How will the UK change when its people live to 100?

Recent reports suggest that half the children born in the UK today can expect to live to 100.

This will place different demands on our healthcare, social care and pension systems. But the full extent of the changes are unknown.

Will the UK remain a place where older people are valued or might they come to be viewed as a burden on society? Whatever the outcome, the socail fabric of the UK will change significantly in the coming decades as our population ages.




How does climate change cause migration?

Climate change, whether anthropogenic (man made), natural or both can accelerate processes such as desertification, coastal erosion and flooding. Here are some pictoral examples of where this is happening around the world:

Mudslides in Uganda lead to planned mass migration: a natural or man made phenomenon?

In early March 2010, a series of landslides in the hilly Bududa region of Uganda caused devastation:

Whilst the landslides themselves were triggered by heavy rain, it is thought that the removal of vegetation by human activity, e.g, clearance for farming, has contributed to the vulnerability of the slopes. Some areas were descried as being like giant cemeteries after the mud swept through:

The landslides were big enough to be seen on satellite images:

This radio report helps explain the grief people are experienceing:

The government thinks that the area is too dangerous to live in and intends to resettle half a million people: It will remain to be seen whther this is a better response than trying to make the area less vulnerable to landslides in a country with a growing population and pressure on land.

Are Mexican migrant workers in the USA “superheroes”?

One project has attempted to change the way Americans look at their large Mexican migrant workforce. Often working in difficult conditions, in less popular and often poorly paid roles, they also send large amounts of money (known as remittances)back to their home countries. You can see the superheroes of New York here:

Where did migrants from the “new” EU countries come to in the UK?

Following the accession of Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia to the EU in 2004, there was a large influx of migrant labour from those countries into the UK and other EU nations. Their arrival had many effects, including putting strain on education resources and boosting church attendances. Some of the predicted problems did not materialise and the UK public generally found the migrants to be a welcome addition to the job market, filling a range of gaps from low skilled farm labouring, such as harvesting, through to more skilled posts, such as plumbing and building work. Many returned home again after a few years, particularly as the impact of the “credit crunch” hit them hard.

This link shows where migrants from the A8 countries arrived in the period from 2004 to 2007:

What social problems are associated with mining developments in LEDCs?

Mining is often a useful way for LEDCs to gain finanancially from their natural resources. However, large global mining companies and governments in developing countries often do not enforce the same planning, social and environmental standards as they would in MEDCs. Here are a couple of examples of the allegations that have been made:

A Canadian mining firm operating in Guatemala:

A British firm operating in Peru:

If half of British babies live until they are 100 years old, how will we need to change to cope?

In October 2009, researchers suggested that around half the children being born in the UK today would live until they were 100, but how will this change our nation and how can we manage the needs of these generations in the future?