Ross Gelbspan

Ross Gelbspan was an editor and reporter at The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. He is the author of The Heat Is On and Boiling Point and maintains the website

Rommrodding America's Climate Complacency

A near thumbs-up for Joe Romm’s ‘Straight Up’

Joe Romm is pissed off — and I’m delighted. His latest book, Straight Up, takes on the oil and coal companies, the skeptics, and the press. His unfailing sense of priorities shines through his startlingly thoughtful and brutally blunt writing. I have one problem with his book — but more about that later.    As an assistant secretary of energy during the Clinton administration, Romm developed expertise in the area of renewable energy technologies. As a climate blogger, his even greater asset is his intelligence.   Straight Up is a compilation of posts from Romm’s popular blog Climate Progress. And …

Moral Leadership in the Greenhouse

A plan to jumpstart the global economy, defuse terrorism, and restore America’s world standing

America has lost its stature as a moral leader in today’s world. The global financial system continues to unravel with devastating consequences. The escalating threat of terrorism, driven by persistent inequity between the world’s rich and poor, seems immune to military solutions.  The global climate stands at the threshold of runaway changes.         What is needed is a one-stop solution that transcends traditional coalitions and national antagonisms and brings the nations of the world together in a common global project that addresses all three threats. In short, what is needed is a coordinated global public-works program to rewire the …

Beyond the point of no return

It’s too late to stop climate change, argues Ross Gelbspan — so what do we do now?

As the pace of global warming kicks into overdrive, the hollow optimism of climate activists, along with the desperate responses of some of the world's most prominent climate scientists, is preventing us from focusing on the survival requirements of the human enterprise. The environmental establishment continues to peddle the notion that we can solve the climate problem. We can't. We have failed to meet nature's deadline. In the next few years, this world will experience progressively more ominous and destabilizing changes. These will happen either incrementally -- or in sudden, abrupt jumps. Under either scenario, it seems inevitable that we will soon be confronted by water shortages, crop failures, increasing damages from extreme weather events, collapsing infrastructures, and, potentially, breakdowns in the democratic process itself. ----- Start with the climate activists, who are telling us only a partial truth.

Do you know where your candidates stand on climate change?

With growing numbers of scientists declaring that the global climate crisis is approaching a point of no return, there is a huge and bewildering disconnect between our physical world and our political environment. Our government’s response to the prospect of runaway climate impacts is one of paralysis. The negligence of the Bush administration is understandable. The White House has become the East Coast branch office of ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy. The fossil-fuel lobby is essentially writing the administration’s climate and energy policies. As a result, climate change has become the preeminent case study of the contamination of our political system …

Join a people’s campaign to ratify the Kyoto Protocol

The much-discussed Kyoto Protocol takes effect today, Feb. 16. In the face of the United States’ continuing refusal to ratify the international agreement, a group of progressive activists is launching a drive to gather millions of signatures from U.S. citizens for a “People’s Ratification of the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty.” Ross Gelbspan, a Grist contributor and author of two books on climate change — The Heat Is On and Boiling Point — explains why you should put your coffee mug down and sign the petition today. What on earth is a person supposed to do? History and nature are on …

Clash of the Titans

An excerpt from Boiling Point by Ross Gelbspan

Under the administration of George W. Bush, the White House has become the East Coast branch office of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, and climate change has become the preeminent case study of the contamination of our political system by money.

Beltway green groups need to turn up the heat

Inside the Beltway, the climate movement is comatose. During the Clinton-Gore years, while the U.S. dragged its feet in international climate negotiations, the major national environmental groups allowed themselves to be used by the administration. Seduced by the former vice president’s rhetoric, the groups watched their issue disappear from the political arena when Al Gore sacrificed his convictions to his ambitions and made global warming the subject of a personal vow of silence during his presidential campaign. The inability of the nation’s large, mainstream environmental groups to mobilize the public around the immense threat of climate change — and their …

Industry is talking about climate change. Why aren't the presidential candidates?

Like the nine-foot-deep blanket of ice at the top of the world, America’s denial of the climate crisis is melting. In hot water in the Antarctic. Photo: Michael Van Woert, NOAA. And like the North Pole, it is melting from the top down. Over the last year, in the wake of steady alarms from leaders of the insurance industry, growing numbers of oil and auto company executives have been undergoing a quiet but profound sea change in their responses to global warming. At long last, that change is rapidly engulfing the general public. The most formidible fortress of denial remains …

But a cool new plan could save the day

Announcements of the “hottest year in recorded history” are becoming annual events. Another beautiful sunset. Evidence is mounting that drastic climatic changes are under way, driven by the 6 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide that humans pump into our atmosphere each year. In 1998 alone, we saw a crippling ice storm in Quebec and New England; uncontrolled fires in Brazil, Mexico, and Florida; killer heat waves in the Middle East, Texas, and India; Mexico’s worst drought in 70 years, followed by intense floods; massive flooding in China, which left 14 million people homeless; the worst flood in the history …

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