Archive for November, 2011

looking at the big picture

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

It’s crazy to me that we’ve already covered all the topics we set out to in the beginning of the semester. The list of questions about globalization seemed long and daunting but it’s almost as if we covered them in no time. Now I feel like we have a puzzle-piece view of this thing. It’s hard to step back and look at your entire lifestyle and put a name on it. There are so many different factors that play into globalization that it sometimes feels like the class should be titled “How It Is” or “Where We’re Going”. Overall these discussions have definitely developed my perception of globalization– but in the end my initial inklings were right. It is still the overall integration of aspects of life across the world- but talking about it on a political, environmental, and cultural level has really brought more definition to the whole picture for me.

Honestly I can’t look at globalization as anything other than something positive. There are certainly destructive elements (damage being done to the environment, jobs being outsourced), but I think that’s part of the learning curve of moving into a new era. If I’ve learned anything from our past few discussions it’s that adaptation is absolutely vital to globalization’s success. The world is moving faster and faster the more we develop, and those that don’t adapt will find themselves left behind. Not only is adapting to the system important, but learning how to adapt to help the system is important as well. We need to consciously conserve the environment and find ways to keep our own citizens employed if we hope to remain as powerful as a country as we currently are.

It seems that a lot of the time in class we couldn’t agree on many things concerning globalization- but that’s part of the point. We’re all being brought together as a globe, and people are going to have different opinions on the outcomes of that movement. But it’s important to discuss, to observe the changes we’ve been going through as opposed to sitting back and watching everything fly by.

protecting the environment

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up along the scenic Potomac river. Summer afternoons spent jumping from rope swings, fishing, and swimming are beyond typical. Over the years though the river has definitely become increasingly polluted. I have friends who can’t swim in the river because it makes their skin break out, and science fair projects concerning the river’s quality are incredibly common. According to this ( Washington Post article, the pollution is only worsening due mostly to runoff from surrounding areas. It seems that everyone has an example of pollution affecting the environment around their home. I personally think this is one of the most glaring examples of our irresponsibility as a whole when it comes to globalization.

It has long been clear that globalization and the forces that come with it have intense abilities. Our technological advancements in the past ten years alone have surpassed what many people thought possible. We are now able to communicate, conduct business, and produce products at incredible rates. With this incredible rate of production and consumption, however, comes more responsibility. We have developed destructive powers, and part of development should be focused on harnessing potential negative effects of  our advancements. Updating legislation to match the swiftness with which technology changes and adapts is something that has been clearly overlooked- since our outdated environmental laws cannot seem to keep up with the times. We’ve clearly become focused on progress to the point that we are willing to overlook the damage happening to the environment worldwide as a result.

Ultimately, we can sit around tables and talk about globalization’s effect on the environment for days, but it ultimately comes down to this: we’ve moved into a different era and forgotten our responsibility of protecting our home. With our developments in technology it has become commonplace to abuse the environment so long as we can make financial gains. We can point fingers at globalization and blame its integration for the worldwide degradation that seems to be occurring, but we are all ultimately responsible. I think it is human nature to let a problem continue until it cannot be ignored, and with the current rates of environmental pollution it seems we are quickly headed in that direction. It’s time to take responsibility, put conservation efforts into effect even if it harms large corporations, and protect the Earth even as technology advances.

globalization and the environment

Monday, November 14th, 2011

I think this topic is going to be really interesting! Unlike politics and culture, the environment is much easier to be objective about so I think we’ll actually be able to really look at its effects from a common standpoint. I’m curious as to how the expanded market in combination with technology has brought about effect. As in, now that some countries are making more money because they can sell to broader locations, and they have the technology to manufacture faster, how fast are resources being depleted? I feel as if the technologies we not only have for manufacturing but for gathering natural resources are so advanced that the environment is having a difficult time “keeping up”. I’m also interested in the expansion of large multinational corporations and how they are individually affecting the environment. I think that the BP Oil spill will be a really big example of the destruction that can occur with that kind of power. Overall I’m very interested in the link between the rapid consumerism that comes with globalization and the damage done to the environment.

Politicians Utilizing Globalization

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Obama’s speech on globalization

“There’s nothing to fear from globalism, free trade and a single worldwide currency…. The effort in recent decades to unify government surveillance over all world trade and international financial transactions through the UN, IMF, World Bank, WTO, ICC, the OECD, and the Bank of International Settlements can never substitute for a peaceful world based on true free trade, freedom of movement, a single but sound market currency, and voluntary contracts with private property rights…. The ultimate solution will only come with the rejection of fiat money worldwide, and a restoration of commodity money. Commodity money if voluntarily and universally accepted could give us a single world currency requiring no money managers, no manipulators orchestrating a man-made business cycle with rampant price inflation.” — Ron Paul, Congressional Record, March 13, 2001