The green case against economic globalisation is based on a view that globalisation is ‘unremittingly bad for the environment’. In the light of this statement, evaluate the arguments, evidence and alternatives put forward by green critics of globalisation. Over the past century we have seen vast changes in the way we live. Technological advances have been immense as we are increasingly becoming more and more knowledgeable and efficient in everything we do. However there are consequences of this efficiency, the more we do the more energy we use and the more pollution we create.
With the growth of globalisation we have also seen a great reduction in natural resources and energy supplies, along with a huge increase in pollution resulting in environmental damage such as water pollution, species extinction and the ozone layer. “Industrialization is an economic system that is based on industry and the mass production of consumer goods. ” (http://www. channel4. com). Due to industrialisation, machines replaced workers and people began looking further a field for work.
As technological advances were made, cars, trains, planes etc. It started to become easier for people to travel and over the years became cheaper. A growth in industry meant businesses and factories were seeing a rise in competition and strove to produce their products cheaper which is why migrant workers became so popular as due to increased cheaper transportation they were able to get to other countries easier and would work for less but often a lot more than they would earn in their own country due to a difference in economy.
Businesses also realised it was now often cheaper to relocate abroad, take advantage of cheaper labour, running costs, setting up costs and transport their products back to the place of sale than stay in the U. K. The Body Shop operates their business by setting up workstations abroad. The firm pay the Kakapo. Accordingly to a statement issued by the Kakapo, “The chiefs are pleased with businesses they make with the body shop, because it is a way for the community to earn money to buy the things they need without having to work in the city.
” Even though the environment is affected negatively with transport costs which affect the environment, the Body Shop is still purchasing the Kayapo at above the market price. It provides money for the local community. “Modern industry is intrinsically based on divisions of labour, not only on the level of job tasks but on that of regional specialisation in terms of the industry, skills and production of raw materials. ” Held and Giddens (2000:96).
All this movement of people, businesses, and produce from where it is made to its point of sale caused a growth in inter-connections of the world and development of a relationship between more and more countries making them become closer and closer together and functioning more like one, than several individuals. This is how globalisation came about. Globalisation is an “ever increasing integration of national economies into a giant one-size-fits-all global economy through trade and investment rules and privatisation, aided by technological advances, and driven by corporate power.
” Woodin and Lucas (2004, p. 6). It is constantly being debated whether the effects of Globalisation are good or bad. To meet the needs of the world today, we increasingly demand more and more energy resulting in a vast rise in pollution and an enormous reduction in our natural resources causing the need to look for alternative and sustainable methods of energy production as our oil, gas, fossil fuels and other natural resources are running low and eventually will be depleted. There are many different types of pollution that affect the world on a global scale.
One of the main causes is Air and Water Pollution involved in industry, commerce, agriculture and in the home. In industry many fossil fuelled power stations burn coal which produces an acidic gas called sulphur dioxide which assists to the formation of acid rain. Water pollution mainly derives from the industry and agricultural sector. “Many forms of water pollution result from local or at least sources. British beaches are predominantly polluted by British sewage. ” Held et al (1999:376). Motor vehicles, factories and heating boilers are a major contributor to water pollution as they are washed out of the air by rain into ground water.
Modern pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers are used on a wide scale; the chemicals will wash back into rivers and streams. This has become globalised as many organisations use the movement of their goods and services via motor vehicles and also the transnational nature of modern trade allows waste from industrialised countries to pollute every part of the world. Industrial growth in China has developed over the years and the Chinese government are in the process of imposing fines as industrial growth has increased and the countries waterways were left suffering.
An alternative method is if the government imposes fines, it will make companies more aware about the effects of their business polluting the environment. Localisation is a theory recommended by the green party and it is “the first political party to challenge the existing political and economic theology of globalisation and instead call for its replacement with an emphasis on production and the rebuilding of local economies. ” (Woodwin and Lucas). Green critics would agree with this as transport cost would reduce meaning their would be less air pollution created.
By localising, this would improve trade between local businesses which can only benefit the local economy. Global Warming is created by power plants burning coal which add to the greenhouse effect. One of the effects of this is that sea levels will rise as due to a rise in temperature causing the melting of ice caps. Nokia has tried to be environmentally friendly by meeting the standards set by the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive in about 10 factories around the world. This shows Nokia is trying to be environmentally friendly as they want to produce products that do not harm the environment.
As we massacre our natural resources, cutting down trees at an alarming rate, we are causing species to become extinct, visual and noise damage and also removing a key part in counteracting the effects of global warming; trees help remove co2 by changing it into o2. In the early years of the century computers and cars were a rarity, now most homes have one or two of each. All these modern amenities require a lot of electricity and we need to find alternative power as we rely on it. A firm called United Natural Foods have developed and installed a new solar power system called the Rocklin solar power project.
When complete it will provide “an average of about 1. 5 million kilowatt-hours annually of clean energy production at this facility–the equivalent of powering 140 average American households for a year–and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 19 metric tons annually. ” (Green equipment innovations). These problems have become globalised as they affect the whole world and there is growing concern for the environment, diminishing energy resources, species becoming extinct and is now seen as serious issues by all.
The energy market is global as our resources are not evenly distributed; oil production, transportation and distribution is transnational. Some pollutants contaminate a small area while others cause global spread and affect the world, for e. g. co2 emissions along with global transport. Countries must all consider how to minimise energy, depletion and transport and work to develop alternative forms of energy and ways of saving it for example the possibility of nuclear power and the risks such as nuclear contamination, involved.
Barratt’s a house building firm has won the contract to build the first ever eco village. If this becomes successful then the government will be more willing to allow these types of homes to be built more over the country. “The village also aims to create eco-friendly lifestyles. It will capture rainwater and include sustainable drainage, farmers’ shops, a car club and bicycle storage. Hanham Hall will be the first site to be built under the under the Carbon Challenge initiative, run by English Partnerships as part of the government’s commitment to tackle climate change.
” (www. guardian. co. uk) Environmental problems such as the ‘China Crisis’, Tsunami, New Orleans flooding and the ozone layer are all problems which have become globalised because they are issues which are effecting every single human being there is on the planet and their future. Population expansion and resource consumption are a shared issue and are interlinked with one another causing on going pressure to exploit more and more natural resources and damage to the environment through deforestation and destruction of our rainforests.
This exploitation of resources has led to a global realisation of the limitations and value of our increasingly diminishing resources and also a realisation of the damage we have done and our doing to our environment and the problems associated with this and need for a fast, effective solution on a global scale. The Kyoto protocol is a contract under the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC) which is legislation that was introduced by the United Nations in February 2005. The 160 countries that have approved this protocol have committed to decrease their emissions of co2 and five other greenhouse gases.
This is an example of how we are beginning to realise problems as a worldwide problem not individual and are tackling issues together on a global scale. “Developing countries account for about four-fifths of the world’s population and emitted about 30 per cent of global CO2 emissions in 1990. Rapid growth of these emissions means that global emissions could grow substantially even if industrialised countries meet their commitments, which in turn are small compared with the deep emission cuts that would be required to stabilise the atmosphere in the longer term.
” (Michael Grubb, Royal Institute of International Affairs) Overall globalisation for the environment can be negative as a lot of pollution can be created by businesses in the form of transporting their goods from place to place. Green critics have valid points on globalisation as they see it as a negative aspect, however it can be positive as well because countries sometimes need external influences to help boost their local economy. It also provides jobs for a lot of people which helps keep the unemployment rate low.