Business & Technology

Globalization death watch, part II

The beginnings of a continentalized global economy

Your faithful blogger was surprised to find himself representing part of the environmental blogosphere in a New York Times article on Sunday, "Shipping Costs Start to Crimp Globalization." It's very much worth reading, and prior to writing the article the reporter, Larry Rohter, talked with me about my first installment in this series, "Globalization death watch, Part I." In his article, after noting the recent collapse of global trade talks, Rohter writes: Some critics of globalization are encouraged by those developments, which they see as a welcome check on the process. On environmentalist blogs, some are even gleefully promoting a "globalization death watch." Now, look at the dictionary.com definition of "gleeful": full of exultant joy; merry; delighted. Well, maybe the births of my sons called forth such feeling, but I'm not usually full of exultant joy, particularly when I think about global crises. However, Larry Rohter may be forgiven his choice of words, considering the title of the blog post. I and, if I may be so bold as to speak for some other environmental bloggers, others think that the decline, even death of globalization would be a good thing. But just as the rise of globalization led to much suffering, so will its decline, and that's certainly not something to be "gleeful" about. To paraphrase Barack Obama's pithy phrase about getting out of Iraq, "we've got to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." I'd like to go over some of the points Rohter highlights, and then explain later in the post why there is a better alternative to globalization.

Whole Foods tries to shake its elitist reputation

Whole Foods Market, with its gleaming displays of organic produce, antibiotic-free meat, and vegan baked goods, has long branded itself as a high-quality grocery retailer — thus earning the nickname Whole Paycheck and a reputation …

New pedal from Nissan pushes back against excessive acceleration

Want to be an eco-driver but can’t seem to keep the pedal off the metal? Meet Nissan Motor Co.’s ECO pedal, which pushes back against excess foot pressure to encourage fuel-efficient driving. The ECO accelerator …

High fuel prices causing globalization to lose momentum

It was unthinkable mere years ago, but globalization is starting to lose momentum. High and holding fuel prices — shipping a 40-foot container from Shanghai to the U.S. will cost ya $5,000 more today than …

Notable quotable

"The military-industrial complex needs enemies." -- Brian Williams, news anchor of NBC, on The Daily Show with John Stewart, July 31, 2008.

China’s renewables sector booming, study says

China’s renewable-energy sector is growing substantially despite the simultaneous growth of its famous dirty-energy sector, according to a study by nonprofit The Climate Group. While China recently took the lead as the world’s largest carbon …

A profit without honor

ExxonMobil rakes in record cash, spends only 1 percent on alternative energy

ExxonMobil broke its own record for the highest quarterly earnings in U.S. history, reporting $11.7 billion in profits for the second quarter. And as ABC reports, the company spent only 1 percent of its profits …

Oil companies’ continued record profits tick off Democrats, consumers

Major oil companies reported ginormous second-quarter profits this week, irking consumers and fueling harsh rhetoric from congressional Democrats. ExxonMobil reported a record-breaking profit of $11.68 billion — the highest of any U.S. company ever — …

The jobs, my friend, are blowin' in the wind

Wind power industry hiring in huge numbers

Dear Kevin, I’ve heard lots of hype about wind power jobs, but I don’t know what kind of jobs we’re talking about. Can you describe a few? Thanks for your help. (I love Grist.) Amy …

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