What Relationship Is There Between Globalization and Global Environmental Change?

Topics: Environmentalism, Environment, Natural environment Pages: 6 (1755 words) Published: March 12, 2011
What relationship is there between globalization and global environmental change?

1. Introduction
The world has ushered in an era of rapid growth of economies and on-going process of global integration. It implies a growing degree of interdependence among economies and societies through cross country flows of capital, information, products, services, culture, technologies and labour (Panayotou 2000). There is no doubt that the globalization brings a lot of advantages. The global commercial market becomes so flexible due to the advent of globalization that transactions of international companies that are not restricted to geographical borders of the countries. It enhances free international trade among countries across the world, enables the flow of capital to the invested on the untapped resources of the developing countries, and also reduces cultural blockages and differences among nations by encouraging fellow-feeling and mutual compassion (Advantages of Globalization 2009).

However rapid economic growth has been accompanied by severe environmental degradation, because economic development results in more raw materials are required to meet the need of industries and markets. People were dazzled by the immediate benefits, but serious environmental problems are neglected which actually caused by repaid economic development. Land resources are shrinking because of the industrial development and the expansion of cities. Deserts are spreading because of over grazing, tree cutting and strip mining. The air and water supplies are being polluted by poisonous gasses and waste products (Panayotou 2000). Both developed and developing countries have had similar experiences. People have to face to those problems in their real life and seeking the solutions to relieve and protect the environment. Understanding the linkage between globalization and environment is the most basic part for people to realize that not only does globalization impact the environment, but the environment impacts the pace, direction and quality of globalization. The purpose of this paper is to identify the key links between globalization and environment and enhance a deeply understanding of these dynamic interact. 2. Two way relationship

2.1 Globalization affects the environment

Early 18th century industrial revolution greatly promoted the level of capacity in human society that mankind has entered the industrial age of mass production. Until the 70s of last century, the capitalist countries have experienced tremendous amount of development in their science, technology and the commodity economy. 200 years of industrial development rapidly have changed human society more than the past thousand years of development under agricultural phase. (Hooker 1999). Some capitalist countries such as United States, Britain, Germany, and Japan are all gained rapid economic development with foster integration into the global economy. Humans have conquered the oceans, exploited mineral and oil resources in large scale, reclaimed grassland and deforestation.

Globalization increases more opportunities for some enterprises to expand the business scope and sales area, and it has also increased human activities. People were not being confined to their hometown or mother country. More and more people are willing to live in another city, study abroad or doing business overseas. The increase of population flow intensified the burden on the environment, extra office item needs to be manufactured, more land would be used to build houses and even more groundwater need to be extracted.

Great economic momentum has improved the employment rate, people devoted themselves to the work with a respectable income. Just like a chain reaction, people started to search for a high quality of life when they have spare money. Tourism industry has been greatly expanded, it makes a number of undeveloped regions develops to increase the local revenue but destroy the ecological...
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