This book not only brings home the imminence of climate change but also examines the campaign of deception by big coal and big oil that is keeping the issue off the public agenda. It examines the various arenas in which the battle for control of the issue is being fought--a battle with surprising political alliances and relentless obstructionism. The story provides an ominous foretaste of the gathering threat of political chaos and totalitarianism. And it concludes by outlining a transistion to the future that contains, at least, the possibility of continuity for our organized civilization, and, at best, a vast increase in the stability, equity, and wealth of the global economy.
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(210mm x 140mm x 15mm)
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US Kirkus Review »
Old-fashioned muckraking against "big oil and big coal" meets new scientific theories on global warming. Forest fires rage through Mongolia and Texas. Killer heat waves fell hundreds in Calcutta and Chicago. Floods consume Nepal and Oman. Deserts form in Greece and Spain. These and countless other alarming recent incidents form the backdrop for Gelbspan's impassioned, if perhaps too alarmist, book. Gelbspan, a veteran reporter with such papers as the Washington Post and the Boston Globe and a Pulitzer Prize winner, wants the reader to know about these harbingers of disaster; he opens with a dire scenario about the melting of the Antarctic ice cap after the greenhouse effect heats up the planet's surface enough to after normal weather cycles. "The truth underlying the increasingly apparent changes in global climate has largely been kept out of public view," Gelbspan argues. Why? Precisely, he continues, because the multitrillion-dollar oil and gas industries have conspired to keep that truth hidden. He goes on to examine the energy industries' financing of reports that deny the disappearance of the ozone layer and other manifestations of human-caused climatic change, charging that the science in those reports is tainted by big money. Gelbspan's own command of science sometimes seems a little fuzzy, and the reader is left to judge just how evil the energy companies' acting out of clear self-interest really is, but it all adds up to an interesting polemic. And Gelbspan gives a good account of alternative-energy programs, which he urges be given greater funding priority; with the proper tax incentives, he maintains, "climate-friendly energy technologies could instantly become competitive with fossil fuels." Is the sky falling? After reading this book, you might be inclined to think so. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Ross Gelbspan
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.