July/August
2014
July/August 2014 cover

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico

Photo by IAN SHIVE

Features

How Far Can We Go?

The future may be coming to your garage soon. Batteries that deliver 150 or 200 miles of range are poised to make electric cars ubiquitous.

Kiss Your Gas Goodbye

Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery electric: Here's what's good, better, and best for the environment when it comes to cars.

Reclaiming Wilderness

Wilderness is where we come from, and we are adapted through evolution to the rigors and beauties of such landscape. It's time for those of...

The Mayor of Wind

The Tea Party and the Koch brothers are trying to end Texas's wind energy boom. They didn't reckon with Greg Wortham.

The Wilderness Act at 50: Hope in the Unseen

Half a century ago, the United States resolved to protect vast tracts of undeveloped land “where man himself is a visitor who does not...

Wild at Heart

In the face of climate change, the Sierra Club’s mission has expanded far beyond preserving wild places. Sierra pulled aside Dan Chu, head...

Departments

Innovate

A Better Bicycle

Bikes are already pretty near perfect. Here are 5 ways to make them even more visible, safe, and fun.
Gear Guide

Backpacking Gear for Dogs

Next time you trek, pick a route where you're allowed to bring your best bud.
Survive

Big Trouble at Little Yosemite

Miles from help and you're bitten by a snake. Now what?
Ponder

Biking the Isle of Happy Land Use Policies

In Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a handful of sturdy, graceless houses faced off against the prevailing winds. We still had no place to sleep.
Comfort Zone

Breathing Rooms

A California bungalow's living rooms, walls, and roof.
Explore

Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

A rafting adventure into the environmental and geologic history of Dinosaur National Monument. (No CGI raptors necessary.)
Graphic

Dirty Dozen

90 companies around the world have caused nearly two-thirds of all global greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Age.
Faces of Clean Energy

Efficiency Angel

This energy auditor helps homeowners lower their utility bills. See the different kinds of rewards that come from energy efficiency.
Taste Test

Ever Green

If you like your eating interesting and want to help the planet, it's hard to beat a local pickle--whether or not it's a cuke.
Woe is Us

Homicidal Hornets

Uh oh: A giant hornet with a bad temper that can fly at 25 miles per hour and is attracted to the smell of sweat--or fear.
Next Big Thing

In the future, will mushrooms solve all our problems?

A 'shroom-based alternative to Styrofoam; fungi's crucial role in carbon storage; and using oyster mushrooms to "mycoremediate" damage from pesticides and storm runoff.
Letters

Letters

What our readers have to say . . .
Last Words

Literary Roots

Library (2007) is Brooklyn artist Lori Nix's photograph of her ongoing scale-model diorama series "The City," set in an imagined posthuman future.
Artifact

Misty Copeland's Pointe Shoes

Misty Copeland is the third African American female soloist in the New York's American Ballet Theatre 74-year history -- and the first in 20 years.
Spout

No Time for Tame

Waterparks have no doubt contributed mightily to humankind's happiness. Just don't try contemplating eternity while straddling a Styrofoam noodle at a swim-up bar.
Green Biz

Pack Up and Pedal Off

Forget bulky garbage trucks and moving vans--these two start-ups haul everything by bike
Bulletin

Rocky Mountain High Five

Colorado activists celebrate first-of-their-kind statewide fracking rules.
Act

Sew and Tell

Around 12 years ago, a friend and I were walking by an abandoned alley in San Francisco, and she asked, 'If you could do anything with this space, what would you do?
Green Goods

Spokes People

Some people have a cat wall calendar and a kitten screen saver at the office; others have a Cathy mug and a Dilbert mouse pad. You, bicycle fiend, have a cubicle full of gadgets upcycled from actual bikes.
On the One Hand

Sunscreen

On the one hand: Climate change is depleting the ozone layer, so you need sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays. On the other: Chemicals from washed-off sunscreen are damaging aquatic ecosystems.
Grapple

Those Not-So-Wild Europeans

In Ireland's Nephin Beg Mountains, the state-owned forestry company Coillte is rewilding roughly 11,000 acres of pine and spruce plantation.
Up to Speed

Two Months, One Page

Environmental news in case you missed it.
Create

Why Wilderness

It's crucial to expose all American--including low-income urbanites and people of color--to the country's wildest places.
Critter

Wild Hamsters of Alsace

The fearsome European hamster is described by BBC Wildlife as "somewhat laddish" and "bolshy in temperament" (i.e., macho and aggressive). It's also too tasty for it's own good.
Grilled

William (Brad) Bradley

Meet Brad Bradley, conservative conservationist, renovator of abused land and Sierra Club Life Member.
Repurpose

Computer Cable Coasters

It's time to turn that tangle nest of outdated power cords into a handy coaster.

Green Life Blog

4 TED Talks That Will Make You Act Now
These TED Talks will inspire small changes for a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.
5 Sites for Scoring Cheap Outdoor Gear
Climbing, hiking and boating season is upon us. Are you prepared?
A Language Problem
English-speaking countries are the most likely to doubt human-caused climate change.
A Slick Idea
Greenpeace wants Shell Oil out of your kids' Legos.
DIY Drone Videos
Commercial drones are becoming more ubiquitous every day — here's how to make a short film with one.
Drone Zone: The Future is Here
How are drones being used to help explore, enjoy and protect the planet?
Extreme Thru-Hiking
How a backpacking novice hiked one of the longest trails in North America.
How Much Paper Does One Tree Produce?
What is the environmental impact of office paper use? Mr. Green finds out!
How to Handle Microbeads
Still have products with the dreaded "microbead?" Mr. Green tells us how to dispose of them.
Mars on the Move
This July Mars will take center stage and the moon starts to get "super." Read on to impress your friends at the next backyard barbecue.
Measuring Your Carbon Eatprint
As far as the planet is concerned, a vegan diet beats a meat diet any day.
Plastic Permanence
Plastic isn’t just the litter of today — it’s becoming part of tomorrow’s rock record.
Sierra Savories: Trout, Jello, and Dressing in Drag
How the back country hiking diet has evolved--some of the surprising snack choices of Sierra Club members and how they reflect history
The Origins of Glamping: 1902 Sierra Club Outing
With corduroy tramping suits and a cook on payroll, original Clubbers may have been the first glampers.
What is the greener fireplace choice?
Mr. Green compares the efficiency of gas and wood-fueled fireplaces.
You Pay More for a Crappy 1-Bdrm Apartment in San Francisco Than the City Does for Hetch Hetchy Valley
The median rent for an apartment in San Francisco is $3,285. It costs the city less than that to rent the Yosemite valley that broke John Muir's heart.