• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Remembering Bob Edwards and Ross Gelbspan

Air Date: Week of

Ross Gelbspan was a journalist for several decades at a number of establishments, including The Boston Globe. (Photo: Courtesy of Thea Gelbspan)

Host Steve Curwood shares some recordings and memories of the late Bob Edwards and Ross Gelbspan, two giants of journalism who helped support Living on Earth from its earliest days getting on the air.


CURWOOD: I’ve been saddened by the recent deaths of two giants of journalism, Bob Edwards and Ross Gelbspan, who were also good friends of mine. If you have long listened to public radio, you likely heard Bob during the nearly a quarter of a century that he hosted NPR’s Morning Edition, sometimes with a bit of whimsy.

[NPR's "Morning Edition" Theme Music]

EDWARDS: Good morning, I'm Bob Edwards. A Cooper's hawk in pursuit of a pigeon flew through an open door into a Home Depot store in suburban Cleveland last week, and has been living in the rafters of the store's 25-foot-high ceiling. It's a bit disturbing to some customers when the bird decides to have lunch, but Cooper's hawks are an endangered species and cannot be harmed. Wildlife experts say the hawk likely will leave the store when it runs out of pigeons. You're listening to Morning Edition, from NPR News.

CURWOOD: In 2006, after he left NPR, Bob produced an award-winning environmental documentary called Exploding Heritage, based in and around his home state of Kentucky.

EDWARDS: The Appalachian Mountains were standing before the Ice Age. They’re nearly 300 million years old. They have survived everything nature has thrown at them. But they might not survive man. [Sound of explosion.] Using a mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, mining companies are blowing up mountains to get to the valuable coal deep inside.

CURWOOD: Bob Edwards’s interest in environmental journalism also brought him onto the advisory board of Living on Earth back in 1990 when I was starting the show. He gave a lot of help with contacts and encouraged the mission at a time when some in public radio doubted the need for a show dedicated to environmental journalism. Thank you, Bob Edwards, for knowing the stories and telling them.

Ross Gelbspan was a brilliant journalist who wrote for the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Bulletin and the Boston Globe, where he won a Pulitzer Prize for a series he created on discrimination in hiring. He was also my editor and boss when I wrote for the Globe in the 1980’s, and a great teacher and resource for Living on Earth. Ross authored two incisive books about climate change, The Heat is On and Boiling Point. And back in 2002, Ross Gelbspan warned Living on Earth listeners that scientists were increasingly worried the climate could unravel.

GELBSPAN: The latest IPCC Report also said that the climate is changing much more quickly than the scientists had anticipated even a few years ago. So, there’s a very strong note of alarm in the latest IPCC Report. And it’s anyone’s guess as to what the IPCC Report five years down the road will contain.

CURWOOD: Ross Gelbspan summed it all up this way: “Climate change is not just another issue. It is the issue that, unchecked, will swamp all other issues. The only hope lies in all the countries of the world coming together around a common global project to rewire the world with clean energy. This is a path to peace—peace among people, and peace between people and nature.” Thank you, Ross, for your care and brilliant career.



Read Bob Edwards’ Obituary

Read Ross Gelbspan’s Obituary


Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth