mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


Are You Paying For Journalism? Why Not?

Vigorous journalism is essential to true democracy, but the rise of the Internet and the related assumption that no one has to pay for journalism is undermining news organizations the world over, as I report in this Nation piece about mass lay-offs at The Guardian:  If you care about democracy and the informed public it requires, please do your part.  We journalists don’t ask for much, but we do need a living… Read more


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New York AG Wants To Know: Did ExxonMobil Lie To Investors?

Pity the poor fossil fuel industry! New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman warns ExxonMobil and its industry brethren that “dramatic changes” are ahead in a Nation interview where he discusses the need to pursue both “transactional” and “transformational” politics:… Read more


How GOP Climate Deniers Weakened Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement doubtless would have been much stronger if the US delegation didn’t have to avoid items that would have qualified the agreement as a “treaty” that a Republican-dominated Senate surely would have killed:… Read more

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Historic Paris Agreement Needs Civil Society To Succeed

The Paris agreement, signed by virtually every nation on earth, is at once an historic achievement and a monument to inadequacy. If implemented, it foreshadows the end of the fossil fuel industry, but it can only succeed if civil society–activists, local governments, business, faith and civic leaders–throughout the world push even harder to keep fossil fuels in the ground and move the global economy toward zero-carbon practices:… Read more


Scientists Warn Paris Text Needs Massive Improvement

An international all-star panel of climate scientists expressed alarm at the emerging Paris Agreement, saying that massive improvements were needed in the remaining 24 hours to give humanity a chance of avoiding a dire future:… Read more

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Rich and Poor Nations Spar in Paris

Even as the historic 1.5C temperature target remained in play at the Paris climate negotiations, poor nations complained that the rich were demanding an odious quid-pro-quo: stop talking about the rich providing compensation for the damage and suffering the most vulnerable people and economies are increasingly experiencing:… 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 Drake—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.