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                                Sierra Club Activist Resource

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                                                                                                                                                            November/December 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Highlights
                                                                                                                                                                                  Highlights of the Sierra Summit:
                                                                                                                                                                                  Delegates Decide on Club Direc-
                                                                                                                                                                                  tion; Al Gore, RFK, Jr., Speak




                                                                                                                                                                                  Rally for
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Summit




                                                                                                                                                                                                                I VOL. 12, NO. 6




                                                                                                                                                                                  the Arctic
                                                                                                                                                                                  As supporters rally,
                                                                                                                                                                                  congressional
                                                                                                                                                                                  moderates hold key to
                                                                                                                                                                                  Refuge’s future
                                                                                                                                                                                  I    BY TIMOTHY LESLE
                                                                                                                                                                                      The fate of the Arctic National
                                                                                                                                                                                  Wildlife Refuge continues to hang in the
                                                                                                                                                                                  balance as both houses of Congress work




                                                                                                                                                                BECKKY GILLETTE
                                                                                                                                                                                  on budget reconciliation bills. These bills
                                                                                                                                                                                  include projected revenues from drilling
                                                                                                                                                                                  in the Refuge—so if the reconciliation
A Helping Hand: Mississippi Chapter Co-Chair Rose Johnson, left, tours the devastation near the home of fellow Gulfport resident and Sierra Club                                  passes, the Refuge will be open to oil ex-
volunteer Lark Mason. Both of their homes suffered extensive flooding, but survived intact.                                                                                       ploration. But whether it passes depends
                                                                                                                                                                                  on a set of moderate Republicans who

Hope Surfaces in Katrina’s Wake                                                                                                                                                   have supported Refuge protection in the
                                                                                                                                                                                  past, including Maine senators Olympia
                                                                                                                                                                                  Snowe and Susan Collins, John McCain
Hurricane devastation affects Club members, communities they work to protect                                                                                                      of Arizona, and Norm Coleman of Min-
                                                                                                                                                                                  nesota, as well as two more senators and
I   BY BECKY GILLETTE                              lief supplies at a local community center.      posed the Port of Gulfport’s plan to fill in                                    29 House moderates.
   Becky Gillette is Co-Chair of the Missis-           A month after Katrina hit, Rose and I       40 acres of the Mississippi Sound for a                                            While the reconciliation bills wait for
sippi Chapter.                                     ventured into a neighborhood south of           container parking lot, urging that the lot                                     their turn on the docket, thousands of ac-
   I stayed at home in Ocean Springs,              the railroad tracks in Gulfport, closed to      be located five miles inland. Now the con-                                      tivists are wasting no time making their
Mississippi, for Hurricane Katrina. I ques-        everyone but residents and cleanup work-        tainers had turned into torpedoes, ram-                                        voices heard on Capitol Hill. September
tioned the wisdom of this when the Gulf            ers because of health threats and looting.      ming into houses and spreading their                                           20th was Arctic Refuge Action Day, when
of Mexico came into my living room.                We met fellow Sierra Club volunteer Lark        contents over the surrounding area. Rail                                       the Sierra Club and its partners in the
   I was lucky. I had only a foot of flood-         Mason, whose home two blocks from the           cars containing pork and chicken fouled                                        Alaska Coalition rallied on the Capitol’s
ing and a few thousand dollars in unin-            beach was inundated with seven feet of          the air with an unbearable stench.                                             west lawn with more than 3,000 citizens
sured damages. I can still live in my home.        water. Lark was gutting her house. Cloth-          The Club also opposed a waste pit ex-                                       who came from as far as Wisconsin and
Many of my neighbors weren’t so fortu-             ing, including her mother’s wedding dress,      pansion at the nearby DuPont DeLisle                                           Michigan on overnight bus rides. A diverse
nate. FEMA estimates that 300,000                  was hanging from the rafters to dry. She        chemical plant into wetlands near the Bay                                      group of leaders addressed the rally, includ-
households in Mississippi, Louisiana, and          showed us the devastation between her           of St. Louis. Our main concern was toxic                                       ing Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Senators Lincoln
Alabama were displaced by Katrina.                 home and the beach, with the Port of            releases from a hurricane surge. We                                            Chafee, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton, a
   Rose Johnson of North Gulfport, my              Gulfport in the background. Cars, boats,        blocked the expansion, but after Katrina                                       member of the Canadian Parliament, the
Mississippi Chapter co-chair, lost most of         and huge shipping containers were               there were huge concerns about the release                                     Episcopal bishop for Alaska, and Gwich’in
the shingles off her home and suffered ex-         stacked topsy-turvy over mounds of debris       of toxins such as dioxin, PCBs, and heavy                                      leaders Sarah James and Joe Linklater. After-
tensive flooding, but her house stood. For          from destroyed buildings. Water poured          metals from the DuPont plant.                                                  wards, participants visited their representa-
weeks after the storm, without electricity,        from broken water and sewer mains, and             Club activist Paul Stewart lived across                                     tives about the upcoming vote on drilling.
14 family members stayed with her while            biting flies were having a field day.             the Bay of St. Louis from the DuPont fa-                                           One of those was Amelia Nuding,
she volunteered handing out food and re-               Years before, the Sierra Club had op-                                                   [MORE ON P. 2]                                                       [MORE ON P. 7]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CHRIS SERVHEEN/U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE




A Better Legacy
Sierra Club secures historic agreement in Legacy Highway battle
I   BY TOM VALTIN                                  the recent federal highway bill was a bid       halted by a court injunction. At various
   The Club scored a major victory on              by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to exempt           times the Utah legislature threatened to
September 21 in its 8-year fight to find a           Legacy from environmental reviews.              hold the Sierra Club responsible for all the
better solution to Salt Lake City’s traffic           As originally proposed, the highway—         costs of delays. But at hearing after hear-                                        Endangered Species Act threatened
woes than the $700 million Legacy High-            paralleling existing Interstate 15, just a      ing, local residents by the hundreds (more                                         For more, see p. 7.
way when Utah Governor John Huntsman,              few miles east—would have taken or de-                                                      [MORE ON P. 7]
the Utah Department of Transportation,             stroyed farms that have been in the same
                             the Sierra Club,      families for up to five generations and
                             and Utahns for        paved over habitat for migratory water-
     victory                 Better Trans-
portation agreed to shelve the highway in
                                                   fowl. The parkway, by comparison, will be
                                                   a 14-mile road that in design and concept
                                                                                                          P
                                                                                                        The
                                                                                                               lanet
                                                                                                        SIERRA CLUB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 NON-PROFIT ORG.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 U.S. POSTAGE PAID
                                                                                                                                                                                                                SAN FRANCISCO, CA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PERMIT NO. 7138
favor of a Legacy Parkway & Preserve. All          nods to Virginia’s famous Skyline Drive.             85 SECOND STREET, SECOND FLOOR
that remains is for the state legislature to          The massive Legacy Highway project                SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105

OK the financial aspects of the deal.               ran into public opposition from the get-
   “This is a win-win solution,” says Club         go, with the Sierra Club and Utahns for
organizer Marc Heileson, who defended              Better Transportation leading the way.
the agreement against 11th-hour attempts           Construction of the highway just north of
to derail it. The last issue to be resolved in     Salt Lake City began in 2001, but was
 P
The      Sierra Club Activist Resource

      lanet                     November/December 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                                             2


 from THE editor                                         Katrina
                                                         [FROM P. 1]

Wake of the                                              cility, which produces 15 million pounds
                                                         of toxic waste a year. His home is gone.
Flood                                                    Paul and his wife Melody, who are staying
                                                         with relatives in Maryland, went to Capi-
    Back before Katrina—two days before,                 tol Hill to meet with congressional leaders
to be exact—I got an e-mail from Becky                   in late September, urging that homes and
Gillette of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. A                schools near DuPont be tested to assess
newspaper reporter by trade, Becky is also               the safety of returning to the area.
the kind of Sierra Club volunteer you                        One of the top sources of dioxin re-
dream about: constantly active, constantly               leases in the country, DuPont DeLisle
vigilant on behalf of the environment.                   claims it had no environmental releases
    She was explaining to me how ordinary                from the devastating storm. Paul, who has
citizens in nearby DeLisle—many of whom                  toured the plant and seen the waste pits, is




                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BECKY GILLETTE
had never heard of the Sierra Club before—               skeptical. “DuPont admits the plant was
had been empowered to stand up to chemi-                 flooded, but they say no toxins were re-
cal giant DuPont in court. And won.                      leased. How can they possibly know that
                                                                                                          Aftermath: Katrina left behind a cleanup job of massive proportions along the Gulf Coast.
    DuPont’s settlement ran into the tens of             without testing nearby homes and schools?        Much of D’Iberville, Mississippi, pictured above, near the Bay of Biloxi, was leveled.
millions, and their stonewalling about                   The waste pits are supposed to be imper-
toxic releases that were poisoning the com-              meable because the toxins they contain are
munity was exposed and shattered. The                    deadly and should never find their way            5 Solutions for Rebuilding the Gulf Coast
same citizens had also derailed DuPont’s                 into the environment. That all changed
                                                                                                          1. Increase the Use of Alternative En-           delay in cleaning up toxic waste sites, up-
plan to turn a local wetland into a toxic                with Katrina, but no one, including the
                                                                                                          ergy: Hurricane Katrina seriously af-            grading our sewage treatment systems,
chemical landfill. Becky was ecstatic.                    state, EPA, FEMA, or our elected officials,
                                                                                                          fected the production, refinery capacity,         and rethinking how toxic chemicals are
    Her e-mail signed off: “Looks like we                seems concerned about the health risks.
                                                                                                          and price of oil in the United States.           stored and shipped through our commu-
have a Category 3 hurricane set to land                      “Katrina didn’t pollute our land,” he as-
                                                                                                          This spotlights the danger of our depen-         nities.
here Monday. We’ll see what happens.”                    serts, “DuPont did. It was irresponsible to
                                                                                                          dence on oil, and the fragility of our re-
    We all know what happened.                           allow that plant to be located directly on                                                        4. Preserve Wetlands: Wetlands protect
                                                                                                          liance on it. The only way to oil
    On Monday, Katrina slammed into the                  the bay in a hurricane-prone area. They                                                           coastal communities by storing flood-
                                                                                                          independence is to increase the use of re-
coast, blowing away coastal communities                  played Russian roulette and lost, our land is                                                     water. Louisiana has lost one million
                                                                                                          newable energy that won’t pollute our air
and kicking up a tidal surge that breached               now toxic, and all DuPont can talk about is                                                       acres of wetlands that could have acted
                                                                                                          or poison our water.
the New Orleans levees. Tuesday brought                  getting operations back up and running.”                                                          as a buffer to Hurricane Katrina's storm
the nationally televised nightmare, which                    Southeast Louisiana was also awash in        2. Stop Global Warming: Climate                  surge. Across America, wetlands must
continued unabated all week. The New                     toxins in Katrina’s wake. New Orleans es-        change could bring an increase in severe         be restored and protected.
York Times ran a photo of the Ocean                      caped the worst wind damage, only to suf-        storms like Hurricane Katrina. We have
                                                                                                                                                           5. Uphold Environmental Justice: In
Springs-Biloxi Bridge in ruins. I tried and              fer the catastrophic flooding that               the technology today to help curb
                                                                                                                                                           cities across the country, minority popu-
tried to get ahold of Becky, to no avail.                environmentalists had long warned was a          global warming by making every car go
                                                                                                                                                           lations tend to live closest to petrochemi-
    The week after Katrina hit, the Sierra               near-inevitable consequence of a major           farther on a gallon of gas.
                                                                                                                                                           cal plants, industrial sites, oil refineries,
Summit took place in San Francisco. Del-                 hurricane in this ecologically fragile city,
                                                                                                          3. Keep Toxics Out of Our Communi-               underground gas stations, and sewage
egates who made it from the Gulf Coast                   located below sea level.
                                                                                                          ties: The floodwaters in New Orleans are          treatment plants. The flooding in New
were given a standing ovation by 700 of                      “The flooding brought a toxic soup to
                                                                                                          a toxic soup of chemicals from a variety of      Orleans, for example, exacerbated the dis-
their fellow leaders. I kept trying to reach             New Orleans,” said Darryl Malek-Wiley,
                                                                                                          sources, including leaking fuels and oils        proportionate effects these communities
Becky, who as a reporter is equipped to be               a Club environmental justice organizer
                                                                                                          from gas stations and submerged cars,            feel, exposing them to a toxic stew of
in touch. Nothing.                                       who has not been allowed to live in his
                                                                                                          paints and solvents from small businesses,       contaminants. Our federal government
    We expected this issue of the Planet to              New Orleans home since the hurricane.
                                                                                                          and household cleaners and pesticides            must ensure that environmental laws are
be hard-hitting, with coverage of world-                 “On top of hazardous waste and refinery
                                                                                                          from homes. There should be no further           fairly implemented and enforced.
class speakers, cutting-edge thinkers, and               site pollution, bacteria and fecal matter
green activism at the Summit. But the                    contaminated the floodwaters.”
Summit was trumped by Katrina, which                         Survivors in Mississippi, Louisiana,        be used to waive or erode environmental
in turn transformed the Summit. The fol-                 and Alabama are contending with con-            laws, regulations, and statutes in Gulf            THE      PLANET
lowing may illustrate the connection be-                 taminated drinking water, broken sewage         Coast states or elsewhere.”                        The Planet (ISSN 1077-4998) is published six
tween the two events.                                    treatment systems, oil and chemical expo-           The question has been raised whether           times a year by the Sierra Club to help activists
    Al Gore, who was early on invited to                 sures, and toxic sediments and sludge.          the Gulf Coast environmental community             fight for environmental protection at the local,
speak at the Summit, had regretfully de-                     “The response of regulatory agencies        is in any shape to respond to the pollution        state, national, and international levels.
clined due to a prior commitment in New                  has been very disappointing,” says Missis-      Katrina has left in its wake. Many activists       Managing Editor/Designer: John Byrne Barry
                                                                                                                                                            Senior Editor: Tom Valtin
Orleans. He was to address the 50 U.S.                   sippi Sierra Club Director Louie Miller.        lost their homes and are now in exile. But         Associate Editor/Designer: Timothy Lesle
state insurance commissioners on the                     “In Mississippi, they have largely failed to    many are planning to rebuild, and even             Contributors: Becky Gillette, Pat Joseph, Traci
threats posed by global warming—among                    do any testing or remediation of toxic          from afar they continue to advocate for            Laird, Marilyn Berlin Snell
them the recent upswing in highly destruc-               contamination from industrial sites.            the health of people and the environment           To submit story ideas or letters to the editor,
tive hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.                   When we need them the most, they’re             along the Gulf Coast.                              contact the Planet at: Sierra Club, 85 Second St.,
    Gore addressed the assembled thou-                   nowhere to be found.”                               Malek-Wiley, who evacuated to Hous-            2nd Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 977-5742;
sands at the Sierra Summit after all. That                   Stepping in where regulatory officials      ton, has been trying to reestablish contact        Fax: (415) 977-5792; planet @sierraclub.org;
                                                                                                                                                            sierraclub.org/planet.
report starts on page 3. But our lead story              largely feared to tread, environmental con-     with the community leaders he worked
is Katrina. Written, I’m pleased to say, by              sultant Wilma Subra took samples in             with prior to the hurricane. “It’s been dif-       Subscriptions
Becky Gillette.                                          September in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley,”        ficult to reconnect with people since              The Planet is free to all Sierra Club leaders as well
                                         —TOM VALTIN     an area along the Mississippi River with        they’re scattered across the country,” he          as to members who join the Club’s activist
                                                                                                                                                            network. Members may be contacted
                                                         high concentrations of refineries and chem-      says. “But the ones I have been in touch
 Moving From Paper to Pixels                             icals plants. She found toxic heavy metals,     with want to rebuild their communities,
                                                                                                                                                            throughout the year and asked to take action as
                                                                                                                                                            part of the Club’s local, state, and federal efforts
                                                         petroleum-based organics, and bacteria          better than before, with less pollution and        to preserve and strengthen environmental
                                                         from untreated sewage in the waters and         toxics. I talked to one leader whose               protection. To join the activist network, call:
                                                         debris caking the communities. Seven mil-       mother was killed by the flooding. She             (415) 977-5653; or write: Sierra Club Activist
                                                         lion gallons of oil spilled in southeast        said even though she was facing this in-           Desk, 85 Second St., 2nd Fl., San Francisco, CA
                                                                                                                                                            94105; or go to sierraclub.org/planet.
                                                         Louisiana, and numerous chemical plants         tense personal tragedy, ‘I’m a fighter for
                                                         and Superfund sites flooded, spawning           my family and my community.’”                      For membership information: (415) 977-5653
                                                         what may be the worst environmental                 The Sierra Club has launched a Gulf            Sierra Club National Headquarters, 85 Second
                                                         catastrophe in the nation’s history.            Coast Environmental Restoration Project            St., 2nd Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105
                                                             In mid-September, Oklahoma Senator          to help the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Al-        Legislative Office, 408 C St. NE, Washington, DC
 The Planet e-mail is available to be sent to            James Inhofe introduced legislation that        abama Chapters work with local commu-              20002
 your inbox with links to all the Planet sto-
                                                         would allow the EPA to waive or change          nities to rebuild and recover in the               Stories in the Planet may be reprinted with
 ries, and more.
                                                         any law under EPA jurisdiction for up to        aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We are             credit to the author and the Planet.
 It’s more timely and you can help us save               18 months. “This is an unwarranted and          nearly halfway to the goal of raising
 trees and money. To sign up and to see a                dangerous bill,” Gulf Coast Sierra Club         $250,000. To contribute, please go to                               Printed by union labor on recycled
 sample Planet e-mail, go to:                            leaders said in a letter to Inhofe. “The        www.sierraclub.org and click on Gulf                                paper with soy-based ink.
 sierraclub.org/planet                                   tragedy of Hurricane Katrina should not         Coast Environmental Restoration Project.
 SNAPSHOTS FROM THE SUMMIT


  Sierra Club’s
      National
   Environmental
                                P    lanet SIERRA SUMMIT 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                Taking Money from                   Looking Like America Take Back Our Rivers
  Convention & Expo                                                                                                                                                             Criminals p. 4                      p. 5                 p. 6


                               The Sierra Summit took place in San Francisco from September 8-11.
                               Between dozens of speakers, 50-odd program sessions, the direction-
                               setting process, outings, and an exposition hall bursting with green
                               products and ideas, far too much was going on for us to offer any-
                               thing more than a representative slice here. To read our expanded
                               Summit coverage, please go to sierraclub.org/planet/sierrasummit.


 September 8-11, 2005
  The Moscone Center
                               Democracy
     San Francisco
   sierrasummit2005.org        Breaks Out
Summit delegates choose ‘New Energy Future’ as
grassroots top priority
Former Vice President Al Gore kicked off Sierra Summit 2005 with a powerful speech




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   TIMOTHY LESLE
wrapped around the Biblical theme, “When there is no vision, the people perish,” and
urged Sierra Club members to make fighting global warming “a moral cause.”
The Summit turned out to be a weekend with vision aplenty. In fact, the Summit itself was the
                                                                                                                    TIMOTHY LESLE
culmination of a vision.
Two and a half years ago, said Sierra Club President Lisa Renstrom, Harvard sociologist Marshall
Ganz spoke at a Club Board of Directors meeting about how most successful social movements of
the past century hosted national conventions that brought local leaders together to celebrate and
get inspired. They provide an opportunity to integrate local action with national purpose, he said,
drawing local leaders into a broader vision of the movement and grounding national leaders in
the realities faced by local leaders. That prompted the question: Why don’t we do this?
So we did. Sierra Summit 2005 brought several thousand Club leaders and members together in San
Francisco for three days of speakers, workshops, an exposition floor, and a direction-setting process




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   DAVID WASSERMAN
to give grassroots leaders a collective voice in charting the Club’s future. There was more going on
than any one person could experience—plenary speeches by Gore, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Arian-
na Huffington; master speakers like chef Alice Waters and green architect Bill McDonough; comedy
from Bill Maher; panels on creative organizing and camping with kids; a climbing wall; a cooking
stage; the Green Dollhouse project; test drives of hybrid and fuel cell cars; 100 Sierra Showcase dis-
plays; a film festival; author book signing; outings. More than 5,000 people participated. Even John
Muir appeared—live! (In the person of actor Lee Stetson, that is.)                                                                  Clockwise from top: Summit delegates confer
                                                                                                                                    during the direction-setting process; a
Though perhaps not as electrifying as Kennedy’s      doing it, it’s a big stretch.)                                                 volunteer helps clear brush on a Summit
blistering attack on the Bush administration (see                                                                                   service outing in the Golden Gate National
                                                     Including deliberative content made this a very                                Recreation Area; Kansas Chapter leader Steve
“Taking Money from Criminals,” page 4), for Ren-
                                                     different beast than just having speakers and
strom, the most satisfying aspect of the Summit                                                                                     Baru casts a direction-setting vote on a
                                                     an exposition, he said. “When you’re a dele-
was the direction-setting process.                                                                                                  wireless keypad; Aaron Mair of the Atlantic
                                                     gate, you own the thing. It’s being a citizen as
                                                                                                                                    Chapter weighs in the old-fashioned way
After six months of chapter and group meetings       opposed to being a consumer.”




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   JOHN BYRNE BARRY
                                                                                                                                    during leader deliberations.
leading up to the Summit, 700 delegates delib-
                                                     He stressed the difference between polling and
erated for four hours on Thursday and four more
                                                     deliberating. In polling, you take everyone’s
on Saturday. Recording their votes on wireless
                                                     opinion. “In deliberation, there’s learning—you
keypads that looked like oversized garage door
                                                     may find common ground, you maybe move in
openers, they chose “Building a New Energy
                                                     your thinking.”
Future” as their grassroots recommendation for
the Club’s top priority over the next five years.    While many of the results from the direction-                                  lic Waters,” and “Protecting People and the
Summit delegate Ken Langton, chair of the
                                                     setting mirrored what chapters and groups                                      Planet from Pollution.” Delegates also voted on                         Political Will is a
                                                     had picked in pre-Summit direction-setting                                     how the Club should invest resources to reach
Grand Canyon Chapter (Arizona), said that the
direction setting was “one of the Club’s finest
                                                     meetings, like the focus on clean energy as the                                these goals: first, by seeking new allies and                           Renewable
                                                     top conservation approach, Hurricane Katrina                                   building coalitions; second, by creating media
hours—in all my adult years in this country, the
deliberation was the most impressive display
                                                     shook things up and resulted in some of the                                    visibility; and third, by bringing people together.                     Resource
                                                     movement Ganz referred to.                                                     Finally, delegates chose the top three ways to
of democratic, large scale, collective decision-
making I have been involved in.”                     A number of delegates argued that Katrina                                      influence environmental decision-makers—first,                          Al Gore urges ‘moral action’ to
                                                     made clear that while environmental degrada-                                   to affect voter’s electoral decisions; second, to                       address global warming
As Summit co-chair Greg Casini said, “By con-                                                                                       focus on state policy-makers; and third, to
                                                     tion threatens everyone, certain people are                                                                                                            On the weekend of the Sierra Summit, former
necting with each other physically, and having                                                                                      educate decision-makers about specific places.
                                                     most vulnerable, and our conservation priori-                                                                                                          Vice President Al Gore was originally sched-
this Club-wide conversation, we all came to see
                                                     ties ought to reflect this fact. This led to a dis-                            The next step is that the Club’s governance com-                        uled to speak to 50 state insurance commis-
that we are part of something bigger than our-
                                                     cussion that the “Building Vibrant, Healthy                                    mittees will distill the delegates’ contributions                       sioners in New Orleans about global warming
selves.” Renstrom said the Summit “strength-
                                                     Communities” conservation initiative would                                     and make recommendations to the board.                                  and hurricanes. But that event was cancelled
ened our convictions and created a renewed
                                                     encompass many of the community and envi-                                                                                                              due to Hurricane Katrina. He opened the Sum-
pride in being a Sierra Club member.”                                                                                               Echoing Gore’s opening refrain about the peo-
                                                     ronmental justice concerns around Katrina.                                                                                                                                          mit with a power-
                                                                                                                                                                                          DAVID WASSERMAN




Ganz, who led part of the direction-setting ses-                                                                                    ple perishing without vision, Sierra Club Execu-
                                                     As Bill Bianchi, a delegate from the Angeles                                                                                                                                        ful speech
sion on Saturday, was thrilled by how well it                                                                                       tive Director Carl Pope asked the delegates on
                                                     Chapter said, “Debate and dialogue broke out,                                                                                                                                       blasting the Bush
went, but even more by the fact that the Sum-                                                                                       the last day to take home the message and
                                                     and wow, democracy happened.”                                                                                                                                                       administration for
mit actually happened. “It is so rare that                                                                                          vision from the Summit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ignoring warnings
thought turns into action,” he said, and then, in    Besides “Building a New Energy Future,” the                                    “While vision empowers change and is                                                                 about global
Spanish—he was a United Farm Worker orga-            other top priorities identified by                                             essential for change, by itself it is not change,”                                                   warming.
nizer for two decades—“Entre dicho y hecho,          delegates were “Building Vibrant, Healthy                                      he said. “Change is deeds. Change can only be
hay mucho trecho.” (Between saying it and            Communities,” “Defending Federal Lands/Pub-                                                                                                                                            Gore, who
                                                                                                                                    empowered by a large gathering. Change can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            received multiple
                                                                                                                                    only happen in small groups. The work of
“Hurricane Katrina is tragic, but an opportuni-                                                                                                                                                                                             standing ovations
                                                                                                                                    creating something new comes when you
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Al Gore                         from an audience
ty to teach the American people. The Bush administration                                                                            return to your communities.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            of 2,500, made
                                                                                                                                    IIIII
says this is not the time to point fingers, but this is precisely                                                                                                                                           good use of quotes as well as references to
the time to point fingers. What we’ve learned                                                                                                                                                               Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath to under-
                                                                                                                                    Hundreds of people contributed to making                                score his theme of moral responsibility in a
from CSI and Law and Order is that you                                                                                              the Summit an inspiring success, but special                            time of crisis, specifically global warming. He
don't let the crime scene grow cold, and                                                                                            kudos and thanks go to the above-and-                                   quoted Winston Churchill, Upton Sinclair, the
what happened in New Orleans is a crime scene.”                                                                                     beyond-the-call efforts of co-chairs Greg Casini                        Bible, and President George W. Bush, and the
                                                                                                                                    and Lisa Renstrom, Sierra Showcase coordina-
                                                                                                      JOHN ZILBER




                                                                                                                                                                                                            contrast was not pretty.
                                                                                                                                    tor Roberta Brashear, and staff coordinators
                          —ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, POLITICAL COLUMNIST
                                                                                                                                    Julia Reitan and Johanna O’Kelley. Bravo!                               Gore cited Churchill the most. “We are enter-
  see sierraclub.org/planet/summit                                                                                                                           —JOHN BYRNE BARRY                                                                    [MORE ON P. 4]
                     SNAPSHOTS FROM THE SUMMIT
  DAVID WASSERMAN




                                                                                                                                                                                                    DAVID WASSERMAN
                                                                                                                                               A third element of a successful grassroots pro-                        3. You need imagination to lay out your strate-
                                                                                                                                               gram is leadership. Ganz counseled partici-                            gy and use your strengths in the most effec-
                                                                                                                                               pants to remember that “leadership is a craft                          tive way.
                                                                                                                                               that is learned,” and that includes learning                                                        —TIMOTHY LESLE
                                                                                                                                               from mistakes. He added that “the closer the
                                                                                                                                               reflection is to the action, the faster the learn-
                                                                                                                                               ing.” When he worked with the national grape
                                                                                                                                               boycott of 1965, he found vastly different
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Taking Money
                    ing a period of consequence,” said Churchill as
                    the storm was gathering over Europe before                             Turning Resources                                   results in 43 cities, and the key factor in
                                                                                                                                               whether the boycott succeeded locally was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      from Criminals
                    World War II. Gore drew a parallel to the cur-
                    rent situation regarding global warming. Just                          into Power                                          the leadership on the ground. He also pointed
                                                                                                                                               to organizations like churches and the Sierra
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., calls for
                    as was the case with Europe in the 1930s, “the                                                                             Club as being “schools” for local leadership.                          separation of corporation,
                    warnings about global warming,” he said,                               Marshall Ganz on the key                                                                                                   media, and state
                    “have been extremely clear for a long time.”                                                                               As a result of the study carried out by Ganz
                                                                                           elements of organizing                              and his students (available to Sierra Club                             When running for president, George W. Bush
                    Churchill also acknowledged that many of his                           Marshall Ganz got his first taste of organizing     activists at clubhouse.sierraclub.org), he said                        accepted money from criminals and then, as
                    countrymen did not want to prepare for war.                            during the Freedom Summer of 1964 when, as          that every Sierra Club chapter and group has a                         payback, dropped the federal lawsuits against
                    He understood their desire to deny reality, but                        a Harvard undergrad, he registered black voters     committed set of core activists who invest                             these criminals and changed the laws that
                    said they should hear the truth—that it was a                          in Mississippi. He was so inspired that he has      their time and energy into committees and                              they were breaking.
                    time to “recover our moral health.”                                    been organizing ever since, including more          organize activities. He also said that new par-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., did not mince words in
                    He pulled one quote from Upton Sinclair: “It is                        than 15 years with Cesar Chavez and the United      ticipants are attracted by local Club activities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      his blistering and passionate attack on the
                    difficult to get a man to understand some-                             Farm Workers. In 1991, he returned to Har-          An important question is how to engage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bush administration that elicited standing ova-
                    thing when his salary depends on his not                               vard—to finish his undergraduate degree. Now,       those new participants and turn them into
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tions from 2,500 rapt Sierra Summit partici-
                    understanding it.”                                                     with a doctorate and an appointment to Har-         core activists. The one effort that stands out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pants.
                                                                                           vard’s faculty, Ganz has brought his wealth of      most in successfully engaging these people
                    His Bible reference: “When there is no vision,                         experience, along with a rigorous study of what     and prompting them to take active roles in                             “One hundred and ten U.S. coal-burning
                    the people perish.”                                                    makes organizations work, what doesn’t, and         their chapter or group are new member meet-                            power plants had been polluting illegally for
                    And then President Bush: “Nobody could have                            what makes them better, to the Sierra Club.         ings. Personally meeting and creating relation-                        17 years,” he said, “and one of the first things
                    predicted the levees would break.”                                                                                         ships with new members makes them more                                 Bush did was drop the Clinton administration
                                                                                           The problem Ganz and others found in the            likely to become activists. Relatively few chap-                       cases against the 75 worst plants.”
                    Gore lambasted the president and his adminis-                          South in 1964 was an inequality of power:           ters and groups hold these meetings, so Ganz
                    tration not just for its woefully inadequate                           African-Americans had little or no economic or                                                                             But most Americans don’t know about this, said
                                                                                                                                               encourages more across the country. Further-
                                                                                                                          political power.                                                                            Kennedy, because of an “informational deficit”
                                                                           TIMOTHY LESLE




                    response to Katrina, but its willfull ignorance of                                                                         more, he encourages coaching and mentoring
                    scientific evidence about global warming.                                                             Grassroots orga-                                                                            resulting from a “negligent and indolent press.”
                                                                                                                                               interactions between veteran and new mem-
                                                                                                                          nizing is about      bers.                                                                  Kennedy called the Bush administration the
                    Over the past century, said Gore, we have                                                             building power,
                    developed a new and unprecedented rela-                                                                                                                                                           worst administration in U.S. history and
                                                                                                                          and to do that, he   Ganz ended by reciting the parable of David
                    tionship with the planet as a result of a qua-                                                                                                                                                    detailed the abuses that result when corpora-
                                                                                                                          said, you must       and Goliath as demonstrating the vital necessi-
                    drupling of population and our industrial                                                                                                                                                         tions control the government and the media.
                                                                                                                          start in your com-   ty of strategic imagination. The story as he
                    emissions’ influence on the climate. “We have                                                         munity. Many         sees it teaches the importance of three                                He’s got his facts down, and he knows his his-
                    a moral responsibility to deal with the conse-                                                        communities lack     aspects of organizing:                                                 tory. But it’s his passion that resonates. When
                    quences of that new relationship. This is not                                                         power, but have                                                                             he blasted the coal industry for destroying the
                    about scientific debate. It’s about who we are                                                                             1. The first thing you need before you can cre-
                                                                                                                          resources—the                                                                               Appalachians with mountaintop mining, you
                    as human beings. It’s about our capacity to                            Marshall Ganz                                       ate a good strategy is a firm commitment.
                                                                                                                          trick is to turn                                                                            could hear his heart ache for the people
                    transcend our limitations.”                                            these resources into power by bringing peo-         2. You need to recognize and understand the                            whose homes and livelihoods are being
                    We have the vision, know-how, and technology                           ple together. He pointed to the Montgomery          key resources you possess. Build a strategy on                         destroyed. He’s angry because he cares.
                    to address global warming, said Gore, but we                           bus boycott as a perfect example. Referring to      your strengths.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “You can’t talk about the environment honestly
                    lack the political will. “But political will is a                      a united population, Ganz said, “we have an
                    renewable resource,” he said, garnering one of                         obligation to turn that precious resource into
                    the longest ovations of the morning.                                   power.” Recognizing your community and
                                                                                           identifying its resources are two key elements
                    He urged the Sierra Club, as its delegates delib-                      of grassroots organizing. In many ways, Ganz’s
                    erate on priorities, to make global warming a                          work takes elements of business effectiveness
                    priority, and “make this a moral moment.”                              and applies them to advocacy organizations
                    “There are those who say the problem is too                            (and he said many business school professors
                    big,” he said. But then he rattled off a list of big                   would love to pursue this direction and have a
                    problems that we’ve addressed, from freeing                            direct impact on society). But a key difference,
                    the slaves to sending a man to the moon to                             he noted, is that businesses want to reach
                    giving women the vote.                                                 their goals with as few people as possible,
                                                                                           while organizing and advocacy groups
                    “This is a time for those who see and under-                           endeavor to reach their goals with as many
                    stand and care and are willing to work.”                               people involved as possible. He added that
                    He means us.                                                           community can be defined at any level: neigh-
                                              —JOHN BYRNE BARRY                            borhood, town, state, region, and country.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         TIMOTHY LESLE




                                                      “Global warming sounds so...well, warm.
LANE BOLDMAN




                                                                                                                                               “We don’t know Michelangelo by reading his biography. We know him by looking at the
                                                      And we seem to suffer from a national epidemic of short-
                                                                                                                                               ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. And we know our Creator best by immersing ourselves in
                                                      sightedness. Is the earth hotter than it’s
                                                                                                                                               creation. And particularly wilderness, which is the undiluted work of the Creator.
                                                      been at any time over the past 1,000
                                                                                                                                               If you look at every one of the great religious traditions
                                                      years? Yeah, but the weekend's gonna be
                                                                                                                                               throughout the history of mankind, the central epiphany
                                                      nice...”
                                                                                                                —BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN
                                                                                                                                               always occurs in the wilderness.”
                                                                                                                                                                                        —ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR., PRESIDENT, THE WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE

                                                         see sierraclub.org/planet/summit                                                        see sierraclub.org/planet/summit
                                    DAVID WASSERMAN




                                                                                                               DAVID WASSERMAN




                                                                                                                                                                                                    TIMOTHY LESLE




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       PAT JOSEPH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From far left: A service outing to remove invasive
                without criticizing this president,” he said,                  comes from—“eco-literacy,” she calls it—should                  Eventually, she did find a handful of people at                      species from San Francisco’s Crissy Field; union
                specifically lambasting the administration’s                   be part of every public school curriculum.                      the Summit who “looked like her.” But of the                         member Julio Lopez of UNITE thanks the Sierra
                putting polluters in charge of the federal agen-                                                                               perhaps 250 people attending Gantt-Wright’s                          Club for honoring the hotel workers’ strike in San
                                                                               To that end, ten years ago Waters started the                   talk on diversifying the environmental move-
                cies entrusted to protect Americans from pol-                                                                                                                                                       Francisco; Summit delegates toast to a job well
                                                                                                               Edible Schoolyard               ment, the number of African Americans pre-
                lution.                                                                                                                                                                                             done; former Executive Director Mike McCloskey;
                                                                                                               at Martin Luther                sent could be counted on the fingers of one
                He blasted Bush and his corporate paymasters                                                   King Middle                                                                                          Club field staffer Natalie Foster, wearing button,
                                                                                                                                               hand. Add in the Latinos and Asian Americans
                for “treating the planet as if it were a business in                                           School in Berke-                                                                                     with friend Amy Turk; Louisiana staffer Darryl
                                                                                                                                               present, and there were still fingers to spare.
                liquidation. You can generate a cash flow, but                                                 ley—a quarter-                                                                                       Malek-Wiley.
                our children are going to pay for our joy ride.”                                               acre garden in                  The circumstance was a potent—and
                                                                                                               which students                  poignant—reminder of the challenge the Sier-
                Before his speech, Kennedy received the
                William O. Douglas Award from former Sierra
                                                                                                               are the gardeners.              ra Club faces if it is to diversify its membership
                                                                                                                                               and activist base so that it “looks like America.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ‘It Can Make Us
                                                                                                               “The garden is
                Club president Phil Berry on behalf of his
                Waterkeeper Alliance. He started his talk by
                                                                                                               woven into the                  It’s no secret that the Club’s membership is                         Better’
                                                                                                               curriculum of the               heavily Caucasian—to a far greater degree
                reminiscing about the hikes and backpacking                    Alice Waters
                trips he took as boy with Douglas in the Wash-
                                                                                                               school,” she                    than the U.S. population at large. Gantt-Wright                      Katrina evacuee Darryl Malek-
                                                                               explained, “helping teach children what it                      acknowledged that most Club members and                              Wiley on rebuilding New
                ington, D.C., area and the Olympics in Wash-
                                                                               means to be civilized and connected with the                    leaders are eager for this to change. But she
                ington State.                                                                                                                                                                                       Orleans equitably
                                                                               earth. When you understand where your food                      said when the Club does reach out to commu-
                He closed by talking about how all the great                   comes from, you see the world in a different                    nities of color, these efforts are often under-                      With his ruddy cheeks and bushy white beard,
                religious leaders in history—Buddha, Jesus,                    way. We should teach our kids that learning to                  mined because the culture of the                                     Darryl Malek-Wiley looked like an off-duty Santa
                Moses, Mohammed—went into the wilder-                          take care of the land is just as important as                   environmental movement exists “in a fish-                            Claus as he stood before his booth in a well-
                ness for their spiritual epiphanies, and how                   reading, writing, and arithmetic.”                              bowl” that creates a barrier to communication.                       worn ball cap and a taut-across-the-belly T-shirt.
                wilderness is deeply embedded in the Ameri-                                                                                                                                                         But he wasn’t particularly jolly at the moment.
                                                                               Waters said three-quarters of American chil-                    “Other people are having a hard time getting
                can character.
                                                                               dren no longer sit down with their parents to                   in,” she asserted. “We need to step outside the                      Darryl Malek-Wiley is an evacuee. He and his
                Several delegates said Kennedy’s emotional                     eat dinner, and that meals are now taken in                     fishbowl, and the first step is to understand                        wife got out of New Orleans early on the Sun-
                speech left them shaking and inspired. “When                   haste—and alone. “Fast food comes with an                       that we’re in one. The Sierra Club should make                       day morning before the hurricane struck. They
                enough people hear him speak, we’ll have a                     indoctrination that it’s OK to waste, that food is              it a strategic imperative to engage more with                        went to stay with relatives north of Houston.
                different country,” one said.                                  cheap, and that standardization is more                         different kinds of people across ethnicity, race,                    At the time of the Summit, they had not been
                                                      —JOHN BYRNE BARRY        important than quality,” she said. “We need to                  and class. The demographics in the country                           back to survey the damage. Among other
                                                                               bring our children into a new relationship with                 are changing, and if we don’t change as well,                        things, he wondered about the six or seven
                                                                               food, and schools are the only way to reach all                                                                                      cats they left behind. “I tried to put one of the
                The Edible                                                     children in society.”
                                                                                                                                               we risk becoming irrelevant.
                                                                                                                                               “Diversity is not just about race,” Gantt-Wright
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tamer ones in a pet carrier, but there was just
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    no way. These are outdoor cats.” An environ-
                Revolution                                                     Waters recalled meeting former Sierra Club
                                                                               director and fellow Berkeley resident David
                                                                                                                                               said. “It’s about ethnicity, race, culture, class.
                                                                                                                                               You—the Sierra Club—are my family, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mental justice organizer with the Club, Malek-
                                                                               Brower when he came to eat at Chez Panisse                                                                                           Wiley is in fact worried about a great many
                                                                                                                                               with your family you have to be honest. The
                If Chez Panisse started a                                      on the occasion of his 80th birthday. “Before                   truth is, we’re good people. But because of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    things. With respect to post-Katrina New
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Orleans, he said, “There are so many issues to
                delicious revolution, Alice                                    he made the food-environment connection,                                                        the lofty and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    contend with—toxics, human health, envi-
                                                                               he used to take his family to Denny’s,” she
                Waters has been its caterer                                    joked. “But once he learned about what we
                                                                                                                                                                               wonderful goals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ronmental justice.”
                                                                                                                                                                               of the organiza-
                Alice Waters didn’t know she was starting a                    were doing, he started using the restaurant as                                                  tion, we think,                      Among the environmental justice concerns is
                movement when she opened Chez Panisse                          his own canteen.”                                                                               ‘How could we                        whether the city will be cleaned and rebuilt
                restaurant in Berkeley, California, 25 years ago.                                                                —TOM VALTIN                                   possibly not care                    equitably. Will the levees around affluent
                A former Montessori school teacher, Waters                                                                                                                     about diversity                      neighborhoods be shored up before the ones
                knew that she wanted to feature locally and                                                                                                                                                         around poor areas? And will the diversity of
                organically grown foods, seasonally harvested,                 Looking Like                                                                                    and people of
                                                                                                                                                                               color?’                              the city be restored, or will poor minority
                on her menu. She could hardly have known                                                                                                                                                            laborers be used simply to rebuild a suddenly
                that Chez Panisse would serve as the mother                    America                                                         Iantha Gantt-Wright
                                                                                                                                                                             “We have a ten-
                                                                                                                                                                             dency to think
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gentrified city which has no room for them?
                church for a fundamental shift in Americans’
                perceptions about food.                                        Diversity is crucial to success                                                               we’re divinely                         What does he, personally, see for the future of
                                                                                                                                               appointed with all the answers, and some-                            New Orleans? “I just don’t know. This is going
                “The way Americans relate to food is central to                “When I walked into the Summit on Thursday,”                    times the answers are out there in the com-                          to change America. It can makes us better, or it
                the way we relate to the environment,” she                     said Iantha Gantt-Wright, “I thought as I rode                  munity. We should start by listening to the                          can make us worse. But I’ve always believed
                asserted. “Our environmental crisis is largely                 down the escalator how exciting it was that so                  concerns of communities of color. Start off by                       that to be an environmentalist you have to be
                the result of bad food and poor food choices.                  many people from all parts of the country                       asking, not telling. Instead of explaining                           an optimist. Otherwise, you’d just give up.”
                Food education is really environmental educa-                  were here for this.”                                            what’s important to us, first ask what’s impor-
                tion, and making the right choices about food                                                                                                                                                       As he stood before the humble display he
                                                                               But Gantt-Wright, an African American who                       tant to them. That way you’ll find out their
                is the key to environmental awareness.”                                                                                                                                                             pieced together at the last moment (“I had a
                                                                               has spent the past 20 years working in the                      values. Start a dialogue with community lead-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    better exhibit,” he said apologetically, “but it’s at
                Waters credits author and agrarian Wendell                     environmental field—most recently as a diver-                   ers to find the nexus, the bridge where our
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    home in New Orleans”), people came by to
                Berry with being the first American to spread the              sity consultant to conservation groups—con-                     interests and concerns overlap.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    offer words of condolence and encourage-
                word about how food choices affect the envi-                   fessed that when she entered the main hall, “I                  “And if we are successful,” she concluded, “the                      ment. One woman handed him a folded wad of
                ronment—the notion that “eating is an agricul-                 looked left and right for people who looked                     next time we have a Summit, I’ll be able to come                     crisp twenties. “Use this to help,” she said, and
                tural act.” But it was Waters who pioneered the                like me, and when I found none my heart was                     back, look around, and feel right at home.”                          quickly walked off before he could say thanks.
                idea that knowledge about food and where it                    heavy.”                                                                                           —TOM VALTIN                                                            —PAT JOSEPH
                                                                                                                                                          DAVID WASSERMAN




                                                                                                                                                                                           “Cities consume 75 percent of the
TIMOTHY LESLE




                                                         “When you are in the trough between waves, you                                                                                    world’s natural resources. There’s
                                                         can’t see what’s ahead. It engulfs you. Sometimes you panic.                                                                      plenty that cities can do—San Francisco is committed
                                                         This is where we are today. But if we steer the right path, we can get out                                                        to reducing global warming emissions to 20 percent
                                                         of the trough and see the horizon. And the big challenges facing us.                                                              below 1990 levels by 2010. But don’t just listen to our
                                                         Today we begin the third wave of the environmen-                                                                                  rhetoric. Hold us accountable. There’s
                                                         tal movement, to bring new ideas, new solutions,                                                                                  so much more that we can do.”
                                                         and new people to our cause.”                                                                                                                                       —GAVIN NEWSOM, SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR
                                                                                                     —LISA RENSTROM, SIERRA CLUB PRESIDENT

                                                           see sierraclub.org/planet/summit                                                                                                  see sierraclub.org/planet/summit
                   SNAPSHOTS FROM THE SUMMIT




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   DAVID WASSERMAN
                                                                                                                                                                                                       From left: Sierra Club Water Sentinels Director Scott




                                                                                                                                                                                    JOHN BYRNE BARRY
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dye at the Sierra Showcase; New Hampshire delegate

                                                                                               TIMOTHY LESLE
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Michael Dorsey and Club director Joni Bosh confer; a
                                                                                                                                                                                                       climber scales the heights on the exposition hall
                                                                                                                                                                                                       climbing wall.
                                                                         to operate effectively. His organization, Living
                  Take Back Our Rivers                                   Lands and Waters, now works nine months
                                                                                                                                On the difference between liberal-progressive and right-wing conservative values:
                                                                         each year with 10 employees and a $700,000
                  Mississippi River cleanup                              budget. They partner with 125 different                “It’s the difference between ‘We're all in this
                                                                         groups and thousands of volunteers to orga-
                  organizer Chad Pregracke                               nize community river cleanups that restore
                                                                                                                                together’ and ‘You’re on your own, buddy.’ It's
                  demonstrates the value of vision                       hundreds of miles of the Mississippi, Illinois,        the difference between ‘Every citizen is entitled to protection’
                  In 1997, when Chad Pregracke was in his early          Ohio, and other rivers. They run educational           and ‘You’re only entitled to what you can afford.’ It’s the differ-
                  twenties and looking for ways to fund his              workshops for residents, professionals, and            ence between connection and separation. It is this dif-
                                                                         schoolchildren, and have begun a program to




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   DAVID WASSERMAN
                  cleanup of the Mississippi River, he experi-                                                                  ference in moral and political philosophy
                  enced an epiphany while watching television.           replant native trees on the Mississippi’s river-
                                                                         banks and islands. He’s also worked on East            that lies behind the tragedy of Katrina.”
                  His college roommates were NASCAR fans,
                  and whenever a driver was on screen, he was            Coast rivers, like the Hudson and the                                                                 —GEORGE LAKOFF, COGNITIVE SCIENTIST
                  covered with sponsor insignias and patches.            Potomac—which he was inspired to help                     see sierraclub.org/planet/summit
                  Pregracke thought, “I could wear patches.”             clean when he spotted trash clogging the
                                                                         waterway from his plane as he landed in
                  The patches never materialized, but he did call        Washington, D.C., to accept the White House’s          ther’s Birkenstock-wearing, granola revolution.”                                 nia coastline between San Diego and Los
                  up Alcoa, with offices nearby in Davenport,            Jefferson Award for Public Service.                    Business is sitting up and taking notice of the                                  Angeles—preparing Marines so they are ready
                  Iowa, and convinced the company to give him                                                                   global trend toward sustainable, renewable,                                      for action around the world.
                  an $8,400 grant. Working on the river, on his          Pregracke says that community members who              clean energy options. “Shift happens!” he said.
                                                                         participate come away happy with their expe-                                                                                            Lehnert listened politely as Foreman railed
                  own, he began to pick up the trash that jutted                                                                And we are seeing a huge shift toward clean
                                                                         rience. They’re glad they got to “take back the                                                                                         against the fact that we are smack in the mid-
                  out of the water and covered its banks like                                                                   energy with the emerging popularity of
                                                                         rivers.” But this year, his barges didn’t take part                                                                                     dle of the greatest extinction of species in 65
                  scales on a fish.                                                                                             hybrids, solar BIPV (building integrated photo-
                                                                         in the International Coastal Cleanup on                                                                                                 million years and that one of our most press-
                                                                                                                                voltaics), and large-scale wind power.                                           ing tasks is to secure wilderness and create
                  Pregracke grew up on the Upper Mississippi in          September 17. They had unloaded their
                  the Quad Cities area of Illinois. For six sum-         garbage barges for the summer and filled               Though there is a staggering amount to do,                                       interconnected protected areas to help main-
                  mers, starting in high school, he worked as a          them with building supplies to float down the          the tide is turning. With Canada embracing                                       tain healthy ecosystems for large carnivores.
                  commercial shell diver, breathing through a            Mississippi River to New Orleans.                      the Pavley greenhouse gas emissions law, join-                                   “We can’t apologize for being nature lovers,”
                                                   jury-rigged appa-                                                            ing California and eight other states, Motavalli                                 said Foreman. “We must have a vision that is
DAVID WASSERMAN




                                                                                                               —TIMOTHY LESLE
                                                   ratus for more                                                               feels it will only take “one more large state” to                                bold, scientifically credible, and hopeful—a
                                                   than eight hours a                                                           follow suit before the car companies will give                                   vision in which people and wilderness can
                                                   day in the pitch
                                                   darkness of the
                                                                         Global Warming                                         up and give us what we want—cars and
                                                                                                                                trucks with higher fuel economy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 coexist and thrive together.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 General Lehnert didn’t howl like a wolf in
                                                   river bottom,
                                                   pulling up 120
                                                                         Takes Center Stage                                     And according to Pernick, with clean energy                                      applause, like others in the audience did, but
                                                                                                                                investment up to more than $3 billion per                                        one of the first things he said was that he thor-
                                                   pounds of clams       Consumers, industry                                    year, if we can put consistent and supportive                                    oughly agreed with Foreman. “If you came
                                                   at a time; and as a
                                                                         increasingly concerned                                 public policies in place and create a level ener-                                here looking for a fight, I’m sorry to disappoint.
                                                   fisherman and
                                                                                                                                gy playing field with new financial mecha-                                       My job is to apply some of [Foreman’s] ideas
                  Chad Pregracke                   barge hand. Dur-      ”Global warming is moving to the center                nisms to support clean energy development,                                       to what I do.”
                                                   ing his time on       stage,” stated Jim Motavalli, editor of E Maga-        we will be well on our way to a clean energy                                     For the past five years, Lehnert has been work-
                  the river, he noticed massive amounts of               zine, as he kicked off his portion of the packed       future.                                                                          ing to improve the environmental stewardship
                  garbage. And there were all kinds of trash: tires      “Solutions to Global Warming: Moving Beyond                                                          —TRACI LAIRD
                  of every kind, Styrofoam, 55-gallon drums,             Oil and Coal” program. With the disastrous                                                                                              of Marine bases. His task is exemplified at
                  trucks, vans, mattresses, televisions, refrigera-      affects of Hurricane Katrina still before us and                                                                                        Camp Pendelton. In 1970, there were four
                  tors, tractors. It pained him to see the neglect
                  of such an important and legendary river. So
                                                                         70 percent of respondents in a recent poll
                                                                         indicating their belief in a link between this
                                                                                                                                Restoring the Wild                                                               endangered species on the base, but because
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of the pressures of urbanization all around, by
                  he started to call Illinois legislators and the        hurricane and global warming, the conversa-                                                                                             the 1990s there were 18. “In many cases, it’s
                  governor, to no avail. That’s when he turned to        tion could not have been more timely.
                                                                                                                                Improving the environmental                                                      their last refuge before extinction,” he said; it’s
                  the private sector.                                                                                           stewardship of Marine bases                                                      his job to protect them.
                                                                         Motavalli focused on moving toward “trans-
                  When he got that first grant and was cleaning          portation that works,” and highlighted many            Dave Foreman—famous one-time Earth First!er                                      There wasn’t time for Lehnert to flesh out his
                  up the river, fisherman, hunters, and bird-            available options such as hybrid vehicles,             and now head of the Rewilding Institute—                                         argument about why he opposes critical habi-
                  watchers would often lend a hand. They called          biodiesel, “partial zero emission” vehicles            shared the stage with a Marine Corps general                                     tat designation for military bases, but he did
                  the Quad-City Times, which put him on the              (though these do more for reducing ozone               in a buttoned-up green uniform. It seemed like                                   say that if such a designation were given to
                  front page: “Love Affair with the River.” The AP       than fighting global warming), plug-in                 the set-up for a wrestling match rather than a                                   Camp Pendleton, the military might well have
                  picked up on the story, then ABC, then CNN.            hybrids, congestion charges for vehicles               dialogue, but instead of a fist fight it was a                                   to move out—leaving the area ripe for
                  (Pregracke recalls telling famous reporters,           entering urban centers (London and Stock-              lovefest. Very strange…and inspiring.                                            exploitation of other kinds. The good news is
                  “OK, I’ll pick you up at the airport and we’ll go      holm currently do this), free parking, and light                                                                                        that there is plenty of time for continued con-
                                                                                                                                Brigadier General Mike Lehnert is responsible                                    versation. He invited anyone who wanted to
                  out and get some garbage.”)                            rail transit.                                          for the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base in                                      visit the camp and see for themselves what the
                  At times, Pregracke ran out of money and took          Ron Pernick, co-founder of Clean Edge, Inc.,           Southern California, which possesses one of                                      Marines are up to, environmentally speaking.
                  out personal loans to finance his river                said “this is becoming mainstream” as he went          the largest tracts of open space on the Califor-                                                      —MARILYN BERLIN SNELL
                  cleanups. But over the years he has scraped            through some of the drivers he sees affecting
                  together barges, boats, and other equipment            clean energy today. “This is not your grandfa-
                                                                                                                                                                         “While vision empowers change and is
                                                                                                                                                                         essential for change, by itself it is not
                  “Have you ever been in a group that spends an hour                                                                                                     change. Change is deeds.
                  arguing over what color paper to use for a brochure?                                                                                                   Change can only be empowered by a
                  That's a group that needs a vision. Good leaders must be able to create and commu-                                                                     large gathering. Change can only
                  nicate a vision of success.                                                                                                                            happen in small groups. The work
                                                                                                                                                                         of creating something new
                  Leadership matters. And the more serious the challenge, the more leader-
                                                                                                                                                                         comes when you return to
                  ship matters. Being a leader is not about being a superhero. Every one of us can lead
                                                                                                                                                                         your communities.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     DAVID WASSERMAN




                  at the levels we need to lead.”
                                                                                                                                                         TIMOTHY LESLE




                                                                                                                                                                         —CARL POPE, SIERRA CLUB EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
                                                                  —JOHN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT, GIRAFFE HEROES PROJECT
                    see sierraclub.org/planet/summit                                                                                                                       see sierraclub.org/planet/summit
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The

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              Sierra Club Activist Resource

                                     November/December 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7

Thoroughbred Power Plant Blocked
I     BY TOM VALTIN                                                                                                                                                                      Sierra Club Insider
   Some said opposing Peabody Coal’s proposed Thor-
oughbred Power Plant near Central City, Kentucky, was                                                                                                                    Endangered Species Act Endangered
“a David vs. Goliath challenge.” We’re talking about the                                                                                                                                         On September 29, Congress took the




                                                                                                                                                      PATUXENT NWR MD HOLLINGSWORTH/
                                                                                                                                                                      USFW&S (CAPTIVE)
world’s largest coal company, after all, which last year sold                                                                                                                                    first step toward gutting the 30-year
17 million tons of coal from Appalachia alone.                                                                                                                                                   old Endangered Species Act, voting
   But the Sierra Club’s Cumberland Chapter, along with                                                                                                                                          229 to 193 in favor of legislation by
Valley Watch of Indiana and three citizens, successfully                                                                                                                                         House Resources Chairman Richard
                            challenged a state air quality                                                                                                                                       Pombo (R-CA). The bill eliminates
                            permit Peabody had received                                                                                                                                          habitat protections for fish and wildlife
     victory                for Thoroughbred, saying it ig-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 facing extinction, creates an exemption
                                                                                                                                                                         for pesticide approval, and establishes a new entitlement
nored the Clean Air Act requirement that “best available                                                                                                                 program for developers and polluters. According to the




                                                                                                                                      JOAN LINDOP
control technology” be used on new polluting facilities.                                                                                                                 Congressional Budget Office, implementation of the Pombo
   In August, hearing officer Janet Thompson of the Ken-                                                                                                                  bill will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.7 billion over the next five
tucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet               Standing Up: Jim Nyberg and Jim Young of the Sierra Club’s                                               years. The bill also risks bankrupting existing wildlife
agreed with nearly all of the Sierra Club’s case and re-        Eastern Missouri Group make their feelings known at a Sierra                                             conservation programs that aid landowners and rural
manded the permit for the 1,500-megawatt Thoroughbred           Club rally outside Peabody’s annual shareholder meeting in St.                                           businesses. For more, go to sierraclub.org/wildlife/species.
plant. Thompson found that Peabody and the state Divi-          Louis in May.
sion of Air Quality had acted in an “arbitrary and capri-
cious” manner in rejecting modern emission techniques.          granted consent to the project without an environmental                                                  Smithfield Shareholder Resolution
   The Louisville Courier-Journal called it “a rare rebuff to   risk assessment—a decision that just so happened to co-                                                  On August 26, the Sierra Club’s Shareholder Action Task
Peabody,” and predicted that the decision “will set the         incide with a series of targeted political contributions.                                                Force gained the support of nearly 1 in 4 investors in hog
                                                                                                                                                                         giant Smithfield Foods, Inc., in calling for a closer look at the
agenda for a whole new era in power generation in a re-         “Every time a government agency objected to some part
                                                                                                                                                                         environmental impacts of the company’s contract farms.
gion that has some of the nation’s worst air.”                  of the permit, Peabody made a donation in high places                                                    Glen Besa presented the Sierra Club resolution at
   “We’d been watching the progress of Peabody’s ‘next          and the objections were ‘resolved,’” Bennett says.                                                       Smithfield’s annual shareholder meeting in Richmond,
generation’ of power plants for some time,” says Chapter            They pointed out as well that Mammoth Cave National                                                  Virginia. The vote—representing millions of shares—
Vice Chair Lane Boldman. “We felt Thoroughbred                  Park—an International Biosphere Reserve and World Her-                                                   prompted the Richmond Times-Dispatch to declare,
would be a bellwether for many future power plants, in          itage Site—is 50 miles downwind of the proposed plant                                                    “Shareholder desire is growing for Smithfield to report on
Kentucky and elsewhere.”                                        site. Air pollution at Mammoth Cave is the third worst in                                                the environmental performance of farms that raise hogs for
   Club Midwest organizer Bruce Nilles, on hearing of           the national park system. Rainfall is ten times more acidic                                              the company.” For more on Shareholder Action Task Force
the chapter’s victory, said, “Do not underestimate the sig-     than natural conditions, and monitoring has found high                                                   activities, go to sierraclub.org/cac/shareholder.
nificance of what you have done in Kentucky. This will           levels of mercury in park waterways and in the hair of bats
have an effect on power plants throughout the Midwest.”         in the caves. Coal-burning power plants are the main source
   Throughout the permitting process, the chapter               of mercury pollution.                                                                                    Owens Valley Victory
fought to have even simple requirements of the Clean Air            “If the cabinet secretary upholds this decision,                                                                                  In a victory for the Toiyabe
                                                                                                                                                                 MIKE PRATHER




Act implemented. The three-year battle culminated in a          Peabody will have to go back and do it right,” says                                                                                   Chapter, the Los Angeles
74-day hearing involving 25 witnesses and more than             Graddy. “The hearing officer decided that our children’s                                                                               Department of Water and Power
600 legal exhibits, the lion’s share organized and pre-         health and safety needs come first.”                                                                                                   was ordered to restore flows to
sented by chapter volunteers, who brought the issue be-             Sierra Club vs. Thoroughbred has already been cited as                                                                            eastern California’s Owens River or
fore the public through a steady stream of media and            an influence on other projects in Kentucky. Boldman says                                                                               be barred from using an aqueduct
                                                                                                                                                                         that daily transports millions of gallons of water to Southern
public relations events.                                        managers of the proposed Cache Creek Power Plant have
                                                                                                                                                                         California. The lower river has been depleted by LADWP water
   Chapter leaders Hank Graddy and Betsy Bennett                stated that they’ll use cleaner technology largely because                                               diversions since 1913. The Inyo County Superior Court
spearheaded the legal challenge, arguing that the state         of concerns with Peabody and environmental groups.                                                       imposed a $5,000-per-day fine, starting September 5, and
                                                                                                                                                                         ordered major reductions in groundwater pumping until the
The Right Kind of Legacy                                                                                                                                                 agency completes a long-delayed plan to restore a 62-mile
                                                                                                                                                                         stretch of the river. Chapter leader Mike Prather credits local
[FROM P. 1]                                                                                                                                                              activists—notably Mark Bagley of the Range of Light Group—
than 1,000 on one occasion), showed up to tell the Utah         lanes. Finally, fearing that federal courts would not ap-                                                and “huge generosity and encouragement” by the Angeles
Department of Transportation (UDOT): “We want                   prove Legacy when a better idea was on the table, UDOT                                                   Chapter. “Our rallying cry,” he says, “is ‘No dehydration
something better.”                                              agreed to adopt the basic elements of the Smart Growth                                                   without representation.’” For more, see www.ovcweb.org.
   Over the past eight years, federal courts ruled repeat-      plan along with the more environmentally-friendly park-
edly that UDOT and the U.S. Department of Transporta-           way.
tion had failed to comply with basic environmental                 Instead of a 300-foot-wide expressway and trucking
                                                                                                                                                                         New Energy Bill Exploits Katrina
requirements on Legacy. Meanwhile, a new light-rail sys-        corridor, the parkway will be a truck-free 2-lane road                                                   A disappointing vote occurred on October 7 when the
tem (TRAX) was built—which now carries 45,000 riders            with lower speed limits and quiet, rubberized pavement.                                                  House of Representatives passed a bill eliminating a wide
                                                                                                                                                                         range of environmental standards that protect public
a day—four more light-rail lines were planned, and a            Wetlands that were slated for development will be saved
                                                                                                                                                                         health, including standards placed on the oil industry,
commuter rail line from Salt Lake City to Ogden (along          through the purchase of 125 acres west of the parkway,                                                   which will receive huge subsidies at a time when it is raking
the Legacy Corridor) broke ground.                              providing the “missing link” that completes the Legacy                                                   in record profits. Faced with losing the vote, the House
   But UDOT kept saying, “We need Legacy.” So the               Nature Reserve along the Great Salt Lake. The agreement                                                  leadership held the vote open until enough arms were
Sierra Club and its coalition partners designed a “Smart        also allocates $2.5 million toward an environmental im-                                                  twisted to produce a razor-thin 212-210 majority, eliciting
Growth” citizen’s alternative that involved adding to the       pact statement for new light rail or bus rapid transit.                                                  chants of, “Shame! Shame!” from opponents. However, the
commuter rail system, bus rapid transit, and converting            “We applaud the state for recognizing that citizens                                                   leadership was forced to remove a scheme to gut the Clean
portions of Interstate 15 to peak-direction reversible          have very good ideas,” says Heileson.                                                                    Air Act’s New Source Review program. For more, see
                                                                                                                                                                         sierraclub.org/vision/energy.asp.

Arctic on Edge                                                                                                                                                           Is Your City a Cool City?
[FROM P. 1]
                                                                                                                                                                  ROBERT GLUSIC




                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Sierra Club’s Cool Cities
from the New York City area. While working and travel-                                                                                                                                              campaign kicked off on October 12
ing in Alaska this summer, Nuding was inspired to vol-                                                                                                                                              in Chicago, the start of a fall tour of
                                                                                                                                                                                                    20 Midwestern, Southeastern, and
unteer at the Sierra Club’s Anchorage office, and is now
                                                                                                                                                                                                    New England cities whose mayors
active with the Club in New York. She helped organize a                                                                                                                                             have signed the U.S. Mayors
bus to bring 15 New Yorkers to the rally, after which she                                                                                                                Climate Protection agreement. Impatient with federal
lobbied at the offices of three members of Congress.                                                                                                                     inaction, local leaders are moving forward with solutions like
“Even though I’m back in New York,” Nuding says of her                                                                                                                   cleaner car fleets, energy efficiency, and renewable energy
                                                                                                                                        MEGAN LEWIS




work, “it makes me feel closer to Alaska.”                                                                                                                               that reduce pollution and save taxpayer dollars. More than
                                                                                                                                                                         180 mayors representing 40 million Americans in 38 states
  Take Action Sign the Club’s petition in support of                                                                                                                     have pledged to reduce carbon pollution in their cities. To
                                                                Opposition is Bruin: Protestors, including native Alaskans
protecting the Arctic at sierraclub.org/petition/arctic, send                                                                                                            accompany the campaign, the Club has produced a “Guide
                                                                and local wildlife, rallied on Capitol Hill to show their support
a letter to your senators and representative, and write let-                                                                                                             to Local Global Warming Solutions.” To read or download
                                                                for keeping the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge free from drilling.
ters to the editor of your local newspapers. (And if you                                                                                                                 the guide, go to sierraclub.org/globalwarming/coolcities. To
have friends or relatives in the states represented by the      tional treasure that the majority of Americans want to                                                   receive a copy of the “Cool Cities Activist Manual,” contact
                                                                                                                                                                         glen.brand@sierraclub.org.
moderates mentioned above, urge them to tell their sena-        protect.) For more information, contact Jeff Waner at                                                                                                       —TOM VALTIN
tors and representatives that the Arctic Refuge is a na-        (202) 675-7914 or Melinda Pierce at (202) 675-7912.
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The                Sierra Club Activist Resource

                lanet                     November/December 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                                      8




                   c
              clubbeat



                                         NOTES FROM ALL OVER



             Healthy Food, Local Farms: On October 1, the                    Food Nation; Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer, author, and
             sixth annual Sierra Club-sponsored Healthy Food,                leading advocate of grass-fed animal farming; Carole
             Local Farms Conference (pictured below) was held at             Morison, a chicken grower and activist against the indus-
             Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Club             trial system; and Dr. William Weida of the GRACE fac-
             organizer Aloma Dew, the driving force behind the               tory farm project, which seeks to eliminate factory
             conference, coordinated the event, including the in-            farming in favor of a sustainable food production system.




                                                                                                                                                                                                        GLORIA SHONE
             volvement of more than 75 local volunteers. Nearly                  A dozen breakout sessions featuring 30 expert pan-
             300 people attended from across the country and                 elists were held on a range of topics, and exhibit tables
             around the state, including Louisville Mayor Jerry              lined the walls of the main conference hall. The event
             Abramson. The central theme of the conference was               garnered media coverage before and after the confer-            ter were prodigious. In 1998 he won a Webby Award
             how we as a society begin to shift from an industrial           ence, including several spots on National Public Radio          from the Colorado Association of Non-Profit Organiza-
             model of food production that abuses animals, exploits          and front-page coverage in the Louisville Courier-Jour-         tions for the Sierra Club Web site he designed, and in
             workers, and poisons the environment and the food we            nal. For more on the Club’s work to support Healthy             2004 he won the Club’s Susan B. Miller Award. He re-
             eat, to the model of locally-raised foods and sustainable       Food and Local Farms, see sierraclub.org/factoryfarms.          cently spearheaded the chapter’s Recycle IT! Program,
             family farms that are healthful and humane, economi-                                                                            which takes old computers, strips and upgrades them,
             cally viable, and ecologically sound.                           So Long, Friend: Longtime Club leader Charlie                   and donates them to schools instead of tossing them in
                Kentucky author, farmer, and conservationist Wendell         Oriez (pictured above at a Colorado Rockies baseball            landfills. See www.rmc.sierraclub.org/recycleit for more
             Berry spoke at a pre-conference dinner featuring locally-       game this August) died on September 7 at age 52. A              about Recycle IT! A memorial fund has been established
             grown, antibiotic-free food. Two more such delicious            dogged anti-smoking campaigner, Oriez—who died                  in Oriez’s name to benefit the South Platte Group of the
             meals were served at the conference itself, which featured      from lung cancer—attributed his illness to secondhand           Sierra Club. To contribute, see www.oriez.org.
             speakers Eric Schlosser, author of the best-selling Fast        smoke. In 1987 he was the campaign manager for a
                                                                             successful anti-smoking initiative in Littleton, Col-           The Envelope, Please: The Sierra Club’s 2005 Na-
 ALOMA DEW




                                                                             orado, and more recently he testified before both                tional Awards were presented at an award banquet on
                                                                             houses of the state legislature supporting bills to enact       September 9 in San Francisco during the Sierra Sum-
                                                                             a strong statewide anti-smoking law.                            mit. Award winners included Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.,
                                                                                 A New Orleans native and a computer systems engi-           president of the Waterkeeper Alliance; Representative
                                                                             neer by profession, Oriez’s activist career began in high       Nancy Johnson of Connecticut; wilderness activist
                                                                             school when he led a campaign to pressure a factory to          Howard Booth of Boulder City, Nevada; animal pho-
                                                                             clean up its water pollution. He became active with the         tographer Larry Allen of Sarasota, Florida; wildlife
                                                                             Sierra Club while living in New York City, and while            manager Kevin Frey of Bozeman, Montana; and stu-
                                                                             representing New York at a national Sierra Club confer-         dent activists Charlie Fredrick of Washington, Mis-
                                                                             ence, met his future wife, Gloria Shone, who was repre-         souri, and Linda Sullivan of Lombard, Illinois. For
                                                                             senting Texas. They were married in Colorado in 1986.           details and a complete list of award winners, see
                                                                                 Oriez’s contributions to the Rocky Mountain Chap-           sierraclub.org/planet/nationalawards.


                                                                              Betsy Bennett—Louisville, Kentucky                               Larry Fahn—Mill Valley, California
                  who we are                                                  Cumberland Chapter Conservation Chair                            Former Club President
             John Swingle—Fort Myers, Florida
             Florida Chapter Chair                                               Betsy Bennett joined the Sierra Club in 1983 “be-                 Larry Fahn is in animated phone conversation at his
                                                                              cause I wanted to make the world a safe and healthy              desk, piled high with papers, in the San Francisco of-
                 “I can tell you in five letters what got me involved          place for my two children, who were nine and six at              fices of As You Sow, a non-profit foundation dedicated
             with the Sierra Club,” says John Swingle. “K-A-R-E-N.”           the time.” Her interest in conservation and politics             to promoting corporate accountability. It’s the week be-
                 Karen Cartwright, Swingle’s wife, was already active         was spurred on by a job as news editor for the rural             fore the Sierra Summit, and Fahn—an attorney and ex-
             with the Florida Chapter when the two met in 1999. “I                                         Danville, Kentucky, Advo-           ecutive director of As You Sow—is trying to nail down
             always loved the outdoors—I’ve camped all my life,”                                           cate-Messenger, where she           Al Gore’s appearance. It was he who first approached
             Swingle says. “But I was never an activist until Karen                                        “covered everything” in a 7-                                     Gore last year about appear-
             took me to a meeting for public input into off-road ve-                                       county area.                                                     ing at the Summit.
             hicle restrictions in Big Cypress. I got up and talked in                                        “I was interested in clean                                       Fahn, who as Club presi-
                                           favor of the restrictions even                                  water issues,” she says, “and I                                  dent delivered some 300
                                           though we were outnum-                                          remember taking my kids out                                      speeches across the country,
                                           bered 250 to 6 by angry                                         to a bridge over the Kentucky                                    says the best part of the job
                                           swamp buggy and ORV                                             River that was being re-                                         was visiting the favorite
                                           owners, and they haven’t                                        painted. The old lead paint                                      places of local leaders and
                                           been able to shut me up                                         was being sandblasted and                                        meeting like-minded people
                                           since.”                            the dust was falling into the water below. We hid in the                                      from coast to coast. “I got to
                                              Before he became an envi-       bushes on the streambank and took photos. Unfortu-                                            see grizzlies in the wild, saw
                                           ronmental champion,                nately, the picture quality was so lousy due to the paint        a pair of wolves chase a grizzly from a kill, watched
                                           Swingle was another kind of        dust that the photos couldn’t be printed.”                       manatees browsing on marsh weeds just 20 yards from
                                           American hero. “I was a               Bennett, who in college majored in French with a              where I was hiking. Those kinds of experiences made
             paramedic/firefighter with the Milford, Connecticut,               focus on Albert Camus, says, “I learned that one indi-           the hectic travel schedule more than worthwhile.”
             fire department for 25 years, Battalion Chief for the             vidual can create positive change. At the first Cumber-               Another highlight, he says, was addressing 1.2 mil-
             last year-and-a-half. I retired because I was 46 years old       land Chapter meeting I attended I volunteered to be the          lion people on the Washington Mall on the occasion
             and I’d gone as high as I could without being relegated          newsletter editor, and my activism mushroomed from               of the March for Women’s Lives. Among Fahn’s priori-
             to a desk job. I moved to Florida because my marriage            there. Those activities ultimately led me to law school          ties as Club president was collaborating with non-tra-
             was ending and two of my six kids were there.”                   when my children reached high school. I graduated in             ditional allies, including the women’s movement,
                 Swingle’s advice to ordinary citizens who care about         1993, the oldest person in my class!”                            labor, hunters and anglers, the faith community, and
             the environment is simple: “Talk to people. Tell others             After passing the Kentucky bar, Bennett “landed” in           communities of color. “It’s vital that we reach out to
             about your concerns. Write a letter to the editor of your        a private practice with fellow Club activist Hank                more diverse communities, especially in the South and
             local paper. And contact your legislator—elected officials        Graddy. The two recently played key roles in convincing          the Midwest,” he says. “Our issues resonate across the
             will listen if they hear from enough constituents.”              an administrative law judge to remand a controversial air        political spectrum.”
                 As tirelessly as Swingle works on behalf of Florida’s en-    permit for Peabody’s proposed Thoroughbred Power                     In spite of the prevailing climate in Washington,
             vironment, no one will ever accuse him of not stopping           Plant in western Kentucky (see story, p.7).                      D.C., Fahn is upbeat. “There’s great reason for hope at
             to smell the roses. He and Karen have a cabin in the                Bennett is currently vice-chair of Kentucky’s Envi-           the state and local level, there are exciting developments
             Ocala National Forest to which they escape to be close to        ronmental Quality Commission. She and her husband                in energy and hybrid technologies, and young people
             nature. “We don’t stop playing because we get old,” he           Bruce Hart enjoy bluegrass music, traveling, and spend-          are getting active on public lands and trade issues. If we
             says. “We get old because we stop playing.”                      ing time with their beagle, Dakota.                              just get through the next three years, we’ll be OK.”
                                                                                                                                                                                            —TOM VALTIN

								
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