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Sierra Club Insider

June 26, 2007: In This Edition of the Insider
  • Host or Attend a Live Earth House Party
  • Students Turn Campuses Green
  • Turning the Tables on Coal
  • Turtle Festival in Puerto Rico
  • Ontario Bans Leaf Blowers
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    Host or Attend a Live Earth House Party
    LiveEarthLogoIf you can't make it to New Jersey on July 7 to see the Police, Dave Matthews, Alicia Keys, and more, you can do the next best thing. Join a house party in your community and watch the concerts on TV or the Web with your friends and neighbors. Better yet, host a house party.

    The nine Live Earth concerts, unfolding over 24 hours on seven continents, are about more than great music. They're a call to action on global warming. Scientists say that to stabilize global warming, we need to curb our carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2050 -- or 2 percent a year, starting now. The Live Earth event will help spread that message and spur leaders to take action.

    Don't miss out on the fun! Find out more on how to host or attend a Live Earth House Party.

    Students Turn Campuses Green
    Students Turn Campuses GreenThe school year is over, and for students taking part in the Campus Climate Challenge, many of their biggest accomplishments happened outside the classroom. Sierra Student Coalition members won a whopping 58 victories on campuses in the past year, including 12 campus commitments to climate neutrality, as well as green building policies, improved energy efficiency, coffee ground composting, and more.

    At Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, students created a "Gold Bike Program," providing free bikes for use on campus. Students at Swarthmore in Pennsylvania pushed the college to increase its wind power purchase to 35 percent of its total electrical usage.

    Read about all 58 victories here.

    Turning the Tables on Coal
    Turning the Tables on CoalIn February, Rhonda Roff, a Sierra Club activist and president of Save It Now, Glades!, was tabling at a local festival in Glades County, Florida, just two tables away from Florida Power & Light's booth, which was pushing a $6 billion coal plant in Glades County that the Club opposed. Roff says she was initially discouraged from setting up her booth and told that she would be heckled. Instead, she reports, people kept coming over to her table complaining about their discussions at the utility booth and asking if she had a petition they could sign.

    She did.

    Now we can't say that those tabling events turned the tables, so to speak, but on June 5, the Florida Public Service Commission unanimously rejected the proposed coal plant, which would have discharged more than 13 million pounds of carbon dioxide and 180 pounds of mercury a year, 70 miles from Everglades National Park.

    Turtle Festival in Puerto Rico
    Turtle FestivalIn San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Sierra Club's newest, and only Spanish-speaking chapter organized its second annual Turtle Festival this spring, attracting more than 2,000 people and helping draw attention to threats facing the Northeast Ecological Corridor.

    The highlight, says chapter organizer Camilla Feibelman, was a children's march in which 300 kids participated, many of whom dressed as turtles and performed skits for the crowd.

    The Puerto Rico chapter is trying to protect this 3,200-acre coastal area from two planned resorts that would include 1,900 new residential and tourist units and three golf courses.

    Ontario Bans Leaf Blowers -- What Else Should Go?
    Lawn MowerThe Canadian province of Ontario is not just banning leaf blowers, but gas-powered lawn mowers as well. Writing in Compass, a Sierra Club blog, Pat Joseph asks, "As long as we're banning stuff, what else should go?"

    Find out what others are saying and toss in your two pennies worth while you're there.



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    Wildlife Close Up
    To get close to his animal subjects, photographer Frans Lanting has crawled through mud in the Kalahari Desert, perched in a small box high in the Amazon jungle canopy, and camped on Antarctic ice. "I really have to be a chameleon," he says. Lanting chooses his favorite photos for Sierra magazine -- the ones that made a difference (like this one of a juvenile).


    Grill without Guilt
    Barbecue season is here, and while a little backyard grilling isn't going to ruin the environment, when 60 million people hit the BBQ at once -- like they do on the Fourth of July -- the impacts can add up. But you can grill greener.

    Find out how in The Green Life. Or check out this excerpt from Sierra Club Radio (mp3 file).



    Stop Taxpayer Subsidies for Logging Wild Alaskan Forest

    It's egregious enough that the U.S. Forest Service is drawing up plans for new logging roads and timber sales in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, home to salmon, marbled murrelets, lynx, wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, and the world's densest population of bald eagles.

    What's worse is that taxpayers are footing the bill -- the Forest Service loses about $40 million every year logging the Tongass.

    If Congress is serious about cutting waste, ending this annual subsidy to prop up the timber industry is a great place to start.

    Tell your member of Congress to stop taxpayer subsidies for new logging roads in the Tongass and all our national forests.  

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