mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


Double Code Red: The Melting Arctic

Someone had better warn Santa Claus. First it was polar bears who were threatened by global warming. Now it’s reindeer: their numbers have fallen by one-third since the 1990s, according to a British parliament report. It’s past time to ban oil drilling in the fast-melting Arctic, but the US, Russia, China and others have self-destructively different plans, as I report in this piece, which was a cover story in Newsweek Japan and appeared in English in The Daily Beast:… Read more


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ExxonMobil Accepts Carbon Price, Privately

ExxonMobil and four other Big Oil companies are already putting a price on carbon pollution for internal corporate planning, reveals a new report from the excellent non-profit, CDP (aka, The Carbon Disclosure Project): So are at least 25 other corporate giants, including Microsoft, Google, Walmart, General Electric, Dupont, Disney and Delta Airlines. So it’s high time that these corporations–many of whom, such as ExxonMobil, have spent millions of dollars to confuse the public and the media about climate change and back obstructionists on Capitol Hill–stop blocking government actions to fight climate change, wouldn’t you say? The corporations could begin by telling Republicans (and oil and coal state Democrats) to… Read more

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Help Typhoon Victims in Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan, the Category 5 mega-storm that slammed into the eastern Philippines on Friday, has left at least 10,000 people dead and many more injured while destroying vital water, electricity and transportation infrastructure, according to the latest news reports. The suffering is terrible, the need for outside assistance urgent. If you feel so inclined, please join me in making a donation to Oxfam’s relief and rebuilding effort. In my years of reporting from various distressed situations around the world, I’ve been consistently impressed with Oxfam’s work, which combines immediate post-disaster aid with longer-term goals of development, justice and sustainability. You can make a donation specifically for the Philippines here:… Read more

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Wall Street Journal Publishes Al Gore!?!

Amazing! The Wall Street Journal, which has been in the climate denial business longer and louder than any other news organization in the world, has just published Al Gore arguing the investment case for leaving 2/3 of remaining fossil fuels in the ground: Might the financial class finally be awakening to the gravity of the climate crisis? Or is this just a day when pigs fly, sidewalks talk and the sun sets in the… Read more

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LSU, Climate Change and Fire Alarms

I gave a speech last month at LSU, where the Honors College had picked HOT as the “common book” all first-year students read. Unfortunately, I couldn’t deliver the full speech because I was interrupted, three separate times, by fire alarms. Was that because I was talking about climate change on a campus drenched in oil and gas money? Read my piece in The Gambit Weekly and decide for yourself:…. Read more

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The World Bank’s New Climate Policy?

Most of the coal plants fouling the skies of India and China and helping to drive global warming would never have been built without loans from the World Bank, loans encouraged by the United States. President Obama has urged the Bank to stop such loans, and that appears to be happening, as I discuss in this book review for OnEarth magazine:… Read more

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Latest Book


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.

Pick up your copy at: | Barnes & Noble

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.