Carl Safina has been hailed as one of the top 100 conservations of the 20th century (Audubon Magazine) and A Sea in Flames is his blistering account of the months-long manmade disaster that tormented a region and mesmerized the nation. Traveling across the Gulf to make sense of an ever-changing story and its often-nonsensical twists, Safina expertly deconstructs the series of calamitous misjudgments that caused the Deepwater Horizon blowout, zeroes in on BPâs misstatements, evasions, and denials, reassesses his own reaction to the governmentâs crisis handling, and reviews the consequences of the leakâand what he considers the real problems, which the press largely overlooked.
Safina takes us deep inside the faulty thinking that caused the lethal explosion. We join him on aerial surveys across an oil-coated sea. We confront pelicans and other wildlife whose blue universe fades to black. Safina skewers the excuses and the silly jargonâlike âjunk shotâ and âtop killââthat made the tragedy feel like a comedy of horrorsâand highlighted Big Oilâs appalling lack of preparedness for an event that was inevitable.
Based on extensive research and interviews with fishermen, coastal residents, biologists, and government officials, A Sea In Flames has some surprising answers on whether it was âObamaâs Katrina,â whether the Coast Guard was as inept in its response as BP was misleading, and whether this worst unintended release of oil in history was really Americaâs worst ecological disaster. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
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Impassioned, moving, and even sharply funny, A Sea in Flames is ultimately an indictment of Americaâs main addiction. Safina writes: âIn the end, this is a chronicle of a summer of painâand hope. Â 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 didnât suffer the absolutely worstâweâd still learn the big lesson h