Globalization And Science & Technology
The present era is said to be an age of globalization. Globalization can be defined as integration of our economy with that of the world. Globalization is a broad term and encompasses varied perspectives. It refers to global outlook of different nations of the world coming together and joining hands in terms of science, technology, education, society and politics. Globalization empowers a view for the world, as a whole, irrespective of national identity and thus globalization has compressed the world by bringing the people of all nations closer.
We are constantly bombarded with media reports on globalization in terms of its increasing process and potential effect on our lives. What does this concept mean and why should we be concerned by its impact. Globalization is a wide topic. Using a search engine, I was able to find four million results on the internet about the impact of globalization, particularly in developing countries. The word is now used to describe and explain many changes that are occurring in the world.
The mother of globalization is SCIENCE and the activator is her daughter TECHNOLOGY.
IMPACT ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Because of its various dimensions, globalization is often a difficult phenomenon to describe comprehensively. However, one aspect of globalization that tends to be most apparent in almost every facet of life is the emergence of technology, particularly the way in which technology is globally integrating the people of the world.
What we have seen so far is the positive impact of globalization on science and technology. However globalization has also brought about and will bring much more in future, a negative impact upon human civilization. The technological advances not only incur deterioration of physical environment by enhancing the percentage of carbon dioxide, changes in temperature of the local area, but also have a deep impact on environment of the nations as well.
Global warming is the combined effect of contributions made by different nations towards globalization. The consequences of global warning are devastating causing not only changes in temperature but also melting of permafrost, oxidation of boreal peat deposits, changes in the allocation and profusion of rainfall, rise in sea level and depletion of the ozone layer.
With globalization, food items are nowadays sent in the processed form to various geographical areas which may vary in temperature conditions. This promotes growth of harmful microbes and deteriorates the quality of the food. To prevent this situation, preservatives are added to the food, which in reality are harmful chemicals.
Genetic breeding of animals and plants are being performed to produce high yielding varieties. This tendency has lost the wild species. The genetically modified or transgenic animals and plants are more prone to diseases than their naturally bread counterparts and contain massive amounts of chemicals.
In order to meet the demand of milk and milk products countries find it necessary to rear high yielding genetically modified cattle. However these cattle can be reared only under particular environmental conditions. This invariably leads to installation of specialized machinery and temperature controlling devices.
One of the best inventions of science and technology is that of electricity. Electricity for our homes are made in buildings called power plants. Power plants usually use coal etc. to make electricity. But some plants use nuclear energy. To make nuclear energy Uranium is needed. Uranium is radioactive, which means it gives off rays which are very dangerous to any living thing. Some people are worried that the radioactivity might escape and poison living things. Because this rubbish remains dangerous for thousands of years we need to be especially careful about what we do with it.
Globalization has also affected the survival pattern of various flora and fauna. A particular geographical area is recognized by the distributions of its flora and fauna patterns. Disruption of vegetation for industrialization leads to the loss of valuable plant species and loss of endangered animal species due to loss of habitat.
Pollution of any kind, be it air, water or soil, alters the genetic makeup of the individuals and flora and fauna in the area. Lakes and rivers are often polluted because of the drains from towns and factories which are emptied into them. Factories sometimes dump very harmful chemicals into the water. This chemical poisons the water. Ocean going tankers sometimes empty oily substance into the sea. Because of this, great patches of oil are left floating on the sea surface. This disrupts the habitat of Marine animals and they cannot easily survive in it.
Globalization in the field of technology has led to environmental pollution. Before factories and vehicles were invented air was much cleaner than it is today. Now there are millions of vehicles and chimneys pouring smoke and fumes into the air. The chemicals from this smoke mix with the moisture in the air and make it acidic in nature. The rain which falls contains this acid. This acid rain falls to the earth and pollutes the environment. The soils of the industrial areas become less productive. Acid from this rain mixes with fertile soil and makes it unfit for farming purpose. This results in lesser plants and greenery. Less plants and greenery implies more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere as there are no plants to absorb the carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere. It is harmful to use soil which is acidic in nature as it leads to a vicious chain wherein, for example, the consumption of polluted water leads to physical illness and imbalanced mental development of individuals etc.
Science is always coming up with wonderful inventions and technology gives shape to this scientific idea into a form which is user friendly. People of modern era are gadget maniacs and constantly demand for latest technology. When some new gadgets are introduced into the market they immediately purchase the new gadget and dump away outdated ones. This results in piling up of plastics and other non bio degradable materials which causes pollution and affects the environment. With advances in technology and globalisation, sophisticated machinery is easily imported into many developing countries reducing the man power required and increasing unemployment.
Globalization has brought the world on a single platform. But in doing so it has made the gap between developed and developing countries very apparent. There are many projects formulated in the field of science and technology for the promotion of globalization, but only a few are successful.
'People are often short sighted. They act without thinking.
They don’t think about the results of their actions in years to come.'
So the question is whether globalization is for the good or bad. Does it have positive or negative impact on the world of science and technology? The answer to this question is only with us.
If we are able to use globalization in such away that we increase the positive impact and minimize the negative impact, the world will be a better place to live in.