Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Weekly Sustainability Announcements, a project of the Sustainability Action Network, Lawrence chapter, 01/Dec/2009

Tuesday, 1 December 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 Steve Mann will interview Wes Jackson, President of The Land Institute, about loss of topsoil and his decades of research into perennial grain crops that need no tilling. Wes seems to have encyclopedic knowledge of anthropology, botany, chemistry, energy depletion, climate disruption, systems analysis, and pedagogy, all of which inform his work in sustainable agriculture. And he's always happy to share his insights in a most affable manner.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "Nature's Recipe Book: Life Shops at Home". How would nature do it? Biomimicry is a revolutionary emerging science that models nature's genius to design leading-edge technologies that work in harmony with nature, not against it. Biomimicry leader and best-selling author Janine Benyus, a "biologist at the design table," shares mind-bending applications of nature's time-tested recipes and survival tips. Transforming future technologies are the glue of the blue mussel, the beak of the kingfisher, and the interdependent roots of the Seven Sisters Oak.

ODAC - The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre

This is one of the most useful and user friendly sites about peak oil inflation. The interrelationship of geologically available oil, escalating demand by India and China, and the economic downturn of the industrial U.S., all come to play in the ultimate price of oil. That ultimate scarcity and cost is clearly explained in the ODAC Peak Oil Primer, as are how communities can respond to the impacts. There also are extensive links to major organizations addressing energy shortages, energy news from major areas of the world, and a weekly newsletter if you want to wonk it regularly.

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.

Thursday, 3 December 2009, 5:30-7:30pm
Kansas City Design Center, 1018 Baltimore, K.C. MO

This is the first event in a series of discussions, lectures and design charrettes focusing on how to green the Kansas City region. An interdisciplinary panel will discuss the specific challenges we face and how research and planning currently taking place in the region could inform better policy and practice to help meet climate protection and sustainability goals.
Panelists include:
Frank Lenk, MARC Research Services: "Adaptive Scenario for Regional Growth"
Caroline Davies, UMKC Environmental Studies: "Urban Forests & Resources"
Steve McDowell, principal at BNIM Architects: "Alternative Development Strategies"
Ulf Meyer, K-State Univ. Architecture: "Sustainability Urbanism Architecture Program"
Dominique Davison, K.U. Lecturer and principal at Davison Architecture: Moderator

RSVP: Contact Beverly Wilson at bwilson@marc.org or 816-701-8234. There is no fee to attend, but reservations are desirable for planning purposes.

Saturday, 5 December 2009, 10:00am
7th & Massachusetts to 11th & Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS
(gather at 7th & Kentucky St. - the Train Park, 9:45am)

Just prior to the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference - Copenhagen 2009, this march will be sponsored by several local environmental groups. Because human generated greenhouse gases from industrial societies have driven CO2 levels to 390 parts/million in the atmosphere, this is a critical time for the human species. Either the world commits now to an ambitious, fair, and binding global climate deal, or we risk the long-term health and viability of human survival on our planet. This will be a family friendly event. Bring signs if you are able.

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.


With U.S. climate legislation still only a lick and a promise, President Obama pledged to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that the U.S. will reduce CO2 by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 - provisional on the passage of legislation in Washington. Earth shattering! (or melting?). Meanwhile Wen Jiabao pledged a 40-45% cut in the same period U.S. & Chinese Pledges for Climate Targets. Obama is progressive? In February of 2007, President Bush pledged an 18% reduction by 2012 (noted in the following article) UN Panel Recommends Global Temperature Ceiling, Carbon Tax. Other more aggressive pledges are: Europe offers to cut emissions 95% by 2050, and Japan Plans for 80% Emissions Reduction by 2050. But everyone is waiting for the other to blink.

Furthermore, China has called for industrialized countries to devote 1% of GDP - about $350 billion annually - as climate reparations to help poor countries go green - Beyond Copenhagen. Once again, the U.S. is prepared to give only $1.2 billion. Under the banner "Resist the false solutions of COP15 climate talks", Climate Justice Action is promoting the principal of climate debt payments from industrial countries to developing nations.

The Obama administration pretends that it's hands are tied by the Congress and a faltering economy (as though poor countries economies are more solid). As The Nation Magazine article pointed out, "During his campaign Obama spoke eloquently of green recovery, but since his election he has not aggressively pushed this agenda. Given the scale of the challenges he has faced, from healthcare to Afghanistan to the recession, this might be understandable. But the Obama administration has the power to act responsibly on climate change outside legislative channels. It is considering approval of an EPA finding that would classify greenhouse gases as dangerous, opening the way to their regulation under the Clean Air Act. The administration could use its regulatory power to shutter coal plants and clean up agriculture, and embrace industrial policy to facilitate a clean energy revolution. While the United States must be part of any international agreement that addresses this global crisis, the fight against climate change begins at home."

Tuesday, 8 December 2009, 7:00pm
KKFI-FM studio, 3901 Main St., Kansas City MO (NOTE NEW LOCATION)

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 meeting agenda includes: two-day Transition Fair, viewing of short transition DVD's, Great Unleashing discussion, list of local collaborative groups.

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

The December 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, 9 December 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

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, 1:00pm
1145 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence, KS 66044

The 12th Street Homestead is building and modeling a sustainable shared space in East Lawrence by converting an old mixed-use residential/commercial building into a demonstration home and community center. They are looking for people to join creating the space for compassionate intimacy, appropriate technologies, radical methods of intensive urban permaculture, sustainable personal relationships, pro-dignity and anti-oppression social justice organizing. They seek others to develop critical thinking and dialogue about the de-construction of gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, documentation status, and other social identity markers.

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
  • plans for the S.A.N. annual meeting
  • 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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