One of the biggest problems we are facing as a society today is climate change. The more fossil fuels we burn, the more resources we consume, and the more waste we create — the more we damage the planet.
But how do we stop this from happening when we are only continuing to grow and expand as a society? More growth and more people mean using more resources, producing more waste, and emitting even more greenhouse gas emissions.
Some might say the problem is globalization, as it has resulted in such a rapid expansion of our society that no matter what we do to fight climate change, we can’t keep up. But if you take a closer look at globalization and the opportunities and possibilities it presents, it could also be the answer to combatting climate change more effectively.
What is Globalization?
According to National Geographic, Globalization is a term used to describe “the increasing connectedness and interdependence of world cultures and economies.”
At its core, globalization is about how advances in technology have significantly improved trade, social, and economic opportunities that have allowed the world and the people and businesses in it to be more connected.
Nat Geo describes it as a web of interconnected threads. And because of globalization, things like people, money, ideas, and material goods, can travel those threads in greater numbers and with more speed.
Essentially, thanks to globalization, the entire world is like one big connected spider web, and because of that global connection, so many more things are possible. However, it also means that because so many more things are possible and connected, we are able to create, explore, and innovate just as much as we are able to consume and destroy.
Everything happens at much higher rates now, thanks to globalization — both amazing innovation and devastating destruction.
How Has Globalization Impacted the World?
From a more positive perspective, globalization has made significant improvements in the world. For starters, It has allowed for increased access to and transport of goods, which is a major benefit from a business and economic standpoint.
Being able to transport and access goods across borders have allowed many businesses to rapidly grow and expand. And this is good for the economy because it puts more money into circulation and provides customers with easier access to more goods.
Of course, with increasing demand comes increasing costs. But globalization has also spurred new technological innovations that have made it more possible for growing businesses to manage increasing costs and demands.
AI-powered tech, for example, is a great advancement that has come out of globalization and helps make further globalization possible. Businesses that use tech like this can more easily meet the increased demands that come from globalization while also running more efficiently, which helps them consume less energy.
Another benefit of globalization is economic specialization. Because nations are more connected, they can focus on making their economies stronger, knowing that they can simply turn to other nations for access to goods they don’t produce themselves. This, in turn, improves the productivity and efficiency of individual nations and geographical regions.
Unfortunately, just as there are significant benefits to globalization, there are also adverse side effects, particularly where the environment is concerned.
Globalization and expansion means:
- Increased carbon emissions from more energy use
- Rapid consumption of resources — both renewable and non-renewable
- More waste and overfilling of landfills
- Decreased biodiversity from the destruction and loss of habitats to make room for the development of infrastructure
- And the spread of more diseases and invasive species through international trade and transport.
How Can We Use Globalization and Technology to Our Advantage to Create a Better Future?
While advances in technology have led to globalization and, thus, the destruction of the planet, it has also led to the creation of new technologies that can help combat climate change. In other words, globalization has negatively impacted the environment, but it has also resulted in new innovations that can help us make globalization itself more sustainable.
For starters, because globalization allows the world to be more connected, it has heightened awareness of climate change worldwide. And the more we know about climate change, the more we can come together as a society to prevent it from destroying our future.
Furthermore, globalization has resulted in rapid advancements in technology that allow us to fight climate change and mitigate the negative effects of economic growth. For example, globalization has resulted in an increase in energy consumption, but it has also led to the creation of newer technologies that help reduce energy consumption, like solar energy technology.
So as we continue to grow and advance as a society through globalization, it’s crucial that we use those same opportunities that globalization creates to be more mindful about how we expand and move forward. As businesses grow and take advantage of globalization, they also need to use advances in technology to reduce their output of energy and waste.
Individuals as well can take advantage of the modern technologies that globalization has provided us to live more sustainably. Building smarter homes, for example, is now easier and more convenient with increased access to smart technology that can help reduce energy consumption.
There are numerous eco-friendly home upgrades people can make today, thanks in large part to increased environmental awareness as a result of globalization. This includes solar panels, energy-efficient lighting, sustainable building materials, plumbing upgrades that reduce water consumption, and more.
Globalization has had a significantly negative impact on the environment, but it has also boosted what we are capable of as a society. This means we are now more capable than ever of using technology and economic expansion to our advantage to mitigate the effects of climate change.
There is no more room for excuses. So much information and technology are right at our fingertips, and we must use that to help combat the adverse effects of globalization to ensure a brighter and more sustainable future.