Ross Gelbspan

Primary tabs

Ross Gelbspan's picture

Personal Information

Profile Info

Ross Gelbspan retired several years ago after a 31-year career in journalism as a reporter. As special projects editor of The Boston Globe, he conceived, directed and edited a series of articles that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

Ross Gelbspan retired several years ago after a 31-year career in journalism as a reporter. As special projects editor of The Boston Globe, he conceived, directed and edited a series of articles that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

In 1995, he co-authored an article on climate change and the spread of infectious disease which appeared in the Outlook Section of The Washington Post. His article on climate change, which appeared on the cover of the December, 1995 issue of Harper's Magazine, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.

In 1997, he published a book on the global climate crisis titled: The Heat Is On: The High Stakes Battle Over Earth's Threatened Climate (Perseus Books). The book has also been published in German, Italian and Portuguese. (An updated U.S. paperback edition was published in 1998 (Perseus Books), as: The Heat Is On: the Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription).

The book received very positive reviews in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the science journal, Nature and elsewhere. It was excerpted in The Washington Post, the San Jose Mercury and other outlets.
It received national attention that summer when President Clinton told the press he was reading The Heat Is On.

Since the book's publication, Gelbspan has appeared in numerous radio and television interviews, including “Nightline,” “All Things Considered” and “Talk of the Nation.” He was invited to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in February, 1998, where he addressed government ministers and leaders of multi-national corporations.

In 2004, Gelbspan published Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists are Fueling the Climate Crisis – and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster (Basic Book). The book received the lead review, written by Al Gore, in the Sunday New York Times Book Review that August.

Gelbspan has written on issues related to the climate in, among other outlets, “The Atlantic Monthly,” “Harper's,” “the Nation,” “The American Prospect,” “Mother Jones” and “Sierra Magazine,” among others, as well as op-ed articles in The Baltimore Sun, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor and numerous other newspapers.

In the summer of 1998, he and Dr. Paul Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment of Harvard Medical School, assembled a group of economists, energy company presidents and policy specialists to hammer out a set of strategies designed to dramatically accelerate the Kyoto process. They were invited to present those strategies at a conference in Buenos Aires in 1998. As a result of that presentation, the United Nations Development Programme invited them to mount a conference on those strategies in Bonn, Germany in June, 1999, during that round of climate negotiations.

The “strategies” have been endorsed by a number of large NGOs in India, Mexico, Germany, Bangladesh and elsewhere – as well as by a number of economists, energy specialists and environmentalists both in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently, the were endorsed by Margot Wallstrom, former Environmental Commissioner of the European Union, and Sir Crispin Tickell, former British Ambassador to the United Nations.

He presented these “solution” strategies in May, 2000, at a conference he keynoted in Cairo. (The conference was co-sponsored by UNEP and CEDARE, the Center for Environment and Development in the Arab Region and Europe). While in Cairo, he briefed directors and managers of Shell/Egypt.

In September, 2000, Gelbspan presented these strategies to a small group of Senators and Congressmen at a meeting in Washington. These strategies were received enthusiastically by a number of delegates and NGOs from the G-77 at the recent round of climate talks in The Hague, where they were disseminated by Anil Agarwal, head of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi and a leader of the NGO community of the G-77.

In December, 2000, these strategies were presented to a new G-8 Task Force on Renewable Energy headed by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, director of Shell, as well as a managing director of the World Bank. Sir Mark intends to put these ideas in front of the full task force.

Over the course of his career, Gelbspan worked at The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Washington Post, the Village Voice, Scripps Howard, where he was a national news editor, and The Boston Globe. He has also taught at the Columbia University School of Journalism.

In 1971, he spent a month in the Soviet Union interviewing Soviet dissidents and human rights advocates. His four-part series on the Soviet underground was reprinted in the Congressional Record. In 1974, he edited a book for Scripps-Howard on the Congressional Watergate Committee hearings.

In 1979, the Boston Globe hired Gelbspan as a senior editor. In his capacity as special projects editor, he conceived, directed and edited a series of articles on job discrimination against African-Americans in Boston-area corporations, universities, unions, newspapers and state and city government. The series won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

In 1991 he published an investigative book about FBI abuses during the 1980s. The book exposed the domestic aspect of the Iran-Contra scandal, documented a secret relationship between the FBI and the National Guard of El Salvador and detailed a campaign of surveillance, harassment and break-ins which led to the entry of the names of 100,000 political and religious activists in the FBI’ss terrorism files. That same year, he wrote a series of articles which contributed to the closing down of an aging, unsafe nuclear power plant in Western Massachusetts.

Gelbspan received his B.A. at Kenyon College and did post-graduate study at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

He is 65, married to Anne Gelbspan, a non-profit developer of housing for low-income families, and the father of two daughters, Thea, 30, and Johanna, 28, and lives in Brookline, MA.

"It's An Ill Wind" -- Well Not All That Ill!

Powerful winter storms sweeping across Europe have boosted wind power, oversupplying the wholesale market for electricity and driving down prices by some 12 percent since Friday.

Even though road, rail and ship travel has been disrupted and insurers facing claims from damage brought by high winds, operators of wind turbines have been able to generate and sell more supply of the renewable energy into the power network.

Want to Save the Planet? Just Don't Die

An Australian cemetery has unveiled plans to take the carbon out of cremations by offering new green funerals to help combat global warming.

California Won't Take Any More Crap from OPEC

Imagine a vat of liquid cow manure covering the area of five football fields and 33 feet deep. Meet California's most alternative new energy. On a dairy farm in the Golden State's agricultural heartland, utility PG&E Corp began producing natural gas derived from manure, in what it hopes will be a new way to power homes with renewable, if not entirely clean, energy.  

W Tries to Spin the Climate Yet Again

A senior European official has described America's latest offer on climate change as far too little, far too late. One official said: “This is nowhere near enough. The rest of the world only cares about tangible US emissions reductions. Until they come up with firm figures for reductions, the rest is meaningless.”

Alaskans Sue Oil, Coal Firms for "Conspiracy" to Hide Truth About Warming

Lawyers for the Alaska Native coastal village of Kivalina, which is being forced to relocate because of flooding caused by the changing Arctic climate, filed suit in federal court arguing that 5 oil companies, 14 electric utilities and the country’s largest coal company were responsible for the village’s woes.

The suit is the latest effort to hold companies like BP America, Chevron, Peabody Energy, Duke Energy and the Southern Company responsible for the impact of global warming…In an unusual move, those five companies and three other defendants — the Exxon Mobil Corporation, American Electric Power and the Conoco Phillips Company — are also accused of conspiracy.

“There has been a long campaign by power, coal and oil companies to mislead the public about the science of global warming,” the suit says

GM Exec: Global Warming is a 'Crock'

General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a “total crock of shit,” saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles.

On GM's Fast Lane Blog , Lutz writes:

Never mind what I said, or the context in which I said it. My thoughts on what has or hasn’t been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors.”

Invite Your Favorite Skeptic On A Hike Through the High Grass

Twenty-foot pythons could soon be on the march–or on the slither–to new parts of North America, thanks to global warming. Climate modeling for the year 2100 which shows the possible climate range for pythons moving northward and swallowing up northernmost parts of Texas and Arkansas, the southeast half of Kansas, the southern half of Missouri and parts of southern Illinois and Indiana. Further east the big snakes could comfortably creep through Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey.

Who Took The 'R' Out of USCAP?

When 10 of the largest U.S. corporations and four environmental groups joined forces last January to lobby for federal regulations to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions, it was seen as a watershed in corporate environmentalism.

The U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), comprising 27 companies from General Electric to General Motors, won praise from enviros by endorsing cuts—10% to 30% of heat-trapping emissions within 15 years and 60% to 80% by 2050 – to avert some of the severest consequences of global warming. Behind the scenes, however, several companies that belong to USCAP are simultaneously supporting efforts and organizations that oppose mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases or promote policies that would make the USCAP reductions nearly impossible to meet.

ExMoMoMoMoMoMoMo

HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company – $40.6 billion in 2007 – as the world's largest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at year's end.

Exxon also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, besting its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Is 2008 the Year Climate Change Becomes a Global Growth Industry?

In about 4 hours, the temperatures in the midwestern US dropped about 50 degrees. Further south, wildfires prompted a state of emergency in Texas. At the same time, China deployed 500,000 troops to rescue people from one of the worst winter storms on record, while a blizzard roared through parts of the Middle East, closing schools and blanketing parts of the Holy Land.

Pages