A SEA IN FLAMES: An Interview with author Carl Safina
It's been over a year since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico produced one of the worst environmental, economic and social disasters this country has ever experienced. This event should have become what some call a teachable moment - when this country would take a hard look at our addiction to oil and recognize its untenable consequences. But as we've seen, this hasn't happened.
Soon after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. 2010, environmental writer and advocate Carl Safina traveled to the Gulf to find out firsthand what was going on. The result of this months' long Odyssey is a new book, A Sea in Flames, in which he takes us across the Gulf of Mexico to make sense of an ever-changing story and its often-nonsensical twists. On this episode of Locus Focus, Carl joins host Barbara Bernstein to deconstruct the series of calamitous misjudgments that caused the Deepwater Horizon blowout during the summer of 2010.
A Sea in Flames is ultimately an indictment of America’s main addiction. Safina writes: “In the end, this is a chronicle of a summer of pain—and hope. Hope that the full potential of this catastrophe would not materialize, hope that the harm done would heal faster than feared, and hope that even if we didn’t suffer the absolute worst—we’d still learn the big lesson here. We may have gotten two out of three. That’s not good enough. Because: there’ll be a next time.”
Carl Safina’s childhood by the shore launched a lifelong passion that led to scientific studies of seabirds and fish, a PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University and then a career as a leading voice for conservation. Dr. Safina saw fish as wildlife and brought ocean conservation issues into the wildlife conservation mainstream. He helped lead campaigns that ultimately banned high-seas driftnets, overhauled U.S. fisheries law, used international agreements toward restoring tunas, sharks, and other fishes, achieved a United Nations fisheries treaty, and reduced albatross and sea turtle drownings on commercial fishing lines.
Dr. Safina founded Blue Ocean Institute in 2003. He and the Institute crew work to highlight and explain how the oceans are changing and what the changes mean for wildlife and for people. Safina is author of over one hundred publications. His books include Song for the Blue Ocean, Eye of the Albatross, Voyage of the Turtle, Nina Delmar: The Great Whale Rescue and The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World. Safina’s newest book is A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout.