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The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, The Cover-up, The Prescription Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Upd Sub edition (September 22, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738200255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738200255
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,613,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ross Gelbspan has been an editor and reporter at The Village Voice, and The Washington Post. He covered the U.N. Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972, and addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998. As special projects editor of The Boston Globe, he conceived, directed and edited a series of articles that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Erik J Wheeler on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
"The Heat is On" is a well-researched, detailed description of how the coal and oil industries are trying (and succeeding) to confuse the issue of global warming today. In this frightening exposé, Ross Gelbspan shows how the fossil fuel industries are spending millions of dollars to confuse the public through misleading advertising and PR tactics in order to protect their financial interests. The story behind this campaign of lies is astounding.
Try a little experiment: talk to several people about global warming. Just bring it up in the conversation, and watch their reaction. I did, and I found that most people laughed, or said, "Yeah, but I heard there's no conclusive evidence to support that." This is the direct effect of the fossil fuel industry's PR campaign. Gelbspan describes how they have done this largely through industry-created groups with misleading names (such as the "Information Council on the Environment"), and pseudo-scientists paid by the industry.
Gelbspan explains that the industry's groups and scientists have received a great deal of media coverage because journalists, as part of their duty, are compelled to cover both sides of the story. The problem is that the "other side of the story" in this case is a small group who is paid by the industry. The confusion and lies promoted by the fossil fuel industry has been enough to drown out the 2,500 climate scientists around the world who all agree that global warming is a fact.
"The Heat is On" offers irrefutable facts to debunk the myth that global warming evidence is inconclusive. For example, many people claim that recent extreme colde and winter weather refutes the theory.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
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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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A research and development fluids engineer on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ten years ago, I began to research and learn as much as I could about global warming. In that attempt I have watched alarming predictions be issued along with a growing, but minority voice indicating the opposite. I began to research these groups and their information. I learned a valuable lesson; good science and logic can no longer (nor probably ever was) used for sound policy decisions without the ugly head of bias and disinformation rising.
This book serves to illustrate what I have experienced in the frustrating attempt to separate politics from science. I purchased "The Heated Debate" after learning from e-mail correspondance with global greenhouse skeptics that their mission is not to establish the scientific truth, but rather to protect vested interests. Needless to say, the words of this book were enlightening, confirming, and had excellent attention to detail that makes this book stand out as a firm summary to the "debate" of anthropogenic (man induced) climate change.
It doesn't take long to learn what this book so amply demostrates; that propagandist statements from global greenhouse skeptics often are a pronosticator of poor science and obvious bias, and the dangers of the politicalization of the search for truth. As this book correctly states , scientific inquiry from industry isn't automatically nullified but it too needs to be peer-reviewed and subjected to the same processes as all other scientific research. This book makes it clear that evidence contrary to the scientific consensus has not met passed this test.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By TimothyB on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found the book to be right on par with my own research into the effects of "global warming". His conclusions are actually pretty tame compared with mid to worst case scenarios I have heard from eminent environmental scientists.
That being said, the fact that there are so many 1 star ratings tells me that the PR campaign is in great force. It is absolutely true that people don't want to believe that there is any threat from global warming or pollution, so they are more susceptible to the falsehoods proposed by the oil, coal and gas companies.
You can meet all of his goals as stated, and even be MORE energy conscious, and not have to give up your car, stereo, twinkies, pizza or boat(s). You can be wealthy or poor (as you like). You can consume to your heart's content. All you have to do is DEMAND ENERGY EFFICIENCY. And of course, the Government has to get out of the oil companies back pocket(s) by ridding us of oil subsidies.
Cars can burn alcohol (like brazil does in 40% of its cars) and/or bio-diesel (like Germany and other european countries do in 30%+ of their vehicles) made from veg-oil. We can make limitless supplies of these two fuels.. why the hell do we need crude oil? Well, it's because oil companies want us to drink crude oil because it is cheaper for them to produce than vegetable based fuels. Also because switching to veg based fuels switches the power base.. now any joe can fuel his car with farm alcohol.. eek! Lost Revenue! Why do you think that the 'New Fuel Cell Technology' being developed is going to use compunds which are completely unfeasible for the backyard chemist to produce?
No, the situation is not as it is depictied by our friendly author here.. its worse. Try to make a change for the better. Make the world a better place for all of its children and burn some corn instead of dead dinosaurs.
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