Sierra Club

In This Issue of the Sierra Club Insider:

Polar Bears Receive Holiday Gift
A Real World Plan for Fixing Our Climate
Buying the Least Harmful Gas
Get Outdoors with New Sierra Club Outings
America's Best New Developments
EXPLORE Top Environmental Story of 2006
ENJOY New on iTunes: Sierra Club Radio
PROTECT Lead-Free Kids

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Sierra Club InsiderJanuary 9, 2007

Polar Bears Might Get Help
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

How We Can Fix Our Carbon Problem
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".

Pick Your Poison: Which Gas Hurts Least?
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.

Adventure with a Cause: Get Outdoors with Sierra Club Outings
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.

Developments We Love
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.

Not a Club Member? Join Now and Help Protect Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Preserve the Places You Love

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And the Winner Was...
The results for our 2006 Year in Green survey, in which we invited readers to pick the top environmental stories of the year, are in. "Cleaning House and Senate Too" about the environmental implications of the power shift in Congress -- topped the list. "Tipping Green," about the mainstreaming of the global warming debate, came in a close second. Thanks again to everyone who voted.

Check out the Year in Green final results.


Sierra Club Radio - Now on iTunes
We've been getting a lot of great feedback on Sierra Club Radio, our weekly broadcast of tips for green living and lively discussion of environmental topics.  Now, it's even easier to listen to the show -- if you have Apple's iTunes software, just click here to subscribe to our podcast. For those without iTunes who want to sign up for the podcast, we've got instructions on our website.

Start listening!


Kids Will Be Safer with the Lead Out
Good news over the holidays as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in response to a petition from the Sierra Club, voted unanimously to move forward with a regulation that could ultimately ban children's jewelry that was more than 0.06% lead by weight. Children have died after swallowing such jewelry in the past.


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