Before & After

Passport Canada
Cloud Computing
Citizenship Canada
Counternarratives to Globalization
Stats Canada


BEFORE: Three – Not Two — Major Environmental Counternarratives to Globalization


Opposition to globalization by environmentalists tends to fall into two camps: a so-called "green" counternarrative and an "ecological" one. The green counternarrative assumes that we have already witnessed sufficient harm done to the environment due to globalization and thus prescribes taking action now to oppose further globalizing forces. It is confident in its knowledge about the causes of environmental degradation as they relate to globalization and certain in its wholesale opposition to globalization. In contrast, the ecological counternarrative is less certain about globalization's record of environmental harm but worries about future threats given the scale and intensity of globalization's increasing reach. Rather than call for immediate action and wholesale opposition, it seeks further research to identify—and specific policy initiatives to avoid— potentially massive but as yet unknown effects of globalization on the environment. Policy analysts opposing globalization are caught between the counternarratives and often subscribe to elements of each. The challenge is to find another, more compelling counternarrative in which real-time environmental harm can be treated more seriously than it is in either of the two primary counterparts.

 

 

 



AFTER: A New Counternarrative to Globalization
 

Environmentalists who oppose globalization tend to draw on two core counternarratives:

  1. The "green" counternarrative. These environmentalists assume that we have already witnessed sufficient harm done to the environment due to globalization. They are confident in the evidence that clearly links globalization and environmental degradation. They urgently prescribe taking action now to oppose further globalization.
     
  2. The "ecological" counternarrative. Those in this camp are less certain of globalization's record of environmental harm. They worry about future threats given the scale and intensity of globalization's increasing reach. But rather than call for immediate action and wholesale opposition, these environmentalists seek to address the potentially massive but as yet unknown effects of globalization on the environment through:
    • further research
    • specific policy initiatives.
       

Policy analysts who oppose globalization are caught between these two counternarratives. They often subscribe to elements of each. The challenge is to find a third, more compelling counternarrative that occupies a balanced middle ground. With this approach, real-time environmental harm can be treated more seriously than it has been to date.