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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.


Ask the Experts: Submit Your Permaculture Questions Now

Attention all growers, food-lovers, and green-living enthusiasts, we are once again celebrating Permaculture Month by putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you. Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning, names in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and […] Read More

Recipe: Pascal Baudar’s Basic Wild Kimchi

Experiment with what you have, anything from the mustard family will work extremely well. Read More

Author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Dreaming of Lions

Reading through your life story, it’s clear that you were amazingly open to new experiences, approaching them like an observer who arrived with few previously held ideas. Do you think that it takes that kind of openness to see and understand animals and people in new ways, as you’ve done throughout your career? I do, […] Read More

Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

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
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