Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
Sept. 18, 2012: In This Issue
º Polar Bears Trump Big Oil
º Giant Sequoias -- Safe at Last?
º India's Barefoot College
º Drive Green, Save Green
º Sierra Club Holiday Cards

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Fall Getaways
Fantastic Fall Getaways

Crisp air and brilliant autumn colors are beckoning! Get your dose on one of the Sierra Club's many fall vacations, including lodge, service, canoe/kayak, and plenty more.

Discover glorious fall colors in Tennessee's Great Smokies, hike and learn about organic farming in the Colorado Rockies, assist a trail-building project in Kentucky and Virginia, or explore redwood forests, mountains, and coastlines in Marin County, California.

Seeking something else? Select from over 150 more adventures at Sierra Club Outings.

Sierra Club Holiday Cards
Order Your Sierra Club Holiday Cards Today!

Our online store currently has a great selection of new designs and customer favorites. But don't delay! The most popular cards and boxed assortments sell out quickly every year.

Chimney Rock
Priceless Treasure Needs Protection

Southwest Colorado's Chimney Rock Archaeological Area offers visitors an array of enticements: striking geological formations, an ancient observatory, and extraordinary architecture dating back to 850 A.D.

But only two U.S. Forest Service staffers are currently assigned to manage Chimney Rock. Designation as a national monument would give this area the recognition, resources, and protection it deserves.

Write to President Obama and urge him to designate Chimney Rock as a national monument.
Farewell to a Keeper of the Mountains

Larry GibsonWest Virginia environmental hero Larry Gibson died on September 9 while working on his cabin on his beloved Kayford Mountain. He was 66. Larry's homestead was an island of natural beauty amid a moonscape of destruction wrought by mountaintop-removal mining, which Larry fought tooth-and-nail for the past two decades.

Even in the face of death threats and intimidation, "Larry never backed down," says Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. On September 13, hundreds of people rallied in Washington, D.C., calling for an end to mountaintop-removal mining. The day was dedicated to Larry Gibson.

Image © J Henry Fair 2012 /

Polar Bears Trump Big Oil

Polar Bears Trump Big OilRoyal Dutch Shell announced yesterday that it will not move forward with plans to drill for oil in the Arctic's Beaufort and Chukchi Seas -- this year. Shell put off drilling after spill containment equipment failed during a test under calm, predictable conditions.

Known as the Polar Bear Seas, the waters where Shell still wants to drill are home to the entire U.S. population of polar bears and serve as a vital migration route for bowhead and beluga whales. More than a million people have spoken out against Shell's drilling plans over the past few months.

Tell President Obama you're thrilled that Shell has decided not to drill this year -- and urge him to protect the Polar Bear Seas next year.

Rooftop Solar

The buzz about clean cars: Move beyond oil with electric vehicles!

Electric Vehicle Plug-In Day Because they turn their back on the pump, oil spills, and tailpipe emissions, a switch to electric vehicles is an important part of our economic future, and an important solution to climate disruption. Fueling one costs the equivalent of 75 cents per gallon of gas, and next to nothing in maintenance!

But as long as our highways are dominated by gas stations rather than EV-charging stations, it will be very hard to move beyond oil.

Write your governor today to support more infrastructure for electric vehicles in your state!

India's Barefoot CollegeMake Light: India's Barefoot College

Rural mothers come to northern India's Barefoot College from villages in Fiji, Peru, Rwanda, and beyond.

They arrive largely unschooled and leave six months later as solar engineers
, ready to electrify their worlds.

Photo: Lana Slezic

Michael Brune

Giant Sequoias -- Safe at Last?

Giant SequoiasThe U.S. Forest Service has released a long-awaited new management plan for Giant Sequoia National Monument in California's Sierra Nevada. President Clinton created the monument to protect groves of giant sequoia located outside of national parks.

But unlike most national monuments, which are managed by the National Park Service, Giant Sequoia is overseen by the Forest Service, which proposed to cut 7.5 million board feet of timber a year in the monument.

After years of grassroots pressure, including more than 350,000 comments submitted by Sierra Club members and supporters, the Forest Service has finally released a management plan that doesn't default to cutting down trees.

Drive Green, Save Green

The Hartford InsuranceThe Hartford -- ranked the "#1 Greenest Financial Services Company" in Newsweek's 2011 "Green Rankings" for its environmental performance -- is offering Sierra Club members and supporters special rates on auto insurance, additional discounts for hybrid and electric vehicles, and coverage options that help you rebuild with eco-friendly materials if something happens to your home.

Learn more and request a free online auto quote, or call for a free quote at 888-584-5099.