Globalization and Sustainability

The current trends towards the globalization and integration of human society are dramatically affecting the environment around the world. The forests that once housed many native species here in the northwest are being cleared and paved for the further expansion of mankind, and the situation is similar all over the world. Man’s driving desire for growth has expanded to the point that the main goal of society is growth. Why is it that the main goal of society is not peace or good will toward men? Even when at war we still promote more and more economic growth to support the never ending demand for tax dollars. Is the growth of mankind ever going to stop? Are there enough people? Are there too many in one place and not enough in another, or are there just too many altogether? These questions are increasingly pushing their way into the forefront of our attention but it may be too late. Perhaps there is a way for the current population of the world to change their lifestyles and habits in order to maintain the planet indefinitely. Or, perhaps, there isn’t a way and any changes would help to delay not prevent the eventual depletion of the world’s resources.

The book “Sustainable Planet” speaks of an “alternative world view” (ix) that is led in part by leading scientists, environmentalists and human-development experts. Through the use of growing scientific evidence these groups are leading the way to a solution to counteract the destruction of our planet and they are bringing these solutions closer to the public view. Promoters of globalization think that continued economic growth and integration of all societies will lead to a seamless system that will simplify life and promote unity across the world. This of course, couldn’t be farther from the truth. By expanding development and promoting consumerism we are effectively choking out the natural ability of the planet to sustain itself. Here in the Northwest we have an especially dense system of forests. Any number of plants and animals live there as well as many species of fungi and insects. As well as providing a home for all these creatures the forests give to Mankind as well. They provide the O2 that we breathe and they take the CO2 that we expel out of the air. They also provide us with food and timber for structures; these natural timber farms, if carefully managed, can sustain themselves indefinitely; as long as the crucial environment they require is still around. For every acre of concrete poured an acre of forest is lost. This acre will never again produce timber, or house the variety of flora and fauna that it once did. It is an irreversible step toward the destruction of the world as we know it.

That being said, we must all make a conscious effort everyday to better our understanding of the world around us, and to conserve what is left intact. We must think carefully about the consequences of our actions and the actions of others and work to positively encourage change. The improvement of the world for the betterment of all mankind must be brought to the forefront of our political debates, not the betterment of a specific nation or group of people. What’s good for one nation may significantly harm many others. It is true that the global integration of information transfer will help to aid in the education of the masses; however, the global integration of consumer goods through trade will do nothing but add to the depletion of our energy resources.