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Sierra Club InsiderDecember 13, 2005
How the Arctic Was Saved...And Why It Must Be Saved Again
Polar Bears Want You to Save Their HomesPolar bears, like the one at right, have been spotted carrying signs that say "save my home."

The bears have been seen mostly in the home districts of moderate Republican congressional representatives, who forced the House leadership to strip Arctic Refuge drilling from the budget-reconciliation bill. That's a big victory -- for the moment. A big round of applause for those Republican moderates who stood up to protect the Arctic Refuge and our coasts.

Although the House version of the budget currently doesn't contain Arctic drilling, it does still have a controversial provision that would allow a bargain-basement sell-off of vast tracks of public lands to mining companies, developers, and other special interests. And the Senate version still contains Arctic drilling.

The Republican moderates will soon be put to the test again, possibly this week, as the House and Senate work out their differences and bring another bill to the vote. Now is the time to contact your senators and representatives and urge them to reject any final budget bill that includes destructive mining provisions or drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

Sneak Attack
Ted Rall CartoonCartoonist Ted Rall wonders what other sneaky strategies Congressional leaders will come up with to make Arctic drilling happen. Check out his ideas.

Help Us Face the Challenges Ahead - Join Today for only $15!

Help Us Face the Challenges Ahead - Join Today for only $15!Your support, and that of our members and donors, made a tremendous difference this year -- and despite unprecedented assaults on the environment, we won some critical victories in 2005.

But the truth is, we expect 2006 to be even more critical for the environment and we need you with us. And so, for a limited time, we are inviting you to join the Sierra Club for just $15!

Find out more about the Sierra Club 2005 Victories and Action Plan for 2006. Your membership will make an enormous difference in protecting our air, water, wildlife, and wildlands in the year ahead. Please join today...and thank you for your support this year.

"The United States Is Opposed"

Hockey Players in MontrealHockey is practically a national religion in Canada, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise to find a "Save Hockey" contingent among the many groups gathered in Montreal last week for an international global-warming meeting. The Sierra Club was there to applaud the almost 200 U.S. mayors who signed a climate-protection agreement in 2005. (See the Club's "Cool Cities" campaign.) Club President Lisa Renstrom deplored the Bush administration's decision to "sit on the sidelines." But Harlan Watson, the Administration's man in Montreal was succinct in his response to negotiating about international targets for greenhouse emissions: "The United States is opposed."

Read more in "Dispatches from the Summit" -- reports from Sierra Club activists in Montreal.

A New Sierra Club TV Series
The countdown to the Sierra Club Chronicles TV series has begun. It will launch on Link TV on January 12, 2006. Produced by Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Price of Low Cost, Outfoxed) in association with Sierra Club Productions, Chronicles captures the extraordinary efforts of diverse people across America all united in common cause -- the fight to protect their families, communities, and the lands and livelihoods they love from pollution, corporate greed, and short-sighted government policies.

Sierra Club ChroniclesThe first of seven monthly Chronicles episodes is "9/11 Forgotten Heroes." These first responders answered the call to Ground Zero -- assured that the air was safe. Now years later they still suffer health problems and have to fight the government for health benefits. Read more on this and all the episodes at and sign up to host a house party in January. A new program will broadcast the second Thursday of each month at 8:30 pm Eastern and Pacific through July 2006. Link Satellite TV can be found on DirecTV channel 375 and Dish Network channel 9410. Don't have satellite TV? We can send you a DVD.

Not a Member? Join Now

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Building Better

When both the Wall Street Journal and the North Coast Builders Exchange, a development industry group, praise the Sierra Club, we must be doing something right -- or at least different. After the Club released "Building Better: A Guide to America's Best New Development Projects," highlighting a dozen projects, like the University of Washington's downtown Tacoma campus (below), the Journal's Jim Carlton speculated that the Club would gain allies in local communities and Congress, and developer Keith Woods quipped, "I think someone at the Sierra Club has taken a reality pill, and I'm glad."

In his blog on Grist, David Roberts wrote that "the environmental movement needs to offer solutions rather than just problems, to be for something rather than against everything...the Sierra Club has been making some nice, high-profile moves in this direction. I hope all greens will welcome it." Find out if a city near you is building better.

University of Washington's Tacoma Campus
How to Survive the Holidays

Seeing family members who are a bit environmentally challenged this holiday season? Here's how to survive those dinner table debates about everything from global warming to Christmas lights.

A little behind on your holiday greeting cards? Here's a fun and eco-friendly way to catch up. With our new Sierra Club holiday e-cards, you can send your friends and family festive e-mail greetings using your own photos or one of ours. It's fast, free, and all cards are printed on 100% recycled pixels. Make your list, check it twice -- and yes, we've got cards for both the naughty and nice.

Survive the Holidays


Big Easy to Washington: "Where's the Beef?"

More than two months ago, President Bush pledged to do whatever it takes to rebuild the Gulf Coast and help New Orleans to "rise again."

But according to Darryl Malek-Wiley, the Sierra Club's environmental justice organizer in New Orleans, follow-through has been disappointing. "Where's the beef?" he asks.

To goad the administration into action, our friends on the Gulf Coast are asking Insider readers to "flood" Washington, D.C., with 330,000 comments -- one for each displaced New Orleanian -- in support of Category 5 hurricane protection, including effective levees and comprehensive coastal-wetland restoration.

Support Category 5 Hurricane Protectionin the Gulf Coast
Photos: Polar Bear (Rachel Martin) | cartoon (Ted Rall) | Hockey (Fred Huette) | World Trade Center (Sierra Club Chronicles) | Brick Building (University of Washington Tacoma) | Flooded House (Darryl Malek-Wiley)