Thursday, June 24, 2010

22 June 2010
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Tuesday, 22 June 2010, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at

On Eco-Radio KC this week, host Richard Mabion will hold a conversation with a local community energy activist. Specifics are unavailable at press time.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series presents "Light at the Crossroads: Environment Meets Social Justice". Environmental destruction leads to scarcity and scarcity leads to conflict, so restoring the environment is key to peace. Yet those working for the environment and those working for social justice have not linked arms until recently. Van Jones invites us to bring down the social walls that we ourselves have built, and work together to counter the timeworn strategy of divide and conquer that benefits ruling elites. Jones is the founder-Director of Green for All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Center for Food Safety today celebrated the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Monsanto v. Geerston Farms, to ban the planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa until and unless future deregulation occurs. The ban on the crop will remain in place until a full and adequate EIS is prepared by USDA and they officially deregulate the crop. This possible deregulation may be subject to further litigation if the agency’s analysis is not adequate. Supreme Court Rules Against Monsanto GMO Alfalfa

Friday, 18 June 2010

To the chagrin of Lincoln and so typical of corporate neoliberals, President Obama tried to please all the people all the time, and did neither. "In his address from the Oval Office last Tuesday, Obama mumbled about windmills, solar panels, renewable energy and ending America's dependence on fossil fuels." He barely touched on his energy bill, and said nothing "of his actual energy plan, which is to accelerate deep-sea drilling (on hold till the blue ribbon commission gives the green light, which it will), issue federal insurance guarantees for a new generation of nuclear plants, sponsor 'clean coal', and bail out the ethanol industry. In short, America has no energy plan beyond what is already in the tank, an energy economy over 90 percent based on fossil fuels" - No Energy in Obama's Energy Plan.

"It was startling to hear him liken the Gulf oil disaster to 9/11 in an interview with Roger Simon of Politico," because in his Oval office speech just two days later he softened his rhetoric to: “a clean energy future,” “a long-term gulf coast restoration plan” and, that most dreaded of perennials, “a national commission.” Such generic placeholders, unanimated by details or deadlines, are Washingtonese for “The buck stops elsewhere.”

"Salazar and M.M.S. continued to give BP free rein well after Obama took office — despite the company’s horrific record. Given Obama's record of incomplete [actions], the government’s failure to police BP and the administration’s seeming impotence once disaster struck couldn’t have been more ill-timed. Obama has said he would have fired Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, but his own managers have not been held so accountable. The president must come clean and clean house. He could start running his administration with a 9/11 sense of urgency. And he could explain to the country exactly what the other side is offering as an alternative to his governance — non-governance that gives even more clout to irresponsible corporate giants like BP. As our most popular national politician, Obama still has power, within his White House and with the public, to effect change — should he exercise it" - Clean the Gulf, Clean House, Clean Their Clock.


Mathew Bors - Let's Get Some Terms Straight
Tom Tomorrow - Free Market Man helps BP

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A day after Tony Hayward stonewalled his way through an appearance on Capitol Hill - Waxman: Tony Hayward Acting Like He Has Nothing to Do With BP, a non-operating partner in the project, Anadarko Petroleum accused BP of "gross negligence or willful misconduct" - BP accused of "gross negligence" by Deepwater Horizon partner. Company spokesman John Christiansen said the comments were in response to "a week's worth of testimony" and other information and data compiled on the disaster. "The mounting evidence clearly demonstrates that this tragedy was preventable and the direct result of BP's reckless decisions and actions" said Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett - Anadarko co-owner of well disassociates from BP. Christiansen added "We're looking at what's available to us under our contractual remedies", and also hinted at potential legal action against BP.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Poor overworked Mr. Hayward, British Petroleum CEO, bemoaned that he deserved his yachting holiday off the Isle of Wight because he wants his life back - Tony Hayward’s “I want my life back” Weekend Yachting. Be that as it may, he fails to grasp that the very corporation he runs has caused his own dilemma. There are eleven drilling rig operators who would sure like their lives back, as do their families. There are hundreds of sea turtles and dolphins, thousands of sea birds and shell fish, and an entire Gulf of Mexico that would like their lives back - What the Spill Will Kill. And there are myriad saltwater marshes, coastal towns, and business owners who would like their lives back. None of these can escape Mr. Hayward's dilemma, but will struggle or die with no option than to suffer the consequences of British Petroleum's malfeasance.


"From the time it was known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and set out to grab and control the rich petroleum reserves owned by what is now Iran, BP has been a recidivist global criminal. In the past three decades, it grew huge by swallowing such competitors as Standard Oil of Ohio, Amoco and Arco. Along the way, it has been implicated in bribery, overthrowing governments, plunder and money laundering, plus having established one of the worst safety and environmental records in an industry that is notoriously reckless on both counts." "It wasn't our accident," CEO Tony Hayward declared, as oil was spreading. Wow, Tony, in one four-word sentence, you told two lies. First, BP owns the well, and it is your mess. Second, the mess was not an "accident," but the inevitable result of hubris and greed flowing straight from BP's executive suite - BP Is a Corporate Criminal | Jim Hightower.

Meanwhile, a British lawer urges UN to classify 'ecocide' as crime, on par with genocide, war crimes, crimes of aggression, and crimes against humanity. Former barrister, Polly Higgins, said "Ecocide is in essence the very antithesis of life", and could be tried in the International Criminal Court. Higgins has launched a website to pressure U.N. General Assembly nations to vote for the Ecocide Law if it is accepted by the UN Law commission. The site includes many examples of ecocide, with the BP ecocide oil rig explosion being featured. Considering that up to 5.5million barrels of petroleum dissolved by toxic dispersant will be injected into the powerful Gulf Loop Current and then the Atlantic Gulf Stream, vast areas of oxygen-producing ocean plankton face destruction. And at present it's anyone's guess whether the relative buoyancy of the salty Gulf Stream will be affected by dissolved oil, and whether that may disrupt it's flow and heat carrying capacity that warms western Europe in winter, including Tony Hayward's Great Britain - Oil, the Loop Current and the Atlantic.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010, 6:00pm (rescheduled from 15 June)
Public Works Conference Rm., City Hall Ground Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The agenda will be include: Rotary Club "Ride Lawrence" bicycle racks, 7th Street bicycle bridge over Iowa St., City street overlay program and bicycle lanes, bicycle-auto shared use lanes on Louisiana St., and more. The Committee works to improve bicycle safety and awareness through education of motorists and non-motorists, develops bicycle plans and maps, and advises the City and County Commissions on bicycle priorities and needs. The agenda and information can be downloaded at Bicycle Advisory Comm | agendas & minutes.

Tuesday-Saturday, 22-26 June 2010
Detroit MI USA

In 2010, The World Social Forum will happen by way of a distributed calendar of geographic and thematic social forums taking place throughout the year. For only the second time, it will have a session convene in the U.S., in Detroit Michigan - US Social Forum 2010 | Another US Is Necessary. The WSF is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, to formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, it has taken the form of a permanent world process seeking and building alternatives to neo-liberal policies. This definition is in its Charter of Principles, the WSF’s guiding document. - from the website of the World Social Forum.

The National Coordinator, Adrienne Maree Brown, provides a good encapsulation of what to expect in Detroit at Invitation to the US Social Forum. A unique attribute of the gathering is it's functioning by Open Space principles, a horizontal structure of self organizing. A related resource is Terra Viva - WSF, providing a permanent online window on the World Social Forum, with ongoing reporting in many languages from as many of the events as possible.


After the 2008 oil price peak sucked the economic life out of "motor city" Detroit, a significant portion of the population and businesses dispersed elsewhere. The new mayor, Dave Bing, has assembled his "crisis turnaround team", a handpicked collection of exiled auto executives, financiers, and PR people, to reshape a city they view as a clean slate, a city as vacant as post-Katrina New Orleans.

While the corporate class dreams of new investments, the community has been reminding Bing that Detroit is no empty city. Lottie Spady, an organizer of the Forum said "I think we need to use the Social Forum as an opportunity" to solidify alternative visions of the city at a moment when Bing and company are advancing a very different idea about how Detroit's schools, housing, and empty land should be leveraged, and to whose benefit.

Although downsizing may be the common thread, the reconstituted American Dream of Bing would benefit charter schools and gated communities at the expense of workers and ethnic groups, whereas Social Forum ideals would foster a low carbon and socially just local economy decoupled from global corporate exploitation - Another Detroit is Happening, But Which One do We Need?.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - $$
12th Street Homestead, 1145 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence

The Kaw Permaculture Collaborative has conducted this Permaculture Certification Course consisting of 48 hours of lectures, video presentations, and field work. Students who have learned about food security, permaculture ethics, ecological principles, system design, sustainable soils, food production, earth works, water management, and resource efficient construction will be displaying their knowledge at this final session with a project focused on one of these topics. There will be a round-robin discussion and critique of each project.

The fees for this course will support both the K.P.C. and it's parent organization, Sustainability Action Network. For more information contact Steve Moring at 785-691-7305 or

Thursday, 8 July 2010, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Rm., City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

Further progress has been made on editing and refining the chapters of the draft Peak Oil Plan, now developing into a consistent format. The final document is due to be completed by the end of August. The public is welcome at the meetings to provide input. 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.

Sunday, 11 July 2010, 4:00pm
Local Burger, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS

Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy
S.A.N. organizes societal scale action for ecological sustainability both in our personal lives, and through public policy changes. "Be the change you want to see". The S.A.N. meeting agenda will include:
  • report on bicycle facility initiatives
  • finalize plans for 18 July Permaculture Tour (see below)
  • brainstorm a solar food dehydrator workshop
  • S.A.N. Vision Statement discussion
  • S.A.N.web site developments
  • Lawrence Peak Oil Plan, draft review
Please join us

Sunday, 18 July 2010, 9:00am-5:00pm
a guided tour of six sites in or near Lawrence

Sponsored by the Sustainability Action Network & the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative , this will be a guided tour of six permaculture operations, four urban, and two rural. Permaculture is a design science by which we pattern our surroundings to harmonize with nature rather than to subdue nature. The end result is a farm or garden that is a low-input, self-organizing, mature polyculture ecosystem.

Tour schedule: guided tour in sequence
  • 9:00am, Forest Floor Permaculture, Lawrence
  • 10:00am, intensive urban permaculture, Lawrence
  • 11:00am, suburban make-over permaculture, Lawrence
  • 12:00pm, sack lunch
  • 1:00pm, Karlin Urban Permaculture Farm, Lawrence
  • 2:00pm, Chestnut Charlie's Food Forest, North Lawrence
  • 3:00pm, Vajra Farm Permaculture, Oskaloosa
¤ Do folks need to RSVP? ¤ answer: YES - at
¤ Is there a charge for the tour? ¤ answer: YES - $5.00
¤ How can someone without a car participate? ¤ answer: no bus will be provided; carpool to rural sites, and bicycle to urban sites
¤ Will it be canceled for bad weather? Is there a rain date? ¤ answer: tour happens rain or shine, within reason; dress appropriately

For more info call (785)691-7305 or (785)832-1300.

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.

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