Globalization: Changes that draw us together
Globalization is the process of bringing together different nations and people: culturally, politically and economically, to form one large community (Boudreaux 25). Technological advancements have helped to reduce distance and time barriers that existed prior to modernization. This has made it easy for people from different parts of the world to communicate and conduct business without having to travel. Globalization has opened up international borders and contributed to the reduction of market regulations to enhance trade.
Globalization has contributed to quick flow on information, easy exchange of goods and services, constant flow of money in the world economy and frequent international travels. This has brought together many nations, international corporations, governments and individuals to form a global village. Rightfully said, globalization has contributed to unity among countries that were previously enemies (Boudreaux 54). It has led to more harmonious relationships between countries as they seek to benefit from each other. It has helped to improve the efficiency of doing business with people all over the world at the span of a second. Globalization has also played a huge role in enhancing democracy in many nations, as they do not want to be left out in this world phenomenon.
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Globalization also has a negative side. It has caused a disruption on how individual nations work (Houghton 35). Many governments, especially in third world countries, have lost their control of their nations to the developed nations. Globalization has caused a major threat to the environment, which has resulted in serious health issues that are threatening the very existence of humanity. Globalization has disrupted the cultural organization and practices of many communities. Families have been disintegrated as people pursue the economic benefits associated with globalization. Many claim that the loss of government transparency and accountability, economic disruption and political upheavals are a result of globalization (Weinstein 65). With all these problems, comes the need to solve them while at the same time ensuring that the positive side of globalization is not affected.
World economists seem to have overemphasized on the importance of globalization. The benefits of globalization are looked at from an economic point of view. The negative impacts, real life problems, are ignored. Economists operate on the assumption that the world an unlimited number of resources that will sustain the human race for years to come (Haldar 67). However, this is not the case. Our resources, natural or man-made, are limited. Economists also tend to forget the fact that globalization has resulted in the development of more businesses, which has caused more competition. In the end, increased rate of unemployment all over the world is inevitable.
With this in mind, let us look at the negative side of globalization and get to understand why globalization is more of a problem to the world.
Increased oil prices
From 1973 to 1983, the world experienced the first ever price increase on oil. Before this, the price of oil per barrel was only $20 or even less. After this period, it was possible to regulate the oil prices to a price range of $30 to $40. This was possible since coil demand and consumption was not as high as it is today (Weinstein 45). It was also possible to control the main production bases of oil at that time (Mexico, Alaska and the North Sea). Back in the day, the use of electricity was limited and the vehicles used were more fuel friendly, thus, oil consumption was also low.
With the spread of globalization since 2005, the oil prices have shot up (Casper 62). The main reason behind this is that the demand of oil is increasing while its supply has remained stagnant over the years. Globalization has led to the setting up of more industries that rely on oil and electricity for their functions. Close to 70% of the world population today is in the ownership of a vehicle, all in a bid to maintain social status (Jones 43). More families today depend on electricity for their daily activities such as cooking, ironing, heating of water and for Televisions and mobile phone charging. All this has fuelled up the world oil demands.
The best way forward is to come up with ways that help to reduce energy consumption in the world. First, industries need to minimize on their electricity usage. There are activities within many industries that can be done without the use of machines. This will also contribute to reducing the current rate of unemployment. Families also to reduce the number of electrical appliances they use in their homes.
Many countries are already in the mission of finding if any parts of their country have the most sought after treasure in the world today. Third world countries such as Kenya believe that they can find oil within their land and supply it to the world. By finding more oil, there are chances that its supply will keep up with the current oil demand. Of course, this is an attempt to boost their economies (Boudreaux 102). Another way to reduce oil demand is by finding alternative sources of energy. Many nations have already embraced the solar energy methods that have been developed. However, solar energy can only be used when the sun is up and shining.
Increased Environmental Pollution
Globalization has caused serious environmental hazards. Global warming is a result of globalization. Global warming refers to the steady rise in the normal temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. Global warming occurs when there is too much Carbon di oxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. The CO2 acts as a blanket that prevents heat from exiting the earth’s atmosphere. It instead traps the heat causing increased temperatures on earth (Dollahite and Haun 23). CO2 has the ability to survive in the atmosphere for extended periods hence its heat trapping effects are extended over long periods. CO2 is released into the atmosphere from different human activities.
Modernization and technological advancements are the main causes of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Approximately 99% of our activities today rely on electricity. From cooking, charging of phones, lighting our houses and running our factories and industries, electricity is almost a basic need in our world today (Weinstein 65). Electrical production and burning of coal for energy emits 70% of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere.
The world population is growing at a very alarming rate. This has resulted in the increased demand of more means of transport and manufacturing of consumables. There are more vehicles today than there was a decade ago (Houghton 125). More industries have come up in order to cater for the increased demand of food, clothes, shoes and other basic life commodities. All these industries have resulted to the use of more fossil fuels and higher energy levels. To produce this energy, more coal is burnt down, releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere (Haldar 87). Emissions from vehicles are comprised of gases, mainly CO2.
Deforestation is another cause of global warming. Traditionally, forests served the purpose of removing CO2 from the atmosphere (Jones 98). The rising demand for papers, wood and coal has led to many trees been cut down. CO2 released by human activities therefore goes direct to the atmosphere.
Measures are already in place to curb environmental pollution. The United Nations Environmental program (UNEP) has set base in many countries across the world to oversee less cutting down of trees. Noise regulations have been set up in industrial areas to protect both workers and outsiders from noise pollution. Countries have adopted safer waste disposal methods such as recycling of plastic bottles and plastic bags. Most importantly, over 100 countries in the world have constitutionalized the right to enjoy a clean environment (Boudreaux 124). In such cases, anyone caught threatening this right will face the proper punishment.
Fast dilapidation of resources
The world resources, natural or artificial are limited. Economists have defined globalization on the assumption that these resources are unlimited (Haldar 75). Because of this assumption, many nations are quickly depleting their resources and are turning to their neighbors for help. Resources such as coal and oil are at very high demands today due to rapid industrialization. Since 2002, research indicates that the use of coal in China has been increasing rapidly as the country tries to become a world superpower through increase production of various goods and services (Weinstein 56). India has also experienced a very sharp increase in the consumption of coal as it attempts to move from a developing country to a developed country.
While there is no specific way to control how a nation uses its resources, regulation would come in handy. Every nation should set up rules and regulations on how resources such as land, oil and coal are used. Anyone who crosses the set limit should be dealt with.