Justin Gerdes

Justin Gerdes

Freelance Writer and Editor

Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Industry
Writing and Editing

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Justin Gerdes's Overview

Current
  • Freelance Writer at Freelance Writer and Editor
Past
  • Journalist and Web Editor at Mandag Morgen
  • Journalist and Web Editor at Copenhagen Climate Council
  • Editor-in-Chief at Walter McGuire and Company Inc.
Education
Connections

335 connections

Websites

Justin Gerdes' Summary

I'm a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent journalist specializing in energy and the environment. My work has appeared at the Guardian, Forbes, Yale Environment 360, Atlantic Cities, MotherJones.com, Smithsonian, Ensia, and Chinadialogue, among others. I formerly published a blog at Forbes.com, where I often wrote about energy efficiency, LEDs, and EVs. See the "Publications" list below.

In April 2014, I published the ebook "Beyond Freeways: Community, Commerce, and Contention Along Los Angeles’s 710 Corridor," available at Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes store, and Sustainable City News.

In February 2013, I published the "Transportation" chapter in "Guide to Sustainia: Exploring the Sustainable Society of Tomorrow," published by Monday Morning.

From October 2008 to December 2009, I was the Lead Writer/Web Editor for the Copenhagen Climate Council. There, I also contributed to Monday Morning, the Danish weekly news magazine. I also contributed three chapters to "Heroes of the Green Age," an anthology published in December 2009 by Monday Morning (Egmont/Lindhardt & Ringhof).

In 2009, I reported from the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change, in Copenhagen, in March; the UNFCCC climate change talks in Bonn, Germany, in April; the World Climate Conference-3, in Geneva, Switzerland, in September; and COP15, in Copenhagen, in December.

Previously, I served three years as Editor-in-Chief for Flex Your Power, California’s statewide climate change and energy efficiency education campaign, based in San Francisco. There, I edited and was chief writer for a blog, e-mail newsletter, policy papers, and best practices guides.

Before this, I was the editor for the magazine of The Commonwealth Club of California, a public affairs forum based in San Francisco. My journalism career started with an editorial fellowship with Mother Jones, the San Francisco-based award-winning investigative journalism magazine.

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JustinGerdes

Specialties

Energy efficiency and conservation, California energy policy, U.S. environmental and energy policy, COP15, Copenhagen Accord, UNFCCC climate talks, international climate policy, Web publishing, social media,

Justin Gerdes' Experience

Freelance Writer

Freelance Writer and Editor

January 2010Present (4 years 9 months) San Francisco Bay Area

My feature stories and short articles have appeared at Yale Environment 360, the Guardian, Forbes.com, MotherJones.com, ChinaDialogue, GreenBiz.com, Earth2Tech.com, Living Energy, and Santa Clara Magazine, among others.

I also contributed three chapters to "Heroes of the Green Age," an anthology published in December 2009 by Monday Morning (Egmont/Lindhardt & Ringhof; http://bit.ly/dyLAbN).

Journalist and Web Editor

Mandag Morgen

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Think Tanks industry

October 2008December 2009 (1 year 3 months) Copenhagen Area, Denmark

From October 2008 to December 2009, I served as editor and chief writer of the Copenhagen Climate Council’s website, an initiative of the leading think tank in Scandinavia, Monday Morning (Mandag Morgen). The CCC comprised 30 internationally renowned figures from science, policy, and business, including author Tim Flannery, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, UC Berkeley professor Dan Kammen, and Steven Chu, who was a member of the Council until his nomination as U.S. Energy Secretary in December 2008. My duties included managing a small team of in-house writers and commissioning freelance and expert submissions.

As the CCC’s Journalist and Web Editor, I covered international climate change and energy policy and the development of low-carbon solutions. I also contributed feature stories to Monday Morning’s influential Danish news weekly magazine Mandag Morgen.

In 2009, I reported from the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change, in Copenhagen, in March; the UNFCCC climate change talks in Bonn, Germany, in April; the World Climate Conference-3, in Geneva, Switzerland, in September; and I was onsite to cover COP15, in Copenhagen, in December.

I also co-managed a global youth website, launched by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in May 2009, PlanetCall.org, and i speak earth, launched by actress and environmentalist Cate Blanchett and the CCC in November 2009.

Journalist and Web Editor

Copenhagen Climate Council

October 2008December 2009 (1 year 3 months) Copenhagen Area, Denmark

From October 2008 to December 2009, I served as editor and chief writer of the Copenhagen Climate Council’s website, an initiative of the leading think tank in Scandinavia, Monday Morning (Mandag Morgen). The CCC comprised 30 internationally renowned figures from science, policy, and business, including author Tim Flannery, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, UC Berkeley professor Dan Kammen, and Steven Chu, who was a member of the Council until his nomination as U.S. Energy Secretary in December 2008. My duties included managing a small team of in-house writers and commissioning freelance and expert submissions.

Editor-in-Chief

Walter McGuire and Company Inc.

August 2005October 2008 (3 years 3 months) San Francisco Bay Area

In this position, I oversaw all editorial content for the Flex Your Power campaign, including an extensive Web site, a bi-weekly email and online newsletter, e-Newswire, and blog, the Power Plug. These publications tracked energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change news and trends in California, Washington, D.C., and internationally (http://www.fypower.org/news/). e-Newswire and the Power Plug were read by energy-industry decision-makers and thought leaders in California and beyond, including officials in the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Energy Commission, and California Public Utilities Commission. My duties as Editor-in-Chief included managing a team of staff and contract writers.

Nonprofit; 11-50 employees; Civic & Social Organization industry

October 2002August 2005 (2 years 11 months) San Francisco Bay Area

At the Club, I edited delivered speeches for publication in The Commonwealth, wrote short news items, and copy-edited and fact-checked all in-house publications, including the monthly magazine and program calendar. I also served as the Research Assistant for "Each a Mighty Voice," an anthology of notable Club speeches on politics and the media, published in October 2004 by Heyday Books.

Editorial Fellow

Mother Jones

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Publishing industry

December 2001July 2002 (8 months) San Francisco Bay Area

At Mother Jones, my responsibilities included: fact-checking feature stories; investigating story ideas suggested by editors or authors; and suggesting story ideas for the magazine and website. I also contributed short features for MotherJones.com

Justin Gerdes' Skills & Expertise

  1. Climate Change
  2. Editing
  3. Writing
  4. Blogging
  5. Journalism
  6. Online Publishing
  7. Social Media
  8. Magazines
  9. Editorial
  10. Energy
  11. Energy Policy
  12. Energy Efficiency
  13. Renewable Energy
  14. Climate Policy
  15. Environmental Awareness
  16. Online Journalism
  17. Publishing
  18. Feature Articles
  19. Transportation
  20. Electric Vehicles
  21. Sustainability
  22. Politics
  23. Clean Energy Technologies
  24. Books
  25. Publications
  26. Public Policy
  27. Cleantech

View All (27) Skills View Fewer Skills

Justin Gerdes' Honors and Awards

  • Guest Lecturer

    UC Santa Cruz
    • November 2011

    I delivered the lecture "International Climate Politics: Kyoto, Durban, and Beyond" for the course "Global Politics." (University of California, Santa Cruz, November 29, 2011)

  • Fellow

    Media21
    • September 2009

    I was selected as a Fellow for "Climate Change IV: Anticipating Climate Risks," a journalist workshop sponsored by the Geneva-based organization Media21. The workshop ran concurrently with the 3rd World Climate Conference, convened in Geneva, the site of the workshop training and field reporting. (August 31 - September 8, 2009)

  • Guest Lecturer

    Diablo Valley Democratic Club
    • February 2012

    I delivered the lecture "International Climate Politics: Kyoto, Durban, and Beyond" to the Diablo Valley Democratic Club (Walnut Creek, California, February 15, 2012)

  • Guest Lecturer

    UC Berkeley
    • July 2012

    I delivered the lecture "International Climate Politics: Kyoto, Durban, and Beyond" for the course "Global Environmental Politics." (University of California, Berkeley, July 26, 2012)

  • Moderator

    Energy Storage North America 2013
    • September 2013

    I moderated the "Microgrids and Their Role for Greater Overall Grid Resiliency" panel at the Energy Storage North America 2013. (San Jose, California, September 12, 2013)

  • Moderator

    SXSW Eco 2013
    • October 2013

    I moderated the "No Money Down: Financing a Clean Energy Retrofit Through Your Utility Bill" panel at SXSW Eco 2013. (Austin, Texas, October 8, 2013)

  • Guest Lecturer

    UC Santa Cruz
    • April 2014

    I delivered the lecture "International Climate Politics: The Path to Paris" for the course "Global Organization." (University of California, Santa Cruz, April 30, 2014)

Justin Gerdes' Publications

  • Regulating America's Fracking Boom

    • Chinadialogue
    • March 10, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    America’s shale-gas industry is booming, but as fears grow over unconventional drilling techniques, environmental regulators are struggling to keep pace.

  • Summits

    • Santa Clara Magazine
    • December 1, 2010
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    My profile of mountaineer Megan Delehanty. Story ran on the cover of the Winter 2010 Santa Clara Magazine.

  • Securing Weapons of Mass Disruption

    • Washington Square
    • August 8, 2010
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    Each year, San José State University sends more than 1,000 engineering and IT graduates on to careers at high-tech firms in Silicon Valley and around the world. Professor Sigurd Meldal wants them ready to protect an ever-more interconnected—and insecure—cyber world.

  • Prepare for a JOLT! - Interview with James Billmaier

    • Santa Clara Magazine
    • February 24, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    My interview with James Billmaier, a Silicon Valley veteran and author of JOLT!, on the impending dominance of the electric car.

  • Heroes of the Green Age

    • Monday Morning (Mandag Morgen)
    • December 7, 2009
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    I published three chapters (“The Emperor of the Sun,” “The Sky Is the Limit,” and “Smoke”) in this anthology of profiles of the men, women, and ideas shaping our low-carbon future.

  • Killing the Messenger

    • MotherJones.com
    • July 9, 2002
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    An academic disagreement over a research team's report has exploded into a proxy fight over the benefits of biotechnology.

  • Bridging the Gap to Copenhagen

    • Monday Morning (Mandag Morgen)
    • June 4, 2009
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    The global efforts to hammer out the successor to the Kyoto Protocol seems to be running out of time. So why will we get a Copenhagen deal? It's very simple: The two indispensable nations have joined the fight, and economics favors those ready to address climate change

  • COP15 Daily Brief: the Copenhagen Accord

    • Monday Morning (Mandag Morgen)
    • December 20, 2009
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    After a frantic day of negotiations, world leaders agreed to the Copenhagen Accord on COP15's last day. While all admit it is inadequate to the task, the Accord is a significant first step in engaging the world's largest emitters in the global effort to slash carbon emissions.

  • Tapping into US tribal power

    • Chinadialogue
    • May 11, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    Against the odds, Native American communities are overcoming historic hurdles and building the first wave of renewable-energy projects in “Indian country.”

  • A two-wheeled future?

    • Chinadialogue
    • June 9, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    While China's thriving bike culture is threatened by cars, the US is trying to inspire passion for cycling. Following a chinadialogue seminar, Justin Gerdes reports on efforts to promote this sustainable form of transport.

  • Siemens Debuts HVDC PLUS with San Francisco's Trans Bay Cable

    • Living Energy
    • July 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    A new 85-kilometer cable running under the San Francisco Bay can transmit up to 40 percent of the peak power needs for the City of San Francisco. The link is the world's first deployment of Siemens' next-generation HVDC PLUS technology, a transmission solution for space-constrained urban environments and remote sources of renewable energy.

  • The Search for Cleaner Fracking

    • Chinadialogue
    • August 25, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    With federal regulation looming, US energy firms are rolling out technologies to reduce the environmental impact of shale-gas drilling. Justin Gerdes looks at one of the key challenges: wastewater.

  • Putting Cleantech on the Map

    • Santa Clara Magazine
    • October 3, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    The Center for Science, Technology, and Society tracks where off-the-grid solutions are lighting the way with the release of the Energy Map.

  • Guide to Sustainia: Exploring the Sustainable Society of Tomorrow

    • Monday Morning
    • October 13, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    What will green growth look like in 2020? This scenario report, "Guide to Sustainia," provides a look at the technologies and policies that will make life greener and better in that year. I am the author of the Transportation chapter.

  • Violators Beware

    • Chinadialogue
    • December 13, 2011
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    China’s burgeoning green laws pose challenges for international firms – and those who don’t stay ahead risk reputation and money. Justin Gerdes hears the message loud and clear at a chinadialogue seminar.

  • Copenhagen's Green Sheen: It's Not Just About the Bikes

    • Forbes
    • January 23, 2012
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    My most popular Forbes post. It looks at some interesting findings from a recent report released by Green Growth Leaders, in Copenhagen. The authors found that Copenhagen's environmental protection efforts, including encouraging commuting by bike, cleaning the water in the harbor, and building out a smart, integrated transit network, produce real social and economics benefits.

  • Sustainia100

    • Monday Morning
    • June 20, 2012

    Sustainia100 guides you through exciting and inspiring solutions ready to be used today. We take you from solar power in Sudan to sustainable fashion in Switzerland; from water cooling in Canada to solar cooling in Singapore; and from buses in Brazil to smart buildings in Sydney.

    Sustainia100 takes you to 56 countries on six continents. The solutions impact 10 different sectors in a multitude of ways. Their cross-sectoral impacts and systemic character is a common denominator throughout this guide.

  • Copenhagen’s Ambitious Push To Be Carbon-Neutral by 2025

    • Yale Environment 360
    • April 11, 2013
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    My first story for Yale Environment 360: Last September I traveled to Copenhagen to meet with city officials and local NGO, cleantech, and philanthropy leaders to learn more about Copenhagen's plan to be the world's first carbon-neutral capital by 2025.

  • Copenhagen's ambitious push to be carbon-neutral by 2025

    • Guardian Environment Network
    • April 12, 2013
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    The Danish capital is moving rapidly toward a zero-carbon future, as it erects windfarms, transforms its citywide heating systems, promotes energy efficiency, and lures more people out of their cars and onto public transportation and bikes.

  • Carbon Neutral Capital

    • Living on Earth
    • April 19, 2013
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    In fall 2012, Copenhagen laid out an ambitious plan to become the world's first carbon neutral capital by 2025. There's still a long way to go, but as reporter Justin Gerdes tells host Steve Curwood, the Danish city has made great progress, with an ocean-water cooling system up and running, a bike super-highway and of course, many windmills.

  • Marines Push to Front Lines in Renewable Energy Innovation

    • Yale Environment 360
    • June 27, 2013
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    A backpack that generates electricity? A vest that cools you in a hot tent? As the U.S. military looks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, the Marine Corps is leading the way with cutting-edge technology and innovative devices. In this dispatch for Yale Environment 360, I describe my visit to the Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, California, where I toured a demonstration site showcasing the Corps' latest in energy-saving gear.

  • How to convince Wall Street to invest in energy efficiency

    • Guardian Sustainable Business
    • August 26, 2013
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    US policymakers have long struggled with the challenge of unlocking cheap capital for energy efficiency projects. Can California make it happen?

  • How Microgrids are Bolstering the Nation’s Power Infrastructure

    • Smithsonian Magazine
    • November 15, 2013
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    My first piece for Smithsonian Magazine: "How Microgrids are Bolstering the Nation’s Power Infrastructure" - Rather than drain power from a nearby plant, these systems create energy of their own, making for a more sustainable future

  • Oceans of Energy

    • Ensia
    • March 10, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    Technologies that harness the energy of moving water or temperature differentials in the oceans promise to deliver abundant carbon-free electricity.

  • Beyond Freeways: Community, Commerce, and Contention Along Los Angeles's 710 Corridor

    • Amazon.com
    • April 10, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    This is an ebook report on the continuing controversy over freeway builders and boosters’ determination to expand and extend the 710 Freeway corridor to accommodate freight traffic from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, despite the harm already inflicted on communities along the route, and in spite of the alternatives offered to more of the same.

  • Beyond Freeways: Community, Commerce, and Contention Along Los Angeles's 710 Corridor

    • Sustainable City News
    • April 10, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    This is an ebook report on the continuing controversy over freeway builders and boosters’ determination to expand and extend the 710 Freeway corridor to accommodate freight traffic from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, despite the harm already inflicted on communities along the route, and in spite of the alternatives offered to more of the same.

  • San Francisco Neighborhood Models Resilience Planning From The Grassroots Up

    • Citiscope
    • May 7, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    This piece is a look at how San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood is building a culture of resilience. The planning and partnerships building now may be what will save this low-income neighborhood when disaster strikes.

  • How a Low-Income San Francisco Neighborhood Is Building a Culture of Disaster Preparedness

    • Atlantic Cities
    • May 7, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    This piece is a look at how San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood is building a culture of resilience. The planning and partnerships building now may be what will save this low-income neighborhood when disaster strikes.

  • Life with a Leaf: What I Learned From Four Months with an Electric Car

    • Guardian Sustainable Business
    • June 11, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    Four months ago, my wife and I leased a new Nissan Leaf. Here are some notes and lessons that we learned on what drivers can expect in the new world of plug-in cars.

  • The Emerging Power of Microgrids

    • Ensia
    • July 3, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    After more than a century with little change, electricity infrastructure is being remade. Prepare for the arrival of the renewable energy microgrid.

  • Shared Shipping Is Slowly Gaining Ground Between Market Rivals

    • Guardian Sustainable Business
    • August 11, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    Companies cut expenses and carbon when they ‘compete on the shelf and collaborate on the back of a truck’. But how to build the trust it needs to succeed?

  • How's the Water?

    • Santa Clara Magazine
    • July 16, 2014
    Authors: Justin Gerdes

    How's the water? A lab on a chip helps provide the answer - which is a matter of life and death when the question is whether drinking water contains arsenic.

Justin Gerdes' Education

Northern Arizona University

B.S., Environmental Science/Political Science

19941998

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