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A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean

A Bicycle Journey Through the Northern Dominion of Oil

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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.

David Goodrich worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and served as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, Switzerland. He retired as head of NOAA's Climate Observations and Monitoring Program. In addition to his cross-country bicycle trip, he has ridden down the Appalachians and across Montana, South Dakota, France and Spain. He lives in Maryland.

“A gentlemanly excursion through dirty oil sites that features a caustic, urgent message.”

– Kirkus Reviews

"A detail-rich chronicle. The miles fly by."

– The Washington Post (Praise for A HOLE IN THE WIND)

"At the end of a high-level career in climate science, David Goodrich cycled from Delaware to Oregon looking for a “hole in the wind”—a human future in the unrelenting march of climate change."

– Nature (Praise for A HOLE IN THE WIND)

"The text rolls along as easily as his heavily-laden bike must have on those welcome downhill stretches. For a read that engages, entertains, and also educates, I can’t recommend anything better than A Hole in the Wind."

– The Daily Local (Praise for A HOLE IN THE WIND)

"This cyclist’s view of how things really are effectively cuts across head-butting arguments about global warming. A compelling narrative enlivened as much by the author’s encounters on the road as by his skillful unfolding of scientific knowledge."

– Kirkus Reviews (Praise for A HOLE IN THE WIND)

"Entertaining and instructive, Goodrich’s travelogue showcases one man’s heroic efforts to confront this century’s greatest environmental crisis."

– Booklist (Praise for A HOLE IN THE WIND)

Goodrich is a sure-footed, amiable guide to the science behind climate change.

– Publishers Weekly

More books from this author: David Goodrich