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Chelsea Green Blog

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.


Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains.Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and ‘wheat […] Read More

A Dictionary to Survive the Future

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

Plants & Pests: Will Bonsall’s Advice on “Wee Beasties” in the Garden

“From a plant’s point of view there is little difference between a cutworm, a woodchuck, a blight spore, and, for that matter, us.”“These are all things that in one way or another prey upon it. It is an inevitable constraint of all living things: We escape one peril only to ultimately succumb to another,” so […] Read More

To Create Climate-Secure Foodscapes, Think Like a Plant

The techniques and prophetic vision for achieving food security in the face of climate change contained in Gary Paul Nabhan’s Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land may well need to be implemented across most of North America over the next half-century, and are already applicable in most of the semiarid West, Great Plains, and […] Read More
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