Globalization Influences on Modern Society Essay
Globalization is killing the globe. Globalization is a way of interaction between the people, transnational agencies, organizations, and governments of different nations. Globalization is not new. Thousands of years ago, people began commercial activity between lands separate by vast distances. The Silk Road was the most famous line that brought music, culture, ideas, foods and routes connecting East and West. Fischer’s article “Globalization and Its Challenges” shows economic globalization grew up in the period before 1914, but was set back by the two World Wars and the Great Depression.
The international financial order that was established at the end of World War II sought to restore the volume of world trade, and by 1973, world trade as a percentage of world GDP was back to its 1913 level – and it has continued to grow almost every year (44). Rifkin describes that “globalization as we know it may be traced to a 1944 meeting in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, at which representatives from forty-five nations sketched out of a plan for post-World War II economic recovery” (qtd. n Rifkin 171). In “Globalization and Its Challenges” Fischer states that while the founders of the Bretton Woods system saw the restoration of trade in goods and services as necessary to the recovery of the global economy, they did not have the same optimistic of capital flows. Nonetheless, capital flows among the industrialized countries did recover during the 1950s, and became stronger in the 1960s.
Rapidly they became too powerful for the pegged exchange rate system to survive, and by 1973, the Bretton Woods adjustable peg system issued flexible exchange rates among the major countries (89). Rifkin’s article “Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization”, shows globalization is a ongoing process of greater economic interdependence among countries, is reflected in the increasing amount of cross-border trade in goods and services, the increasing volume of international financial flows, and increasing flows of labor (170). All those are at an abstract level.
In terms of people’s daily lives, globalization means that the residents of one country are more likely now than they were fifty years ago: to buy the products of another country; to invest in another country; to earn money from other countries; to talk on the telephone to people in other countries; to visit other countries; and to know news about other countries. Globalization is much more than an economic phenomenon. The technological and political change that drives the process of economic globalization has massive non- economic consequences that are environment and human physical well-being.
I believe globalization bring people more disadvantages than advantages. First of all, the economic development of the past few decades has increased in cross-border trade and investment so strong that many people believe the world economy has entered a new era. So many countries say that export trade and employment rates have increased in the past ten years. Therefore, many countries need more investment from outside in order to improve the rate of their economic growth.
In “Poverty and Environment Degradation”, Mabogunje pointed out that a certain level of infrastructure, and economic and political stability are necessary in order to attract more trade opportunities (176). Therefore the globalization has been driven by policies that have opened economies domestically. Many governments use free-market economic policy; creating lots of new opportunities for international trade and investment, not more regulated markets. On the other hand, the benefits of globalization are not common.
In “ The Globalization Gap” Isaak states that the good news globally is that over the last 20 years of the twentieth century, the share of extremely poor people in the world (those living on $2 a day) fell from 38% in 1978 to 19% in 1998. Still, the world bank estimate that a fourth of the population of the developing world-about 1. 2billion people- live on less that $1 a day, the Bank’s lower threshold of what it means to be “poor” (155). At present, the investments only focus on the countries which are wealthy. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are becoming poorer.
The local factories face competition from international companies. Some of the local factories may shut down. Earlier people had steady jobs, but now people live in a world of losing their jobs. People face a problem of job competition, which has led to reduction in wages. In “Globalization and Inequality” Kremer shows the income inequalities become more serious from the last two decades of the twentieth century did not result from a decrease in the incomes of the poor countries. Rather, the polarization was driven by a very high increase in the incomes of the wealthy in the rich countries, creating a larger income ap between rich and poor and this gap has become much more extreme (30). Brazil and South Africa have the highest income inequality and the survey data shows the wealthiest 20% of households are about 25 times richer than the poorest 20%. Another survey which from World Bank show, between 1980 an d1988, the increase in the number of poor was 59. 3 million in Africa, 26. 7 million in South Asia, and 10. 5 million in Central Asia and Eastern Europe (46). Of course, income inequalities alone are not enough to explain how globalization affects our society.
For example, Business Week reports: “Many people oppose the Three Gorges Dam in China because it will flood the fields, but dam building is particularly necessary for controlling water and generating electricity” (175). The economic growth has also been accompanied with a growing percentage of environmental risk. Although economic development is an aspect that shows the positive impact of globalization, it is not the only area that has been shaped by globalization. Environment is another area which shows the influences of globalization.
In “If Poor Get Richer, Does World See Progress? ” Knickerbocker stated that people overuse natural resources, pollute water, over log, overfish, and destroy natural areas (172). In “Poverty and Environment Degradation”, Mabogunje pointed out the problem of deforestation becomes more and more serious. Over the last 200 years, CO2 emissions from deforestation have accounted for around 40% of total CO2 emissions. However, since the 1950s, fossil fuel emissions have grown, and deforestation now accounts for 7-30% of all human CO2 emissions, with a best estimate of 16%.
This figure is very uncertain because of difficulties in monitoring changes in forest cover and carbon stocks because with the rise in population there is also the need for the acquisition of more land. Destroying forests to make use of the rich and natural resources is one of the main reasons why we see deforestation occurring all over the world today. Besides, with the rising number of human population, the increasing number of paper usage and products made from wood, more trees are cut down every year. This only leads to a rapid decline of the forest cover.
Deforestation also occurs due to agricultural expansion and increasing demands for fuel. Deforestation has further effected the greenhouse effect. With the increasing demands for wood, humans are now facing a crisis situation and one needs to seriously think about saving the rainforests. (177) Desertification is also a result of deforestation, over cultivation and overgrazing. There is not enough food to feed the increasing number of livestock population and the livestock always eat the roots of plants, so the plants cannot grow again.
In dry tropical zones, wood is the main source of people’s daily life and is also used in construction. In this way, large area of forest are destroyed, in the dry lands, Planting new trees is very slow because of water scarcity. The result of this is the rangelands become an arid or semiarid field (178). In addition, the melting of the South Pole proves that climate change is another serious problem, which people need to worry about. With 0. 3 millimeters (132 gigatonnes) of ice per year, both regions are currently contributing to the global sea level change of about three millimeters per year.
Car emissions are a major reasons or climate change, but somepeople still don’t worry about it. In “If Poor Get Richer, Does World See Progress? ” Knickerbocker states that several years ago, people realized they cannot allow riding a bicycle on the main road, and now this form of transportation has been disappeared in urban areas. The purpose of this policy is to broaden the road and to make a place for new cars (171). “There are 11,000 more cars pouring onto Chinese streets and highways every week”(qtd. in Knickerbocker 171). I would like talk more about overfishing and whaling industry.
In “The international politics of whaling” Stoett states that under a loophole in the 1986 International Whaling Commission (IWC) ban against commercial whaling, Japan has continued to kill hundreds of whales every year for scientific research. Once a whale is killed, scientists collect data from the animal’s remains on its age, birthing rate and diet; the meat is then packaged and sold. Japan maintains that the research is essential for managing the whale population. It’s a ritual that boils the blood of whale-watchers everywhere.
This year, four Japanese vessels left Shimonoseki harbor in Western Japan to begin its five-month whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean. This time, however, the whalers are planning what’s expected to be its largest hunt in decades; about 850 minke and 50 finback whales, they says it plans to hunt as many as 50 humpback whales for the first time since hunting the endangered species was banned in 1963 (98). Plunging global fish stocks, along with a growing taste for sushi in China and the West, japan government want to make more business with those countries and export more fish. Whales are just as important, and no more special, than any other fish,” says Japan Fisheries Agency spokesperson Hideki Moronuki, maintaining Japan’s long-held position that marine mammals should get no special treatment for being warm-blooded. In “Harpoon : into the heart of whaling” Darby shows Japan has cited its long history as a whaling nation and its historic reliance on whale meat for protein as reasons why it should be continued to allow hunting despite the IWC ban.
But Japanese consumption has become so small that local governments are encouraging schools to incorporate whale in their lunch programs. The bigger issue, observers say, is whaling’s impact on far more popular forms of seafood. Japan, which consumes half of the world’s tuna catch, recently admitted to exceeding its quota for southern Bluefin tuna set under an agreement with Australia and New Zealand, as overfishing threatens to decimate the animal’s population (49). Anti-whalers, on the other hand, simply see this as raw defiance. They’re just doing this to show us that they can,” says Paul Watson, founder of the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Both Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd say that they are prepared to “chase, block, and harass” any attempts by the whaling fleet to harpoon humpbacks. But in their point of view, they are protecting their culture. One whaler said: “Our whaling culture is near extinction because of the moratorium on commercial whaling. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen to other marine resources. “(96)
In addition to economic development and environment, human physical well-being is another area in which globalization has had a fantastic influences on peoples all over the world. For example, Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Obesity is defined by an individual’ s body mass index (BMI), a measurement which compares weight and height, defines people s overweight (pre-obese) if their BMI is between 25 and 30 kg/m2, and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. Processed food like McDonalds and A&W are spreading in the developing countries. People are eating more junk food, which has a significant impact on their health.
But we cannot avoid this situation because in this economic environment, people struggle with their business. They have no time to prepare and eat food. This is the urban life. People like to eat processed food, because it has a lovely taste. But they do not know eating processed food is going to increase caloric intake. On the other side, in “ The Deadly Noodle”, Hastings, Thiel, and Thomas pointed out people rarely take exercise in modern life. The number of overweight people in the United States has doubled in the past 20 years to 60 percent, and Europe and Asia are catching up.
There are 35million overweight kids and 300million overweight adults all over the world (169). In conclusion, globalization is extremely controversial. Opponents of globalization argue that it widen the gap between rich and poor, the growing number of cars and factories make climate change and influences of people’s health, and proponents of globalization claim that it allows poor countries and their citizens to develop economically and improve their living standards. Accompanying the rapid development of economy, globalization is the inevitable trend.
Darby, Andrew. “Harpoon: into the Heart of Whaling”. Cambridge, : Lifelong Books ; Da Capo Press, 2008. Print Fischer, Stanley. “Globalization and Its Challenges”. Washington, DC: American Economic Association, 2003. Print Hasting, Michael, and Thiel. Thomas. “The Deadly Noodle”. Dollahite, Nancy E. , and Julie, Haun. Sourcework : Academic Writing From Sources. Boston: Heinle, 2006. Print. Isaak, Robert. “The Globalization Gap”. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, 2005. Print. Kremer, Michael . and Maskin , Eric. “Globalization and Inequality”. Harvard University, 2006. Print. Mabogunje, Akin L. “Poverty and Environmental Degradation”. Dollahite, Nancy E. , and Julie, Haun. Source work: Academic Writing From Sources. Boston: Heinle, 2006. Print. Stoett, Peter John. “The International Politics of Whaling”. Vancouver: UBC. 1997. Print Rifkin, Ira. “Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization”. Dollahite, Nancy E. , and Julie, Haun. Sourcework : Academic Writing From Sources. Boston: Heinle, 2006. Print.