Geography is essential to understanding phenomena such as global warming and terrorism -- and geographic illiteracy in the U.S. is a major concern -- said Harm de Blij, author of "Why Geography Matters." For example, it's important to understand that few people leave the countries in which they were born, he said. "So if you think geography doesn't mean anything anymore, fact of the matter is it still locks us into a future that is very hard to overcome," he said.

Related Summaries