April 2006

Member Alert

AAA Watch

Top Story


Washington Watch

In The News

Member Alert
Has Better World Club Gone Soft?

Hard Copy Forms Now Available Online

Have you placed the hard copies of your member materials in a really safe place? So safe that you cannot remember where that place is. Well don't worry. Many of our forms are now available online in the Member Only section of our website.

You will be able to find soft copies of our claim form, trip routing request, and hotel guide request forms. Just print them out and mail them to the address indicated on the form.
AAA Watch

Now Advertising As "Better World Auto Club"

BWC Recognizes that Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

BWC Considers Advertising as "Arrogant, Anti-Environmental Advertisers", But Won't Stoop to Their Level

It's hard to believe but AAA targets people looking for information on Better World Club online by advertising as "Better World Auto Club" in advertising on Google and other search engines.

BWC has received inquiries from prospective members asking whether we are owned by AAA. Hardly. AAA has decided it is in their interest to identify with Better World and confuse the public that they might be us. Better World Club has advertised on Google, MSN, and Yahoo! on search results pages for "AAA", but we never label ourselves AAA, or anything close to it. Rather than identify with AAA, Better World has no problem differentiating ourselves from them.

Member Specials
green*light Magazine

Absolutely FREE read the Spring 2006 issue of greenlight

- Earth-friendly furniture, travel ideas & gardening tools
- Energy-saving home remodeling projects that won't break your bank
- Eco-gifts for Mom, Make a greener burger, Plasma TV's and answers to your everyday questions about earth-friendly living.

Read the current issue now and get your FREE one-year subscription
Top Story
Better World Club Needs Your Feedback on Campaign for Energy Independence

Every American Needs to Know the Magic MPG Figure that Will Get Us Off Foreign Oil

It's Not Really That Important: Only Involves National Security, the Economy, and the Environment

Better World Club will be announcing a high profile campaign in July for Energy Independence. This campaign will feature recognition to those who are driving high mileage vehicles, using alternative fuels, and otherwise helping to change America's gasoline dependent culture. The centerpiece will be the fuel economy target that must be met in order to end our dependence on foreign oil for our vehicles, which comprises roughly 70% of America's energy use.

This is a campaign, not a one day public relations effort. This campaign will feature a web site, on-going viral email and public service announcements, and bumper stickers, t-shirts and other recognition to those who are driving high mileage vehicles, using alternative fuels, and otherwise helping to change the American gasoline dependent culture. Through these efforts, the campaign should be on-going and self perpetuating. This effort is unique in that:

Its centerpiece will be the fuel economy figure that we need to meet in order to end our dependence on foreign oil for our vehicles, which comprises roughly 70% of America's energy use. This figure will be announced at the launch of the campaign.

Vehicles that meet these figures will be designated as "Patriot Cars". (There will also be recognition for "Patriot Fuels" and "Patriot Wheels".) When Americans have the choice to make changes that are necessary to protect the American environment, economy, and national security, isn't it the patriotic thing to do?

The current plan is to announce the Patriot Car campaign with a statement (Declaration?) of Energy Independence in July.


For every American car buyer to know the fuel economy/alternative fuel needed for the US to stop importing oil to meet our light-vehicle transportation needs. For Americans to then use that knowledge when purchasing a vehicle.

When you recognize yourself as an addict, it becomes imperative to distance yourself from your dealer, inspired by the realization of your addiction's cost to:

1. Our environment. Americans are dependent upon a resource that fouls our air and contributes to global warming. Complete Story

We need your feedback. Please complete the survey which starts below regarding logos, taglines, and more. (Additional questions will pop up after you've answered the first one.)

1/6: Which of the following taglines do you prefer? "This is a Patriot Car -
Green Is The New Red, White, and Blue."
I Love My Car. I Love My Country More."
I'm Driving Change by Driving This Car"
Driving America to Energy Independence."
Am I An Oil Addict? No, I'm Clean."
I Couldn't Give Myself a Hummer"
Use this link if the form above doesn't work

Better World Club is Virtually Marching to Stop Global Warming...and We're Virtually Tired

Better World Partners with StopGlobalWarming.org to...how can we put this...STOP GLOBAL WARMING!

Better World Club is partnering with StopGlobalWarming.org to fight greenhouse gas emissions. We need your help: Go to www.stopglobalwarming.org, click on the Partners page, and scroll down near the bottom of the page. Click on the Better World Club site and sign up. Or go there directly

StopGlobalWarming.org just put us up on their website, so we're behind. We can't let organizations like the Philadelphia Eagles have more marchers than us. So help us out..and stay on the site long enough to learn more about global warming.

Tour d'Organics Series Takes Cyclists to Organic Farms

BWC Staff Would Prefer Not to See Where Their Food Comes From. Who Wants to Look at Junk?

German Chancellor Bismarck once said that people shouldn't see how their legislation or sausages are made. The Tour d'Organics might agree with Bismarck. Its series of 5 bicycle rides throughout the United States connects communities to their local, organic food sources. (No sausage factories are on the trip.)

The series begins on May 20th in Austin, TX, then heads west with Portland, CA on June 24th, Santa Cruz, CA on July 23rd, Sebastopol, CA on August 20th, and Santa Barbara on September 17th. Complete Story
Washington Watch
Bush Rhetoric on Gas Prices Becomes Positively...Environmental

If Cars Can Run on BS, then Energy Crisis Solved

Some Bush Proposals Helpful, but Both Sides Miss the Point; Here's a Detailed Analysis

President George Bush acknowledged in his State of the Union that America was "addicted to oil". His response to the recent run up in gasoline prices included similar environmental language.

But addicts are given one remedy: go cold turkey! No coherent program to wean us from oil can be heard from President Bush. Rather, he sidesteps the key issues: how do we get energy to reflect its real cost (incorporating environmental and national security costs as well as economic risks). This would mean higher gasoline costs, which then need to be balanced by some form of consumer rebate. All while preventing the oil companies from unfairly profiting.

At the same time, there needs to be a recognition that there is no long term, supply side solution to the gasoline crisis. Given that experts conclude that oil reserves have peaked, sometime in the next 50 years and quite possibly, much sooner, the amount of oil is going to be inadequate and the price is going to skyrocket. If America has done no more than it is discussing today, we will be very vulnerable when this time comes.

A demand side strategy is necessary. (See the Top Story) It's really only a matter of time before rising prices diminish demand. The only real question is how difficult that transition will be.

In all fairness, Bush has incorporated a few good policy proposals into his plan. Complete Story

More Washington Watch in 'Driving Change'

Are Proposed Higher Fuel Economy Standards Intended to Mask Pre-Emption of Tougher State Greenhouse Gas Emission Regs? Read More

Pombo and Crapo Join Forces To Gut The Endangered Species Act Read More
In The News

See the world and save the planet
Some true believers recycle even into their suitcases

By Diane Daniel, Globe Correspondent | April 16, 2006

Davis, Henault, and Gilson are all model "good citizens," one of eight traveler categories identified in a study comparing Americans' travel practices with their feelings about environmental quality...

The convention business is putting pressure on hotels, but individual travelers can and should do the same, said Mitch Rofsky, president of the Better World Club, the environmentally conscious alternative to the American Automobile Association...

"I certainly want people to be more demanding consumers," Rofsky said. "But also, if business doesn't inform the consumers of the possibilities, then consumers don't know what to ask for." Complete Story

Better World has a "carbon-offset" program that lets you fight global warming while you fly or drive.

Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
Better World Club Fuel Price Report

The recent rise in petroleum prices and the effect that it has on the American economy has been widely documented. Though, as Better World Club's Fuel Report displays, drivers of alternative-fueled vehicles are more likely to be 'gently disciplined' rather than 'hit hard'.

Following trends set in previous Fuel Reports, LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) continues to be the least expensive of the vehicle fuels, followed by Ethanol 85. Biodiesel is generally the most expensive of the fuels.

Fuel Type

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Sudan Divestiture Effort Gaining Momentum

Appears to Have More Consensus than 1980s Effort Against South Africa

In 1997, the U.S. Congress passed sanctions that prevented American companies from doing business in the Sudan because of its support of terrorism. Nonetheless, according to KLD Research & Analytics, about 130 publicly-listed companies worldwide continue to do business in Sudan. Most of those companies are based in Europe and Asia, but many are listed in U.S. stock exchanges and have access to U.S. capital markets.

Business Ethics Magazine reports that as the genocide in Darfur continues, momentum for sanctions against Sudan is accelerating. The University of California's Board of Regents voted unanimously on March 16 to pull out of investments in nine companies with ties to the Sudanese government.

The companies named on University of California's blacklist are Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Nam Fatt Co. Bhd., Oil & Natural Gas Co. Ltd., PECD Bhd., PetroChina Company Ltd., Sudan Telecom Co. Ltd. (Sudatel), Tatneft OAO, and Videocon Industries Ltd. The university sent letters of concern to four additional companies.

With the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region continuing, the movement toward divestment in companies doing business in Sudan seems to be gaining momentum.

In divesting, the University of California joined other US institutions of higher learning that have divested in various forms, including: Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Brown University, Amherst College and Dartmouth College.

In addition to the universities, the states of Illinois, Louisiana, Oregon and New Jersey have passed legislation requiring public pension funds to divest companies operating in Sudan. At least five other states currently have pending divestment legislation.

Citizens Advisers, the investment manager to Citizens Funds, said it had written to chief executives at about 20 companies within its portfolio calling on them to review and divest any business activities in the African country.

Peter Kinder, president of KLD, said the firm's Sudan Compliance Service has attracted 140 subscribers since being introduced in November.

"We've crossed a threshold -- (Sudan) divestment will only grow stronger as a movement," said Professor Eric Reeves, of Smith College in Massachusetts, who closely tracks developments in Darfur. "The onus now is on institutions and states to make a decision, and it will be retrograde politically not to divest."


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