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Bob Cavnar in Vermont’s Seven Days

Thirty-year oil industry veteran and author Bob Cavnar was featured in the following story along with his book, Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout in Vermont’s independent news weekly, Seven Days. Take a look!

Diving Deep
by Kevin Kelley

“Phoom!” Former Texas oilman and part-time Vermonter Bob Cavnar begins his new book on the BP oil disaster with that approximation of the “impossible-to-describe sound” of an East Texas gas well exploding in his face.

The blast blew off Cavnar’s clothing and catapulted him headfirst into a ditch flooded with chemicals. That was the lucky part. Although his face was burned in the flash fire, “landing in the ditch had saved me from critical injury,” Cavnar writes in Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout, published by Vermont’s Chelsea Green.

That too-close encounter with death in 1981 “changed me forever,” he relates. For all its flaming theatrics, however, the accident wasn’t a full-on epiphany. Cavnar, then 28, had already seen several men injured or killed in the three years he’d been working on the frontlines of the oil and gas industry. He’d learned that unsafe practices and irresponsible decision making were routine. Those experiences, along with his subsequent stints as an energy-company entrepreneur and executive, have given Cavnar deep insights into not only the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but also the federal policies and industry behavior that made it inevitable. In this book, he combines common sense with a sense of decency to produce a progressive analysis from an insider’s perspective. On April 20, the explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform killed 11 workers and triggered the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. President Barack Obama, who had just proposed opening vast stretches of coastline for oil drilling, said nothing about the unfolding disaster in his Earth Day speech two days later. Cavnar points out these sad ironies in his book and in a telephone interview from Colorado, where he’s now running a natural-gas production company. Read the full article at Seven Days. Bob Cavnar’s Disaster on the Horizon is available now.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solutions to Save the Planet

Tired of watching people spend so much time thinking up big solutions to big problems that it has a paralyzing effect on taking action? If you’re like author Courtney White, the answer is yes. That’s why in Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, he takes readers on a journey to show how low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions […] Read More..

Beyond the War on Invasive Species – Review in Permaculture Design Magazine

This review was originally published in Permaculture Design, Issue #97, “Life on the Edge,” Fall 2015; www.PermacultureDesignMagazine.com Look in the Mirror Review by Peter Bane For its extensive scholarship, clear voice, and impassioned, hopeful message, this book is a joy to read—a slim but beautifully written teaching text which uses permaculture and ecosystem science as a lens for viewing the […] Read More..

5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

What in the World is a Pawpaw?

Have you heard of the pawpaw? A few generations ago, most would say “yes!” You could ask just about anyone and they could tell you what this fruit looked and tasted like, and more importantly, where to find it. But today, the pawpaw remains a mystery to some and entirely unknown to others. In Pawpaw: […] Read More..
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