Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
December 8, 2009: In This Issue
  • Follow Us in Copenhagen
  • Get Cold and Win!
  • White House Welcomes Youth
  • Coal: Not Wild and Wonderful
  • Sponsor a Wild Place

    Today's green tip
    By making a few minor adjustments to your abode, you can reduce emissions and save money this winter. Save up to $20 per window per winter in energy costs by fortifying panes with plastic window film.

    More tips | Subscribe!

    Get Involved with a Waterway Near You

    Guarding the Waters
    Thanks to thousands of citizen activists, the Sierra Club's Water Sentinels Program has become "the first line of defense of America's waters" from coast to coast.

    Check out the Water Sentinels' new interactive map and website to learn how you can get involved with a waterway near you.

    Holiday Gifts

    New Gear from the Sierra Club
    The holidays are fast approaching! Now is the perfect time to check out the Sierra Club Store, which has lots of new gear and green gifts for all ages.

    On the Radio
    This week on Sierra Club Radio:
    1) Author Jonathan Safran Foer talks with us about his new book, Eating Animals. 2) Avital Binshtock from Sierra magazine shares green gift ideas for the holidays. 3) Elizabeth Grossman on her book Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry. 4) Recipe ideas from Annie Somerville, executive chef at Greens Restaurant.

    Listen | Subscribe

    Help the Polar Bears

    Polar Bears v. Drills
    Bears can't write letters, but you can! Drilling for oil and gas in the heart of critical polar bear habitat just doesn't make sense.

    Help spread the word by using our letter-to-the-editor tool today.

    Real or Fake?
    Real or Artificial?
    How to choose a greener tree for the holidays.

    Sierra Club at CopenhagenCopenhagen, Here We Come
    Yesterday was the start of COP15, known more formally as the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference. The Sierra Club has 50 volunteers and staff in Copenhagen to demonstrate strong U.S. support for meaningful domestic and international action against climate change and to push and support the U.S. delegation in its efforts to reach an agreement. For the first time ever, the U.S., India, and China all have specific proposals on the table, and world leaders are aiming for a deal that includes commitments on reducing emissions and on financing for developing countries.

    Hopes for a significant agreement are running high: President Obama has rescheduled his own attendance for the last week of the conference when a deal could be struck. But you don't need to go all the way to Denmark to follow the latest developments. The Sierra Club's Climate Crossroads online community is already featuring daily news, blog posts, photos, video, and other dispatches from Copenhagen.

    Follow along as we hope to see history made.

    Discuss | Bookmark and Share

    Brrrr What Does "Brrrr!" Look Like?
    A glowing-blue igloo? A bright red cherry encased in ice? A cardinal bracing against a snowstorm? "Cold" is December's theme in the Monthly Photo Contest group on Sierra Club Trails, so if you've got a nature photo that's sure to make the rest of us shiver, join the group and submit your best shot!

    If you win, you'll be able to warm yourself up with the prize package of a Marmot sleeping bag, a Pacific Outdoor Equipment sleeping pad, and a Primus camp stove. If you don't have a photo of your own to enter, you can still join the group to check out the entries and vote for those you like best. 

    Group members receive a bulletin each month alerting them to the theme, prize, and deadlines for submissions and voting.

    Be sure to also check out the winner and runners-up from last month's contest on the theme of "Orange."


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    Follow us in Copenhagen

    Youth Leaders at the White House"Your Kids' Future Is at Stake"
    On December 2, the Obama administration welcomed youth leaders (including some from the Sierra Student Coalition and the Sierra Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors program) to a forum on energy and climate-crisis solutions.

    In attendance and answering questions were Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and U.S. Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley.

    Secretary Chu told the 160 gathered youth, "I'm an old guy, but your future, your kids' future, is at stake" Youth leaders responded that they want to see investments in clean energy technology, renewables, and energy efficiency.

    Watch a video of the forum via the NY Times' Dot Earth blog.

    Discuss | Bookmark and Share


    West Virginia Coal: Not So Wonderful
    Does blasting off the tops of West Virginia's ancient mountains attract tourists to the state?

    The West Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association seems to think this devastating form of coal mining is in keeping with the state motto: "Wild and Wonderful." The association recently sent a letter to its members (river guides, B&B owners, etc.) asking them to join an organization that promotes coal mining. We know coal mining isn't wonderful, so we made our own Top 10 list of wonderful things about West Virginia, from ginseng to hiking trails.

    Check it out -- and tell us what you love about West Virginia!

    While you're there, check out the blog post and video clip of a Google Earth presentation at the Copenhagen summit this week. It features West Virginia's Coal River Mountain, where activists are fighting a plan for mountaintop-removal coal mining by proposing a wind farm instead.

    Discuss | Bookmark and Share

    Win an Outing!

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