Wednesday, April 08, 2009

SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Lawrence Chapter - Weekly Announcements, April 7, 2009

CARBON EMISSIONS REPORT ¤ HOW SLOW CAN YOU GO?

CO2 Cap & Trade in Congressional ping-pong match
On 28 March, a group of junior Democratic senators urged their more senior colleagues to attach a controversial climate change bill to Obama's budget bill, by means of the "budget reconciliation process".  Reconciliation bills need only a simple majority to move through the Senate, instead of the 60 votes needed to overcome the GOP filibuster http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/dem-senators-want-special-rule-for-climate-change-2009-03-28.html

Then on 31 March, Congressional Democrats lead by Henry Waxman of California, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Edward Markey, chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, introduced the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, or ACES, which they say charts a new course toward a clean energy economy.  It's a sweeping bill that promotes renewables and efficiency, employs carbon cap and trade, and transitions to aclean energy economy with green jobs http://www.truthout.org/040109EA  

But on 4 April, 26 of those "blue dog" Democrat Senators voted with the GOP to prohibit attaching the Cap & Trade bill to the budget, in effect saying such a bill can pass only with a 60 vote marginthat plays into the hand of the GOP http://www.truthout.org/040409F   Then the House and Senate went on to pass the budget bill itself http://www.truthout.org/040309D

The Kansas House passed the Coal Bill short of a veto-proof margin   
On 3 April, the House vote was 74-48 in favor of the Coal Bill, ten votes shy of the veto-proof margin.  It now goes to Governor Sebelius who in all likelihood will veto it.  And then the coal proponents will no doubt bring a revised bill up again at session's end at the end of April.  So this would be a good time to contact the Governor and various Representatives about your viewpoint (contact info , and   http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-house/searchHouse.do )

The Lawrence City Commission receives Climate Protection Report
On 31 March, the Climate Protection Task Force presented the final draft of the Climate Protection Report.  Given that buildings account for 38% of GHG emissions, 70% of energy used in buildings is electricity, 75% of Kansas' electricity is from coal, and coal emits twice the green house gases than any other fossil fuel, it's noteworthy that Buildings Efficiency is the weakest part of the Report, even lacking a detailed Appendix where all the other strategies are enumerated at length.  The Transportation Strategy and the Waste Reduction Strategy are better, but most of the Report relies on the distant response horizon and slow adoption curve of "education, outreach, goals and incentives".  The Commission was pressed by several speakers to strengthen this document with continual updates that must be done by a permanent staff member such as a full time Sustainability Director for the City of Lawrence.  They directed staff to investigate this option.  This link will take you to the Report http://www.lawrenceks.org/climate_protection/

Ponder this
When scientific data measurements of rainfall upstream in a river watershed indicates that stream flow volumes will exceed the capacity of city levees downstream, folks don't wait until the water tops the levee to respond, but scramble to prepare for the emergency.

So when scientific data measurements of spiking CO2 levels in the atmosphere, polar and glacial ice melt, and yearly record temperatures are indicating that oceans will rise and crops will fail from drought and the rainforest lungs of the planet will collapse, why are so many folks indifferent and complacent to the emergency?

Data is data.  Conclusions are conclusions.  Emergency planning is prudent.

How slow can you go?
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NEIGHBORHOOD FRUIT TREE AND SHADE TREE IDENTIFICATION WALK
Saturday, 11 April 2009, 10:00am-12:00noon
beginning at 9th & New Jersey St., Lawrence KS

The Lawrence Fruit Tree Project is sponsoring a walk through the neighborhood(s) to help people learn the identification features of fruit trees and shade trees.  The LFTP Lawrence Fruit Tree Project is a co-operative group of pomiculturists who have organized themselves to establish community orchards, and teach folks how to grow and care for fruiting trees and shrubs.  They also are setting up a fruit tree register to list existing neighborhood trees that are underutilized, so they can be cared for and harvested.  In addition to spreading trees around, they want to spread around knowledge and skills.  

The tree identification walk will begin at the site of their first project, six fruit trees at New York School Fruit Tree Project at NY School   Several experienced growers will lead the walk and answer questions.
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ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS EDUCATION FAIR
Saturday, 11 April 2009, 10:00am-3:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS

For families looking to enroll their children in a school offering more than the public schools, this Education Fair will be an opportunity to meet representatives from most alternative schools in the Lawrence area.  There will be reps from Waldorf schools, Montessori schools, parent-run cooperative schools, environmental schools, Catholic schools, Episcopal schools, and many more.  For more info, write to   
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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  
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LAWRENCE EARTH DAY - PARADE & SOUTH PARK CELEBRATION
Saturday, 18 April 2008, 11:00am parade, 11:30-4:00pm park festival

The Lawrence Earth Day Parade begins at the Train Park, and is sponsored by K.U. Environshttp://groups.ku.edu/~environs/   The Earth Day Celebration will be held in South Park, and is sponsored by the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Department.  The celebration in the park features live music, children’s activities and food vendors.  Attendees are invited to learn from exhibits about waste reduction, recycling, composting, alternative fuels and vehicles, energy conservation, land preservation, wildlife and habitat preservation, and more.  For more information or for a parade participant form, please visit  http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/earthday    
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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.  The seminar will be hosted and taught 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    
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LAWRENCE PEAK OIL TASK FORCE ¤ THIRD MEETING
Thursday, 23 April 2009, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Room, City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The Task Force will discuss a possible teleconference briefing by a consultant from either Boulder CO or Austin TX.  Following that, they will select sub-committees to focus on key areas such as: food security, transportation, scarce energy land planning, economics, medical services, emergency planning, etc.  The meeting is open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend.

There now is a POTF web page, accessible on the City of Lawrence home page.  The direct link is http://www.lawrenceks.org/peak_oil/   In addition to basic info such as Task Force members and meeting minutes, the web page includes a growing Resource Section on key Peak Oil links.  We encourage everyone to peruse these links, and garner much valuable information.
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LAWRENCE ELECTRONICS RECYCLING EVENT
Saturday, 25 April 2009, 9:00am to 1:00pm
Free State High School (north parking lot), 4700 Overland Drive, Lawrence KS

Electronics devices typically contain toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury and cadmium, and precious metals like silver and gold.  If recycled properly, these metals can be materials feed stock for new industrial processes, not to mention saving production costs, and keeping them out of the landfill.

This one day event will provide Lawrence residents and businesses a way to conveniently recycle old, unwanted electronics equipment.  Items accepted for recycling are computer monitors, desktops, laptops, keyboards, printers and other peripherals, televisions, copiers, scanners, telephones, cell phones, pagers, fax machines, VHS/DVD drives, and hand held devices. There is a recycling fee for computer monitors and televisions, $5 per monitor, and $10 per TV.  There are no charges for other electronic equipment.  There is also an optional on-site hard drive destruction available for $5 per hard drive.  Fees may be paid by cash or check.

Electronic recycling will be provided by Extreme Recycling, Inc. http://www.extremerecyclinginc.com/  recycling the E-waste in accordance to Federal and Kansas Electronic Waste Processing Regulations.  The event is sponsored by the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Division  http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/
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TOUR OF BOWERSOCK MILLS AND POWER COMPANY   
Saturday, 25 April 2009, 11:00am tour, and 1:00pm tour
6th & New Hampshire parking lot - follow signs to the Mill, Lawrence KS

Sara Hill Nelson will lead the tours organized by the Lawrence Environmental Education Project (LEEP), the funding arm of the Lawrence Community Environmental School.  This is a sizable grass roots group organized to develop plans for a Charter environmental school in the USD 497 system, work that has been ongoing for two years.  The Bowersock tour will describe the history, technology and future plans for electricity generation using micro hydro power.  Please RSVP atLeepIntoAction@gmail.com  
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OTHER REGIONAL EARTH DAY EVENTS

Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation ¤ Earth Day Celebration
Sunday, 26 April 2009, 10:00am-3:00pm
Mayetta, Kansas   http://www.pbpindiantribe.com/  

Earth Day KC ¤ Earth Fest & Earth Walk
Saturday, 9 May 2009, 11:00am-4:00pm (10:00am Earth Walk along Brush Creek)
Volker (Theis) Park, Kansas City MO (just south of Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum)
http://www.earthdaykc.org/

Leavenworth Environmental Awareness Day
Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 8:00am-3:00pm
Ft. Leavenworth KS   http://www.leavenworth.army.mil/ 

Troostwood Community Organization ¤ Earth Day Activities
Friday, 15 May 2009, 9:00am-2:00pm
Troostwood Neighborhood, Kansas City MO



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 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 & Relocalization - initiating municipal level Peak Oil response planning and transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy.
2) Permaculture Collaborative - developing skills and resources for sustainable food production.
3) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized technologies and regulations, for conservation and renewable energy.
4) Land Consortium - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.
5) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.
6) Small Vehicles: Electric & Human Powered - promoting neighborhood electric vehicles and utility tricycles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
7) Weekly Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in our Sustainability Action Network, or other such action driven groups.
8) 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 

To subscribe to this list, please send an e-mail to  with the subject line reading “subscribe to Sustainability Announcements”. 

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