Hertsgaard has spthe last two decades reporting on climate change for media outlets including The New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Nation, where he is the environmcorrespondent. His lecture focused on political movements and how environmental advocates can provoke change in public attitudes and on Capitol Hill. Hertsgaard sees 2011’s Occupy movemas a sign of real hope and discussed what climate activists can learn from Occupy’s tactics.
This E-ssential is an edited version of Hertsgaard’s talk and the subseququestion and answer session. While some material has been cut and some language modified for clarity, the intention was to retain the substance of the original discussion.
In Bravehearts, Hertsgaard tells the gripping, sometimes darkly comic and ultimately inspiring stories of the unsung heroes of our time. A deeply reported, impassioned polemic, Bravehearts is a book for citizens everywhere—especially students, teachers, activists and anyone who wants to make a difference in the world around them.
Journalist Mark Hertsgaard has reported on global warming for outlets including the New Yorker, NPR, Time, and Vanity Fair. But it was only after he became a father that he started thinking about the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption.
In Hot, he presents a well-researched blueprint for how all of us―parents, communities, companies, and countries―can navigate this unavoidable new era. Reporting from across the nation and around the world, Hertsgaard provides examples of ambitious attempts to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise, mega-storms, famine, and other threats—and an “urgent message . . . that citizens and governments cannot afford to ignore” (The Boston Globe).
“This readable, passionate book is surprisingly optimistic: Seattle, Chicago, and New York are making long-term, comprehensive plans for flooding and drought. Impoverished farmers in the already drought-stricken African Sahel have discovered how to substantially improve yields and decrease malnutrition by growing trees among their crops, and the technique has spread across the region; Bangladeshis, some of the poorest and most flood-vulnerable yet resilient people on earth, are developing imaginative innovations such as weaving floating gardens from water hyacinth that lift with rising water. Contrasting the Netherlands’ 200-year flood plans to the New Orleans Katrina disaster, Hertsgaard points out that social structures, even more than technology, will determine success, and persuasively argues that human survival depends on bottom-up, citizen-driven government action.” —Publishers Weekly
“His analysis of the impact of global warming on industries as different as winemaking and insurance is intriguing, and his well-supported conclusion that social change can beat back climate change is inspiring . . . an exceptionally productive approach to a confounding reality.” —Booklist
“This is an important book.” —Bill McKibben
Americans rarely used to think about the outside world. As the mightiest nation in history, the United States could do as it pleased. Now Americans have learned the hard way that what outsiders think matters. When terror struck last September 11, author Mark Hertsgaard was completing a trip around the world, gathering perceptions about America from people in fifteen countries. Whether sophisticated business leaders, starry-eyed teenagers, or Islamic fundamentalists, his subjects felt both admiring and uneasy about the United States, enchanted yet bewildered, appalled yet envious.
This complex catalogue of impressions--good, bad, but never indifferent--is the departure point for a short, pointed essay in the tradition of Common Sense and The Fate of the Earth. How can the world's most open society be so proud of its founding ideals yet so inconsistent in applying them? So loved for its pop culture but so resented for its high-handedness? Exploring such paradoxes, Hertsgaard exposes uplifting and uncomfortable truths that force natives and outsiders alike to see America with fresh eyes.
"Like it or not, America is the future," a European tells Hertsgaard. In a world growing more American by the day, The Eagle's Shadow is a major statement about and to the place everyone discusses but few understand.
From the gilded boardrooms of Paris to the traffic-clogged streets of Bangkok, we travel from the deep human past to our still unfolding future. Much of the story revolves around people like Zhenbing, Hertsgaard's charismatic interpreter in China, whose desire to escape poverty leaves him indifferent to his country's horrific air and water pollution. We also meet Garang, a proud Dinka tribesman whose response to Sudan's famine shows the difficulty of building an environmentally sustainable future without bridging the gap between rich and poor. Drawing on interviews with Václav Havel, Al Gore, Jacques Cousteau, and numerous other prominent figures, Hertsgaard offers fresh insight into such complex issues as humanity's growing addiction to the automobile, the insidious spread of nuclear technology, and the inevitable tension between unfettered capitalism and the health of the biosphere.
Earth Odyssey is a vivid, passionate narrative about one man's journey around the world in search of the answer to the most important question of our time: Is the future of the human species at risk? Combining first-rate reportage with irresistible storytelling, Mark Hertsgaard has written an essential--and ultimately hopeful--book about the uncertain fate of humankind.
From the Hardcover edition.