Globalization vs. localization
Since the end of the Second World War, and in a pattern of accelerating speed and intensity, the economies of the world have become more intertwined and interdependent, in a process known as ‘globalization’. The consequences have changed every aspect of life for the citizens of the richer, Western nations – and for the poorer South even more. Some of the changes have been beneficial to individuals, including rapid increases in monetary incomes, a wider range of consumer goods, facilitation of international travel and communication links. For corporations that have a global base, as opposed to the small businesses that make up our local economies, these changes have offered many advantages, including access to workforces who demand lower wages, the ability to choose to pay tax in countries with more favourable regimes, and reduced costs of marketing via the establishment of global brands. This chapter attempts to balance the advantages and disadvantages of globalization, from the perspective of the environment, as well as the world’s people.