Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sustainability Action Network, Lawrence Chapter, (2, June, 2009)

2 June 2009

Tuesday, 2 June 2009, 12:00noon
KKFI-FM 90.1, Kansas City Community Radio

This week's topic is Green Workforce Development, and host Kaedden Landy will interview a panel of area educators who offer energy efficiency certification and course work leading to degrees. At 12:30, the Bioneers Radio Series will present one of their award winning shows. Listen to EcoRadio KC on air, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/

Thursday, 4 June 2009, 7:00pm
Plaza Library, 4801 Main St., Kansas City MO, main floor small meeting room

One month ago, the Kansas City Greens held a forum to gauge interest in a KC Transition Initiative for a post-carbon future. About 30 people showed up and decided that the need, the interest, and the information are ready, so they called this planning meeting to chart out their course. For more info, or to get on their e-mail list, call (816)767-8873, or contact them at

As George Monbiot put it: "Our hopes of a soft landing rest on just two propositions: that the oil producers' figures are correct, and that governments act before they have to. I hope that reassures you." Reassured? Act now.

The world wide movement of Transition Initiatives gets bigger in it's reach, yet smaller in the scope of each local initiative. With the Kansas City launch, there are now at least three local efforts.

On 18 April 2009, north Jefferson County KS announced their Transition Initiative by opening an information center at North Jefferson County Transition Initiative - Valley Falls. The initial purpose is to build awareness and interest with information on the three areas of Energy, Climate & Environment, and the Economy.

On 24 May 2009, the Sustainability Action Network launched the Kaw Valley Transition Initiative with a focus on Lawrence KS and adjacent communities. This is a citizen's effort to parallel the Mayor's Task Force on Peak Oil, which SAN was instrumental in initiating also. To join the Kaw Valley Transition Initiative, contact SAN at or P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.


As climate disruption gets more volatile, we see floods hit the mid US, tornadoes strike unlikely spots like Wisconsin, New York and Georgia, the fire season becomes year round in California, and drought threatens world food production. Yet it's astounding how short term industrial profits cloud seemingly rational thinking about cause-and-effect.

Climate disruption was anticipated fifty (yes 50) years ago, and related in a Bell Telephone Science Series film, The Unchained Goddess. It was released in 1958 as a teaching film, written, directed, and produced by Frank Capra. Here's a segment from the film The Unchained Goddess, 1958 - Global Warming clip. On 22 May 2009, Prof. William Calvin testified before the EPA about this film, and said that the science in 1971 was good enough then for the EPA to issue a 1971 Endangerment Ruling on CO2 EPA Endangerment Hearing on CO2.

In 2007, Europe suffered a severe heat wave that resulted in hundreds of deaths and forest fires Europe's recent heatwaves aren't a mirage. Australia is in a twelve year drought Australian drought hits farmers hard and Australia Faces Collapse as Climate Change Kicks In.

But possibly the gravest omen of climate disruption is the steady advance of desertification in northern China. Outer Mongolia has historically had deserts, but the synergy of expanded farming and irrigation has dropped the water table hundreds of meters, while global warming simultaneously parches the landscape Desertification Spurs Mass Relocation in China. Download this PDF for extensive info on China Deserts.pdf.

As Bill McKibben said, "It's that, all of a sudden, those grim Club of Rome types who, way back in the 1970s, went on and on about the "limits to growth" suddenly seem ... how best to put it, right."

Monday, 8 June 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 are always on the second Monday of the month. The June book will be Hot, Flat, and Crowded | Thomas L. Friedman, a book that is classic Thomas L. Friedman—fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the world we live in today. he explains a new era—the Energy-Climate era— in which pivotal recent events have combined to bring climate and energy issues to Main Street. He shows that the ET (Energy Technology) revolution will be both transformative and disruptive. The 7 March 2009 Sustainability Announcements referenced The Great Disruption | NY Times op-ed by Friedman, and his own web site talks of The Great Distruption - "Chapter 18" as the coming addendum for Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

Upcoming books will be:
13 July: Coming Home to Eat by Gary Nabham
10 August: TBA
More info at Lawrence Ecoliteracy Book Club

Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The June agenda will include discussion on: the S.A.B. recommended 50% recycling rate by 2015, the Environmental Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, grant application to hire a Sustainability Director, tour of the Wakarusa Wetlands, the Lawrence Energy Conservation Fair, and more. 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

Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 4:00-6:00pm
Mid America Regional Council, Rivergate Center 2nd floor, 600 Broadway, Kansas City MO

The Environmental Management Commission promotes environmental awareness and resource efficiency to the City's leader and staff, to assist the progress of Kansas City toward sustainability. Members of the general public are encouraged to attend and observe meetings and to join and participate in its efforts. They recently published Sustainability in Kansas City - guidebook detailing the progress of "greening Kansas City". More information and the EMC April 2009 minutes are available at http://www.kcmo.org/manager.nsf/web/emc

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The prestigious American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for an immediate moratorium on genetically modified foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes "there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects" and that "GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health."

It is estimated that 70-75% of processed foods in U.S. supermarkets contain GE ingredients, because conventional corn and soybeans--particularly high-fructose corn syrup, ground corn, canola oil and soybean oil--are ubiquitous in processed foods. No wonder Michael Pollan advises "Eat food, mostly vegetables, not too much", and "Don't eat anything you see advertised on TV".

Most countries require GE foods be labeled, but lobbying by U.S. food giants like Cargill and Monsanto have blocked labeling in the U.S. It may be wise to ask your Congressperson to cosponsor and push for passage of the Genetically-Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act through this webpage.

The AAEM has called for the following:
  • A moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labeling of GM food.
  • Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GM foods.
  • Physicians to consider the role of GM foods in their patients' disease processes.
  • More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GM foods on human health.
Their position paper can be found at http:aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

A series of 2009 workshops sponsored by Badseed Farm and Market

Making Jams and Jellies
Saturday, 13 June 2009, 10:00am-3:00pm -- fee required
1909 McGee St, Kansas City MO
This class will teach you how to make traditional jellies and preserves with techniques that can be applied to other seasonal fruits. Feel free to bring some berries, and any other local goodies you would like to experiment with. Join “canning guru”, Lori Watley, for a hands on experience filled with chopping, mixing, mashing and more as you create delicious concoctions from seasonal organic produce.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009, 7:00-9:00pm
Douglas County Co-op Extension Office, 21st & Harper Ave, Lawrence KS

In this fourth of seven seminars, Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative will examine living and biologically diverse soils that support abundant life. We will examine basic soil types, their chemistry, nutrient cycling, and dynamics of interaction of life in the soil. We will learn the basics in creating productive soils without the use of petrochemical inputs, an imperative for the coming Peak Oil cost inflation. Pre-registration is required by contacting Steve prior to 13 June.

More info available from Steve Moring at (785)863-4102, <smoring@grasshoppernet.com> or Bill Wood at (785)843-7058, <bdwood@ksu.edu> KPC is a project of the Sustainability Action Network.

lead up events: Thursday-Saturday, 18-27 June 2009 (various venues)
the tour: Sunday, 28 June 2009, 11:00am-5:00pm

For ten days leading up to the Farm Tour, there will be many events focusing on how food is being grown within the city of Kansas City. The kick-off event is a panel of urban farmers at the KC Central Library on 18 June at 6:00pm. Ensuing days will have farmers' market mini tours, urban homesteading classes, children's events, and more. Then on 28 June, the Farm Tour will include small and large personal gardens, urban farms, and community supported agriculture (CSA) operations. For more info, a list of events and tour sites, and tickets, go to KC Urban Farms and Gardens Tour

Summer Solstice, Friday-Sunday, 19-21 June 2009
MREA Grounds, 7558 Deer Rd, Custer, WI 54423

Each summer the Energy Fair transforms rural central Wisconsin into the global hot spot for renewable energy education. The Energy Fair is the world's largest renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living educational event of its kind. 2008 saw a record 22,500 attendees, an all time record! For more info, and registration materials go to Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Sunday, 21 June 2009, 3:00pm-????
Vajra Farm, Oskaloosa KS

The June meeting of SAN will actually be a shared get together with SAN members and KPC members. The Kaw Permaculture Collaborative is one of the most active of our projects, for we consider permaculture to be a major vehicle for transition to a post-carbon economy.

The gathering will begin at 3:00pm with informal sharing of stories, resources, successes, proposals, and plans by both groups. At 6:00pm will be a pot luck dinner and social time. And at 9:00pm we will light the Solstice bonfire, and party until the embers have died. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets, bug repellent, a pot luck dish, and dinner service. If you plan to come, please RSVP at <smoring@grasshoppernet.com> and you will receive directions.

DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED for the SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK. Please send checks 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) Kaw 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: The Light Center eco-village; Kaw Valley Food System farm-based economic development; Citizens for Responsible Planning; Films for Action; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; 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

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