mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


Chicken Manure, Biochar and Climate Change

Who knew that chicken manure could help to tackle local air pollution, not to mention climate change? The trick? Turn it into biochar, as I report in Yale 360:… 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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Blast Climate Deniers Into Space?

Blast climate deniers into space? That’s what Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, jokingly suggested during a discussion with California Gov. Jerry Brown and Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson yesterday in San Francisco. Gov. Brown called deniers “cult-like lemmings who would take us over the cliff” and vowed to “fight them every step of the way” as he prepares to protect his state from the “huge problems” posed by climate change. See my story in Grist for details:… Read more

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Climate Deniers-in-Chief Run the Show in Durban

The disastrous Durban climate agreement shows once again that we can’t wait for “world leaders” to save us from catastrophe, I write in this week’s Nation. Solutions will come from the ground up–from citizen activists and visionary local governments–in defiance of the Climate Deniers-in-Chief who dominated Durban. See: Durban: Where the Climate Deniers-in-Chief Run the Show Mark Hertsgaard December 14, 2011 | This article appeared in the January 2, 2012 edition of The Nation. Share 4 ||| Recommended by 0 | Text Size A | A | A Email|Print|Share|Single Page|Web Letter (0)|Write a Letter|Take Action|Subscribe Now A different and more dangerous breed of climate denier commanded the stage at… Read more

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Why the Keystone Victory Matters

Don’t be fooled by the nay-sayers at the Council on Foreign Relations and even among some environmentalists: the Obama administration’s backtracking on the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada is a major victory against climate change. And HOW it was won is as important as WHAT was won, as I explain in this week’s lead editorial in The Nation:… Read more

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Occupy, Climate and Obama

Al Jazeera English has just published my commentary on the Occupy movement, climate change and president Obama, which argues that the movement could still redeem the failed promise of Obama’s presidency by pushing him to champion more progressive policies–as has in fact just occurred with his administration’s announcement that it will delay a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Canada. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and Obama If ‘Occupy’ keeps up the pressure, Obama could be compelled to adopt more progressive policies. By Mark Hertsgaard Last Modified: 10 Nov 2011 14:03 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – The bursting to life of the Occupy Wall Street movement is the most hopeful development in American politics since Barack Obama was elected president three years ago this… 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.