A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean: A Bicycle Journey Through the Northern Dominion of Oil

A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean: A Bicycle Journey Through the Northern Dominion of Oil

by David Goodrich
A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean: A Bicycle Journey Through the Northern Dominion of Oil

A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean: A Bicycle Journey Through the Northern Dominion of Oil

by David Goodrich



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In the face of widespread misinformation and misunderstanding, a climate scientist ventures into the vast heart of America’s new oil country on just two wheels.

Recently recovered from his epic bicycle journey that took him from the Delaware shore to the Oregon coast, distinguished climate scientist David Goodrich sets out on his bike again to traverse the Western Interior Seaway—an ancient ocean that once spread across half of North America. When the waters cleared a geologic age ago, what was left behind was vast, flat prairie, otherworldly rock formations, and oil shale deposits. As Goodrich journeys through the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park and across the prairies of the upper Midwest and Canada, we get a raw and ground-level view of where the tar sands and oil reserves are being opened up at an incredible and unprecedented pace. Extraordinary and unregulated, this “black goldrush” is boom and bust in every sense. In a manner reminiscent of John McPhee and Rachel Carson, combined with Goodrich’s wry self-deprecation and scientific expertise, A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean is a galvanizing and adventure-filled read that gets to the heart of drilling on our continent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643134475
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 08/04/2020
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 315,887
File size: 12 MB
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About the Author

David Goodrich is the former head of the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Observations and Monitoring Program, and served as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, Switzerland. He is the author of A Hole in the Wind, which was a "One City, One Book" pick for San Francisco, and A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean, also available from Pegasus Books.  He lives in Rockville, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Cowboys and Indians ix

The Keystone pipeline and a vision on the National Mall

1 The Takeoff Roll 1

The cockpit at Fort McMurray Airport and motivation for the journey

2 The Sky Over the Oil Sands 11

The flight from Fort McMurray Airport and background of the oil sands

3 Apocalypse Then: The 2016 Fort McMurray Fire 23

Canada's worst insured disaster

4 Visit to a Man Camp 35

Into the boreal forest

5 "Significant Uncertainties" 43

Perspectives on the oil industry from offshore Louisiana and inside Washington

6 The Magic Juice Box 53

A moment of grace on a hard road

7 The Water Protectors 63

Battles of Indigenous people on both sides of the border

8 Stewards of the Prairie 79

Oil towns and grain towns along the rail line

9 The Bomb on the Ridgeline 91

Hardisty, the town at the head of the Keystone Pipeline

10 The Birds of Saskatchewan 107

Road trip with a prairie ornithologist

11 Where the Sea Used to Be 123

The story of the ancient ocean, how the Alberta and Bakken oil deposits came to be, and what they mean for the future

12 Meet Me in Moose Jaw 139

A transcontinental rendezvous

13 The Crossing 149

At the most remote US frontier, a visit to the Teacher's Lounge

14 Williston: Boomtown, USA 161

The fracking revolution and its changes to small-town North Dakota

15 The Core of the Core 173

Approaching Theodore Roosevelt National Park through the heart of the Bakken field

16 A Conversation with Teddy 187

What might Roosevelt think about the dominion of oil?

17 A Certain Relentiessness 203

How the seemingly inexorable force of the fossil fuel industry has been turned before

Endnotes 221

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