Of Ice and Men: A Conversation with McKenzie Funk

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Air date: 
Mon, 02/09/2015 - 10:15am to 11:00am
McKenzie Funk on Shell Oil's disastrous efforts to drill for oil off the coast of northern Alaska

With the world’s easy oil supplies tapped out, the energy giant Royal Dutch Shell made an urgent, $6 billion bet on finding new reserves in one of Earth’s wildest environments—the frigid Arctic Ocean off Alaska. But the hunt for extreme oil pushed the world's biggest company past its limits, and was ultimately met with disaster. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with journalist McKenzie Funk, whose new ebook Of Ice and Men provides a definitive account of the mistakes that led up to this disaster, the corners Shell and its contractors cut and the heroism that could not ultimately save Shell's Arctic dreams.

McKenzie Funk grew up in Oregon and studied philosophy, literature, and foreign languages at Swarthmore College. Since 2000, his reporting has taken him all over the United States and to dozens of countries on six continents. A National Magazine Award finalist and former Knight-Wallace Fellow, he won the Oakes Prize for Environmental Journalism for a story about the melting Arctic and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for his interview in Tajikistan with one of the first prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay. His writing has appeared in Harper’s, National Geographic, Outside, Rolling Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The New York Times. Mac is a founding member of Deca, a global journalism cooperative and is the author of Windfall.
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