Episode 71 – Oil Spills – Deepwater Horizon and Dawn Dish Soap

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As we approach the 13th anniversary of the BP oil spill, Olivia tells the story of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 87 days that helped it earn its title as the largest marine oil spill in human history.

Then Elise tells the amazing origin story of Alice Berkner, the veterinarian founder of International Bird Rescue, and what she did when she found herself in a room with thousands of oil-slicked birds. Plus, Dawn dish soap’s dirty little secret.

Other topics include mixed feelings on Mark Wahlberg, a fake documentary about jury duty, and a literal shitshow.

Story #1: Deepwater Horizon (Olivia)

Deepwater Horizon oil platform. (via Wikipedia)

Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours, New York Times, December 2010
Donald J. Vidrine, Supervisor on Ill-Fated Deepwater Horizon Rig, Dies at 69, New York Times
BP Settlement in Gulf Oil Spill Is Raised to $20.8 Billion, New York Times, October 2015
The Oil Spill By The Numbers | TIME, TIME, June 2010 (while the spill was still happening)
Sylvia Earle Talks Gulf Oil Spill Effects In Exclusive Interview, Huffington Post, January 13, 2011
A Decade Later: Advances in Oil Spill Science Since Deepwater Horizon, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration, April 2020
Timeline, NOAA
Deepwater Horizon Pt. 1 & 2, Conspiracy Theories by Parcast, January 2021
Rig Survivors Felt Coerced To Sign Waivers, NPR, May 6, 2010
Discovering a passion after tragedy, Orange County Register, April 22, 2014
Gulf Oil Plume Map Adds to Debate Over Spill’s Undersea Impact, PBS, August 2010
Gulf Oil Spill, Smithsonian

Additional viewing/reading:
What Happens After An Oil Spill?, Life Noggin, 2019
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (full documentary) | FRONTLINE, PBS Frontline, aired October 26, 2010
Deepwater Horizon In Their Own Words (Full Episode) | In Their Own Words, National Geographic, June 15, 2021.
Eva vs. Goliath, about Eva Rowe, who fought BP over the death of both of her parents.
Deepwater Horizon, 2016 film

The oil sculpture Elise saw in Rotterdam in 2010. (More info and photo sourced from Dezeen)

Story #2: Dawn Dish Soap, Alice Berkner, and the International Bird Rescue (Elise)

Alice Berkner with a pelican (via the IBR Founder’s page)

Founder’s Story, International Bird Rescue
Dawn Dish Soap Commercial, 2009
50 years after Bay Area oil spill, International Bird Rescue leading the way, Mercury News, May 2021
Ad for a Dish Detergent Becomes Part of a Story, The New York Times, June 2010
Why Dawn Is The Bird Cleaner Of Choice In Oil Spills, NPR, June 2010
Tough on Crude Oil, Soft on Ducklings, The New York Times, September 2009
Dispersants aren’t answer to oil spills, South Coast Today, January 1998

The famous Dawn dish soap bottle from the animal shelter!

The Dump

Books mentioned in the Dump: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and Wendell Berry. And Tuesdays With Morrie! And we’re watching Love is Blind and Jury Duty 🙂

There’s still time (until May 28) to check out Zoe Scruggs’ exhibit Double Sky at the Delaware Contemporary!!

“The title of the exhibition, Double Sky, describes a motif that recurs in Scruggs’ most recent work wherein the backgrounds of her paintings and works on paper split into otherworldly color combinations and stormy imagery… These aesthetic choices animate Scruggs’ fascination with creating alternative space – outer space, inner space, open space – for Black world making, free from constraint and toxicity.” (source)

We’re listening to books on Libby, and we’re keeping track of our reading on Storygraph.

The World Is Burning bookshop is live! Help us come up with book list titles and bulk up our reading list.

Our World is Burning themed playlist is on Spotify.

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Thanks for listening!

Ep. 74 – Burning Questions Part II World Is Burning

Can you believe we've gone 2 1/2 years without creating our very own game show about us? Neither can we! Test your climate knowledge alongside us as we ask ourselves the burning questions: Where are tumbleweeds from? What are our favorite climate activists' favorite insects? and How do you do fractions again? Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter or @worldisburning on TikTok, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. World Is Burning is hosted by Olivia Hamilton and Elise Nye. Our theme music is by Kaycie Satterfield, and our logo was made by Sonja Katanic. — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 74 – Burning Questions Part II
  2. Ep 73 – Burning Questions
  3. Ep. 72 – It’s A Joke Until It’s Not – the Overton Window and AI
  4. Ep. 71 – Oil Spills – Deepwater Horizon and Dawn Dish Soap
  5. Ep. 70 – Deep Sea Explorers – Jacques Cousteau & Dr. Sylvia Earle