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James Howard Kunstler’s Globalization’s Time Is Up

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Autor:   •  March 18, 2017  •  Article Review  •  1,712 Words (7 Pages)  •  376 Views

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James Howard Kunstler’s “Globalization’s Time is Up” claimed that the world has had a phase a globalization before that came to an end therefore, just like the early phase, the new phase of globalization we have now will soon come to an end. This sort of claim seems very ambiguous since the future is not predetermined; it is directly related to decision and action one make in the presents. The article states that todays idea of globalization and global economic relation is because of world peace and consistent supply of cheap energy. Thus, if those two elements were to be taking out, globalization will be over in a blink of an eye. The article explain that the early phase of globalization was during the boom in railway construction and steamship; the phase started in late 1800 until early 1900s. This phase of globalization then took off under coal and steam power. During this time, all the nations worked together with high developments in exporting and importing goods from country to country. "There was no shortage of fuel, the colonial boundaries were stable and pipeline of raw materials from them to the factory of western Europe ran smoothly (pg23)" Kunstler said. Conditions of living in both America and Europe was excellent besides few depressions. It all came crashing down in 1914 and a new kind of globalization did not emerge until the mid 1960s. The collapse was because of greediness from all the nations involved, regarding power over certain places because of coal economy transitioning to oil economy which had a big geopolitical implication for the entire world.         Furthermore, the article explains that the world in now due for another fold of global trade (globalization). However different from the past ones because of the absent of specific products entertaining this globalization. Unlike pre-WW1 globalization, America’s economy for more than a decade now is based on elaboration of a car dependant suburban infrastructure, eight lane highways, big-box chain stores, and hamburger stands. This sort of American economy does not guarantee a realistic future arrangement for an oil short future. To sum it up, the author claim that America economic future is in jeopardy because of the ongoing fight for the remaining oil in the world; which two third of it are in control of countries that hate America. Plus, with the population and manufacturing power of China, China will be desperate and willing to take all necessary measure to control of oil supply. Which means the American chain stores manufacturing might be in jeopardy if there is a friction with China. With all possible repercussion of collapse oil supply which include political turmoil, the current phase of globalization is coming to an end very soon.                                                                                               James Kunstler does make a very compelling argument regarding a possible ending to the current phase of globalization. In a fascinating way, this article claim that ‘Globalization’ is the international solidarity of the wealthy few nations against the rest of the world. By using an historical analogy, Kunstler makes the reader perceive that things that happened in the past is guaranteed to happen in the future which is wrong. In fact, the future is determined by the action one take presently; each decision an action will make a difference and influence the future in a certain manner. The coal era created the railway construction boom which result in world wide transportation that facilitate the so called “earlier phase of robust global trade”. The new globalization that was facilitated by oil has created some of the greatest invention in human history such is advance technology and internet. This advance technological research abilities gained from globalization has made it possible to build a space station, invent an MRI and all other health related medical equipment. The advanced connection ability such as internet has allowed human to communicate around the world in a faster more efficient way that was never known to be possible. Having all these capabilities has made human to be more superior than ever, so the idea that globalization is coming to its horizon is most definitely an ignorant suggestion.                                                                                                                                 The reduction in the amount of oil and the fight for the control of the remaining may lead to end of this globalization is an incorrect proposition. Besides the fact that the author failed to acknowledge the big difference technology has made to the world which is because of the so called new phase of globalization, he failed to present an actual statistic nor any fact that prove his argument about supply of oil slowing down. Opinion without fact and statistic became as a conspiracy theory in this occasion. Leaders in world oil supply are currently finding hidden petroleum in different places. A perfect example is Nigeria; less than two decades ago nobody could imagine that there could be oil in Southwest or Northern Nigeria. But new technological capability has given Nigeria the opportunity to find petroleum this places even though the only part of Nigeria thought to have petroleum was the southeast Nigeria. Therefore, the claim made by the author regarding oil supply going down is invalid and should be disregarded.                                 Furthermore, when Kunstler said “the sunset of the current phase of globalization seem dreadfully close to the horizon”, he was not thinking of the future. It might be because the article was written over a decade ago or Kunstler is just too oblivious to consider possibility of a brighter future; either way he failed to see the huge impact technology had made then and what it will continue to make. Through technology, the invention of Nikola Tesler has came to good use for environmentally friendly electric vehicles. Through technology, the world now has the ability to explore many possible elements that will keep globalization and humanity rising for a long time. The world has find ways to harness energy like never before; such as solar energy and wind force. In addition, the new Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) deal between Canada and the European Union is another example of the continual growth in globalization. The agreement will eliminate investment barrier between Canada and the EU which mean more relationship between countries that will provide more opportunity for both parties. If Kunstler believe that even with this sort of development will still lead to the end of globalization, then he has another problem.                                                                                                                                                                   To conclude, James Kunstler made a good case of why he thinks globalization is coming to an horizon, but he failed to see the true benefit of globalization and its eventual possibilities. Example of these possibilities is The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal that will promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in the signatories' countries.  Plus, there is free energy all around us that are just waiting to be harvested in a revolutionary way that will keep the world going even if petroleum supply stop as Kunstler proposed; such energy includes renewable wind force, solar energy, wave and tidal energy. With everything that the new phase of globalization has brought for humanity, the future is brighter than ever without cheap supply of energy and the phenomena of world peace.


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