Globalization, which can also be called internationalization, simply refers to how interconnected and interdependent the world has become. The inter-connectivity and interdependence can be seen in the field of trade, health, education and security among others (Daun, 2001). A case in point is where many countries rely on each other in aspects like trade which has given rise to free trade blocs. This has led to the coining of a famous phrase, that the world has become a global village. Globalization has a lasting impact on the economic, social, cultural and political processes of any country.
Globalization is a form of modernization that takes is characterized by rapid technological advances that have resulted in important breakthroughs in how humans have came to utilize resources over the recent past and in the way that they now interact (Hoogvelt, 1997).
This can be attributed to two aspects which are; the pace of communication that has been increasing around the world, and the rapid economic impacts it has on different nations. The main aspects of globalization include high level of human interaction through use of technology; this has speeded up the rate at which communication takes place in third world countries and therefore the rate of interaction between citizens. Secondly, despite the fact that the communication systems are majorly used in developed nations, they are also finding a place in third world countries where the minority groups can also communicate and interact with the rest of the world (Hoogvelt, 1997). Moreover, with regard to economic activities, the new communication systems are available to small businesses which have created new means of carrying out transactions in the field of trade hence leading to economic growth.
Another factor is seen in how globalization has opened up minority communities worldwide; although they may not play a direct role in the globalization process, they have opinion leaders in their respective countries participating in the communication process globally and at local levels as well. Assumptions of Globalization Theory Globalization theory makes some assumptions in its approach to real life scenarios. (Inkless and Smith, 1974).
First, economic and cultural activities are the determinant factors in a modern society. Secondly, when analyzing globalization patterns as a system, it is no longer useful to focus on one nation since the idea of globalization encompasses interaction of the international community. Lastly, as the technological advances become more standardized, social groups in different nations will have a chance to easily connect with each other around the world which speeds up the communication process. Evidence of Globalization Globalization is evident when one gets to examine the interaction of different cultures, advancement in communication technology, spread of education from western countries, popularity of democracy among others factors. Furthermore, the replacement of old industries by new ones that has led to the loss of craftsmanship is also an evidence of globalization. It is how the world has increasingly become connected now referred as the “global village” phenomenon (Hoogvelt, 1997).
Impacts of Globalization on Non-renewable Resources Globalization as a process has got its greatest impact on natural resources some of which are non-renewable; they include minerals like gold, diamond, iron and copper that are available in different countries for exploitation. In the following section let us briefly review the impact of globalization in the present world. Benefits of globalization Globalization has hastened the rate at which the non-renewable resources are exploited and put to full use (Jarvis, 2000). This has been made possible through the advanced technology that is employed during mineral exploitation. Sophisticated technology is normally used during mining and processing of the minerals which ensures stable supply of the minerals and their products in the market which also means stable demand.
Furthermore, since there is cooperation in terms of trade and economy among different nations, those countries which do not have the best technology to exploit their resources can seek technological assistance from their partners; globalization is thus a good thing economically speaking. Globalization has also led to heightened utilization of resources; as the exploration and mining processes have been made easy, many industries have been set up to process the minerals (Inkeles and Smith, 1974). Notable examples are the mineral processing plants for minerals like copper, diamond, and zinc among others; this has led to the creation of job opportunities that has seen many people get employed to work in those industries. This therefore means that the employed people have a stable source of income which improves the living standards of the population.
This has boosted the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries hence economic growth. (Robertson, 1987) Finished products from mineral processing are also an important resource in the development of a country. For instance, when copper is processed, it can be used for the following purposes; manufacture of electric cables, coins used as currency, and manufacture of industrial and capital goods which make it possible to produce other goods. Without the exploration and mining of such resources, the production and processing of similar related goods would not be possible since they act as raw materials for processing other goods (Sklair, 1997). Disadvantages of Globalization Despite the positive contribution of globalization on non-renewable resources, it also comes with some adverse effects; first, the rate at which the non-renewable resources are being exploited has led to depletion of some key resources which are minerals that cannot be renewed (Robertson, 1987).
This has been exacerbated by the trade and economic agreement among nations which has seen the coming up of economic partnerships that enable the exploration and mining of non-renewable resources for countries which do not have the technological capability. This phenomenon has taken place in third world countries at gigantic levels as most of them lag behind when it comes to technology. As a result, they enter into agreements with developed nations who become the contractors in the exploration and mining of the minerals most of which are non-renewable. In return, the developed countries get a share out of the proceeds but they are usually short changes. Given the technological advance in the developed countries that undertake this exploitation, the rate at which the minerals are exploited is normally very alarming which consequently has led to near depletion of some of these resources. Furthermore, the mining and processing of minerals contributes to pollution of the environment.
This occurs through the various industries that are set up to process the minerals into finished products which continuously emit fumes into the atmosphere causing air pollution. The fumes have led to the destruction of the ozone layer which has exposed the surface of the earth to ultra-violet rays which has now been cited as major factor contributing to global warming (Sklair, 1997). In addition, reckless industrial discharge into the water systems has also been witnessed where such industries are located; untreated sewage has been discharged into river systems which have led to water pollution and overall damage to the ecosystem. There has also been dumping of industrial waste on land which has contributed to land pollution; to worsen the situation, areas that have been mined have been abandoned without being recreated leading to other environmental hazards. Such areas for instance could be used as hiding place for criminal gangs hence becoming a hub for criminal activities. Lastly, globalization has led to the exploitation of underdeveloped countries by developed nations in almost every case. This is because in all these agreements that involve mining and processing of minerals the developed country always emerge as the major beneficiary in the process (Robertson, 1987).
Apart from the little returns that underdeveloped countries get from the mining, the developed nations do not make much use of the readily available skilled personnel but instead employ expatriates who are very expensive to maintain.
After a deep analysis of the benefits and shortcomings that come with globalization, there is much to benefit from globalization as well as loose from it. While it has contributed to employment opportunities and economic growth among others it has also been a forum that developed countries have time and again used to exploit the less developed countries as we have just seen.
In conclusion I would say globalization has caused more damage than it has done any good because it will eventually lead to depletion of the non-renewable resources, pollute the environment and lead to more poverty especially in third world countries at the preserve of the few in developed countries.
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