Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekly Sustainability Announcements: 16 November 2010

Please remember S.A.N. in your year-end giving - (contact info at bottom of page)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 12:00noon-1:00pm ¤ 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 explores Food Sovereignty, Social Justice, and Environmental Justice with Maria Whittaker of the Food Sovereignty Support Group, the Kansas Chapter of Family Farm Defenders, and a member of Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural. Joining them will be Blain Snipstal also of the Food Sovereignty Support Group and a Baker University student. Calling in by phone will be Carlos Marentes of La Vía Campesina and the Border Workers Agricultural Project, and John Kinsman, the President of the Family Farm Defenders. To learn more about food sovereignty, go to La Via Campesina coined the term Food Sovereignty.

Also of ecological interest on KKFI this week:
  • On Tuesday at 9:30am, the National Radio Project presents Buying Our Way Out of Climate Chaos? >From 29 November to 10 December, the UN Climate Summit (COP-16) will be held in Cancun Mexico (see below). Most of the solutions being offered will center market-based solutions like carbon trading or cap and trade schemes. This show will explore approaches to the climate crisis other than the language of economics.
  • On Friday at 9:30am, the Bioneers Radio Series presents "Indigenous Peace Technologies: The Ancient Art of Getting Along". How do we create peace? What can we learn from indigenous societies who have addressed this profound question over thousands of years? From North America to the Kalahari, Jeannette Armstrong, Marlowe Sam, Evan Pritchard, Kxao=Oma and Megan Biesele share powerful stories of how indigenous social technologies have succeeded in resolving conflict, and still are.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 6:30pm
Lawrence City Commission, 6th & Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

In the planning stage for three years, a major expansion of the hydroelectric capacity of the Bowersock Dam at Lawrence is nearing reality. The license approval last Summer by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) opened up the possibility of $23.7 million in federal bonds to finance the project. But most of those bonds are contingent on buyers being found before the end of the year. The City of Lawrence will serve as a conduit for selling a majority of the bonds, but will not be financially backing any of the bonds. At their weekly meeting, the City Commission will discuss issuance of the IRB's for the project - Bowersock Mills IRBs request.pdf.

The Federal bonds are also contingent on Bowersock Mills finding a purchaser for the green power. And ten days ago it was announced that the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities signed a 25 year power purchase agreement. The green power that BPU purchases from Bowersock is expected to be enough to supply electricity to 3,300 homes for a year and eliminate about 188 railcars of coal. BPU will purchasing the entire production capacity of both Bowersock plants, the new one and the 132-year old South Plant. Westar Energy had been offered a purchase option, but their business plan lacked the vision, so BPU and Wyandotte County came out winners.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 6:00pm
Lawrence Percolator, 900 block alley behind the Lawrence Arts Center

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!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 6:00pm
Public Works Conference Rm., City Hall Ground Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.

The agenda will include: 2011 Lawrence street repaving and bicycle lanes, additions to bicycle parking downtown, bicycle facilities along 6th Street, 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.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010, 7:00pm - $
Screenland Theater at the Crossroads, 1656 Washington St., Kansas City MO

The film What's on Your Plate? follows two 11-year old New York City kids, Sadie and Safiyah. They talk to food activists, farmers, and store keepers as they address questions regarding the origin of the food they eat, how it's cultivated, how many miles it travels from farm to fork. "What's On Your Plate" is exactly the film we need now." - Michael Pollan. "It was an amazing experience to hear kids talking about these issues." - Alice Waters. A $5 donation at the door supports the KC Center for Urban Agriculture, plus you get a coupon for a free Chipotle burrito.

Thursday, 18 November 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - $$$
Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park KS 66204

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. The lecture will be followed by a viewing of the film "Green Architecture". Preregistration is required, and a percentage of the fees will support the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative and it's parent organization, the Sustainability Action Network. For more information contact Steve Moring at 785-691-7305 or


One of the keynote speakers at the recent conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) was Jeff Rubin, former Chief Economist with CIBC World Markets (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce). Rubin talked about why he believes high oil prices caused the recent recession. He also talked about how high oil prices are likely to vastly reduce globalization. He views this as a positive situation, because he expects this will change supply curves in such a way as to make American-made products more competitive. He believes that we will find our new smaller world much more livable and sustainable.

"It is easy to see how sub-prime mortgages blew up Wall Street. But why were there economies that had no sub-prime mortgages that experienced even deeper recessions than the United States, and even before the US economy went into recession? Maybe, just maybe, there was something more important going on--more important to the global economy than Wall Street or sub-prime mortgages, like $147 barrel oil, for example. If we know anything about watching the global economy in the last 40 years, we know this: feed it cheap oil, and it runs very smoothly. All of the sudden, give it expensive oil, and it stops in its tracks.

"Every major recession in the post-war period has oil's fingerprints all over it - the 1973 first oil shock. The 1973 first oil shock led to what was then the deepest post-war recession, at the time. The second OPEC oil shock led to no less than two recessions: 1979 and 1982. And then when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and left half of its oil fields on fire, and oil spiked to the then unheard-of price of $40 barrel, lo and behold, the industrialized world again fell into recession.

"Gee, I wonder what happened to oil prices before this recession. It seems to me that oil prices went from about $30 barrel, at the beginning of 2004, to almost $150 barrel by 2008. There are many ways in which oil shocks create global recessions. First, the transfer of income. High prices also create recessions by crowding out non-energy expenditures. But by far, the most important mechanism, the most important path, by which oil prices cause recession is through their impact on inflation, and their impact on interest rates." Read more at Oil and the End of Globalization - Jeff Rubin. A video of Mr. Rubin's talk, and of other presenters, can be viewed at ASPO.TV | 2010 ASPO Peak Oil Conference.

Saturday, 20 November 2010, 8:30am-4:30pm - $$
Flint Hills Technical College, 3301 W. 18th Ave, Emporia KS 66801

The Kansas Rural Center is hosting this sustainable agriculture conference with an emphasis on climate change and its challenges for agriculture, the emerging local food movement as business opportunity, and methods of transferring land to the next generation. Throughout the day will be speakers and workshops on: community and school gardens, local food policy councils, high tunnel season extenders, cover crops and biochar carbon sequestration, specialty and organic crops, the 2012 U.S. Farm Bill, and more. To learn more, register, and download a brochure, go to Connecting Cows, Carbon & Carrots, or contact the KRC at (785)873-3431 or .

Saturday, 20 November 2010, 9:30am-12:00noon
Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont St., Lawrence, KS 66044

The Kaw Valley Seeds Project has existed for almost two years, growing its membership, holding classes, gathering seeds, sponsoring a local Seed Fair, and more. Now it's time to meet face to face and decide on a direction, select leadership, and plan for grants and another Seed Fair. For more info contact Dianna at (785)331-2315.

Sunday, 21 November 2010, 2:00pm
Forest Floor Permaculture, 1311 Prairie Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

Please join us to plan activities of the group for the winter and coming year. We have ideas for sponsoring hands-on workshops for building cold frames, low tunnels, rain barrels, and raised bed gardens. We are also planning our Permaculture Design Certification course for next year, with an extended apprenticeship/intern program at several developing food forest projects and other sites. The K.P.C. parent organization is the Sustainablity Action Network, which recently became a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization. S.A.N. also has absorbed the Kansas Permaculture Institute, so new opportunities are arising for grant funding and training programs. At 1:45pm before the meeting, Michael Almon will give a brief tour of Forest Floor Permaculture. Contact him for directions at .

Wednesday, 24 November 2010, 6:30-8:00pm - FREE
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, 4775 Southwest 21st Street, Topeka, KS 66614

Ben Stallings, who holds a certificate of permaculture design, will talk on how permaculture principles and design exercises can be applied to various areas of life rather than just to gardening specifically. Permaculture aims to apply the lessons of ecology to our immediate surroundings to create environmentally sustainable human habitat, both in our built environment and our natural settings.

Friday-Saturday, 26 November-4 December 2010, times TBA
ECM, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

The annual Fair Trade Holiday Market features products from artisans in dozens of countries around the world. The items support fair labor practices and are sold at fair prices, with most proceeds going directly to the artisans rather than to warehousers, brokers, advertisers and retailers. For more info go to Fair Trade Holiday Market, or contact the ECM at (785) 843-4933 or .

Monday-Friday, 29 November-10 December 2010
Cancun, Mexico

As self described on their web site - UN Climate Change Conference - Cancun 2010, "COP 16 is being held in conjunction with the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), the thirty-third sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the thirteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)."

Will this ongoing bureaucracy of 8,000-20,000 more successfully lower CO2ppm than they did in Copenhagen? Well if you have little hope, at least have faith, because they have a COP16 Dress Code, so participants from disparate cultures such as Mali and Wall Street will surely find homogeneous common ground (or air?)

Friday, 3 December 2010, 7:00pm - FREE
ECM, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044

Dr. Quinn Long, a field botanist with KU's Native Medicinal Plan Research Program, will report on their recent research. Everyone is welcome, including non-Sierra Club members. For more info e-mail or call 331-0625.

Wednesdays, 8 & 15 December 2010, 7:00pm - $$
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 2411 Charlotte St., Kansas City MO 64108

Grow food not lawns! Past “Food Not Lawns” class participants will share photos and stories of their own paradise garden experience. As supporters of the Food Not Lawns national movement, we aim to increase local food security, improve our diet, beautify our surroundings, build community, and reduce pollution and energy use. Presenters include master and highly-qualified gardeners. Class fee is $14. Register at Communiversity online registration. Bring a picture ID. Limit 30. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or .

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt 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, and Kansas Permaculture Institute - 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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