HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Eric Pooley

Award-Winning Journalist, Editor, and Expert on Climate Politics


  • The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth
  • The BP Oil Spill and the Politics of Off-Shore Drilling
  • Does the Obama Administration Deserve its Green Reputation?
  • The Connection Between a Clean Energy Economy and National Security
  • Why Framing the Debate as Economy vs. Environment is Dangerously Misleading


New York
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In The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers and the Fight to Save the Earth (Hyperion), the Environmental Defense Fund's Senior VP for Strategy and Communications Eric Pooley does for global warming what Bob Woodward did for presidents and Lawrence Wright did for terrorists. In the epic tale of an American civil war, he takes us behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of the most important players in this make-or-break political battle -- one in which trillions of dollars and the fate of the planet are at stake. Pooley is a riveting speaker who can explain precisely why it has been so hard for America to come to grips with climate change. What are the economic, political, and psychological barriers to action - and how can we break through them before it is too late? The former managing editor of Fortune and chief political correspondent for Time, he has spent three years embedded with an extraordinary cast of characters - activists, lobbyists, politicians, corporate titans. He tells colorful tales and draws inspiring lessons from the front lines of the climate war. A sought after keynote speaker, he has spoken at the Commonwealth Club, the Aspen Institute's Environment Forum, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Fortune Brainstorm Conference, and the Fortune Global CEO Forum.

An award-winning journalist, Pooley has written Time cover profiles of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush, Kenneth Starr, Rudolph Giuliani, and Rupert Murdoch. He was a featured commentator in Heat, the 2008 PBS global warming documentary, and has appeared on Nightline, Charlie Rose, The CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, and All Things Considered.

In his Climate War talks, Pooley narrates the crucial first phase of the political battle to save the planet. By taking us behind the scenes with climate scientists, activists, and politicians on both sides as well as corporate executives, carbon traders and green entrepreneurs, he dramatizes the issues and sets the stage for a battle that may define our future. He brings readers inside the Capitol Hill hideaways where the deals get made, profiles the idealists and hucksters on both sides, watches the lobbyists and ad men plotting, the bloggers fulminating, and the activists marching. He lays bare the politics that will either chew up and spit out meaningful reform or -- miraculously -- enable its passage.

Pooley began his journalism career as a freelance reporter in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he was an award-winning feature writer, political columnist and senior editor for New York magazine. He joined Time in 1995 as its White House correspondent. In 2002 he was named editor of Time Europe, and three years later he became managing editor of Fortune, responsible for all global editorial operations. In the fall of 2008 he studied press coverage of climate change at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Kalb Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. In 2009 he began writing a climate and energy column for Bloomberg News, and in February 2010 he was named deputy editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Pooley's work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including a 2001 National Magazine Award (for Time's single-topic issue on the September 11 terrorist attacks, which he co-edited), the 1996 Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency (for his coverage of the Clinton administration), and four Henry R. Luce awards from Time Inc, the company's highest journalistic honor. He is also a three-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards in categories ranging from Public Service (for a Time cover story that shut down an unsafe nuclear power plant in Connecticut) to General Excellence (for his editorship of Fortune). He is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University.

Pooley lives with his wife and two daughters in New York.

Praise for Eric Pooley:

"Eric Pooley delivered the story of America's climate war with authority and clarity. When he talks about combatants such as Al Gore, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, and Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp, it is clear he has spent time with them in the trenches . . . I follow climate issues closely and learned a lot from Eric's convincing public conversation . . . If the mainstream media could only approach that level of thoroughness and sophistication when covering climate issues, we'd all be better served."
-- Greg Dalton, Vice President, The Commonwealth Club, Founder, Climate One

"Eric Pooley was a stand-out, memorable speaker at Sixth & I. He . . . led a conversation that was one of the smartest and most timely events Sixth & I has hosted in 2010. The audience was riveted, as evidenced by the long line of questioners in the Q&A portion of the evening. Pooley's impeccably researched book is not only an engaging topic for a live event, it's a necessary one."
-- Jackie Leventhal, Cultural Programming Coordinator, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

Praise for The Climate War:

"Eric Pooley has written a riveting tale, the very first account of the epic American campaign to get serious about global warming. This story has heroes, like my friend Al Gore, and it has some villains. What it doesn't have is an ending; that part is still up to us. Which is why anyone who worries about the future of our nation -- or wonders why it has been so hard for us to deal with climate change -- should read this book."
-- President Bill Clinton

"I'm so impressed by the results of Eric's work... Eric is an excellent journalist... I really think that you'll enjoy the book."
-- Former Vice-President Al Gore, blogging on Al's Journal

"A fascinating look... at how Washington works - or doesn't work, if your goal is meaningful laws limiting the human impact on climate."
-- Andrew Revkin, NYTimes.com "Dot Earth" blog

"Pooley manages to pull the events and personalities involved into a narrative that's not only readable but gripping. Momentum rarely sags; even the occasional, unavoidable detours into policy wonkery are crisp and lucid. It's a feat of storytelling alchemy, a page-turner, and for anyone interested in the quest for an energy transformation, a must-read."
-- David Roberts, Grist.com

"[A] fascinating new book about America's struggle over global warming."
-- New York Observer

"The Climate War offers a behind-the-scenes look at the most consequential political battle of our time. It's a compelling - and often disturbing - read."
-- Elizabeth Kolbert, Author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

"In the ever-expanding literature on climate change, this is the first book to put a human face on the problem by getting into the heads of the people who are trying to solve it, deftly revealing the messy entanglement of idealism and realism that ultimately results in progress."
-- Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton University

"If the science is so clear and compelling - the way we use energy is dangerously overheating the planet - the how come it's so agonizingly difficult for America to face facts and lead the way toward a global solution? Finally, I have a good idea why, thanks to Eric Pooley's lucid chronicle of the long-running struggles - political, personal and above all, economic - to define the world that our children and grandchildren will inhabit."
-- Kurt Andersen, Author of Heyday and Reset and Host of public radio's "Studio 360"

"The first great campaign book about the political battle over climate change. Eric Pooley brings us inside this epic struggle in which science, business, and politics all come together. The characters are fascinating and the stakes are enormous."
-- Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute and Author of Einstein: His Life and Universe

"The legislative process revealed: Eric Pooley paints the personalities, the strategies, and the intrigue of climate politics in vivid detail. A page-turner and a must-read for anyone who cares about the climate and about America's continued ability to tackle problems and lead."
-- Katie McGinty, Former Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality

"Eric Pooley's The Climate War is a painstakingly researched account of how climate change grew to become one of the defining political issues of a generation. As progressives in America and around the world fight to head off climate disaster, Pooley's book presents a much-needed history of the campaign for climate protection, and reminds us, once again, why urgent action is so necessary."
-- John Podesta, President and CEO Center for American Progress

"The Climate War is a great book not just because it chronicles the bloody political fight to save the planet, but because it's the best argument I've ever read for how a single policy idea - cap and trade - can change the world."
-- Jeff Goodell, Author of How to Cool the Planet

"Journalism with principles: epic in scale, masterful in narrative and detail, with well-paced winks at the tragic absurdity of it all."
-- Eric Roston, Author of The Carbon Age