We are constantly bombarded with media reports on globalization in terms of its increasing process and potential effects on our lives. What is meant by this concept and why should we be concerned with its impact? The developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia should be interested in it because of the opportunities and threats offered by globalization (also known as globalisation).
The mother of this globalization is Science and the activator is her daughter Technology (both affectionately called science and technology). The most visible manifestations of “globalization” are in the economic and communications spheres. And one of the fathers of Science is our friend Copernicus.
In two sentences his contribution to Science and Globalization is:
Copernicus broke open the medieval idea of an enclosed, Earth-centered universe.
He set the stage for all of modern astronomy.
And why does this matter?
He lived at a time when people believed Earth lay enclosed within crystal spheres at the center of the universe. Can you picture the leap of imagination required for him to conceive of a sun-centered universe? The publication of Copernicus’ book – De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) – just before his death in 1543, set the stage for all of modern astronomy. Today, people speak of his work as the Copernican Revolution.
Post-data: Copernicus wasn’t the first to conceive of a sun-centered universe. Early Greek philosophers also spoke of it. It was the Greek philosopher Aristotle, however, who proposed that the heavens were literally composed of 55 concentric, crystalline spheres to which the celestial objects were attached. In Aristole’s model, Earth lay at the center of these spheres. Thus Earth lay – fixed and enclosed – until Copernicus published his version of a heliocentric universe.
The geographical hotspots of the world are all related to economic trade and global exchange of political interests. Places such as the Panama and Suez Canals have always been in the Western media. However, from an economic and strategic perspective, the Strait of Malacca is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world in the 21st Century. The history of this Strait’s geopolitical relevance goes as back as 400 years of history.
For centuries the strait has been the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It has been controlled by the major regional powers and also by the mayor global power during different historical periods. In 2011 hundreds of thousands of containers in more than 60,000 vessels crossed its waters carrying about one-quarter of the world’s traded goods including oil, Chinese manufactures, and Indonesian coffee.
In order to understand which is the geopolitical importance of the Strait of Malacca for the Chinese government we need to overview the current geopolitical dynamics and economic investments in the region.
The following image from NASA clearly depicts what are some of the IMPRESSIVE negative externalities caused by the transport of global goods in the region and opens the door for discussing
Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide pop out over certain shipping lanes in observations made by the Aura satellite between 2005-2012. The signal was the strongest over the northeastern Indian Ocean.
Data from the Dutch and Finnish-built Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite show long tracks of elevated nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels along certain shipping routes. NO2, is among a group of highly-reactive oxides of nitrogen, known as NOx, that can lead to the production of fine particles and ozone that damage the human cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Combustion engines, such as those that propel ships and motor vehicles, are a major source of NO2 pollution.
Yesterday, April 22 many people gathered to celebrate “Earth Day” in order to call for a stop of human action and creativity in the process of transforming our planet. Fortunately, against these destructive minds and philosophy many men and women have been working to show why the transformation of the world is something good, positive and beneficial for all of us.
I invite you to watch this wonderful video titled “If I wanted America to fail”
Furthermore, I also invite you to read the essay written by Alex Epstein (Founder and Director of the Center for Industrial Progress) in which he elaborates why human transformation of Earth is the product of our success in being more efficient and productive. Because as Epstein wonderfully elaborates,
“It is only through technology–transforming the world around us for human purposes–that we eventually lessened that load. Technology, by creating a human environment in which our goals are easier to accomplish, buys us time–time to enjoy ourselves as we please, or time to create more technologies that will buy us even more time by improving our environment even more.” Read his essay here
The Spanish blog “Pasa la vida” shared these wonderful pictures of Earth in high resolution (11500 x11500) As mentioned by them, the pictures were taken by the satellite Suomi NPP with the instrument Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).