Michael Shellenberger

President and Cofounder, Environmental Progress

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Michael Shellenberger is founder and president of Environmental Progress, coauthor of An Ecomodernist Manifesto, and co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute. In 2007, he received the Green Book Award and Time magazine's "Hero of the Environment." His recent TEDx talk is "How Humans Save Nature."

For over a decade Shellenberger has been a leader in shifting the climate policy paradigm shift from a focus on making fossil fuels expensive to a focus on making clean energy cheap. His writings have appeared in The Harvard Law and Policy ReviewDemocracy Journal, the American ProspectThe New Republic the Wall Street Journal.

Shellenberger's research is regularly cited and published in the New York Times, Slate, USA Today, Washington Post, New York Daily News, The New Republic,  and has appeared on The Colbert Report and CNN's Crossfire.

His 2007 book with Ted Nordhaus, 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," covered in the New York Times and debated around the world, helped inspire the creation of ecomodernism, a new environmentalism that seeks the twin goals of university prosperity and more of the Earth for Nature.

In 2002 he cofounded 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, he has been profiled in the New York TimesWired, the San Francisco Chronicle, the National ReviewThe New Republic, and on NPR.


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


Linus Blomqvist, Ted Nordhaus, and Michael Shellenberger, "How Modern Agriculture Can Save the Gorillas of Virunga," October 1, 2015

Will Boisvert and Michael Shellenberger, "For the climate, save N.Y. nuclear plants: Less nuclear = more carbon," December 7, 2015

Eduardo Porter, "New York Times Column on Ecomodernist Manifesto," April 14, 2015

Michael Shellenberger, "The climate war is over," December 2, 2015




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

Eric Holthaus, "Bernie's New Climate Change Plan Is an Environmentalist's Dream, Except for This One Thing," December 7, 2015

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

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Campaign to stop fracking sacrifices nature for ideology," July 16, 2015

Michael Lind, "The Case for Ecomodernism," May 26, 2015

Eric Holthaus, "Manifesto Calls for an End to 'People Are Bad' Environmentalism," April 20, 2015

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Want to Save the Planet? Say Bye-Bye to Nature," April 22, 2015

Eduardo Porter, "Federal Role in Recent Drop in Oil Prices," January 20, 2015

Andrew Revkin, "Another Round on Energy Rebound," October 24, 2014


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Problem With Energy Efficiency," October 8, 2014

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Allay or Adapt? The Real Climate Change Debate is About Technology," October 2, 2014

Russel Gold, "Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True," September 29, 2014

Fred Pearce, "World's poor need grid power, not just solar panels," August 5, 2014

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

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

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

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

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



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