What would you do if you knew that ancient mountains were being destroyed and communities torn apart to produce the electricity in your home? That's the reality of mountaintop-removal coal mining, where entire Appalachian mountaintops are blown off to reach seams of coal, and the waste is dumped into nearby streams and valleys.
Coal Country, a documentary that tells the whole story, will sweep the nation later this month. Working with the filmmakers, the Sierra Club has organized more than 800 house parties around the country -- most of them next week -- where a sneak-peek DVD of the film will be shown and participants can listen to a call-in conversation with actress Ashley Judd, a local Appalachian coal activist, and a leader of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign.
You're invited to attend one of these parties and learn how you can take action to bring a halt to this devastating form of mining.
Find the house party nearest you.
Sierra Club folks were taking pictures on the first High Trip to Yosemite in 1901, and they've never stopped. (Some, like Ansel Adams, got pretty good at it, too.) In that spirit, we're announcing a new monthly photo contest in our Trails community. This month, we're looking for images that fit an "Orange" theme, and the winner will get a camera that's ideal for hitting the trails: Canon's new PowerShot G11.
You can see the photos that have been entered so far (and vote for your favorites) by joining the Trails Monthly Photo Contest group. Have a shot you think might be a contender? We'd love to see it!
Join the group and see the photos.
When President Obama and the First Lady host their first-ever State Dinner this month (honoring the Indian prime minister), it will be the most coveted D.C. invitation since the inauguration. One guest of the Obamas will be Sierra Club volunteer leader Pritpal Singh (Pepi) Kochhar, who was invited in recognition of his work with New York City's Sikh community and with the Sierra Club. Pepi Kochhar's a long-time Sierra Club Outings leader as well as a member of the Club's India Advisory Council.
Born in the foothills of the Himalayas, and a New Yorker since 1976, Pepi Kochhar has led trips to Nepal, Iceland, Costa Rica, Russia, India, China, and Turkey. This spring he'll be returning to Scotland to lead a Highlands outing "In the Footsteps of John Muir." As Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope says, he's "the kind of volunteer leader who makes the Sierra Club so great." Whoever sits next to him at dinner is sure to hear some great stories.
Many of us enjoyed watching the Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea, last month. Now the series is returning to TV screens -- in Spanish!
Visit www.sierraclub.org/parques to see a trailer for the film and find Spanish-language materials that complement the documentary, including a clickable map of highlighted national parks, a guide to some Sierra Club Outings, a tip sheet for first-time visitors to national parks, and profiles of park visitors.
The Sierra Club is proud to be working in partnership with V-me, the nation's fastest-growing Spanish-language TV network, to promote Parques Nacionales. For local times and channel info, visit www.vmetv.com/estaciones.
As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee begins marking up the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, almost all of the committee's Republican members have refused to show up for work and are boycotting the meetings.
What might these missing members be doing that's more important than finishing work on this historic bill? We aren't sure, but we've started a list of possibilities.
Possibility #10: They are hiding in the attic with Balloon Boy.
To see the rest of the list (and add your own conjectures), visit Climate Crossroads.
Know someone who might be interested in the Sierra Club Insider? Help spread the word by using our online form to tell your friends, family, and co-workers about the Insider or simply forward this Insider on. (Some email clients strip the links out of emails when forwarded. If your email does this, you can also direct friends, family, and co-workers to our online version.)