The Global Economy

OVERVIEW: Read this with care and consideration. Now that the semester and the course are nearly over, it’s time to put much of what we’ve learned from this course into a single paper. For this assignment express knowledge gained from the entire course. Your resources for this assignment are all of the course materials: lectures, readings, videos, and discussions. Here are some key elements of this course: 1. The global population has more than doubled in a generation. This has led to increased consumption of natural resources and significant environmental problems that threaten sustainability. The world’s nations must work collaboratively to resolve many of these issues. 2. Globalization has connected us with other countries, expanded markets and increased consumption of resources and goods. It has provided us with tremendous economic, social, and political opportunities. 3. With more consumption comes more energy use, more pollution, and more waste. 4. Globalization has accelerated and will not be reversed. It is guided by governments, trade organizations, and corporations. It is facilitated by cost-efficient transportation and comparative advantages. These, and other systems determine “winners and losers.” 5. The primary “losers” are where rights, rules, and regulations are weak: the most vulnerable of which is the environment and some workers. 6. We need not accept that having “losers” are inevitable. Having “losers” destabilizes society and we can create systems that support creating more “winners.” 7. It’s been said that capital goes where it’s welcome and stays where it’s well treated (Walter Wriston. https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/wristons-law-of-capital). When countries embrace capital, especially LDC’s, the Kuznet Curve shows that the initial negative impacts reduce over time as newer technologies replace the older dirtier ones. 8. Principals of sustainability and respect for human rights creates economic opportunity, reduces pollution, respects labor, reduces exploitation, and contributes to a stable society. 2 Globalization and international trade can be a mechanism to alleviate poverty, increase efficiency, create profits and jobs, and do all of this while reducing negative environmental impacts. In fact, it can move us toward sustainability. Accomplishing this will take a lot of effort! If we are to prosper, be free from the threat of war, and have enjoyable and equitable lives we must embrace principals of equity and sustainability. As a start, we’ll need to overcome the broad array of environmental issues discussed in the environmental overview module. So, what is the most effective way to move forward? Many people believe, incorrectly, that the actions of individuals are the fundamental building blocks to embrace sustainability. While the organized actions by groups of individuals can occasionally influence corporate and political leaders, the great majority of us simply choose to buy products and services at the least cost. When corporations embrace sustainability and environmental justice, either through government regulation or internal practices, so do their products and services. That means that when consumers use their “dollar vote” and buy those goods and services, their personal ecological footprints are reduced and social justice is increased “automatically.” Businesses are in a never-ending quest to expand markets and to maintain and increase profits. They strive to influence consumers to buy their products and services. Globalization works to their advantage by increasing the size of markets. To maximize profit and attract customers in an ever-changing and growing global marketplace, they naturally make efforts to influence and control legislation and to weaken regulations that threaten maximizing profit. Government and/or industry can choose to “close the loop,” promote the circular economy, reduce exploiting the environment and people, and to pay fair wages. You and I are only consumers and we make purchasing choices from the alternatives provided to us. If products are wasteful, so are we. When they are sustainable, so are we. Corporations and governments are the key decision-makers. Yet you can be empowered. These organizations hire people with college degrees, you, to be part of their decisionmaking process. If you want to be influential in making change, you can do it as part of the “system.” GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS • Formatting is a critical skill. o I recommend using 1.5-line spacing and 12-point type size. Choose a reasonable font. o Word processing isn’t about what the computer “automatically does” or just making words appear on paper. Students are expected to use features that result in a paper of sufficient quality that meets professional standards. o Properly format pages, use indents consistently, number each page, use spell and grammar check.  Use the help button to figure out what you don’t know how to do. • Expect to lose 50% or more for overlooking any part of the instructions. The reason for this is that 1) at this point of your academic career it is expected that you know and use basic writing skills, and 2) employers expect college graduates to understand and follow instructions, and to be proficient with basic writing and word processing skills and, 3) you should expect those standards of yourself—and I do too. Take pride in your work, your skills, and your knowledge. • This is not a creative writing exercise. Use a professional tone. ASSIGNMENT For this paper, address issues learned in the course that provide a framework for corporations operating in the global economy (globalization) that move us towards sustainability (closing open loops of consumption). Consider actions that need to be addressed by trade organizations and governments. Be laser focused on achieving sustainability and environmental justice. Use materials from the course. Be sure to discuss globalization and its relationship to environmental issues, key trade agreements, and mechanisms to move us toward sustainability. Your paper must be organized as listed below: 1. Introduction: in one or two paragraphs: 3 a. Define globalization, global trade agreements, and explain why corporate and government globalization leaders must work to resolve environmental issues. b. Support this by explaining key threats to sustainability (environmental problems) that must be resolved. c. Discuss the importance of science and methods of science that industry can use to reduce negative environmental impacts. Use information from the course lectures and assignments. i. Critical thinking and Total Environmental Perspective (TEP) ii. Separating science from pseudoscience (avoiding poorly developed opinions) iii. The LCA tool (two types) to find and reduce ecological footprints 2. Body of the Paper: We covered many topics in this course. Include concepts from at least three of the topical areas from the course modules (samples below) and write separate paragraphs about each of them. (Your choice of 3 of the following and/or other items in the course modules.) a. Circular economy b. Importance of applying principals of eco-design to reduce negative environmental impacts c. Applying Industrial Ecology to maximize resource use, reduce wasting of resources, and creating markets for what had been considered ‘waste.’ d. Use of green supply chains e. Transportation issues f. Packaging issues, European DSD g. Circular economy and closed open loops h. Corporate responsibility i. WEEE, and/or ROHS programs j. The use of the ISO for industry to self-regulate and reduce environmental impacts k. EPR as a mechanism for corporate responsibility that closes open loops of consumption, and internalizes externalities of production while managing discarded end-of-life products l. Reducing negative environmental impacts and human rights abuse by applying principals of environmental justice and Fair Trade m. The role of the WTO or NAFTA to expand markets while creating opportunities (Free Trade Agreements) to reduce poverty and a means to reduce negative environmental impacts n. Using principles of Green Building to reduce energy use and reduce risks to workers within them 3. Conclusion and Recommendation(s): In 1-3 paragraphs, tie together the concepts you’ve written about into a conclusion. Complete the paper with a recommendation or set of recommendations. 4. Works Cited page. List sources you used for this paper. In the paper be certain to use in-line citations, example (Jones 2021, p. 12). 5. DO NOT IGNORE THIS STATEMENT! After taking English courses in high school and college, including 1A and 100W and passing the WST exam it is expected that students have learned and will illustrate through their work a firm understanding of the fundamental rules of writing a paper. This includes spell and grammar checking, spacing, indents, numbering, proper use of upper case letters, acronyms, and citing. Failure to do so will result in the loss of 50% of the value of this assignment. 6. Formatting: Prepare your paper using the format provided below. Clearly list sections as Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Always provide a space between sections. You must cite your sources. In the “Body” section, provide subtitles followed by 1-2 paragraphs. Be absolutely certain to edit your work! Use resources on your computer to spell and grammar check the paper before submitting it!

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