Globalization is the process by which different societies, cultures, and regional economies integrate through a worldwide network of political ideas through transportation, communication, and trade. Generally, globalization has affected many nations in various ways; economically, politically, and socially. It is a term that refers to the fast integration and interdependence of various nations, which shapes the world affairs on a global level (Sheila, 2004, P. 10). Globalization has affected the products people consume, the environment, culture, security, and idea exchange between different countries. There are many factors that lead to the speedy globalization trends. This acceleration in globalization can be attributed to an increase in free-trade activities, emerging technologies, or the worldwide acceptance of markets (Sheila, 2004, P. 10).
Globalization has affected cultures and economies on matters dealing with environmental destruction and availability of the already limited resources. Globalization has had diverse implications for environmental issues such as, pollution, deforestation, water resources climate change, and biodiversity loss. The rampant environmental problems have become the subject of international efforts because the effects are felt globally. The negative impacts of globalization focus on the destruction on the environment that is export-oriented. On the other hand, the positive impacts are the multinational companies' research into technology that is eco-friendly and an increase in environmental awareness.
A major impact of globalization on the environment is that, there is an improvement on the use of resources and the awareness of environment degradation. Due to issues dealing with globalization, a lot of research is being carried out on progressing greener technology, which will replace current ones that harm the environment. Globalization has also helped in the improvement of resources to save the environment by the promotion of growth through improvement of incomes and education. For example, the World Bank aided Mexico in reducing unhealthy ozone days during the 1990s. Moreover, multinational companies are on the forefront creating technologies that will reduce their adverse effects on the environment (Sheila, 2004, P. 15). For example, hybrid cars are being developed that will economize fuel, as well as, lower gaseous emissions to the environment. Apple is also aim at manufacturing products that are eco-friendly.
Unfortunately, the negative impacts of globalization have outweighed the positive effects. On a global level, natural resources are being overused. This is because there has been a rise in demand and ecosystem removal, as a result of population growth. The need for disposable products has caused logging to be on the increase, which result into extensive deforestation. About half of the indigenous forests that covered the earth in the past have been depleted. Deforestation is on the increase year by year. Moreover, over-fishing is also becoming a global problem. A study by the United Nations reveals that commercial species of fish have been over-exploited.
Globalization has also affected negatively the environment through global warming. This is as a result of greenhouse gas emissions caused by rapid industrialization in the developing world, and a heavy dependence on fossil fuels. The average global temperatures have increased tremendously over the past years. In addition, the transport sector and gases from factories have immensely contributed to global warming.
Globalization has been a scientific debate concerning structural change in the earth's ecology; it has in the past become a controversy. There has been linkage between environmental decay, trade and support, government, and globalization. Activities that are required for industry and trade use a lot of energy resources. The misuse of these resources causes air pollution, acid rain or global warming.
Globalization affects education in that, the direction and objectives that education had previously, has to change. The idea that education is a public service has to be abandoned. It has been replaced with the idea that education is at the service of economies; that is as a personal investment. International organizations have increasingly become involved with the educational sector. Recently, the World Trade Organizations and the World Bank have proposed the privatization of this sector. These policies aim at adapting the contents of education globally to the needs of employment. They also aim at creating an education system that is efficient and profitable.
There has been a massive spread in education at all levels. The consequences of schools that are widely available are as a result of the globalization process. As part and parcel of globalization, education is seen as a factor that contributes a lot to democracy on a global level. The different forces that affect globalization have tremendously affected the operations of educators. Moreover, it has affected the experience associated with formal and informal sector. For example, some schooling institutions have become the targets for various corporate expansion, as well as, sites for branding. Many policies that affect the educational sector are directed towards markets.
Globalization has made education look like a private affair, and no longer public. This marketization process has led to privatization of the educational sector in a number of nations. In the United States, higher education has been seen to be a lucrative market for privatization. Various State schools have been contracted out to various companies that are private.
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Globalization has affected the nature of the agencies that people go to school. There have been numerous changes in educational technologies. Distance learning has grown tremendously, and there is more use of internet and other computer forms. This advancement in technologies allows people from different nations to participate in the same programs; student contact can be across far distances.
Various educational systems have undergone a transition in response to the impacts of technology and globalization. Educators and policy makers need to put in place models that take advantage of the opportunities and challenges brought about by globalization (Castells, 1996, P. 44). It is vital to note that, global initiatives have affected the roles of universities in the economy, community colleges, decentralization, and the curricula (Castells, 1996, P. 47).
With globalization on the rise, many aspects have to change for the well-being of the global village (Friedman, 2000). The forces that push globalization pose new challenges to education in lifelong training of students in schools and universities. Many policy makers and governments should ask themselves: To what extend is education affected by globalization? How is it changing the conditions of the existing educational systems?
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With all these in mind, globalization seems to affect education by transforming the teaching and learning processes. The most significant question is how is the current move toward economic restructuring affecting educational systems globally? While, education seems to be a key factor in globalization, what role does education play in shaping values, attitudes, and understanding of a citizen, who is multicultured and part of the cosmopolitan world? In order to meet the existing challenges presented by globalization, individuals should be prepared to work in a changing environment, with constant networking.
Globalization has affected human health and development in a number of ways; some positive while others are negative. The liberalization of trade in agricultural products leads to economic benefits in poorer countries that are short term. This will then improve the human health depending on the equitability of the allocation of these benefits. Globalization has reshaped the social arena that nations get involved in prevention of disease or improvisation of health. Health problems have crossed over national boundaries. It is due to cooperation on a global level that such issues may be affected (Welch, 2001, P. 66).
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The impact of globalization on health is in various forms. With globalization, harmful products can bring disastrous implications worldwide. There is an increase in the free trade of foods, drugs, medicine and other forms of substances that pose damages to health. Moreover, with efficiency in cross-border communications, the health sector has remained to be a benefit in the use of e-mail and internet. Information and knowledge dealing with health matters are free, which facilitates telemedicine and telehealth.
Globalization can be used for advancements in health. The increased cooperation between countries is very effective in the event of arresting the spread of diseases that are communicable in nature. On the other hand, by harmonizing food and drug standards and regulations, developing nations end up benefitting in health issues. . Some discussions focusing on globalization effects on health have pointed out the fear that, the increase in migration of people from poorer countries into developed nations creates a complex issue in healthcare systems.
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In conclusion, globalization is a serious issue that affects many nations. Researchers should analyze these impacts carefully so as to prevent the negative impacts (Bhagwati, 2004). It is essential to note that the force behind globalization cannot be stopped. It is therefore essential that all nations create forms of globalization that are environmentally and socially sustainable. These forms should be more beneficial to all humanity and reduce costs. Indirect impacts of globalization on health operate through the national economy, for example, effects of trade liberalization, and the financial flows on resources for health expenditures. Direct affecting of globalization on health is on health systems, as well as, policies of multilateral trade signings and agreements.