Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Author Replies # Posted on March 4, 2014 at 15:34

Current Themes and Debates in Global Environmental History
Yu Wang
History department&Global Environmental History
Reflection 2 (2014-03-04)
— Hornborg, A. 2012. Global Ecology and Unequal Exchange: Fetishism in a Zero-Sum World.

What is wrong with the nation-state as a unit of analysis for environmental history?

I was in the group talking about the nation-state and if it is a useful concept in the analysis of environmental history. I would like to explain my point of view from another perspective . I think the way to evaluate the ecological environment is not built on the basis of a fair evaluation , the evaluation results of this approach is to make the most backward developing countries bear the blame pollution of the environment , but did not take into account the globalization of trade as the historical background. Measure ecological status should not only be limited to who developed the resources, but also be clear who is the ultimate consumer of resources.
The 21st century is the global trade century, the world is divided into three regions which is based on the division of labor, namely “the high -tech , capital-intensive and high-wage products located in the core area ”,“low-tech , labor -intensive and low-wage products where in the marginal region”, and the third is mixing zones. Three different regions bear the economic structure in different roles : the core area is control the world financial and trade markets, acting as a price determined. The marginal zone is responsible for providing cheap raw materials and cheap labor as well as the sales market to the core area. The world system presents a serious inequality in the way that undervalued prices. A large number of products exported by developing countries , but the value has long been seriously underestimated , that is, the final price of the product does not contain hesitation mining, processing or environmental pollution caused by transport costs and social costs. On the surface looks like a fair and mutually beneficial trade , but in fact is not ture. Developing countries do not have ability to affect the final price, as no trade option but only to keep explitate their existing natural resource , and in the end make itself as a huge waste landfill. Commodities and resource depletion and environmental pollution costs are transferred to developing countries. This is an important reason for developing today’s context of globalization of trade continued to deteriorate .