Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
February 15, 2011: In This Issue
º Polluters Make Us Sick
º 150 Steps Closer to Clean Energy
º The Best Internship on Earth
º Endangered Bugs? Who Cares?
º Calling Out the Climate Cranks
º Sea Turtles or Putting Greens?
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In the News
The headline at in Houston, TX says it all: "Cutting refinery pollution: Is Sierra Club doing what Texas won't?"

Over 25 New International Trips
Turn your fantasy vacation into a reality next year on one of the Sierra Club's newest international excursions. Hike among peaks and pastures in the German and Austrian Alps, explore ancient Buddhist temples and trails in Japan, or tour Mayan ruins and tropical rainforests in Guatemala and Honduras. All you have to do is book your trip -- we'll take care of the rest!

Looking for something else? You can search our listings of over 300 Sierra Club trips, including lodge-based outings, family vacation, wilderness backpacking, international excursions, and plenty more.
Today's green tip
Instead of presenting cut flowers, give your date a potted plant.
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Parties for the Planet
Don't forget to sign up to attend a Gasland house party. You won't want to miss seeing the extraordinary Oscar-nominated hydrofracking documentary before the Academy Awards later this month. We have more than 40 house parties on the calendar, but if you can't find one in your neighborhood, you can still sign up to host your own. We'll send you a handy guide to help you plan a successful party.
On the Radio
1) Gina Coplon-Newfield talks with us about all the new electric cars coming out on the market this year 2) Journalist Mark Hertsgaard on his new book Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth 3) Avital Binshtock gives tips for a green Valentine's Day 4) Annie Somerville, executive chef of Greens restaurant, shares green cuisine tips.
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No Corporate Polluter Handouts
How can Republicans in the House endanger the lives of millions of Americans, handcuff the EPA, and give billions in handouts to corporate polluters? By using the Continuing Resolution to cut the EPA's budget to a degree we haven't seen in 30 years.

Congress has a choice: More government handouts for corporate polluters or moving forward to create jobs and a clean-energy economy -- tell your legislators to choose the right side.
Stop Polluters from Making Us Sick Stop Polluters from Making Us Sick

No matter where you live, you or your loved ones are probably affected by pollution from the burning of coal and oil. It leads to serious, life-threatening health problems, inflicts millions of children with asthma, stifles childhood development, and cuts short thousands of lives every year. Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency exists to enforce much-needed safeguards that can stop polluters from making us sick.

In the past 40 years, the EPA has saved millions of American lives by enforcing clean air and water standards. Last year alone, more than 1.7 million asthma attacks and $110 billion in healthcare costs were avoided -- thanks to the agency's efforts.

To protect the health of our families, the Sierra Club is mobilizing our 1.4 million members and supporters in a national effort we call "Stop Polluters." Together we can send a message to President Obama: Both the physical well-being of our families and the economic well-being of our nation depend on enforcing strong public health standards.

150 Coal Plants Defeated! 150 Steps Closer to Clean Energy

The Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" campaign celebrated a major milestone this month: 150 proposed new coal plants have now been defeated! In fact, during the past two years not a single new coal plant has started construction, and the industry has announced the phase-out of over 50 old plants. What made it possible? Dedicated activists on the ground in almost every state -- working to abolish dirty coal and help communities transition to cost-effective, cleaner options.

Learn more about our "Beyond Coal" campaign and why it's critical to stop the Coal Rush.

Want the Best Internship on Earth? Want the Best Internship on Earth?

The Sierra Club's Outdoors Youth Ambassador intern will get to spend next summer hiking, rafting, and exploring with our youth programs all over the country -- all while video blogging about the experience. Aside from taking in glorious sights and meeting amazing people, he or she will earn a $2,500 stipend and get outfitted with $2,000 worth of gear from The North Face and Planet Explore.

If you're at least 18 years old and currently enrolled in high school, college, or university (or a recent graduate), then you'd better get started on your video application right away: The deadline is March 16.

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

Sierra Magazine March/April 2011

Endangered Bugs? Who Cares?

They suck blood, spread disease, eat their mates, and inspire great horror films. Those are just a few reasons why endangered insects rarely register on our radar, especially compared to more charismatic species like orangutans, tigers, and wolves (see below).

But in the latest issue of Sierra magazine, entomologist Richard Jones argues that even the most annoying bugs need protection -- maybe even a little love. His essay is illustrated by John Hallmén's astonishing close-up photographs.

Protect the Grey Wolf Politicians Attacking Wolves

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of our most cherished and respected environmental laws. Its power lies in the independent, scientific consultation at its heart. Now legislators are attempting to undermine the rule by eliminating the gray wolf for political purposes.

Politicians shouldn't be deciding which species receive protection and which don't. In fact, Congress has never before interfered with the ESA to unprotect a specific species. Wolves should not be the first. Tell Congress now: Keep your paws off the ESA!

Calling Out the Climate CranksCalling Out the Climate Cranks

When elected leaders actually suggest that it might be better to abandon the Earth than to address climate disruption, there's got to be something we can do besides roll our eyes. Journalist Mark Hertsgaard's idea is to make such "climate cranks" explain -- on camera and in front of children -- why they want to condemn young people to spending the rest of their lives coping with the hottest climate in human history.

As part of a coalition that includes the Sierra Club,, Grist, and Kids vs. Global Warming, volunteers are putting climate cranks on the spot on Capitol Hill, at Fox News, and at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We'll be posting the results soon.

You can listen to an interview with Hertsgaard, whose new book got rave reviews from both the New York Times and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, in this week's Sierra Club Radio program.

Protect the Northeast Ecological Corridor Sea Turtles or Putting Greens?

The Sierra Club of Puerto Rico and its coalition partners turned out a big crowd at public hearings on the proposed fragmentation of the island's Northeast Ecological Corridor, which was designated as a nature reserve in 2008.

The new governor removed that protection the following year, though, to allow for large-scale development that could include nearly 5,000 residential and tourist units -- and four golf courses.

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