Sierra Club

Nika Knight – EPA’s Own Advisory Board Demands Revision of Deeply Flawed Fracking Report

August 15, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board, a panel of independent scientists, is calling on the agency to revise last year’s much–maligned report that declared fracking to have “no widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.” “The EPA’s own analysis shows that dirty oil and gas fracking contaminates drinking water, confirming what millions of Americans already know.” —Lena Moffitt, Sierra Club As the Washington Post reports: The conclusion was widely cited and interpreted to mean that while there may have been occasional contamination of water supplies, it was not a nationwide problem. Many environmental groups faulted the study, even as industry groups hailed it. But the 30-member advisory panel on Thursday concluded the agency’s report was “comprehensive but lacking in several critical areas.” It recommended that the report be revised to include “quantitative analysis that supports its conclusion”—if, indeed, the conclusion can be defended. Read

Resistance Radio – Louisa Wilcox – 03.27.16

March 27, 2016

Working for Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Louisa Wilcox has advocated for grizzly bear preservation for over 30 years. She specializes in developing comprehensive strategies that succeed because they work on multiple scales using various approaches, including grassroots organizing and outreach, education, media and communication, policy analysis, lobbying, coalition development, and public protest. She and a handful of others have prevented Yellowstone grizzly bear delisting for over two decades. Louisa has a BA from Williams College and a Masters of Forest Policy from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 2014, she was given a lifetime achievement award from Yale. She has recently started a podcast:!the-grizzly-beat-podcast/w6xzb.

The Gary Null Show – 03.01.16

March 1, 2016

Les Leopold is the co-founder and executive director of two nonprofit educational organizations: The Labor Institute and the Public Health Institute. He also helped to create the Blue-Green Alliance, and organization that merges labor unions with environmental concerns, such as the Sierra Club. Les’ articles appear in Alternet, Truthout and Huffington Post and Ralph Nader listed Les’s award-winning book, “The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor” on his recommended top 10 read list. His recent book “Runaway Inequality: An Activists Guide to Economic Justice” puts into clear perspective an integral view of understanding the many consequences of the growing inequality gap that has decimating Americans’ lives, the economy and the planet. His website is

New Report Issues Dire Carbon Warning: Keep It in the Ground—or Else

January 26, 2016

From coal mines to oil reserves, a new report released Monday by a group of leading environmental organizations outlines the world’s biggest carbon threats in an era of runaway warming—and the ongoing efforts to keep those fossil fuels in the ground. The report, compiled by Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and, examines the carbon risk of deposits throughout the globe that, if developed, would push the world past the agreed-upon 2°C climate threshold. Released just months after world leaders signed a climate pact at the COP21 negotiations in Paris—and just days after scientists declared 2015 the “hottest year on record“—the report issues an urgent call to stand up to powerful fossil fuel interests and prevent environmental catastrophe. “With the historic climate accord set in Paris last year, nearly 200 nations from around the world set an expiration date for fossil fuels,” said Lena Moffitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. “Now we must rise to the occasion by transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy sources, and leave dirty fuels where they belong—in the ground.” Read

Mark Hertsgaard – The Fate of the World Changed in Paris—but by How Much?

December 15, 2015

Thanks a lot, Republicans. You weren’t in Paris physically, but you still managed to prevent last week’s global climate summit from reaching an agreement that would give humanity a better than iffy chance of avoiding catastrophic sea-level rise, scorching temperatures, and killer floods and drought in the years ahead. An iffy chance is better than none, and government and civil-society leaders worldwide left Paris pledging to build on the agreement so it becomes a floor, not a ceiling, of ambition. Nevertheless, on both scientific and humanitarian grounds, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is correct to say that the Paris Agreement “goes nowhere near far enough.” And the main reason why it doesn’t are his Republican colleagues in the United States Senate, which would have to ratify any bona fide treaty the Obama administration might have preferred in Paris. Read

Andrew Cockburn – Monsanto, glyphosate, and the war on invasive species

September 17, 2015

On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species. Read

Nadia Prupis – WTO Ruling Against India’s Solar Push Threatens Climate, Clean Energy

August 28, 2015

The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday ruled against India over its national solar energy program in a case brought by the U.S. government, sparking outrage from labor and environmental advocates. As power demands grow in India, the country’s government put forth a plan to create 100,000 megawatts of energy from solar cells and modules, and included incentives to domestic manufacturers to use locally-developed equipment. According to Indian news outlets, the WTO ruled that India had discriminated against American manufacturers by providing such incentives, which violates global trade rules, and struck down those policies—siding with the U.S. government in a case that the Sierra Club said demonstrates the environmentally and economically destructive power of pro-corporate deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read

Faking It While the World Burns By Emily Schwartz Greco

June 8, 2015

Rex Tillerson, of all people, just did the climate movement a big favor. He didn’t hand the Sierra Club tens of millions of dollars to fight the coal industry like former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Nor did the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil follow former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer‘s lead by giving political candidates with climate cred campaign cash. What did Tillerson, whom Forbes ranks among the world’s most powerful people, do? He disclosed his take on the proper role for big oil and gas companies regarding global warming, declaring: “We’re not going to fake it.” The head of the biggest U.S. oil company made this blunt statement after reporters and investors prodded him about the company’s climate change plans. Exxon’s European competitors, including BP, Shell, and Total, admit that fossil fuels harm the climate and want to be “part of the solution,” as Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne puts it. These corporations are even urging world leaders to make them pay for their carbon pollution — a move bound to crimp oil consumption. Most Americans worry about global warming. By refusing to voluntarily revamp their business models, Exxon and No. 2 U.S. oil company Chevron are leaving it up to you to use less dirty energy. You know, drive less. Turn

How Photographing Pollution Became Illegal In Wyoming – Claire Bernish

May 20, 2015

Taking scenic pictures anywhere outside city limits in the state of Wyoming could now get you thrown in jail. Signed into law in March, the Data Trespass Bill enhances laws against trespassing, but the intent of the bill seems to be clear — protecting polluters from prosecution by criminalizing the collecting of evidence against them. No, it’s not exactly as simple as just snapping a photo, but if you want to “collect resource data” without express consent to do so and you intend to pass it on to a government agency, the penalties include a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a year in prison. Under the law’s sweeping language, “to collect” means to “take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form from ‘open land’ which is submitted or intended to be submitted to any agency of the state or federal government.” With such a sweeping definition, proving the intention to pass along such evidence might not be so difficult, and could potentially include taking a picture of, say, Yellowstone. One of the key differences between this law and traditional criminal trespass is you don’t have to knowingly wander onto restricted land, so an honest

The Green Energy Revolt – Jason Mark

May 13, 2015

Debbie Dooley is mad as hell. Since 2012, the fifty-six-year-old grandmother and former IT consultant has been waging a fierce grassroots battle against her home state utility, Georgia Power, to make it easier and cheaper for homeowners to install rooftop solar panels. Now, she’s working with allies in Florida to sponsor a ballot initiative that would allow businesses and homeowners there to sell any energy they generate back to the grid. But she has run into stiff resistance from the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity. The group has sent out e-mails to its supporters against the idea and organized a Tallahassee press conference at which the organization’s state director Chris Hudson complained that “requiring traditional utility companies to give their grid space to solar energy will impose a massive cost” on Florida ratepayers. Claims like that have Dooley riled up. “I am battling the Koch brothers and all of their funded groups because they are giving me problems,” Dooley says in a Southern accent as thick as a humid day. “We have been brainwashed for years by the fossil fuel interests and politicians in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry to believe that green energy is bad. And it’s
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