"Boiling Point" Author to Speak at UB about How Energy Industry Drives U.S. Policy, Worsens Global Warming

Release Date: September 10, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Ross Gelbspan, will talk about global warming and climate change at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 in Allen Hall on the University at Buffalo South (Main Street) Campus.

Gelbspan is author of "Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis -- and What We can Do to Avert Disaster" (Basic Books, August 2004).

His talk will be sponsored by the UB Green Office; the event will be free and open to the public. Co-sponsors include Citizens' Environmental Coalition, EarthHeart, Sierra Club-Niagara Group, Learning Sustainability, the UB Professional Staff Senate and the UB Student Wellness Team.

In his book, Gelbspan discusses the mounting scientific evidence for global warming, as well as the sharp change in the political climate that has allowed for dramatically increased influence from the coal and oil industry lobby.

The book alleges that over the past four years there has been:

-- "Extraordinary collaboration" between the White House and the fossil fuel industry, to the point where, he says, "…the White House has become the East Coast branch office of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal…"

-- The use of highly paid, industry-financed political consultants to drive home the misleading message to Americans that many climate scientists remain unconvinced that global warming is occurring

-- "Outdated journalistic conventions" that allow journalists to unwittingly contribute to public ignorance about global warming

Gelbspan cites numerous scientific studies, as well as physical signs that he says demonstrate that global warming is occurring and rapidly accelerating. These include the rupture of the largest Arctic ice shelf in 2003; melting of the ice cover on the Arctic Ocean that is, according to NASA scientists, occurring about three times faster than was predicted; dramatic change in the El Nino pattern, starting in the 1970s; rising sea levels that already have forced some Pacific island populations to evacuate their homes, and the rapid, recent increase in mosquito-related diseases, such as West Nile virus.

Throughout his career, Gelbspan has written on topics ranging from FBI abuses in Latin America to the safety of nuclear power plants. Gelbspan received a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for conceiving and editing a series of stories for the Boston Globe called "Boston: The Race Factor." After writing an article for The Washington Post, where he was on staff, on climate change and infectious diseases in 1995, Gelbspan began to focus his attention on global warming.

His previous book on the subject was "The Heat is On: the Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription" (Perseus Books, 1998).

For additional information, contact the UBGreen office at 829-3535.

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