Extolling an archaic tactic to defeat in battle; frustrate the plans of, and put into a state of perplexity and embarrassment all enemies on the field with Reason and Enlightenment.
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Friday, March 20, 2009
Lawrence Chapter: Sustainability Announcements, 17/March/2009
SUSTAINABILITY ANNOUNCEMENTS A PROJECT OF THE SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Lawrence Chapter 17 March 2009 "CLEAN" COAL, EXPENSIVE COAL The Economist Magazine, normally with a conservative economic slant (and owned in part by the Rothschild banking family of England) has published a three part series on the dubious economic viability of coal. The articles take a realistic look at the inflationary prospects of energy, specifically the CO2 factor, carbon tax or cap-and-trade, and unproven and expensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
THE ILLUSION OF CLEAN COAL Coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels, producing twice the carbon dioxide that natural gas does when it is burned. That makes it a big cause of global warming. There does, however, seem to be a way of reconciling coal and climate. It is called carbon capture and storage (CCS). But CCS is proving easier to talk up than to get going, because power plants with CCS would be much more expensive to build and run than the ordinary sort. The private sector is reluctant to fork out not just because of the upfront cost of power plants, but also because, tonne for tonne, CCS looks like an expensive way of cutting carbon.A carbon price or tax, which raises the cost of emitting carbon dioxide while leaving it up to the private sector to pick technologies, is the better approach. CCS is not just a potential waste of money. It might also create a false sense of security about climate change. The Illusion of Clean Coal | The Economist CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE (CCS) The idea that clean coal, or to be more specific, a technology known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), will save the world from global warming has become something of an article of faith among policymakers. CCS particularly appeals to politicians reluctant to limit the use of coal, and the leaders of the G8, a rich-country club, want it to be widespread by 2020. Despite all this enthusiasm, however, there is not a single big power plant using CCS anywhere in the world. Utilities refuse to build any, since the technology is expensive and unproven. In a purely technical sense, CCS looks promising. Oil firms have long experience of pumping carbon dioxide into reservoirs to increase their pressure and thus squeeze out more fuel. America boasts a network of 5,800km (3,600 miles) of pipes to carry carbon dioxide to the oil and gas fields where it is needed. The problem with CCS is the cost. Philippe Paelinck, of Alstom, an engineering firm that hopes to build CCS plants, thinks a full-scale one would cost about $1.3 billion. And the chemical steps consume energy, as do the compression and transport of the carbon dioxide. That will use up a quarter or more of the output of a power station fitted with CCS.
Greenpeace argues that it is impossible to be certain that carbon dioxide will not eventually leak out of the ground. A leakage rate of just 1% a year would lead to 63% of the carbon dioxide stored in any given reservoir being released within 100 years, almost entirely undoing the supposed environmental benefit. Spills would also be a health risk, since CO2 can build up in low-lying or poorly ventilated spots.
CCS’s expected advent keeps receding. In 2007 the IEA called for 20 plants to be under way by 2010—a goal that seems certain to be missed. CCS’s boosters now talk of the first full-scale plant being ready by 2015 or so. Centrica, a British utility, thinks it will take at least 15 years, and probably 20, to roll out CCS plants in large numbers. Greenpeace argues that CCS will never be competitive, since other low-carbon technologies, such as wind power, are already cheaper and becoming more so as time passes. Carbon capture and storage | The Economist SCRUBBING CO2 FROM THE SKIES Preventing catastrophic climate change, most people agree, will mean reducing the level of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. That, in turn, will require the widespread use of “low carbon” technologies such as solar and wind power, and more energy-efficient buildings. But some researchers think there might be a simpler way to reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere: to build “air capture” machines that, as their name suggests, grab it from the air. Such machines already exist: they are used to “scrub” carbon dioxide from the air on board submarines and spacecraft. Proponents of air capture propose scaling up such machinery so that it can process the atmosphere directly. And it has the advantage that it can be done anywhere—for example, at a site where CO2 can be easily stored, such as an empty oilfield.
If air capture is to get anywhere, however, it must overcome three sets of objections: technical, financial and political. The process is no good if it produces more carbon-dioxide emissions than it removes from the atmosphere. Nor is it of any practical value unless the cost of removing each tonne of CO2 is lower than the alternatives. When its technology is scaled up, the emissions associated with operating each machine will be less than 5% of the CO2 captured over its lifetime. So there seems little doubt that air capture would indeed be carbon-negative overall.
But that is no good if the process is prohibitively expensive. One big cost, at least for some designs, is the sorbent material, which cannot be recycled indefinitely. [The technology] could start off by selling small air-capture devices to produce CO2 in places that need the stuff. Only if the cost of air capture falls below the cost of an emissions permit will it be economically attractive; otherwise emitters will find it cheaper to buy the right to pollute. Air capture appears to be technically feasible. But the economics are still unclear, and the politics murkiest of all. Scrubbing CO2 From the Skies | The Economist
KANSAS CLEAN ENERGY DAY II ¤ RALLY, & MEET YOUR LEGISLATORS Ask your State Representative for a Clean Vote on Clean Energy Thursday, 19 March 2009, 12:00noon-2:30pm Kansas State Capitol, 10th & Harrison Streets
On 27 February 2009, the Kansas House passed HB2014 by a vote of 79-44 (with 2 members absent). With 23 paid coal lobbyists pressuring the Legislature, there was no question it would pass. There also is no question the Governor will veto it. And there is no question that the bills thinly veiled purpose is to force KDHE to permit coal plants in Kansas. But thanks to the efforts of dedicated citizenry, the coal proponents failed to get the 84 votes needed to override the Governor's veto. So if Kansas is to assure a clean energy future, now is the time to ask the Legislature to stand firm and vote to sustain that veto.
12:00noon - Clean Energy Rally on the south-west corner of the Capitol. There will be buses available to shuttle participants to the rally site from the "Topeka Ice Parking Lot" on the S.E. corner of 7th & Madison Streets (just off of I-70). Get there early. 1:00pm - Meet with your Legislator. Please know who your State Representative is by visiting this site: FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HERE! 2:00-2:30pm - buses available back to parking lot. For more information go to http://www.kansascleanenergy.com/?q=node/2 ___________________________________________________
LAWRENCE CITY COMMISSION CANDIDATE FORUM 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Selected questions will allow candidates to present their views on a variety of topics. ___________________________________________________
DELAWARE ST. COMMONS CO-HOUSING ¤ OPEN HOUSES Sunday, 22 March 2009, 3:00-5:00pm (and on 29 March too)
main driveway entrance - 830 East 13th St, Lawrence KS
As the first co-housing development in Kansas, they feature a minimal-car walkable neighborhood with garden space, a common house for shared meals and laundry, and homes built with energy saving green products http://www.delaware-street.com/ They also host the New Boston Food Buying Co-op's monthly meeting http://newboston.weebly.com/ ___________________________________________________
"I.O.U.S.A." ¤ A FILM SPONSORED BY FILMS FOR ACTION Monday, 23 March 2009, 7:00pm -- FREE
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence KS
I.O.U.S.A. boldly examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. Conducting interviews with both the average American taxpayer and government officials, Sundance veteran Patrick Creadon (Wordplay) helps demystify the nation's financial practices and policies. The film follows former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker as he crisscrosses the country explaining America's unsustainable fiscal policies to its citizens.
LAWRENCE PEAK OIL TASK FORCE¤ SECOND MEETING Thursday, 26 March 2009, 4:00pm City Manager's Conference Room, City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.
Scheduling mix-ups prevented holding a February meeting. The Task Force will pick up where they left off in January with a review of information and projections about Peak Oil. They may begin the selection of committees to focus on key areas such as: food security, transportation, scarce energy land planning, medical services, emergency planning, etc. These meetings are open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend. ___________________________________________________
PERMACULTURE: GROWING THE FOOD OF THE FUTURE Saturday, 28 March 2009, 10:00am-4:30pm
The Light Center, 1542 Woodson Road, Douglas County KS
(just south of US56, 8 miles west of Baldwin City KS)
The workshop will be by Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative as anintroduction to the principles of ecologically sustainable agriculture for our future food security during times of energy depletion. The workshop will focus on steps to implement Permaculture practice for The Light Center’s planned eco-village. The Light Center is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit retreat center and intentional community on 34 acres of woods and prairie. A $30 tax-deductible donation is requested. Info on the Light Center at The Light Center Info on the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative at Kaw Permaculture Collaborative ___________________________________________________ "THE TAKE "¤ A FILM SPONSORED BY FILMS FOR ACTION Monday, 30 March 2009, 7:00pm -- $3 donation to benefit for the new Solidarity! Center
Liberty Hall, 644 Mass St., Lawrence KS
The Take is a political thriller that follows Argentina’s groups of workers who are claiming the country’s bankrupt workplaces and running them without bosses. The Take provides a timely and inspiring look at a democratic and community-based alternative to globalization and predatory-based economics.
LAWRENCE CITY COMMISSION CANDIDATE FORUM Voter Education CoalitionForum 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 email@example.com Selected questions will allow candidates to present their views on a variety of topics. ___________________________________________________
CLIMATE PROTECTION REPORT TO LAWRENCE CITY COMMISSION 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 "Final Report" CPTF Final Report The presentation will be made to the City Commission on 31 March. ___________________________________________________
INTRODUCTION TO URBAN HOMESTEADING Thursday, 2 April 2009, 6:00-8:00pm -- fee required
1909 McGee St, Kansas City MO
This class will teach you how to stock your cupboards, freezers, basements, and closets with the luxury of local food, and how to make food preservation a part of your life. Canning, freezing and dehydration methods will all be discussed. Recipes for standard items like tomato sauce, salsa, pickles, dried herbs, jams and other goodies will be reviewed. Registration materials can be downloaded from their website.
PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE ¤ TWO WEEK SPLIT COURSE Thursday-Wednesday, 2-8 April 2009, and Wednesday-Tuesday, 7-13 October 2009 Lewellen NE (western Nebraska)
The course will be taught by Sandy Cruz with the assistance of Becky Elder and Jason Gerhardt. Ms. Cruz holds a Diploma of Permaculture Design from the International Permaculture Institute. The course will include sessions on "designing ecosytems", "cultivating organic foods", "appropriate technologies", and "designing for community". It is sponsored by Volunteers of Americawhich is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated since 1896 to helping those in need to rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. For more information, contact Jean Jensen at (308)778-5548 or embarqmail.com> or P.O.Box 128, Lewellen NE 69147.
LAWRENCE CITY COMMISSION - GENERAL ELECTION 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 ___________________________________________________
ECOLITERACY BOOK CLUB Monday, 13 April 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 are always on the second Monday of the month. The April book will be Big Coal by Jeff Goodell.Goodell debunks the faulty assumptions underlying coal's revival and shatters the myth of cheap, clean coal energy.Jeff Goodell interview on Big Coal
Upcoming books will be: 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 ___________________________________________________
TRANSITION TOWN WEEKEND TRAINING SEMINAR ¤ WITH MIDWEST PERMACULTURE Saturday-Sunday, 18-19 April 2009, 9:00am-5:00pm both days
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 segmentRob Hopkins | Transition Initiatives describes the concept and methods of Transition Towns with three principal elements: reduce carbon emissions, rebuild energy resilience, 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
to DONATE to the SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, send a check to P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044
The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a Kansas not-for-profit organization Our mission is to advocate and organizesocietal 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.