After Mac: Master of Science program at King's College London (Water: Science and Governance)
The International Roundtable was an unforgettable experience. It gave me the chance to explore a topic I am passionate about—the future of our global environment—and to engage with scholars outside of our community. I was the respondent to Dr. Elizabeth Economy, a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow who specializes in China and its environmental problems. To prepare, I read her book The River Runs Black over the summer. Up until this point I had concentrated on southern Africa, so the Roundtable presented an excellent opportunity to learn about another geographic area through the same lens. It was amazing to be able to contribute to the conversation about environmental issues in the 21st century.
I learned that pollution in China is even more rampant and systemic than I had previously believed, and that one of the biggest hurdles is strengthening the rule of law in order to be able to enforce environmental regulations. The connection between environmental problems and political unrest was the most interesting aspect of the conversation for me, and shed new light on how important it is for states to protect people’s health through promoting a healthy environment.