A Cool Look at Energy and Global Warming – Masoud Mostajabi

Gaps remain in our knowledge about climate change, but the clear majority of scientists are currently convinced that the gradual rise of the Earth’s temperature has been especially evident since the late eighteenth century when the invention of power-driven machinery kick-started the Industrial Revolution and so caused an increase in the human-made gases that alter the atmospheres insulating effects. Gas molecules such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) create a greenhouse roof by trapping the heat remitted from the Earth which would otherwise escape into outer space. Since the 1950s, the emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal in order to produce energy, have climbed steadily and risen fourfold. As of 2005, the energy sector accounted for 75 percent of the worlds atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (with 70 percent of the global emissions from fossil fuel combustion) and 96 percent of the worlds CO2 emissions. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here in the United States, by 2010, fossil fuel combustion amounted to 79 percent of US GHG and 94 percent of US CO2 emissions with 5 percent of US GHG emissions coming from the methane released by coal mining and oil and gas systems. In addition, according to Michael Jenkins (2007), President and CEO of Forest Trends, deforestation has contributed to climate change as it has accounted for, “17 to 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions…second only to energy use”. Continue reading

The IMF to the Rescue – Masoud Mostajabi

As a consequence of the Bretton Woods Conference in July of 1944, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has evolved into an institution that assumes some of the basic functions of a world central bank without the need for a debate over a global currency or political union. Many critics charge that the IMF is an ineffective Band-Aid, a rescuer of undeserving bankers, its programs as imprudent or wasteful, and that countries and investors may take excess risks knowing the IMF will ‘come to the rescue’. However, in cases in which the IMF has successfully applied its programs and maintained a healthy relationship with the government have been applied, large-scale successes have been witnessed. Here I will look at the process of seeking IMF help, two cases in which the IMF brought about this success, and the IMF’s importance to the dynamic global economy. Continue reading