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on 11 July 1999
Gelbspan is a reporter for the Boston Globe who does a great job of describing the science, economics and politics behind gobal climate change. He does an excellent job of defining the problem (in layman's terms) and discussing the disinformation campaign sponsored by the oil industry.
If you're looking for the nitty-gritty science behind global warming, you will find only a sampling in the appendix. Gelbspan starts with the assumption that the thousands of world class climatologists who make up the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) are correct in their consensus that climate change is real and happening now. From that assumption, he unleashes a barrage of disturbing anecdotal evidence describing the many effects of climate change. He also unmasks the efforts of a few scientists backed by the oil industry to sabotage the findings of IPCC. The book presents a thorough and disturbing expose of this effective PR campaign to neutralize the warnings of the scientific community.
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on 11 March 1999
Gelbspan does a good job of laying out the case for global warming, stressing the vast consensus among practicing climate scientists, and exposing the names mentioned in the above review as industry sponsored flaks who are trudged around from meeting to meeting repeating the same sorry and inaccurate tirades which are nonetheless reported by the press in the interest of `balance.' As Gelbspan points out, there is not real balance here--on the one side are some climate scientists supported by industry, a handful in number, and on the other side are climate scientists (thousands in number) who take money only from governmental sources. Somewhat sensational in tone, but a good read.
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on 18 July 1999
As evidenced by opposing comments below, media campaigns by the two-plus trillion dollar per year coal-oil industries have effectively confused the public. Even mainstream newspaper editors still ignore the imminent global disaster from the ever increasing, man-made carbon dioxide. Burning fossil fuels increases CO2 in earth's atmosphere, trapping solar energy and unnaturally warming the planet reports Ross Gelbspan in his, "The Heat Is On." As a practicing scientist, I wished to learn more about global warming after listening to Gelbspan's 1998 Oregon lecture, recently re-broadcast on National Public Radio. The Pulitzer Prize winner's book reports on the projected, soon to arrive political and economic turmoil from our increasingly unstable climate. Both the haves and have nots are soon to be increasingly affected by violent storms and droughts lashing our neighborhoods, countries and planet. Making his an even more daunting writing task, Gelbspan includes scholarly reports on the multi-million dollar dysinformation campaign by powerful oil and coal interests worldwide. Their aim: to undermine the credibility of global warming scenarios by the 2,500 scientists working internationally on analyzing the rapidly changing climate, geology and topography. Even the respected conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. recenetly came out in favor of acknowledging global warming and sounded a clarion call to avoid politically polarizing THIS vital issue, Gelbspan reports. Indeed, those eager to cash in early on the big money to be made out of solving the global warming problem (as have British Petroleum and Ford Motor Company) should first become informed by reading the excellent primer, "The Heat Is On," and then by rolling up his and her sleeves for working on the problem ... at least for doing very well by doing good!
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on 1 May 1999
It is hard to imagine the future climate scientists are telling us is coming. Our world is going to dramatically change, no matter what we do. We can affect the degree of change, if we choose to act. Gelbspan discusses why the issue of climate change (global warming) has gotten the media spin that it has and what the consequences of that has been on awareness of the issue. Thanks to people like him, we "regular folks" can have input into how to handle the crisis, because we know that we must act now. Otherwise the people in the "smoke filled back rooms" of politics will decide to tell us what "we have to do" in a climate-derived emergency. I found his examination of the "greenhouse skeptics" to be hard-hitting (and needed!), but did not sense any significant unfairness. Thanks, Ross!
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on 12 June 1999
The Heat Is On is a wonderful primer for debating the hype and myriad obfuscation about global climate change presented by highly paid industrial lobbyists and public affairs departments. Engaging and easy to read. It is also, by the way, the book President Clinton read just prior to signing the Kyoto accord.
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on 24 June 1999
This problem is probably the most important one facing humanity today, and here it is explained clearly and objectively. My only complaint is that there is no list of resources - a "things you can do" appendix of web sites, agencies, and so forth. Read the book. Change the planet for the better.
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on 9 March 1999
I was surprised when I read this book that its arguments amounted to no more than serial ad hominem attacks on the motives of anyone who disagreed with the global warming hypothesis--this is advocacy journalism at its worst. As a scientist (and amateur climatologist), I would really like to have recommended this book, but the issues are not presented in a rational and balanced fashion. The people criticized here actually come across as far more impartial (read S. Fred
Singer or Patrick Michaels or Thomas Gale Moore) Try these titles::
Climate of Fear : Why We Shouldn't Worry About Global Warming; Thomas Gale Moore
Hot Talk Cold Science : Global Warning's Unfinished Debate; Singer, et al
   Sound and Fury : The Science and Politics of Global Warming; Patrick J. Michaels
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