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Riki Ott speaks to On The Media about the oil spill and reporters’ duty to the public

How much oil has spewed into the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing eleven workers and touching off the biggest environmental catastrophe in our history? How do we even find out? We members of the general public tend to rely on reporters to give us the facts, but often they rely on sources with a vested interest in the information–in this case BP itself. Riki Ott, author of Not One Drop, speaks to WNYC’s On The Media about the way oil spill estimates are created and why reporters ought to be extremely skeptical of information given to them by BP. From the transcript:
BROOKE GLADSTONE: So you’re essentially saying that the media have the attention span of a puppy. In other words, they ask a question and then the Exxon Valdez managers go, look, a squirrel, and then [LAUGHS] they’re off and running and they forgot what they asked. RIKI OTT: That’s pretty much exactly what happened. … BROOKE GLADSTONE: Do you think the media have been smarter when it comes to the Gulf Oil leak? Have we seen some progress then? RIKI OTT: No, I’m sorry to say, because all the numbers are repeated that are given by BP. There’s no demand by the media to say, where’s the independent monitoring? Our government didn’t even ask for it.
Riki Ott’s chronicle of the horrors of the Exxon Valdez spill, Not One Drop, is available in our bookstore.


The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More
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