Globalization and Its Impact on the Environment 

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Globalization, by definition, is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and government. Globalization has grown throughout the years due to advance in transportation and communication technology. From an economic perspective, globalization involves goods, services, technology, and data. Though many scholars place the origins of globalization in modern times, others trace its history long before the European Age of Discovery and voyages to the New World, some even to the third millennium BC.
Large-scale globalization began in the 1820s. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the connectivity of the world’s economies and cultures grew very quickly. The term globalization is recent, only establishing its current meaning in the 1970s. It is a relatively new phenomenon in the business world. In businesses, progress in technology, transportation, and communication give the chance to operate internationally. Given how fast decisions must be made when working across time zones and continents, globalization presents unique problems in how it affects the environment.
Let us now know the impact of globalization on the environment. The globalization of trade puts pressure on natural resources around the world, helping to drive the rapid depletion of tropical forests, the collapse of many ocean fisheries, and even the global impoverishment of biological diversity. We travel so much that we are becoming more vulnerable to epidemics, helped along by the global spread of antibiotic resistance.
Global movements of invasive introduced species have had major biological and economic impacts on the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Great Lakes, grazing lands, forests, and other resources. As yet, little attention has been paid to the synergies and interactions between environmental problems, and between them and social and economic systems, that may, in fact, represent some of the biggest future problems and surprises. While it has always been possible to escape from environmental limits at a local or national scale, the planet is a closed system and there is no escape from planetary limits. Activists have pointed out that globalization has led to an increase in the consumption of products, which has impacted the ecological cycle. Increased consumption leads to an increase in the production of goods, which in turn puts stress on the environment.
Globalization has also led to an increase in the transportation of raw materials and food from one place to another. Earlier, people used to consume locally-grown food, but with globalization, people consume products that have been developed in foreign countries. For example, the use of chilli pepper has spread from the Americas to cuisines all around the world including Southeast Asia and European countries. Another example is the potato, originating from the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme Northwestern Bolivia, it has since spread around the world and has become a staple crop in many countries.
Furthermore, the amount of fuel that is consumed in transporting these products has led to an increase in the pollution levels in the environment. It has also led to several other environmental concerns such as noise pollution and landscape intrusion. Transportation has also put a strain on the non-renewable sources of energy, such as gasoline and coal. The gases that are emitted from the aircraft have led to the depletion of the ozone layer apart from increasing the greenhouse effect. The industrial waste that is generated as a result of production has been laden on ships and dumped in oceans.
This has killed many underwater organisms and has deposited many harmful chemicals in the ocean. The damage caused to ecosystem from the oil that spilled from one of the leaking containers of British Petroleum in 2010 is just one of the examples of the threat globalization poses to the environment. In various parts of the world, mountains are being cut to make way for a passing tunnel or a highway. Vast barren lands have been encroached upon to pave way for new buildings. While humans may rejoice on the glimmer with these innovations, these can have long-term effects on the environment.
Conversely, globalization can be beneficial for the environment. Companies who produce tons of greenhouse gasses each month are beginning to use alternative energy sources that are gentler and less harmful to the environment. These energy sources, such as wind and solar power, have fewer environmental impacts. They also promote sustainability because they do not waste non- renewable resources. Adding onto this, studies do suggest that the world can be transformed into a stable and productive global society, but that this will require fundamental changes. For example, it appears technically possible to increase the efficiency of the use of energy and resources by a factor of 10 in highly-developed societies, with little reduction in living standards, thus releasing the resources necessary for the poor and the developing countries to make major advances.
Environmental globalization does not mean that the same solutions should be applied everywhere. The planetary environment is highly diverse, and human responses and adaptations to it need to be similarly diverse. One challenge in a globalizing society is to empower people and institutions everywhere to respond effectively to their local environmental situations while maintaining at the same time a global perspective on their environmental impacts.
Globalization has made so many changes in our lives that reversing it is not possible at all. The solution lies in developing effective mechanisms that can check the extent to which it can impact the environment. Researchers are of the view that the answer to this problem lies in the problem itself, that is, globalization itself can lend support to building a better structure which is economically feasible and environment-friendly. Globalization is about competition, and if certain privately-owned companies can take the lead in being environment friendly, then it will encourage others to follow suit.
All in all, it is important that we put in some efforts to maintain harmony with the environment. The survival of human race on this planet is dependent on the environment to such a large extent that we cannot afford to ignore the consequences of our own actions.

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