Analyze how globalization affected the world’s environment. How effectively has the global community addressed new environmental concerns?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In many ways, the environment has been the single greatest casualty of globalization. Globalization can be broadly defined as the interconnectivity of markets, technology, and culture. Because goods can be produced in mass quantities and more cheaply in select places (depending on the product), many goods are transported over longer...

Check Out
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In many ways, the environment has been the single greatest casualty of globalization. Globalization can be broadly defined as the interconnectivity of markets, technology, and culture. Because goods can be produced in mass quantities and more cheaply in select places (depending on the product), many goods are transported over longer distances more consistently. In addition to finished, market-ready goods, raw materials are also transported over greater distances.

Transportation requires an important non-renewable fuel: gasoline. Unprecedented use of gasoline such as the world uses today has resulted in a depletion of the ozone layer and has enhanced the effects of global warming.

In addition to transportation, the rate of production and consumption has also accelerated massively. As a result of this, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a large deposit of plastics in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—now covers 1.6 million square kilometers (and its growth has been larger in recent decades). The world's consumption of plastic (and trash in general) has grown exponentially in recent decades. This is because plastics are involved in all stages—including the production, transportation, and consumption—of the supply chain in a globalized world.

Finally, accidents such as oil spills are proportionally more frequent in a globalized economy, resulting in further damage to the world's oceans and their aquatic life. Similar damage is done on land, such as by the controversial agricultural company Monsanto, which was accused of using dangerous herbicides to produce genetically engineered crops.

In brief, the globalized world prioritizes efficiency, connectivity, and mass production. None of these pillars specifically takes environmental concerns into consideration. Thankfully, the globalized world's touchstone feature—the Internet—allows ideas and information to spread freely and rapidly, and so we denizens of earth can remain hopeful (though not passively so) that by spreading awareness about environmental dangers, we can encourage one another around the world to take steps locally to prevent continued environmental destruction globally.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team