Jeff Goodell has a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia University. He began his career as a journalist covering crime and politics in New York City for 7 Days. Since 1996, he has worked as a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, where he has covered a wide variety of subjects, from politicians to climate scientists to internet billionaires. "Down and Out in Silicon Valley," a Rolling Stone story chronicling life in homeless shelters in the Valley, was chosen as one of the best business stories of the year by the editors of BusinessWeek. Jeff has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Wired.
Jeff Goodell's books include The Cyberthief and the Samurai (Dell, 1996), Sunnyvale (Villard, 2000) a memoir about growing up in Silicon Valley which was selected as a New York Times Notable Book, Our Story (Hyperion, 2002), a national bestselling account of nine miners trapped in a Pennsylvania coal mine for 77 hours, and Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).
To research his latest book, How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate, Jeff spent several years with some of the world's top climate modelers, as well as Cold War physicists, philosophers, politicians, and crackpot entrepreneurs, all of whom are involved with the development of new technologies that might someday be used to manipulate the earth's climate to reduce the risks associated with global warming. How to Cool the Planet won the 2011 Grantham Prize Award of Special Merit, citing it as an "immensely readable, carefully researched and groundbreaking contribution to the literature on climate change."
As a commentator on energy and environmental issues, he has appeared on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, ABC, NBC, PBS, Fox News and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
His next book, The Water Will Come, is forthcoming from Little, Brown and Co. in October, 2017.
advance praise for the water will come
"Gripping. . . . A frightening, scientifically grounded, and starkly relevant look at how climate change will affect coastal cities."
– Kirkus (starred review)
"Anyone worried about the planet should check this one out, and coastal residents in particular should read this and consider their options." – Library Journal
"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
"Even if we could halt further growth in greenhouse gas emissions today, we would remain locked into several centuries of sea level rise ahead. Jeff Goodell's THE WATER WILL COME shows us how this stark truth will unfold, right down to individual human experiences." – Laurence C. Smith
Praise for How to Cool the Planet
“How to Cool the Planet is thoughtful, informative, and darkly entertaining. It’s the best treatment of this important (and scary) topic you can find.” – Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe
“This could be the most important book written about climate.”
– James Lovelock, author of Gaia and The Vanishing Face of Gaia
“In a genre dominated by doomsday scenarios, Goodell’s treatment is refreshingly lighthearted—and his provocative account achieves a fine balance between the inventor’s enthusiasm and the scientist’s skepticism.” – Publishers Weekly
NPR, Can We "Cool the Planet" Through Geoengineering?, April 15, 2010
Praise for Big Coal
The New York Times, Black Coal, June 24, 2006
Praise for Our Story
“A blessedly unsentimental and true-to-life account of a horrifying situation and a triumphant escape.” – Publishers Weekly
Praise for Sunnyvale
"Techie journalist Goodell presents a touching family portrait as well as an acute look at the social implications of the information age... Anyone who has ever had a family or a computer can relate to Goodell's story." – Kirkus
"Riveting." – The New York Times
"While the high-tech Valley subtext is not without interest (Apple gurus Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak make cameo appearances), Goodell's real subject is the paternal negligence that was carried from father to son through three generations in his family." – Publishers Weekly