The People's Republic of Chemicals

The People's Republic of Chemicals

Chip Jacobs

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 1940207258

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs follow up their acclaimed Smogtown with a provocative look at China's ecological calamity, which makes Los Angeles' air pollution crisis of yesteryear seem like an easy-breathing dream. Toxic smog most figured was obsolete needlessly kills as many people there daily as the 9/11 attacks, while huge plumes of Asian contaminants ride the jet stream to rain down ozone and mercury on the American West Coast. In vivid prose blending first-person reportage with exhaustive research and a sense of karma, Kelly and Jacobs describe China's ancient love affair with coal, and how the Clinton Administration's push to bring China into the World Trade Organization accelerated the outsourcing of millions of factory jobs in another sucker punch to the U.S. middle class. They explore officials' manipulation of Beijing's eco-statistics, the horror of China's "e-waste" and "Cancer" villages, the deception of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and spellbinding peasant revolts against disease-spreading plants that state censors often muffle. Ending with a profile of China's gargantuan coal-bases, which climatologists decry as a global warming dagger, The People's Republic of Chemicals names names and emphasizes humanity over bloodless propaganda. 

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worth more than 1.6 billion dollars. In contrast, in the US members of Congress complain about US companies getting coal for one dollar and ten cents a ton. You didn’t need to attend the wedding to appreciate what was happening. Coal companies occupying the top rung of China’s elite are now busy working with the government to evict Inner Mongolians from their lands to make the utmost use of the mineral and boost profits. When they do so, they don’t have to trifle with what Americans call “due

Sam. “Wal-Mart & China: A Joint Venture,” Frontline, WGBH TV, November 23, 2004, . Kantor, Mickey. Interview in downtown Los Angeles, January 22, 2014. Knowlton, Brian. “Clinton Gives Strong Push to Admitting China to WTO,” The New York Times, April 8, 1999. Lam, Will Wo-Lap. The Era of Jian Zemin. McMenomy, Chris D. “Clinton and the Process to Pass NAFTA: Making Sausage,” National Defense University, Naval War College, 2002. Miller, Emily. “Wal-Mart in Washington,” Frontline, WGBH TV, Nov.

dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and PM-10—were measured, monitored daily, and assigned a numerical value. Whichever one averaged the highest over the previous twenty-four hour period dictated the daily Blue Sky rating on a scale of one to 500 on an Air Pollution Index (API). China’s system was laxer than America’s, which revolved around a more conservative, worse-case-scenario approach. China’s methodology, where cities with APIs below one hundred were in compliance with standards for commercial and

that same bleak song. Hence, America in the post-WTO marketplace was papered in welfare applications and dependence on Walmart, Target, and other big-box retailers staking their business on selling discounted Chinese merchandise to families often living paycheck-to-paycheck. Their sales aisles cloaked a sour truth of an emasculated middle class. Since 1989, the median US household income is almost the same amount in real dollars. So without cheap Asian labor and their adaptable production

feathering their own nests with material possessions and chasing the beautiful, young women. Defeated when he died, his family and loyal students buried him beyond the farm fields outside the walls of Qufu in a forest carpeted with leaves and illuminated by gentle sunlight shining through the rustling trees. Only seventy-two students he had touched ever earned his highest honors. They would carry forth in an effort to propagate his teaching and realize his dream of a communal society, in which

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