Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why globalization won't make everything the same

Home made Sausage Pizza
Originally uploaded by pelleb.
My son, who has lived in Maine, New Hampshire, Miami, San Francisco, Denmark, England, Wales, Jamaica and various other Caribean islands, Panama and even a month in Argentina, got thinking about whether globalization is as bad as some people think.

Are there McDonald's and Starbucks now on every street corner? Does everyone eat American food, drink American coke, watch American movies and dance to American music?

He wrote a great blog entry called Why globalization won't make everything the same, illustrated with pictures he's taken various places he's lived or traveled. (He has a whole Flickr section called Food and Drink, including a set called Food and Booze Porn!) As you can see from the picture, he's pretty good at creating his own global fusion food as well.

Of course there's one bit of globalization that does worry me: our global environment. Pollution from China is affecting California weather, Midwestern Coal is causing acid rain in New England, Tchernobyl spread its radiation in Sweden, and warming is affecting low-lying areas around the world.

That makes the environment a global interest, not just a local or regional one. I hope that we can reverse the bad parts of globalized pollution by working together globally to clean up our air, conserve our water and make the world a healthier place for everyone.

We can start working globally in our own homes, by thinking about the products we buy and the packaging they come in; by taking our own bags to the supermarket; bu using less water and in time re-landscaping with native plants; and by installing solar panels on every east, south- or west-facing unshaded roof around - and encouraging builders to make sure there's a roof like that on every new home built!

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