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Sierra Club InsiderOctober 18, 2005
Endangered Species Under Attack
Sea OtterThe House of Representatives recently voted to approve legislation that, if it becomes law, will eliminate the requirement for "critical habitat" for endangered species -- dealing a potentially fatal blow to one of America's cornerstone environmental laws.

We can not let that happen...and with your immediate support we can prevent it.

House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) crafted this bill to appease developers and other special interests. Under this bill, the Endangered Species Act's ability to protect the species placed under its care from becoming extinct will itself be "endangered."

Please sign the petition to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), telling him that you support protection for endangered species such as the American bald eagle, the bighorn sheep and the grizzly bear and ask him to oppose this bill in the Senate.

Time is short for our endangered and threatened wildlife -- please make an urgent donation today.

Do You Live in a "Cool City"?
Cool City ChicagoTired of waiting for our national leadership to get serious about global warming? There's another way: "Cool Cities" all across America are adopting the "U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement," which was the brainchild of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Introduced on the same day that the Kyoto global-warming treaty took effect, the agreement is gathering support around the country and has earned the backing of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

So far, 184 mayors representing nearly 40 million Americans in 38 states have signed on, pledging to reduce global-warming carbon-dioxide pollution in their cities to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

Want to know whether you live in a Cool City? Visit our website for a map showing all the Cool Cities. You can also find out how to encourage your own city to adopt the agreement if it hasn't already.

Stories and Stats from the Gulf Coast
Gulf CoastDid you know that Louisiana lost a football-field-sized chunk of wetlands every 38 minutes between 1990 and 2000? Or that Hurricane Katrina caused 8 million gallons of oil to spill in southeast Louisiana? Take a look at our "by the numbers" portrait of the Gulf Coast disaster for some eye-opening stats.

For the human side of the story, read more first-hand stories from Sierra Club folks in the Gulf Coast about their lives since the hurricanes. Particularly memorable: Sierra Club staffer Darryl Malek-Wiley, who lives in New Orleans, had the chance to ask Senator David Vitter (R-LA) this question:

"Senator Vitter, you've cosponsored Senate Bill 1711, which is going to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to basically waive all environmental health regulations. Why do you think that needs to happen? Why would we want this additional law, which will make Louisiana less protected?"
Watch Senator Vitter's response.

Three Films We Think You'll Like
ThumbsuckerA new film from director Robert Greenwald, who is currently filming The Sierra Club Chronicles, examines America's largest employer. WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price looks at the real lives of workers and their families, business owners and their communities, in a journey that will challenge the way you think, feel...and shop. Find a screening in your area.

With the Arctic National Refuge in great peril, now's a good time to catch Oil on Ice, the powerful documentary about the people of the Refuge. It's airing as part of a series of environmental programs on LinkTV that also includes an address by Sierra Summit speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. See it on Sunday, Oct 23: 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Pacific.

The new film from Sierra Club life member Mike Mills, Thumbsucker, is an indie hit that mentions the Club twice (yes, in a positive light), and gently opines about the importance of wilderness and the dark side of sprawl. We interviewed Mills and executive producer Cathy Schulman about the film and what it has to say about sprawl. Thumbsucker is playing nationwide.

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Plan a Winter Getaway!

Temperatures are dropping, and the Sierra Nevada mountains will be blanketed in snow before you know it. Perfect time to get out and explore! Grab your cross-country skis or snowshoes (or borrow ours) and romp through freshly fallen snow on our January 22-27 Snowshoe and Ski Outing in the Tahoe Wilderness.

Snow not your thing? Then join us on one of our many other national and international outings this winter. With more than 350 trips every year, you're bound to find something to scratch that travel itch!

Don't Be Late for Your 2006 Calendar

"I've been on a calendar, but never on time," Marilyn Monroe is reputed to have said. It's a safe bet that Miss Monroe never appeared on a Sierra Club calendar, but other natural wonders abound in the Club's desktop and wall-hanging editions for 2006. With their stunning photography, Sierra Club calendars regularly remind us of both the wonders of nature and why we work so hard to preserve these treasures for our children and their children's children.

Don't be late -- order your calendar today from Sierra Club Books.



Save Gas and Cool the Planet

Next time you're stuck with a huge bill at the gas pump, remember that the biggest single step the U.S. could take to curb global warming would be to raise the fuel economy of our cars and light trucks, which emit one-fifth of the carbon dioxide pollution that causes global warming. If all our vehicles averaged 40 miles per gallon, we'd save more than 3 million barrels of oil each day -- more than we currently import from the Persian Gulf.

So what are we waiting for? Sign the Sierra Club's petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now!

And while you're waiting for Congress to act, check out our gas-saving tips that will both help save you money and reduce emissions.

gas pump
Photos: Gulf Coast (Becky Gillette/Sierra Club collection) | Thumbsucker (Todd Cole/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics) | Sierra Nevada Winter (Paul McKown) | Sierra Club Calendar (Tony Litschewski)