The Columbia Political Review is a student run non-partisan publication. The views represented here belong to their author and are not representative of the publication's political views or sympathies.

2019 Editorial Board


ISabelle harris


Celine Bacha

Managing Editors

Hannah wyatt


benjy sachs

TEChnology & marketing Manager

Kerem TUncer 

Social media Manager

Anthony cosentino

arts editor

Antara agarwal

Podcast producers

KRisten Akey

Hannah wyatt

Senior Editors

Jake tibbetts

Christina hill


Henry feldman


Jodi lessner

akshiti vats

Copy Editors

Sonia mahajan

grace protasiewicz

aryeh hajibay

Mary zaradich

OP-ed staff writers

raya tarawneh

eric scheuch

sophia houdaigui

ayse yucesan

aja johnson

antara agarwal

pallavi sreedhar

jasleen chaggar

ramsay eyre

ellie hansen

rachel barkin

sarah desouza

feven negussie

Feature staff writers

anthony cosentino

kristen akey

kristha jenvaiyavasjamai

maria castillo

stella cavedon

devyani goel

janine nassar

diana valcarcel soler

stephanie choi

katherine malus


Briefing: Global Energy Policy

Despite the efforts of global institutions, energy policy in the developing world continues to be driven by geology, engineering, and economics, not climate change, But it must be recognized that the developing world comes in many shapes and sizes, and the world is in the midst of a carbon-based energy revolution. 4704_nuclear.jpgweb Dramatically large carbon-based energy resources—oil and gas—have been discovered over the past decade or so around the world in unexpected places: off the coast of Brazil and Argentina far below the sea bed and in very deep waters in the Santos Basin; within the deep shale formations in the United States in the Bakken, Utica, and Marcellus regions; trapped in sand in Western Canada; and in ever deeper water where more shallow wells were already producing oil, most notably in the South China Sea.

These finds have shifted the dynamic from discussions of “peak oil” to a future in which traditional energy resources appear to be plentiful and can come from very different places.  The future of oil exploration and production has shifted to the Americas, and the United States is now projected to be an energy exporting country within the decade, shifting the balance of trade, providing the country an economic re-do and reducing the strategic significance of oil-producing regions such as the Middle East (and possibly the likelihood of military involvement as well).

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is projected to be a net energy importer within the decade, under current trends.  This is a natural result of a rising middle class and the resultant increase in consumption.  Indeed, if there is any generalization that can be made around energy policy in the developing world, it is that consumption is increasing as a result of development in general and urbanization in particular—the latter being perhaps the most significant global mega-trend of this period of human history.

In the case of Saudi Arabia and several other countries with oil-based economies in sunny climates, the policy is toward alternative energy, particularly solar energy.  Indeed, Abu Dhabi is planning to be running 100% on alternative energy within the decade.  Others are sure to follow. If the economy is based upon energy export, there is no economy if all the energy is consumed internally.  Again, this is an economics driven decision, although Abu Dhabi is also pleased to be a world leader in what most believe will be an ultimate, if very long-term, conversion from fossil fuels.

The other big developing country energy policy story is China, which is projected to consume much of the excess that will become available as the United States slows its imports and production increases elsewhere.  China is working hard to manage development and urbanization on a scale never before experienced, leading to resource nationalism, and worse, not just for energy resources but also minerals and food.  Indeed, the next military hot spot of the world may be the South China Sea where China lays claim and which is also among the new hot spots for oil exploration and production.

If one is looking for glimmers of hope for alternative energy in the developing world, one interesting study is Brazil which, besides its newly found oil, is also a leader in hydro-power (not without environmental issues) and biofuels which it is producing economically alongside agricultural production.

The luck of geology, carbon deposits, and the power of engineering still combine with the basic forces of macroeconomics to drive energy policy in both the developing and developed worlds.  Before a more orderly global energy policy will emerge, the developed nations, primarily the United States, need to lead with a climate change plan. That, however, will require a more robust economic recovery and a national political consensus on the issue.

     The Moment of Energy Access

Professor Phil LaRocco

Handling Growing Energy Consumption

Professor Jason Bordoff

Briefing: The Moment of Energy Access

Sir, Yes, Sir

Sir, Yes, Sir