Globalization: A Threat to the Environment
Globalization has in the past played a major role in the controversial environmental debates. Many problems resulted in this area of discussion, in regard to the intricate linkages between globalization, government, trade and transport, and environmental decay. The current debate on the environmental effects of globalization is particularly concerned with the question whether a worldwide liberalization of trade may provoke environmental collapse. Three major environmental concerns related to trade are the domestic environmental effects caused by the use of imported products, the foreign environmental effects caused by the production of exported goods, and the environmental effects caused by transport movements needed for international trade.
In a democratic society, the citizens presume the right to make laws that reflect their deepest values, yet this is no longer the case. With the emergence of the World Trade Organization (WTO), democracy has been abandoned. It no longer matters what the democratic societies want, but what the global corporations want. Created in 1994, the WTO is already among the most powerful, reserved, undemocratic bodies on earth. It has been granted with vast powers, which include the right to judge whether laws of nations are impairments to trade. They rule laws concerning public health, food safety, small business, labor standards, culture, human rights, and other social and economic procedures. Trade should be a tool to achieve shared human aspirations, to improve standards living, and to enhance the quality of life. Rules, however, should not provide a license to degrade the world or force it to trade away those things that value the most, like clean air, clean water, wild life, and wild places. Yet, currently international rules can prevent America and other nations from rejecting imported products that are harvested or produced in ways that don't meet to