mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


The Pentagon Takes on Climate Deniers

The US military has long worried about climate change but kept relatively quiet, in part because its budget is set by a Congress where climate denial remains a Republican litmus test. Defense Secretary Hagel’s announcement that climate change poses “immediate” risks to national security indicates the Pentagon has decided to wait no longer. Read the backstory to this potentially game-changing development in my Businessweek article:… Read more


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NYC Climate March = People’s Movement?

The People’s Climate March that thronged the streets of New York on September 21 was important not only for its immense size but also its impressive diversity–of race, age and class. At last, the climate movement appears to be organizing itself into the kind of people’s movement that can build, and wield, political power. See my eyewitness report in The Nation:… Read more

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Will the People’s Climate March Be A Success?

It’s easy to get cynical about street protests: do they really make much difference? I tackle that question in this piece for The Nation about the People’s Climate March taking place this Sunday, September 21, in New York City, which the organizers promise will be the largest climate demonstration ever and an “historic” event:… Read more

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California Leads on Climate While US Sleeps

Does the road to a global climate deal at the Paris 2015 conference lead through California? That’s what Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, the former and current governors of the world’s eighth biggest economy, argued yesterday in Sacramento, where they contrasted California’s pioneering, bipartisan example with the denial and paralysis in Washington. Read more in this piece for Bloomberg Businessweek:… Read more

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The $28 Trillion Climate Write-Down

I have the lead story in this week’s issue of Businessweek, drawing attention to president Obama’s (oddly overlooked) recent statement that, yes, two-thirds of the earth’s fossil fuels must be left in the ground to avoid catastrophic amounts of climate change: This strikes me as by far the most important statement Obama has made about climate change during his presidency: if enacted, it would revolutionize global energy practices; halt all exploration for additional deposits of fossil fuels; effectively rule out fracking (the whole purpose of which is to access those two-thirds of reserves that conventional drilling can’t get); and affirm the importance of the fossil… Read more

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Will Jerry Brown Frack California?

The latest climate science says humanity must leave two-thirds of the earth’s proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground, unburned, if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. This imperative in effect rules out fracking–the practice of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to force previously inaccessible oil and gas to the surface–because fracking is all about accessing those two-thirds of reserves. All of which creates a dilemma for governor Jerry Brown, a self-identified climate champion who nevertheless allows fracking in California. See my print piece The Nation here: Radio versions of the story aired locally on KALW, one of the two NPR stations in the Bay… Read more

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Latest Book


Hertsgaard’s latest book, HOT, describes how his five year old daughter and the rest of Generation Hot can cope with the massive climate impacts that are now inevitable. Packed with eyewitness reporting on existing solutions for "avoiding the unmanageable and managing the unavoidable," HOT shows how we all must think--and act--differently now in the fight against climate change. Read more

Pick up your copy at: | Barnes & Noble

About Mark

Called "one of America’s finest reporters" by Barbara Ehrenreich, Mark Hertsgaard is the author of six books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Earth Odyssey and On Bended Knee. He has covered climate change, politics and the media for leading media outlets around the world, including Vanity Fair, The Nation, Time, The New Yorker, NPR, L’espresso, Die Zeit and Le Monde Diplomatique.