“The greatest danger we face is not technological hubris, but human apathy.”
Through years of research, acclaimed author and investigative journalist Jeff Goodell has established himself as an expert on climate change, rising oceans, and humanity’s fraught relationship with our rapidly changing planet. As energy independence and global warming become increasingly urgent priorities, Goodell offers vital perspective on how to stem the tide of environmental disaster—and what’s at stake if we fail to act.
His newest book is The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Reshaping of the Civilized World. Steeped in scientific research and on-the-ground reporting, The Water Will Come is written in the tradition of environmental classics like Silent Spring and The World Without Us.
In her review for The New York Times, Jennifer Senior praised The Water Will Come as “an immersive, mildly gonzo and depressingly well-timed book about the drenching effects of global warming, and a powerful reminder that we can bury our heads in the sand about climate change for only so long before the sand itself disappears.” The Water Will Come was a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017, one of The Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction in 2017, and one of Booklist’s Top 10 Science Books of 2017. In 2019, Goodell was recognized with the Louis J. Battan Author’s Award from the American Meteorological Society for work on The Water Will Come. John Green called it “a thriller in which the hero in peril is us.”
“Jeff Goodell has taken on some of the most important issues of our time, from coal mining to geoengineering. In The Water Will Come, he explains the threat of sea level rise with characteristic rigor and intelligence. The result is at once deeply persuasive and deeply unsettling.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes From A Catastrophe
In his “groundbreaking” (Bookpage) book Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future, Goodell takes a frank look at coal. Building on exhaustive research into the history of the energy industry and the environmental, political, and economic issues underlying coal, Goodell exposes its many hidden costs and discusses how we must confront these pressing problems as global energy demand surges. Big Coal is also the subject of a feature documentary called Dirty Business.
How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix the Earth’s Climate established a disturbing truth: climate change may well be the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced, and at this point simply reducing greenhouse gas emissions may not be enough to prevent catastrophe. How to Cool the Planet focuses on the scientists trying to lower the temperature of the entire planet with huge contraptions that suck carbon dioxide out of the air, machines that deflect sunlight away from Earth, and even artificial volcanoes that spray heat-reflecting particles into the atmosphere.
Goodell is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Our Story: 77 Hours That Tested Our Friendship and Our Faith, based on the terrifying hours nine Quecreek miners spent trapped underground. Publishers Weekly praised it as “a blessedly unsentimental and true-to-life account of a horrifying situation and a triumphant escape… Goodell wisely keeps the focus on these hard-bitten men and the bravery that kept them going through those long, indistinguishable days and nights underground.”
In his memoir, Sunnyvale: The Rise and Fall of a Silicon Valley Family, Goodell traces his family’s gradual dissolution, which unfolded in contrast to their hometown’s meteoric rise as a community at the heart of the information age. The San Jose Mercury News called Sunnyvale “mesmerizing and deeply authentic.”
Goodell is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and Yale University’s Environment 360. A recipient of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, he serves on the board of the McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. In his next book, Heat: Life and Death in a Rapidly Warming World, Goodell will investigate the physical, economic, environmental, and political impacts of extreme heat around the planet.
Goodell speaks on sea level rise, geoengineering and climate change, coal, America’s energy future, and extreme heat.here.