Meet John Shannon: Environment and Development Columnist

by September 24, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,793 3 Comments

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

"John Shannon"

John Shannon. (Courtesy John Shannon)

Borderstan is happy to introduce a new columnist to the team, John Shannon. He will write about the environment, green energy, sustainable development and economic issues. We had a little chat with him and he explained what his new column will be bringing to us.

Borderstan: Tell us a little bit about yourself? Please include the types of publications and websites to which you contribute.

Shannon: Since the late 1960s I have been interested in sustainable development on the planet. We have just passed the 7 billion population mark on our way to approximately 10 billion people in 2050 and if the rapidly growing developing-world decides to match our developed-world rates of consumption, we will need another five planet Earth’s to support us at that time.

To put this in some kind of context, of the 7 billion people alive today only 1 billion live in the developed-world. The other 6 billion live in the booming (population-wise) developing world, which will add another 3 billion (approx) to the Earth by 2050. Developed-world nations will retain their largely static population numbers through 2050.

Green energy is my preferred topic and now, as solar and wind energy are about to meet price parity with conventional sources of energy, it is an exciting time for sustainable energy bloggers to be alive. I write for a number of websites covering energy, sustainable development, and diplomacy, and I contribute articles to the United Nations Development Programme.

Borderstan: Why are green energy and environmental issues so important, particularly in cities and urban areas?

Shannon: We are all healthier when we breathe clean air and have ready access to clean water. These are life necessities and are in no way optional, in my opinion.  Years ago, before California enacted air-quality legislation, that city was covered with a thick blanket of smog — just as Beijing, China, and other cities are today.

There is no doubt that the quality of life has improved for the citizens of Los Angeles — as it relates to clean air and the knock-on health effects of breathing dramatically cleaner air. Everyone on the planet deserves to breathe clean air and have access to clean water.

Borderstan: Tell us what your column will be about?

Shannon: The vast majority of people want to help our planet’s environment. This speaks well of us as a species and is in our best long-term interests. By showcasing successful examples of sustainable energy and development, with a nod to environmental policy and practices, I hope to share timely information with Borderstan readers.

Borderstan: What have we missed… what would you like to add.

Shannon: When the economics of green energy aligns with the economics of other sources of energy, the transition to cleaner energy solutions will happen quickly. In fact, this process is already beginning to happen. Until 2020 at least, green energy bloggers will be bursting with good-news stories! Life is good.

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