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In This Issue of the Sierra Club Insider:
Lessons from the School of Hurricanes
Gulf Coast Clean-up Continues & You Can Help
Sierra Club, United Steelworkers Announce 'Blue-Green Alliance'
New Sierra Club Chronicles Episode: "Storm in the Gulf"
Beached Limo: Call for Captions!
BlogWatch: RealClimate -- Not for Science Geeks Only
EXPLORE: Blue Frontier - Dispatches from America's Ocean Wilderness
ENJOY: Postcard from Old San Juan
PROTECT: Partnerships for Justice in the Gulf
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Sierra Club Insider June 13, 2006
Hurricane Season
hurricaneJune 1 marked the official beginning of the 2006 hurricane season, and the first storm of the year -- Alberto -- has already been christened.

With memories of last year's incredible destruction still fresh in our collective memory and the recovery effort still underway, the Sierra Club and the Gulf Coast Restoration Network released a report called "The School of Big Storms: The High Cost of Compromising our Natural Defenses and the Benefits of Protecting Them." By looking at the vulnerability of energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico and examining the rebuilding efforts of communities in all five Gulf States, the report highlights important lessons that, had they been heeded sooner, could have spared many places along the coast from the worst devastation. Let's hope we learn from the past.

Gulf Coast Clean-up Continues & You Can Help
As the nation saw all too clearly, the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes were devastating, with far-reaching environmental impacts.

Gulf Coast Clean UpFor the past 10 months the Sierra Club staff and volunteers, funded by the Sierra Club's Gulf Coast Environmental Restoration Project, have worked with local people and communities to recover and restore their natural surroundings and neighborhoods.

Although great progress has been made there is still an enormous amount of work to be done, specifically with regards to debris management and disposal.

Now, as Hurricane Season 2006 begins, we need to raise at least $100,000 in the next two weeks in order to hire an organizer and launch a debris management and disposal campaign.

The people and communities of the Gulf Coast still need our help. Please donate to the Gulf Coast Restoration Project today!

Donate Now

There's Power in a Union
Blue Green AllianceSierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope wielded a blue pen and United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard a green one as the two leaders signed a pact allying their respective organizations in the struggle to secure energy independence while fighting global warming and pollution. Working together, the country's largest grassroots environmental organization and its largest manufacturing union hope to reach a broader cross-section of Americans than either could alone. Combined, the two groups claim more than 1.5 million members. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, where the signing ceremony took place, Carl Pope told reporters: "Our new alliance allows us to address the great challenge of the global economy in the 21st century how to provide good jobs, a clean environment and a safer world."

Read more and discuss in Compass.

Storm in the Gulf
Storm in the GulfThe newest episode of Sierra Club Chronicles tells the story of an unlikely group of local citizens who banded together to protect the Gulf Islands National Seashore after Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour announced his intention to open it to oil and gas exploration. This thin necklace of barrier islands is more than just a tourist destination; it also helps protect the mainland coast from the battering of ocean storms.

As our crew began filming this episode, Hurricane Katrina was gaining strength offshore, and they were forced to pull out. When they returned, they found incredible devastation. Without the natural buffer provided by the barrier islands, however, the damage could have been even worse.

"Storm in the Gulf," episode six of Sierra Club Chronicles, will air Thursday, June 8 at 8:30 PM EST/PST and again on June 22 on Link TV (DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410). Viewing information and downloads are available on our website: Host a house party and we'll send you a free DVD.

Call for Captions
Beached LimoTien Chiu was having dinner at a pizzeria on San Francisco's Potrero Hill when this oil tanker ran aground stretch SUV got stranded. Unable to resist, we ran the photo she took with her cell phone in our Compass weblog under the heading, "Captions, Anyone?" Readers quickly responded. Among the better suggestions so far: "Screw it, we'll have prom right here." And "Dude, I think we've reached a tipping point!" Add your caption to the mix.

BlogWatch: RealClimate -- Not for Science Geeks Only
Welcome to Blog Watch, the first installment in what we hope will become a regular feature. Here we'll highlight stars in the so-called blogosphere that we think deserve your attention. First up is RealClimate:

Real ClimateThere are a lot of self-styled pundits writing blogs, but very few authorities. RealClimate is different -- a climate blog maintained by actual climate scientists and devoted to educating the media and public about the realities of global warming. That may sound rather arcane, and much of it is. To be sure, lengthy disquisitions on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the "tropical lapse-rate quandary" may leave your eyes glazed over, but when you want expert opinions on the latest media reports on climate change, on books about the subject, or even Al Gore's documentary, this is the first place to turn.

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Dispatches from the Deep

Blue Frontier, from Sierra Club Books, is a thoroughly updated edition of the 2001 title from journalist and ocean advocate David Helvarg (The War Against the Greens). Taking the reader on an extensive tour of America's oceans -- from marine sanctuaries to dead zones -- Helvarg writes passionately about the state of our offshore wilderness, how it got that way, and what can be done to save it.

Blue Frontier
Postcard from Old San Juan

Planet editor John Byrne Barry didn't go to Puerto Rico planning to write about the Sierra Club's newest chapter; it just worked out that way. Call it a busman's holiday. He recounts the trip on the website, with snapshots of life on La Isla del Encanto, including San Juan's car-jammed streets and the nation's only tropical rainforest. Read "I Went to Puerto Rico on Vacation and All I Got Was Wonderful Hospitality from the Sierra Club's Newest Chapter."

Puerto Rico
San Juan


Partnerships for Justice in the Gulf

Last week, Sierra Club staff and volunteers joined the National Council of Churches in New Orleans for the 2006 Eco-Justice Conference to learn about global warming and to witness firsthand the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The conference included tours, service projects, spiritual reflections and skill-building workshops. Speakers included environment and justice leaders like the writer Bill McKibben and Apollo Alliance president Jerome Ringo, as well as grassroots organizing heroines like Beverly Wright and Janisse Ray.

The Sierra Club also hosted a pre-conference workshop, "Environmental Justice for All" and sponsored a reception for 80 religious leaders from around the country. Visit our website for more information about how you can promote justice in partnership with communities of faith.

New Orleans
Photos: Hurricane (NASA) | Beached Limo (Tien Chiu) | "Storm in the Gulf" (Sierra Club Productions) | Blue Frontier (Sierra Club Books) | San Juan (John Byrne Barry) | New Orleans (Lyndsay Mosley)