Jun. 13th, 2007 @ 08:49 am
Chapter: Not a member yet
How long have you been a Sierra Club member?: Looking to join
Issues of special concern: global warming, wilderness preservation, renewable energy, wildlife conservation, endangered species, eco-friendly cars/transportation.
Do you attend group or chapter meetings?: Maybe
Take part in activist activities? If so what?: I would love to help!
Have you been on Sierra Club outings?: not yet
What outdoor activities do you do?: hiking and kayaking mainly (my husband works for bending branches). I also garden in my tiny yard.
While its easy to be discouraged, the important thing, is that if we are complacent or discouraged, I truly believe we can change what looks like armegeddon. But we have to all work, HARD. Change is never easy, and the change that's required is large in the policy arena.
I'm an urban planner, actually a transportation urban planner, in Chicago. And I've been in the transit/car debate on and off. One of the biggest arguments for monies not being put into transit by decision-makers is the lack of demonstrable public demand for transit.
The argument is like a Catch 22. People don't ride the bus so there are no buses so no one rides so there's no demand. And when "surveys" are conducted about transit, most survey those on the bus. This also would not show any "demand" outside of those that are already riding.
So here's the thing. What if we could raise public awareness and voice at the same time? I've been kicking around the idea of a "drive out of congestion" campaign.
Suppose during Earth Day week or Arbor Day we had a "drive out." Think of it like a smoke out. Only, let's be realistic. We can't shut off all traffic. But what if we could "empty" tollways. Tollways have counters and revenue measures. Suppose we could get people for 5 days not to use the tollway but to take alternative routes, car pool, take the bus, have your neighborhood hire a limo, take the train etc for one week. At the end have a party downtown or wherever and get people during the party to write (short-pre-worded) letters for things like rapid bus transit on tollways or more rail in their area or even limo service or van pools. Get some big names at the party to draw people, playing songs like "Big Yellow Taxi" and get those in transit downthere as well to get comments. In Chicago, people like Pace, CTA, Metra, etc.
I'm thinking if we could demonstrate some real numbers, show the public it's own power, and get people liking alternatives to what they have been doing, it might be worth it and it might have some changing results. If we had 500,000 participants at the party, and if we dropped the numbers on the tollways significantly as far as number of vehicles, maybe we can show some public support and demand that will get the funding.
What do you think of this idea?
Help stop the mulching of these beautiful ancient sentinels of the swamp. Call Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot today and ask them to stop using cypress mulch:
Please call Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe's to ask them stop selling cypress mulch and start promoting sustainable alternatives instead. The numbers and some easy talking points are below. When you're done, don't forget to fill out the form at the bottom to let us know you called and how the companies responded.
1. For Wal-Mart, call 479-273-4000 and ask to speak with CEO Lee Scott. You'll be transferred to an operator who will ask your name and number. Make it clear that you'd like to talk to Mr. Scott, they probably won't let you, so just leave him a message.
Hello! My name is ________________, and I'm calling from _______________. I'm calling to ask Wal-Mart to stop selling cypress mulch. The mulch you sell is coming from endangered forests on the Gulf Coast. Those forests are the best natural protection we have from hurricanes and flooding. After Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart made a commitment to sustainability, and I want you to live up to it. There are plenty of sustainable mulch alternatives you can sell instead. Please discontinue all cypress mulch products. Thanks.
2. For Lowe's, call 704-758-1000 and ask to speak with CEO Robert Niblock. They should transfer you to his office, and if he's not available, just leave a message. Script below.
3. For Home Depot, call 800-654-0688, listen through the whole menu until the voice recognition part, when prompted say "Frank Blake" (he's the CEO). You'll probably end up at an operator, and then you can ask to be transferred to the CEO's office.
If that doesn't work, just call 800-HOMEDEPOT (800-466-333-768) and choose option 3. When you talk to the Customer Assistant make sure you ask for the CEO. You'll probably just have to leave a message for Mr. Blake.
Hello! My name is ________________, and I'm calling from _______________. I'm calling to ask [Home Depot or Lowe's] to stop selling cypress mulch. The mulch you sell is coming from endangered forests on the Gulf Coast. Those forests are the best natural protection we have from hurricanes and flooding. The [Home Depot or Lowe's] already has good sustainability policies, and its time to apply them to cypress mulch. There are plenty of sustainable mulch alternatives you can sell instead. Please discontinue all cypress mulch products. Thanks. It only takes a minute of your time, and together we can all make a huge impact.
If you do call, please leave me a comment and let me know so I can keep a tally.
|» Shell Call in Action!|
Today Shell will release their quarterly profits once again astounding us all with how much money a single company can make. It’s a great opportunity to call on them to invest a measly little portion into saving our Gulf fisheries.|
Shell is trying to make tons of money by importing liquefied natural gas, and they’re planning to kill a lot of Gulf fish by using an open-loop technology. Seems they “can’t afford” the tiny fraction of an investment that it would to implement the fish-friendly closed-loop system.
This Thursday, Shell will release its profit reports from last quarter, and, as usual, it promises to be gigantic. Environmental and justice groups all over the country are using the occasion to draw attention to Shell’s ridiculous abuses. We’ve already pitched in on an ad that’s going to run in English and Dutch (Shell HQ) media markets, but the most important aspect is the homespun goodness.
Open Loop technology basically uses gulf waters to cool down reactors, and then pumps the super warm water back into the Gulf disrupting biological systems. It would cost more for Shell to intergrate closed loop technologies, but you can't put a price tag on our Gulf ecology or fisheries.
I'm asking for folks in this community to call Shell and let them know you don't aperciate them using this technology to wreck havoc on Gulf ecology
Here is a sample script to use when you call along with the number:
Dial 713-241-6161- If you’re directed to voice mail at any point, just leave a message, otherwise, ask for the offices of John Hofmeister, President. They will put you through to one of his assistants, either leave a message or ask for Mr. Hofmeister.
“My name is __________. I’m calling from (CITY). I understand that Shell collected some of its highest profits ever last quarter. I’m calling to request that Shell use one day of the corporation’s profit to switch their Gulf Landing LNG terminal to a fish-friendly, closed-loop process. Fish in the Gulf are already threatened by overexploitation, loss of wetlands and pollution, while fishermen have been hammered by the 2005 hurricane season. Please help protect Gulf fish by closing the loop on Gulf Landing. Thanks.”
For all of you that bitch about me posting the "slackervism" posts here is your chance to really make a palpatable impact from the comfort of you own home.
PS Let me know if you call in so we at GRN can keep a record.
|» Reducing Your Carbon Footprint: Compact Flourescents|
Rather than whine about how this community is only used for petitions, I thought I'd post something that might be worthwhile to friends of the environment...
If you can't drive less or don't have the money to weatherize your house, there's an easy (and cheap) way to reduce your carbon footprint and save some money in the process. You just need to replace existing incandescent lights with compact flourescent lights (CFLs).
Walgreens.com sells four sixty-watt incandescents light bulbs (with an output of 600 lumens) for $3.00, or seventy-five cents a bulb. Energyfederation.org has a four pack of CFLs (with an output of 900 lumens) for $11.95, or just under three dollars a bulb. On the surface, it would appear that CFLs are four times as expensive.
But the CFLs have a rated lifetime of 10,000 hours, while the incandescents are rated at only 1,000. By that fact alone, the price is $7.50 per 10,000 incandescent hours, vs. just under three dollars for a CFL. In addition, the CFLs use only 15 watts, compared to 60 watts, so the price to power the bulb is one-quarter what it would be with incandescents. Energyfederation.org claims that at a rate of $0.08 per kWh, the energy savings is $36 per bulb, and the CO2 reduction is 750 lbs. per bulb.
All of those numbers were just for the specific item selected from each website. Your numbers may vary.
This, unlike a lot of other things, is a really easy thing to do. The only caveat is that CFLs are not suitable for some kinds of fixtures, so be sure to read fine print carefully before switching.
|» Sierra Club Radio|
Look a post that is not about an online petiton:|
Sierra Club Radio
You can click to listen to the first pod cast
|» Get your Pombo Masks|
This year you dress up as the scary opponent to enviromental legislation and sustainabilty :Richard Pombo!|
Link to Pombo mask
So what is so scary about Pombo?
# For starters, the California Congressman wants to rewrite the 30-year-old Endangered Species Act to eliminate critical habitat designations.
# He's leading the charge to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to destructive oil drilling.
# He wants to end a twenty-five-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling off our coasts.
# He has worked hard to overturn a ban on ozone-destroying pesticides.
# He recently drafted a bill in which he proposed selling 15 national parks to generate revenue. No kidding.
# He has even called for a resumption of whaling
So go ony y'all. Get your Pombo on.
|» Join the Virtual March!|
501,331 people have so far! The Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort bringing Americans together to declare that global warming is here now and it's time to act.|
A few of the people who have joined:
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Jon Bon Jovi
Senator John McCain, (R-AZ)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Spread the word!