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Sierra Club Insider

July 22, 2008: In This Edition of the Insider
  • Lightbulb Parties a Success!
  • One Trillion Dollars to Solve the Climate Change Crisis
  • Gray Wolves Reinstated in Northern Rockies
  • Sierra Magazine in Ethiopia
  • Stop Mountaintop Removal Mining
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    "Lightbulb" Parties Rocked the House!
    House party in GeorgiaHope you didn't miss our parties last week, because we threw some doozies. In Denver it was a festive outdoor affair with 100 people attending. In Atlanta and Palo Alto, they were quieter gatherings of half a dozen people in a small living room. In Austin, folks packed the city council chambers, while up the road in Dallas they mingled in a cafe.

    Across the country, more than 250 house parties were held as part of our "Lightbulbs to Leadership" campaign. In all, more than 1,000 people gathered to hear a short but inspiring teleconference call and then took pen to paper and wrote the nation's governors to send the message that investing in clean energy and green job development is the way to fight global warming and boost the economy.

    Thanks to all who participated! Check out photos of the night from around the country

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    Brother Can You Spare a Trillion?
    We weren't the only ones with lightbulbs on our minds last week. Former Vice President Al Gore gave a powerful speech in which he set a challenging goal: shifting the U.S. economy completely to carbon-free, renewable electricity in the next ten years.

    Read what Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope (hey, wasn't that him on the The Colbert Report last night?) has to say about why we can't afford NOT to spend (cue Dr. Evil voice) ONE TRILLION dollars to solve the climate change crisis.

    And if you missed Carl on Colbert, don't forget that you can catch his blog, Taking the Initiative, several times a week. It's always packed with green "truthiness."

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    Howlin' Good News for Wolves
    In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Sierra Club and other groups, a federal judge on Friday reinstated federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies. Despite scientists' warnings, the wolves were de-listed in March and about 90 have already been killed. The judge's action will prevent fall wolf hunts and keep wolf numbers from declining while the lawsuit challenging de-listing works its way through the courts.

    "This is one small but critically important step in our effort to improve wolf management in the Northern Rockies," said Melanie Stein, the Sierra Club's expert on wolf protection.

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    A Crowded "Cradle of Mankind"
    If you missed Paul Rauber's eye-opening article about Ethiopia in Sierra magazine, you can read it online here. If you did read it, then you'll want to hear Paul's guest appearance on Sierra Club Radio. And don't miss the online-only photo gallery by legendary photojournalist Ian Berry with still more images from this fascinating but troubled country, where the population has quintupled in the past 70 years and is set to double again by 2050.

    Family planning is critical to nations like Ethiopia. Yet in the past decade, U.S. funding for international family-planning programs like those in Ethiopia has declined by almost 40 percent. The Sierra Club's Global Population and the Environment program is working to get the United States to invest $1 billion in 2009 in international family planning.

    You can help by contacting your members of Congress.

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    Photo Credit: Ian Berry, 2008

    Yes, We Pecan!
    Although we're better known for saving trees like the thousand-year-old giants in Giant Sequoia National Monument, we don't mind taking credit for helping to protect the three 75-year-old pecan trees in Barbara Wilson's front yard in Jacksonville, Alabama, too.

    Find out how a grandmother forced the Alabama Power Company to back down or, as her tree-sitting grandson put it, "Leave my Nana's trees alone!"

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    Protect Appalachia's Mountains and Streams
    Mountaintop removal is an environmentally brutal method of coal mining that literally razes the tops of mountains with dynamite and then dumps the resulting waste into valleys and streams. So far, this practice has destroyed 800 square miles of forests and buried or contaminated more than 1,200 miles of streams in Appalachia.

    Filling streams with mining waste was illegal under the Clean Water Act, but the Bush Administration changed the rules and removed key protections as a handout to coal companies. The Sierra Club, along with other local and national groups, is urging Congress to enact the new Clean Water Protection Act, which would reverse the rule changes and once again protect the mountains, streams, and communities of Appalachia.

    Please demonstrate your opposition to mountaintop-removal mining by signing this petition.

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    Keep It Local
    Sure, the Sierra Club offers more than 300 eco-friendly trips around the country, but you don't have to travel far for outdoor fun. If you're feeling the pinch of expensive gas and skyrocketing airfares, or if you've maxed out this year's carbon allowance, try exploring close to home.

    You can sign up for a hike with your Local Outings program or pick a National Outing in your home state (bonus points for giving nature a hand on a service trip). Better yet, help urban youth get outdoors with Inner City Outings.



    Lazy Lit
    Looking for good, green summer reading to take to the beach or swimming hole this summer?

    We asked some experts for their faves.


    Chill the Drills
    As American families struggle to afford gas, the oil industry is capitalizing on their pain by calling for increased drilling in our last protected coasts and wild places like the Arctic Refuge. It wouldn't change gas prices, but what we lose would hurt forever.

    Act now!

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