How does globalization affect the environment and human rights?

Expert Answers
enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The implicit meaning in the word "globalization" is trade.  Trade among nations that had not previously engaged in the world market (China of 30 years ago, for example) provides a win-win for the trading partners -- China's economy and standard of living rises, while those she trades with enjoy cheap consumer goods.  Although there have been Right abuses, once a country's economy grows and the standard of living increases, the populace takes more political control, limiting those abuses.  Consider China, when as a totalitarian state, no freedoms and Rights were recognized. The political fact of trade is that it empower the people producing, who can then effect change.

Yes, the pollution level is rising -- but that is an unfortunate necessary step as countries industrialize. At the same time, because they now have the capital to invest because of their industrialization, research into newer non polluting technologies are underway.

Trade in the short term may expose abuses of environment and Rights; in the long term, if trade is allowed to function by market forces, the Right and environmental abuses lessen.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The impact of globalization can be good or bad.  Environmentally, for example, globalization can hurt the environment because it can encourage the people in a given country to harm their environment so as to be able to build factories for globalizing companies.  On the other hand, globalization can bring ecotourism and other incentives to preserve the environment.  The same goes for human rights.  It is possible that governments will suppress their people's rights in order to please outside investors.  On the other hand, globalization exposes more countries and their actions to outside observers.  This can put pressure on them to reform.