Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weekly Sustainability Announcements, Lawrence Chapter, 15/June/2010

Tuesday, 15 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 Reenie Carmack will be having a conversation with Heidi Van Pelt-Belle, the owner-chef of Füd, a vegan and raw food restaurant at 813 West 17th Street in Kansas City. Having traversed a creative yet mercurial life from Kansas City to Hollywood and back, Van Pelt-Belle most recently attempted an ambitious business in Playfood Manufacturing, making a unique cheese from crushed cashews. Now with Füd, she is focusing on a retail restaurant that provides a natural and healthy alternative to highly processed fast food.

Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series presents "Think Globally, Act Non-Locally: Prayer, Healing and Fertility". Can consciousness change the actual outside physical world at a distance? Dr. Larry Dossey says it can. He describes how major scientific studies are revealing the healing power of intercessory prayer and distant intentionality. The revolutionary environmental implications of these studies in the field of medicine are just beginning to be understood.


Peak oil does not mean the end of oil, but the end of the cheap oil. Over the last 100 years, all the easy petroleum has been extracted, so oil companies are forced to take more risks, drill more remotely and deeper, and spend unheard of sums to get to the oil. Witness the Deepwater Horizon. There are obvious ecological consequences, but peak oil is an economic crisis with inflationary repercussions throughout industrial economies.

Our nation and the world has faced tremendous crises before - depressions draining our coffers, wars wasting our resources, and industrial disasters prompting huge clean-up budgets. But we always had that ace up our sleeve - abundant and cheap petroleum to put into play. And when the proverbial Rosy the Riveter pumped her fist into the air, we had the wherewithal to be a can-do nation - assembly lines, sky hooks, drag lines, tankers, mega-mega horsepower. But technology may no longer rescue us from being a Can't do nation: Multiple crises fray US optimism.

New crises are unfolding almost daily: the U.S. "jobless" recovery, the Greek-Euro contraction, California as the world's 6th largest economy on the verge of bankruptcy, Afganistan as the longest war in U.S. history, glacial freshwater for world agriculture melting away, cost of $trillions for the BP gusher calamity. BP share price has lost $67billion in six weeks, one third of their total value - BP Loses $67 Billion in 6 Weeks. BP represents 14% of all British stock dividends, British pension funds hold high levels of BP stock, some analysts say the company could fall victim to a hostile takeover, and oil analyst, Matt Simmons, predicts that BP will go bankrupt within a month - Matt Simmons: the era of easy oil is over. BP may be peak oil's last straw.

How many jolts can the global economy take before capsizing? As James Howard Kuntsler notes, "June so far is a strange ebb tide of events relating to the world's money, but when the water goes out like that, you know it's sure to return before long, and the peaceful mud-flats of June may vanish under a summer tsunami. I know I'm not alone in the creepy feeling that really nothing has been sorted out, and the world is waiting to get hammered six days to Sunday by the consequences of living too large for too long." - Fierce Urgency.


I'm a vampire, babe, suckin' blood from the earth
I'm a vampire, baby, suckin' blood from the earth.
Well, I'm a vampire, babe,
sell you twenty barrels worth.

I'm a black bat, babe, bangin' on your window pane
I'm a black bat, baby, bangin' on your window pane.
Well, I'm a black bat, babe,
I need my high octane.

Good times are comin', I hear it everywhere I go
Good times are comin', I hear it everywhere I go.
Good times are comin',
but they sure are comin' slow.

I'm a vampire, babe, suckin' blood from the earth
I'm a vampire, baby, suckin' blood from the earth.
Well, I'm a vampire, babe,
sell you twenty barrels worth.

Vampire Blues - Neil Young - YouTube (it's worth just seeing the beach front image)

Wednesday, 16 June 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - $$
12th Street Homestead, 1145 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence

Steve Moring, Michael Morley, and Michael Almon of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative will present a comprehensive survey of approaches to the construction of energy efficient structures and of buildings using sustainably produced materials. We will explore the construction of passive solar, attached solar greenhouse, berm, cob, cord wood and SIPS structures.

This lecture is the ninth in a nine-session permaculture lecture series, presented every two weeks. Interspersed with the lectures will be occasional field trips. A $30.00 admission fee will be requested at the door. The fees 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


Forty-one years ago, Buckminster Fuller published his "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth". In it, he claimed humanity would not survive the 21st century if it continued to build an economy based on mass consumption, inequitable trade relations, short-sighted allocation of fossil based resources, and lack of consideration for whole systems design. Right this moment, we have tangible, irrefutable evidence of industrial society's overwhelmingly destructive impact on our planet in the form of a hemorrhage of crude oil gushing into the sea, destroying lives, livelihoods and vital ecosystems - Spaceship Earth: Navigators Wanted.

This article asserts that as members of industrial economies, we need no more proof that we are destroying our own life support system. We need no more studies, commissions, panels of experts, or empirical data gathering and analysis. The fact that This Is Ecocide, the destruction of ecosystems is readily apparent to anyone. The author feels that by taking matters into our own hands and pooling our knowledge and expertise, enormous change is possible.

While this is mathematically and synergistically true, he fails to address the psychology of grief. Backing away from the convenience of instant gratification, electronic slaves, air conditioning, just-in-time inventory, the automobile, and any of our privileges is extremely scary, especially for those who consider these to be entitlements. Logically we know we are addicted to petroleum, but psychologically we claim that technology can find solutions to the dire consequences of technology. Huh? Yes, the addiction can be so strong that we cling to behaviors that are self-destructive.

In order to overcome the fear of losing the "American Dream" and undertake a new way of living, we first must be sure that that process will not leave us completely bereft and impoverished. And that is what the Transition Movement is all about - Transition United States. It is a decentralized process in which communities pool their creative common talents and relocalize the economy into a resilient and mutually supportive network. A quick rundown can be seen at the Rob Hopkins | Transition Initiatives video. For more information in Kansas City, contact , and in Lawrence, contact .

Monday, 21 June 2010, 7:00pm
Co-op Extension Office, 2110 Harper Street, Lawrence, KS

In existence for almost one year now, the Food Policy Council seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system. By advising the Douglas County Commission on public policies that will support local producers, preserve local agricultural resources and land, and create more local jobs, the F.P.C. hopes to improve the community’s access to a local food supply and distribution networks.

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.

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

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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