Red Light to Starboard

  • by Angela Day
  • Narrated by Chris Abell
  • 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Minutes before supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef, before rocks ripped a huge hole in her hull and a geyser of crude oil darkened the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, the ship's lookout burst through the chart room door. "That light, sir, it's still on the starboard side. It should be to port, sir." Her frantic words were merely the last in a litany of futile warnings.
A parade of promises began the next day. Exxon Shipping Company president Frank Iarossi declared, "If it is a claim that is associated with the spill, we've assumed full financial responsibility." A week later, Alaska Governor Steve Cowper spoke at the Valdez Civic Center. "We don't want anybody to think that they have to hire a lawyer and go into federal court and sue the largest corporation in America...The state of Alaska represents you. And we want to be sure that...people who are damaged by this, get compensated fairy and quickly." He also indicated that the state would see to it Prince William Sound was cleaned up, regardless of the cost.
Lengthy investigations revealed cover ups, covert operations, reckless corporate management, numerous safety violations, and a broken regulatory process. At the time of the spill, oil flowed through the Alyeska pipeline at a profit of $400,000 per hour, yet in the end, the 10,000 fishermen affected by the spill spent nearly 20 years in litigation and received little compensation for their losses. Despite a massive cleanup effort, oil remains on the beaches and continues to impact marine life.
Red Light to Starboard documents a story that stunned the world, recounting regional and national events. The compelling narrative explains how an industry often seen as greedy came to be entrusted with a spectacular, fragile ecosystem, and discusses the governmental and public policy decisions that contributed to the disaster, as well as personal and environmental consequences. It also follows policy steps taken since the spill and through opportunities for citizen input and oversight, offers hope for preventing future disasters.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very Well Researched and Excellent Storytelling

This was a little outside my normal tastes as far as audiobooks go, but I think most people would be able to enjoy this and, without a doubt in my mind, learn a thing or two (or fifty).

This book was a prime demonstration of excellent research. The resources found, interviews conducted, transcripts and articles recovered, and the volume of information and data the author managed to uncover were more than just impressive. However, it takes more than just good research to make a good book like this. The author didn't just present his research in the form of a book, he also managed to use his writing abilities to turn the research into a well-presented story. I enjoyed listening to this book as much as I have enjoyed listening to some fiction stories and managed to learn more about a variety of topics along the way.

While all of us know about the Exxon Valdez to some degree, I only had a secondary knowledge of it (I was very young when it happened). Not only did I learn more about this particular disaster, I think that most readers will gain a valuable insight into the political process, bureaucracy, corporate greed, passing legislation, maritime safety, and a whole host of topics. This book could be used in a number of masters degree courses from safety science to crisis management to public administration.

The narration was also above average with good pace and tone.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review. I was NOT required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.
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- Striker

Dealing with change

The Exxon Valdez spill in affected many lives. In Red Light to Starboard we get a look at Bobby Day. Bobby was a fisherman who loved Alaska and fishing. When the spill took place Bobby was on top of his game. We also get a look into how Exxon employees had mad a few mistakes that ended up adversely affecting the ecosystem of Prince William Sound. Between the massive amounts of oil, and the oil cleaning process the Sound changed. Many fishermen were losing out on what used to be a plentiful abundance of Salmon and Herring. The years following of court cases against Exxon still left many people having to find a new way of life. Bobby Day was one of those people.
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- J. Warren Benton

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-13-2016
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks