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Sierra Club Insider

August 7, 2007: In This Edition of the Insider

  • Energy Bill Victory!
  • The Truth about Compact Fluorescents
  • How Green Is Your Candidate?
  • Get a Discount on Brower's Memoir 
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    A Major Energy Bill Victory
    Last Saturday was a good day for the planet as the House of Representatives passed a landmark national Renewable Electricity Standard by a vote of 220 to 190 and then went on to pass the energy bill itself on a final vote of 241 to 172. This marks the first time in recent memory that, instead of simply blocking harmful legislation, Congress has passed a proactive energy bill.

    The bill approved Saturday requires that 15 percent of every utility's power be generated by renewable energy by 2020 and includes tax incentives for wind-energy production and plug-in hybrid purchases.

    Many thousands of Sierra Club supporters contributed to this victory by contacting their representatives by phone and email. But the fight is not over. This fall, House and Senate conferees will have the opportunity to marry the renewable energy standard passed by the House and the increased fuel-efficiency standards approved by the Senate. That would mean significant progress on building a new energy economy and on cutting global warming pollution. But it will be a fight, and we'll let you know how you can help when the time comes. Until then, thanks to everyone who helped.

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    Good Bulbs or Bad?
    When Fox News ran a story claiming that compact fluorescent light bulbs are too dangerous because of their mercury content, some folks were understandably confused.

    Well, Sierra magazine's Mr. Green has plenty to say about that. Check out his latest Mailbag for the straight dope on CFLs -- including the one time it actually does make sense to leave your lights on.

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    The Race Is On
    Our friends at Grist and Outside magazine have teamed up to gauge the green-ness of the 2008 presidential candidates in a series of interviews. You'll also find fact sheets on the candidates detailing their respective positions on the issues. Sample question: "If George Bush were a plant or an animal, what kind of plant or animal would he be?" 

    Cool features for bloggers are a widget that automatically updates with Grist election coverage and downloadable buttons that link to candidate interviews and fact sheets so that folks can promote the green credentials of their favorite candidate. 

    Iowa and New Hampshire
    New Hampshire MarchFolks in Iowa and New Hampshire have been practically tripping over presidential candidates, but they aren't waiting for next year's election to say what they think about global warming.

    In New Hampshire, hundreds of climate-change activists marched for five days and 40 miles last week from Nashua to the statehouse lawn in Concord to demand action on global warming. Perhaps fittingly, they marched through stifling heat and humidity, the temperature spiking above 100 degrees several times.
    Meanwhile, a thousand miles away in Iowa, another group of climate-change activists culminated a four-day march at the state capitol in Des Moines.

    Giant Tracks
    "I was not always unreasonable, and I am sorry for that."
    --David Brower

    David Brower shaped the environmental movement into a worldwide force as executive director of the Sierra Club and later as founder and leader of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute. Above all, he was the movement's charismatic pied piper, inspiring countless young people to follow in his giant tracks.

    Now Brower's incendiary and entertaining memoir, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run, is available from the Sierra Club's on-line store at a special Insider discount: 40 percent off for Sierra Club members and 30 percent off for nonmembers. 

    Just type in special discount code "BROWER" at checkout.

    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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    Lewis Pugh

    Beyond a Cold Shower
    Last month, Lewis Gordon Pugh swam one kilometer in 18 minutes and 50 seconds to draw attention to the effects of global warming.

    What's remarkable is that he did it at the North Pole, which, until fairly recently, was more or less frozen solid. Still, at 28.7F, the water wasn't exactly balmy: "I was in excruciating pain from beginning to end and I nearly quit on a few occasions," said Pugh, who is also the first person to do a distance swim in each of the world's five oceans.

    Intrigued? You can hear Pugh talk about his experience (and find out why he wore a Speedo) on Sierra Club Radio.

    Photo Credit: Jason Roberts Productions


    Fox is Wrong 

    What Is Fox Attacks, Alex?
    Sierra Club activists delivered tens of thousands of petition signatures to Home Depots across the country last week in an effort to get the company to stop advertising on Fox News programs that have attacked the science of global warming.

    Meanwhile, Brave New Films has released a new "Game Show" video: The Fox Is Wrong: Global Warming that shows just how absurd Fox's claims really are.




    Ozone Standards Should Protect Our Health
    Let EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson know that you want an ozone standard that truly protects public health -- not one cooked up by industry.

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