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.

Tempest: Inside the world of the Skeptics

The  Washington Post Sunday Magazine has published an extensive and very worthwhile article on the community of climate skeptics – starting with US hurricane expert William  Gray. 
(The article is available in the attached file)

Scientists 'Out' Fraudulent CEI Ad Campaign

TV ads that doubt climate change are ‘misleading’ The Independent (U.K.), May 25, 2006 A senior scientist has condemned as a “deliberate effort to mislead” a series of television adverts produced by an oil industry-funded loyying group that seeks to portray concern over global warming as alarmism. The adverts, produced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), seek to argue that despite widespread agreement about the growing evidence of climate change, other evidence suggests the opposite. The adverts catchphrase says: “Carbon dioxide - they call it pollution, we call it life.”

Long-time Skeptic Easterbrook Gets Religion

Finally Feeling the Heat

By Gregg Easterbrook

Op-Ed in The New York Times, May 24, 2006

Today  “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore's movie about the greenhouse effect, opens in New York and California. Many who already believe global warming is a menace will flock to the film; many who scoff at the notion will opt for Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks. But has anything happened in recent years that should cause a reasonable person to switch sides in the global-warming debate?  

Greenhouse Concerns from the World's Greatest Skeptic

Saudi Arabia, which for years has thwarted all attempts to curb carbon emissions, gets religion.  

Saudi Oil Firm Aramco Says Backs Greenhouse Gas Cut

Planetark.org, May 23, 2006

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, signalled on Monday it would help the fight against global warming through research on cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the oil and gas industry.  

A Climate of Deep-Seated Doubt

Bush snubs Gore film on global warming

          Is President Bush likely to see Al Gore's documentary about global warming? 

          ''Doubt it,'' Bush said coolly Monday

          Bush has had bitter disagreements with Gore about the environment and other issues. Bush defeated Gore, then the Democratic vice president, in a disputed presidential election that was finally settled by the Supreme Court in 2000.  

Arctic to Skeptics: 'Read My Tips'

Record amounts of the Arctic ocean failed to freeze during the recent winter, spelling disaster for wildlife and strengthening concerns that the region is locked into a destructive cycle of irreversible climate change.

Ambrose Lambasted as Fox-in-Charge of Chicken Coop

“If you're in negotiations to cut emissions and doing nothing but bad-mouth (Kyoto) … you'll do immense damage to the international process,” said John Bennett of the Sierra Club.

Canada Must Quit as Chair of Kyoto Process - Greens
Planetark.org, May 11, 2006

OTTAWA - Green groups across Canada united on Wednesday to demand Environment Minister Rona Ambrose step down as chairwoman of international talks looking into ways to strengthen the Kyoto protocol on climate change.

Climate Scientists Shred Hurricane Skeptic Gray's Citing of Inhofe, Crichton

“I anticipate global temperature conditions will change as they have in the past. I expect to live to see the start of a global cooling pattern and the discrediting of most of the anthropogenic warming arguments. The world has more serious problems to worry about.” William Gray, US hurricane forecaster

Harper Government Mulls C.O.P. Out

 Canada backs Kyoto alternative group

Royal Society Nails New Wave of Skeptic Attacks

“It is clear that a number of well-funded and well-orchestrated media campaigns were carried out, by groups that are opposed to the Kyoto protocol … There are signs that these groups are preparing similar media and political offensives ahead of the publication of the IPCC fourth assessment report in 2007.”  

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