Effect of Climate Change on Globalization
In 1748, the first American merchant ship landed in China to buy gensing in exchange of silver coins. The ship was owned by Robert Morris, and it set sail from Philadelphia. In 1972, some 224 years later, Richard Nixon visited China, then the sworn enemy of the United States. What was the motivation in both visitations? It was the lure of trade. Trade between nations fosters growth, understanding and goodwill. It reduces the chances of friction, rancor and war. This wisdom had dawned on humans much before. Gradually, countries learned to grow their trade through a jointly agreed legal and payment system. The more orderly trade became, the more voluminous it became. The internet arrived and gave a huge push to this integration of nations through trade. By 1990, barriers of trade between nations were being dismantled in great haste. Nations learned to source their needs from ashore at the most competitive rates. The idea of ‘globalization’ arrived. Despite its shortcomings and harms, a globalized economy was perceived to be the panacea to poverty, and backwardness. Shorn enemies like China and Japan, Russia and the U.S., Taiwan and mainland China got enmeshed in trade bonds. Wars seemed to recede.
Humans often destroy the good things they build, albeit unknowingly. Avaricious exploitation of Nature’s resources, indiscriminate deforestation, burning of coal to produce power seemed to accelerate as humans became more and more prosperous. Finally, Nature returned to punish humankind for its greed and shortsightedness. Carbon dioxide from human activities settled down to form an insulation blanket around the earth. The earth temperature began to rise, melting billion-year-old glaciers, heating sea water, and polluting the air. Climate became unpredictable, extreme, and dangerously erratic.
We see the effects today in the infernos of Australia, in the typhoons of Florida, in the extreme summers of Europe. If unchecked forthwith, we are going to see vas swathes of lands, and low-lying islands inundated, farms becoming barren, livestock dying, and most importantly, humans leaving their countries as refugees.
When forests burn, and droughts parch fields, and humans escape in millions, what will happen to the global supply chain and the commercial equilibrium on which ‘globalization’ is based? The edifice of ‘globalization’ will come crashing down. The world economy will stop growing, poverty will return, and nations will squabble and fight over resources. Wars will start. Thus, Climate Change will emerge as the destroyer of the idea of ‘globalization’. [400 WORDS]