily on goods that can be produced within its borders. Or a country may choose to reduce the burden on the natural resources within its borders by importing water intensive products.

A country may select energy security by using its natural resources to produce electricity in exchange for food security by importing food. The water footprint and its translation into virtual water can illuminate these choices and their inter-dependencies. Virtual water helps us understand the dependencies our economies have on others’ resources.

​Coupling this with the water footprint enables us to map out the dependencies and to identify when and where risks may lie, in terms of scarcity and pollution. This has implications for food security, economy and diplomacy.

For water-scarce countries it can sometimes be attractive to import virtual water (through import of water-intensive products), thus relieving the pressure on the domestic water resources. This happens, for example, in Mediterranean countries, the Middle East and Mexico. Northern European countries import a lot of water in virtual form (more than they export), but this is not driven by water scarcity.

Instead it results from protection of their domestic water resources, land availability and land uses. In Europe as a whole, 40% of the water footprint lies outside of its borders. Source 

Task 4. Using the worksheet, compare and contrast the imports and exports of virtual water into Europe using the map above. 

​Task 5. Study the map below carefully, they key and the caption beneath it. The pie chart for each major virtual water flow shows three different colours:

Green = water from vegetation and soil
Blue = water from surface storage and ground water supplies
Grey = water required to clean up pollution. 

Using the worksheet, describe and explain the flow between Brazil and the EU as well as the flow between Pakistan and Brazil. 

Caption: Global map showing countries with net virtual water import related to import of agricultural and industrial products from Latin American countries (green) and countries with net virtual water export due to agricultural and industrial exports to Latin American countries (red) over the period 1996-2005. Only the biggest gross virtual water flows (over 10 billion cubic meters per year) are shown. Source: Mekonnen, M.M., Pahlow, M., Aldaya, M.M., Zarate, E. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2015)

Thursday 30 November 2023


  • 5 Minute Reading Task – Get a summary of the issues by reading this Guardian Article
  • On the worksheet linked below complete the mindmap showing the main reasons that people choose convenience and fast food diets that may be rich in saturated fats and hidden sugars.

Lesson 5. Patterns & Trends in Land/Food (Google Doc)

Task 1. Watch the first video that is based on a presentation on a world famous photography project by Peter Menzel that documented the weekly eating habits of different families around the world. 

Make notes on his overall observations:

i.   General food shopping habits around the world
ii.  The problems caused by intake of too many calories (obesity) in the USA. 
iii. Impact of food globalization on the tribes in Papua New Guinea
iv. Transition of China into a meat diet as well as regional disparities within the country
v.  What the 80% rule means in Japan. 

Food intake (measured by calorie intake) has gone up dramatically in most regions of the world. This has been due to our ability to increase crop production in the following ways:

1. Expanding the areas that we farm (clearing rainforest for pasture for cattle grazing)
2. Better use of irrigation (potatoes being grown in Egyptian desert)
​3. Using HYVs and the use of GM crops (drought resistant corn) 

There have been major changes in diets moving away from traditional home grown and seasonal produce to a more varied diet containing dairy products, meat and of course fast food. This transition has come about with rapid urbanisation, more people working for longer hours, competitive pricing and aggressive marketing campaigns by TNC’s in LICs and MICs. 

Task 2. Watch the video above and make notes on the link between changing meat rich diets and climate change. 

Task 3. Case Study Brazil

We are now going to complete a case study about the changing diet in Brazil. This piece of work is going to focus on this article from the New York Times and an associated video which is linked below:

You may use ONE of the following note taking sheets to record your notes.

Lesson 5. Case Study Brazil [Option A] (Google Doc)

Lesson 5. Case Study Brazil [Option B] (Google Doc)

Key Extract from the New York Times article – Lots of synthesis in these few sentences that link together large parts of this IB DP course. 

The story is as much about economics as it is nutrition. As multinational companies push deeper into the developing world, they are transforming local agriculture, spurring farmers to abandon subsistence crops in favor of cash commodities like sugar cane, corn and soybeans — the building blocks for many industrial food products. 

In places as distant as China, South Africa and Colombia, the rising clout of big food companies also translates into political influence, targetting public health officials seeking soda taxes or legislation aimed at curbing the health impacts of processed food.

The same trends are mirrored with fast food, which grew 30 percent worldwide from 2011 to 2016, compared with 21 percent in the United States, according to Euromonitor. Take, for example, Domino’s Pizza, which in 2016 added 1,281 stores — one “every seven hours,” noted its annual report — all but 171 of them overseas.

Exam Revision

Describe and explain the patterns and trends in changing diets on a global scale between 1980 and 2015 (marks: 2+2+2).

  • Patterns (2 marks) – What is the global pattern on obesity? Ie: Which countries/regions are obese? Which are not? Remember to give data from the map…
  • Trends (2 marks) – What is the trend from 1980 to 2015? Ie: What has happened to obesity rates from 1980 to 2015? Remember to give data from the map…
  • Explain (2 marks) – What are the reasons for these patterns and trends?

Thursday 07 December 2023

**Hydrocarbons: a compound of hydrogen and carbon, such as any of those which are the chief components of petroleum and natural gas (basically fossil fuels).

Task 1. Producers and Consumers of Oil

Which countries do you think are the top 10 producers and the top 10 consumers of oil?

Lesson 6. The Changing Importance of Hydrocarbons (Google Doc)

Open the document above and use the table showing the top oil producers and consumers to answer the following questions:

  1. Looking  at the top oil producing countries, is there a pattern in terms of geographic location? Why might this be?
  2. Looking at the top oil consuming countries, are there any patterns that can be linked to population and development?
  3. Study the two inflated/deflated maps below.
  • One Shows Crude Petroleum Exports. The other shows Shows Crude Petroleum Imports.
  • Which one is which? Use evidence from the maps, the information from the tables above, and your own knowledge and understanding, to explain the differences making reference to specific regions and distortion shapes.

Task 2. Peak Oil

Watch the three videos embedded below. Ensure that you take notes on the worksheet above from each under the following headings:

i. How Much Oil Is Left on Earth? – Where does our oil come from now?

​ii. The Future of Oil Demand – Peak, Plateau or Plummet? 

iii. Under the diagram of Hubbert’s Peak graph on the google doc annotate with notes from the third video (from 3:05 – 4:07**).

Video 1. How Much Oil is Left on Earth?

Task 3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydrocarbons (Fossil fuels)

Fossil fuels are the remains of plants and animals from the prehistoric era, which have now reduced to mere hydrocarbon chains. These hydrocarbons are in the form of solids or liquids. Fossil fuels have a very high combustion rate and they release tremendous amount of energy. Most of our fuel and energy demands are met by the fossil fuels. Interestingly, the world’s demand for fossil fuels has doubled every 20 years, yet the reservoirs of fossil fuels are sufficient enough to meet this demand. However, excessive consumption of fossil fuels in the twentieth century, in the name of progress has led to the depletion of these reservoirs. Besides, fossil fuels have increased the level of environmental pollution so much, that it has now become a serious environmental concern.

Fossil fuels have several advantages over other sources of energy. This is the main reason why they are still the major energy supplier of the world, despite the fact that they are running out. However, their over consumption and some undesirable properties have led to several issues of grave importance.

  • On the google doc sort out the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels by highlighting the statements in either green (advantages) or red (disadvantages).
  • Which is the most important advantage and which is the most serious disadvantage? Why?

Task 4. Infographic Analysis Practice Exam Question (Google Doc)

Monday 11 December 2023

Starter: Exam Practice #1

  • Swap your practice exam questions with another person.
  • Read their answer and use three different colours to highlight where they have achieved a mark.
  • Award them a final mark out of 6. You may use the model answer document below as a guide.

Model Answer (Google Doc)

Changing importance of renewables & new sources of modern energy…

Independent Research Task: You are going to complete a fact finding mission about three alternative sources of energy.  

The case study energy sources to choose from will be Nuclear, Geothermal, Tidal, Wind and Solar Power.

  • You will each conduct research to evaluate the potential of the allocated energy source to replace the traditional fossil fuel approach to energy generation in countries of all levels of economic development.
  • You will create a presentation for the rest of the group.
  • Use your internet research skills and page 483-484 of the IB DP Geography textbook to help you to research the three renewable energy sources. 
  • To start with, each person should use the links below, to complete a short upskilling session on their allocated energy source using the National Geographic. There may also be embedded videos to watch too. 



Global Geothermal Power - Installed capacity vs global potential




Success Criteria:

Each person should create a six-slide (PowerPoint, Prezzie, Google Presentation etc.) case study of your chosen energy source with the following information included:

  1. Location map to show suitable places to generate this type of energy (e.g. wind/solar power suitability map, security issues concerning the siting of nuclear power plants (think of Chernobyl & Fukushima)
  2. Details of how this form of energy can be harnessed (the production and mechanisms). – you must draw your own diagram! Just a sketch…
  3. Case study of domestic & industrial use in a MIC & or a HIC (place name and evaluates scheme)
  4. Case study of practical uses in a LIC (place name and evaluates scheme)
  5. Drawbacks and criticisms.
  6. Evaluation of suitability for future mass use.

Thursday 14 December 2023

Student Presentations:

Exam Conditions Essay:

When you have all the information, prepare some notes to complete the following question in exam conditions in class.

Examine the changing importance of three energy alternatives to oil [10 Marks].

I have written an example introduction to this essay (see below) which you may use. You will be responsible for reading the presentations given by your peers (choose three of the energy sources to discuss in your essay) and then formulating your middle section and conclusion as per the IB essay planner that we have used before.

Introduction to IB Essay…

In 2022, oil continues to fuel the modern world. No other substance on earth can equal the enormous impact which the use of oil has had on so many people, so rapidly, in so many ways, and in so many places around the world.

Oil in its various refined forms, such as petrol, kerosene, and diesel, has a unique combination of many desirable and useful characteristics including current availability in (decreasing) abundance, ease of transportation and storage and great versatility in end use. Oil is also useful as more than an energy source. It is the basis for the manufacture of petrochemical products including plastics, medicines, paints, and a huge number of other useful materials.

Alternative energy sources must be compared with oil in all these various attributes when their substitution for oil is considered. To the untrained geographer, none appears to completely equal oil. This essay will explore the extent to which [insert names of three renewable energy sources] could be considered as a long term replacement for oil and their changing importance in countries at different levels of development. 

Please open this Google Doc which contains an infographic, the infographic questions and the essay question that you will be responding to.

You must respond to the answers on paper.

Homework: Due: Thursday 11 January 2024

Find a suitable infographic, one that links to the content of the geography syllabus that we have already studied:

  1. Unit 1. Changing Populations (Hannah)
  2. Unit 2. Climate Vulnerability and Resilience (David)
  3. Unit 3. Global Resource Consumption and Security (Julia)
  4. Option G. Urban Environments (David)
  5. Option B. Oceans and Coastal Margins (Julia)
  6. Unit 4. Power, Places and Networks (Hannah)

Paste your infographic into a Google Doc along with the following…

  • Write down how your infographic links to the content of one of the areas of the geography curriculum outlined above.
  • Write down a 1 mark exam-style question that could be asked about the infographic.
  • Write down a 2 mark exam-style question that could be asked about the infographic.
  • Write down a 3 mark exam-style question that could be asked about the infographic.
  • Write down a 6 mark exam-style question that could be asked about the infographic.

** Remember, the questions you ask should require you to use infomation from the infographic ONLY.

Create a markscheme to go alongside your infographic with the responses that you would expect from your peers when answering these questions.