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Environmental Effects of Globalization

This section will discuss

::Global Example of Globalization and Global Warming:: In the past two decades there have been many chunks of ice that have broken off of the glaciers in Antarctica. Two years ago, a a piece the size of Delaware fell off the Ross Ice Shelf. Many scientists are worried because the western part of the Antarctica glacier might give way, therefore unbalancing the planet and possibly leading to other problems. The most recent episode to occur in Antarctica was located on ther northern part. A huge portion of the glacier from witch they call the “Larsen Ice Sheet” separated from the Peninsula. Scientists believed that this was the biggest piece that has broken off in the last 30 years. The huge ice chunk was an estimated 1,250 square miles, which is the size of the State of Rhode Island. This piece dislodged itself from the glacier and fell recently within the last 5 years. Due to this defrayment of Antarctica, there have been increasing amounts of icebergs in the ocean. These floating chunks of ice become very hazardous ships carrying goods arcoss the ocean. These floting glaciers could begin to disrupt the trade routes due to the hazardous damage they could cause to these vessels. The glaciers contain a majority of the fresh water resources in the world, and have began melting at increasing rates. Another problem associated with this example is the increasing threat of a rise in the ocean level. Some scientists believe that the oceans could rise to cover much of the low lying states along the coast's of the US. Although this situation is mostly theoretical, the possibilities of it happening are increasing. Global warming is raising global temperatures and causing large icebergs and glaciers to melt. In addition to an environmental hazard, the melting of the glaciers also could provide an economic disaster in the future if ocean levels continue to rise. ::Local Impact of Globalization:: In addition to the Global impact of Globalization and Global Warming, There are many examples of how the two effect our lives on a much more local scale. General Electric was once one of the founding companies of the Industrial Revolution in America. Thomas Eddison has created several electric devices including the telephone, light bulb, and the phonograpgh. Since then, General Electric has become a leader in Aircraft Engines, consumer appliances, and other manufactured goods that continue with Edison's belief of ingenuity. With the increasing demand for these products and services, General Electric began to develop into a large corporation with satelite operations across the country. From its beginnings in Schenectady, NY, GE. moved across the globe brining its products to people everywhere. Although GE provided great products and services to other industries and consumers, for a long time GE would use local water sources as dumping grounds for it's waste products. Although this was not regulated until fairly recently, the dumping of hazardous materials has caused environmental consequences that cannot be ignored. With newly created environmental laws in 1977, corporations were no longer allowed to deposit large amounts of hazardous pollution. Instead the individual establishments were required to dispose of their waste in a safe and environmentally friendly way. In December 2001, General Electric, after months and months of public outcry, was forced by the EPA and Bush Administration to clean up over 1 million tons of hazardous PCP's from New York's Hudson River although General Electric refused originallay to remove these pollutants, apparently it would cost the company more than 500 million dollars. Although the removal of these hazardous chemicals from the Husdon River will be very beneficial to the ecology of the river, a new problem has surfaces regarding the dredging of the river. The Location the company chose to deposit the material removed from the Hudon has been hotly contested. This location will be dumped with all of the hazardous chemicals that General Electric has used to manufacture their products for th last half century. The environmental impact of dumping these million tons of debris will have is unknown. Many believe that the local environment will suffer greatly from the addtion of these toxins. Although the Hudon will benefit greatly from the removal of these hazardous materials, the pollution will just impact a new location and General Electric will be forced to clean up the new mess that they create. Although this local example of General Electric and its illegal dumping of hazardous chemicals is not as closely linked to Global Warming as Antartica's situation, they are both cases of the impact of Globalization, and there are many other examples of how the process of globalization effects on the environment. ::For more information on the General Electric Case, Visit: www.cleanupge.org::

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