O'Reilly logo

The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Introduction

Over the past three decades, thinking of problems as being global in nature has become routine. It seems obvious that environmental degradation, whether as air pollution, tropical deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, or a thinning ozone layer, affects the entire globe. Hence, it also seems obvious that states and environmentalists would be foolish to adopt anything less than a global approach to such problems. In historical perspective, though, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that nothing inherent in a given problem, whether related to environmental degradation, human rights violations, inequality, authoritarian political regimes, or the oppression of women, automatically qualifies it as a global concern.

Take air pollution as an example. During the heyday of unregulated industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century, air pollution was far worse in most major cities than it was in the 1960s, when global environmentalism first became a major social movement. The reason the air was so bad is simple: in the days before electric heaters, natural gas furnaces, and centralized delivery of hot water for radiant heat, factories and homes directly burned enormous quantities of coal. Unlike today, however, the smoke belching from factory stacks often evoked not horrified criticism but almost lyrical praise as a sign of the glorious progress that industrialization was bringing to the ever-richer West. Not only was pollution not a global problem; for the most part, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required