Tuesday, January 19, 2010

SUSTAINABILITY ANNOUNCEMENTS, 19 Jan. 2010, Lawrence Chapter

Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/

On EcoRadio KC this week, host Reenie Carmack will be interviewing Natalie George about the "Cafe Gratitude" concept. On 30-31 January, there will be a workshop on "Kindred Spirit Relationship" being presented by the founders of Cafe Gratitude at Unity Temple. Tune in to hear how healthy food, gratitude, and working on your being and your relationship with others can help heal your body, mind, and spirit.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series airs "Forest Lifeboat: From Spirit Bears to Victoria's Dirty Secret ". How do you go from being a passionate tree-hugger to a business-suited change-maker on behalf of the forests? Enter ForestEthics program director Tzeporah Berman. With a string of conservation successes, including the "Amazon of the North," her inspiring story show how innovative market-based strategies, strange bedfellows, and public embarrassment are powerful tools to preserve the wild places that provide our essential ecosystem services.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

The first decade of the twenty-first century was the hottest since record keeping began in 1880 21st Century's First Decade Hottest on Record. With an average global temperature of 14.52 degrees Celsius (58.1 degrees Fahrenheit), this decade was 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than any previous decade. The year 2005 was the hottest on record, while 2007 and 2009 tied for second hottest. In fact, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurred in the past decade.

Temperature rise has accelerated in recent decades. The earth’s temperature is now 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than it was in the first decade of the twentieth century, and two-thirds of that increase has taken place since 1970.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 6:00pm
Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

The LFTP Lawrence Fruit Tree Project is a co-operative group of pomiculturists who have organized themselves to establish community orchards, and teach folks how to grow and care for fruiting trees and shrubs. They also are setting up a fruit tree register to list existing neighborhood trees that are underutilized, so they can be cared for and harvested. Anyone is welcome who is interested in relocalized food security, environmental literacy, permaculture, fruit tree propagation, etc. Come to our meetings and help our grass roots organization grow!

The agenda will include: compiling a fruit tree order - trees for public and private planting; Burroughs Creek Park tree planting proposal with the City; grant writing opportunities;

Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 6:00pm
Public Works Conference Room, City Hall, Lawrence KS

The B.A.C. agenda this month includes: discussion of "complete streets" being pushed by Live Well Lawrence, the Bicycle Rideability Map, and objectives for 2010 for advancing the Lawrence-Douglas County Bicycle Plan. The agenda and information can be downloaded at Bicycle Advisory Comm | agendas & minutes.

Thursday, 21 January 2010, 3:00-4:30pm
on-line "interactive"

While planning greater expansion of NAFTA trucking routes that serve primarily the big box stores, the Kansas Dept. of Transportation (KDOT) is making their obligatory gesture towards a "public participation process". Information on the KDOT web site is typically impenetrably dense, and at the same time provides simplistic explanations of their opaque materials. Adding to this fog, the "public meetings" where you would hope to clarify the details and rationales and priorities are now being relegated to electronic media at 5-County Transportation Study Public Meetings.

Keep in mind, land development brings land degradation, and roads drive land development. So this plan is very important for all ecological issues from energy use to water quality. It's presented as a balanced consideration of all transportation: auto, truck, rail, bicycle, transit, pedestrian. But historical KDOT budget numbers belie that pretense. And their assumptions about things like the Gardner Rail/Truck Intermodal and the South Lawrence Trafficway expose their hand. Log on. Tie up their lines. Make your voice heard. To sign up to participate, contact Angela Pritchett, Shockey Consulting Services, angela@shockeyconsulting.com, 913.645.4780


After sorting through issues surrounding climate warnings and denial, and peak oil depletion and denial, what emerges are two distinct camps with opposing solutions. Far from being the proponents and the deniars, at loggerheads, rather, are advocates of two diametrically opposed solutions.

In the case of both climate disruption and peak oil inflation, at issue is a dwindling resource. For climate solutions, Copenhagen revealed an impass based on "only so much atmospheric space to absorb CO2". And for peak oil solutions, the impass is based on having only so much oil left to go around.

Given this context, industrial nations want any climate or peak oil solutions that maintain their capacity to fuel their "high on the hog" lifestyles and preserve their existing dumping ground in the sky. But developing nations insist they need a greater slice of both the pie in the sky and the oil in the ground if they are to reach parity with the industrial nations (and fairness would say that their extreme poverty levels justify this stance). But obviously, both expansive trajectories are mutually impossible.

The overarching problem, however, is the unspoken assumption that there can be infinite industrial expansion of both industrial and developing economies, and the only solutions acceptable require an increase in fossil fuel burning all around. Greenhouse gas emissions and oil extraction must expand for both camps to achieve their stated "solutions". Even when renewable energy is added (which, incidentally, would require vast amounts of fossil energy to build the infrastructure in the first place), the assumption again is to keep growing the industrial base and lifestyles. But there simply is not enough "atmospheric space" nor petroleum to do this.

Never, never considered is a curtailment of industrial capacity or economic growth, anathema because it would lead to a collapse of all currencies which are based on compounded interest and deficit spending. But in the physical world, true climate solutions and peak oil solutions require that the agrarian economies not get pumped up with more fossil energy, but rather that the industrial economies must actively pursue a course of energy descent.

And that is precisely what the global Transition Movement is all about Transition Network. With a decentralized approach, community by community, local Transition Initiatives focus on "significantly rebuilding resilience in response to peak oil inflation, drastically reducing carbon emissions in response to climate disruption, and reconstructing a local economy of production and distribution". And Transition Initiatives maintain that this need not be deprivation, but rather a golden opportunity to engage and reinvigorate our communities. Granted, it won't be easy. But if we don't choose to enter energy descent in an orderly fashion, the collapse of fossil fuel driven trade or of the atmosphere will be catastrophically difficult, if not terminal.

To learn of local efforts, contact Transition Kansas City at , Transition Kaw Valley at <morlinc@sunflower.com>, or Transition North Jefferson County at <bluebarnnewscentral@gmail.com>.

Saturday, 23 January 2010, from 9:00am-12:00pm
Master's Community Church, 2548 S. 42nd St., Kansas City KS 66106
(just east of I-635 off the Shawnee Dr. exit, 1/2 mile north of I-35)

Come meet other growers and supporters and learn about our collaborative purchasing and greenhouse projects. We'll have pie, coffee, conversation, and learning together (and, if you'd like to bring a pie or two, it would be much appreciated!). Founded in 2004, the KC Center for Urban Agriculture operates the Kansas City Community Farm, and trains folks as urban growers. Their vision is for urban areas of small community farms, providing a livelihood for growers, and local healthy food for the community.

Saturday, 23 January 2010, from 9:00am-4:00pm ($$)
Energy & Environmental Training Center, 2052 N. 3rd St., Kansas City KS 66101

Convener, Bill Hanlon, will share his research of 28 years in sustainable building techniques, providing a complete, efficient system from footings to ridge line that is easily understood by both the professional or first-time home builder. Discussed will be advanced and unique framing techniques, alternative materials and building systems, solar design, sub-structure insulation, heat sinks, thermal breaks, insulated floors, California corners, radiant and air and vapor barriers, and gravel back-fill to reduce moisture problems in basements.

The $150 fee includes a copy of Outside the Box: Affordable Energy Efficient Construction Techniques. To register, contact Linda Brinkerhoff at the EETCKC (913)371-8800 or com>.

Monday, 25 January 2010, 6:30pm
The land exploiter withdrew their application

The huge aggregate materials firm that applied for a permit to strip mine sand from 311 acres of Capability I & II prime soils, has withdrawn their application. Due to Federal Aviation Administration regulations about lakes that attract water fowl withing 10,000 feet of an airport, the Lawrence Airport Advisory Board voted against the permit (the sand pit would have become a lake). If it had been permitted, Lawrence could have lost FAA funding and licensing at the Airport.

Wednesdays, 27 January - 31 March 2010, 6:00-9:00pm ($$)
MU Co-op Extension Office, alternately at Higginsville MO and Warrensburg MO

Experienced an beginner farmers and ranchers are invited to this course to learn innovative ways to create a successful farm business. It is sponsored by the Co-op Extensions of the University of Missouri and Lincoln University. The course emphasis is on using readily available techniques in innovative ways so a farm can be planned and developed as a profitable business. The $225 fee includes the "Grow Your Farm" binder, the "Building a Sustainable Business" guide, speakers, refreshments, and a subscription to "Ag Opportunities" e-newsletter. Course details about workshops, presenters, and farm tours are available by contacting Katie Nixon or (816)809-5074.

Monday, 1 February 2010, and for nine weekly sessions ($$)
Johnson County Community College, College Blvd. at Quivira, Overland Park KS

This is a continuing education course #XGR3000. As industrial globalization enters a period of energy depletion, our communities will feel the impact through the decline in our global economy. Learn how the sustainability movement known as Permaculture promises to create an ecologically sound and economically viable system which neither pollutes nor exploits our planet. The course catalog is at JCCC::Continuing Ed, and on-line enrollment is at JCCC::Enrollment.

Wednesday, 10 February - 28 July 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - every other week ($$)
East Lawrence Community Center, 15th & Brook St., Lawrence KS

Permaculture is a design science of applied ecology by which we pattern our surroundings to harmonize with nature rather than to subdue nature. Using the synergy of biodiversity and plant communities or guilds, Permaculture tends towards a mature ecosystem that maximizes output with minimum input.

The classroom course carries a tuition, and includes 16 three-hour lecture sessions and field trips totaling 48 hours of instruction. A follow-up course, with smaller tuition, will be a summer practicum with apprenticeships in the field, four sessions totaling 24 hours. It will begin on 12 June and go to 24 July.

The two courses can be taken separately, but the 72 credit hours combined will lead toward a Permaculture Design Certification through the Kansas Permaculture Institute. For more information and enrollment, contact Steve Moring at smoring@grasshoppernet.com or at (785)691-7305.

Saturday-Saturday, 13-20 February 2010 ($$)
Midwest Permaculture, 125 Crescent Lane, Stelle, IL 60919

This Certification Training Course is intended for small farms on sites from one acre to 100 acres. It will focus on yards and community commons, emphasizing minimal work and fossil fuels with the goal of a profitable business that is also environmentally sound. There will be tours of small farms, and extensive classroom materials including the textbook "Earth Users Guide to Permaculture" by Rosemary Morrow. For details go to Urban Farm Permaculture Design Course.

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

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

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