Posts Tagged ‘Oil Pollution Act’

Press Release: A Sea In Flames by Carl Safina

April 19th, 2011


Contact: Rachel Rokicki











Published to coincide on the one-year anniversary of the BP spill, the definitive, no-holds barred examination of the environmental and social consequences captured for the first time ever by one of our most important environmental voices 



The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout



“Safina offers an impassioned, on the ground chronicle of the 2010 Gulf oil blowout that surpassed Exxon-Valdez to rank as the worst in history. His account achieves a broad, reasoned perspective that frames events against the more insidious damage that farm and industrial runoff, canal-digging, levee-building, and rising sea level have wrought on the Gulf and its wetlands.” —Publishers Weekly


“The blowout was awful, but look at the bigger picture, writes Safina in this illuminating, monitory study: ‘The real catastrophe is the oil we don’t spill…the oil we burn, the coal we burn, the gas we burn…And as the reefs dissolve and the ocean’s productivity declines, so will go the food security of hundreds of millions of people.” —Kirkus Reviews 


“Environmentalist Safina brings his signature compassion, marine expertise, and gorgeous writing to his candidly expressive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster a year after the explosion.” —Booklist


The BP disaster, also referred to as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. It leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a period of three months, exceeding the 1989 Exxon Valdez calamity. The impact of the BP spill continues even though the well has been capped.  A SEA IN FLAMES: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout by world-renowned oceanographer Carl Safina (Crown; April 19, 2011) is a blistering account of the months-long man-made disaster that tormented a region and shook the nation.  Publication will coincide with the one-year anniversary of this cataclysmic event.  Safina, a MacArthur “Genius Award” winner and the recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Foundation Award, provides an extraordinary perspective on this event.  Traveling across the Gulf to make sense of an ever-changing story, he expertly deconstructs the environmental and social consequences of the BP debacle, among the greatest environmental catastrophes in U.S. history. 

Consisting of three parts, A SEA IN FLAMES reveals and details: this shocking manmade environmental disaster; the oil industry’s and the U.S. government’s complete inability to adequately respond; and the inevitable environmental effects. Safina goes behind the scenes with fishermen, oystermen, coastal residents, biologists, and govern­ment officials at the height of the blowout, while they fear their lives are irreparably changed.

Safina zeroes in on BP’s misstatements, evasions, and denials; reassesses his own reaction to the government’s handling of the crisis; and reviews the consequences of the leak—and what he considers the real problems, which the press largely overlooked.  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 jargon—like “junk shot” and “top kill”—that made the tragedy feel like a comedy of horrors and highlighted Big Oil’s appalling lack of preparedness for an event that was inevitable.

With timely analyses Safina addresses the issues in a rich, deeply personal investigation of a catastrophe he has reported—and blogged on—from the beginning. As a foremost expert he writes, “We run civilization mainly on the energy of long-ago sunlight, locked away in oil and coal. It’s time we step into the sunlight itself and phase in an energy future based on harnessing the eternal energies that actually run the planet. Whoever builds that new energy future will own the future. And the nation that owns the energy future will sell it to everyone else. I’d rather that nation be the United States.”



 CARL SAFINA is author of, among other books, Song for the Blue Ocean and The View From Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World. He has written more than one hundred articles for scientific and popular journals. His honors include a Pew Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, World Wildlife Fund fellowship, the National Academies’ Communications Award for year’s best book, the John Burroughs Medal, Raab Medal, and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. Audubon magazine named him among the top 100 conservationists of the twentieth century.  Safina is an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and a professor and faculty member at the Center for Communicating Science.  An elected member of The Explorers Club, he is also founding president of the Blue Ocean Institute.  In April 2011 he will host a new PBS television series, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina. He lectures extensively around the country.




The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout

By Carl Safina

Crown • On-sale date: April 19, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-88735-1 • Price: $25.00


Visit Carl Safina on the web: 

For more information about A SEA IN FLAMES or to schedule an interview with Carl Safina, please contact Rachel Rokicki at 212-782-8455 or

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