Panel debates oil effect on globe

Two speakers gave presentations Thursday evening in the Student Center auditorium discussing how oil affects globalization.

The first speaker, Paul Smith, is a professor of cultural studies at George Mason University. Smith has written “Primitive America, The Ideology of Capitalist

Democracy and Millennial Dreams—Culture and Capital in the North,” among several other books.

Smith’s presentation entitled, “Flowback: The End of Globalization as They Know It” discussed oil in the global market. He said many are not aware of the huge amount of oil the United States uses.

“The U.S. uses 25 percent of the world’s oil,” he said. “60 percent of which is used for travel, like cars. It’s a shame more people do not realize this.”

Crystal Bartolovich, an associate professor of English at Syracuse University, gave the second presentation.

She has written over 30 essays including Have Theory, Will Travel and The History After the End of History.

Her presentation entitled, “If Oil Could Speak, What Would it Say?” analyzed James Cameron’s blockbuster movie Avatar.

In the film, an alien planet had a substance of use to a country. War was used instead of diplomatic negotiations to obtain the material.

Bartolovich discussed how technology was demonized in the movie.

The movie showed individuals using technology versus those who used nature; those using technology were portrayed as invaders.

The usage of Avatar tied into her overall message of the world needing to find alternative means of energy.

“We’d have to rethink transportation,” Bartolovich said. “Shift from car centered to using various forms of public transportation. We need to find new forms of energy instead of revising the old ones, like electric cars. It is good that we have electric cars now, but they are just a revision of the old idea of a car.”


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