How Coal Poisoned Your Tuna Sandwich
Can too many tuna sandwiches make you sick? Unfortunately, yes. Sierra magazine looks at the plight of Americans -- from preschoolers eating a couple of tuna sandwiches a week to sushi-loving celebrities to low-income anglers -- who have been sickened by methylmercury. The biggest culprit? Coal-fired power plants.
U.S. coal plants pump more than 48 tons of mercury into the air each year, but it takes only one-seventieth of a teaspoon to pollute a 20-acre lake and make its fish unsafe to eat. Although the EPA has proposed a new air pollution standard for power plant emissions of mercury and other toxics, corporate polluters and their allies in Congress are fighting back by attacking the Clean Air Act.
Graphic: John Blanchard (Sources: FDA and EPA)
Solar Makes Sense
Opponents of renewable energy have been on the offense lately, but Americans remain strongly in favor of developing solar energy to replace dirty fossil fuels. Is it because solar companies generate more jobs and are the fastest-growing sector of our energy economy?
Maybe -- but Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune thinks there's an even simpler reason why we love our solar power.
How Bright Are You?
No, we're not wondering whether you're a candidate for Jeopardy! How much do you know about the solar-energy industry?
Take our brand-new Solar Energy Quiz and everything will become illuminated. (Already know everything under the sun about solar? Challenge your friends! Even better: Test your member of Congress.)
Hint: Want to ace the quiz? Watch this video first!
National Plug In Day
Filling that awkward interval between Columbus Day and Halloween, National Plug In Day (Sunday, Oct. 16) is your chance to learn firsthand about electric vehicles at one of more than 20 "kick the tires" events that the Sierra Club is co-sponsoring in cities nationwide.
Still not "charged up"? You're also invited to screenings of Revenge of the Electric Car, filmmaker Chris Paine's "shocking" sequel to Who Killed the Electric Car? It's showing at theaters throughout the country this fall.
Nearly 30 years ago, in the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident, Sierra Club Books published Nukespeak, which documented how nuclear power had been sold to the American public.
Now, with both Chernobyl and Fukushima added to the list of disasters, a timely and completely updated edition debunks the current campaign to re-brand nuclear power as a clean, green solution to global warming.
The new edition, Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Technology from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima, is available exclusively as an electronic book -- download it from your favorite e-book seller.
Did Your Rep Get an 'A' or an 'F'?
The Sierra Club just graded the clean-water voting records of every member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Is your rep flunking at protecting you from water pollution?
If so, you might want to send him or her a message before the vote later this week on a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting communities from toxic coal waste, which can put mercury, arsenic, hexavalent chromium, and lead in our water.
100 Actions for Clean Energy on Campus
The Sierra Student Coalition kicked off its "100 Actions for Clean Energy" campaign last weekend with an event deep in the heart of coal country at Virginia Tech University. Nearly 100 students urged the school to retire its dirty coal-fired power plant, which is located just 50 feet from student dorms.
"100 Actions for Clean Energy" is a nationwide month of creative actions focused on retiring university coal plants, cutting university ties to the coal industry, and moving schools to clean-energy solutions. Since the launch of the national Campuses Beyond Coal campaign, 16 schools have already committed to retiring their coal-fired plants on campus.