Globalization and Its Losers
Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, Vol. 9, pp. 157-218, 2000
62 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2013
Date Written: 2000
Globalization marks the end of an epoch. Not merely an epoch in the colloquial sense, but an epoch in the geological sense. The spread of Homo sapiens around the earth has brought about mass extinctions and related ecological changes on a scale not seen since the Cretaceous period. In its evolutionary impact, comprehensive human colonization of the planet easily outclasses an ice age, or even twenty. The previous geological event of comparable magnitude ushered out the dinosaurs; the one before that, the mass extinction that closed out the Permian period, nearly ended the terrestrial tenure of what we arrogantly call "higher" life forms. In the last 600 million years of geological history, only five previous extinction spasms have taken place. We are living - or perhaps more accurately, dying - through the sixth." [H]alf the world's species will be extinct or on the verge of extinction" by the end of the twenty-first century. In environmental terms, globalization merely continues what humanity has been doing since the glaciers last retreated: subdue every niche within its reach.
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