Impacts on the Environment

profit

From an economics perspective, globalization is integral and advantageous for economic and social development within a country. Globalization is a system fueled by the belief that a single global economy with universal rules set by corporations and financial markets is inevitable.[1] Provided globalization has its negative consequences, it can attempt to cover the negative face by hiding behind the few positive consequences. While all the positive aspects of globalization are linked specifically to economics, it still has not provided positive environmental solutions. According to dependency theory, resources move from the poor periphery countries, to the wealthy core countries by enriching the core and depleting the peripheral countries’ resources. This in fact does occur, since many of the manufactured goods are produced in sweat shops and mass labour countries such as China and Indonesia etc and then shipped to the United States to be resold. While the labour and resources of the periphery country is being used, their payment from the core country is minimum and not sufficiently beneficial to allow them to improve. The peripheral countries not only are exploited for manufacturing goods and products but also for their resources.

wsys

The resource curse exists in underdeveloped countries, where they are blessed with bountiful natural resources. However there is more poverty, famine and social ills than the developed country with fewer natural resources. Instead of being a means to an end or a solution for the countries’ poverty, resources have been cause for war, tyranny, exploitation and invasion of peripheral countries by the core countries. Larry Diamond of Stanford University notes, “There are twenty-three countries in the world that derive at least 60 percent of their exports from oil and gas and not a single one is a real democracy.” These shows how undeveloped government in these countries, since most government types in these areas are authoritarian. Countries such Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries which have large oil reserves, are main targets for the resource curse. Developed countries such as the United States and other organisations from developed countries have made millions off the expense of the developing countries by buying their oil for next to nothing prices and by physically infiltrating these areas and exploiting the resources for themselves. While globalization brings about job opportunities in its wake of destruction by providing employment opportunities for those in the developing world, these workers are employed under minimum wage and strenuous working conditions. Hence the developed countries not only exploit the environment in their quest to globalize and spread their influence everywhere, but they also exploit the countries people.

china

In contrast to Dependency theory is Modernization theory, which builds and emphasizes on the belief that countries develop via stages of advancement. This is where they move from a traditional agrarian society and they accumulate aspects of modern societies through interaction, observation and development of social structures and systems to become more like core countries. China is an example of Modernization theory, since they developed their economy and social structures through observing the mistakes of other countries that have already advance to core countries. “China’s modernization has to be based on the experiences and lessons of other countries.”[2]  China began as a country mainly used to export goods to developed countries, however over time it has become a self-sustained county with a major expanding economy. To reach to the level China has, they are an example of modernization theory since they made gradual improvements. Globalization not only brought an economic boom but also it has brought high pollution levels to china. China has one of the highest pollution levels in the world due to its many factories and constant consumption levels. Their exports are some of the highest globally as well, however to achieve these mass quantities of goods to export they are constantly producing hence constantly polluting.

World Systems is a macro scale approach to world systems and divides the countries into core, semi-periphery and periphery. The core countries are the developed countries which focus more on higher skill, capital intensive production and the semi-periphery and periphery countries focuses on low skill, labour intensive production and extraction of raw materials. This theory builds up on dependency theory but is different. They assume that core countries do not exploit the semi-periphery and periphery countries because capitalism is organized around an inter-regional division of labour and not an international division of labour. This means that countries such as China, divides their labour production within the country however it is not divided international and the core countries do not delegate work into these periphery countries. Wallerstein characterizes the world system as a set of mechanisms which redistribute surplus value from the periphery to the core. The core is the developed industrialized part of the world and the periphery is the underdeveloped. The market is the means by which the core exploits the periphery. In 1979, in the Bay of Campeche, Mexico a massive oil spill occurred at the expense of the Mexican government due to core countries attempting to control Mexico’s resources. Locally this also happened in 1979 in Trinidad by the Atlantic Empress where 88.3million gallons of oil were spilled.

ocean health

-littleusgoneglobal?

-Nikhita Seepersad

Reference

[1] The global water crisis and the commodification of the world’s water supply

[2] Qian Chengdan, “Constructing a New Disciplinary Framework of Modern World History Around the Theme of Modernization”, Chinese Studies in History Spring 2009, Vol. 42#3 pp 7-24; in EBSCO

Photo Credit:

http://www.camelcitydispatch.com/ccd-editorial-cartoon-duke-energy-puts-profits-before-environment-people-6985/

http://www.lasalle.edu/~mcinneshin/303/week11.htm

http://pixshark.com/cartoon-air-pollution-from-factories.htm

http://green.thefuntimesguide.com/2010/05/oil_cleanup_cartoon.php

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2 thoughts on “Impacts on the Environment

  1. It is always noted that the core countries exploited the Caribbean’s resources and by extension that of the global south to build their economies. While doing some research I came across an article that made me realize how hypocritical the ‘the first world’ is. They did not develop via the theories they preach such as Rostow’s five stages of development, but rather through force, military means and abuse of their wealth to exploit the pherphery countries. In modern society they are still doing it through the use of multi national corporations whereby they extract the profits and send it home while using cheap labour in countries such as Jamaica. Personally, I rather support the people of my country in terms of buying their produce such as fruits and vegetables from my community’s vegetable mart rather than the supermarket. Although it is more costly, in the long run I believe it is more beneficial for the economic growth of my country and I fully support that.

    Liked by 1 person

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