2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 09:16:53 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] "Canaries on the Rim" publicity tour
Utah Activist Chip Ward is planning a tour of California to promote his
new book, "CANARIES ON THE RIM - Living Downwind in the West." The press
release describing the book follows below.


Los Angeles Area

Monday, January 24th        --      7 pm Education 2000, Long Beach
                                    Contact: Marie 562 435-1199

Tuesday, January 25th       --      KPFK 'Up For Air'
                                    Live interview from 8.40 am to 9 am.
                                    KPCC 'Talk of the City'
                                    Live interview from 10 am to 10.30
                                    7.30 pm Midnight Special, Santa
                                    Contact: Margie Ghiz 310 393 2923

Bay Area

Wednesday, January 26th --      7.30 pm Modern Times, San Francisco
                                    Contact: Brenda O'Sullivan 415 282

Thursday, January 27th      --      7.30 pm Cody's Books, Berkeley
                                    Contact: Miriam Ruvinskies 510 845

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           
Publication date: January 6, 1999

Contact:        Niels Hooper
212 807 9680

Living Downwind in the West


"A highly readable addition to the growing body of writing on the
toxicity of our environment."KIRKUS REVIEWS

"This book is a must-read. For the beauty of the nature writing, for the
humor, the intelligence, and the details on a community organization
becoming a national power. My only criticism is the short length. The
experience of Chip Ward needs a series of books detailing his successes
and failures. We could all learn from him."SIERRA CLUB

"Take out a quarter and look at George Washington's eye. If you can
cover it with nerve agent, you've got a lethal dose."  So explains a
worker from Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, on the rim of the Great
Basin Desert, where one accident during open-air chemical warfare
practice in 1968 killed 6,400 sheep in a neighboring valley.  Then,
Dugway's civilian workers were routinely exposed to nerve gas,
radiation, and pathogens.  Their health was sacrificed to Cold War fears
and reckless ambitions.  Today, there is compelling evidence that a new
generation of workers is also being exposed to nerve agent while
incinerating that era's obsolete chemical weapons stockpile.  The
bunkers that hold those apocalyptic weapons and the smokestacks that
vent their destruction occupy the remote reaches of western Utah.  Those
desert lands also hide the nation's dirtiest industrial polluter, two
toxic waste incinerators, a hazardous waste landfill, a radioactive
waste landfill, a bombing range, and a proposed repository for spent
nuclear fuel.   Imagine such a place.  It is hard to see, out of sight
and out of mind.  This is Chip Ward's backyard.

After four years living and learning in the heart of Utah's vast and
spectacular redrock wilderness, Chip and Linda Ward moved north to the
bucolic oasis of Grantsville.  There, in what seemed a classic small
town American setting, they settled in to raise their children and
pursue modest careers as a librarian and a teacher.  They did not
suspect that underneath the complacent Norman Rockwell-like fašade of
their community lay a history of ecocide and betrayal.  During the
1950's, deadly DNA-bending radiation from  a hundred above ground atomic
tests in Nevada drifted over Utah's quiet valleys and peaceful Mormon
villages.  From Dugway, nearly 200 uncontained chemical and biological
warfare tests sowed the wind with nerve agent and pathogens.  Later,
chlorine gas from an infamous industrial operation was added to the
mix.  Eventually, people got sick.  Canaries on the Rim is the story of
how Ward and his neighbors uncovered the hidden history of military
testing and its dire impact on public health. Mike Davis, the book's
editor and author of The Ecology of Fear, has compared Grantsville's
slow realization that something was wrong to the plot of a Stephen King

Canaries on the Rim is also a story of grassroots resistance that Lois
Gibbs, Love Canal activist and founder of the Center for Health,
Environment, and Justice, calls "inspiring." It is, in the words of
Rebecca Solnit, author of Savage Dreams: A Journey Into the Landscape
Wars of the American West, "the new classic tale of American heroism,"
told "with modesty, humor, proportion, and a fine mastery of the
scientific and political intricacies."

Chip Ward claims that sustained citizen resistance requires a resilient
sense of humor and his hard hitting account is also spiced with wit and
local color. It is enlivened with memorable characters, like Ira
Rennert, the mysterious and reclusive millionaire who is America's top
polluter. Rennert's minions fume that pollution control technology at
his Utah plant is too expensive to invest in while he builds a villa so
vast that even his rich and exclusive neighbors are offended by its
excesses.  Or there is Margene Bullcreek, leader of a poor band of
Goshute Indian "traditionals" who refuse to trade away their native
heritage to become millionaires.  And there is Steve Jones, a star
defense industry  inspector who turned whistleblower and sacrificed his
career and fortune when asked to sign off on a military incinerator he
called "death by design."

This is not your father's Wild West.  As Carl Pope, Executive Director
of the Sierra Club, says, "Chip Ward vividly portrays a very different
reality."  There are cowboys in gas masks who sell breakfast cereal for
two-headed babies to boiling frogs.  Canaries on the Rim is a wild ride
through territory that is becoming familiar as we remember our places in
a world where we are all downwind and downstream from one another, where
the collective decisions we make about what we allow into our air,
water, and soil get translated into flesh and blood, and where courage
and compassion can still save the day.

Chip Ward is a co-founder of West Desert HEAL, Families Against
Incinerator Risk, and Citizens Against Chlorine Contamination. He
currently manages Utah's public library program. He is the author of
Community Needs Assessment for Public Libraries, The Public Library
Trustee Handbook, The Utah Library Association Intellectual Freedom
Manual and Action Guide, and Building a Public Library PR & Advocacy
Plan. He lives in Grantsville, Utah, with his wife and three children.

Publication: January 6, 1999       ISBN: 1-85984-750-1       Cloth      
$25 US / $35 CAN


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/968-1126

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