In his TED talk, Goldin presented some problems that arose due to rapid globalisation. He states that destruction in biodiversity and ecosystem, climate change, financial crisis and inequality are major problems faced by the world. Globalisation is the growing interconnectedness of people and places through converging processes of economic, political, and cultural changes. It has caused countries to become increasingly integrated among one another because of the advances in technology. Goldin stressed the two pressing consequences of an intricate interconnected world. Firstly, globalisation induces social inequality as developmental gap widens between the affluent and the impoverished. Only the privileged will have the opportunity to take part in the global community. Secondly, as countries become more integrated with each other, pandemics and financial collapse can affect every country.
The most significant problem is the environmental impact due to large-scale human activities. Industrialisation has increased the carbon emission to the atmosphere, which results in rising global temperatures. At the same time, harmful chemicals were released pollute the environment, destroying natural habitats and endangering the ecosystem. In addition, the world has adopted capitalism which promotes the growth of a consumerist and materialistic society. Thus, resulting in wastage and overconsumption as well as exploitation of natural resources. Hence in an attempt to mitigate the problem, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had come together to resolve the environmental issue. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) assists countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. Another solution is for the cooperation to integrate green technology in their products.
As the world today place a large emphasis on economic growth, majority of the nations would exploit the advantages nature has to offer in order to ensure progress. Thus, biodiversity and ecosystem are deteriorating due to over exploitation and large demand for resources. In order to protect the environment, international organisations pressures countries to limit their economic activities in order to reduce the impact it may have on the ecosystem. By doing so, countries would have no choice but to oblige to the demands of these organisations. This is because these supranational bodies may place sanctions against their country, causing them to suffer because they are overly dependent on other nations due to the effects of globalisation. An example of political pressure is evident during the 2008 Beijing Olympics whereby China received tremendous global pressure to reduce carbon emissions and pollutants. China was listed as the largest carbon dioxide emitter in EDGAR in 2012. However, intimidating countries may not be effective enough to significantly reduce the impact on biodiversity. China did not rectify the Kyoto Protocol even though it was faced with much global pressure. China is still the largest carbon dioxide emitter followed by United States. Despite China’s efforts on environmental protection, it is not sufficient to cover the environmental needs. Shanghai has attempted to clean up the Suzhou River that was polluted by unregulated dumping of sewage and industrial waste. Therefore, it is evident that not enough is being done to alleviate the problem of environmental deterioration. A possible reason is because China does no have the necessary resources to mitigate the problems they face.
Nonetheless, globalisation has a positive impact on the environment due to the use of green technologies and increased awareness. The advancements in technologies have enabled MNCs to conduct researches to reduce the impact of human activities on the environment. Environmentally friendly products such as hybrid cars are introduced as they typically have fewer carbon emissions compared to regular cars.
Another pressing problem faced by the nations due to globalisation is inequality. Increased global trade have no benefitted all countries equally. Countries such as many African less developing countries (LDCs) have little to offer to attract potential investors and hence receive very limited investments from the developed countries (DCs), resulting in disparity in wealth accumulation and hence uneven socio-economic development. Globalisation further accentuates uneven development within countries, as most foreign investments are often concentrated in urban areas, not rural areas. Therefore, to reduce the widening development gap between nations, nations would require implementing policies that can attract foreign investments. This in turn will create more jobs for the people, increasing demand for goods and services and economy will progress. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has had talks during May 2013 to address the development gap in ASEAN. It has been reported that even though disparity between the rich and poor is narrowing, more has to be done. However, it is not easy to eradicate socio-economic inequality. Variations in resource endowment and bad governance might prevent the gap from narrowing. These issues are difficult to tackle, as regional and global organisations are unable to assist the country directly.
In conclusion, globalisation can be a boon or bane for countries. It can cause destruction to Mother Nature and conflicts to arise between the poor and rich. At the same time, it can also bring about advancements in different areas such as science, transportation and communication.