Where is Ross Gelbspan these days? 2018 Edition

A little over two years ago on November 21, 2015, I wrote a blog post about Ross Gelbspan’s most visible recent activity, which concerned a couple of less-than-well-ought-out Facebook comments on his part. Time for an update about this same ‘most visible’ public efforts of his, where it serves as one more example of how people always need to do more digging into the things he says.

I allocate very little time glancing at Gelbspan’s online presence. His ‘blog’ site (which barely fits the definition) rarely ventures beyond small efforts to reproduce entire online articles) out of the news concerning the global warming issue, while his Facebook timeline posts don’t feature much more than shared posts from his “HeatIsOnline” Facebook page, which itself is no more than copies ’n pastes of what appears at his blog. Both pages are often devoid of any comment replies.

On rare occasions at his main Facebook page, a minor flurry of activity sometimes arises, such as his November 27, 2018 post which initially was no more than a copy ’n paste of a paragraph out of a New York Times article quoting President Trump’s response to reporters about the latest so-called ‘government’ climate assessment report. On this particular occasion, a few of his followers posted anti-Trump comments, while one other person brought up a completely off-topic question which Gelbspan directly answered. Another commenter expressed wishes that Gelbspan would use his influence to get reporters to be tougher on the climate issue (as if they aren’t already on his side to an extreme extent). Gelbspan’s reply contained a rather odd musing about his efforts overall:

I can’t believe I published my first piece on this stuff back in 1995 — and so little has happened …

No doubt his loyal Facebook Friends who praise his seminal 1997 “The Heat is On” book (which insinuated that skeptic climate scientists operated under a sinister industry directive to misinform the public about the certainty of man-caused global warming) may also vaguely recall him mentioning something about his prior publications. And, they might agree that humanity has done “so little” to stop this alleged planetary catastrophe.

His assorted Facebook Friends could be forgiven for not offering mild challenges to his statement. Far more worrisome is that journalists might give that pair of assertions a complete pass, when it begs for two sets of questions.

“… so little has happened …”? Define “so little.” Gelbspan embarked on what has amounted to a second career after his 1992 retirement from the Boston Globe, which included the perks of:

“… I published my first piece on this stuff back in 1995 …”? Define … well, everything encompassing that.

  • Gelbspan speaks of an otherwise very obscure 1995 article he co-authored with the late Paul Epstein regarding something to do with global warming increasing the spread of disease. Was that what he meant by “1995”? It was published by the Washington Post, however.
  • He is much more famously known for his December 1995 “The Heat is On” article which Harper’s Magazine published. Was that what he meant by “1995”?
  • 1995 wasn’t the start date for Gelbspan’s foray into the ‘cataclysmic global warming situation.’ As I detailed in my April 25, 2014 blog post’s Item #4, he was trying to alert the world to this on no uncertain terms in his final series of articles at the Boston Globe. There’s no way to miss the tone of it in the May 31,1992 edition.

This isn’t an isolated incident concerning Gelbspan’s questionable narratives about when he first began his exposé of ‘corrupted skeptics.’ It seems people he either apparently inadvertently met or supposedly contacted directly offer contradictory dates on when he started this, which only worsen the appearance of his timeline inconsistencies.

Objective reporters or governmental and/or legal action investigators might to keep a pair of questions in mind if opportunities arise to interview Ross Gelbspan and others about their accusations of fossil fuel industry executives colluding with skeptic climate scientists: if Gelbspan’s mundane story items along with those of others’ are inconsistently told, then how solid are their major accusation assertions? When does it become necessary to replace a willingness to forgive memory lapses about details with the need to investigate whether the details are not outright fabrications designed to make the storyteller look like a hero or heroine when he or she is actually not?