Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sustainability Announcements, Lawrence, Ks. Chapter, 21, July, 2009

21 July 2009

Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 12:00noon
KKFI-FM 90.1, Kansas City Community Radio

On this week's EcoRadio KC, host Reenie Carmack will be interviewing Dan Kaur Weamer from Enzymes Inc. about the healing power of enzymes. Not only can enzymes assist the digestion process, but they also can be used therapeutically to help heal many common aliments.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "Seeing the Forest for the Trees: An Ecology of the Heart" with Gloria Flora. Listen by radio, or on web-streaming at

Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 5:30pm
Public Works Conference Room, ground floor, City Hall, Lawrence KS

The Bicycle Advisory Committee works with the City Transportation Planner and the City Engineer to advise the City Commission on bicycle facilities, plans and funding. They also work to improve bicycle safety and awareness through education of motorists and non-motorists. This month's agenda will include: a recap of the 9th Street bicycle lanes, expansion of the B.A.C. with more County representation, bicycle parking in the City Code, and data collection methods to quantify bicycle use rates in the City. The agenda is available at

Thursday, 23 July 2009, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Room, City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The Task Force's May and June meetings were canceled because of lack of a quorum, so this month will pick up on the previous agenda. The Task Force will discuss how to structure itself into sub-committee focus areas such as: food security, transportation, scarce energy land use planning, medical and public services, emergency planning, etc. There will also be reports on how several other communities have addressed these key areas. Meetings are open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend. And the Peak Oil Task Force web page is developing an extensive list of resources (click on "resources") including other cities' action plans such as San Francisco and Austin, videos, advocacy groups like Post Carbon Institute and Transition Boulder County, and key data and reports. The agenda is available at

14 July legislation takes effect 28 August 2009

Explain please? - Conventional utility rate structure links the sale of more electricity to reaping more profits. Logically, utilities have no incentive to promote customer efficiency. But it's a know fact that efficiency is the quickest and cheapest way to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Decoupling breaks the link between "more sales = more profit", and is a key step in enabling efficiency measures at utility scale. How it works is that a state's utility rate-setting board allows a utility to charge rates that are profitable even though sales may drop from consumer conservation. Missouri just passed the Missouri Energy Efficient Investment Act which will give the Missouri Public Service Commission the ability to make a utility' investments in energy efficiency programs at least as profitable as building new power plants. Such a utility is rewarded for helping their consumers use energy more wisely.

Kansas, on the other hand, has contemplated decoupling over time, as recently as June. The Kansas Corporation Commission has the power independent of the legislature to enact decoupling, but so far, nothing. KCC & Docket 442 on decoupling

Saturday-Thursday, 25-30 July 2009, 9:00am-6:00pm
Evergreen Institute, Pin Oak Road, Gerald MO (directions on web site)

Dan Bartmann and Dan Fink of Other Power will be teaching this class for the Evergreen Institute. In this six-day hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to make from scratch one or more quiet, efficient, and durable wind turbines of approximately 700 Watts. Time will be spent each day in lecture, learning about electricity, homebrew wind turbines, wind energy, wind turbine design, towers, wind site assessment, and wind systems. Attendees will fabricate the 3-phase axial flux alternators, wooden blades, and the metal frame work for the turbines from scratch. No prerequisite is necessary. Cost is $750 which includes the manual, Homebrew Wind Power. For info and to register, go to Evergreen Institute Wind Workshop. And for info on the instructors, go to Otherpower - DIY wind power

Sunday, 26 July 2008, 9:00am
meet at 517 Lake Street, Lawrence KS

These monthly hiking outings are intended to foster eco-literacy of the prairies, woods, and wetlands of our bioregion. Bring water, a hat, bug repellant, field guides, and food to share if you choose. For details, please contact Caryn at 766-7159 or More info at Kansas Area Watershed Council Calendar


The July issue of the "International Journal of Global Warming" published calculations by Bo Nordell and Bruno Gervet of Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, that debunk the notion that carbon sequestration or nuclear power will reduce climate warming. However, they do indicate that measures like reducing the burning of fossil fuels and switching to renewables like wind power and solar energy, will ultimately help prevent catastrophic climate change. While the nuclear fuel cycle indeed produces CO2, more significant is the inherent inefficiency of the reactor that produces heat three times more than the energy of the electricity it generates. Trapping CO2 Or Nuclear Power Won't Solve Global Warming

Adding to that analysis is the fact that both carbon sequestration and nuclear power cost far more than energy conservation for reducing the equivalent emissions. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute has pointed out that nuclear's costs are simply uncompetitive, being 3-4 times more costly than end-use efficiency, and 2-3 times more than cogeneration efficiency. We'd get far more emissions reduction budgeting for efficiency. As Lovins has said of nuclear's excesses, "It's like cutting butter with a chain saw". (4.2MB)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The August agenda will be available soon. 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

Wednesday, 12 August 2009, 4:00-6:00pm
Mid America Regional Council, Rivergate Center 2nd floor, 600 Broadway, KC 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. More information and the EMC April 2009 minutes are available at

Sunday, 23 August 2009, 4:00pm
Davenport Winery, 1394 E. 1900 Rd., Eudora KS
between new K-10 and old K-10; due to construction, use Davenport detour map

Our speaker this month, Greg Shipe, owner of Davenport Orchards & Winery, will update us on the Kansas River Valley Growers fight to protect their rights to essential water resources. Kansas water laws are very complex, and there has been a key decision by the Kansas Supreme Court, as well as regulatory decisions that affect water access by farmers. Following that, the S.A.N. meeting agenda will include: organizing for Transition Kaw Valley; Permaculture seminar and Permaculture tour; 501(C)(3) filing; fundraising; etc. Please join us.

Saturday, 12 September 2009, 10:00am-4:00pm
Community Building, 115 West 11th St. (Vermont at 11th St), Lawrence KS

The ninth annual Energy Conservation Fair will feature a wide range of energy conservation organizations and companies targeting a broad audience in a trade show setting. This year the venue has moved to a more central location to be accessible to a greater numbers of attendees. There will be an expert line up of speakers and presenters, as well as the traditional Sustainable Homes Tour around the community. For updates on the fair, visit 2009 Lawrence Energy Conservation Fair.

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) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy, and municipal level Peak Oil response planning.
2) Kaw Permaculture Collaborative - developing skills and resources for poly-cropping 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) Electric & Human Powered Vehicles - 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 the Sustainability Action Network, or other 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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