Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Noted Author, Travel Journalist, Environmentalist
In town recently to promote his book

Mike Tidwell is the consummate storyteller. Knowing nothing of the disappearing Louisiana coast, Mike came to Cajun Country to chronicle the lives of people living in coastal Louisiana. With the evidence all around him, he wrote Bayou Farewell, The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast, a part travelogue, part environmental expose’ published in 2003. Speaking of that experience, Tidwell said,” It’s an open question whether New Orleans will exist in 15 years or 50 years, especially if a strong hurricane hits in a certain way.”

Tidwell’s 2006 book, The Ravaging Tide, Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Coming Death of America’s Coastal Cities” issues a call to arms about global warming and the impending lethal forces threatening every coastal city on the globe. With a predicted rise of up to three feet in sea level by 2100, the danger is clear.

As founder and director of the U.S. Climate Emergency Council, based in Takoma Park, Maryland, Tidwell lives an example of the fossil-fuel free live at his suburban Maryland home. His approach is surprisingly optimistic, as he offers trend-setting examples of how to reduce greenhouse gases. He argues for global political will, not just for the U.S. government, but individuals and local governments.

A former grantee of the National Endowment for the Arts, Tidwell has won four Lowell Thomas awards for his travel journalism. Among his three previous books is Amazon Stranger, which details efforts to save the Ecuadorian rain forest and In the Mountains of Heaven, travels to exotic lands. His articles can be found in the Washington Post, The National Geographic Traveler and the Reader’s Digest.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Green Light New Orleans

The Alliance for Affordable Energy, New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club, and the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association are partnering with the New Orleans nonprofit organization Green Light New Orleans to change out incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use about 1/4 the energy. This will save homeowners 75% of their lighting costs on their utility bills and will reduce pollution by the same amount! Green Light New Orleans provided the bulbs for free! (Thank you Green Light New Orleans and its director Andi Hoffmann!)


This is part of a larger initiative to create 10 sites to serve as models of clean energy for our city. Nine homes and the NENA Center in the Holy Cross Neighborhood and Lower 9th Ward, which recently received 1.5 kW solar electric systems donated by Sharp Solar International to the Alliance for Affordable Energy, will be featured in quarterly "Clean Energy Homes Tours". We will hold our first "Clean Energy Homes Tour" on Earthday, April 22nd. Interested folks can attend for free to learn how to make their homes more energy efficient and how to go solar.

More on Green Light New Orleans - Lowering New Orleans' energy usage one light bulb at a time -

Green Light New Orleans - helping out with free CFL light bulbs
Global warming is the most significant environmental challenge of the day, and New Orleans is one of the most at risk cities. Wasteful energy consumption is perhaps the largest contributor to Global Warming. One of the easiest effective steps to reduce energy consumption is to change the lighting in your home from old style incandescent bulbs to modern compact fluorescent lighting. If every household in the United States replaced one light bulb with a compact fluorescent light (CFL), it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road. In addition to the environmental benefits, a CFL uses 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb, thereby saving money on a home’s energy bills. Each CFL will save the user more than $40 over the life of the bulb.

Green Light New Orleans is a proactive environmental organization committed to switching the entire city of New Orleans from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights, one house at a time. We provide low- and middle-income families and individuals with enough free CFLs to change out all of their incandescents bulbs, and we actually go to peoples homes and install them.

The city of New Orleans faces a strong increase in energy cost, an unstable power system plagued by frequent blackouts and serious consequences of global warming through stronger and more frequent hurricanes. Our goal is to switch the entire city from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), one house at a time.

Green Light New Orleans helps people to lower their energy bills AND gives you an opportunity to actively fight global warming.

Micah Walker Parkin
Program Director
Alliance for Affordable Energy
(504) 258-1247 (mobile)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Recycling e-action

Help the Sierra Club Bring Back the Blue Bins!

17 months after Katrina, the city is facing massive challenges: Rebuilding, crime, little affordable housing, expanded landfills, and not enough classes for school-children. Despite these problems, the city is signing fat contracts for automated twice-weekly garbage pickup and a Disney-fied French Quarter. Meanwhile, the city has done nothing to reinstate curb-side recycling, despite the energy savings, and reduced need for landfill space that recycling provides.

Please visit this website to send a message to the Mayor and City Council leaders Oliver Thomas and Arnie Fielkow and demand action:

Web campaign tool provided by the Gulf Restoration Network.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mardi Gras Celebrations Overshadowed By Toxic Trailers

"Even the Sierra Club has an article on their website - their's is titled "Mardi Gras Celebrations Overshadowed By Toxic Trailers." Apparently the Sierra Club tested some of the FEMA campers and the test results showed levels of formaldehyde above the EPA limit."

From "The Invisible Flood Blog." (This Blog is the story of one family's adventurous journey hrough the aftermath of the Invisible Flood of 06. The name - Invisible Flood of 06 - is meant to draw attention to the lack of national news coverage to what was in fact a devastating flooding event of historic proportions which impacted large sections of NYS and several other states. The blog is meant to bring the light of day to the nonsense, bureaucracy, and BS that flood victims encounter as they wade through the land of FEMA, NFIP Flood Insurance, State Grants, and other aspects of life after a flood. Journey with us through the ripples left by the Invisible
Flood of 06... )

OUT OF BALANCE: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change

"Out of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change" shows the influence that the largest company in the world has on governments, the media and citizens and what can be done about global warming. While the Earth’s climate is pushed further out of balance by increasing use of fossil fuels, ExxonMobil continues to assert undue influence around the world— making record profits while ignoring climate science for which there has been overwhelming consensus for over ten years.

A useful next movie if you’ve seen Vice President Al Gore’s film, “Out of Balance” does not just critique ExxonMobil, it also offers challenging, large-scale ideas for the global social changes that must take place if there’s any chance of having a livable planet for future generations.

At a recent New Orleans Group program, The Sierra Club, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and film-maker Tom Jackson discussed the movie, recent news attention that ExxonMobil has received for announcing their acknowledgment of human caused climate change, and how we can work effectively to confront an issue that challenges the Gulf Coast as no other region. Tom is touring the country with his film in a biodiesel vehicle to facilitate dialogue and action on this critical issue.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

All new New Orleans Sierra Club blog

Here we go again. The newest blog from Sierra Clubbers in Louisiana. Specifically New Orleans.