Steppin’ Out of Babylon: Podcast-Radio Interviews by Sue Supriano

“Babylon” is the “isms” and “schisms” not only within the system but within ourselves. Let's organize, unify and step out of Babylon.

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Sue Supriano’s Steppin’ Out of Babylon is a radio interview series covering a broad range of important issues in today’s world: peace and war, human and civil rights, communication, the media, the environment, food security, racism, globalization, immigration and matters of the spirit. Over 250 shows are available at this site!

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Table of Contents

Riki Ott

Author of Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill & organizer of campaign to repeal the US Constitutional Amendment giving corporations equal rights as individuals

Play Audio.
TRT: 26:30
Date: 2009-04-10

Riki Ott is a marine pollution scientist, author and activisit. She speaks here about her recent book Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in 1989 in Prince William Sound, Alaska. In this interview, she goes beyond the damage caused by oil tanker spills and by the oil industry as a whole (through extraction and automobile exhaust) to look at the bigger picture: how corporations are able to amass money and power, which in turn are destroying democracy. Ott speaks about how the courts ordered the Exxon Corporation to pay economic compensation to the citizens affected by the spill – for example, the pink salmon and herring industries collapsed – but the emotional cost of the spill, the damage done to Native culture and the way of life in Cordova, were not considered a “real” loss.

Ott began to realize that the issue was greater than an oil spill: the crux of the matter is that corporations are granted human rights which are allowed to trump private lives. Corporations became persons in the eyes of the law in 1886. These corporate persons have since then usurped many personal rights that the Founding Fathers only intended for real human beings. For example, corporate persons can use First Amendment protections to pour money into political campaigns. Ott has launched a campaign (see ultimatecivics.com) to support repeal of the 28th Amendment, which would strip corporations of their human rights and hold corporations accountable for the consequences of their actions.

Ott also addresses the damage that oil does in terms of health and political instability. Current medical research links polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (the “backbone” of oil) to asthma and reduced lung capacity in children. Oil spill workers show similar symptoms. PAH’s are persistent and bioaccumulant. Ott believes that oil corporations have suppressed this information. Governments have not envisioned a future beyond oil, although oil is a toxic substance that causes damage every step of the way from extraction through combustion.

Recorded February, 2009

Link: http://www.ultimatecivics.com

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December 26, 2015

In memory:

Sue, who lived an amazing life from 1938 - 2015.