Globalization and Environmental Effects on our planet

Topics: Globalization, Environment, Natural environment Pages: 6 (2192 words) Published: December 8, 2013
Globalization and the Environmental Effects on our Planet

We live on a very fortunate planet that allows the human race to not only survive on it, but also to thrive in its consistent temperatures, natural resources, and prosperous ecosystem. But the effects of globalization, pollution, global warming and other environmental problems threaten our survival as a species in this ecosystem. Many believe that through technology, commerce, and travel globalization will lead us to economic prosperity, while conservationists and scientists are working hard to preserve the priceless resources that our earth has to offer us. The widespread changes that are brought about due to globalization have a lasting impact on our environment and threaten our survival. These global changes make understanding our world both challenging and a necessary task if our future depends understanding these concepts in all their various forms. Our ecosystems are altered by the financial decisions we make today and the energy we use, the pollutions we create will affect our lives for our children and our children’s children, if we don’t destroy ourselves by then. Globalization is a very real phenomenon and a concept that most people do not fully come to grasp in order to understand the ramifications of it. Globalization does not just affect our societies economically, but also politically and socially as well. The media does an extensive job at portraying the ideologies and opinions of globalization through politicians and activist groups, but does not accurately portray the arguments or the ever expanding inequality gap between the rich and poor and the lack of evidence to demonstrate the achievement of the “trickle down” effect. Globalization is most commonly defined as , “the increasing interconnectedness of people and places through converging processes of economic, political, and cultural change” (Rowntree, Lewis, Price, & Wyckoff, 2003). This means that once-distant regions and cultures are now linked together through commerce, travel, and communications causing an economic reorganization of our world’s systems. Early forms of globalization have been seen since the early years of our societies, including the first era of globalization before World War I seemed to shrink our global finance capitalism system. The inventions of the steamship, telegrams, and eventually the telephone are all examples of the increase of globalization in our earlier societies that have had a huge impact on our political, cultural, and economic systems. But this “new era of globalization,” as mentioned by Thomas Friedman, is not only different in degree than the previous era of globalization, but is also driven differently and is increasing at a pace never witnessed before (Friedman, 2000). Since the Industrial Revolution, many may argue that contemporary globalization is the most fundamental reorganization of the socioeconomic structure, but few agree on whether the benefits actually outweigh the costs. In previous eras, inventions such as the railroad, steamships, and automobiles increased globalization and the falling transportation costs allowed people to get to more places cheaper and faster than ever before. Now, the falling costs of telecommunications allow today’s era of globalization to link the world together even tighter than before. Microchips, the internet, satellites, and cellphones allow societies and cultures of greater distances to connect quickly and cheaply in order to conduct business, form relationships, and transfer information from one geographic location to another. Travel has become faster and more cost effective, communications with other countries have become easier, and people are able to offer and exchange services globally. This is why Friedman defines globalization as, “The inexorable integration of markets, nation-states and technologies to a degree never witnessed before- in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations and...
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