Tuesday, 9 February 2010, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/
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On EcoRadio KC this week, host John Kurmann will be interviewing Jerry Shechter, the Sustainability Coordinator in the Office of Environmental Quality, Kansas City, Missouri - KC Environmental Quality Office. For many years, Jerry served as the Program Manager for the Kansas City Metro Energy Center, one of the oldest sustainability organizations in the area.
Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series presents "Returning to the Roadhouse: Revolution from the Heart of Woman". The environment in developing countries of the South has often suffered most, and how these nations relate to the environment from here on is a make-it-or-break-it factor in planetary survival for all of us. Ethiopian visionary Bogaletch Gebre depicts how the interconnecting forces of environment, economy, women, health and ecological technologies are creating a future environment of hope.
TRANSITION KANSAS CITY ¤ TOWARDS A POST-CARBON COMMUNITY
Tuesday, 9 February 2010, 6:00pm
Waldo Library, 201 East 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 meeting agenda includes: proposal to become an Official Transition group, developing literature hand-outs, forming a speakers committee, possible office space, K.C. Transition Fair.
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
NUKES ¤ SAVE THE CLIMATE? ¤ A FAUSTIAN BARGAIN THAT DOESN'T EVEN WORK
Nuclear power, a financial disaster for fifty years, and discredited by everyone from Indigenous uranium miners to the State of Utah (fighting the waste dump) to Wall Street investors, is now reinventing itself as the carbon-free solution to climate disruption. New rubbish in old containment.
To quote brilliant Oxford physicist and Director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Amory Lovins: "Today, most dispassionate analysts think new nuclear power plants’ deepest flaw is their economics. They cost too much to build and incur too much financial risk. 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, 20 to 40 times slower, than investing in efficiency and micropower." - Amory Lovins dismantles Stewart Brand’s nuclear enthusiasm
But true to their loyalty to their corporate handlers, our U.S. Congress is planning on squandering $trillions for 187 new nuclear power projects, underwritten by the Clean Energy Deployment Administration! Yes. (we're not making this up). A bill passed by the U.S. House in June would create a special "bank" to spend $10-15 billion on each project, and would assume responsibility for cost overruns and delays. The Senate is working on even more generous bill - Nuclear Power and the Bottomless Bank. On top of the loan guarantees, they are looking for investment tax credits, production tax credits, worker training tax credits, changes to the IRS codes for nuclear decommissioning funds, and inclusion of nuclear energy in the nation's renewable energy standard. It's that familiar corporate song and dance - privatize the profits, socialize the costs. Pony up you taxpayers!
LAWRENCE SUSTAINABILITY ADVISORY BOARD
Wednesday, 10 February 2010, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS
The Febuary agenda will include: a discussion with Vice Mayor Mike Amyx, pollution and nuisance problems with the 12th & Haskell salvage operation, Local Food Policy Council, Burroughs Creek Park fruit & nut tree proposal, Lawrence Earth Day, etc.
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. The S.A.B. is seeking input from the public to help set their long range planning goals. There is a 1 March deadline. Get more info at http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/
KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
DATE CHANGE - one time only - Wednesday, 17 February 2010 - see below
INTRODUCTION TO PERMACULTURE PRINCIPLES, ETHICS, AND DESIGN
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at (785)691-7305.
GEOTHERMAL ¤ BEYOND BACKYARD GARDEN VARIETY HEAT
The temperature of the Earth's inner core is about 6,000 degrees Celsius (C) -- almost the same as the surface of the Sun -- and it is estimated that 99 percent of Earth's volume is at a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees. In light of the issues of climate disruption and peak oil, more effective use of geothermal power should be closely examined as a significant source of energy. Geothermal energy comes in various forms, and a number of ways are available to utilize it, depending on temperature, as follows:
- High-temperature geothermal resources (200 to 350 degrees C): Steam at high temperatures and pressures is accessed by drilling into geothermal reservoirs located at about 1,000 meters below the Earth's surface, and then used to rotate turbines to generate electricity.
- Low-to-medium temperature geothermal resources (below 200 degrees C): In addition to direct use of hydrothermal water, geothermal liquids, such as pentane and ammonia water can be used for binary-cycle power generation to heat up and rotate turbines with steam to generate electricity.
- Ground heat (10 to 20 degrees C): As shallow ground temperatures are relatively constant through the year, ground heat obtained using a heat pump can be used to melt snow on roads and in cooling/heating systems for buildings.
URBAN-SUBURBAN FARM PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE
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.
MONSANTO FILES FOR APPROVAL OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ALFALFA
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 ¤ deadline for EIS comments to the USDA
Not satisfied with contaminating the germ plasm of Mexican Maize (Mother corn), Brazilian soy, Egyptian cotton, Irish potatoes, and more, Monsanto is now aiming to dominate another primary crop, alfalfa. This globally predatory corporation tweaks the genetic makeup of a given species, and claims "intellectual ownership" of the entire germ plasm, not just the marker gene. Their next strategic step is to establish legal control and dominance of seed markets by suing any farmer who dares to save the seed, or more deviously, suing any farmer whose own crop is contaminated by drifting Monsanto GE pollen, because they claim the farmer is in "illegal possession of Monsanto's intellectual property"! This corporation is more than evil, pursuing far more than a fair profit, and even more than greedily maximizing profit.
In 2006, the USDA initially approved GE alfalfa without an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), but the Center for Food Safety sued the USDA to force them to comply with the law and conduct EIS hearings. The USDA has now issued the EIS, but it is ludicrously pro-forma, basically reiterating their earlier approval. NOW is the time for public comment.
For a fact sheet and talking points, go to USDA Stance on GM Alfalfa Threatens Organic Industry. For two action alerts, go to Tell the USDA to reject Monsanto's GE alfalfa, and Stop Genetically Engineered Alfalfa.
Better yet (more effort, but more effective) write and mail two copies of your comments to:
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS
Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Be sure to reference your letter as comments to: Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044
KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
Wednesday, 17 February 2010, 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.
NEW MEXICO POWER SWITCHING HUBS TO CONNECT THREE ELECTRIC GRIDS
The Tres Amigas transmission project in New Mexico, which seeks to link the nation's three power grids to share wind power across the United States, has attracted both eager allies and some determined foes. The U.S. has three major electric transmission grids, Eastern, Western, and Texas, the electricity flows of each not being synchronized. This means large wind farms are limited in selling their electricity to cities.
Tres Amigas is a "game changer," a facility that could move large amounts of power in any direction among the three grids, with potentially big impacts on prices and profits that existing generators now receive, as well as consumers' electricity costs. Tres Amigas has strong support from New Mexico's Democratic Governor, Bill Richardson, from The American Wind Energy Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association - Electric Switching Hubs Would Connect Nation's Three Electric Grids.
SEED SAVING AND SEED EXCHANGE FAIR
Saturday, 27 February 2010, 12:00noon - 5:00pm
Douglas County Fair Grounds, Dreher 4-H Building, 21st & Harper St., Lawrence KS
Sponsored by the Kaw Valley Seeds Project, this will be their first public event. The group endeavors to foster the sharing, exchanging, buying and selling of locally adapted primary seed varieties of the Kansas River Valley. Their goal is to develop seed security and diversity through a seed growers and exchange network. The Seed Fair will include: a local seed exchange, educational booths, vendor booths, and local music, art, and photography about seeds. For more info, contact Diana Henry at
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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