mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


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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Do you love San Francisco? (radio interview)

Whether you live near or far, anyone who loves San Francisco should enjoy this interview I did with my friend Gary Kamiya, author of Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco, which has been topping Bay Area best-seller lists. The one-hour interview was done live on stage at the Commonwealth Club and aired on public radio station KALW, 91.7FM:… Read more

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Solar Is Growing Faster Than Cellphone Use

Humanity has only 30 years in which to quit carbon-based fuels entirely, says the IPCC. Luckily, that’s feasible, if we continue globally scaling up wind and especially solar power as fast as we have been–which, astonishingly, has been faster than the adoption rates for cell phones, says solar exec Danny Kennedy:… Read more

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New IPCC report and Bill McKibben book

McKibben’s latest book Oil and Honey tells the inside story of the campaign to block the Keystone XL pipeline. McKibben has been arguing for some time that much of the world’s remaining reserves of fossil fuel must be left in the ground if we are to have a fair chance at surviving climate change. The new IPCC Fifth Assessment report agrees with him:… Read more

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“Gangplank to A Warmer Future”

Today’s NYT op-ed page features a must-read piece on fracking by Cornell’s Tony Ingraffea, providing the most concise, up-to-date and scientifically solid set of arguments against fracking as a solution to climate change, and calling out Obama on the issue:… Read more


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Can Photosynthesis Help Reverse Climate Change?

With extreme weather events reaching unprecedented frequency worldwide, I argue that we need a paradigm shift in climate policy. The current focus on reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions should expand to include trying to reduce the 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide that is ALREADY in the Earth’s atmosphere. Can photosynthesis, in the form of biochar, help achieve that goal? Read my on-the-ground report in Slate:… 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.