Sunday, April 17, 2011

Glocal: What does it mean?

Glocalisation on Wikipedia

This is a very important concept that everyone should be up to snuff on.  Global economics has been a growing topic of concern for many governing officials.  If you have yet to really understand the global to local connection and the concern, now is the time to start becoming familiar.  This is simply a starting point for understanding some of the contextual challenges we'll tackle in future posts.

Tim Jackson's economic reality check | Video on

Glocal is about moving the processes and the means of our consumption from far away places to more local places.  This is seen as important due to the farther away our our consumables come from, the less connection we have to their true costs and burdens to society.  If our shoes are made by a sweatshop halfway around the world, we don't see it and are less likely to empathize with the burden our spending habits have on the population in that remote part of the world.

Additional considerations apply beyond the impact at the point of production.  The shipment from where a product is produced to it's point of sale is important too, as it was almost definitely shipped with the use of fossil fuels which pollutes and contributes to climate change.  As a rule of thumb, buying locally produced goods and food is usually better for your local economy and our environment.

However, there are examples where locally produced things actually have a downside.  For example, some food grown in the southwest U.S. (where it is arid) actually overburdens the water supply (because some crops require a lot of water) when there are already drastic engineering measures in place to ensure water for necessities.  These crops are probably better shipped in to these southwest markets from where there is an abundance of water.

Please take a moment to watch Tim Jackson's TED talk to gain a broader appreciation for this concept.

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