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Sierra Club Insider April 26, 2005
Urgent news: It's make or break for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Congress is poised to vote on a final Budget Resolution that includes a controversial provision to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. Call the Arctic Action Hotline free of cost by dialing 1-888-8-WILDAK (1-888-894-5325) to let your elected officials know that you support protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Or, if you haven't already, use our Take Action Network.

MetroWoman Strikes Bethesda... and Other Earth Day Stories

Her identity is secret, but she's known to show up at transit stations in the Washington, DC, area, handing out literature in support of the Purple Line, which the Sierra Club's Maryland, Virginia, and DC chapters have been championing for years. Says Sierra Club organizer Chris Carney -- one of the few who knows MetroWoman’s true identity -- the Purple Line would link existing Metro lines and help spur development around transit systems instead of the Maryland and Virginia countryside.

MetroWoman isn't the only hero who sprang into action on Earth Day. Sierra Club volunteers organized Earth Day outreach events across the country, including a cleanup of Jamaica Bay in New York; a tree planting in Boise, Idaho; and the launch of a "Green Cities" campaign in Tampa.

Check out our Earth Day scrapbook.

Dangerous Liaisons

If you were responsible for leaking nuclear secrets to Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea, you'd have a hard time getting on an airplane. But if you're Urenco, the Dutch-German-British company whose nuclear secrets were leaked to all those countries, well, come on in. And why not build a build a centrifuge uranium-enrichment plant in New Mexico while you're at it? That's the type of plant that's the subject of a proposed global construction moratorium until better nuclear security safeguards are put in place.

Find out more in "Dangerous Liaisons," Marilyn Berlin Snell's hard-hitting investigative story about the risks of the Bush administration's nuclear revival in the newest Sierra.

Goldman Winner Donates Prize to Forest Struggle
Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, a Tarahumara Indian leader from Chihuahua, Mexico, received the 2005 North American Goldman Award for his fight to protect Tarahumara land from the illegal logging. The Goldman Awards, sometimes called the "Environmental Nobel," honor international environmental heroes from each of six continental regions.

Baldenegro is donating his $125,000 prize to the Sierra Madre Alliance, a U.S.-Mexican nonprofit aimed at helping the Tarahumara and the Tepehuan pursue land-rights claims.

Did You Know?

Puerto Rico Group...that Puerto Rico has a higher population density than all 50 U.S. states -- more than 1,000 residents per square mile -- as well as one of the highest road densities in the world. The Sierra Club’s brand-spanking-new chapter in Puerto Rico is working to reign in unchecked development and protect the island's few remaining wildlands. For more, see the story in The Planet about the new chapter.

Two 'R's and Two 'E's

Wheel of FortuneThis just in: "THE SIERRA CLUB" will be featured as a puzzle on Wheel of Fortune May 2. Check your local listings.

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

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Walking Softly in the Wilderness

You're sitting in camp enjoying a steaming cup of coffee when, suddenly, nature calls. How far away from the pristine, babbling brook at your feet do you need to scurry to do your business?

Find out this and more in Walking Softly in the Wilderness, an updated paperbook written by veteran poet/backpacker/climber John Hart and published by Sierra Club Books. (Hart says to bury your waste at least 200 feet away, or a little over half a football field.)

Watch Your Language!

Politicians do. That's why the radical right uses terms like "death tax," and "ownership society." At least that's the contention of Berkeley linguistics professor Dr. George Lakoff, author of the best seller Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate.

Lakoff -- who will be a featured speaker at the Sierra Summit in San Francisco, September 8 -11 -- argues that the language used to "frame" an issue can build or cost politicians public support. That's why we've seen such a spate of misleading Orwellian language used to mask the true intent of measures that are out-of-sync with the majority of Americans. And since most Americans are in favor of clean air and water, the environment has spawned more than its share of language abuse.

Test your CD (Cynicism Detector) by trying to spot the actual absurdities that our government uses to talk about the environment.


Did You Miss Earth Day?

Don’t worry! Earth Day is not the only day to show you’re committed to protecting the environment. Please consider becoming a Sierra Club member today. Your support is crucial to safeguarding our land, air, water and wildlife. It’s never too late to make a difference! Please join Sierra Club now and make a difference.

Photos: MetroWoman (Chris Carney) | Dangerous Liaisons (John Hersey) | Isidro Baldenegro López (Courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize) | Puerto Rico Chapter (Samarys Seguinot/Carmen Guerrero/Sierra Club) | George Lakoff (Chelsea Green Publishing) | Walking Softly (Sierra Club Books) | Redwoods (National Park Service) | Wheel of Fortune (John Byrne Barry)