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Michael Shellenberger vs. transgender people

Michael Shellenberger is an American author, environmental policy analyst, politician, and anti-transgender activist.


Michael D. “Mike” Shellenberger was born in 1971 in Colorado and grew up in Greeley. Shellenberger has three siblings born to parent Nancy and two step-siblings via stepparent, Don (1942–2021). Shellenberger graduated from Greeley Central High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College in 1993. In 1996 Shellenberger earned a master’s degree from University of California, Santa Cruz.

Shellenberger is married to sociologist and policy analyst Helen J. Lee Shellenberger (born July 31, 1975). They have two children, Joaquin B. Rosman Shellenberger (born 1999) and Kestrel Shellenberger (born November 2, 2005). They live in Berkeley, California.

Environmental policy work

In 2003 Shellenberger co-founded the Apollo Alliance, an umbrella organization now called BlueGreen Alliance.

Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus founded market research firm American Environics. They wanted to look at “mistaken assumptions in progressive political movements.”

After working in public relations, Shellenberger co-founded the Breakthrough Institute with Ted Nordhaus in 2003. In 2016, Shellenberger left Breakthrough to found Environmental Progress, focused on keeping American nuclear power plants online.

Shellenberger is a cofounder of anti-drug organization California Peace Coalition and in 2022 founded Shellenberger LLC.


Like many anti-trans people, Shellenberger began as a progressive, then by being critical of progressive political positions, primarily around the environment. Twenty years later, Shellenberger is among many self-described “centrists” whose anti-progressivism has curdled into conservatism.

Shellenberger is author of the 2021 book San Fransicko: How Progressives Ruin Cities.

Political career

Shellenberger ran for California Governor in 2018 as an independent, coming in 9th in the primary with 31,692 votes, or 0.5%.

In 2022 Shellenberger came in third in the primary with 290,286 votes, or 4.1%.

Anti-trans activism

Shellenberger is a heavy Twitter user and was hand-picked by Elon Musk in 2022 to review non-public discussions by former Twitter employees and current users. Anti-trans activist Bari Weiss brought Shellenberger on to write for The Free Press in 2022.

In 2023, Shellenberger started being more open and militant about anti-transgender views. Shellenberger has a Substack called Public which frequently platforms anti-transgender views and guests, notably Leighton Woodhouse, Mia Hughes, and Alex Gutentag. Most of the regular contributors were associated with Shellenberger’s previous project Environmental Progress.


Ashton, Mia; Shellenberger, Michael (May 25, 2023). Why The Media Attacks Detransitioners. Public

Shellenberger, Michael (May 4, 2023). Join The Pro-Freedom Resistance. Public

Shellenberger, Michael; Woodhouse, Leighton (April 10, 2023). VIDEO: “Oh my God” – San Francisco Students React To Trans “Kidnapping” Of Swimmer Riley Gaines. Public

Klett, Leah MarieAnn (April 10, 2023). Michael Shellenberger tells Joe Rogan he returned to Christianity in response to societal ‘hatred, anger.’ Christian Post

Shellenberger, Michael; Woodhouse, Leighton; Rowley, Madeleine (April 8, 2023). Why Trans Activists Attack Women. Public

Redmond, Tim (April 3, 2023). Michael Shellenberger, who says progressives ruin cities, has alarming transphobic tweets. 48 Hills

Shellenberger, Michael (March 27, 2023). Why are we sterilizing children? Public

Shellenberger, Michael (March 29, 2023). “We Can’t Even Agree On What A Woman Is.” Public

Shellenberger, Michael (March 22, 2023). Why This Detransitioner Is Suing Her Health Care Providers. Public

Power, Nina (March 16, 2023). “If You Had Asked Me At 11 If I Wanted To Be A Boy, I Would Have Said ‘Yes.’” Public

Power, Nina (March 16, 2023). Need To Keep Masses Afraid Is Behind Elite Embrace Of Wokeism And Censorship. Public

Shellenberger, Michael; Woodhouse, Leighton (February 13, 2023). Normies Of The World, Unite! Public

Woodhouse, Leighton (February 13, 2023). What Happened to the Left? Public

Shellenberger, Michael (December 10, 2022). The Twitter Files, Part 4

Shellenberger, Michael (November 11, 2021). Why Wokeism Is A Religion. Public

Shellenberger, Michael (March 20, 2013). The Ecology of Obesity. The Breakthrough Institute

Satff report (February 17, 2013). Greeley Central High School graduate waxes philosophic on energy. Greeley Tribune

Armstron, David (August 5, 1997). Progressive PR. SFGate


Desmog (

  • Michael Shellenberger
  • Excellent overview of Shellenberger’s environmental track record
  • Traces the origins of Shellenberger’s political shift to the far right

SourceWatch (

Michael Shellenberger (

Shellenberger for Governor (

Breakthrough Institute (

Lumina Strategies ( [archive]

Business Ethics Network (

Communication Works ( [archive]

Institute for Global Communications (

Apollo Alliance ( [archive]

California Peace Coalition (

Twitter (

  • ShellenbergerMD [transferred to shellenberger in 2023]
  • shellenberger

Substack (

Instagram (

Wikipedia (