As the Insider goes to press, the so-called Rim Fire in and around Yosemite National Park -- California's fourth-largest wildfire on record -- has consumed more than 235,000 acres of forest and continues to grow, although firefighters say it is now 70 percent contained. The Sierra Club salutes the nearly 5,000 local, state, federal, and volunteer firefighters who are heroically battling the blaze, and our thoughts are with area residents, many of whom have been forced to evacuate their homes.
Keystone XL Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test
In his June climate speech, President Obama affirmed that the Keystone XL decision can be made responsibly only in the context of the project's carbon pollution. This week we released a new report that settles the issue unequivocally: Keystone XL is a climate disaster.
The report shows how tar sands development in Alberta can expand only if Keystone XL is approved. We're talking about 181 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year -- it'd be like building 51 new coal-fired power plants. The report also sets the record straight on the State Department environmental review, which our executive director, Michael Brune, calls "both a failure and an embarrassment."
Activists Tell Duke Energy to Get Off its Ashe
Hundreds of clean-energy supporters turned out for a rally in Asheville, North Carolina, on August 24, to call on Duke Energy to retire its Asheville coal-fired power plant, the largest source of climate pollution in the western part of the state. Speakers included Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign director Mary Anne Hitt and Lost actor Ian Somerhalder, at right, Asheville mayor Terry Bellamy, and former coal miner Nick Mullins, who quit the trade to join the movement to move America beyond coal.
Read what they had to say, and watch this video of the rally.
Photo by Sierra Club/Mike Belleme
The Dream, 50 Years Later
Last week Sierra Club supporters and friends joined tens of thousands of people for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. That historic day helped push Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, a key pillar of the Civil Rights Movement. Unfortunately, during the past few years and even months, we've seen these same rights come under attack, including in the Supreme Court.
Keep the dream alive and demand that Congress restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.
Solar Returns to the White House
The Rooftop Revolution has finally reached the White House. In late August, installation began on the First Family's roof, making good on President Obama's commitment three years ago to return solar panels to the White House. It's been a long road, but thanks to the hard work of the Globama Initiative, led by Sungevity, 350.org, and thousands of clean-energy supporters across the nation, solar power has returned to the White House.
Read more about solar on the White House and learn how you can join the rooftop revolution by going solar at home.
20 Days of Giveaways
Sierra magazine and select partners are celebrating the outdoors this fall by giving our readers 20 Days of Giveaways! From a DeLorme Satellite Communicator to a Dahon foldable bike, we are giving away the coolest prizes to the coolest readers.
Enter now to win your prize.
Back in May, we called on Sierra Club supporters like you to help shine a light on the 1.3 billion people worldwide who live without access to electricity. In just a few short months, the clean-energy access project we shared with you is now fully funded!
The project raised $15,000 to fund ReadySet Solar Kits from Fenix International for 375 energy entrepreneurs in Uganda. The kits will in turn power mobile-phone charging and lighting for up to 19,000 households. Each ReadySet can power up to 50 phones in a community -- while avoiding 12.3 tons of carbon pollution.
Read more about how solar crowdfunding helped make a difference in Uganda, and some lessons learned along the way.
Dances with Wolves?
It's not the Best Internship on Earth until you've been licked by a wolf. Izzy and Daniel headed to the Mission Wolf sanctuary with kids from Boulder Inner City Outings and got very up close and personal with the pack.
Read more and bone up on your wolf trivia in Izzy's blog, including a video of their adventure.
No Child Left Inside
Kids need our support to make sure they have opportunities to learn about the natural world, get outdoors, and develop a foundation for success in the green economy. Outdoor learning and environmental education have been shown to improve academic performance across subject areas and increase overall interest in learning among students.
Send a tweet to your member of Congress to support No Child Left Inside.