Reduction of Natural Resources
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to make known the negative social implications of the “catching-up development myth” through globalization and to break down specific concepts of vertical and lateral oppression from the top natural resources consumers of oil in the world. This paper also demonstrates my interest in creating biological and economic equity in the world through breaking down these oppressive frameworks and hence, my interest in obtaining knowledge about alternative energy uses to be used as a tool to help liberate others in places of need.
The “catching up development myth” as explained by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva in Ecofeminism, is the idea that underdeveloped countries (meaning, countries that do not equal or exceed the industrial capabilities of modernized counties like the U.S.), through modern technology, are given equal opportunity to become as economically progressive as other countries like the U.S. It is a false precept in many ways.
The U.S. has become a model for industrial countries because it has exploited other underdeveloped countries in order to gain its economic power. If underdeveloped countries were to “catch-up” to where the U.S. is today, they would also need to find another country that they could exploit as much as the U.S. exploits them. When economic reasons are discussed as to the possibilities of unlimited growth in underdeveloped countries the externalization of cost is almost never factored in. The economic, social, and most importantly ecological costs of constant growth in industrialized countries have been and are shifted to the people of underdeveloped countries. Both economic and social costs can be seen in the Maquiladoras on the border of Mexico where mostly women work for much lower wages than workers in the U.S. Ecological costs can also be applied to this example. The ecological costs of making the materials in the Maquladoras result in chemical wastes into the local air, soil, and water systems. The Maquiladora companies are responsible for the short and long-term environmental degradation inflicted on the local area, which is not factored into the cost of production. One of the main reasons, however, as to why not all countries can be as industrial productive as the U.S., is simply because it is materialistically impossible. The carrying capacity of the earth’s natural resources cannot handle the consumption rate of the U.S. if it is applied to the rest of the world. If, for example, we note that the six percent of the world’s population who live in the U.S. annually consume 25 percent (which we discussed in class) of all the oil energy produced, obviously, it is impossible for the rest of the world’s population, of which 80 percent live in poor countries, to consume energy on that scale. How can the concept of “catching –up” be true? Maria Mies explains “ In my opinion, the powers that dominate today’s world economy are aware of this, the...