World Bank President, Colorado College Graduate, and Controversial Figure – The Catalyst


October 14, 2022 | NEWS | By Leigh Walden

With a budget of $190 million, the World Bank is one of the most powerful institutions in the world. The current World Bank president, David Malpass, happens to be a Colorado College graduate who recently failed to say concretely if he believed in human contributions to climate change.

Malpass, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from CCjoked publicly in an interview with the New York Times on an answer to the question “Do you accept the scientific consensus that the artificial combustion of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet?” His final answer: “I’m not a scientist.”

The World Bank’s mission is to reduce poverty by lending money to poor countries to improve their economy and standard of living. It does this primarily through a loan program. Recently, the World Bank has been criticized for its failure to provide nations with more support to deal with the repercussions of the climate crisis.

Malpass, who did not respond to The Catalyst’s request for comment, has since come out to say that the work the World Bank is doing to report on the consequences of climate change is complete and meaningful. Still, some experts call for Biden to remove him from office.

The CC graduate was originally nominated for the post of President of the World Bank by former President Donald Trump. By the time of his appointment, Malpass’s economic ideology had reformed several times. To some, these changes looked like the ebb of economic theory based on who was in power and who could bestow it on them.

Andy Fresen ’23, an economics student at Colorado College, spoke about some of the fluctuations that David Malpass has exhibited since becoming such a public figure in the world of economics. “David Malpass worked in the pirate business for many years…and then he just established his career as a conservative columnist for the Wall Street Journal,” Fresen said, “…even as a columnist, he had these issues…when David Malpass writes you can’t test it.He writes it the way he wants it to be.

David Malpass contradicts himself in some of his writings as a journalist speaking both on the importance of trade in the early 2010s, then under the Trump administration, writing about how restricting trade is better. “He writes what he wants to write to achieve a political end,” Fresen said.

Despite these criticisms, David Malpass said he won’t resign and the Biden administration did nothing to impeach him.

More locally, Malpass raises questions about how courses at CC balance the curriculum but also the teaching standards of practice for individuals who will become professionals in their field.

Fresen says, “If you can’t see that climate change and what causes climate change is a financial risk and a risk to improving the quality of human life, how can we be sure you’ll be objective? The inability to act on behalf of reality has caused conflict at Malpass over this issue and contradicts CC’s mission to create exceptional adults who are both knowledgeable in their field of study and the broader issue of life. ‘inequality.

Marc Eiswerth, a visiting professor in the Department of Economics, spoke about the ways in which the school tries to achieve this balance. “At CC and almost all major universities, students are encouraged to take courses in environmental economics, natural economics, sometimes energy economics,” Eiswerth said. All of these courses attempt to understand the complex relationship between the economy and the natural world.

Jake Organ, another professor in the economics department, said that at some point, however, the school could do little to instill the importance of the relationship between economics and a variety of social issues. .

“When you leave Colorado College, it’s a very different world, and the question is how do you transform to engage with that world,” Organ said. “College is wonderful because it’s a time to really think about complex issues…to use that time to sort out some of the trickier things…so you can get out into the world and really try to figure them out. TO DO.”

For some at CC, a big future challenge is to find that balance while empowering others to make real, concrete change.


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