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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 99-111

Globalisation: Effects on Biodiversity, Environment and Society

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551, USA

Correspondence Address:
David Ehrenfeld
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The march of globalisation seems inexorable, with effects felt throughout the world. These effects include, but are not limited to, reduced genetic diversity in agriculture (loss of crop varieties and livestock breeds), loss of wild species, spread of exotic species, pollution of air, water and soil, accelerated climatic change, exhaustion of resources, and social and spiritual disruption. The market cannot be relied on to control the environmental and other costs of globalisation. Although its present dominance creates an impression of permanence, a conjunction of formidable limiting factors is even now acting to curb the process of globalisation-possibly to end it altogether. Technological fixes cannot overcome these limiting factors. The architects of globalisation have ignored the social, biological and physical constraints on their created system. Critics of globalisation have noted that global free trade promotes the social and economic conditions most likely to undermine its own existence. The same can be said of the biological and physical limiting factors-especially, in the short term, the dwindling supplies of cheap energy. The necessary opposition that has formed to counter the worst features of globalisation must keep its dangerous side-effects in the public eye, and develop alternative, workable socio-economic systems that have a strong regional element and are not dependent on centralised, complex technologies.

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