Our planet is increasingly globalized. We call globalization the process of interdependence between the different countries of the world that unites the different markets, societies, and cultures that give the world an increasingly global character, whose central axis is the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the Bank World.
However, globalization has effects on technology, ecology, and culture, among more aspects. We focus on analyzing how globalization affects ecology.
The various damages to the environment have been increasing since the Industrial Revolution, derived from economic, social, and political progress, although it is not the same in all areas of the planet and has varied over time. There are studies that show that some environmental problems such as water quality or the levels of some pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, have increased with economic development, and since the Industrial Revolution took place. Other problems that have also increased are the production of waste and emissions of CO2 or carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.
This appears to be based on the consumption of resources increasing with prosperity. Given that the planet’s resources are not unlimited, some have had to be replaced throughout histories. Such as the use of wood for coal and other fuels, such as nuclear energy.
In international markets, there is increasing consumption of energy resources, which increases the emissions of polluting substances. Some of these pollutants contribute to global warming and climate change, generating global effects that negatively affect the lives of millions of species.
Many less developed countries overexploit their resources to meet demand or even pay off external debts, which can lead to resource depletion. Some examples are deforestation or overexploitation of fish schools or overfishing. This has its consequences at the level of the environment and for the different species.
Environmental safety costs are also reduced. For example, there are transnational companies that locate their factories in countries where labor is much cheaper, and environmental laws are much less strict. With this, they manage to reduce their production costs. But at the cost of harming the environment and ecology. Seriously damaging the species that inhabit these areas and the entire planet.
In addition to the comments in the previous section, other negative effects of globalization on the planet and, therefore, directly on ecology and the environment, are the following:
Although there are some global effects, such as climate change, many do not occur homogeneously across the planet. It is the most industrialized and developed countries that generate the worst effects.
It is estimated that since 1970, up to 50% of the world’s freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes or wetlands have been lost, up to a third of marine ecosystems have deteriorated, the area of forests has decreased by up to one 10% worldwide and global energy consumption has increased by up to 70%, that is, we have lost at least 1/3 of planet Earth in the last 30 years.
There are some ideas to curb the damaging effects of globalization on the planet, such as the following:
It consists of designing activities and talks to make the population aware of the effects that their actions have on the environment and what they can do to reduce these impacts. The downside is that carrying out these activities usually depends on the degree of development of the country. Environmental education is very important, especially for young people or even children.
To combat these effects, it is necessary for countries to adopt common and mandatory legislation on issues that affect the environment. This is being implemented in the countries of the European Union, where for 20 years they have been working to achieve a common European directive, but in the poorest countries, it is difficult for these initiatives to be carried out. An example is a Circular Economy, which is promoted from Brussels and which aims to manufacture sustainable products. Taking into account eco-design, energy efficiency, or waste management.