Michael Shellenberger

President

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Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger are leading global thinkers on energy, climate, security, human development, and politics. Their 2007 book Break Through was called "prescient" by Time and "the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring" by Wired. (An excerpt in The New Republic can be read here.) Their 2004 essay, "The Death of Environmentalism," was featured on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, sparked a national debate, and inspired a generation of young environmentalists. In 2002 the two co-founded the Apollo Alliance, now the Blue-Green Coalition, which advocated a $300 billion investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency — a demand that was largely realized by President Barack Obama.

Over the years, the two have been profiled in the New York Times, Wired, the San Francisco Chronicle, the National Review, The New Republic, and on NPR. In 2007, they received the Green Book Award and Time magazine's 2008 "Heroes of the Environment" award.

In 2011, Nordhaus and Shellenberger started the Breakthrough Journal, which The New Republic called "among the most complete efforts to provide a fresh answer" to the question of how to modernize liberal thought, and the National Review called "The most promising effort at self-criticism by our liberal cousins in a long time."

Shellenberger and Nordhaus are leaders of a paradigm shift in climate and energy policy. They proposed "making clean energy cheap" in The Harvard Law and Policy Review, explained why the Kyoto climate treaty failed in Democracy Journal, and predicted the bursting of the green bubble in The New Republic and Los Angeles Times. The two predicted the failure of cap and trade in the American Prospect, criticized "green jobs" in The New Republic, and pointed a way forward for climate policy in the Wall Street Journal.

Download a PDF of Michael's bio here (short) or here (full).

To see academic citations of Michael's work, click here.

Books

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus (eds.), Wicked Polarization, Breakthrough Journal, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus (eds.), Love Your Monsters, Breakthrough Journal, 2011

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, Houghton Mifflin, 2007

 

Key Recent Writings

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Global Warming Scare Tactics," New York Times, April 8, 2014

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Environmentalists Made a Big Mistake Focusing All Their Attention on Keystone," New Republic, February 6, 2014

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Great Green Meltdown," The Breakthrough, November 13, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Climate Skeptics Against Global Warming," The Breakthrough, September 26, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "How to Advance Nuclear," The Breakthrough, July 18, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "President Obama, Coal Killer," The Breakthrough, July 3, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "On President Obama's Climate Speech," Washington Monthly, June 24, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Environmental Apocalypse is a Myth," San Francisco Chronicle, June 9, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "No Solar Way Around It,The Breakthrough, June 7, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Has There Been a Great Progressive Reversal? How the Left Abandoned Cheap Electricity," AlterNet, June 3, 2013 (In German here)

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Myth of the Lone Inventor," New Republic, May 30, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Going Green? Then Go Nuclear," Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "How Electricity and TV Defused the 'Population Bomb,'" The Breakthrough, May 14, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "It's Not About the Climate," The Breakthrough, April 29, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Ecology of Obesity," The Breakthrough, March 20, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Wicked Polarization: How Prosperity, Democracy, and Experts Divided America," Breakthrough Journal, Winter 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Against Technology Tribalism," The Breakthrough, January 31, 2013

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Linus Blomqvist, "Beyond Planetary Boundaries: Environmental Science After Rio+20," The Breakthrough, June 22, 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Creative Destruction of Climate Economics," The Breakthrough, Spring 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Beyond Cap and Trade, A New Path to Clean Energy," Yale e360, February 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Evolve: The Case for a Theology of Modernization," Orion, September/October, 2011

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Modernizing Liberalism," Breakthrough Journal, Summer 2011, Issue 1

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Long Death of Environmentalism," The Breakthrough, February 25, 2011

 

Collected Writings by Subject

Natural Gas

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Climate Skeptics Against Global Warming," The Breakthrough, September 26, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "EDF: Lock In Soft Energy, Not Coal-Killing Gas," The Breakthrough, March 15, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Fractivists for Global Warming," The Breakthrough, March 6, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Gas Crushes Coal," The Breakthrough, February 22, 2013

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Uniting a Fractured Republic: Pragmatism, Innovation, and the Shale Gas Revolution," a speech to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, November 7, 2012.

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Lessons from the Shale Gas Revolution," The American, February 22, 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Beyond Cap and Trade, A New Path to Clean Energy," Yale e360, February 2012

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Obama's Energy Revolution," The Breakthrough, January 24, 2012

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Jesse Jenkins, and Alex Trembath, "New Investigation Finds Decades of Government Funding Behind Shale Gas Revolution," The Breakthrough, December 20, 2011.

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "A boom in shale gas? Credit the feds," Washington Post, December, 2011

 

Renewable Energy

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "How We Made Clean Energy Cheaper," The Breakthrough, April 23, 2012

Jesse Jenkins, Mark Muro, Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, Letha Tawney, and Alex Trembath, Beyond Boom and Bust, the Breakthrough Institute, March 2012

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Storm Clouds on the Clean Tech Horizon," Speech to the Clean Tech Group, Feburary 2010

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "A New Inconvenient Truth," The New Republic, December 2008

 

Nuclear

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, and Jessica Lovering, How to Make Nuclear Cheap, July 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Great Green Meltdown,The Breakthrough, November 13, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Climate Skeptics Against Global Warming," The Breakthrough, September 26, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Going Green? Then Go Nuclear," Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Fukushima Question," Slate, March 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Making of a Radiation Panic," The Breakthrough, March 13, 2012

Jessica Lovering, Ted Nordhaus, and Michael Shellenberger, "Out of the Nuclear Closet," Foreign Policy, September 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Fukushima Boosts Green Case for Nuclear," Financial Times, May 2011

Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, and Jesse Jenkins, "Nuclear as Usual: Why Fukushima Will Change Less Than You Think," The Atlantic, March 2011

 

Energy Efficiency

Jesse Jenkins, Ted Nordhaus, and Michael Shellenberger, "The Efficiency Distraction," The Breakthrough, May 28, 2013

Jesse Jenkins, Ted Nordhaus, and Michael Shellenberger, Energy Emergence: Rebound and Backfire as Emergent Phenomena, The Breakthrough, February 17, 2011

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Jesse Jenkins, "The Efficiency Illusion," The Breakthrough, December 21, 2010

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Green Jobs for Janitors" The New Republic, October 6, 2010

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Why Energy Efficiency May Not Reduce Energy Consumption," The Breakthrough, September 28, 2010

Michael Shellenberger, "What Can Building Retrofits Achieve?" The Breakthrough, April 10, 2009

 

Conservation and Development

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Great Progressive Reversal," The Breakthrough, June 10, 2013

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Linus Blomqvist, "Beyond Planetary Boundaries: Environmental Science After Rio+20," The Breakthrough, June 22, 2012

Linus Blomqvist, Ted Nordhaus, and Michael Shellenberger, The Planetary Boundaries Hypothesis: A Review of the Evidence, The Breakthrough, June 11, 2012.

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Introduction," Love Your Monsters: Post Environmentalism and the Anthropocene, Fall 2011

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Wilderness Debate: Conservation and Development in the Amazon," The Economist, October 2011

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "When Small Isn't Beautiful: The Amazon and Development," The Breakthrough, June 12, 2008

 

Energy and Climate – Essays, Speeches, and Reports

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Against Technology Tribalism," Speech at Energy Innovation Conference, Washington, DC, January 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Uniting a Fractured Republic," Speech at Colorado Oil & Gas Association, November 2012

Jesse Jenkins, Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, Climate Pragmatism, the Breakthrough Institute, July 2011

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Long Death of Environmentalism," Speech at Yale Univesity, February 2011

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Why Climate Science Divides Us But Energy Technology Unites Us,” Speech at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, January 6, 2011

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "After Copenhagen: From Climate Nihilism to Climate Pragmatism," Speech to World Climate Solutions, December 23, 2010

Rob Atkinson, Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, "The New Energy Conversation," Energy Innovation 2010 conference, December 13, 2010

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Steven Hayward, and Mark Muro, "Post-Partisan Power: How a Limited and Direct Approach to Energy Innovation Can Deliver Clean Cheap Energy, Economic Productivity, and National Prosperity, " the Breakthrough Institute, October 2010

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "The Emerging Climate Consensus: Global Warming Policy in a Post-Environmental World," April 2009

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Jeff Navin, Teryn Norris and Aden Van Noppen, "Fast, Clean, & Cheap: Cutting Global Warming's Gordian Knot," Harvard Law & Policy Review, January 2008

 

Energy and Climate – Columns and Articles

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Environmental Apocalypse is a Myth," San Francisco Chronicle, June 9, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Going Green? Then Go Nuclear," Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Should We Swap Energy Subsidies for a Carbon Tax?" The Breakthrough, September 13, 2012

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Obama and the New Climate Centrism," The Breakthrough, January 27, 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Secret of Where Good Energy Comes From," The Breakthrough, November 14, 2011

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "The Technology First Climate Fix," The Breakthrough, October 10, 2010

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Revolution Will Not Be Patented," Slate, April 2010

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Freeing Energy Policy From The Climate Change Debate," Yale e360, March 2010

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Apocalypse Fatigue: Losing the Public on Climate Change," Yale e360, November 2009

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Flawed Logic of The Cap-and-Trade Debate," Yale e360, May 2009

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "White House plan to regulate carbon emissions is doomed to fail," Salon, April 22, 2009

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Investment Trumps Environmental Regulation," San Francisco Chronicle, March 19, 2009

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Getting Real on Climate Change," American Prospect, December 2008

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Green Bubble Bursts," The Los Angeles Times, September 2008

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Gas-tax Holiday Debate Warns of Fights to Come," San Francisco Chronicle, May 2008

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Look Who's In Denial About Global Warming Now," San Francisco Chronicle, October 13, 2007

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Arctic battle should move to Hyannis Port," San Francisco Chronicle, December 2005

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Preparing for Nature's Attack," The New York Times, April 2005

 

International Climate and Energy

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "It's Not About the Climate," The Breakthrough, April 29, 2013

Jesse Jenkins, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "How Emissions Decline in the Real World," The Breakthrough, April 10, 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Why Japan Disowned Kyoto," The Breakthrough, December 2010

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "WSJ: Forget the U.N. Climate Convention, Rethink Innovation Instead," Wall Street Journal, November 2010

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Emerging Climate Technology Consensus: Frequently Asked Questions," The Breakthrough, July 2010

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Der Spiegel's Eurocentric Green China-Bashing," The Breakthrough, May 5, 2010

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The End of Magical Climate Thinking," Foreign Policy, January 2010

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Climate Realpolitik and the End of Postcolonialism," Breakthrough Institute, December 2009

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Contrivance in Copenhagen," The Breakthrough, December 2009

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Scrap Kyoto," Democracy Journal, June 2008

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "What the U.N. Can Learn from Google," San Francisco Chronicle, December 2007

 

National Security and Foreign Policy

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Nation State and Its Discontents," The Breakthrough, February 3, 2012

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "War on Terror Over," The Breakthrough, September 14, 2011

Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, and Nick Adams, "Who Killed the War on Terror?," The Atlantic, August 2011

Nick Adams, Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, Planes, Trains and Car Bombs, the Breakthrough Institute, January 13, 2012

Nick Adams, Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, Counter-Terrorism Since 9/11, the Breakthrough Institute, March 14, 2011

Michael Shellenberger, "Review of Vaclav Smil's Global Catastrophes and Trends" The Breakthrough, October 16, 2009

 

Economic Growth and Innovation

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Myth of the Lone Inventor," New Republic, May 30, 2013

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Creative Destruction of Climate Economics," The Breakthrough, Spring 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Is Government a Lousy Venture Capitalist?" San Francisco Chronicle, March 6, 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "How to Grow Out of the Decline," The Breakthrough, August 3, 2011

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Modernizing Liberalism," Breakthrough Journal, Summer 2011, Issue 1

 

Political Philosophy

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "The Dark Side of Scientific Rationality," The Breakthrough, June 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Monsters of Bruno Latour," The Breakthrough, Spring 2012

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "A Price Tag on Mother Nature? A Cautionary Tale," The Breakthrough, Winter 2012

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Evolve: The Case for a Theology of Modernization," Orion Magazine and Breakthrough Journal, Fall 2011, Issue 2

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "The Green Bubble: Why Environmentalism Keeps Imploding," The New Republic, May 2009

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Second Life: A Manifesto for a New Environmentalism," The New Republic, October 2007

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Death Warmed Over," American Prospect, September 18, 2005

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Death of Environmentalism: Global Warming in a Post Environmental World," The Breakthrough, October 2004

MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER
IN THE NEWS



Jim Manzi, "Energy in the Executive," June 4, 2014


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Global Warming Scare Tactics," April 8, 2014


David Rose, "The Real Cost of Climate McCarthyism," April 5, 2014


Jim Manzi, "The New American System," April 2014


Amy Mathews Amos, "What's Wild? The Battle for Nature in the 21st Century," February 11, 2014


Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, "Environmentalists Made a Big Mistake By Focusing All Their Attention on Keystone," February 6, 2014


Ben Geman, "Greens Still See Red On Nuclear," February 2, 2014


Ben Geman, "Environmentalists Face a Day of Reckoning on Keystone Pipeline," December 30, 2013

Steve Fuller, "Nintey-degree revolution" October 24, 2013
 


CNN Crossfire, "Is Nuclear Power Safe?" Debate Between Ralph Nader and Michael Shellenberger, November 7, 2013

Simon Greer, "A Healthy Challenge to Fracking Groupthink?" October 15, 2013


Staff, "The Striking Challenge of Fracking: Who Does It Benefit and Who Gets Hurt," October 2, 2013


Josh Harkinson, "Taxpayer Subsidies Helped Tesla Motors, So Why Does Elon Musk Slam Them?" September/October 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Can Climate Skeptics Save the Planet?" September 27, 2013


Editorial Board, "Don't Give Up on Nuclear Energy Yet," September 5, 2013


Mark Tercek, "What the Conservation Movement Can Learn From Martin Luther King, Jr.," August 27, 2013


Bob Dreyfuss, "The IPCC Report and Nuclear Energy," August 21, 2013


Eduardo Porter, "Coming Full Circle in Energy, to Nuclear," August 20, 2013


Martin Wolf, "A Much-maligned Engine of Innovation," August 5, 2013


Andrew Revkin, "The Silent Partner Behind the Shale Energy Boom -- Taxpayers," July 31, 2013


Hillary Rosner, "Is Conservation Extinct?" July 22, 2013


Forum, "How Daring Is President Obama's New Climate Action Plan?" July 22, 2013
 


Fred Pearce, "New Green Vision: Technology As Our Planet's Last Best Hope," July 15, 2013


Michael Shellenberger interviewed on KQED Forum, "Obama's New Climate Plan," July 2, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "On Obama's Climate Speech," Washington Monthly, June 24, 2013


Joe Garofoli, "Some Environmentalists Back Nuclear Power," June 13, 2013
 


James Conca, "Pandora's Promise: The Sundance Film Festival's Nuclear Exposé," June 9, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Environmental Apocalypse Is a Myth," June 9, 2013



Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Has There Been a Great Progressive Reversal?" June 4, 2013


Andrew Sullivan, "An Investment That Wasn't A Lemon, Ctd," June 4, 2013
 


Paul Blustein, "Everything You Thought You Knew About the Risks of Nuclear Energy is Wrong," May 30, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Myth of the Lone Inventor," May 30, 2013


Kevin Begos, "Industry Giant GE Aims to Improve Fracking," May 27, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Going Green? Then Go Nuclear," May 22, 2013
 

Ken Silverstein, "Does Shale Gas Production Alter Equation For Climate Change?" May 5, 2013


Kevin Begos, "EPA Methane Report Further Divides Fracking Camps," April 28, 2013


Kevin Begos, "Fracking Coalition Upsets Both Greens and Drillers," April 7, 2013



Doug Allen, "The Fracking Divide," April 4, 2013


Jason Mark, "It's Not Easy Being Green," April 2, 2013


Robert Bryce, "Rise of the Nuclear Greens," March 7, 2013


Kevin Begos and Jennifer Peltz, "Anti-Fracking Celebrities, Such As Yoko Ono, Mark Ruffalo And Others, Put 'Fractivism' In The Spotlight," March 5, 2013
 

 

 

 


Colbert Report, "Tonight's guest: Michael Shellenberger explores global energy consumption, nuclear power and lessons from Frankenstein," January 28, 2013


 


 

Tim Wu, "If You Care About the Environment You Should Support Nuclear Power," January 24, 2013
 

 



Ken Silverstein, "Obama's Sly Attack on Climate Change," January 4, 2013


 



Keith Kloor, "The Great Schism in the Environmental Movement," December 12, 2012
 


 

David Leonhardt, "There's Still Hope for the Planet," July 21, 2012
 

 


 


"Boundary conditions," June 16, 2012
 

 




Joe Garofoli, "Thinkers Take Apart Liberalism in Order to Save It," June 16, 2011
 


 

 

Richard Harris, "Putting A Financial Spin On Global Warming," June 24, 2009


Thomas Morton, "Finally: The Breakthrough Institute Wrests Environmentalism Away from the Dumbs," April 22, 2008
 

 



Bryan Walsh, "Heroes of the Environment 2008: Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger," September 24, 2008