"Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"
This question is posed to everyone from ordinary people to presidents taking the witness stand. We put our right hand on a bible and answer, "yes," almost without thinking.
But in the province of Quebec, Canada, during the late 1970s at a public hearing on the proposed James Bay Hydro-Electric Project, a Cree Elder gave a different answer. When asked this standard question, he spoke at length to his interpreter who then explained to people gathered for the hearing that this Elder could not speak the whole truth. He could only speak his truth.
This legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is the collective story of the people who shared a part of their lives for this book. These are scientists who studied Prince William Sound; people who came to help cleanup the spill; doctors and lawyers who defended people harmed by the oil and cleanup; and myself. Although these people played a role in creating this story, as author, I was entrusted with maintaining the integrity and honor of the individual stories as I wove these strands into our collective truth.
The world would be greatly served if everyone touched by the spill, especially the people who lived through and with this spill, were to share their truths. Only in sharing our truths will we be able to strip away the virtual reality created by the corporate and government spin doctors, identify the real problems that led to it, and find the courage and solutions to prevent another.
In the meticulously researched and documented Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$, Riki Ott, PhD, exposes oil as a human and environmental health hazard—the legacy of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$ traces fifteen years of lingering harm to humans and wildlife following the spill, revealing how corporate greed, government short-sightedness, and manipulation of the media have kept the public from learning the deadly nature of oil. Ott provides relevant information and practical recommendations for people and policymakers at this critical juncture, encouraging people to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels and help shift society to a clean energy future.