If you didn't hear anything about national parks last week, then welcome back -- because you must have been backpacking the John Muir or Appalachian Trail. While you were gone, the rest of us spent twelve glorious hours watching The National Parks: America's Best Idea by Ken Burns on PBS.
But we weren't total couch potatoes! More than 100,000 of us became Champions for National Parks by adding our favorite national park to the Sierra Club's Champions list, hosting a house party, adopting a wild place, or sending a message to our U.S. senators asking that America's national parks be protected from the effects of climate change.
Don't feel left out, though: There's still plenty to see and do at our National Parks page. So bravo, Ken Burns, and bravo, America, for a week of great television.
Thanks to Americans like John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, our national parks are protected, but that doesn't mean they're safe forever. That's just one reason why the Sierra Club applauds the introduction in the U.S. Senate of the Clean Energy Act. By setting a strong short-term target for carbon-pollution reductions and retaining the EPA's authority to regulate global-warming emissions, the bill will help stop climate change that could result in a Glacier National Park without any glaciers.
It also represents a step forward to a clean-energy economy that works for everyone -- meaning added jobs and greater security as America becomes more energy independent.
Let your senators know that you join us in supporting the Clean Energy Act.
One of the most eloquent voices in The National Parks: America's Best Idea belongs to Shelton Johnson, the Yosemite park ranger who spoke movingly of the buffalo soldiers and their role in patrolling the newly created Yosemite National Park. We think Shelton stole the show. But did you know that he's also a writer, and that Sierra Club Books has just published his first novel, Gloryland, which is based on the life of a buffalo soldier?
Here's what Ken Burns had to say about the book: "This is a work of extraordinary imagination and sympathy, a journey from slavery to the mountaintop, perfectly realized, with a voice [that is] new and honest and insightful."
For a limited time, we're making copies of Gloryland signed by Shelton Johnson available to Insider readers who purchase through the Sierra Club online bookstore. Just enter the code INSIDER at checkout, and you'll also get a ten percent discount (allow a little extra time, though -- these books need to go to Yosemite and back to get signed!).
Regardless of whether you agree it makes the world go 'round, money is something that few of us can afford to ignore. But what does "being green" mean when it comes to cold, hard cash or, for that matter, your 401(k)?
Take our quiz and tell us how you did in the Green Investing group at Climate Crossroads.
This summer, the Sierra Club's Inner City Outings (ICO) program sponsored two national service trips: one to the Marble Mountains of far-northern California, and one to the Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge in the Sierra Nevada.
"I'd never been to the mountains before, so seeing them and being in them for the first time was mind-blowing," says Kia Lor, one of three Hmong youths from Minnesota who did trail work in the Marble Mountains, part of the Klamath National Forest.
Kids from Southern California, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Louisville, KY., and the Orlando, FL, area, ranging from 14 to 19 years old, also participated in the service trips.
Learn more about Inner City Outings and how you can get involved.
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