Globalization can impact the environment in positive and negative ways. Globalization is defined as “the worldwide spread of culture, language, religion, transportation, communication, media, technology, trade, business practices, and interrelated government and corporate finance, as well as environmental and health concerns” (houstonculture.org). The spread of green technology could obviously have positive impacts on the environment, but industrialization in developing countries that mimic the industrialization of the U.S. and Europe could be devastating (unrestricted pollution, power via coal plants, increased numbers of inefficient cars on the road, etc.) In addition, a global economy can hurt efforts to create local jobs, which is an important component of sustainability.
High levels of global commerce and tourism can affect the environment, due to increased levels of greenhouse gas emissions from airplane, automobile, and boat traveling. According to the Climate Institute, the airline industry generates 3% of all greenhouse gases worldwide, a figure that is equal to the emissions of the entire African continent. When i traveled to Ecuador, I learned that I would have to plant 100 trees to compensate for the carbon footprint I had accumulated by traveling there.
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