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  Sierra Magazine
  November/December 2008
Table of Contents
Ice Manliness Cometh
A Six-Dog-Power Engine
I (Heart) Snowshoeing
Skiing Yellowstone
Welcome Back to the World
Rotten Fish Tales
Big Fun in the Green Zone
Hey Mr. Green
Comfort Zone
Mixed Media
Last Words
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About Sierra
Internships at Sierra
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Sierra Magazine

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THE GOOD KIND OF MONEY LAUNDERING. Dirty money got cleaner in March, when Congress passed the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign-finance-reform bill. Hard-fought in both houses, the law bans unlimited, unregulated "soft money" donations to political parties from wealthy individuals and corporations--including the polluting industries that spent millions on the last election and gained plenty of environmental favors in return. (See "Lay of the Land," March/April 2001, and "Ways and Means," November/December 2001.)

FISHY BUSINESS. Apparently it's not just livestock that are getting shot up with antibiotics. That trout or catfish on your dinner plate may be heavily medicated, too. A March report by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy found that an estimated 433,000 pounds of antibiotics are used each year by the U.S. farmed-seafood industry. As in agriculture, the essentially unregulated use of these drugs in aquaculture has been linked to declines in the effectiveness of life-saving treatments on humans. Get the full report "Antibiotic Drug Use in U.S. Aquaculture," at (See "Lay of the Land," March/April 2002.)

CLEAN AIR, FINALLY. Half a decade after the Sierra Club began lobbying the EPA for tough new standards on soot and smog emissions, those public-health rules will actually be enacted. In March, the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals upheld the 1997 air-quality regulations, which the American Trucking Associations and other polluters fought in a series of legal challenges. The EPA has promised to quickly implement the new standards, which are expected to reduce air-pollution-related health threats that are especially acute among sufferers of asthma and other lung diseases. (See "The Sierra Club Bulletin," November/December 1997, and "Lay of the Land," November/December 1999.)

LOW ON ENERGY. In March, the Senate defeated an amendment, sponsored by Senator Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.), that would have required 20 percent of the nation's energy to be produced by renewable sources--including biomass, wind, solar, and geothermal--by 2020. Opponents successfully argued that such decisions should be left to the states, 12 of which have set goals to increase their percentage use of clean energy. (See "Lay of the Land," March/April 2002.)

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