Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sustainability Action Newsletter, 10 July 2012, Lawrence Chapter

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"THE END OF GROWTH" ¤ TRANSFORMATIVE SOLUTIONSIn the previous three editions of this series, we learned that the unsustainable debt-based economy is the chief obstacle to addressing our crises of ecological collapse and energy depletion.  But Heinberg described proposals by multiple economists, think tanks, and even some governments that could put the economy on a steady-state track.  Even so, that would just set the stage for practical solutions.

In principle, ecological and energy problems are resolvable, and there are volumes of "how-to-save-the-world" articles and books.  But not all solutions are created equal, some having negligible potential while others being capable of leveraging 
minimal effort into maximum effect.  A key to this is to first examine "how things got so bad", which is not a "doom & gloom" endeavor as some pollyannas would claim.  Effective thinking focuses on the "how", not the "bad", and by understanding the cause, we can devise the most effective counter response.

The first example that Heinberg gives has done just this - Lester Brown's Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization.  For 38 years, Brown has been producing annual "State of the World" reports listing declines in the planet's vital signs, the agencies and human practices responsible for the declines, and the policies needed to counteract them.  His second example of solutions tailored to the problem is Heinberg's ownOil Depletion Protocol: a Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism, and Economic Collapse, which outlines how to proactively reduce resource extraction to jump start the transition to renewable alternatives. 

A third example of forward thinking is Albert Bates' The Biochar Solution, an ancient-future process of sequestering carbon in the soil which simultaneously enhances soil fertility dramatically.  Bates, a former environmental rights lawyer, has taught appropriate technology and permaculture in more than 60 nations.  Commenting on the failure of the recent Rio+20 Summit, he said "The attempt to patch over the underlying rifts in the fabric of the natural world by some technofix [is] making the real problems worse by shrouding them in a fog of business as usual.  Growth must stop.  Growth must go in reverse.  Get used to it.  You want clean water?  Stop using so much of it!" - Albert Bates | Peak Surfer

Heinberg lists several other transformative solutions - Transport Revolutions Without OilAn American Citizen's Guide to an Oil-Free EconomyPopulation: The multiplier of everything else,Facing Extinction: Nine Steps to Save Biodiversity, and The Food and Farming Transition.  He concludes that these are the tools we want to have lying around as crisis hits, but useful only if we learn how to wield them.
Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 7:30pm
Delaware Street Commons, Hearth Room, 822 E. 13th Street, Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Discussion topics may include:  
  • fund raising needs: replenish our treasury, fund new projects
  • 1304 Penn. St. Garden proposals for innovative projects and funding
  •  workshops on Vermicomposting (14 July), and Solar Food Dehydrators (August)
  • not-for-profit sponsorship of T.K.V.
  • K.P.C. annual tour, and training classes planning
  • Lawrence OnBoard ride sharing with Jenny O'Brien
  • S.A.N. generic business cards
Everyone is welcome

Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 5:30pm
Public Works Conf. Room, City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The July agenda includes: in-depth discussion of S.A.B. position on the proposed curbside recycling plan, and the goals identified by the S.A.B. for 2013.  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, 11 July 2012, 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 leaders 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 is at KC Environmental Mgt Commission

Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 3:00-4:30pm - Agenda
Thursday, 26 July 2012, 1:30-3:00pm
Friday, 24 August 2012, 10:00-11:30am

The City of Lawrence is considering establishing a city-wide curbside recycling program.  On 12 June 2012, the Commission passedResolution No. 6976 beginning a 90-day public comment period, including three public hearings.  All interested persons are invited to submit public comments on the two parts of the plan.  The first part of the plan would be how to provide the curb-side collections, either by using City crews who currently collect solid waste, or by privatizing the collection with corporate contractors.  The second part of the plan would be how to process and market the collected recyclable materials, to be bid on by private companies (the City has little expertise in these operations).  If a plan is adopted, the City will issue Request For Proposals (RFP) for bids on handling these two service solution types, that of collection and that of processing.

After the public comment period, the City Commission will review a draft plan in early September, and hold a final hearing on early December.  If you would like to participate in the planning of curb-side collection and of materials processing, you may e-mail your written request and contact information to Kathy Richardson at .  For more info go to - Lawrence Curb-side Recycling Public Meetings.

Saturday, 14 July 2012, 9:00am-12noon  -  $$
1304 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044

Stan Slaughter will be bringing his 30+ years of compost teaching and experience to Lawrence for this Worm Composting Workshop.  He is an award-winning educator, eco-troubadour, and national presenter at schools, conferences, and professional associations.  More about Stan is available atStan Slaughter Compost Education.

The workshop will include how to feed the micro-organisms in healthy soil, composting theory and practice, indoor worm bin composting, outdoor worm composting, harvesting the finished worm castings, and how to build a hot compost pile.  Space is limited, so pre-registration is required.  To register, write a $10 check to Sustainability Action with a note on it "Worm Composting", andmail it to P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.  Also available for purchase will be Stan's "Com-Poster" worm guide, red wriggler worm starter colonies, and his "Rot 'N Roll" CD.  Sponsored bySustainability Action.  For more info contact  or (785)832-1300

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

Friday, 13 July 2012, 9:30am ¤ Bioneers Radio Series 
Bioneers presents "Working With Nature to Heal Nature: Landscapes of Hope".  Just like our bodies, nature has a profound capacity for healing and self-repair.  Filmmaker-turned-ecological-restorer John Liu shifted from documenting China's massive environmental and social upheavals to filming a large-scale ecosystem restoration through permaculture.  China's Loess Plateau had its fertility destroyed over millenia, and Liu recorded its regeneration by means of fourteen years of permaculture practices.  Dramatic before and after images are gathered in this web site -Permaculture Earth Restoration: Before/After Examples.  And Liu explains how it worked in this video - Hope in a Changing Climate: Loess Plateau Regeneration.  His groundbreaking work prioritizes nature's ecological functions above producing goods and services, and is spreading to other nations, with Liu as a global ambassador of dramatic ecosystem restoration wonders.

Monday, 16 July 2012, 6:00pm ¤ locally produced Eco-Radio KC
Host Jane van Benthusen will be talking to Dave Conrardy known as the "The Raw Food Trucker".  They will be discussing how, by eating a raw food diet, Dave lost over 230 lbs and healed his diabetes, cancer, kidney and heart disease, acid reflux and got off of numerous medications in the process.


Independent Japanese Commission calls Fukushima a "man made disaster"
Contrary to the spin by Japan's nuclear utilities and the Prime Minister that Fukushima was a "natural disaster", this unprecedented independent commission determined that it wasman made, was avoidable, and possibly subject to criminal charges.  "It was a profoundly man-made disaster -- that could and should have been foreseen and prevented", said Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the commission's chair.  Most notably, the report said the 9.0 earthquake damaged the plant's under-designed cooling systems before the tsunami hit, raising doubts about the safety of all the quake-prone country's nuclear plants.  Read more at - Japan's Parliament declares Fukushima Nuclear Crisis 'Man-Made', and As Japan Says Fukushima Disaster "Man-Made", Fears Grow Worldwide.

We suggest readers avail themselves of reports from the following sources: Green Action Japan -Green Action Japan : Beyond Nuclear - Beyond NuclearJapan Focus -Japan Focus;  andFairewinds Associates - Fukushima Updates.

Monday, 16 July 2012, 7:00pm
Stull United Methodist Church, 1596 East 250 Rd, Lecompton KS 66050

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, andcreate 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.

Saturday, 21 July 2012, 8:00am-4:30pm  -  FREE
Fiedler Hall, K-State Univ., Manhattan KS

The 7th Annual Dialog on Sustainability is titled Finding an Optimal Path to a Sustainable World.  The conference will discuss current sustainability related activities, and explore future opportunities.  It will include panel discussions and small group dialogs around the topics of climate disruption, solar energy shaded parking, sustainable food systems, transition initiatives in Kansas, and more.

There is no registration fee, but we do ask that attendees pre-register so that we will have a seat and lunch reserved for you.  Please send your name, affiliation, contact information, and e-mail address to Sheree Walsh, chsr@ksu.edu by July 9, 2012.  Detailed information on the Dialog may be found at: http://www.engg.ksu.edu/CHSR/sustainability/Dialogs/2012DOS.

Saturday-Sunday, 28-29 July 2012, 8:00am-5:00pm
Saturday - a guided tour of urban sites in Lawrence  -  $10
Sunday - a guided tour of rural sites in the region  -  $10

The Kansas Permaculture Collaborative and Sustainability Action are sponsoring the 4th Annual Permaculture Farm & Garden Tour.   Permaculture is a design science by which wepattern 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.
This is a group guided tour, but transportation is on your own or by carpooling.
The tour happens rain or shine, within reason - dress appropriately.
Bring water, a hat, sunscreen, bug repellant, and a lunch (or pot-luck option).
Space is limited, so pre-registration is required by contacting (785)832-1300 or.

Saturday-Sunday, 4-5 August 2012, 9:00am-4:30pm  -  $$$
Chestnut Charlie's Nut Tree Crops, 1841 E. 1450 Rd. (US 59), Lawrence KS 66044

This weekend workshop will provide instruction in the vision, theory, design and practice of ecological forest agriculture that uses our temperate deciduous forest as a model.  The instructors are four permaculture designers who have been practicing permaculture for decades -Steve Moring of Kaw Permaculture, Michael Almon of Forest Floor Permaculture, Daniel Dermitzel of Cultivate Kansas City, and Charles NovoGradac of Chestnut Charlie's Nut Tree Crops.

The course will cover the basics of Forest Gardens: understanding plant guilds and plant community functions, plant species and site selection criteria and considerations, and how to create a Forest Garden Design.  By mimicking the architecture and function of a natural ecosystem through all stages of growth, a good design can maximize photosynthesis for perennial production of food, fodder and fiber.  At the end of the course, students will leave with plant lists, resources on design strategies, and a base map for scheming and dreaming up your forest garden.  For more info go tohttp://www.kawpermaculture.org/category/training, or contact Steve Moring at.

tour and sponsorship deadline is Monday, 13 August 2012
exhibitor discount deadline is Monday, 27 August 2012
the Fair is Saturday, 22 September 2011  -  FREE

The twelfth annual Energy Conservation Fair will feature a wide range of energy conservation organizations and companies, and an expert line-up of speakers and presenters.  The Sustainable Homes Tour is part of the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour.  To learn more, visit - http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/energyfair, or call 832-3030.  Also find them atwww.facebook.com/LawrenceRecycles.

Wednesdays, 15 & 22 August 2012, 7:00pm  -  $$
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 1st Floor, 2411 Holmes, K.C. MO 64108

Permascape is the design and installation of edible, low maintenance, and low ecological footprint landscapes using permaculture and ecosystems management principles.  Learn about: plants for edible landscaping, integrated pest management, ecological engineering for bio-diversity and habitat restoration, site water retention techniques, cover crops and soil fertility, inner cropping vegetable production, and lawn eradication techniques.  Class fee is $14, plus $5 for materials.

There is a bonus field tour about cover crops, inner cropping, and no till fruit and vegetable production, taking place on Saturday, 18 August, 10:00am, at the Food Not Lawns Experiment Station, 6310 NW Waukomis Dr., KCMO 64151.  Class convener is Steve Mann,com> or (816)235-1407 -http://www.prairietrading.com/.

We welcome suggestions for Newsletter items
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Join the Sustainability Action Network by clicking this link - Become a Member of S.A.N. - and follow the instructions.  The S.A.N. mission isto bring awareness of the global crisis caused by climate change, energy vulnerability and economic instability to communities in the Kansas River bioregion, and the tools needed to re-skill and re-localize our economy and create a more socially just and ecologically sustainable world.

Current S.A.N. projects include:
1) Kansas Permaculture Institute formal training of permaculture designers, and issuing them PDC Certificates.
2) Kansas Permaculture Collaborative - freely and informally sharing knowledge and resources about sustainable food production and dwellings S.A.N. Permaculture Collaborative

3) Bicycles & Electric Vehicles - promoting bicycles, utility tricycles, and neighborhood electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.

4) S.A.N. Weekly Newsletter - informing and encouraging people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.

5) Water Rights & Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.

6) Growers' Land Trust - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.

7) Eco Village Land Trust - Designing and focalizing a sustainable intentional community near Lawrence.

8) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized renewable energy and conservation.
9) Collaboration with sister organizations - such as: Films for ActionThe Light Center eco-village; Kaw River Valley Food System farm-based economic development; Cosmic Beauty Schoolurban homestead; Cultivate Kansas City;Transition Kansas City; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; the National Sustainable Energy Network; the Kansas City Food Circle, and more.

S.A.N. sponsored organizations (informal as yet):
1) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon community by means of an energy descent plan - Transition Kaw Valley

2) Lawrence Fruit Tree Project - educating and inspiring the community to grow and steward perennial food plants and increase local food security - Lawrence Fruit Tree Project


As a guidebook for local transition communities, Rob Hopkins has published this sequel to the original Transition Handbook.  For your copy, e-mail Michael at  and arrange for pick up.  If you want it mailed, shipping will be additional.

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Sustainability Action Network, P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA

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