Globalization and the Environment – A Study Paper (2003)

The focus of this paper is environmental degradation, in particular the attitudes toward nature that are still assumed in economic and political decisions and hence in the process of globalization. These assumed attitudes are now in conflict with newly emerging attitudes more conducive to environmental integrity. These old and new attitudes are also foundational to four major perspectives that are at the heart of the environmental debate over globalization. If economic globalization contributes to environmental degradation, it is certainly not the only contributor. Environmental degradation is a complex phenomenon with many causes. It is not a necessary consequence of globalization. Matters could be otherwise; but until the world’s affluent learn to alter their desires to consume and to modify their attitudes toward nature, globalization will remain a cause of environmental degradation.