mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


Big news–good and bad–about climate change

The good news is, the IPCC has reportedly concluded that renewable energy can provide 80% of the world’s needs by 2050; see the BBC’s report at

The bad news? Climate change is already lowering corn and wheat yields, according to a new peer-reviewed study. A team including David Lobell of Stanford, one of my key sources in HOT, has concluded that yields have fallen approximately 5 percent over the last thirty years in much of the world (though not, oddly, in the United States). The study is behind a pay-wall, but you can get the gist from this San Francisco Chronicle story:



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By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did: leak top secret documents revealing that the US government was spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world. But if you want to know why Snowden did it, the way he did it, you need to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same surveillance ten years before Snowden did and got crushed. The other is The Third Man, a former senior Pentagon official who comes forward in this book for the first time to describe how his superiors repeatedly broke the law to punish Drakeā€”and unwittingly taught Snowden how to evade their clutches.

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About Mark

Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard is the author of seven books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden; HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth; and A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. He has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, culture and the environment for leading outlets, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where is the environment correspondent. He lives in San Francisco.