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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.


How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

The 10 Steps that Establish Your Baby’s Microbiome

Research is emerging almost daily on the role of the microbiome in human health. But how do we acquire this mysterious community of microbes and more importantly how do we make sure the good bacteria outnumber the bad? According to a new book by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Your Baby’s Microbiome, it all starts […] Read More

Prepare! Keep a Grab-n-Go Survival Kit Handy

Are you prepared in the event of a sudden emergency? Blizzard, earthquake, insurrection after the inauguration? We know a lot of people are wondering what’s coming next in the US, as well as the world, given terrorism, politics, and global warming, among other threats. In this excerpt from When Technology Fails, a popular book on […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More
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