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Sierra Club Insider

October 2, 2007: In This Edition of the Insider

  • Fifty-two Special Places
  • Sierra Club National Awards 2007
  • Attend or Host a Step It Up Event
  • Alternative-Energy Mutual Funds
  • International Cleanup Weekend Starts October 13th 
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    Celebrating and Saving Public Lands
    To mark Public Lands Day on September 29, the Sierra Club released a new report, America's Wild Legacy, that highlights fifty-two special lands and the Club's ongoing efforts to protect them. From the fragile caribou habitat of Alaska's Teshekpuk Lake to the wild forests surrounding Oregon's Mt. Hood, the Sierra Club is working with local communities to protect our last remaining wild lands for future generations. Now you can visit all of these places from your desk chair, by using Google Earth.

    You can download the report from our website, or visit all fifty-two featured wild places using Google Earth. (For this link to work, you need Google Earth, a groundbreaking mapping tool that lets you zoom in and explore the world in three dimensions. It's free. Download it here.)

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    Sierra Club Announces 2007 National Awards
    On September 29, former Vice President Al Gore, who has spent 30 years making the world aware of the dangers of global warming, received the Sierra Club's top award: the John Muir Award, at the Club's Annual Dinner in San Francisco. "Al Gore is the embodiment of the principles for which John Muir passionately devoted his life: to protect a place for its own sake, for our sake, and even in spite of us; a place we call Earth," said Sierra Club President Robbie Cox.

    Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, received the David R. Brower Award, which recognizes a professional journalist for stories pertaining to the environment. In the past year, Friedman has devoted many of his columns to the environment ("green is the new red, white, and blue.") Thanks to the Times' recent decision to make all of its online content freely available, you can now read Friedman columns like this one on a potential gas tax.

    For a complete list of the honorees at the Annual Dinner, click here.

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    Only a Month Away Now....
    What are you doing on November 3? How about this for an answer: "I'll be either hosting or attending a Step It Up event in my city." The Sierra Club is urging everyone to participate in this fall's "Who's a Leader" event. From coast to coast we'll rally in our communities and invite our politicians to join us. We'll see who rises to the occasion and who has a real plan to tackle the defining challenge of our time: global warming. You've got a month to go if you're organizing an event -- visit our Step It Up page for information on how to host a Step It Up rally.

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    An Alternative Investment
    One way to support companies that are working on methods to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels would be to invest in an alternative-energy mutual fund. Just ask Richard Branson or Bill Gates, who are already backing alternative-energy companies. Firsthand Funds, which is known for its high-tech offerings, is launching Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund this month. To show its support of environmental causes, Firsthand will contribute a portion of the fund’s management fees to the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations.

    Visit for more information.

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    Put Your Cleanup on the Map
    International Cleanup Weekend is October 13 and 14th. Think globally and make a difference locally by organizing your own cleanup. Choose a spot close to home -- maybe a trail, park, playground, or patch of sidewalk. Find some friends to help. This year, you can use Google Maps to share your plans and get other folks to the cleanup site.

    Find out more and start mapping your cleanup.

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    Score Your 'Hood
    "Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." -- Steven Wright

    Most Americans take to walking like ducks to asphalt. But it's not always our fault. Many of us live in communities where walking to the store is dangerous, impossible, or both.

    Now has launched a website that lets you get a sense for how "walkable" any neighborhood really is -- based on the proximity of stores and other services. Do you live in a "walker's paradise" (score of 90-100)?

    Find out for yourself.



    Pure Blogging Goodness
    This week marks the second anniversary of the Sierra Club's "Compass" weblog. If you haven't caught any of our more than 1,000 posts, then you've missed out on some truly witty, engaging, and wise environmental writing -- and that's just in the reader comments.

    You can check out Compass every day right in the middle of our home page. And if you'd like to learn how you can subscribe to Compass and other Sierra Club blogs, like Carl Pope's "Taking the Initiative," just click here for simple instructions. Here's to the next 1,000 posts.



    We Need Smart Energy Solutions!
    Energy giant Dominion wants to build more coal-fired power plants that will accelerate global warming, mountain top removal mining, the construction of new transmission lines, and the poisoning of our air and water. 

    Say no to outdated dirty energy!

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