Ross Gelbspan

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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.

ExxonMobil Gets Religion on Climate Change -- $2.32 Million Worth

A recent statement by evangelical Christians downplaying the potential problems of global climate change includes eight signers whose six organizations have received a total of $2.32 million in donations from ExxonMobil over the last three years.
 

Disinformation Magnate Koch Puts Cape Wind in his Crosshairs

Energy Magnate William I. Koch, identified in a recent coal industry memo as a funder for a new disinformation campaign, has become a director of a new lobbying group whose purpose is to defeat the proposed Cape Wind farm in Nantucket Sound.


William Koch is the President and founder of the Oxbow Corporation, which according to it's own website is:

“… made up of more than two dozen companies with yearly aggregate sales approaching $1 billion, combined assets of over $425 million and over 600 employees worldwide. Oxbow’s primary businesses are the mining and marketing of energy and bulk commodities such as coal, natural gas, petroleum, metallurgical and calcined coke, and electric power generation.

Nuclear Energy's Climatic Achilles Heel

While many experts, including Britain's James Lovelock, have been promoting nuclear energy as a greenhouse-gas-free method of generating electricity, recent shutdowns in of nuclear plants in Europe due to overheated cooling water and low-flowing rivers have exposed a very serious danger to a reliance on nuclear energy – and one which will only become worse as the planet continues to heat up.

If We Can't Trust Pat Michaels, Who Can We Trust?

An article in the Charlottesville (Virginia) Daily Progress indicates that Pat Michaels, whose claim to fame is that he is the Virginia State Climatologist, might just be much less than he would have us believe. 

According to the article:


“It may be an inconvenient truth for some that Patrick J. Michaels, Virginia’s state climatologist, is not subject to gubernatorial appointment - or political removal from office.” and,
“Michaels, whose utility industry funding and controversial views on global warming often spark controversy, holds an honorary position and does not speak for the state or the governor, according to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s office.”

A Fickle Pat Robertson Finds Himself On the Road to Damascus

The Rev. Pat Robertson said he hasn't been a believer in global warming in the past, but this summer's record-breaking heat is “making a convert out of me.”  And only a week ago, he bashed godless environmentalists in a session with scorched-earth skeptic James Inhofe. Said Robertson about Inhofe:  “We appreciate him, and he chairs a vital committee on this matter, and I’m glad he’s standing for some very important principles.” 

This Is Not Cool

MSNBC reports:

America in recent years has been sweltering through three times more than its normal share of extra-hot summer nights, government weather records show. And that is a particularly dangerous trend.

The most obvious negative health impact comes from heating. The UN’s weather agency has predicted a worldwide doubling of deaths due to heat waves in the next 20 years.

One finding of climate scientists is that as the planet warms, the nighttime low temperatures are rising twice as fast as the daytime high temperatures – because carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases are trapping in the heat overnight and preventing the normal nighttime radiational cooling. That means that when a person's body becomes heat-stressed, it does not experience the traditional nighttime cooling that allows it to recuperate.

Witness the 35,000 heat deaths in Europe two summers ago – and the heat deaths in Chicago in 1995.

The Climate According to the Moonie Loonies

Rev. MoonAn editorial in The Washington Times criticizes a recent piece of writing by NASA Scientist Jim Hansen for not explaining why global warming is caused by human activities. Perhaps that’s because the scientific proof of human-generated warming is fast becoming ancient history.  It may not be known to the journalistic footsoldiers of that paragon of scientific inquiry, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.  But the case has long been accepted by the world’s community of mainstream climate scientists since 1995. (For a summary of the experiments by which scientists prove that global warming is a function of our burning of oil and coal, see:  “The Scientific Case for Human Induced Warming.”)

Bush Snubs Blair, Top Corporate Leaders, Wrestling with Climate Crisis

White House Plans to Skip High-Profile Talks on Climate

Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2006 One of the higher-profile meetings on climate change is set to bring together this week British Prime Minister Tony Blair, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and about 25 chief executive officers of major corporations around the world.

Liberals Charge Harper with Censorship, Shutting Down Climate Website

Canadian liberals have charged Prime Minister Harper with following the lead of U.S. climate skeptics by censoring researchers and shutting down the government's main climate-information website.  They charge Harper's “Made in Canada” climate policy is a sham designed to cover up what they call an “Orwellian” campaign to suppress the truth about climate change.  Harper's actions follow by about a month a meeting with Frank Luntz, the American spin srategist who counseled President Bush to “keep the public confusted” about the state of climate science.

"Vampire Memo" Reveals Coal Industry Plan for Massive Propaganda Blitz

Big coal – in the form of the National Rural Electric Association, Koch Industries, American Electric Power, the Southern Company, the National Association of Manufacturers and others are planning a major blitz against efforts to fight global warming.

 


The plan is a retread of a similar campaign launched in the early 1990s by coal interests. The latest version is spelled out in what is dubbed a “Vampire Memo” because it resurrects an earlier campaign which was discredited and abandoned in the mid 1990s. You can download the memo here.

The “Vampire Memo” from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association

 

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