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Sierra Club Insider March 29, 2005
"Even in This Climate, We Can Win"
Carl PopeClub Executive Director Carl Pope has logged a lot of frequent flyer miles this spring, speaking out against factory farms in Oklahoma, meeting in Washington, D.C., with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid about the potential "nuclear option" in the Senate, and discussing the importance of coordinated litigation to preserve progressive values with attorneys of all kinds in Sundance, Utah.

"If we take the initiative we can win," he says, "even in this climate -- maybe not in the first round, but when it counts -- at the end."

You can follow along in Carl's blog at

Canada Adopts Clean Car Standards
trafficThe Canadian government has just announced an agreement with automobile manufacturers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 million tons by 2010. In meeting these new standards, vehicles sold in Canada will get a roughly 25 percent boost in fuel efficiency thanks to existing cost-effective technologies -- such as more efficient engines, smarter transmissions, and better aerodynamics.

California and seven other U.S. states also have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, clean car laws. "With the addition of Canada," says the Sierra Club's Dan Becker, "one-third of the North American auto market will have to meet California's tougher emissions rules. The automakers will find it financially impossible to make one clean set of cars for eight states and Canada, and a dirty set for the rest. Eight plus one equals 50."

If that kind of math appeals to you, find out how to evolve your automotive lifestyle.

"Question. Stand. Speak. Act."
democracyAs Sierra Club Conservation Director Bruce Hamilton said in a recent speech, "The Sierra Club would be just another hiking club were it not for the democratic institutions we have in the United States."

But these institutions are under fire.

Hamilton talked about the attempts by the corporate interests and their political allies to limit the practice of democracy in America at a March gathering of the Sierra Club's National Advisory Committee. "This is not a Republican or a Democratic thing. This is not a Progressive or a Conservative thing," he said. "The allies of democracy and open government and people power come from all parties and both ends of the political spectrum." You can read Hamilton's speech in its entirety on our Website.

View previous editions of the Sierra Club Insider at the Insider Archives.

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Paint the Town Green

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to spruce up lifeless rooms. But there's more to consider than color and finish if you want to minimize health hazards and maximize delight in your new decor. The 1.2 billion gallons of paint Americans use each year contribute to air and water pollution, but safer alternatives are readily available. With a little forethought, you can easily go green -- or cream, or yellow, or even fuchsia!

Check out Sierra magazine's "Hidden Life" feature to choose the perfect hue for your home.

house paint
The Appalachians Coming to a PBS Station Near You

The Appalachians, a new documentary airing soon on PBS, tells the story of a land shaped by the people, and a people shaped by the land.

Catch a preview of The Appalachians on our Website, along with a remembrance of Johnny Cash (pictured below with his daughter Rosanne), who appears in his last filmed interview in the program, along with Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, and other music legends hailing from the region.

Find out when it's airing in your community and get involved in some of the Sierra Club's initiatives that address the environmental challenges facing Appalachia - such as mountain-top removal and air quality - and their solutions.

Johnny Cash


"We Have Just Begun to Fight"

Does the Senate's vote on March 16 mean that drilling in the Arctic Refuge is a foregone conclusion? Emphatically no!

It remains illegal to drill the coastal plain of the refuge -- both houses of Congress would need to vote to reverse this before any drilling could occur. What was voted upon was a Senate budget resolution that would need to overcome a variety of hurdles to become law. Find out how you can help us turn the tide in our battle to protect the Arctic Refuge and other wild places at risk.

Arctic Refuge
Photos: Carl Pope (Saul Bromberger & Sandra Hoover) | wild forests supporter (Jennifer Rudolph) | paint buckets (Ian Brittan/ | Roseanne and Johnny Cash (The Appalachians) | Arctic Refuge (Melinda Pierce)