Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lawrence Chapter, Sustainability Action Network "Announcements"

3 March 2009

Monday, 2 March 2009
American International Group (AIG) lost $62 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, the largest loss ever for a corporation Why does AIG keep losing money?   The running tab for the US Government bailout of AIG is at $180 billion, and more is called for.  The insurance giant had insured those arcane financial instruments, credit default swaps.  Those swaps are essentially insurance that guaranteed bank investments, those mortgage-backed investments that AIG insured without knowing their value (which turned out to be nothing).  And worse yet, they didn't hedge any of their risk.

Dow Jones Index dropped below $7000 for the first time since 1997, and Standard & Poor's Indexdropped below $700 for the first time since 1996 Dow finishes below 7000   

by Woody Tasch, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008
as heard on SeaChange Radio, listen at  Slow Money | Woody Tasch   

"Fast money is the three trillion dollars a day that's going through currency markets, or the two trillion dollars a day that's being wired between banks.  In 1960 there were three million shares a day traded on the NY Stock Exchange, and today there are about five billion.  It's now widely recognized that financial markets have run amok, and zooming around the planet trying to get the highest most securitized instrument is no longer an unmitigated social good.   

"Think of the three words: slow, small, and local.  If you have a financial system in which there's no such thing as a company that's too big, or money that's too fast, or intermediation that's too complex, you end up with what we have now.  Most people don't think of speed as part of the problem. They think only about the scale, the lack of connection to place, the globalization issue; but the mega-corporation and the global aspect of everything is only possible because of the speed of currency.

"To get to root causes here, the issue of transactions versus relationships has to be acknowledged. We live in a culture which is all about transactions; every day we hear if the market is up or down. Money is not the most beautiful way to build relationships between people. Our culture is so heavily skewed toward the transaction at the expense of the relationship. "As a metaphor, think of four sets of words: circulation versus percolation, monoculture versus diversity, transaction versus relationship, and profitability versus fertility.  We need to move from the left side of those four dialectics over to the right side: percolation, diversity, relationship, and fertility; which is part of what we're trying to catalyze in this movement.

"I think we're reaching the end of industrial logic, a system that created a thousand billionaires, several trillion dollars owned by a thousand people which took from the dawn of time until now to create. 
That is a system of exhausted logic, the same system that's putting 400 parts per million of CO2 into the atmosphere.

"Slow money is about reasserting quality over quantity.  Economic growth by itself, wealth by itself, is no longer synonymous with progress.  There's good growth and bad growth.  As far as profit, how much money can you make with slow money?  Single digit returns over a long period of time can be generated, and will become very attractive to people in the coming decades compared to the craziness and uncertainty we're experiencing now. I refer to this as a “nurture capital industry” rather than a “venture capital industry”.

Woody Tasch's website Slow Money Alliance  Since 1992, Investors' Circle has invested $133 million in 200 early stage sustainability promoting ventures and venture funds.
Woody Tasch's book is at   Slow Money by Woody Tasch - Chelsea Green  
SeaChange Radio can be heard on Kansas City community radio, KKFI-FM 90.1, at 9:30am on Fridays.

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>

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 theLawrence 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
April 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.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The March agenda will cover: Earth Day activities; Chamber of Commerce "Grow Green" program; reports on the Waste Reduction & Recycling Division, the Climate Task Force, and the Peak Oil Task Force; and a presentation by architect, Steve Padget.

The S.A.B. meets monthly to discuss any and all aspects of furthering sustainability policies and practices by the City of Lawrence government and private persons. The public is welcome. Minutes are finalized in about a month after each meeting http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/envadvisoryboard.shtml

Sunday, 15 March 2009, 4:00pm
Plymouth Church Mayflower Room, 925 Vermont St, Lawrence KS
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Jeff Morrow will speak on Energy Tax Credits ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

This month's speaker will be Jeff Morrow, joined by experts in solar and wind energy and real estate to explore an implementation protocol for the Federal Energy Tax Credits.  Jeff has constructed passive solar projects, is working to remove regulatory barriers for neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV's), and has researched tax credits through his accounting background.  This website lists the new tax credits  Federal Energy Tax Credits  

The March SAN meeting agenda will include:  SAN website, not-for-profit filing, Kansas Legislature and energy policy, and what we hope will be an informative tax credit discussion.  Please join us.


Lawrence Homebuilders Association Forum
Wednesday, 18 March 2009, 8:00-9:30pm
City Commission Meeting Room, 6th & Massachusetts St.  Questions can be sent to Bobbie Flory at the Lawrence Homebuilders Association bobbie@lhba.net  Selected questions will allow candidates to present their views on a variety of topics.

Voter Education Coalition Forum
Monday, 30 March 2009, 7:00-9:00pm
Lawrence High School, 1901 Louisiana St.  The Voter Education Coalition consists of 15 partners, including the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Homebuilders Association. Questions can be sent to Bobbie Flory at the Lawrence Homebuilders Association bobbie@lhba.net  Selected questions will allow candidates to present their views on a variety of topics.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009, 6:30pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6th & Massachusetts St.

At their 24 February meeting, the Climate Protection Task Force finalized the Draft Report.  This represents a year of intensive work by many dedicated citizens.  To download a PDF, go to this link and click on "Draft Report" CPTF 24 Feb 09 Meeting   The presentation will be made to the City Commission on 31 March.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Three of the five positions are being voted on.
The candidates are, alphabetically: Mike Amyx, Price Banks, James Bush, Dennis Constance,Aron Cromwell, Lance Johnson, Tom Johnson, Gwen Klingenberg 

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.

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