Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Weekly Sustainability Announcements, 03/Nov/2009, Lawrence Chapter

Tuesday, 3 November 2009, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at

On this week's EcoRadio KC, host Steve Mann will have a conversation with Chris Taylor, the producer/director of the film "Food Fight". It will be a free ranging discussion of the beginnings of the fresh-local food movement in California, and the many efforts in the Kansas City region towards local and sustainable food. See below about the screening of "Food Fight" on 12 November in Lawrence.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "Just Like a Woman: Nature, Chemicals and the Feminization of Science". Is it any accident that the first person to sound the alarm about chemical pollution was Rachel Carson, a woman? These dangerous chemicals are 'feminizing' all us critters by disrupting our hormone balances. Environmental health advocate Charlotte Brody suggests that female scientists' different perspective on problems and solutions may lead us to the connections between human health and the health of the planet.

Thursday, 5 November 2009, 6:30pm
Prairie Moon Waldorf School, 1853 E. 1600 Rd. (1/2 mile east of airport)

This will be the third public meeting to refine a Sector Plan draft for the rich alluvial farm region north of Lawrence. This meeting will build upon the visioning conducted at the last meeting. Many different perspectives and issues have been voiced by stakeholders. At this point it is important that goals and policies be prioritized with a distinction between "ecological sustainability" and "sustained economic growth". There can be some overlap, but often these two concepts are at odds. Meeting notes and schedules can be accessed at N.E. Sector Planning Process_Lawrence Planning Dept.

Of the many communities exploring farm-based economic development, one of particular interest is Madelia Minnesota The Madelia Model. They have a plan that phases out soy and corn commodity crops, by developing a cellulosic biomass "fuel shed" surrounding Madelia, as well as what they call "third crops" that emphasize perennials, small grains, hay, pasture and cover crops, and non-crops such as wind energy, eco-tourism, rural artisans, bio-energy, recreation, etc.

Sunday, 7 November 2009, 10:00am-4:00pm
1853 East 1600 Road, Lawrence KS (1/2mile east of the airport)

This is the annual fund-raiser for the first "Kansas Green School" in Douglas County. Waldorf education was founded by Rudolf Steiner with a strong emphasis on learning from the natural world. Steiner also started Biodynamic agriculture, and Prairie Moon began the Okanis Market Garden this year, which recently was on the Kaw Valley Farm Tour. The Faire will feature children's activities like candle dipping and puppet shows, and also sales of natural-material toys and crafts, as well as an extensive book selection. The evening will have a live auction at 7:00pm with live music.


As climate disruption becomes more difficult to ignore, as nations prepare for the Copenhagen Climate negotiations on 6 December - Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009, and as pressure mounts for the U.S. Congress to devise some sort of Climate & Energy bill, the supposedly "carbon free" nuclear energy rears it ugly head again. In spite of unresolved issue of spent fuel storage for 10,000 years, and that the unproven 4th generation nuclear technology won't be ready for decades, nuclear cheerleaders are emerging regularly. Most are self-serving industry hacks wanting to re-commission brittle old reactors ready for shut-down. Some, like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) want more of these old, "proven", and shovel-ready reactors to be featured in the Climate & Energy bill. But a few, like Stewart Brand, are environmentalists who seem to have succumbed to the "clean nuke" propaganda.

Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, who for years has been describing nuclear power as "similar to cutting butter with a chain saw", focuses on the economic failure of nuclear power, saying our investment would be better spent on conservation, efficiency, and renewables. Said Amory, "Many people have asked me to assess [Brand's] 41-page chapter on nuclear power, so I’ll do that here, because I believe its conclusions are greatly mistaken. His nuclear chapter’s facts and logic do not hold up to scrutiny. My writings show why nuclear expansion therefore can’t deliver on its claims: it would reduce and retard climate protection, because it saves between two and 20 times less carbon per dollar." Read the article here Amory Lovins dismantles Stewart Brand’s nuclear enthusiasm.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The November 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, 11 November 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

Wednesday, 11 November 2009, 7:00pm - free
lecture by Wes Jackson
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College
College Blvd. and Quivira Rd., Overland Park KS

Wes Jackson, founder and President of the Land Institute in Salina KS will be giving this lecture. Working with a doctorate in genetics and degrees in biology and botany, Jackson has lead the Land Institute research of long range development of perennial grain crops based on prairie species. NPR recently ran a feature interview on Wes and the Land Institute Wes Jackson's Perennial Grain Research.

He has given hundreds of lectures, many focused on how climate destabilization will disrupt the long-stable agricultural growing zones. He often displays unique insights such as: "Living organisms always seek out the most energy dense carbon. And humans have accelerated our growth by tapping into the five major carbon pools: soil, forests, coal, oil, and natural gas." Demonstrating how we have depleted these carbon pools, he points out that "A child of ten today has witnessed 25% of all oil that has been burned, and a 22 year old, 54% of all oil." Of course, all that carbon has been pumped into the oceans and atmosphere!

For more information on the lecture call James Leiker at (913) 469-8500 x3673

Wednesday, 11 November 2009, 7:00pm - free
#138 Stoffer Science Hall, Washburn University, 17th St. & Washburn Ave., Topeka KS

Coal Country is a gripping new film about mountain-top removal coal mining in Appalachia and the environmental cost of coal power. The film
brings us inside the lives of Appalachian residents who are directly threatened by mountaintop-removal, a destructive mining practice where mountaintops are blasted away to expose the coal; the waste is then dumped in the waterways of nearby communities. There will be a discussion following the film. For details and background info on the campaign, go to Coal Country - Sierra Club.


In their fawning attempt to win the bi-partisan hearts and minds of Republicans and blue dog Democrats, Senate Democrats like John Kerry are selling out the heart and soul of the Climate & Energy bill. Max Baucus (D-MT), famous for neutering single-payer from the health legislation, is similarly attacking his own party's Climate & Energy bill. He recently said he had serious reservations about the Democrats' climate change bill, and that losing his vote could cost the Democratic leadership moderate support - Baucus opposition chills climate bill. Meanwhile, Sen. Kerry has been cutting deals with Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to include major provisions for nukes and clean coal and off-shore drilling.

Harvey Wasserman, long-time advocate of renewable energy and critic of nuclear power, has written an analysis of the current Senate Climate & Energy bill -
Is the Climate Bill being fossil/nuked? He describes the Orwellian language of the bill saying "The Senate Bill as now drafted includes a 'Clean Energy Development Administration' that could deliver virtually unlimited federal cash to build new reactors and fund other mega-polluters."

Another watchdog group fighting this resurgence of nukes is Beyond Nuclear, founded by Dr. Helen Caldicott and with Ed Asner as honorary Chair. They highlight the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and need to abandon both to safeguard an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. To participate in their campaign, go to Beyond Nuclear.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009, 6:00pm
Waldo Library, 201 E 75th St., Kansas City MO

The agenda for the Kansas City Transition Initiative meeting will include: reports on the Omaha Transition Training and the KC Communiversity Transition class, transition information handouts, outreach with Lawrence and others, and a transition KC web site. For more info, or to get on their e-mail list, call (816)767-8873, or contact them at

Thursday, 12 November 2009, 7:00-10:00pm - free
Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS

"Food Fight" is a fascinating look at how American agricultural policy and food culture developed in the 20th century, and how the California food movement rebelled against big agribusiness to launch the local, seasonal, food movement. The host will be Alan Rhodes, an organic grower from Lawrence Food Fight: local culinary revolt.

Sunday, 15 November 2009, 4:00pm
Mirth Cafe, 8th & New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS

Our speaker this month is Aron Cromwell, Lawrence City Commissioner and owner of Cromwell Environmental which specializes in renewable energy systems as well as healthy building services for indoor air quality, and testing and remediation of mold, asbestos, lead, etc. Aron's talk will focus on the technologies and policies of renewable energy in a state and local context. Q & A may get into the prospect of a Lawrence Sustainability Director and how that person will implement our Climate Protection Plan and the pending Peak Oil Response Plan.

Following the talk by Aron Cromwell, the S.A.N. meeting agenda will include:
  • planning of permaculture presentations
  • Transition Kaw Valley
  • Collaboration with Transition Kansas City
  • furthering bicycle lanes in Lawrence
  • Lawrence Peak Oil Plan, suggestions for input
  • fundraising; etc. - Please join us.

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

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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Carl Shuller said...

Hi ... Could you provide more details on the TRANSITION KANSAS CITY ¤ TOWARDS A POST-CARBON COMMUNITY event on
Tuesday, 10 November 2009. Who is organizing this meeting? Thanks in advance. carl at transitionus . org

Michael Caddell said...

You should be able to read it now and there is a local phone number up. Sorry that happens when the text is sent "white" to us.