Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
August 11, 2009: In This Issue
  • Liar, Liar -- Pants on Fire
  • Save Money with Cash for Clunkers
  • Forty Million Acres Protected!
  • Getting Kids Outdoors
  • Join now!

    Today's green tip
    Not only does aggressive driving aggravate others: it also wastes gas.

    More tips | Subscribe!

    Make a Difference

    Take a Trip -- Make a Difference!
    Join the growing wave of volunteers on a service trip with Sierra Club Outings that is both rewarding and fun.

    Choose from trail building in Arizona's Coconino National Forest, eradicating non-native vegetation in Channel Island National Park, and construction and gardening in New Orleans, Louisiana.


    Tonight's the Night!
    The Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a great show tonight. How do we know?

    Kelly Rae Whitt (aka "Astronomommy") keeps us up to lightspeed on heavenly events with her Friday posts in the On Track blog at Sierra Club Trails.

    On the Radio
    This week on Sierra Club Radio:
    1) The Cove director Louie Psihoyos.
    2) The coal industry's recent dirty tricks with David Willett.
    3) Chef Annie Somerville gives green cuisine tips for summer.

    Listen | Subscribe


    Be a Climate Leader
    Psst...want to be an activist? We're launching Sierra Club Climate Leaders for people who are ready to help us achieve the goals of the Climate Recover Partnership: cutting greenhouse-gas pollution, preparing for climate transition, and strengthening our natural ecosystems for climate recovery.

    Find out how you can be a force for change!

    Liar, LiarLiar, Liar -- Pants on Fire
    Ordinarily, we wouldn't consider it newsworthy when the coal lobby stretches the truth (Clean coal? Pull the other one!), but the tactics used by Bonner & Associates on behalf of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity to attack the House climate and energy bill went beyond mere exaggeration. They faxed forged letters to Rep. Tom Perriello and others in Congress in an attempt to make them to believe that Hispanic and African-American organizations in their districts opposed the bill. (Bonner & Associates specializes in selling the phony grassroots activism known as "Astroturf.")

    In response, we've asked the Justice Department to investigate. We've also created a new group on our Climate Crossroads community to track this scandal. Join the "Pants on Fire" group, and we'll show Big Coal how easy it is to really come clean by confessing some lies of our own. Got a whopper in your past that you now regret? Post it to the group wall and you could win $1,000,000! Whoops, there we go again -- no cash prizes, but you might get a prevarication-themed book, DVD, or board game. Balderdash, anyone?

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    Sign up for the Daily Ray of Hope

    Cash for ClunkersThe Clunk of Cold, Green Cash
    By now, you've probably heard that the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program has been wildly popular, with 250,000 clunker trades in the first week and last-minute action from Congress to fund another 500,000 trades. The program's primary purpose is economic stimulus but, according to figures released by the Department of Transportation last week, it's had real environmental benefits, as well:

    -- The average fuel efficiency of trade-ins was 15.8 mpg.
    -- The average fuel efficiency of new vehicles purchased was 25.4 mpg.
    -- 83 percent of the trade-ins were trucks.
    -- 60 percent of the new vehicles purchased were cars.

    If you're curious about how much money you'd save by trading up to a more energy-efficient vehicle, check out our Cash for Clunkers calculator, which gives you the answer in gallons of gas, carbon emissions, and cash.

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    Victory for Roadless Areas
    Good news for campers, hikers, hunters, anglers, and all Americans who enjoy wild forests. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated the ban on development on over 40 million acres of wild national forests and grasslands. The decision finally puts an end to the Bush administration's efforts to open these natural areas to development and protects the majority of national forest roadless areas in the country.

    You can show the Obama administration that you support conservation of roadless areas (including Alaska's Tongass National Forest, which isn't covered by this decision) by sending a message to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Let's secure permanent protection from development for the wildest and best areas of our national forests.

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    Kids Need Trees, Too!Kids Need Trees, Too
    John Muir had a lot of good ideas, but one of his best was that everyone should experience the natural world firsthand. That's especially true when it comes to kids, but these days you can't take it for granted they'll ever get to climb a tree or wade in a creek. This summer, two of our favorite programs are helping thousands of kids discover the great outdoors.

    Inner City Outings introduces about 12,000 young people to the wonders of nature through nearly 800 outings and service projects each year. Thanks to the program's volunteer leaders, kids from urban environments get the chance to hike, bicycle, backpack, camp, canoe, kayak, cross-country ski, river raft, and perform environmental service projects.

    Operation Purple, which the Sierra Club supports through the National Military Families Association, offers a free week of summer fun for military kids whose parents have been, are currently, or will be deployed. This summer, 10,000 kids will attend camps in 37 states and territories. The program was recently profiled on NBC's Nightly News as part of its "Making a Difference" series

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