Not One Drop is a heroic book. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the calamitous consequences of our society’s addiction to oil, or of corporations’ ability to avert punishment by claiming “corporate personhood.”
Frank gives an overview of the book:
by Frank Kaminski
Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
By Riki Ott
327 pp. Chelsea Green Publishing – Nov. 2008. $21.95.
Riki Ott’s book Not One Drop is a history of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, told from the perspective of those most affected by it. Cutting through the cloak of willful deception, public relations campaigns and skewed, corporate-sponsored science, it finally exposes the truth about Exxon Valdez's devastating effects on the city of Cordova, Alaska, the fishing community where the spill struck.
On a broader level, the book also makes yet another compelling case for weaning off fossil fuels. In making this case, Ott does more than simply invoke the threat of future catastrophic oil spills. She also, refreshingly, points to the growing consensuses about both climate change and the peaking of world oil production (issues that aren’t often discussed together). Further, she highlights new studies suggesting that insidious carbon emissions from our tailpipes and power plants have long been contributing to a broad range of health problems. In short, her argument for getting off oil is a powerful one of unusual scope, even if it is rightly subordinated to the story of Cordova.
I knew that I wanted to be a writer by the age of thirteen. While the other kids were playing outside, I was always holed up in my room working on my latest short story or attempt at a novel. I had other artistic pursuits as well—I did a lot of drawing, sculpture-making,...