People don’t trust the news media, and it’s easy to see why: on virtually every critical issue, from political corruption to energy and the environment to drugs, crime, and homelessness, mainstream journalists are getting the story wrong.
There is, to be sure, good reporting still occurring at many news organizations. But it is increasingly stifled by senior editors, cub reporters, and readers alike.
And so the two of us, Michael Shellenberger and Leighton Woodhouse, decided to start Public.
Our mission is to produce investigative and explanatory journalism in the public interest.
We will focus on areas where we are experts and gradually cover issues that we believe are both important and not being properly covered.
We welcome pitches from freelancers and tips from anyone else. Our hope is to remain entirely subscriber-funded so that we can maintain our focus and independence.
And if you aren’t already a paid subscriber, please consider becoming one to support our ambition of not just changing journalism but also changing the world.
Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the best-selling author of San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities (HarperCollins 2021) and Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All (HarperCollins 2020).
He’s been called an “environmental guru,” “climate guru,” “North America’s leading public intellectual on clean energy,” and “high priest” of the pro-human environmental movement for his work, and “influential.”
Michael has broken major stories including: World Economic Forum’s conflicts-of-interests and secretive finances; San Francisco’s supervised drug consumption site; FBI misinformation about the Hunter Biden laptop; Paul Pelosi’s alleged attacker; San Francisco’s cash incentives for homelessness; Amazon Forest “lungs of the world” myth; climate pseudoscience; climate anxiety; the U.S. government support for fracking; and forest management, climate change, and California’s fires.
He is a leading energy expert who testifies and advises governments worldwide, including in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
Michael has testified to the U.S. Congress about nuclear energy (January 2020); climate change and energy (July 2020); climate change and health (August 2020); climate change and agriculture (February 2021); Texas & California electrical grid failures (April 2021); and climate change and the global energy crisis (September 2022)
He is the founder and president of Environmental Progress, an independent nonprofit research organization that incubates ideas, leaders, and movements, and a cofounder of the California Peace Coalition, an alliance of parents of children killed by fentanyl, parents of homeless addicts, and recovering addicts.
He has been a climate and environmental activist for over 30 years. He has helped save nuclear reactors around the world, from Illinois and New York to South Korea and Taiwan, thereby preventing an increase in air pollution equivalent to adding over 24 million cars to the road.
In the 1990s, Michael helped save California’s last unprotected ancient redwood forest, inspire Nike to improve factory conditions, and advocate for decriminalization and harm reduction policies. In the 2000s, Michael advocated for a“new Apollo project” in clean energy, which resulted in a $150 billion public investment in clean tech between 2009 and 2015.
Leighton Woodhouse is a journalist and an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. He has written for numerous publications, including The Intercept, The New Republic, The Nation, Vice News, The Free Press, UnHerd, Real Clear Investigations, Tablet, and The Spectator.
He has produced dozens of short documentary videos for The Intercept, The Washington Post, PBS Frontline and other outlets, and directed two feature documentary films, one of which was nominated for an Emmy Award.
Before turning to journalism, Leighton was a union organizer in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. He has a Masters Degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley. He currently lives in Oakland.