Effects of globalization on the environment

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Globalization is a much cherished concept that is perceived to have made the world a better place to live. It has turned the world into a small village where physical barriers like distance have been rendered defunct.  Globalization has had multiple impacts of people’s lifestyles in different places around the world through technological advancements, which has in turn improved communication system, healthcare services, and transport system among others. Despite all the positive benefits that have come with globalization. It has also contributed to the devastation of the environment. Globalization has played a key role in accentuating major environmental dilapidations that put human race and other inhabitants of plant earth at the risk of extinction.  Even though globalization has indirect environmental impacts, its contribution to the current wanting environmental degradation cannot be ignored. This paper explores ways in which globalization impacts the environment.

To begin with, globalization has resulted into increased product consumption, which has adversely affected the ecological cycle (Christoff & Eckersley, 2013).  Increased consumption of products translates to high demand for the products, which in turn motivates producers to manufacture more goods. This has exerted a lot of pressure on the available natural resources. Globalization has made the transportation of commodities from one country to another easier than ever before. This has led to increasing ecological stress as more natural resources have to be extracted to meet the ever growing global demands. This has led to overexploitation of natural resources, for example, man-made deserts have been on the rise as a result of deforestation across the world (Christoff & Eckersley, 2013). This has led to global warming causing a major shift in climate that now threatens to eliminate life on earth.

Also, globalization has led to increased environmental pollution through increased industrialization.   Increased transportation within and between countries has led to increased air pollution (Brauer, 2009). The emission of carbon from industries and automobiles and aircrafts has led to ozone layer depletion leading to global warming (Mol, 2003). Similarly, industrialization has resulted into infestation of soil with various chemicals ranging from agricultural chemicals to oil pilferages from various companies like BP in 2010, which also find their ways into water bodies like rivers, lakes and oceans (Welfens, 2001).  Through human activities, there has been increasing incidents of environmental pollution, which has in turn yielded a devastating impact on the ecosystem thus ruining the environment. Increased production of plastic bags has also been one of the major challenges to the global environment. Globalization has led to the widespread transportation of goods packaged in plastic bags across the world. Because of the irresponsible nature of humans, there has been poor disposal of these plastic bags leading to their accumulation in the soil. These plastic bags are non-biodegradable thus cannot decay through natural process leading to their accumulation and high soil toxicity (Christoff & Eckersley, 2013).

In conclusion, globalization has so many positive attributes that its reversal would be deemed an impossible mission. It has led to better transportation, communication and healthcare system among others. As such, the drive to better human life and generate more income has always overshadowed the adverse impact it has on the environment such as pollution and increased pressure on natural resources.  Even though it is impossible to stop or reverse, the solution to the underlying environmental degradation problem accentuated by globalization can only be achieved through development and implementation of strict environmental laws that look beyond economic aspects of industrialization and globalization.

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  1. Brauer, J. (2009). War and nature: The environmental consequences of war in a globalized world. Lanham: AltaMira Press.
  2. Christoff, P., & Eckersley, R. (2013). Globalization and the environment.  Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  3. Mol, A. P. J. (2003). Globalization and environmental reform: The ecological modernization of the global economy. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  4. Welfens, P. J. J. (2001). Internationalization of the Economy and Environmental Policy Options. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
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