mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


The New Yorker and Climate Adaptation

A recent article in The New Yorker about how New York City can better prepare for climate change in the wake of Hurricane Sandy made some useful observations but unfortunately missed most of the larger point, I argue in this Letter to the Editor:… Read more



Climate Activists Demand More in Obama’s Second Term

With climate change arriving sooner and nastier than even the most worried scientists had projected, activists in the US will be pressing Obama harder than ever to show real leadership. Two big demonstrations planned for the Spring in Washington, D.C., will frame 100 days of action. Read more in this special issue of The Nation about Obama’s second term:… Read more

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Ignoring the (Winning) US Climate Movement

Why do so many people, including those who should know better, talk and write as if there is no mass movement against climate change in the United States? A movement that, by the way, has won major victories in the past few years? Hint: Inside-the-Beltway tunnel vision does not affect only the mainstream political class. Read more in Grist:… Read more

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Mr. President, Start the Climate Conversation Now

My open letter to president Obama, after government scientists named 2012 the hottest year on record in the United States, urging him to (finally) start the national conversation he promised to lead on climate change:… Read more

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The End of Pasta, Courtesy of Climate Change?

Pasta is made from wheat, and wheat will be hit especially hard by the rising temperatures and other impacts of accelerating climate change. I report from North Dakota, long the source of some of the finest pasta wheat in the world, about how climate change has shifted the growing zone–right into the path of the biggest oil boom in recent history, the Bakken Oil Play. Read all about it in Newsweek:… Read more

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Latinos As the New Climate Champions

Latinos tipped the balance of the 2012 election by turning out in large numbers and choosing Obama over Romney by roughly 3 to 1. Additional polling and election results suggests that Latinos could provide the same decisive push for US politicians to finally get serious about climate solutions, as I report in this article for The Nation:… 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.