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Sierra Club Insider

September 4, 2007: In This Edition of the Insider

  • Congress Making Progress on Global Warming
  • Do You Live in a Cool City?
  • The Dirty Truth About Coal
  • Which Beer Is the Greenest?
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    Congress at a Crossroads
    This fall could be a watershed moment in the fight to stop climate change, as Congress returns from its recess to take up the energy bill and consider landmark global warming legislation. Earlier this year, the Senate -- for the first time in 30 years -- passed an energy bill that would raise the fuel economy of our cars. And the House passed an energy bill that would require that more of our energy be produced by renewable solar power. How these two bills are reconciled will be crucial.

    Meanwhile, the Sanders-Boxer Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, currently in committee in the Senate, would put smart-energy solutions to work right now to solve global warming and also create new economic opportunities and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Urge your Senators to cosponsor this important legislation.

    The Sierra Club will be working hard to make sure that Congress does the right thing, so stay tuned.

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    Cool Cities Site Gets Even Cooler
    Cool CitiesSome of the most dramatic progress on climate change during the past year has been at the local level. The Sierra Club's Cool Cities Campaign helps city residents and local leaders encourage their municipal governments to implement smart-energy solutions such as energy-efficient lighting, transportation, buildings, and municipal fleets.

    The Cool Cities website has recently been enhanced to include lots of new features and also be even easier to use. Do you live in or near a Cool City? Check the site now to find out.

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    The Worst Alternative Fuel Ever?
    Coal-to-liquid fuel has its fans -- primarily airlines, the military, and (surprise) the coal industry -- but it's also environmentally disastrous on many levels, generating twice the greenhouse-gas emissions of gasoline. To learn more about why CTL is such a terrible idea, read "A Patriotic Pall" in Sierra magazine's "Lay of the Land."

    And for background on the coal industry that's pushing this bad idea, download our report "The Dirty Truth About Coal: Why Yesterday's Technology Should Not Be Part of Tomorrow's Energy Future."

    Make Mine Illegal
    The Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation is trying to set a dangerous precedent with the Kensington Gold Mine that it's building in southeast Alaska. For the first time since Congress passed the Clean Water Act, the Army Corps of Engineers has authorized a mining company to discharge chemically processed mining waste into a lake. In this case, that's 4.5 million tons of mine tailings that will be dumped into Lower Slate Lake, which is located on National Forest lands.

    Fortunately, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals put the project in doubt last December when it ruled that the federal permits were issued illegally. Coeur d'Alene has responded by sending a direct mail piece to Juneau residents that targets Sierra Club Juneau group leader Mark Rorick. "As a Club volunteer you don't really want your personal home address on one of their propaganda pieces," says Mark. "But it's clear that Coeur Alaska only wants to use the lake as a dump because other disposal methods cost more. They've yet to realize that we're not giving up."

    Too Sunny in Philly? Ask Danny DeVito
    To curb global warming and its consequences, we must cut our carbon emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. That adds up to about 2% a year, hence the Sierra Club's "Be Part of the 2% Solution" campaign.

    To show how we all must get involved, Danny DeVito and the cast of FX Network's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia have helped out the Sierra Club with a new public service ad.

    Watch for this and other Sierra Club celebrity announcements in magazines this fall.

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    Celebrate America's Wild Legacy
    Get your hands dirty and show how much you care about our public lands.  National Public Lands Day is a huge volunteer endeavor that highlights how much Americans care about wild and open spaces. The Sierra Club is encouraging its members to show support for our public lands by organizing public lands restoration projects in their own communities. 

    This year the Sierra Club will host a special "Public Lands in Public Hands" weekend in New Orleans on September 28-30. Find out how you can take part.(pdf)


    A Bottle (or Can) of Green, Please
    Green beer isn't just for St. Patrick's Day anymore. Breweries are innovating with more environmentally friendly techniques that can also make for great drinking.

    Listen to Jennifer Hattam's segment on Sierra Club Radio to find out more about how to pick a beer that fits your values. 



    Don't Pay for Logging Roads
    Alaska's Tongass National Forest represents our nation's most significant tract of old-growth forest and provides abundant habitat for many fish and wildlife species. These wild forests deserve full protection. Instead, Senator Ted Stevens wants the Forest Service to ignore citizens' demands for wild forest protection and move ahead with more subsidized logging roads.

    Just say no!

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