SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Lawrence Kansas
6 July 2010
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy
ECO RADIO KC ¤ WEEKLY ECOLOGICAL ISSUES RADIO SHOW
Tuesday, 6 July 2010, 12:00noon ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/
On Eco-Radio KC this week, host Steve Mann will have a round table discussion with Katie Nixon and Toby Grotz of Food Not Lawns - Kansas City. With food costs rising because of peak oil, and food safety being compromised because of GMO crops and toxic residues, more and more people are turning their sterile lawns into productive food gardens. And cities are responding by modifying local laws to accommodate these gardens, small livestock, CSAs, and farmers' markets, as did Kansas City MO last month.
Stay tuned at 12:30 when the Bioneers radio series presents "Going Locavore: Urban Food Innovation and Community Transformation". Our misbegotten industrial food system is one of our greatest vulnerabilities. It’s dangerously fossil-fueled, toxic, monocultural and centralized. The real cost of cheap food is very high – to both people and planet. Urban food innovators are designing vibrant new local food economies built on environmental and ecological integrity, sustainability, diversity and equity. Join author Michael Pollan, Fair Food Foundation CEO Oran Hesterman, faith-based change-maker James Ella James and student leader Victoria Carter for a smorgasbord of nourishing morsels from the emerging locavore movement.
DEEPWATER HORIZON DROPS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH
It's old news. It's sooooo April 2010. It won't capture eyeballs anymore, or ad sponsors for that matter. The corporate media has moved on to "more important things".
But that doesn't mean that 100,000 barrels of oil aren't still gushing daily into the 9th largest body of water in the world. Or that fishing boats are no longer marooned, or sea turtles are no longer burning alive, or coastal businesses are not shut down. We at S.A.N. are tracking any investigative media that don't put a happy face on news to make it palatable. So here are some sobering reports from noteworthy commentators:
The Coming Era of Energy Disasters Narrative of hope? No matter how terrible the news from the Gulf, the media can’t help offering a lurking, BP-influenced narrative of hope. Whatever “signs of hope” do exist, however, they’re already badly beslimed by on-gushing reality. Huge amounts of methane were also reported to be pouring into the Gulf, evidently largely overlooked (or under-reported). Meanwhile you’ll note that those relief wells are no sure thing. They might not do the job until the fall or even, worst-case scenario, Christmas, or (even-worse-case scenario) they might fail entirely.
Michael Klare | TomDispatch The Next Energy Mega-Disaster. The chief executives of America’s leading oil companies argued that BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was an aberration -- something that would not have occurred with proper corporate oversight. This is fallacious, if not an outright lie. The Deep Horizon explosion was the inevitable result of a relentless effort to extract oil from ever deeper and more hazardous locations. In fact, as long as the industry continues its relentless, reckless pursuit of “extreme energy” -- oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium obtained from geologically, environmentally, and politically unsafe areas -- more such calamities are destined to occur.
A hole in the world A violent wound inflicted on the Earth. A year ago, Tony Hayward told a group of graduate students at Stanford University that he has a plaque on his desk that reads: "If you knew you could not fail, what would you try?" The initial exploration plan that BP submitted to the federal government for the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon well reads like a Greek tragedy about human hubris. Should a major spill occur, there is, apparently, "little risk of contact or impact to the coastline" because of the company's projected speedy response (!) and "due to the distance [of the rig] to shore" – about 48 miles. In his congressional testimony, Hayward said: "We and the entire industry will learn from this terrible event." [Yet] the response to the disaster has been rife with the precise brand of arrogance and overly sunny predictions that created the disaster in the first place. The ocean is big, she can take it, we heard from Hayward in the early days. Thankfully, many are taking a very different lesson from the disaster. It is the feeling that the hole at the bottom of the ocean is more than an engineering accident or a broken machine. It is a violent wound in a living organism; that it is part of us.
James Howard Kuntsler:
Mismanaging Energy Contraction Lesson of the Macondo: Blowout preventers don't prevent blowouts. This comes as a shock to people attuned to the on-schedule arrival of techno-miracles. We've ramped up a living arrangement that has no future. The American people don't want to hear this. The president doesn't want to tell them. Right after President Obama gave his vapid speech last week, he traveled to Ohio to brag about "shovel-ready" highway projects there. I sincerely believe that the last thing we need right now in this country is more and better highways. Reality is telling us to downscale and get different fast. Over at The New York Times, the fatuous Paul Krugman says that "stinting on spending now threatens the economic recovery." Earth to Krugman: we're mismanaging contraction.
Museletter | Richard Heinberg The Most Likely Scenario. Most Americans agree on the need for a major shift of energy policy [with their fingers crossed]. For confirmation, we need look no further than a New York Times/CBS poll just released; the first paragraph of the related Times story reads: “Overwhelmingly, Americans think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies, and most expect alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years. Yet a majority are unwilling to pay higher gasoline prices to help develop new fuel sources.” Translation: “Solve our energy problems for us—just don’t ask us to bear any inconvenience while you do it. We’re happy with our comforts and don’t want to be disturbed.” The trouble is, those comforts are about to be taken away no matter what anyone does, and we will all be very disturbed indeed when that happens. If we don’t wean ourselves off of oil, nature will accomplish that task for us.
LAWRENCE PEAK OIL TASK FORCE
Thursday, 8 July 2010, 4:00pm
City Manager's Conference Rm., City Hall 4th Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.
A final draft Peak Oil Plan is now available for review and discussion. It does still have some rough edges and gaps, but much of that will be addressed at this meeting. 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.
URBAN-SUBURBAN PERMACULTURE TRAINING ¤ 4-DAY INTENSIVE
Thursday-Sunday, 8-11 July 2010 - $$
Midwest Permaculture, 125 Crescent Lane, Stelle, IL 60919
This training is a foundation in permaculture design for the suburban or city dweller who wants to transform their immediate environment into something beautiful and productive. Not a 'hands-on' training, about 65 percent of the time will be spent in the classroom covering the permaculture design principles and sharing example after example of how these are applied. There will be some time spent outside exploring patterns and features of the landscape. The goal is for students to come away with a new pair of permaculture eyes able to see the urban food growing possibilities. This training can lead, in part, to a Certificate of Completion of a Permaculture Design Course. For more info and to register, go to Suburban-Urban Permaculture Training 4-Day Intensive, or call (815)256-2215.
SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK - MONTHLY MEETING
Sunday, 11 July 2010, 11:00am
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:
- finalize plans for 18 July Permaculture Tour (see below)
- discuss Transition Kaw Valley small group presentations
- brainstorm a solar food dehydrator workshop
- S.A.N.web site developments
- Lawrence Peak Oil Plan, draft review
PEAK OIL DAY ¤ PRICE PEAK ANNIVERSARY
Sunday, 11 July 2010
A year ago in his Museletter titled Peak Oil Day - 11 July 2008, Richard Heinberg wrote:
"On July 11, 2008, the price of a barrel of oil hit a record $147.27 in daily trading. That same month, world crude oil production achieved a record 74.8 million barrels per day. Maybe it’s a stretch to say that the production peak occurred at one identifiable moment, but attributing it to the day oil prices reached their high-water mark may be a useful way of fixing the event in our minds. So I suggest that we remember July 11, 2008 as Peak Oil Day.
"Since then, with oil prices much lower, and with credit tight to unavailable, up to $150 billion of investments in the development of future petroleum production capacity have evaporated. On May 4 of this year, Raymond James Associates issued a report stating, 'With OPEC oil production apparently having peaked in 1Q08, and non-OPEC even earlier in 2007, peak oil on a worldwide basis seems to have taken place in early 2008.' This conclusion is being echoed by a cadre of other analysts.
"It is too late to prepare for Peak Oil – a year too late, in fact (two years now - Editor). Now the name of the game is adaptation. We are in an entirely new economic environment. Even if economic activity picks up somewhat, this will occur in the context of an economy significantly smaller than the one that existed in July 2008, and energy scarcity will quickly cause most green shoots to wither."
Author of "The Party's Over" and "Peak Everything", Richard Heinberg's latest book is Blackout: Coal, Climate & the Last Energy Crisis, which debunks the myth that our economic future is guaranteed by centuries of available coal, as well as environmentalists who see the scarcity of "peak coal" as our salvation from climate hell.
LAWRENCE SUSTAINABILITY ADVISORY BOARD
Wednesday, 14 July 2010, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS
The July 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.lawrenceks.org/wrr/
KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
Wednesday, 14 July 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.
ADVANCING RENEWABLES IN THE MIDWEST ¤ UNIV. OF MISSOURI, COLUMBIA
Thursday, 15 July 2010, 8:00am-5:00pm - $$
Anheuser-Bush Natural Resource Building & Bond Life Science Center Monsanto Auditorium
This annual one-day conference aims to educate and facilitate dialog on current renewable energy and energy efficiency trends and opportunities. The program will include topics of state renewable portfolio standards, residential Energy Star programs, utility and regulatory initiatives to reduce fossil fuels, climate change science and legislation, co-generation and bio-reactor projects, and more. Registration is $25 for non-professionals and $75 for professionals, with a $25 late fee after 2 July. For more info go to Advancing Renewables in the Midwest 2010: Univ of MO.
TRANSITION KANSAS CITY ¤ TOWARDS A LOWER-CARBON COMMUNITY
Saturday, 17 July 2010, 10:00am-4:00pm
Trail West Library, 11401 East 23rd St. S, Independence, MO, 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. This is the second long range planning session for the group. A facilitator will guide the group through an exercise to focus on strengths and weaknesses of the organization, followed by a strategic planning discussion.
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
2ND ANNUAL PERMACULTURE FARM & GARDEN TOUR ¤ KAW VALLEY AREA
Sunday, 18 July 2010, 9:00am-5:00pm - $5
a guided tour of six sites in Lawrence and vicinity
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. Space is limited, so RSVP at (785)832-1300 by 15 July.
Tour schedule: guided tour in sequence
- 9:00am, Forest Floor Permaculture, 1311 Prairie Ave., Lawrence
- 10:00am, Adamson intensive urban permaculture, Lawrence
- 11:00am, Zell suburban transition permaculture, Lawrence
- 12:00pm, BYO sack lunch, 3033 Kasold Dr., Lawrence
- 1:00pm, Karlin Permaculture Farm, Lawrence
- 2:00pm, Lehrman suburban extensive permaculture, Lawrence
- 3:00pm, Vajra Farm Permaculture, Oskaloosa
¤ 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.
5TH ANNUAL DIALOG ON SUSTAINABILITY ¤ GREEN JOBS
Thursday, 22 July 2010, 8:00am-5:00pm - FREE
Leadership Studies Bldg., K-State University, Manhattan KS
Participants in this one-day event are the K-State Sustainability Office, the Horticulture & Forestry Dept., Architecture & Landscape Architecture, the School of Engineering, and several outside agencies. Sessions will be held throughout the day on Kansas wind/renewable energy efforts, "greening" our food systems, and developing a vision for sustainable communities and local economies. Activities will include panel discussions, small group dialogs, posters, exhibits and more. Please pre-register by sending your name and contact information (affiliation, phone and e-mail address) to Sheree Walsh, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info go to Dialog on Sustainability 2010: K-State U.
FOOD NOT LAWNS ¤ COMMUNIVERSITY CLASS #2210 A
Wednesdays, 4,11,18,25 August & 1 September 2010, 5 sessions, 7:00-9:00pm
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 24th & Charlotte Streets, KC MO
Grow food not lawns! Increase local food security, improve your diet, beautify your surroundings, build community, reduce pollution and energy use (It takes 87 calories of fuel to transport one calorie of perishable fresh fruit from west coast to east coast). As supporters of the Food Not Lawns national movement, we will hold five sessions dealing with topics that include whole system design, garden preparation, permaculture, water-wise gardening, seed saving, planting, and free resources. Presenters include master and highly-qualified gardeners. Class fee is $16, plus $5 for materials. Register at UMKC Communiversity. Bring a picture ID. Limit 40. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or
URBAN FOOD PRODUCTION ¤ COMMUNIVERSITY CLASS #2301 A
Tuesdays, 17 & 24 August 2010, 2 sessions, 7:00-9:00pm
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 24th & Charlotte Streets, KC MO
Learn about a new model for urban sustainable food production. We’ll explore food production possibilities in the urban forest, abandoned urban lots, yards, commercial lands, roofs and flood plains. We’ll discuss holistic ecology based on managing sustainable urban agriculture systems that protect and restore our place on Earth. Please bring $20 for a reference book (optional). Class fee is $16. Register at UMKC Communiversity. Bring a picture ID. Limit 20. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, 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.
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