Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SUSTAINABILITY ANNOUNCEMENTS, 17/Nov/2009, Lawrence Action Network

17 November 2009

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The International Energy Agency released their annual report and projections for world energy trends at a press conference last week, presented by the IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka and Chief Economist Fatih Birol.

"World leaders gathering in Copenhagen next month for the UN Climate summit have a historic opportunity to avert the worst effects of climate change. The World Energy Outlook 2009 seeks to add momentum to their negotiations at this crucial stage by detailing the practical steps needed for a sustainable energy future as part of a global climate deal,” said Nobuo Tanaka, IEA Executive Director, in London at the launch of the new WEO, the annual flagship publication of the IEA. [However] "a continuation of current trends in energy use puts the world on track for a rise in temperature of up to 6°C and poses serious threats to global energy security." This link World Energy Outlook_IEA_10Nov09 includes links to a press release, executive summary, key fact sheets, a slide presentation, and more.

And according to ASPO-USA (Association for the Study of Peak Oil) also last week, "It is beginning to look as if there will be little if any progress at the Copenhagen meeting on climate change next month. In the US, the climate bill is unlikely to pass the Senate in time for the meeting, thus undercutting Washington’s leadership in attaining any meaningful progress. In the US, the economic recession has set back the best efforts . . . [and] in Russia the government . . . is dependent on selling oil and gas for a major part of its economy. Ironically, only Beijing is beginning to wake up to the seriousness of the threat to its national existence from drought, reduced river flows and rising sea levels."

ASPO also notes that the WEO projects a "substantial downward revision in the IEA’s forecast for global oil production. Curiously, this reduction in forecast of world oil production is being cast as a reduction in the demand for oil rather than stemming from any constraints on global oil supply." And yet, the WEO's very first chart describes a "93% increase in global demand between 2007 & 2030, driven largely by China & India" with the level of demand rising by 200%. Curious indeed.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/

On this week's EcoRadio KC, host Reenie Carmack will discuss "Bee Venom Therapy" with Rob Amerine who is a local bee venom therapist. Bee venom therapy has been around for thousands of years, used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks including Hippocrates. Honeybee venom contains many active substances, one of which is 'Mellitin', an anti-inflammatory agent found to be useful in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Bee venom also stimulates the body's release of the hormone cortisol as well as neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, and it can encourage the immune system to produce the body's own healing response. Rob himself was diagnosed with Parkinson's, and BVT is bringing great relief to his symptoms.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "Climbing Mt. Sustainability: Doing Well by Doing Good in the New Ecology of Business". A handful of global business leaders is blazing trails to a biologically based 'eco-nomics.' They are fundamentally recalculating core assumptions to allow business to make a fine living without killing the planet. Ray Anderson, leading-edge founder and CEO of Interface, the world's largest modular carpet company, articulates his bold vision to operate the company to take from the Earth only that which the Earth can renew rapidly and naturally. His mission is zero footprint by the year 2020.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009, 6:00pm
Public Works Confr. Room, lower level, Lawrence City Hall, 6th & Massachusetts St.

Several notable agenda items are being considered this month at the Bicycle Advisory Committee. These include: a ghost bike program to memorialize killed bicyclists, the 2010 street pavement overlay plan which often includes bicycle lanes, bicycle lanes on Princeton Blvd., and a community bicycle map keyed for rideability. The agenda and information can be downloaded at Bicycle Advisory Comm | agendas & minutes.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009, 7:00pm - free
Woodruff Auditorium, KU Union, 13th & Oread Blvd., Lawrence

Food Inc. describes how a handful of multi-national corporations dominate a toxic industrial food system, while portraying their industrial products as the benign agrarian foodstuffs of our grandparents. Sponsored by KU Environs, CCO EARTH, and SUA, with raffle prizes from The Merc, Louisburg Cider Mill, Greenability magazine, and Blooming Lotus, and free local popcorn and/or pecans from KU Dining Services. View the Food, Inc. 2 minute trailer and visit the Food, Inc. the movie site.


This website What’s On My Food? : Pesticides On Food is a wonderful resource compiled by the Pesticide Action Network (P.A.N.). Pesticides are the linchpin of industrialized agriculture. Their mass introduction into farming 70 years ago, along with petrochemical fertilizers, set U.S. farming down a costly and unsustainable path.

The website features a searchable data base of dozens of common foods, showing the types of toxins on each, their health effects, and comparisons between conventionally grown foods and organically grown foods. Folks can also sign up for P.A.N. news updates, and action alerts on their website.

And that's not the half of it! These same industrial foods (and even the beneficial organic foods) are packaged in toxic plastics. Bisphenol A, a known endocrine disrupter commonly abbreviated as BPA and a key ingredient of polycarbonate plastics, is vile stuff—not the kind of thing a smart species knowingly introduces into its food system. Yet, we literally pack food in it—BPA is a key part of the lining in food cans - BPA in canned food.

And phthalates, which are plastic softeners and also endocrine disrupters, are in most plastics - the softer the plastic, the more phthalates in it - Our Stolen Future: phthalates. Plastic bags and plastic cling wrap have high concentrations, materials that frequently contact food directly. So when asked "paper or plastic?", choose paper, but better yet, bring your own cloth bags. And definitely, don't microwave your food in any plastic containers.

Friday, 20 November 2009 - survey deadline

Every five years, the KDHE Bureau of Waste Management updates the Kansas Solid Waste Management Plan. “KDHE values the opinions of solid waste stakeholders and the general public when updating the state plan,” KDHE Secretary Roderick L. Bremby, said. So they are conducting a survey to obtain input from interested stakeholders. Completed surveys must be submitted by November 20, 2009, and it is available at: https://www.dhe.state.ks.us/surveys/planupdate.htm.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Just as Adbusters have promoted for 20 years through Buy Nothing Day, we need to consume less - for the sake of our eco life-support base, our fiscal solvency, our community health, and the hole in our soul that we try to fill with stuff. Adbusters advocate that on "Black Friday" 27 November, we stop buying for 24 hours, and shut off our lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances, park our cars, turn off our phones and log off of our computers for the day.

With record levels of consumer debt as one of the main causes of the economic crisis, Reverend Billy's "Church of Stop Shopping" will have greater significance this year. See below on 9 December for a screening of "What Would Jesus Buy?". And as Annie Leonard pointed out in "The Story of Stuff" our society's conspicuous consumption is literally devouring the planet beyond it's carrying capacity.

Thursday, 3 DECEMBER 2009, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Rm., City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

At the 29 October meeting, Task Force discussed the first draft of the "Peak Oil Transportation Strategies" section. A draft of the next section, "Peak Oil Water & Waste Strategies", will be presented and discussed at the 3 December meeting. Meetings are open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend. And the Peak Oil Task Force web page has developed 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.

Tuesday-Friday, 7-18 December 2009
Copenhagen Denmark

The Kyoto Climate Protocol is due to expire in 2012, and nations are preparing to negotiate a new climate treaty in Copenhagen - UN Climate Change Conference - Copenhagen 2009. As unambitious as the Kyoto Protocol CO2 targets were, most nations haven't come close to meeting them - the United States is the only industrialized nation to not even ratify the treaty. Greenhouse gas levels have not dropped due to Kyoto, but rather have been steadily rising, with CO2 now at 390 parts/million in the atmosphere.

The planet is in a state of severe overshoot with greenhouse gases needing to be lowered quickly "if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted" as James Hansen said. For anyone who considers the science with an open mind, there is widespread consensus that a concerted global effort must be undertaken to lower greenhouse gas levels. And it's generally understood that Copenhagen is last plausible moment to heed the most basic and crucial of limits on atmospheric CO2. But most observers, and even delegates to Copenhagen, are not optimistic. So far the Unites States is coming empty-handed, but is considering a stop-gap short-term climate bill in Congress. And the U.N. officials seem resigned that December will need to be followed by another session in Spring 2010. The whole world is watching.

Thursday, 5 November 2009
Senate 1733 climate bill - Boxer Committee

While Sen. Barbara Boxer was celebrating her committee’s passage of a sweeping climate change bill Thursday, "Blue Dog" Democrats and Republicans said it was moving too fast for some coal and manufacturing states, and approving the bill without any Republicans even in the committee room had poisoned the process. This all too typical obstructionism in the political process doesn't provide confidence for resolving climate disruption any time soon - Senators look past Barbara Boxer's climate bill. But it should come as no surprise that they vote with their pockets, when nearly 50% of Senators, and 30% of Representatives, are millionaires.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009, 6:00pm
Waldo Library, 201 E 75th St., Kansas City MO

The Kansas City Transition Initiative is addressing climate disruption and peak oil inflation at the local level, a relocalization effort similar to hundreds of others around the globe. The Transition movement was begun by Rob Hopkins in Great Britain Transition Towns, and in the U.S. is coordinated by Transition US based in Sebastapol CA. They help local initiatives with resources and publications, and they have 22 trainers traveling to conduct local training sessions. For more info, or to get on the Kansas City e-mail list, call (816)767-8873, or contact them at

Wednesday, 9 December 2009, 7:00pm
Liberty Hall. 644 Mass St., Lawrence KS

Since 1996, the Reverend Billy has been using street theater to preach that consumerism is overwhelming our lives as The Shopocalypse. He warns that corporations want us to have fulfillment mediated only through their products. He admonishes us to "back away from the product", resist the temptation to drive to the big box stores, and instead support local economies and holidays filled with caring and sharing.

He travels with his choir from the Church of Stop Shopping to chain stores, shopping malls, and big boxes, exorcising cash registers and credit cards, and debunking the assumptions that our current possessions are lame, and that only shiny-new will provide us with power, pride and status. View a video of Reverend Billy on Democracy Now! talking about "What Would Jesus Buy?", and view the trailer of What Would Jesus Buy? at Films For Action.

Wednesday-Thursday, 9-10 December 2009, 8:30am-3:30pm
Wednesday at: Sedgwick Co. Extension, 7001 W. 21st St. N., Wichita KS
Thursday at: K-State Univ. Ag. Research Cntr, 1232 240th Ave, Hays KS

Experts in water supply, energy, agriculture, and biology will focus on the changing climate and it's affects on water quality, supply, and flooding, and food security. Topics will include: long term climate cycles, municipal climate mitigation, flooding, crop and livestock impacts, and carbon capture. This conference is sponsored by the Kansas Water Office and the Center for Agricultural Resources & the Environment. More info and registration at: Kansas Water Issues Forum 2009

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Scheduled to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference - Copenhagen 2009 taking place from 7-18 December, the intent is for synchronized demonstrations around the world, in as many places as possible, to call on world leaders to take urgent action on climate change. They call for a just solution to climate disruption, in which the industrialized nations responsible for the lion's share of CO2 already in the atmosphere undertake the greatest measures to lower CO2 levels. This will be the third year for a Climate Day of Action, and info and national contacts can be found at Global Climate Campaign.

Sunday, 13 December 2009, 4:00pm
location TBA, Lawrence KS

S.A.N. advocates and organizes societal scale action to address sustainability issues, in our personal lives, and through public policy changes. We encourage everyone to "be the change you want to see" by becoming active in furthering local sustainability.

The S.A.N. meeting agenda will include:
  • Transition Kaw Valley presentations
  • Lawrence bicycle plans for 2010
  • Lawrence Peak Oil Plan, suggestions for input
  • fundraising for equipment and supplies; etc.
Please join us

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 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.

We welcome suggestions for items to be included. Please send items to

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