World has continued to pursue avenues aimed at promoting economic development
Throughout history, the world has continued to pursue avenues aimed at promoting economic development and integration. Due to economic connections, the world has often been referred to as a global village. Through the process of globalization, countries have a lot in common and have become more dependent than before.
In essence, globalization has had commendable impact in the world, with economic development having been enhanced. Nevertheless, it has negatively affected the environment even though its impact can be changed if certain measures are taken. This paper explores the issue globalization, its impact on the climate, and what can be done to change the situation
Globalization has been defined by numerous authors and experts in the world, basing their description on certain factors or a given context. It can be defined as the process that involves causes and consequences of global integration of activities, which may be human or non-human (Najam, Runnalls and Halle 4). In this case, integration revolves around transnational and trans-cultural aspects of people.
Unlike other definitions, this approach acknowledges the fact that globalization is tied to human and non-human factors. In this context, the environment and globalization are connected by ecological processes, whose impact traverse beyond national boundaries and environmental problems, which pose challenges that are not limited to a given country.
Importantly, globalization and the environment intersect at three points: economy, knowledge, and governance. For instance, countries get connected because of economic reasons like consumption needs, which allow highly diffused externalities.
Additionally, lack of resources or excess supply of certain products prompts globalization since no economy around the world is self-reliant to depend on another (Najam, Runnalls and Halle 5). Importantly, globalization promote interaction and sharing of information and practices across borders.
In cases of environmental stress, such indicators are likely to be shared within a short time because of enhanced channels of communication. With regard to governance, different states have found it hard to promote the well-being of people without involving the outside world.
Essentially, by a given country have the potential of trade and investment on national and global scale (Najam, Runnalls and Halle 6). This aspect has become paramount in among countries around the world.
Impact of Globalization
As mentioned before, globalization has a wide-range of effects; negative and positive. One of the aspects of human life, which has been affected widely by globalization, is population. It is evident that do not resemble those witnessed several decades ago.
Cities are growing at an alarming rate, forcing governments to consider the expansion of facilities, which initially met the needs of a small number of people. For instance, research indicates that the number of people living in cities has hit 50% from 5%, two centuries ago (McMichael 1117). In line with this trend, it has been projected that almost two thirds of the world population will be living in cities by the year 2030.
This means that more people are getting attracted to urban centers for various reasons, which may differ from one city to another and country to country. Importantly, globalization has significantly reduced the size of the world by cutting down time and space, which were previously available in plenty.
While more people are getting attracted to cities, the negative effects of this trend are being felt, especially on the natural environment. For example, in the , only New York had a population of more than ten million. However, this has been overtaken with time, with several cities accommodating millions of people.
Similarly, there were twenty cities, which registered a population of between five and ten million people in the year 2000 (Najam, Runnalls and Halle 5). These trends have been used to project that twenty three cities will have more than ten million people by the year 2015. The main concern is the challenge of meeting the needs of the cities as the number of people increases.
Of great significance is the fact that cities are the leading consumers of energy and contribute approximately eighty percent of the greenhouse gases, emitted into the atmosphere. This has widely led to what is commonly known as climate change.
Climate change has become a major issue around the world, , yet no significant progress has been made in addressing it. While others may assume that several strides have been made in addressing the issue of climate change, substantive and practical results are yet to be realized.
According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change focuses on quantifiable deviations in the state of the climate. In other words, it entails variability in climatic conditions, which may be experienced for a longer period of time than usual, say decades (International Panel on Climate Change 30).
In other words, it refers to measurable change in the climate, over a specific duration, and can be influenced by natural factors or human-related factors. These activities cause alteration of the natural composition of the atmosphere.
Causes of Climate Change
According to the IPCC, the temperature of the earth surface has continued to rise, with a deviation of 0.6oC, from early 1800s. Based on this, the world will experience a huge difference of up to 4.5oC by the year 2100. Regardless of the difference, which will be recorded, it will be a representation of the highest magnitude in human history (International Panel on Climate Change 36).
As mentioned before, large cities are the leading consumers of energy. They widely contribute to the increase in the temperature of the earth surface as a result of massive industrialization, which attracts people for employment opportunities.
Industries emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which are the leading causes of climate change. These gases are further produced during combustion, and their levels rise when forests are destroyed as pressure heightens on agricultural land due to poor methods of farming.
While every nation is responsible for the effects of climate change, it is doubtless that not all countries contribute to this menace equally. This is based on the fact that there is variation in the quantities of products exported and imported, depending on whether the country is developed or developing.
There is usually an ecologically unequal exchange, since developing countries concentrate on the exportation of resource-intensive products while developed countries focus on exporting services like tourism.
Unlike developed countries, developing countries experience environmental costs, which are never felt by developed countries. In other words, there exists an ecological debt between the two sides, since they contribute to climate change variedly, depending on their levels of emissions (International Panel on Climate Change 37).
From this point of view, it can be argued that all nations of the world bear the responsibility of climate change; it knows no boundaries. While this is the case, citizens equally have a role to play in addressing the issue of globalization and climate change. This analogy is linked to the fact that citizens elect leaders who are supposed to champion ideas and interests of their people (International Panel on Climate Change 37).
These individuals become important in decision-making and initiating safety measures, regarding climate change. In essence, people need to be global citizens in order to view the issue from a global perspective, regardless of their home countries.
Successes and Failures
The world has in recent years witnessed the emergence of organizations and programs aimed at promoting climate change awareness around the world. Importantly, most of the movements and organizations advocate for a safe environment as a way of promoting sustainable development (International Panel on Climate Change 38). As a result of these efforts, people understand climate change and its negative impact to the environment.
Several treaties like the Montreal Protocol of 1987 and other agreements have been adopted for the purpose of protecting the ozone layer. Whist these successes have been realized, several failures have been registered, including the failure of the Kyoto Protocol and the slow pace at which nations react to climate change issues.