Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sustainability Announcements, Lawrence Chapter, 11, August, 2009

11 August 2009

Tuesday, 11 August 2009, 12:00noon
KKFI-FM 90.1, Kansas City Community Radio
Listen by radio, or on web-streaming at

On this week's EcoRadio KC, host John Kurmann will conduct a second-part interview with Jo Robinson, creator of the Eat Wild website, about the benefits for us and the rest of the world of getting cattle, pigs, and chickens out of industrial food factories and back onto pasture, where they belong. We can improve the lives of farm animals, reduce fossil energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, build the soil, and produce more nourishing and safer food all at the same time.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "A Sense of Wonder: Ecological Literacy and Facts of Life" with Fritjof Capra, Zenobia Barlow and Esther Cook. Fritjof Capra and Zenobia Barlow are two of the founders of the Center for Ecoliteracy, dedicated to education for sustainable living.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009, 6:00pm
Waldo Library, 201 E 75th St., Kansas City MO

This meeting of the Planning Team is open to anyone wanting to contribute. Meeting discussion will cover: a video and discussion on the twelve steps listed in the "Transition Handbook", planning a Communiversity class and a presentation to the Community of Reason, possible collaboration with the Transition Kaw Valley to bring Michael Brownlee to KC, and more. For more info, or to get on their e-mail list, call (816)767-8873, or contact them at

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

The August agenda will include: recommendations for recycling strategies such as curb-side collection, the Lawrence Energy Conservation Fair, an S.A.B. brochure, and task force reports. 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 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

Thursday, 13 August 2009, 5:30pm
UPRR Depot, North 3rd & Locust St., Lawrence KS

The historic Bowersock Mill & Power Company has been researching the potential for adding low-impact submersible hydro generators in a new power house on the north end of the Kansas River dam. They have applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a permit, and are holding a public meeting to present the proposal, and take public comments.

This will be a low-head hydro facility, unlike the conventional deep reservoir hydro such as Glen Canyon Dam or the huge new dams in China and India being financed by the World Bank. The environmental impacts of high-dam hydro are considerable, destroying farmlands, forests, aquatic species, and whole watersheds, and resulting in displacement of thousands of people. Low-head hydro taps into the kinetic energy stored behind low dams typically from 15-20 feet high, with little or no significant impacts.

The Bowersock meeting will begin with a technical and regulatory overview, and will be followed by a walking tour to the site at the north end of the dam. For more info go to Proposed Bowersock North Plant Project and Low Head Hydro Power - Wikipedia

Sunday, 16 August 2009, 12:00midnight

The Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) is receiving comments from the public on the pending application by BNSF for a 404 Permit to build a rail-truck intermodal transfer facility in Gardner KS. Persons most likely to be impacted in Johnson County and adjoining counties, Hillsdale Watershed, and Kansas City are encouraged to send comments. The initial notice provided only 21 days for comment, but has been extended until 16 August. Read it at Draft Environmental Assessment_BNSF Intermodal

ACE concluded prematurely that "The activity does not appear to violate applicable state water quality standards or effluent standards, jeopardize the existence of Federally listed endangered or threatened species, or contribute to significant degradation of waters of the United States including adverse effects on human health. . ." ACE also concluded prematurely that "the proposed IMF would not have a significant adverse effect on the quality of the human environment; therefore, the filing of an environmental impact statement would not be required." In other words, ACE gave themselves permission to ignore public input, AND to disallow public process.

If you wish to send comments, reference Permit No. 2006-1014
Mainly, request the ACE conduct an Environmental Impact Statement, AND a Health Assessment. For additional talking points, go to BNSF Intermodal_Gardner_404 Permit concerns

Mail comments to:
Mr. Joshua Marx, Regulatory Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Kansas City Regulatory Office
402 Federal Building
601 East 12th Street
Kansas City MO 64106‐2896

or e-mail them to

Tuesday, 18 August 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 presentation by Michael Morley, the S.A.N. Coordinator, about expansion of bicycle lanes and other facilities. The agenda is available at

Tuesday, 19 August 2009, 7:00-9:00pm
Douglas County Co-op Extension Office, 21st & Harper Ave, Lawrence KS

In this sixth of seven seminars, Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative will describe the collection and dispersal of rainwater as it moves through a site and into the soil. As a major component of creating sustainable human settlements, rainwater irrigation and aquaculture mechanisms can enhance the positive weather effects, and mitigate the negative weather effects on soil erosion and soil building. Pre-registration is required by contacting Steve prior to 15 August. An admission fee of $15.00 is requested to cover course materials.

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

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; sustainability resource library; fundraising; etc. Please join us.

  • Definition of "peak oil" - New oil discoveries no longer keeping up with current oil extraction rates
  • Oil is unique as a commodity - "Oil is unique in that it is so strategic in nature… Energy is truly fundamental to the world’s economy. It is the basic, fundamental building block of the world’s economy. It is unlike any other commodity." - Dick Cheney, 1999
  • It was oil, after all - When private citizen Dick Cheney was running Halliburton, he told the oil industry that, "By 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies." - Bill Moyers Journal, 2008
In his latest piece, Peak Oil and the Remaking of Iraq, Michael Klare notes that after all the chaos and catastrophe, Iraq may become a giant gas pump for an energy-starved planet. As Professor of Peace & World Security Studies at Hampshire College, Michael Klare regularly provides critical analysis of the intersection of war and oil.

Klare reports that according to oil giant BP, Iraq'sproven oil reserves are 115 billion barrels -- more than any country except Saudi Arabia (with 264 billion barrels) and Iran (with 138 billion). Iraq's Oil Ministry is beginning to be viewed as a functioning, professional operation, and their oil industry could be poised for a major turnaround. Iraq could add as much as six to eight million barrels per day to international output, postponing the inevitable arrival of peak oil and a contraction in global energy supplies.

Considering Klare's analysis, if one takes a geo-political outlook, that "postponement" is the prize. Iraq's suffering and destruction may have bought the world time to achieve . . . what? Short-term profits for corporate oil? CPR for finance capital? Military footing for stronger hegemony?

But if one takes a prudent viewpoint of long-term trends in population, climate destabilization, and social justice, the key word is "inevitable" arrival of peak oil. The extra time resulting from temporary increases in oil extraction is a precious reprieve, our last opportunity to transition to a green economy. Wind generators, lithium ion batteries, and high temperature transmission lines (made with 60% silver or other rarefied minerals) are going to cost a bundle of billions, and lots of fossil energy to make. If we learn anything from the past, is should be that choosing energy descent will put us ahead of the inevitable peak oil decline.

Thursday, 27 August 2009, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Room, City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

At the July meeting, several Task Force members gave reports on how several other communities have addressed key areas and recommended response plans. This coming month, the Task Force will build on that, and 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. 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 Portland, videos, advocacy groups like Post Carbon Institute and Transition Boulder County, and key data and reports.

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.

Saturday-Sunday, 12-13 September 2009, 10:00am-4:00pm
Hwy K-177, 2 miles N. of Strong City, or 17 miles S. of Council Grove

This is an annual prairie outing with prairie hikes, Kansas Native Plant Society education programs, prairie bus tours, special speakers, nature trails, and more. For more info go to Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

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

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

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