The Energy Blog, Powered by Planet Forward, Launches on NationalGeographic.com

New partnership aims to bring “insight from insiders” to National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge initiative.

The Energy Blog, launching this week on NationalGeographic.com in partnership with Planet Forward challenges all who care about the future of energy to take the next step in the conversation. The blog, at www.greatenergychallengeblog.com, seeks to present a diverse range of voices to the discussion on shrinking energy resources and climate instability, as part of the National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge initiative.

Planet Forward’s Host, Frank Sesno, will highlight ideas you submit to Planet Forward on the Energy Blog twice a month.  You can see our first post "Leveraging the Power of Social Media to Solve Our Energy Challenges" now.

The Energy Blog focuses on the future of fuel and power with insights from insiders — academics, advocates, industry leaders and advisers — who are deeply engaged in the world’s shared energy and climate challenges. Their aim is to steer clear of empty rhetoric and encourage an exchange on solutions to one of the most pressing challenges the world faces.  See a full list of bloggers here>>

“We need to move beyond the back-and-forth that tends to bring policy debates down to the lowest common denominator and get you nowhere,” said Frank Sesno, host of Planet Forward and director of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, who will also contribute as a blogger. “These experts will help drive us toward real solutions and away from endless argument.”

National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge initiative is a three-year effort to help better understand the breadth and depth of our current energy situation.

“We’re enthusiastic about Planet Forward’s potential to engage young people in the complex issues related to the future of energy,” said Alexander Moen, National Geographic’s vice president for strategic initiatives and explorer programs. “We are delighted with the diverse, contemporary array of voices that this group of bloggers represents.”

Bloggers include:

●      Bill Chameides, dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, a program that strives “to understand the Earth and the environment including humans as an integrated whole.”

●      Robert Stone, an award-winning film director who is producing “Pandora’s Promise,” a film about the history and future of nuclear power and how it has come to be seen by many former opponents as perhaps the best hope for averting a climate catastrophe.

●      Raymond Orbach, Charlie Cooke, Charles Groat and Dale E. Klein, all of The Energy Institute at the University of Texas, Austin.

●      Timothy F. Sutherland, chairman and chief executive officer of Pace Global, an energy consulting and management firm that has been advising clients since 1976.

●      Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson, editors at Public Agenda.org and authors of “Who Turned Out the Lights? Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis.”

●      James Barrett, economist, who will track innovations that are spurring clean energy investments across the nation, including government investments in efficiency.

●      Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, chief executive officer of Green for All, a national organization working to build “an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.”

●      Martin Chávez, former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., and executive director of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the leading local-government association addressing climate and sustainability in the nation.

●      Gregory Kallenberg, a documentary filmmaker who directed the film “Haynesville,” about a huge natural gas reserve in Louisiana, its impact on people and the energy picture.

●      John R. Hickox, a partner at KPMG LLP, and the U.S. Practice Leader for Climate Change & Sustainability. He has more than 31 years of audit and consulting experience across many industries.

●      David Rain, Professor of Geography and International Affairs at the George Washington University

●      John Isham, Middlebury's Luce Professor of International Environmental Economics

The Energy Blog bloggers do so without payment and are solely responsible for the ideas and opinions in their posts.

Planet Forward is an online social network where creative and innovative ideas addressing global challenges are featured, discussed and evaluated. Planet Forward is a project of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs’ Center for Innovative Media. To learn more about the Planet Forward social network, visit http://www.planetforward.org.

The School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) is dedicated to the rigorous study of journalism and political communication with a focus on understanding the impact media have on how societies inform and govern, connect and communicate. As media undergo transformational change, SMPA’s goal is to advance both theoretical insight and innovative practice. SMPA conducts ground-breaking research, offers inspiring teaching, encourages hands-on work in the field and in our production facilities and engages directly with thought-leaders in Washington, D.C., and around the world. To learn more about SMPA, visit http://smpa.gwu.edu.

The George Washington University envisions a future with resource systems that are healthy and thriving for all. In efforts to enhance our campus, our nation’s capital and the world at large, the GW community is building a greener campus, providing research and intellectual discourse on policies and pathways to sustainable systems and equipping students with the skills and knowledge to contribute to a sustainable future.

NationalGeographic.com is the award-winning website of the National Geographic Society and attracts 15 million unique visitors a month. NationalGeographic.com combines National Geographic's video, photography and maps with in-depth information and interactive features about animals, nature, destinations and cultures. NationalGeographic.com’s news service, National Geographic News, publishes daily stories about science and discoveries. Information about advertising on NationalGeographic.com is at www.nationalgeographic.com/advertising.

The Great Energy Challenge includes energy news and interactive on-line resources for those interested in a deeper engagement in energy and climate issues, including an Energy Action Atlas, where readers can become advocates by making a donation, volunteering or just spreading the word. National Geographic also has assembled some of the world’s foremost researchers and scientists, led by Thomas Lovejoy, a National Geographic conservation fellow and renowned biologist, to identify and provide support for projects focused on innovative energy solutions. The initiative is sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell. National Geographic maintains autonomy over content. To learn more about the Great Energy Challenge, visit http://www.greatenergychallenge.com.

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.