Globalization and the Environment

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AN
ASSIGNMENT

BY

ITOHOWO SAM
DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF UYO, UYO.

SUBMITTED
TO

PROF. I.E. UKPONG
DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY AND REGIONAL PLANNING
UNIVERSITY OF UYO, UYO.

MAY, 2012.

INTRODUCTION
Globalization (or globalisation) refers to the increasing global relationships of culture, people, and economic activity. It is generally used to refer to economic globalization: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import quotas and the reduction of restrictions on the movement of capital and on investment. Globalization may contribute to economic growth in developed and developing countries through increased specialization and the principle of comparative advantage. The term can also refer to the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, and popular culture. Though globalization dates back to the days of Christopher Columbus, the modern period of globalization is generally considered to have started in the 1980s. Some have argued that a form of globalization began with the rise of trade links between Sumer and the Indus Valley Civilization in the third millennium B.C. In the recent decades, globalization has made large advances. The term was first employed in a publication entitled Towards New Education in 1930, to denote a holistic view of human experience in education. The related term 'corporate giants' was coined by Charles Taze Russell in 1897, to describe the largely national trusts and other large enterprises of the time. By the 1960s both terms began to be used synonymously by economists and other social scientists. The term reached the mainstream press in the later half of the 1980s. Since its inception, the concept of globalization has inspired competing definitions and interpretations, with antecedents dating back to the great movements of trade and empire across Asia and the Indian Ocean from the 15th century onwards. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia defines globalization as: "a widely-used term that can be defined in a number of different ways. When used in an economic context, it refers to the reduction and removal of barriers between national borders in order to facilitate the flow of goods, capital, services and labour... although considerable barriers remain to the flow of labour... Globalization is not a new phenomenon. It began towards the end of the nineteenth century, but it slowed down during the period from the start of the first World War until the third quarter of the twentieth century. This slowdown can be attributed to the inward-looking policies pursued by a number of countries in order to protect their respective industries... however, the pace of globalization picked up rapidly during the fourth quarter of the twentieth century..." Tom G. Palmer of the Cato Institute defines globalization as "the diminution or elimination of state-enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex global system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result. Thomas L. Friedman popularized the term "flat world", arguing that globalized trade, outsourcing, supply-chaining, and political forces had permanently changed the world, for better and worse. He asserted that the pace of globalization was quickening and that its impact on business organization and practice would continue to grow. Takis Fotopoulos defined "economic globalization" as the opening and deregulation of commodity, capital and labour markets which led to the present neoliberal globalization. "Political globalization" named the emergence of a transnational elite and the phasing out of the nation-state. "Cultural globalization" was the worldwide homogenization of culture. Other elements included "ideological globalization", "technological globalization" and "social globalization". In...
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