Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Tuesday, 29 September 2009, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/
Pledge your $$$ to support this programming at (888)931-0901

On this week's EcoRadio KC, host Richard Mabion will welcome Brooke Salvaggio of Bad Seed Farm & Market and Katherine Kelly of the KC Center for Urban Agriculture to discuss their proposal for Kansas City "Zoning Code changes that will benefit urban agriculture". As in myriad communities, urban food plots of all sizes are proliferating in Kansas City in response to peak oil food price inflation. But the so typical zoning code of Kansas City prohibits many aspects of urban food production. The Food Policy Coalition of Greater Kansas City is drafting changes to remove these institutional barriers (see below for info on a 20 October meeting).

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "The Green-Collar Economy: Jobs, Justice and Prosperity", with Van Jones Green for All and Majora Carter Majora Carter Group. The recent forced resignation of Van Jones as White House Special Advisor through lies by Glenn Beck and other right wing zealots is a disgrace to our democracy, and a tragedy for the best possible economic recovery - green jobs. Ecologically harmonious jobs have been wrongly labeled an economic drain, and Beck called Jones himself a "watermelon" - green on the outside but red on the inside (socialist). Listen and learn the truth how both Jones and Carter are strong advocates of the democratic values of self-improvement and hard work, combined with jobs that reduce energy and CO2, and safeguard the planet.

Political Economy Research Institute, U. of Mass

A recently released report shows that the U.S. can create two million jobs by investing in a rapid green economic recovery program, which will strengthen the economy, increase energy independence, and fight global warming. The report focuses on six energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies, and calls for an investment of $100 billion into: energy efficient building retrofits, mass transit and rail freight; smart electrical grid; wind power; solar power; next generation bio-fuels. Read the article at Green Recovery Would Create 2 Million Jobs in 2 Years in which there is a link to the U. Mass report itself.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009, 11:00am
Lawrence Riverfront Park, just west of TeePee Junction - US Hwy 59/40

The local Sierra Club chapter is holding a press conference to emphasize cleaning up existing coal plants, and unveiling a new strategy to reduce pollution from existing coal plants. Get more information by e-mailing org>, and a flyer can be viewed at http://www.kansascleanenergy.com/.

Wednesdays, 30 Sept., 7 & 14 Oct., 2nd of 4 sessions, 7:00-9:00pm
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 24th & Charlotte Streets, KC MO

Grow food not lawns! Increase local food security, improve your diet, beautify your surroundings, build community, reduce pollution and energy use (It takes 87 calories of fuel to transport one calorie of perishable fresh fruit from west coast to east coast). As supporters of the Food Not Lawns national movement, we will hold four sessions dealing with topics that include whole system design, garden preparation, permaculture, water wise gardening, seed saving, planting, and free resources (http://www.foodnotlawns.net). Presenters include master and highly-qualified gardeners. Class fee is $16, plus $5 for materials. More info at Food Not Lawns KC , or

Tuesday, 22 September 2009
by Michael Klare, NY Times The Era of Xtreme Energy

With atmospheric CO2 at 289 parts per million, 39ppm above the safe level and rising, and all the major oil fields in terminal decline, Michael Klare notes that "It would be ideal if the shift from dwindling oil to its climate-friendly successors were to happen smoothly via a mammoth, well-coordinated, interlaced system of wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and other renewable energy installations. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to occur. Instead, we will surely first pass through an era characterized by excessive reliance on oil's final, least attractive reserves along with coal, heavily polluting hydrocarbons like Canadian oil sands, and other unappealing fuel choices."

As Klare makes painfully clear, we are going to enter an age of Xtreme energy and the last-ditch efforts to keep our world on its normal course are likely to devastate the environment, accelerate climate change, inflict widespread pain, and create global conflict. This in essence is the fatal mistake of conventional economic planners - to keep the world on it's normal industrial course.

All the major players from energy companies, the Pentagon, the Federal Reserve, the DoE, the WTO, the World Bank, etc. base their energy and economic plans on keeping business as usual. But their elusive economic recovery predicting more cars, more cheap plastic goodies, and more energy intensive fast food is dependent on more of the heavily polluting fuels with an "all of the above" approach. On the basis of current trends, the DoE predicts that even two decades from now, in 2030, oil, natural gas, and coal will still make up 82% of America's primary energy supply, with 8% from nuclear power, 3% from hydropower, and only 7% from wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable sources. This madness must continue IF society insists on continuing to live our high consumptive lifestyles.

The wisest way out of this conundrum is through an "energy descent plan" such as proposed by the Transition Movement and explained in The Transition Handbook. Klare concludes "For most of us, life in the Era of Xtreme Energy will not be easy. We possess just two options for shortening this difficult era and mitigating its impact: drastically speed up the development of renewable sources of energy and greatly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by reorganizing our lives and our civilization so that we might consume less of them in everything we do.

Thursday, 1 OCTOBER 2009, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Rm., City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The August meeting had no quorum again, so no decisions could be made. But the Task Force considered that key areas of a Lawrence Peak Oil Plan might be:
  • Food Security & Supply
  • Transportation & Land Use
  • Municipal Services/Water & Waste
  • Built Environment/Energy Delivery
  • Emergency & Medical Planning
Members chose to begin writing on these sub-sections, and the first draft of the Food Security & Supply section will be ready for the October meeting. 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, 3 October 2009, 8:00am-5:00pm
Lakeview Middle School, 6720 NW 64th St., North KC, west of I-29

The Energy Fair and Homes Tour is sponsored by the Heartland Renewable Energy Society, the Missouri/Kansas chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (www.ases.org). Bus tours start at 8:00am, and fair exhibitions and workshops start at 9:00am. More info is available at KC Renewable Energy Fair & Sustainable Homes Tour, or by contacting Craig Wolf at

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order increasing the California renewable portfolio standard to 33% renewables by 2030, the highest in the nation. The order issued to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reinforces their Global Warming Solutions Act, which has mandatory carbon caps beginning in 2012. His executive order is intended to bypass a bill passed by the Legislature mandating the same target, but which Schwarzenegger said would be too costly and would violate the U.S. constitutional commerce clause.

Schwarzenegger has long proposed that solving global warming is not about sacrifice, but about innovation. He also said that California has too great a reliance on coal and this will give a boost to the renewable energy sector, which Schwarzenegger has stated is one of the few bright spots in California’s otherwise suffering economy. According to an economic study by the University of California at Berkeley and Next 10, California’s policies will create as many as 403,000 jobs in the next 12 years and household incomes will increase by $48 billion. Read the article at Schwarzenegger Orders 33% RPS by 2020, or read the full press release.

Saturday-Sunday, 3-4 October 2009, 10:00am-6:00pm
self-guided tour of 15 participating farms, per-vehicle fee

This annual tour of sustainably run farms covers a broad range from a bee apiary to a bison ranch to a school-based CSA to wineries to market farms and the KSU Horticulture Research Center. The common thread is that these operations all are local-regional food suppliers, are as ecologically sustainable as farms can get, and acre-for-acre their specialty crops contribute more significantly to the local economy than do commodity mono-culture crops. One of the more unique is the Okanis Garden at Prairie Moon Waldorf School just east of the Lawrence Airport. More info at Kaw Valley Farm Tour 2009

Saturday-Sunday, 3-11 October 2009
The Farm EcoVillage, Summertown TN

Bioregionalism is often referred to as becoming native to your place. It features a highly decentralized and personal connection to one's bioregion, community, neighborhood, and family. It emphasizes biocentrism rather than anthropocentrism, holding a spiritual outlook that humans are but one of myriad species that must live in balance with each other and the mother planet, if humans are to survive at all. Bioregions are living systems, not property lines, states, or nations, but rock, soil, weather, water, terrain, plants, animals, and human cultures.

You may register at 2009 Continental Bioregional Congress, which will be at The Farm in Tennessee, and will center on developing a Bioregional Curriculum

Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/
Pledge your $$$ to support this programming at (888)931-0901

On this upcoming EcoRadio KC, host Michael Almon of the Sustainability Action Network in Lawrence KS will be talking with Katie Nixon of the Lincoln University Small Farm Program and Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative. All three have extensive experience in Permaculture, and they will be discussing how Permaculture can most effectively help transition society to a sustainable, low energy, and just future.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "Beyond the Vagina Monologues".

Tuesday-Wednesday, 6-7 October 2009, Ramada Inn, Topeka KS
info at Kansas Wind & Renewable Energy Conf '09

Jointly hosted by the Kansas Energy Office and the Kansas Department of Commerce, the conference is an opportunity for state and regional officials and stakeholders to discuss the future of renewable energy in Kansas. Jim Hoecker, former Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will be the keynote speaker.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The October 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 http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/envadvisoryboard.shtml

Wednesday, 14 October 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 http://www.kcmo.org/manager.nsf/web/emc

Friday-Sunday, 16-18 October 2009
San Rafael CA

The 2009 Bioneers Conference is their 20 anniversary, where again they will bring together social and scientific innovators who focus on solutions inspired by nature and human ingenuity. If you listen to the KKFI-FM "Bioneers Radio Show", you know the range on inspirational and informative speakers who present at their annual conferences. Noteworthy presenters are: Michael Pollan, Joanna Macy, Brian Swimme, Jeannette Armstrong, Chief Almir (Brazil), Annie Leonard, Andrew Weil, Sarah James (Alaskan navite), Andy Lipkis, and more.

In addition to the main California conference, Bioneers sponsor simultaneous and linked regional conferences. This reduces our collective carbon footprint, keys in on local-regional issues and solutions, and effectively reaches tens of thousands. For conference info, schedule, and registration go to 2009 Bioneers Conference. To find the nearest regional Bioneers go to 2009 Beaming Bioneers Partners.

Revolution From the Heart of Nature
It's all alive; it's all connected; it's all intelligent; it's all relatives

Saturday-Saturday, 17-24 October 2009
Midwest Permaculture, 125 Crescent Lane, Stelle IL 60919

Bill and Rebecca Wilson offer this annual training course geared for the urban landscape on smaller parcels. It is ideal for the suburban or city resident who wants to transform their immediate environment into something beautiful, productive, energy lean and functional. Students spend the week in Stelle and either camp or stay in one of our friends homes. Training includes a full day in the Chicagoland area investigating some fascinating permaculture examples. For more information and to register go to Suburban-Urban Permaculture Design Certification Course at Midwest Permaculture.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009, 6:00-7:30pm
Bad Seed Farm & Market, 1909 McGee St, Kansas City MO

Kansas City Zoning Codes block many aspects of urban agriculture, from restricting employees or apprentices, preventing on-site sales, composting, canning, small livestock, etc. But urban food plots of all sizes are proliferating in Kansas City in response to peak oil food price inflation. Officials are generally open to changing such codes (Lawrence recently crafted provisions for urban chicken and duck raising) if constructive proposals are made.

The Food Policy Coalition of Greater Kansas City is drafting changes to remove these institutional barriers. They are inviting all interested parties to attend this planning meeting with City officials to begin the process. At the meeting they plan to examine existing codes and brainstorm useful changes, and assemble a volunteer committee to do the research and build political support. Please RSVP to and get info from: Katherine Kelly, KCCUA , Gretchen Kunkel, Food Policy Coalition , or Dan Heryer & Brooke Salvaggio, Bad Seed Farm .

2 consecutive Tuesday, 20 & 27 October 2009, 7:00-9:00pm
UMKC University Center Alumni Room, 50th & Rockhill Rd, KC MO

Urban farmer Steve Mann, owner of Platte Prairie Farms, and Marty Kraft of the Heartland All Species Project will divulge the secrets of no till/minimal till growing methods. Material covered will include no-till as a carbon sequestration method, fall garden preparation, replacing lawns with PermaScape, green roofs, and four season gardening. Class fee is $14, plus $15 for a grower's journal. More info at Platte Prairie Farms, or

Saturday, 24 October 2009, on coral reefs, at the State House, at coal plants, etc.
weekly updates at 350.org - Global Warming Global Action

In the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference - Copenhagen 2009, Bill McKibben has launched the International Day of Climate Action at 350.org. 350 is not an organization but a campaign, with a focus on the number 350 - as in parts per million - the level that scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.

350.org invites you to create a local action with "350" as the theme. On 24 October, 350.org needs you to organize an action in the place where you live, something that will make that most important number of 350 visible to everyone. People in more than 1000 communities around the globe have already announced plans—they’ll be school children planting 350 trees in Bangledesh, scientists hanging banners saying 350 on the statues on Easter Island, 350 scuba divers diving underwater at the Great Barrier Reef, and a thousand more creative actions like these.

Their web site is full of resources, information, and communications links, designed for anyone to make use of in creating our own local actions. For suggestions and ideas go to 350.org 9-Step Organizing Plan. Global-local actions is what it is about.

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a Kansas not-for-profit organization. DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED, and checks can be mailed to P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044. 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 occurring in many other communities. To join the Sustainability Action Network 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.

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