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Environmental Issues that Are Related to Globalization Disscussion

Environmental Issues that Are Related to Globalization Disscussion

Question Description

I’m working on a writing discussion question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.

Complete the Learning Activity “Environmental Sociology” and describe two of the ecological challenges mentioned in the reading. Next, provide an example of how humans have contributed to the problem and another example of how humans can help solve the problem, based on what you have read under Topic 1.

Environmental Sociology

Ecological challenges are one of the most widely debated and greatest concerns facing our planet. People all over the world are confronted with environmental issues that impact their quality of life and health. Read this section to learn why it is important for sociologists to consider the impact of the environment on people.

When we use the term ecological challenges, we are talking about the environmental challenges related to globalization. An ecological/environmental challenge occurs when there is a need to extract and/or use natural resources for economic production purposes. This process is a necessary part of maintaining industry and sustaining economic trade globally.

A forest© mkaminskyi/iStock/Thinkstock

Globalization is a driver of development, industrialization, and urbanization. There is a direct connection between the phenomena of globalization and the larger environment because so many of the resources that are used in the processes of economic production and development rely upon natural resources. It can be a challenge to maintain the delicate balance between sustaining the natural ecology/environment and extracting natural resources from this same environment to support expanding economies. 

At first glance, thinking about ecological challenges may not seem much of a socially-oriented topic. Perhaps it seems like the natural and physical environment is something that geologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and other scientists should be studying, not social scientists. Yet, ecological challenges are very much connected to human behavior and action. As humans, our worst environmental problems are the result of human activity. Ecological challenges and environmental problems have a significant impact on people and the natural environment. Solutions to our environmental problems and ecological challenges require changes in economic and environmental policies, and the potential impact of these changes depends heavily on social and political factors. Many ecological challenges reflect and illustrate social inequality based on social class and on race and ethnicity. Efforts to improve the environment, often called the environmental movement, constitute a social movement, which plays an important role in the Social Sciences. If groups of people are not happy with the way ecological challenges are being met, they often form social movements to instigate some sort of a change.

The field of environmental sociology may shed some light on the topic of human/environment interactions and assumes “that humans are part of the environment and that the environment and society can only be fully understood in relation to each other” (McCarthy & King, 2009, p. 1). According to a report by the American Sociological Association, environmental sociology “has provided important insights” (Nagel, Dietz, & Broadbent, 2010, p. 13) into such areas as public opinion about the environment, the influence of values on people’s environmental behavior, and inequality in the impact of environmental problems on communities and individuals. We will examine some of these insights after first reviewing the serious state of the environment.

To say that the world is in peril environmentally might sound extreme, but the world is, in fact, in peril. People are responsible for the world’s environmental problems, and as individual human inhabitants on the earth, we have both the ability and the responsibility to address these problems. As sociologists Leslie King and Deborah McCarthy (2009, p. ix) assert,

“Ecological challenges have gained a lot of important and produced interest across much of the public today. People are concerned about threats to existing ecological resources and the endangerment to human health. A daily look at the major newspapers points, without fail, to worsening environmental problems. As humans, we have contributed to creating these problems and as humans we have the power to help develop solutions to them. Naturally, the longer we wait, the more devastating the problems will become; and the more we ignore the sociological dimensions of environmental decline the more our proposed solutions will fail.”

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