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Biography

Michael Jessen is an environmentalist and author. He lives in beautiful Nelson, BC.

Michael has resided in Nelson for 40 years. He served as the BC president of the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) for eight years during the 1970s and 1980s and is a founding member of the Recycling Council of BC. He helped fight for the creation of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. Michael served two years on Nelson City Council from 1973 to 1974.


A graduate of the University of BC, Michael received a BA in 1970, majoring in history and political science. He operated a popular restaurant (Preservation House Espresso) in Nelson for 10 years and also worked as the recycling coordinator for the Regional District of Central Kootenay for 10 years.


Michael has been following energy issues since the 1973 oil crisis. He received funding from the federal government to start the Nelson Community Energy Conservation Centre in 1978, which sought to alert the city to the vast sums of money being sent to corporate head offices for the purchase of energies such as vehicle gasoline, oil and natural gas, and he initiated a number of other conservation programs in the years following.


Michael is aware of the need to transition to a low-carbon, steady state economy and is both the Energy Critic and Secretary for the Green Party of BC.


He presented the only brief opposing outright the construction of the Revelstoke Dam at the water license hearings in 1976, arguing instead that the money should be spent on energy conservation efforts. Ironically, he was terminated from his job as an accounts payable clerk in the Fish and Wildlife Branch for urging the firing of Robert Bonner, then the head of BC Hydro.


Originally a journalist, Michael has written for the Nanaimo Daily Free Press, the Vancouver Sun, and the Nelson Daily News. He has authored more than 800 newspaper and online columns about sustainable lifestyles, climate change, and waste reduction. Currently, Michael is an efficiency and renewable-energy advisor and operates Zero Waste Solutions, a consultancy specializing in aiding companies, communities, and individuals in the sustainable use of resources. He contributes a regular column on energy and environmental issues to TheNelsonDaily.com.