Sierra Club

Sierra Club Insider

June 10, 2008: In This Edition of the Insider
  • Tell Detroit to Speed It Up
  • Victory in Washington
  • Is Your City a Cool City?
  • FEMA Fails Again
  • Building Bridges to the Outdoors
  • Meet Allison Chin
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    Hey Detroit -- Speed It Up!
    The biggest single step we can take to cut global warming pollution is make our cars go farther on a gallon of gas -- and it'll also save you money at the pump! Gas mileage standards are currently in the hands of a below-the-radar government agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- and we've got until July 1st to weigh in on a federal proposal telling Detroit to speed it up.

    Tired of paying $4 per gallon at the pump? The standards currently being decided will determine how many miles per gallon American cars will get -- and how soon.

    Weigh-in before the July 1 deadline!

    | Discuss |

    Wild Sky Breaks New Ground
    After nine years of planning, organizing, mapping, photographing, letter-writing, lobbying elected officials, presenting slideshows, and leading tours, Sierra Club volunteers and staff celebrated last month when the Wild Sky Wilderness Act was signed into law -- the first new national forest wilderness in Washington State since 1984.

    The result is 106,000 acres of new wilderness that now combine with the Glacier Peak and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Areas to protect a contiguous wild swath stretching from the Skykomish River near Seattle all the way over the Cascade Crest to the upper reaches of the Wenatchee River.

    | Discuss |  

    How Does Your City Rank?
    The Sierra Club's Cool Cities campaign empowers is working to encourage local governments to sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and to implement smart energy solutions. To date, more than 1,000 local governments have pledged to move forward with solutions that curb global warming, save taxpayer dollars, and create healthier cities. Is your city Cool yet? Check the Cool Cities website to find out.

    And if your city has already signed the agreement, you can check out how much progress it's making by downloading a new report by the Brookings Institution, Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Metropolitan America. Has your city's footprint gotten bigger or smaller since 2000?

    | Discuss | 

    From Trailers to Cottages
    The Mississippi Small Business Administration honored Becky Gillette, a business journalist and longtime Mississippi Sierra Club activist, with its 2008 Small Business Journalist Award last month. Gillette has been dubbed the "Erin Brokovich of Formaldehyde" for breaking the story that trailers supplied by FEMA to house hurricane refugees were poisoning residents with formaldehyde. Now she and fellow activists have found high levels of the chemical in the so-called Mississippi Cottages that replaced the FEMA trailers.

    "The cottages were supposed to be a pilot program to develop safer and more humane emergency housing," she says. "Instead, they used the same manufacturers and the same materials and ended up with the same problem: high formaldehyde levels -- a little cuter but the same junk."

    Photo Credit: GulfCoastNews

    | Discuss |

    School Kids Get Green
    Nineteen sixth-graders from D.C. Wolfe School in Shorter, AL, attended a three-day environmental workshop at the Camp McDowell Environmental Center in northern Alabama thanks to a grant from the Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors Project to fund the workshop.

    "Even though they live in a rural area, a lot of these kids don't get to spend much time outdoors experiencing nature," said Kay Stone of the Auburn Environmental Institute, who administers an environmental science and arts program in Alabama's Black Belt. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of them."

    Camp photo by Laura Catherine Conville of the Camp McDowell Environmental Center.

    | Discuss |

    Meet Allison Chin
    Like many of us (including a Scotsman named Muir), new Sierra Club President Allison Chin first got involved in the club because of a deep affinity for the outdoors.

    It wasn't until college, though, that she realized that not everyone grows up experiencing nature firsthand, and it was a desire to share that experience with others that led her to volunteer for Sierra Club's Inner City Outings.

    | Discuss |

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    Celebrate Summer in California
    Explorers have flocked to the Golden State for centuries. And what's not to love? With sandy beaches, granite peaks, sprawling deserts, and ancient redwoods, there's a whole world of natural beauty just waiting to be discovered.

    See Sierra Club's California Outings.


    Green Ideas for Dad
    Keep your green on Father's Day (June 15) with these earth-friendly gift ideas from The Green Life.


    Speed Up and Save on Gas
    We need the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to tell Detroit to speed up the timetable for making gas-saving cars.

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