Worldwatch has just posted an excellent little module on the effects of globalization on consumption. Nothing astoundingly new here, but a good round-up of the issues economic globalization raises when thinking about sustainability:
"Todays global economy has a tendency to insulate consumers from the various negative impacts of their purchases by stretching the distance between different phases of a products lifecyclefrom raw material extraction to processing, use, and finally disposal.
"Yet at the same time, the environmental and social challenges accompanying economic globalization are spurring innovative forms of political mobilization across international borders. Shifting to more environmentally sustainable patterns of consumption and production worldwide will require strengthening these alliances and pursuing new ground rules in order to forge a global economy based on protecting, rather than plundering, the planets natural wealth."
There's a lot more where that came from, too.