Sierra Club

Sierra Club Insider

July 24, 2007: In This Edition of the Insider

  • Keep the Pressure on Home Depot
  • Environmentalist's Dream Home
  • FEMA's Failure
  • Daily Ray of Hope + Flickr = Extra Hope!

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    Home Depot Feels the Heat
    Just two weeks ago, the Sierra Club, Brave New Films, and Civic Action launched a campaign to ask Home Depot to pull its advertising from Fox News, which has been relentless in trying to portray global warming as a "hoax" and a "lie."  More than 360,000 people have watched the video Fox Attacks: The Environment on YouTube since then, and more than 30,000 have signed our petition to Home Depot.

    Even better, more than 3,000 of the people who signed our petition have gone a step further and directly contacted the executives at Home Depot to (politely) express their concern about Fox News by phone or email. Seattle's Tom Evans was one such activist and Home Depot customer. Tom spent five minutes talking to Ron Jarvis, Home Depot's vice president of environmental innovation. Why did Tom take the time to call? "I think picking one Fox advertiser and making them feel the heat is a very sharp strategy," he told us. "If Home Depot gets the message that they're becoming the poster child for this problem, others will follow suit."

    If you haven't signed the Fox Attacks petition, it's not late. Add your name now!

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    Green Homes That Thrill
    In spite of Home Depot's missteps with Fox News, green building continues to be a hot trend for cooling the planet. The current issue of Sierra magazine has several stories that ought to be of interest to anyone planning to build or buy a new home (or just upgrading current quarters).

    Author Bill McKibben describes building an "environmentalist's dream home" in "Green From the Ground Up," Monica Woelfel writes about how home remodelers can reduce their ecological footprint (with some exclusive Web-only tips available here), and Dashka Slater profiles innovative architect Michelle Kaufmann, who believes that green homes should be as easy to order as a pair of sneakers.

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    Mean Homes That Kill
    In Hurricane Katrina's wake, thousands of newly homeless Americans eventually found shelter in 102,000 travel trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at a cost of $2.6 billion. Unfortunately, we now know that many if not most of those trailers were unsafe -- releasing toxic formaldehyde gas.

    A year ago, the Sierra Club reported that more than 80 percent of the FEMA trailers it tested were toxic. Yet FEMA refused to do its own tests or acknowledge the extent of the problem for fear that doing so might, as one of its lawyers put it, "undermine the agency's position" in litigation. 

    As Representative Henry Waxman said during hearings last week, FEMA's attitude was "sickening." Just like its trailers.

    For more on the sad story of FEMA's failure to protect Americans, read this Grassroots story and Carl Pope's blog post.

    Inspiration in Your In-Box
    Susan Maria Kusz, SNDNeed a jolt of inspiration to get you out of bed and help keep you going? Subscribe to the Daily Ray of Hope, and we'll send you an email each weekday with a new inspirational quote and user-generated image like the one here taken by Susan Maria Kusz. And that's where you can help, by joining the Daily Ray of Hope group on Flickr.

    Post your favorite photos to the site, and we'll notify you whenever an image is selected for inclusion in one of our daily emails. Together, we can make this world just a little more hopeful.

    Know someone who might be interested in the Sierra Club Insider? Help spread the word by using our online form to tell your friends, family, and co-workers about the Insider or simply forward this Insider on. (Some email clients strip the links out of emails when forwarded. If your email does this, you can also direct friends, family, and co-workers to our online version.)

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    Heed the Call of the Rockies
    Give your summer a Rocky Mountain high and join us to ascend Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, retrace Lewis and Clark's footsteps in the Bitterroot Range, or restore aging trails in Glacier National Park.

    See all Sierra Club Outings.



    Let's Talk About Us
    Let's Talk, Sierra magazine's book and film club, is featuring a new book from Alan Weisman called The World Without Us. To better understand humanity's real impact on the planet, Weisman describes what would happen if people everywhere suddenly disappeared. Winners might include European bison and Siberian tigers. Losers: cockroaches and dogs.

    Learn more about how you can participate by hosting a Let's Talk group.



    Speak Up for the Planet
    Congress is debating energy legislation that will determine whether we use smart energy solutions to curb global warming or instead continue to rely on dangerous sources of energy. Right now, we have the technology to raise mileage standards for new vehicles and to set a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) of 20 percent by 2020.

    But Congress needs to know that you are behind these goals or it won't act.

    Call now! We've made it easy to do!

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