Polar bears received a late holiday gift from the Bush Administration last year when it proposed that they be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. "We are concerned the polar bears' habitat may literally be melting," said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.
Rumors are swirling in Washington, D.C. that the Administration's acknowledgement of the plight of the polar bears is an early signal that President Bush might finally say something significant about global warming -- perhaps as soon as his State of the Union Address on January 23. If you think that sounds like a good idea, let the President know.
Photo by Dan Crosbie courtesy Canadian Ice Service
Wouldn't it be ironic if by protecting polar bear habitat, we ended up saving our own necks? The Endangered Species Act says that habitat for threatened species must be protected, but global warming brings home the reality that every species on our planet ultimately shares the same habitat: Earth. That means we have to control carbon dioxide emissions before it's too late.
So far, President Bush hasn't come up with a plan for doing that. But if he needs one, he's welcome to use the "America Leads" scenario outlined in the current issue of Sierra magazine. This is a real-life plan that would dramatically reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, bringing them down to the levels that scientists say are necessary to prevent the worst effects of global warming: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. You can read about this plan (and the grim alternatives) in "The Fix".
Realistically, most of us won't be able to completely abandon fossil fuels tomorrow -- American drivers still consume nearly 400 million gallons of gasoline per day. But where we choose to buy that gas can send a message provided we know which oil companies are doing the least harm to the planet. Sierra magazine updated its rundown of the eight largest U.S. oil companies, and the results are posted as an on-line exclusive now.
Bottom line: Which corner station you pull up to can make a difference. No prizes for guessing where ExxonMobil shows up in the rankings, either.
Ever longed to backpack in the High Sierra? Trek in Nepal? Kayak in the Everglades? Our brand new trip lineup has arrived, and with so many ways to explore, there's no excuse for the same old vacation.
Don't worry about a lack of experience. Our beginner trips are a perfect way to learn to backpack or kayak in an unhurried, laid back environment.
Long to head overseas? Whether you plan to experience Europe for the first time or chart new frontiers in far eastern Russia, we'll take you there.
Whatever you choose, know this: Our trips take you to our own favorite wild places, and we'll do our best to teach you how to help us protect them. So join us this year on an adventure with a cause!
Check out our 2007 trip lineup.
Environmentalists may be quick to oppose bad development, but that doesn't mean all development is bad. The Sierra Club recently released a new report that gives a pat on the back to developers who are doing a great job. "Better Buildings: A Guide to America's Best New Developments -- Clean Water Edition" focuses on ten outstanding new developments that use innovative and environmentally sensitive methods of stormwater management.
Check out our interactive map to find a good development near you.
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