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The Heat is On: High Stakes Battle Over Earth's Threatened Climate [Hardcover]

Ross Gelbspan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Aug 1997
In The Heat Is On, Ross Gelbspan exposes the deliberate campaign by oil and coal interests, teamed with conservative politicians, to confuse the public about global warming and the disruptive weather patterns that mark its initial stages. He shows how these fossil fuel proponents have supported the efforts of a small but highly vocal group of "scientific skeptics" whose statements distort the nature of scientific debate, raising doubts in the public mind about this threat which is, in fact, a matter of solid scientific consensus. Gelbspan sets the record straight with contributions from four of the world's leading climate scientists. Ironically, The Heat Is On also shows that the news about climatic change is now so bad that it may well help to save us as it brings the worldwide insurance industry, saddled with billions in unprecedented claims from weather-related damage, into the battle against fossil fuels. The book explains what this emerging alliance among the insurance industry, environmentalists, and a number of the world's most vulnerable nations must do to save the planet. Capturing both the global scope and the historical uniqueness of our dilemma, it shows that the price of inaction may extend well beyond flood-prone lowlands and drought-prone agricultural lands. One casualty could be democracy itself as nations faced with weather-related destabilization resort to totalitarian measures to control their populations.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Perseus Books; 1st Edition edition (Aug 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201132958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201132953
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,025,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Minority viewpoints among U.S. scientists have too much influence on policy, Gelbspan reports. He provides evidence that other countries have invested in alternative energy sources, i.e. geothermal, solar, and wind energy, which have helped to reduce pollution. Exposes industry front groups, e.g. "Information Council on the Environment" that give the appearance of uncertainty within the scientific community.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pulitzer-prizewinning author excels in this one! 5 Oct 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Minority viewpoints among U.S. scientists have too much influence on policy, Gelbspan reports. He provides evidence that other countries have invested in alternative energy sources, i.e. geothermal, solar, and wind energy, which have helped to reduce pollution. Exposes industry front groups, e.g. "Information Council on the Environment" that give the appearance of uncertainty within the scientific community.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must reading on this subject 19 Dec 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ross Gelbspan provides an invaluable addition to the literature on a global problem. He details the way in which the oil and coal industries, both of whom have an enormous financial stake in the status quo, energy-wise, have poured money into a propaganda campaign designed to prevent action on global warming. They have done so by creating the illusion that there is a genuine debate by scientists as to whether global warming is taking place. Probably the most valuable part of the book is the appendix in which Gelbspan reproduces statements from leading climate scientists demolishing some of the most common arguments of the so-called "greenhouse skeptics" Patrick Michaels, Robert Balling and S. Fred Singer, three key figures in the corporate propaganda campaign.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gelbspan offers insight into science & politics of warming 10 Sep 1998
By Bill Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Having just read The Heat Is On and interviewed both Ross Gelbspan and Robert Balling for EV World, I came away with an appreciation of both the complexity of the issue, but also the politics underlying it. While Gelbspan admits he's no climatologist, he's interviewed numerous professionals in the field, and read the works of the leading skeptics, including Balling who would have you believe that this is a non-issue and even if it were an issue, we can't do anything about it. Ross not only thinks we can do something about it, but he's also spent the last year working with others to develop a plan to begin the gradual transition away from fossil fuels to sustainable technologies, one which won't jeopardize the global economy or the environment. EV World features RealAudio interviews with both Gelbspan and Balling.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A crucial read for those concerned with Earth's future 25 Jun 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
At a time when sensationalism (of the O.J. Simpson variety) and self-absorption (the broad interest in exclusively personal memoirs) dominate public conversation, Ross Gelbspan courageously tackles one of the most important ecological and moral challenges confronting us--the perils of unchecked human-caused climate change. Gelbspan's text weaves together a thorough expose of the so-called global-warming skeptics (whose arguments are weak but well-funded by fossil-fuel interests) with disconcerting accounts of what's actually happening to Earth's weather. While the specific intellectual weaknesses of the "skeptics'" arguments could have been further highlighted, The Heat is On is both a fine contribution to ecological literature and one of this year's most important books on any subject
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Raw Truth as I Experienced it for Eleven Years- Now I can talk. 25 Nov 2009
By Richard Ordway - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Raw Truth as I Experienced it for Eleven Years. Now I can talk. Unlike that "climate scientist" who also reviews this book on Amazon, I give my name.

I was a climate change docent at the National Center for Atmopsheric Research (NCAR) in Colorado for eleven years giving climate change presentations to the public, policy makers and students. I was an offical representative for NCAR and saw it in all its glory...and all its mud (PS I don't say anything bad about NCAR and never will. Like any institution, it has its characters and its humans just being human). I respect NCAR and what it does.

Okay, Ross Gelbspan is not a climate scientist and in my opinon does not "nail" everything down like a publishing climate scientist would... but that being said, he hits climate change science in an amazingly understandable and accurate way in my opinion. However, his expertise as a Publizer prize winner, is investigation.

His investigation results are what I personally experienced in a horrible, painful, vivid way on an almost daily basis for eleven years. I personally knew, saw, talked with and had my almost daily public presentations heard and evaluated by the best publishing Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead authors in the world...it was not always pleasant as they made sure I stated the science accurately down to the inflection...sometimes rather sharply I might add!

I saw and personally experienced a persistent effort (not at NCAR) by non-scientists and pseudo-scientists (those who don't follow the scientific method) to publicly, officially spread disinformation (once in front of me...I got sick to my stomach), degrade, slander, attack, undermine the actual climate science and the actual climate scientists I knew both on a first and second hand basis for the eleven years that I was involved...why? Money.

Ross Gelbspan tells what I experienced on an almost daily basis...It was absolutely shameful and among some of the darker and more painful days of my life for both me, science, our country and the publishing scientists involved whose work holds up over time.

Many people I personally knew talked of some of the incidents that Ross Gelbspan cites...and some of the incidents described in his book happened to the very people I knew.

His book was required reading at a pilot climate change course at the University of Denver which I took. I urge you to read this Pulizer prize-winning author's book and I endorse it to look into the hidden world of climate science which is on everyone's lips today.

PS- In case you "hear" that Ross Gelbspan did not get a Pulizer prize, here is a link to an actual newspaper article at the newspaper where he wrote, the Boston Globe: (Google "The heat is Online" and the link is there).

Unfortunately, this is a living example of his book's events in action. I find that this is the real deal...and I am grateful...sort of... that I lived through this time in history.

[...]
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