Notes provided by Regina Mezei
The New Jersey Fulbright Association has begun informal sessions
(usually at restaurants) as a book club to discuss timely works on
international topics. We have held three of these sessions so far. The
latest gathering was held on February 10, 2013 in Iselin, NJ at the Rasoi
Restaurant (great Indian cuisine). We focused on global environmental
issues via the book “The Great Disruption” by Paul Gilding (Bloomsbury
Gilding’s main thesis is that despite the steady stream of recent ecological
disasters and severe weather episodes, public opinion has not yet been
mobilized in a world-wide cooperative effort to deal with sustainability.
He therefore predicts a “great disruption” that will require international
cooperation to save the planet. According to Gilding, the world’s eco-
system is beyond sustainability at 140%, and the numbers will only get
worse. Population growth is a factor, of course, but more significant is
“consumer growth.” All nations rich and poor seek to eliminate poverty,
and herein lies a great dilemma. If the populations of developing nations
attain the comforts and goods of westerners (a middle class consumer
existence), sustainability will reach crisis proportions.
In addition, we are all “addicted to growth;” all people pursue material
improvement. Furthermore, we are told by our governments that consumption
fuels the economy and job growth, so we should “spend” our way out of
recession. But at some point, we will have to face the reality of the end of
growth, according to Gilding. He devotes one chapter to possible changes
in patterns of consumption entitled “Yes, There Is Life After Shopping.”
Gilding’s conclusion is not totally pessimistic. The world will respond. He
recommends life-changing habits and civic mobilization. Nevertheless, the
crash is coming, he says; that is not debatable. It is what we do after the
crash that is important.
Please feel free to suggest a book for our future book discussion events.
Where: Princeton University (Bowen Hall 222)
When: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Time: 1 -4 pm
What’s happening: announcements about Fulbright and future events, introduction of new officers, terrific lunch from Princeton U Catering Services, and very important presentations on the theme of Peace and Justice & more. (It’s a wonderful location, so feel free to arrive very early and walk around the campus.)
1. Samatha Lakin: ” Stories of Jewish Refugee Children Rescued to Switzerland during World War II:
An Analysis of Institutional Rescue and Recovery In Conflict.” Samantha was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2011-2012. There she researched the rescue of Jewish children in Switzerland during World War II. Samantha is currently a graduate student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
2. Kathleen F. Malu: Rwanda: Genocide to Reconcilation
Kathleen taught English as a Foreign Language in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1973-75) and served as an “inspectrice” for the Ministry of Education in Rwanda (1980 & 81). She returned to Rwanda as a Fulbright Scholar (2010) and taught English literature at the Kigali Institute of Education.
3. Aaron Tesfaye: “Environmental Security and Hydro-politics in the Nile Basin.”
This presentation deals with water scarcity and the politics of the nascent Nile Basin regime among ten (now 11 with Republic of South Sudan) Nile Basin nations. Aaron is a professor in the Political Science Department at William Paterson University and the author of a few books…
4. Douglas Rosentrater: “Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero: The Legacy of the major English language playwright in the Martial Law Era of the Philippines.”
Doug was a Fulbright Fellow in the Philippines of 1980. He is now Professor of Theatre at Bucks County Community College and has had six NEH grants.
*Note: speakers have 25 minutes to present; and time will be given for Q & A after all the presentations are over. Also, if anyone wants to help with blogging this event and also videotaping and putting it up on Youtube, please feel free. Also, if anyone needs a ride, please let us know soon. Hope to see you, Richard Marranca Rmarranca@pccc.edu