The People's Republic of Chemicals by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly


The People's Republic of Chemicals

by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly

Maverick environmental writers William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs follow up their acclaimed Smogtown with a provocative examination of China's ecological calamity already imperiling a warming planet. Toxic smog most people figured was obsolete needlessly kills as many as died in the 9/11 attacks every day, while sometimes Grand Canyon-sized drifts of industrial particles aloft on the winds rain down ozone and waterway-poisoning mercury in America.

In vivid, gonzo prose blending first-person reportage with exhaustive research and a sense of karma, Kelly and Jacobs describe China's ancient love affair with coal, Bill Clinton's blunders cutting free-trade deals enabling the US to export” manufacturing emissions to Asia in a shift that pilloried the West's middle class, Communist Party manipulation of eco-statistics, the horror of cancer villages, the deception of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and spellbinding peasant revolts against cancer-spreading plants involving thousands in mostly-censored melees. Ending with China's monumental coal-bases decried by climatologists as a global warming dagger, The People's Republic of Chemicals names names and emphasizes humanity over bloodless statistics in a classic sure to ruffle feathers as an indictment of money as the real green that not even Al Gore can deny.

Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book
Hardcover, 2014: 9781940207254
US $24.95 | Nonfiction
Also available in ebook formats

A powerful warning that “a growing cloud of toxins aloft [are] swirling in the winds around the world” and recirculating the pollution we hoped to shed.
Kirkus Reviews

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A Los Angeles–area author and journalist, Chip Jacobs has reported for the Los Angeles Times, Daily News of Los Angeles, CNN, The New York Times, LA Weekly, and Southland publishing, among other outlets. He lives in Southern California.

Chip Jacobs is the co-author of Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles and the author of The Vicodin Thieves, The Ascension of Jerryand Wheeler-Dealer. Jacobs' reporting has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg View, the Daily News of Los Angeles, LA Weekly and, among other outlets. Jacobs, the recipient of numerous writing commendations, lives in Southern California. Visit to learn more.

William J. Kelly is the co-author of Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles and the author of Home Safe Home. His reporting has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Consumers Digest, Inside Climate News, LA Weekly, and the California Journal, among other outlets. He was the chief spokesman of South Coast Air Quality Management District, the smog control agency for greater Los Angeles. The author of Home Safe Home and a senior correspondent for California Energy Circuit, he lives in Los Angeles.

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