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Why It's Not OK for Palin to 'Drill Baby, Drill'

Dr. Riki Ott has a special response to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's heavy push for oil drilling in the Arctic.

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You write in Not One Drop that the damage and loss caused by the oil spill was far more toxic than the obvious damage to the environment and the local economy. You write of "invisible losses." Can you elaborate?

The truth is that Cordova gutted itself after the spill, especially after our fish runs collapsed in '92 and '93. The stress manifested itself in all manner of horrible things, including substance abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, depression, PTSD, isolation, divorce and suicide.

Talvi: Do you feel like you're finally recovering?

Ott: Yes. We've made amazing progress in rebuilding and helping each other. … Also, we, like other people, were duped too long into believing that it's all about making money. … What corporations are doing, the way they're doing it, (trashes) lifestyles, cultures and ecosystems around this planet … (and) we the people can make it stop. We have to believe in that.

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Silja J.A. Talvi is an investigative journalist and the author of Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System (Seal Press: 2007). Her work has already appeared in many book anthologies, including It's So You (Seal Press, 2007), Prison Nation (Routledge: 2005), Prison Profiteers (The New Press: 2008), and Body Outlaws (Seal Press: 2004). She is a senior editor at In These Times.

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