The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history: over the course of three months, nearly five million barrels of crude oil gushed into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and washed up along our coast. Yet it was an avoidable environmental catastrophe preceded by myriad others, from Three-Mile Island to the Exxon Valdez.
Traveling the shores of the Gulf from east to west with oceanographers, subsistence fisherman, seafood distributors, and other long-time Gulf residents, acclaimed author and environmental advocate David Gessner offers an affecting account of the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. With The Tarball Chronicles Gessner tells a story that extends beyond the archetypal oil-soaked pelican, beyond politics, beyond BP. Instead he explores the ecosystem of the Gulf as a complicated whole and focuses on the people whose lives and livelihoods have been jeopardized by the spill. He reintroduces this oil spill as a template for so many man-made disasters and the long-term consequences they pose for ecosystems and communities.
From the compelling people and places Gessner encounters on his journey we learn not only the extensive consequences of our actions but also how to break a destructive cycle. Throughout, The Tarball Chronicles suggests we can make a change in the way we live and prevent future disasters if we are willing to fundamentally rethink our connections to the natural world. "This is a book about connections," Gessner writes, "and never have we needed to make connections like we do right now."
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