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Sierra Club Insider September 15, 2004

"Every vote makes a difference. But some make more of a difference than others."
If you live in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, or Las Vegas, chances are that a Sierra Club volunteer has knocked on your door or telephoned you about the upcoming election. Local Sierra Club volunteers are working hard to educate voters in the various "battleground" states about the environment records of the candidates. But how can volunteers in other states pitch in?

That's where the Sierra Club's "Road to Somewhere" program comes in. It's a way for committed volunteers to reach across state lines. This Saturday, for example, volunteers from the Illinois Chapter will head north to help with door-to-door outreach in Milwaukee. Massachusetts Chapter members will go to New Hampshire. Loma Pietra Chapter members will take a bus from the San Francisco area to Reno. Don't want to leave town? You can make phone calls from your own home or, in some cases, from a local Sierra Club office. Find out more about "Road to Somewhere" by emailing or visiting

"Every vote makes a difference," says Debbie Sease, director of the Club's voter education program, "But some make more of a difference than others."

Needed: 10,000 New Members to Join by Election Day
No matter who wins in November, we're going to have a lot of work to do -- that's why the Sierra Club is working to recruit 10,000 new members online by November 2. Because every new member sends a message: Environmental protection must be a top priority for our nation.

Join now and you will receive our popular Sierra Club Expedition Pack.

And you will also get a 10% discount on Sierra Club gear, apparel and gift items at (this offer ends on November 2).

Yes, I want to Join now!

Hybrid SUV, Hybrid Thinking
Unions and environmentalists don't always see eye to eye, but on Labor Day, Jill Miller, Sierra Club organizer from St. Louis, teamed up with Mike Perry, president of Union Auto Workers Local 249 in Kansas City, to write an op ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch applauding Ford's new Escape Hybrid SUV.

"Too often," they wrote, "we have fallen for politicians' and corporations' arguments that a clean, health environment can happen only at the expense of well-paying jobs. That's a sacrifice no one should have to make in America today, and the introduction of the first American-made hybrid car is helping to change that kind of thinking." The Escape is manufactured at a Missouri plant that employs 5,600 UAW members, and it is projected to get 33 miles per gallon -- almost twice the fuel-efficiency of a typical SUV.

Camping with George
Cartoonist Mark Fiore imagines a Presidential camping trip with Sierra Club founder John Muir. (Flash movie.)

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  When "Clear Skies" Means Dirtier Air

What does language have to do with protecting the environment? Everything, says linguist George Lakoff. His new book, Don't Think of an Elephant, explores how conservatives use language to shape debate and describes how progressives can counter these linguistic attacks. Says Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope: "This book, and the DVD that goes with it, are essential tools. What the Bush administration has done for obfuscation, George Lakoff's work does for clarification." The Sierra Club has a limited number of free copies of the DVD for Club members.

  Silver City Opening

The new film, Silver City, opens this weekend, but 150 Sierra Club members in Miami got an early screening last month. Director John Sayles, who joined Club president Larry Fahn for a discussion afterward, wants to use the film as a platform for talking about current politics. The film stars Oscar-winning Chris Cooper as gubernatorial hopeful Richard Pilager, in a thinly disguised poke at George W. Bush.
  No Day at the Beach

On Labor Day weekend, the Sierra Club released, "No Day at the Beach: How the Bush Administration is Eroding Coastal Protection." The Club calls on the Bush administration to cut mercury contamination, control sewage and nutrient pollution, reduce the need for oil and gas development by shifting out energy policy toward more reliance on efficiency and renewables. Check out the report and sign our petition.


Road to Somewhere (Eric Wesselman) | Escape Hybrid (Ford Motor Co.) | Camping with George (Mark Fiore) | George Lakoff (Chelsea Green Publishing) | Castle Rock, Lake Superior (Rita Jack)




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