This past year had its highs and lows, but for the Sierra Club it was filled with accomplishments. Here are just five of the many that we can feel good about as we enter a new decade:
We secured the protection of 2 million acres of natural spaces, helped pass new clean-car standards, stopped more than 110 dirty coal plants, took more than 90,000 kids on their first fishing trip, and together celebrated our National Park heritage with a hugely successful PBS documentary by Ken Burns.
Watch this video and explore our interactive map that features the amazing volunteers who made it happen all across the country in 2009. See if you can spot the babies and cowboy hats!
As Executive Director Carl Pope noted in his blog posts from Denmark, the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference was a real rollercoaster ride and, although the final accord fell short of just about everyone's hopes, it nonetheless gave humanity "its best chance of preventing the ravages of a warming world."
Many Club volunteers, including nearly two dozen students, joined Carl in posting first-hand reports from the conference, as well as photos and video. You can find it all in the "Sierra Club at Copenhagen 2009" group on Climate Crossroads.
The next UN conference on climate change convenes a year from now in Mexico City. Will a more substantial agreement be reached? That largely depends on what happens here at home.
If you'd like the United States to negotiate from a position of strength next year, then please ask your senators to support a strong clean-energy and climate bill.
The 2000s are almost over. While there's a lot that we won't miss about this past decade, it may yet be remembered as the time when humans finally began to realize that we all shared the same planet. Environmental news stories -- from climate change to species extinctions to battles over wilderness protection -- were some of the decade's most significant. Were you paying attention or just along for the ride?
Challenge yourself with our end-of-the-decade quiz and find out how much you remember about the "green noughties."
When we asked members of our Trails Monthly Photo Contest group to submit cold-themed photos in December, we never anticipated that the winning shot would come from the North Pole. But that's exactly where Sebastian Copeland took his winning image earlier this year during a 700-km walk across the Arctic to commemorate Admiral Peary's 1909 expedition. That's definitely cold!
Find out more about the winning shot and view all of the finalists. And make sure to join the Monthly Photo Contest group so you're ready for next month's contest, which starts January 5th and features a nifty Nikon Coolpix P90 digital camera as a prize that's perfect for any rucksack.
You don't need to walk to the North Pole to find an outdoor adventure -- Sierra Club Outings has trips from Tahoe to Tibet for people of all ages, abilities, and interests! Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a fresh-faced beginner, you'll find fun and affordable options, with more than a few surprises along the way.
Select from distinctive new outings like smoke-jumping in Montana and women's beginner backpacking in the Ansel Adams Wilderness of California. Or go for a tried-and-true classic, like canoeing the Current River in the Ozarks or touring rarely glimpsed waterfalls in Yellowstone's "Cascade Corner."
You can see our featured trips, view more than 180 trips under $1,000, or check out the full list of Sierra Clubs outings with space available.
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