Right from the start the author is stressing the importance of resources and their amounts and ease of extraction constrain what kinds of technologies can produce what kinds of commodities at what kinds of prices (pg.
33). He shows that there are two types of civilizations at play in the Amazonâ€™s situation. One civilization, being the indigenous people of the Amazon, learned to work and coexist with the ecosystem surrounding them. The other type of civilization is a society that extracts an ecosystemâ€™s resources and ships them around the world for commercial purposes.
It was interesting to see what happened to the Amazon over the 400 years that the author covered. Market leadership was passed between many societies. It is apparent that whoever had the leading innovations or technology at the moment lead the market. First to dominate the Amazon was the Portuguese who were the first to bring its resources to the world market and create a demand for such things as turtle oil. When the use of rubber was introduced, Europe took control of the market because they possessed the technology to produce and extract the rubber. It was then discovered that the Amazon also had many raw mineral deposits that could be mined. The Japanese lead this effort with canny politics and mining strategies.
It was a difficult book to read, but the author makes a good point; globalization is really just a race for resources, essentially wealth. This is a point that can be spread to many situations, not just the one in the Amazon. After reading over the Amazon, I realize that this is a sustainability issue. It is impossible for the Amazonâ€™s ecosystem to sustain the current rate of resource extraction. The resources being sought now will soon run out and create a block in multiple industrial sectors, much like it did with the supply of rubber during the industrial period (pg. 43). In a POM perspective, one should always be looking at the big picture.
Globalization has had a past that proves it does not look at the big picture, only profit. The big picture is this: yes resources are profitable, but they are limited and take time to replenish. A rate of extraction needs to be found that compromises between market demand and the rate of ecological re-growth. This is would be incredibly hard to put in effect on a global scale but it is what needs to be done to ensure a balance between supply, demand, and the human race. We then move on to how technology drives globalization with other countries around the world, and it how effects and helps our society here in the United States.
The book says, â€œEach of these nations devised technologies and organizations that enabled them to exploit the bio-and geo-diversity of natural production more effectively, more cheaply, and over a larger portion of the globe than their competitors couldâ€ (Bunker 78-79). What came as a surprise was that trading with other countries is really important to our culture and our society. If we did not trade with other countries than we could not get the raw materials that we need to produce and make production possible for our everyday lives.As we move through we are able to see the advances in trade between America and Britain as they worked to stimulate their economy.This chapter covers the history of these two countries and the race for resources that they had.
In the earlier periods of competition in trade between America and Britain, the goal was who could build the most ships the fastest and cheapest.America pulled ahead of Britain in this period because it could make its own ships without having to transport the timber overseas.Britain on the other hand had to outsource most of its ship making to the Dutch.Britain could not keep up with America because of a geographic problem that gave America a huge advantage.This all changed with this introduction of steam powered iron boats.
Britain dominated the iron production in the world and they could make larger faster ships.Britain did not innovate their ships as well as America and Germany in World War I.Britain found it cheaper to import their steel instead of renovating their current plants.The race had turned into making more steel and faster.
As the book comes to a close it focuses on Raw Materials and Transport in the Economic Ascendancy of Japan.This chapter is interesting and informational with its focus on Japanâ€™s shipping and modernization of shipping methods.As a group, we felt that one of the most important concepts of the last chapter was the section that compares the Japanese dominance of steel and shipbuilding with other nations.It was difficult to read this book and many sentences seemed unnecessary, but the author had a solid point.
Globalization is a force that is taking over our ecosystems worldwide. As the uses for the resources offered by each ecosystem is identified and demanded by individual core societies,.