Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
Jan. 5, 2011: In This Issue
º Just Say No -- to Oil
º Rush Gets His Backpack
º "Fracking: It Even Sounds Dirty"
º Too-Cool Schools
º The Best Internship on Earth
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In the News
In the Washington Post, Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, is among those who paid tribute to the late Julia "Judy" Bonds -- a true hero in the fight to save Appalachia's mountains.
Photo: Hell's Canyon Oregon. Check out our new trips for the year!

New Trips for a New Year
Whether you're seeking rest and relaxation, rugged wilderness challenges, international treks, or outdoor fun and games with the family, you can be sure Sierra Club Outings has the right trip for you in 2011.

Some of our newest trips include backpacking Oregon's breathtaking Hells Canyon, cruising Norway's fjords and glaciers, and family base camping in Denali National Park, Alaska. Or try one of our classics, like hiking and yoga in California's redwoods or kayaking Florida's scenic rivers and springs.

Browse the full list or search by activity, date, location, and price at
Today's green tip
It's time to green your commute! Human-powered modes of transit (walking, jogging, biking) conserve fossil fuels and get you in better shape right quick.

More tips | Subscribe!
Sign up for the Daily Ray of Hope!

Soak Up Your Daily Ray
Start your year off right by subscribing to The Daily Ray of Hope. Each weekday we'll email you a beautiful image from the Daily Ray of Hope Flickr community, along with a few wise and/or hopeful words.

Here's the most popular Daily Ray of Hope image from 2010, which was taken by Beth Sargent.
On the Radio
1) Michael Brune on the new edition of his book Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal 2) Emily Utter from Save the Bay talks about San Jose's recent plastic bag ban, and the future of plastic bags 3) Avital Binshtock, Sierra Magazine's green lifestyle editor, gives tips for green New Year's Resolutions.

Listen | Subscribe

Call your senator today - it's time to fix the Senate!

Let's Fix the Senate
Currently, obscure Senate rules allow individual senators to hold the nation's work hostage while cutting backroom deals with corporate polluters. But -- this week -- we have an opportunity to change that.

Call your senators right away to let them know you want the Senate's rules fixed to make it part of a working democracy again.
Your Top 5 Insider Stories from 2010

At the start of a new year and a new decade, we're ready for the challenges, discoveries, and adventures to come. But first, here's a look (with some updates) at what Insider readers thought were the most interesting stories from 2010 -- starting with a tragedy and ending with an exuberant youthful vision.

Remembering the Gulf Coast disaster. Send a message today! Just Say No - to Oil

In April, the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico triggered the worst environmental disaster in American history -- and made it clearer than ever that we must transition to clean energy sources ASAP. The Sierra Club's Beyond Oil campaign challenged President Obama to develop a plan for getting our nation off of oil in the next 20 years.

Want to help the cause? You can use the customizable video message from Eva Mendes and Ed Begley, Jr. (they're kind of like an eco Astaire and Rogers, we think) to spread the Beyond Oil message. And for a rundown on what exactly is involved in achieving an oil-free America, see Sierra magazine's current cover story (and the lively online commentary from readers).

Photo: Julie Dermansky

What did Rush say? Rush Gets His Backpack

When radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh announced in May that it was actually the Sierra Club that was to blame for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, he probably wasn't planning to turn it into a major fund-raising opportunity for the Club. But that's what happened, as thousands of indignant "greeniacs" (Rush's affectionate nickname for us) made donations in response to his scurrilous allegations.

We ended up sending Rush a giant thank you card signed by all the donors, as well as a complimentary Sierra Club backpack (but not one of the really nice ones).

Click here to purchase Michael Brune's book Coming Clean.

Fracking, what? "Fracking: It Even Sounds Dirty"

Many Americans first heard about fracking in 2010. It’s the controversial technology for extracting natural-gas, a practice that has subjected areas of the country to a drilling boom. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune visited Pennsylvania to meet with people who've been affected by reckless drilling, and blogged about how the industry is "exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, parts of the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as our country's hazardous waste and cleanup laws."

The Sierra Club's Activist Network, which launched in 2010, has one of its biggest and most active teams working on the issue.

Did your school make the cut? Too-Cool Schools

Sierra magazine's annual Cool Schools survey, which is a report card for sustainability initiatives at colleges and universities around the country, once again generated lots of interest (as well as heated debate). Most people, of course, simply wanted to know whether their school made the Top 100 list, but there was a lot more to Cool Schools than just The List. The green dream team of all-star teachers, for instance. And the profiles of several standout students who've made big differences at their schools.

While there's nothing wrong with sustainability initiatives and environmental-studies programs, it definitely takes Cool People who make Cool Schools.

Did you hear about the best internship on earth? The Best Internship on Earth

We announced The Best Internship on Earth early last year in the hope that somebody out there would like to spend the summer traveling on different Sierra Club outings sponsored by our Inner City Outings, Building Bridges to the Outdoors, and Volunteer Vacations programs. The assignment: create a video blog documenting the whole experience.

Creative, heartfelt video applications poured in from hundreds of young people around the country, but NYU film grad Evan Geary got the nod. Based on the fantastic (and entertaining) videos Evan made, it looks like he really did have the Best Internship Experience on Earth last summer, whether he was hiking and rafting with Inner City Outings or repairing trails with Volunteer Vacations. You can see all of Evan's videos here -- and sign up to get info on next year's B.I.O.E., too.

Click here to watch one of our favorite videos.

Have a question? Mr. Green's got the answer.

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