Contemporary society from news reports to film to the internet and social media to commodities such as i-pad fascination with globalization. this paper will inquire into the effects of the fascination . it will look closely at the contesting constructions of the global as means of examining the effects of globalization on lives of people both at home and abroad. First fold for this paper is :the global relation of America seem highly chaotic and without any structure or determination. Is it the case desire rules the world in the world is flat ? in other words, is an individualistic approach to global America is the most effective way to live in the world ? or do we need to address the relation between me and the others ? or is the global less a matter of plurality than it is structural. is it only differences, but the structure that enables difference? Second fold is to specifically relate fold number 1 to issue such as GLOBALIZATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT as a contemporary issue. how environment became global and what makes it global. As well as how can we preserve environment and what are the main issues that we should take a quick action about?
Globalization and the Environment
Globalization has led to various significant effects on the environment especially in the American context. For example, it has led to the emergency of increased levels of poverty, ecological destruction, increased levels of sickness and illiteracy especially on the impoverished and marginalized masses of population who have less power to improve their wellbeing, thus provoking them to protest and fight against the prevailing globalization effects. According to Diamond (457), majority of the individuals staying abroad were left homeless and orphaned after the Second World War. Majority of the children had not been ensured by their parents thus exposing them to the threats of globalization such as ecological destruction evidenced in the form of global warming, land and water degradation and increased level of poverty because most of the things are often provided by nature. In addition to that, the threats of environmental problems often interact with terrorism thus provoking some individuals to join terrorist groups thus being in support of terrorism. For example, the oil pollution in the oceans by terrorism groups can be used as a medium to pass information to the enemy country that they are in war with them. These often results in problems such as destroyed habitats and reduced countries economy as a result of its impact on tourism and fishing industries.
Before the attack on America which happened on September 11 by terrorist groups, America did not think about their activities effect on the environment. It came to realize later that they and Somalis pollute and at the same time breathe the same environment via the use of deadly weapons. The use of nuclear weapons has a great impact on the environments. For example, the emitted radio active materials stay on the environment for longer periods thus being hazardous to both the human populations and other living organisms. In addition to that, both the Americans, Afghanistan’s and Somalis use the same oceans they pollute and do compete for the scarce resources in the globe for their developmental activities. As a matter of fact, Americans perceived globalization as a means of creating good things for them such as the emergence of the internet and coca-cola and never took into consideration the negative impacts of globalization such as the coming up of various diseases, increased numbers of illegal immigrants, increased terrorist attacks and major issues that could trigger the dispatching of the United States troops (Diamond 457). Globalization led to the need of labor where individuals had to be taken from Africa so as to work in the big plantations of Sugar, Coffee and sisal among others. After the end of the slave trade, families of those working in the plantations joined then thus leading to the influx of immigrants into the western countries. These eventually lead to the increased rates of racial discrimination where the inhabitants of this nation viewed foreigners as intruders who were benefiting from their free welfare. The Muslim women were prohibited from covering their heads where as in some places people of Islamic religion were prohibited from building mosques as they were viewed as terrorists. The immigrants were exposed to poor housing conditions and were subjected to doing unskilled labors such as in the mining and construction industries where unprofessional skills were required.
As a result of globalization there has been development of tools which have greatly aided in the destruction of the environment biodiversity. These tools have been used in the mining and processing of fossil fuels which have played a great role in the climate change. The burning of fossil fuels has made the planet to increase in its temperatures by a couple of degrees (McKibben 460). The increased temperatures have resulted to the increased incidences of floods and extreme drought which are being experienced in the recent years. For example, the ice in the Arctic has reduced by 40 percent as the sea levels rise gradually. As the sea level rises as a result of melting ice, more space is occupied thus displacing individuals and in some cases submerging of areas along the coastal regions. As a result some of the plants along the coastal region become destroyed by being washed down the river by the increased water flows.
The increased temperatures have resulted to warming of waters in the seas thus threatening the lives of the coral reefs due to the bleaching effect. Continued warming of the sea water waters will eventually lead to the extinction of the corral reefs if mitigation measures are not put in place (McKibben461). As a matter of fact, the continued increase in sea water temperatures will result to changing the conditions of the various organisms habitat and their food webs. The spawning areas of various organisms may be destroyed and in the long run leading to the extinction of such organisms as the environment will not favor their survival. More over, in the polar scientist have established that polar bears have become twenty percent thinner than they were few years ago. The reason behind this is as a result of the disappearing of pack ice which have inconvenienced them in the hunting of the seal which forms the main part of their diet. Thus the continued melting ice will result to further extinction of these animals if global warming is not dealt with globally.
Globalization has resulted to coming up with automobiles which emit a lot of carbon dioxide one of the greenhouse gas responsible for global warming effect e.g. it has been estimated that 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions in America are as a result of automobiles. Even though improvements have been made to regulate the amounts of carbon dioxide produced from factories and power plants, the numbers of cars and trucks have grown tremendously thus creating no impact on carbon dioxide reduction.
Majority of the societies in the past collapsed due to their inability to solve environmental challenges that majority of the countries in the world faces today such as inefficient water management, loss of top soil through erosion, deforestation and climate change effects. According to Godalle (472), due to deforestation by mankind, there has been experienced loss of wildlife habits hence the decrease in numbers of wild life such as the Lions, various species of birds, elephants, wild dogs and leopards just to mention afew. The aimless cutting down of trees has resulted to increased temperatures thus affecting agricultural production as majority of the crops can not adapt to the extreme temperatures thus making them to wither away.
As a result of globalization, there has been racial discrimination experienced in various western countries as a result of increased number of immigrants who visit these nations in search of greener pastures such as better employment opportunities. McKibben (460), it was evident that individuals from a certain social class belonged to various country clubs that were segregated thus viewing it as normal. For centuries, racial discrimination had not been seen as a channel of changing the economical or social patterns of the American society hence viewed as a symbol that is inescapable. In the past, the buying of a utility sports vehicle such as the Suburban, Navigator, Explorer and Rover just to mention a few were being normal as it was known that it belonged to particular individuals in a certain station. Just going to the grocery stores took ages as majority of the people in the stations areas owned cars as it was evidenced from the parking area where various categories of cars featured. These cars belonged to individuals of a certain class as indicated via there features such as comfort, status and leather seats. Some people have seen these vehicles to have some nature connection. The use of these vehicles have resulted to increased global warming due to increased burning of fossil fuels resulting to emissions of carbon dioxide a green house gas effect. This has made it an uphill task to combat the effects of climate change completely in the world as many people own cars today.
Measures taken to preserve the environment from the effects of globalization
McKibben points out that, during the 1990s, engineers developed various technologies that led to saving of the gas thus being a major reason why the Americans are the ones producing a major percentage of carbon dioxide gas over the years as compared to when Bill Clinton was the reigning president(461). People have been encouraged to pool their vehicles together through being transported in a more effective and fuel- efficient automobiles or by use of trains or station wagons thus reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. Various automobile companies are striving to manufacture vehicles that are not fuel guzzlers where as some countries are embarking on forestation and reforestation to improve on the existing forest covers and combat the effects of climate change. Various treaties have been formed such as the Kyoto Protocol whose main aim is to combat the effects of climate change affecting the whole world. Industries are struggling to minimize the amount of pollution caused to the environment through air and water pollution through effective treatment of wastes and sustainable use of the environment.
Environmental challenges can indeed cause various societies to collapse as they dwell in environments that are more fragile and need tender care. However, fragility can vary within the same country. For example, some areas in United States such as southern California have been prone to low rainfall and soil salinization risks thus affecting agriculture which is dependent on irrigation. Environmental problems affect all countries whether they are superpower or not. It has however been established that even the most powerful nations are often brought down by their trading partners experiencing environmental problems. According to Diamond (457), two Polynesian societies which were based on Pitcairn and Henderson Island were destroyed as they depended on the imports that were very vital from Polynesian society of Mangareva Island which had fallen as a result of deforestation activities that were being carried out hence the vulnerability of the America to the oil-exporting Middle East countries. Solving of the environmental problems has become a challenge as a result of the existing conflicts of interests among those reigning and the majority of the population. For instance, in America, those individuals who are wealthy often do things that make them wealthier in the short term while the consequences harm every person in the long run. The emerging up of industries have led to destruction of the environment as a result of global warming which in turn is affecting the whole world today.
In the recent world, the population is large thus exerting greater powers that is extremely destructive than the previous societies. Globalization thus poses a risk to collapsing of the whole world thus a tragedy to whole nations. Human beings create their own problems thus making it very difficult to stop making them. Global warming is as a result of human beings innovative nature where they have come up with processing and manufacturing industries that emit a lot of carbon dioxide in the air hence can not put a stop to industrialization. In addition to that, these manufacturing industries come up with various goods such as automobiles which contribute to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and to some individuals automobiles are necessities in their lives and can’t do without them. In order to overcome these problems, there is need to have the necessary needed political will. The media can also play a critical role in highlighting the effects of human activities on the environment and what exactly can be done to overcome the effects of climate change.