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John Brian Shannon


John Brian Shannon lives on Canada's west coast and maintains six websites devoted to political and environmental affairs. Visit me at:

Dear John: My Letter From President Obama

In Thursday's announcement about his approval for a leg of the Keystone pipeline starting in Cushing, Oklahoma, the President spoke optimistically about America's energy future. A few weeks ago, I wrote to Obama urging him to make North America more energy self-sufficient. Here is his reply.
03/23/2012 11:56 EDT

Size Isn't Everything, Baby: The New, Small "Green" Nuclear Reactor

New hope for the nuclear power industry has arrived in the form of a brand-new nuclear power plant design -- known as small scale "modular" nuclear reactor, which is a profoundly better answer to the ultra-costly retrofitting of very old and large nuclear plants -- and long overdue for most of the world's reactors.
03/09/2012 09:01 EST

Solar Power Gets the Might of the U.S. Military Behind It

The U.S. military, suddenly faced with a shrinking budget and the need to lower costs over the long term, has turned to solar power. A rooftop solar array provides electricity for the U.S. naval site in San Diego; any surplus electricity generated on-site is sold to the San Diego grid.
02/15/2012 08:00 EST

Biofuel a Win-Win: Green and Cost-Effective

The quiet revolution is already well begun in the biofuel industry as it enters it's high-growth stage -- and it is only going to get better from here. Some cities have done the calculations, and surprise! -- it's more cost effective to re-process that oil than to deal with the harm to the environment from toxic used oil. Quite unlike fossil-fuels, which cause a huge net gain to our atmosphere -- the CO2 equation couldn't be better for plant-based diesel.
02/03/2012 07:12 EST

God Save Our Queen!

With respect to those who suggest we henceforth do without the British Monarchy, there wouldn't be a Canada without the British Monarchy. This trumps everything as regards this debate. We have real problems in Canada at the moment -- and the British Monarchy isn't one of them.
01/16/2012 02:05 EST

A Solution to Northern Gateway to Please Everyone

Whether we like it or not, this world runs on petroleum and petroleum-based products. Therefore, the question that needs to be asked: "How can our petroleum-based economy operate in an environmentally responsible way -- while costs to industry and consumers remain reasonable?"
01/09/2012 03:32 EST

Kyoto Is Dead -- But Don't Blame Peter Kent

It would have been better by light years if Canada had ended its Kyoto agreement responsibilities with a new and better environmental agreement already in hand -- instead of slinking away like the juvenile delinquent who missed so much school that catching up with the other students became completely out of the question.
01/02/2012 12:25 EST

Coal Gets Less Down and Dirty

For decades, the coal industry has been the energy sector 'bad boy' as far as the environmental movement is concerned. The list of negatives associated with the extraction, transportation, and use of coal are long and well-publicized. Today, however, the coal industry is on the cusp of a revolution--owing in part to proven technology and with huge thanks due to the environmental movement.
12/22/2011 11:54 EST

As China Goes Green What Is Canada Waiting for?

China's government has realized the importance of clean energy to the very survival and health of many thousands of citizens per year and the economy. China is now making huge strides to properly address it's environmental challenges and there is nothing stopping Canada from doing the same -- except ourselves.
12/17/2011 06:35 EST