Sierra Club Home Page   Environmental Update  
chapter button
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
Click here to visit the Member Center.         
Take Action
Get Outdoors
Join or Give
Inside Sierra Club
Press Room
Politics & Issues
Sierra Magazine
Sierra Club Books
Apparel and Other Merchandise
Contact Us

Join the Sierra ClubWhy become a member?

Planet Main
In This Section
This Land Was Your Land
Communities at Risk
Sierra Club Funds
It’s Hip to Be Green
  From the Editor
Cutting Through the Clutter
Saving the Big Fish
  Get it right in salmon plan rewrite
A Right Turn for the Law
  New Federalist judicial nominees spell trouble for the environment
Who We Are
PDF version of the planet
Search for an Article
Free Subscription
Back Issues

The Planet



What do Stockton, California, and Cochabamba, Bolivia, have in common, asks Ruth Caplan, chair of the Club’s Water Privatization Task Force. You can find out in the new documentary film Thirst, by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, which will be shown on PBS this summer. Stockton turned over the operation of its formerly public water and sewer system to German transnational RWE; the Sierra Club has joined a lawsuit to reverse the decision. "Water is part of the public commons," says Caplan, "not something corporations should be profiting from." To find out more, go to

More Jobs to the Gallon:
Club, UAW Blast Administration Fuel Economy Plan

United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger and Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope co-wrote a New York Times op-ed in February, blasting the Bush administration’s plan to change rules on fuel economy, which would effectively waste more oil and cost more jobs. The plan would scrap company-wide fuel economy averages, thus allowing auto companies to shift jobs and the production of smaller, less profitable cars overseas. Significantly, the op-ed was followed by a news story about the "unlikely" Club-UAW collaboration, and followed again a few days later by a favorable Times editorial about the op-ed.

Honoring Heroes

Know a Club member who deserves national recognition for his or her work? Nominating your local hero for one of the the Sierra Club’s 22 national awards is easy. Go to Deadline is June 1. Awards will be presented at the Club’s annual meeting in September in San Francisco.



Rufus Kinney

Burning Problem

Last summer, despite a protracted campaign by the Sierra Club and allies, the Army began burning chemical weapons at its plant in Anniston, Alabama. In February, when the Club’s board of directors met in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it called on the Army to halt the burning. In a recent incident, two incinerator workers were exposed to deadly sarin gas, and operations have been repeatedly shut down due to problems. Club leader and Anniston resident Rufus Kinney, at right, says that 75,000 residents live in the "impact zone" of the Anniston facility. "The least the Army can do is use the best technology out there to protect us," he says, noting that a safer alternative called neutralization is used at other weapons depots.

Polluters Pay? Nope—Taxpayers Do.

On March 8, the EPA proposed adding 11 sites to the Superfund list—a group of more than 1,200 toxic waste sites around the country slated for clean up. Despite the additions, the Bush administration has proposed sites for the Superfund program at a much slower rate than previous administrations, and has abandoned the "polluter pays" principle whereby the cleanup costs are mostly paid by polluting corporations. Now taxpayers foot the entire bill. Read about how the EPA has misrepresented this issue at:

Forests Service Spin

In an unusual move, the U.S. Forest Service hired a PR firm to help sell its controversial logging plan for Californiaís Sierra Nevada national forests, which would triple commercial timber harvest in the forests. The Forest Service kept this PR arrangement secret because, according to a leaked document, "members of the public who are not professionals in public relations and marketing might misinterpret certain ideas of concepts." Well, yeah, like that maybe tripling logging is not the way to protect old-growth forests. For more, go to

Up to Top