Part 2. Impacts of Changing Trends in Resource Consumption

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question:

How does pressure on resources affect the future security of places?

Key Content:

  1. The water–food–energy “nexus” and how its complex interactions affect:
    – national water security, including access to safe water
    – national food security, including food availability
    – national energy security, including energy pathways and geopolitical issues
  2. The implications of global climate change for the water–food–energy nexus
    • Detailed examples of two countries with contrasting levels of resource security
  3. The disposal and recycling of consumer items, including international flows of waste

​Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities
How perspectives on, and priorities for, national resource security vary between places and at different scales

Thursday 14 December 2023

The Food – Water – Energy Nexus (FEW) … What is it? 

“Trade-offs between energy and water, or between energy and food, are increasingly being debated in terms of the ‘nexus’ – a buzzword which has risen in prominence over the past few years as a way of thinking about interconnections between food, water, energy and the environment. These systems are inextricably linked, and integrated approaches are required, which move beyond sectoral, policy and disciplinary silos”   

– James Wilsdon and Rose Cairns June 2014 

Task 1. We are going to use solo hexagons to critically examine the complexities between the Nexus of water, food, energy and climate change. You are going to be completing a hexagon activity and that there is no right or wrong answer. The key is the discussion that goes with the activity and making as many links between as many global issues as possible – from local to
international – and incorporating the four P’s (place, process, power, possibility)

Step 1  Preparation 

Ensure that you each have:

  • a pair of scissors
  • a glue stick
  • coloured sugar paper for the final display 
  • three sets of cards.

Step 2 – The Traditional Approach 

Study Hexagon Card Set 1 and sort out the statements; first into groupings and then by making links between the groups. Possible groupings:  

  1. What is nexus?  
  2. Past trends  
  3. Future trends
  4. Climate change   
  5. Water    
  6. Food    
  7. Energy  
  8. Other info

You may add any additional hexagon cards by writing them on the blanks provided and adding to your diagram.

Question: These ‘traditional’ viewpoint of these global issues imply that these issues can tackled independently. Are these small sub-groups of hexagons simplyn separate from each other?

Step 3 – The Nexus Approach & Critical Thinking

Now study Hexagon Card Set 2 and complete your diagrams again. This may involve completely starting over again with your hexagon structure in order to incorporate this new nexus approach. 

  • You may add any additional hexagon cards by writing them on the blanks provided and adding to your diagram.

Step 4 – The Final Display

Now organize your cards (paper versions) onto display card.

Step 5 – Links with the SDG’s

Now use the Hexagon Card Set 3 which each have a logo of the 17 SDG’s. Fit them into the diagram as extensions to the hubs and nodes that they already have glued down.

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.

Thursday 11 January 2024

The FEW Nexus in Summary… 

As a team you are going to be completing three brief summary sheets that show how the Nexus complex interactions affect:

  • National water security, including access to safe water (Hannah)
  • National food security, including food availability (Julia)
  • National energy security, including energy pathways and geopolitical issues (David)

Complete the following activities for your designated NEXUS area…

NEXUS Hexagon Activity
  1. Start by reading this summary article from United Nations Water – here. Summarise the key points for your NEXUS area.
  2. Then use the information from your NEXUS Hexagon activity (see photo above).
  3. Now spend 28 minutes listening to this excellent Podcast from the BBC Business team and take notes on your NEXUS area.
  4. Read the appropriate article for your NEXUS area (see below) which gives you a case study example.


  1. Have a go at responding to your peers infographic questions! Aim to complete at least two infographic questiond (one from each person).
  2. Check your responses are correct with your peer!
  3. Think of at least ONE criticism of the questions asked by each peer.

Infographics (Google Doc)

Monday 15 January 2024

Refresher – Impacts of Climate Change on the FEW Nexus…

Using the card sort provided complete the table below by extracting the key issues of the effects of Climate Change on the FEW Nexus in South Africa. No more than 50 words per example! be concise!

South Africa Card Sort Table (Google Doc)

Two countries with contrasting levels of resource security…

We are going to complete some research into two countries with contrasting levels of resource security.

Your case study will be a comparison of Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates and their contrasting levels of food, energy and water security. These two countries will help to consolidate our understanding of the water-food-energy NEXUS. Use the worksheet below to complete your case studies…

Lesson 1. Case Study Worksheet (Google Doc)


Wednesday 17 January 2024

The disposal and recycling of consumer items, including international flows of waste…


E-Waste Worksheet (Google Doc)

Starter: What do we own?
There is a very good chance that somewhere in your house, you have a drawer or a box that resembles the image below. Why do we keep these items? Record your ideas on the worksheet linked above. 


Task 1. Why do we generate so much waste? 

Watch the video below and fill in the activities on the worksheet, as indicated. You will be focusing on the so-called ‘Designed for the dump’ and ‘Planned obsolescence’ elements of the electronics. 

The Story of Electronics

Task 2. Where does the waste go when we have finished with it? 

The image below is from the Basel Action Network. On your worksheet, describe the major flows between places. 

Basel Action Network

You may well be accessing this work using a DELL computer. The company has gone from strength to strength over recent years and in 2019 shipped 260 million electronic units. But what happens when these products reach the end of their life cycle? Check out the video below to find out about the partnership between DELL and a company called Goodwill. 

Dell Reconnect

So, in theory, TNC’s like DELL are able to drastically reduce their impacts on the environment by recycling. Let’s focus on the journey of electronic waste generated in the USA.

Thursday 18 January 2024

Part 1 – USA to Asia

The first part of this study will focus on the transit of materials from the USA to Hong Kong, where some of the materials are processed before being sent onward. Watch the video below and complete the activities on the worksheet. 

Here is the interactive map to show the movement of the items of e-waste as recorded by the tracker devices. 

Part 2 – Europe to West Africa

200,000 tonnes of e-waste disposed of from HICs, often from Europe makes it way to the west of Africa and in particular to Ghana. Once it has been unloaded from the container ships, it is transported to the now infamous Accra suburb of Agbogbloshie. Take a trip up and down the road that leads past one of the biggest “decommissioning” sites in Agbogbloshie.

​What evidence can you see of the transfer of international waste? Complete the activity on the worksheet. 

Now, watch the drone footage of what the site looks like from the air. Follow this by watching the BBC News video above. Complete the activity on the worksheet.

The disposal and recycling of consumer items, including international flows of waste…


The Independent Article

​Task 1. Using the above resources answer the questions below. 

1. Why was waste being sent to China?
2. What type of waste? 
3. When did China introduce the ban?
4. Why did it introduce the ban?
5. How has the ban impacted on the flow of waste? 

Complete all tasks for homework for Monday 22 January.

Extra Work

Resource Security, Pathways & Politics…

If you would like, you can investigate the geopolitical issues and energy security concerning one energy pathway. You will investigate an energy pathway and the associated geopolitical issues and create a presentation with your findings.

Success Criteria

  1. Choose from ONE of the options listed below (Venezuela as a Petrostate or Nord Steam 2 and the ensuing Russia-Ukraine conflict).
  2. Complete the tasks outlined for your chosen option.
  3. Present the information using one of the following methods:
  4. Ensure that you include at least one map, three images and one graph that are described/explained in your writing, to complement your findings.

Option 1. Venezuela

You may have seen plenty in the news about Venezuela in recent years (March 2020) and the political struggles within the country. You will also know that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. So, how can it be that a country it spiraling into decline despite having such large natural resource wealth. The excellent article below breaks down the key issues that the country faces and why ‘having all your eggs in one basket’ is a dangerous economic policy. 

Task – Watch the following video and read the article below carefully and make notes on the economic and geopolitical issues surrounding this ‘petrostate’ using the worksheet below.

Venezuela – The Rise and Fall of a Petrostate Article

Venezuela Worksheet (Google Doc)

Option 2. Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 is a 1,234-km natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany running through the Baltic Sea, financed by Gazprom and several European energy companies. It was started in 2011 to expand the Nord Stream line and double annual capacity to 110 billion m³ (source Wikipedia)

Task 1. What is Nord Stream 2?

Watch the B1M video below and outline how the project was planned and why Ukraine was being bypassed. What were the controversies behind the scheme? 

Task 2. Russian Leverage?

Why was the USA worried about how the pipeline might give Russia leverage over Europe? Watch the first 3:35 of the video below and take notes on key gas ‘reliance’ data in Europe. 

Task 3. When geopolitics & sport mix.

​Find out what the term ‘soft power’ means. Write that definition down. Now, watch the Vox video below and make notes on why Gazprom/Russian government exerted soft power in the world of football.

On 24 February 2022, Russia began a military invasion of Ukraine, in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict that began in 2014. Internationally considered a war of aggression, it is the biggest assault on a European state since WWII. The invasion has caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since WWII, with over 3.3 million Ukrainians fleeing their country since the start of war.

Task 4. Ukraine Invasion by Russia

Watch the video below (ignore one of the presenters completely falling apart for a few seconds!) and make a note of the German response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Task 5. EU Response

Using this link, outline the response of the EU to Russian energy supplies (possibilities).