Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. John D. All (Director), Dr. David J. Keeling, Dr. Jan E. Garrett, Dr. Gregory B. Goodrich

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science in Geoscience


Globalization is recognized as a world-encompassing phenomenon, even as its benefits are debated. Sustainability, the capacity to maintain high standards of living through generations, is at stake. This paper examines the problems of sustainability with globalization from several perspectives. High statistical correlation between indices of globalization and environmental degradation (r2 = 0.977, p < .001) is found using multi-dimensional scaling software. The socially destabilizing, culture flattening effects of globalization are examined, and the terms ‘nationalism’ and ‘terrorism’ are defined. On the basis of its medial position among the indices of both globalization and environmental degradation, Chile is explored in a case study of the interaction. Conclusions regarding Chile’s vulnerabilities are reached, and the country’s environmental, social, and economic ‘weak spots’ are identified. The ethical positions of globalization and sustainability are considered, and the conclusion that there is very little that can be done to alter the nature of the interaction is drawn. It is suggested that globalization minimizes the prospects of success in efforts toward sustainability by maximizing vulnerabilities among sustainability’s components.


Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Sciences | Geography | Natural Resource Economics | Natural Resources and Conservation | Nature and Society Relations | Sustainability