Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sustainable Action Network: "Anouncements, 24/Feb/09" - Lawrence Chapter


Monday, 23 February 2009
Democracy Now! | Headlines 23Feb09

The Wall Street Journal reports the Environmental Protection Agency will soon determine that carbon dioxide emissions represent a danger to the public and propose new rules to regulate emissions of the greenhouse gas from a range of industries. Carol Browner, special adviser to the President on climate change and energy, told the paper that the EPA is looking at a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that requires the agency to determine whether carbon dioxide endangers public health or welfare.

This, of course, is the exact ruling that the Kansas KDHE Secretary, Rod Bremby, made in 2007 regarding CO2 emissions from the Sunflower Holcomb coal plants.  



Monday, 24 February 2009, 4:00pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The 4 February meeting minutes are at  http://www.lawrenceks.org/climate_protection/meetings .  This meeting was focused on editing the  Climate Task Force Draft Report_16Jan09 .  They plan to have the completed report ready for final review at their 24 February meeting, with the anticipated presentation to the City Commission at the end of March.


Biodynamic CSA apprenticeship at Platte Prairie Farms, Riverside MO
Biodynamic agriculture was developed by Rudolph Steiner, and is an ecological farming system emphasizing the wholistic interrelationship of the soil, plants, and animals using an astronomical sowing and planting calendar.  Platte Prairie Farms is an urban fruit and vegetable operation, using no-till biodynamic methods to grow health giving food for a 10 family CSA and market sales.  Steve Mann has been growing and marketing organic produce for some years through the Squash Blossom Co-op, the Merriam Organic Market, The Kansas City Food Circle, and his own Platte Prairie Farms.  For more info, call (816)352-9213

Permaculture apprenticeship at Vajra Farm, Oskaloosa KS
Permaculture is a design science for creating productive systems that model the resilience, diversity, and stability of natural systems.  Steve Moring, a Certified Permaculture Designer, has been developing Permaculture systems onVajra Farm since the mid 1990's.  Apprentices will be expected to participate for approximately 10 hours per week for a minimum of three months.  More info at  http://www.vajrafarm.com/apprentice.shtml   Steve is also the coordinator of one of our SAN projects, the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative.

Monday, 2 March 20099:00am-4:00 pm
Douglas County Extension Center, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence, KS

This conference is bring together professional producers, institutional food buyers, and chefs to discuss local food opportunities in the Kansas River Valley, and to network with each other.  The keynote speaker will be Kamyar Enshayan, prime mover for the highly successful Blackhawk County Iowa local food initiative.  There also will be workshops, a panel discussion and breakout sessions  Print or download the registration form 

Kansas River Valley Foods  http://www.kansasrivervalley.com/meet-greet.php  is sponsoring the conference along with the Kansas Rural Center .  Here's a short bio of Kamyar and a Leopold Center news release about the Black Hawk County food initiative.______________________________________________

Technological, Financial, & Regulatory Overview of the Solar Industry
Tuesday, 3 March 2009, 9:00am-3:00pm
KASB, 1420 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka KS

The Energy Programs Division at the KCC is hosting this roundtable discussion by various experts of the current state and future prospects of solar energy.  Following is a list of the topics and speakers that have been confirmed so far: 
Photovoltaic Current and Near Term: Technology and Cost Structure – Roger Taylor, National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. 
Overview of Economic and Financial Aspects of U.S. Solar Power – Peter Lorenz, Associate Principle of McKinsey & Company. 
Kansas Specific Insights Regarding Solar Power – Ward Jewel, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Wichita State University.

For more info on this program and others by the KCC, visit  Energy Programs, Kansas Corporation Commission   To register for this program, please RSVP to Michael Deupree, (785)271-3125,  <m.deupree@kcc.ks.gov>

by Amory Lovins, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute

Amory Lovins views everything with a creative, no-assumptions point of view.  And his view of electric generation and distribution is decidedly decentralized and distributed.  He writes, for example - 
If I told you, “Many people need computing services, so we’d better build more mainframe computer centers where you can come run your computing task,” you’d probably reply, “We did that in the 1960’s, but now we use networked PC’s.” Or if I said, “Many people make phone calls, so we’d better build more big telephone exchanges full of relays and copper wires,” you’d exclaim, “Where have you been? We use distributed packet-switching.” 
Yet if I said, “Many people need to run lights and motors, Wii’s, and air conditioners, so we’d better build more giant power plants,” you’d probably say, “Of course! That’s the only way to power America.”

Our growing energy demand prompts us to question the viability of modern electricity generation and transmission. Recently, RMI's Chief Scientist Amory Lovins wrote a guest piece for the New York Times Freakonomics Blog in which he describes the benefits of distributed electric supply (e.g., wind turbines, solar cells, fuel cells, etc.).  According to Lovins, distributed benefits often boost economic value by about tenfold.  The biggest come from financial economics: for example, small, fast, modular units are less risky to build than big, slow, lumpy ones, and renewable energy sources avoid the risks of volatile fuel prices.  Furthermore, a distributed electric supply can offer greater reliability than a few large units strung together by a shaky grid.

For more information on the benefits of distributed electric resources and micropower, see www.smallisprofitable.org.


Friday, 6 March 2009, 7:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, Gallery Room, 7th & Vermont St.

Monthly coordinated reading and discussion of noteworthy books on ecology, sponsored by the Lawrence Community Environmental School.  Meetings dates have been revised, and now are always on the second Monday of the month - although the advertised March date of Friday the 6th is still in effect.

The March book will be 
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us—industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves—from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating.  

Upcoming books will be
 13:  Big Coal by Jeff Goodell - (joining us will be Sarah Hill Nelson from Zephyr Energy)
May 11:   The Sacred Balance by David Suzuki, Amanda McConnell, and Adrienne Mason
June 8:  Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman
July 13: Coming Home to Eat by Gary Nabham 
More info at 
Lawrence Ecoliteracy Book Club  

Saturday-Sunday, 7-8 March 2009
125 Crescent Lane, Stelle, IL 60919, Ph: 815-256-2215

Transition Town Initiatives
 guide communities to jointly address Peak Oil and Climate Instability by building local self-reliance and resilience that can carry us to a post carbon society.  The Transition Handbook was written by Rob Hopkins of Great Britain, and this short YouTube segment 
Rob Hopkins | Transition Initiatives describes the concept and methods of Transition Towns with three principal elements: reduce carbon emissions, rebuild energy resiliance, and strengthen the local economy.

Michael Brownlee of 
Transition Boulder County , the official training arm of Transition Network US, will be teaching the seminar, and is hosted by Bill and Becky Wilson of  Midwest Permaculture  for two days of intensive Transition Training in Stelle Illinois.  For more info, e-mail Bill at    

Sunday, 8 March 2009, 10:30am-1:00pm 
527 Lake St., Lawrence KS  

The Central Prairie Seed Exchange sponsors this annual seed/scion exchange, followed by a pot luck lunch.  It's very informal, with lots of varietal and growing information exchanged along with plants, seeds and scions.  Please bring whatever you may have, with clear identification and maybe growing tips.  The location is in north Lawrence, one block north of Lyon & 5th Streets.  If lost, call (785)331-6702.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Primary election CANCELED for 3 March 2009, because law changed

Three of the five positions are being voted on.

At least three of the candidates who filed are committed to sustainability:
Gwen Klingenberg - Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, Pres.
Aron Cromwell - Cromwell-Ramsey Environmental Group, Pres.
Dennis Constance - former City Commissioner, KU Custodial Supervisor
Two others have held strong policy stands on some sustainability issues:
Mike Amyx - current City Commissioner, owner of Amyx Barber Shop
Price Banks - former Dir. of Lawrence-Douglas Co. Planning, land use attorney
The remaining three candidates it remains to be seen:
James Bush - sales and marketing for Maceli’s catering service
Lance Johnson - owner of the Peridian Group land use engineers
Tom Johnson - general manager of KJHK radio 90.1FM

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a Kansas not-for-profit organization
Our mission is to advocate and organize societal scale action to address sustainability issues.  The triple crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy, the global "3E Trifecta", are building so rapidly that large scale action is needed immediately and methodically to overcome institutional barriers and advance public policy that preserves ecological sustainability.  Our focus is to build a relocalized economy-ecology in concert with the Transition Town movement in many other communities.  To join the Sustainability Action Network (until our website is operational) please contact us at  

Our current projects include:
1) Peak Oil Action - initiating municipal level Peak Oil resolutions and response planning.
2) Permaculture Collaborative - developing skills and resources for sustainable food production.
3) Land Consortium - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.
4) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.
5) SAN Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in our Sustainability Action Network, or other such action driven groups.
6) Collaboration with sister organizations - such as: Citizens for Responsible Planning; Films for Action; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; Lawrence Future Food advocating farm-based economic development in Lawrence; national efforts by the Sustainable Energy Network; KC Metro groups like the Kansas City Food Circle and the All Species Project, etc.

We welcome suggestions for items to be included.  Please send items to paradigm@ixks.com 

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