Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sustainability Action Network Announcements, 12/April/2011

If you want to help staff our Earth Day booth, call our Volunteer Coordinator, Maryam Hjersted, at (913)723-3636


BREAKING, 11 April 2011 - the Fukushima Daiichi disaster now rated as level-7, the highest, and considered equal to Chernobyl. But officials still say "The accident itself is really serious, but we have set our priority so as not to cause health damage." Huh? A major accident with cumulative radiation leaks contaminating the air, tap water, vegetables and seawater, and it's perfectly healthy? And this is after the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan announced that residents up to 60 kilometers away have already received their annual allowable dose of radiation. Read more at - Japan ups nuke crisis severity to match Chernobyl.

Last Thursday there was the second major after-shock of 7.4 Richter Scale, and then on Monday, 11 April, a third after-shock of 7.1 Richter Scale and a fourth of 6.4 Richter Scale. The Thursday earthquake caused four deaths and caused power outages for 2.61 million households. Monday's earthquakes knocked out power to Fukushima Daiichi for about an hour, shutting down coolant pumps again, with more fuel rod melting likely. More at - Japan April 7 aftershock kills 4, injures and unsettles many and - Japan Hit By Second Major Aftershock In A Day.

The Nuclear Information and Resource Service has very extensive coverage, as well as action alerts, data interpretation, and commentary.


Faced with cataclysmic nuclear energy realities, some like George Mombiot, James Lovelock, and Stewart Brand exercise bravado more than logic, when they say "bring it on!". Their positions reflect a true concern for carbon emissions and climate change, but jumping from the frying pan into the fire seems unwise.

Regarding Mombiot, blogger Dave Ewoldt comments "In his article, Seven Double Standards, Monbiot starts by asking why we don't hold other forms of energy to the same standard we're trying to impose on nuclear. So, let me start by giving the short answer--because they don't produce thousands of tons of radioactive waste for which we still don't have a feasible method of disposal. As long as we (Western industrial humans) continue to cling to the growth myth, or even continue with the assumptions that "economic recovery," "increasing energy demands" and a "return to normal" are in our best interests. . ." thinking like Mombiot will continue. More at - Monbiot Goes Strangelove for Nukes.

On the side of sanity, however, long time energy analyst, Amory Lovins, sees the fallacy of Mombiot's Faustian choice. Both Lovins and Ewoldt point to a third choice, that of using less energy. For three-plus decades, Lovins has compared nuclear power to "cutting butter with a chain saw" - absurd and excessively unnecessary. He motivation is based on nuclear safety being on a knife's edge, with little margin for error. "Nuclear power is uniquely unforgiving: as Swedish Nobel physicist Hannes Alfvén said, 'No acts of God can be permitted.' Nuclear power is the only energy source where mishap or malice can kill so many people so far away. Indeed, nuclear plants are so slow and costly to build that they reduce and retard climate protection. Each dollar spent on a new reactor buys about 2-10 times less carbon savings, 20-40 times slower, than spending that dollar on the cheaper, faster, safer solutions that make nuclear power unnecessary and uneconomic." More at - Learning From Japan's Nuclear Disaster | Amory Lovins.

If you agree that our climate solutions don't need nuclear energy, you might consider signing the following - A Simple Statement On Nuclear Power and Climate Change.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 - FREE
12:30pm, Carlsen Center Room 211
7:15pm, General Education Building Room 233
Johnson County Community College, Quivera & College Blvd., Overland Park KS 66210

Carbon Nation is a film of optimistic, non-preachy solutions that show tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national & energy security and promotes health & a clean environment. It provides an entertaining, informed and pragmatic primer about why it’s incredibly smart to be a part of the low-carbon economy: it’s good business.

The director,
Peter Byck, will be at the screenings for Q & A as part of a nation-wide live streaming to colleges and universities. Watch the trailer at Carbon Nation - trailer. For more info, call (913)469-8500 X2883, or e-mail .


Judge Emmett Sullivan with the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. ruled that the U.S.D.A. Rural Utilities Service (RUS) violated federal law by providing approval and financial assistance to a controversial Kansas power project without environmental review and public involvement. The Court sided with Earthjustice and the Kansas Sierra Club who demonstrated that the RUS wrote off millions of dollars of public debt owed by Sunflower so that Sunflower could build the new power plant, which is not needed for Kansas but would send power to Colorado. Because or the debt write-off, the RUS was required to closely oversee Sunflower’s business operations, and should have required federal approval to proceed with the Holcomb project, but failed to. Read more at Judge Puts Brakes On Kansas Coal-Fired Power Plant

Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/

Wednesday, 13 April, 5:00am ¤ Pacifica Radio
This will be a considerable collection of anti-nuke archives with: Linus Pauling, Bertrand Russell, Three Mile Island, Ralph Nader, Coretta Scott King, Harvey Wasserman, Dr. Michio Kaku, and various musicians.

Friday, 15 April, 9:30am ¤ Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents "I heard the Voice of a Pork Chop: Theoretical Promise vs Actual Perils of Genetically Modified Organisms". Master soil scientist Elaine Ingham describes a genetically modified organisms she discovered in her screening work that if released, could have devastated global plant life. Writer Michael Pollan probes issues from food safety to the evolutionary significance of the power to genetically modify life. And Peter Montague reports on grassroots political actions that are beginning to render genetic engineering accountable to the public.

Eco-Radio KC has been RESCHEDULED to Monday evenings.
Monday, 18 April, 6:00pm ¤ locally produced
Host Reenie Carmack will interview Dr. Kat Bowie, Clinical Psychologist at the Struan Center. If we are to attempt healing the planet, we must first heal our consumptive, "thing-oriented" behaviors, and work towards wholistic health. Dr. Bowie will describe body-psychotherapy and whole-food nutrition and their impact on body, mind, emotions and spirit.

Wednesdays, on your computer
current video: Dwindling Energy Resources Will Put The Economy at Risk | #13 with John Ikerd

Peak Oil is the point at which petroleum extraction reaches its greatest rate just before going into perpetual decline. This excellent series may continue indefinitely if On The Earth Productions keeps producing interviews.

On Wednesday, 13 April, Rob Hopkins will appear in interview #14 of the Peak Oil and a Changing Climate | video series. Rob is probably the most likely commentator for this series, being that he is the founder of the Transition Network, a global network of local community initiatives addressing climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy (peak oil). He is an engaging speaker who explains issues concisely, and lays out solutions in clear terms. For a 2 minute 37 second intro to Transition Initiatives, watch this video - Why Transition? Creating a Brighter Future.

To get involved, you can contact
Transition Kansas City or Transition Kaw Valley through the Sustainability Action Network.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011, 5:30pm
Recycling and Resource Recovery Annex, 320 N.E. Industrial Lane, Lawrence KS

The April agenda is unavailable to date. 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/envadvisoryboard

Wednesday, 13 April 2011, 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. The general public is 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.nsf/web/emc

Wednesdays, 13 April 2011, final lecture, 7:00-9:00pm - $$
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 24th & Charlotte Streets, Kansas City MO
Saturday, 16 April 2011, hands-on planting, 2:00-5:00pm
Food forest site, 43rd & McGee Streets, Kansas City MO

Learn small scale urban food forest design and hands-on planting skills as we help develop a food forest at 43rd & McGee. Learn how to mimic the structure and function of forest ecosystems using sheet mulching, layering, planting patterns, species diversity, guilds and more. We will cover proper planning techniques for tree, shrubs and fruit. Two theory sessions and a hands on planting workshop. Class registration fee of $14, plus bring $10 to class for materials. Register at UMKC Communiversity. More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or .

Thursday, 14 April 2011, 9:00am-4:30pm - $$ (students attend FREE)
Oread Hotel, 12th & Indiana St., Lawrence KS 66044

Governor Brownback will be there, as well as former Shell Oil President, John Hofmeister. Conference keynoter Hofmeister now heads Citizens for Affordable Energy, an "all-of-the-above" energy group, from which he champions the "Four Mores". Among the lineup that predominantly represents coal utilities, oil refineries, bio-fuels, and smart grids are a couple redeeming panelists: Matt Gilhousen, Senior Vice President at TradeWind Energy, and Jeff Risley, Director of the Climate and Energy Project. For more info go to KU Energy Conference.


Are you "taking charge" of your energy future? Thousands of people in Lawrence have already participated in the Take Charge Challenge this year, but we're not done yet! The Take Charge Challenge is a friendly competition between Lawrence and Manhattan, Kansas. The city that reduces its energy use the most will win an energy efficiency or renewable energy community project worth up to $100,000.

How do you participate in the competition? It's easy! The
Take Charge Challenge Lawrence page will provide details on how you can:
  1. Schedule an Efficiency Kansas home energy audit.
  2. Make the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (or LEDs, which gain more points).
  3. Enroll in Westar's energy efficiency programs like WattSaver to get a FREE professionally installed programmable thermostat!
  4. Attend a Take Charge! Challenge event
Once you've changed out your light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs, go to TakeChargeKS.org to register your switches and get points for Lawrence.

Friday, 15 April 2011, 6:00-9:00pm - $$$
Dreher 4-H Building, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence KS 66044

This seventh session will describe the concept of polyculture forest garden systems. Food forests involve creating plant associations of trees, shrubs, and berries into "guilds", arranged by size, height, and sun-orientation, called "stacking". The emphasis will be on the development and maintenance of nut and fruit tree food forests. The lecture will be followed by a viewing of the film "Establishing a Food Forest" by Geoff Lawton.

Steve Moring of Vajra Farm Permaculture Center is teaching this Design Certification Course with assistance from Michael Almon and Michael Morley. 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 info go to Kaw Permaculture Collaborative, or contact Steve Moring at (785)691-7305 or .

Saturday, 16 April 2011, 11:00am parade, 11:30-4:00pm park festival

The Lawrence Earth Day Parade begins at the Train Park, and is sponsored by K.U. Environs - http://groups.ku.edu/~environs/ The Earth Day Celebration will be held in South Park, and is sponsored by the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Department - Earth Day Celebration 2011. The celebration in the park features live music, children’s activities and food vendors. Attendees are invited to learn from exhibits about waste reduction, recycling, composting, alternative fuels and vehicles, energy conservation, land preservation, wildlife and habitat preservation, and more.

Sunday, 17 April 2011, 6:00pm
14370 54th St., Oskaloosa KS 66066 (Vajra Farm, just east of 59 Hwy)

Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy
Organizing societal scale action in our personal lives, and through public policy changes.
The meeting agenda will include:
  • Annual Giving Campaign report
  • Growers' Land Trust Community Garden
  • S.A.N. social media - policy proposal
  • Earth Day booth staffing volunteers
  • community workshops: super adobe, solar food dehydrator, cold frames, rain barrels, etc.
  • S.A.N. web site: list serve, content, pay pal, etc.
Please join us

Monday, 18 April 2011, 7:00pm
Fire Station #5, Iowa & 19th Streets, Lawrence, KS 66046

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. For more info go to Dg County Food Policy Council.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011, 7:00pm - $
Liberty Hall, 642 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

This film brings a positive message about how a grassroots movement for localization is bubbling up from the cracks of a faltering global economy in every corner of the world. It is produced by Helena Norberg-Hodge of the International Society for Ecology and Culture, a not-for-profit working for the strengthening of local communities and economies, emphasizing education for action, moving beyond single issues to look at the more fundamental influences that shape our lives. Preview it here - The Economics of Happiness trailer, brought by Films for Action.

"This film presents the localization movement as a systemic alternative to corporate globalization, and a strategy that brings community and meaning to our lives." - Joanna Macy, author World as Lover, World as Self.

"A remarkable new documentary... Get a copy of this DVD. Then get the kids. Pull them away from their smartphones and video games... And show them this movie." - Russell Mokhiber, editor of The Corporate Crime Reporter

Friday, 22 April 2011, 6:00pm - FREE
McCoy Meetin’ House, Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr., Parkville MO 64152

If you've heard of this film, you will probably want to be there. If you haven't, you may want to learn about it. It features Derek Jensen, author of "A Culture of Make Believe", "A Language Older Than Words", and "End Game". The film presents the folly of industrial hubris and unsustainable growth, eco-centric indigenous resistance, and mainstream political indifference, and challenges the physical and spiritual viability of industrial civilization. While the information is compelling, and the urgency for action is obvious, Jensen's solutions tend to focus on ending civilization rather than transitioning to a re-emergent ecological society. Click here to watch the END:CIV trailer. After the screening there will be free refreshments, a discussion of the film and what community activities may be desirable.

Saturday, 23 April 2011, 9:00am-4:00pm - $$
Flint Hills Technical College, 3301 W. 18th Ave, Emporia, KS 66801

This is a one day intensive on permaculture principles taught by Ben Stallings of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative, and holder of a Permaculture Design Certificate. Students will be introduced to ecological principles and learn how to apply them to their garden, home or workplace, will create a design of their own, and will receive constructive feedback from the other students and the instructor. Fore more info go to Introduction to Permaculture Design - 23 April 2011.

Saturday, 30 April 2011 - $$$

Warren Brush is returning to Lawrence to teach a four day Advanced Permaculture Design course. The series will be from 17-21 May, with one day of basic permaculture design, one day of food forest design, and two days of broad acre design. But you need to register NOW to receive the discount. To register and get more info, e-mail at or call (785) 371-4700.

Saturday, 30 April 2011, 10:00am-1:00pm - $$
12th Street Homestead, 1145 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044

This hands-on workshop will address concerns of cleaning up contaminated soils in urban brownfields, specifically for urban food gardeners. With special guest speaker, Trish Jackson PhD. Mycelia are the filamentous organism present in all soils for which mushrooms are the fruiting body. Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti calls mycelia the "grand dissemblers of nature" because they break down complex substances into simpler components. And that's how mycelia remove contaminants from soil, including petroleum byproducts, plastic residues, PCBs and even dioxin. Come with appropriate gardening attire. Please RSVP at <12sthomestead@gmail.com>.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011, 3:00-5:00pm
School of Pharmacy patio (south side of building), 2010 Becker Dr., west campus, Lawrence KS

The faculty and staff of the Native Medicinal Plant Research Program at the University of Kansas will host this public planting of a medicinal plant garden. The garden will have five themed beds of medicinal plants, about 70 species total. The event will open with a short presentation about the new garden as well as KU’s first medicinal garden, planted by the School of Pharmacy in the 1920s. For more info contact Kirsten Bosnak, nativeplants@ku.edu or 864-6267

Thursday, 5 May 2011, 4:00-6:00pm
Cottin's Hardware, 1832 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS

In their second year, this weekly market on Thursdays typically has about a dozen vendors, as well as live music, Indian tacos, and children's events. For bands to book a date, or just for more info, call (785)843-2981.

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization. DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Mail checks 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 polyculture sustainable food production.
3) Eco Village Land Trust - Designing and focalizing a sustainable intentional community near Lawrence.
4) Growers' Land Trust - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.
5) Weekly Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action driven groups.
6) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.
7) Electric & Human Powered Vehicles - promoting neighborhood electric vehicles and utility tricycles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
8) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized renewable energy and conservation.
9) 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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