Tuesday, September 18, 2012

S. A. N. Newsletter, 18 Sept. 2012

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(courtesy Scott Allegrucci, Beyond Coal Campaign Rep., Sierra Club)

The production tax credit is one of the best utility incentives supporting the wind industry.  While heavily polluting utilities like coal, petroleum, and nuclear receive government subsidies in the $billions, and rich corporations enjoy $billions in tax credits, House Speaker John Boehner is inexplicably delaying a vote on renewing the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit.  This incentive gives wind power producers 2.2 cents per killowat-hour, and helps level the playing field against Big Energy. 

The wind industry employs U.S. workers in 47 states, in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance.  Each major wind farm in America creates nearly 1,100 jobs and can add tens of millions of dollars in new taxes and other benefits to the communities where they're located - Typical Wind Farm Supports Nearly 1,100 Jobs.  These are good-paying jobs for skilled workers, and they're disappearing while John Boehner delays action on the Production Tax Credit.  Tell John Boehner to support American workers and renew the Production Tax Credit - click hereJohn Boehner could advance Wind Energy Production Tax Credit.


Japan to be nuclear power-free sometime in the 2030's
Last Friday, 14 September, the Japanese government announced a policy to have all nuclear power plants shut down by the 2030s.  However, the policy is chock full of contradictions and escape clauses, with few details yet given on how to achieve it or how quickly to proceed.  Nevertheless, the policy is different from the June 2010 energy basic plan that targeted 50 percent of Japan's electricity coming from nuclear.  Fukushima, of course, changed all that, and the public has been demanding zero nuclear electricity.  Read more at - Japan's Energy Policy at a Crossroads: A Renewable Energy Future?

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

Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/
(courtesy Mike Murphy, KKFI Programming Committee)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 6:00pm¤ Tell Somebody
Host Tom Klammer will discuss the Kansas City Green Impact Zone, specifically how no amount of greenwashing could spin this project as green.  Some old growth trees were taken down, to facilitate a smoother, straighter sidewalk.  Tom will hear from Bill Drummond and some of his colleagues at Emerald City Activist Team about what's going on with this.   

Thursday, 20 September 2012, 5:00am ¤ A World of Possibilities   
A World of Possibilities will explore how a community wind farm off the coast of Maine caused discourse on the island that proposed it.  Wind advocates are now wondering how to deal with the noise in what was thought to be a completely benign energy source.

Friday, 21 September 2012, 9:30am ¤ Bioneers Radio Series 
Bioneers presents "Swimming our Talk: Blue Mind, Ocean Heart".  Jacques Cousteau's 1960s films and TV show caused a sea change by moving the hearts and minds of tens of millions. Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, ocean advocates Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau, and theTruckee High School Envirolution Club are among the rising tides of passionate innovators making remarkable advances to understand and restore the waters of the world.

Monday, 24 September 2012, 6:00pm ¤ locally produced Eco-Radio KC
Host Richard Mabion will be interviewing John Hickey, Chapter Director for the Missouri Sierra Club.  They will discuss environmental concerns for Missouri and the environmental voting record of Missouri Legislators, the Sierra Club Missouri Legislature Environmental Scorecard.pdf.

Thursday, 20 September 2012, 7:00pm  -  FREE
Lawrence Public Library, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

Climate scientists are warning us that we have just a few years to effectively address climate disruption, and one of the most effective ways is by implementing a carbon Fee and dividendprogram.  Unlike a cap and trade program in which the government arbitrarily gives away emission permits or sells them for arbitrary fees, and then polluters can trade the permits around for the "right" to pollute, a fee and dividend program is a straight forward carbon tax.  But, you may say, a carbon tax is a regressive tax that disproportionately affect low-income groups.  Which is where the dividend part comes in - the program's tax revenues are equitably distributed as a dividend to communities and households who benefit from the energy use, and offset their costs of energy use.

Lynate Pettengill will be speaking about climate disruption and current efforts to pass legislation for a carbon fee and dividend program.  She is a staff member of the Kansas Sierra Club as well as a volunteer with the Citizens Climate Lobby.  For questions or more info, contact Lynate at or (785)331-0625.

K.U. MEDICINAL GARDEN AUTUMN TOUR Saturday, 22 September 2012, 10am to 11:30pm  -  FREE 

KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden, 1865 E. 1600 Road, Lawrence, KS
(courtesy Kirsten Bosnak, Communications Coordinator, KS Bio Survey)

Join faculty, staff and students from the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Program for the semi-annual public tour of the research garden site.  The garden is half a mile north of Highway 40, adjacent to the Prairie Moon Waldorf School grounds (Map).  Meet just inside the gate under our shade structure at the center of our demonstration garden.  The tour will include all areas of the garden, including the research plantings, the demonstration garden, the natural dye gardenand the K.U. Student Farm, which has doubled in size since last year.  For more info contact Kirsten Bosnak  or (785)864-6267.


The European Union has drafted legislation to impose a limit on the use of crop-based biofuels.  The EU now considers them less climate-friendly than initially thought and to compete with food production.  This major shift of policy is tacit admission that the EU's 2020 biofuel target was flawed from the outset.  From the draft - "The (European) Commission is of the view that in the period after 2020, biofuels should only be subsidized if they lead to substantial greenhouse gas savings... and are not produced from crops used for food and feed".  At the same time, the European Commission wants to increase the share of advanced non-land using biofuels made from household waste and algae in the EU's 10 percent target.  Read more at - EU to limit use of crop-based biofuels.

$10  ($3 under 14yrs)
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Fair from 10:00am-4:00pm, Home Tours embark at 10:30am & 1:30pm
Holcom Recreation Center, Lawrence Ave. & W. 27th St., Lawrence KS 66047Monday, 27 August 2012, exhibitor discount deadline
(courtesy Cassandra Ford, Waste Reduction & Recycling, City of Lawrence)

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.  There is a new venue at the Holcom Park Recreation Center building. The Lawrence Transit System will give free rides to the event and on all fixed routes.  The Sustainable Homes Tour is part of the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour, showcasing homes that feature efficient design and appliances and green building materials.  The tour is sponsored by the Heartland Renewable Energy Society and theLawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Office, who also sponsor the Energy Fair itself.  To learn more, visit - http://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/energyfair, or call 832-3030.  Also find them at www.facebook.com/LawrenceRecycles.
Sunday, 23 September 2012, 10am-2:00pm  -  $16
1304 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044

Sustainability Action is sponsoring this Solar Cooking Class as part of our ongoing reskilling workshop series.  At 10:00am sharp, we will hurry to place our lunch into a variety of different solar cookers.  The food will be mostly vegetarian, organic and locally grown, with a main meat dish and a main vegan dish, to be shared among the attendees. 

There will be a video on solar cooking, and construction of three working solar cookers out of cardboard boxes that participants can take home.  When the food is cooked, it will be shared for lunch.  Following that will be a solar food drying demonstration and a discussion of the benefits of solar cooking in Lawrence and the world.  Students will get a handout compiling internet resources for further learning. 

Bring a hat and/or sunscreen and notepaper.  Join us as we begin reducing our carbon footprint one solar oven at a time.  For more info contact Bill at Pre-registration is required by Thursday, 20 September to allow for planning of food quantities.  The class fee is $16 to cover instructors, food, and materials.  Write a check to Sustainability Action with a note on it "Solar Cooking", and mail it to P.O. Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.

Sunday, 23 September 2012, 6:00-9:00pm  -  $$
KC Historic City Market, East 5th St. at Walnut St., Kansas City MO 64106

This community dinner with urban farmers and friends will inspire Kansas City to enjoy, understand and support urban farmers growing local food for the community.  It's also a celebration of the workCultivate Kansas City does year round to promote local food, farms and community.  The dinner will include live music, a farmers market and drinks and appetizers under the stars.  For more info and to buy tickets, go to Dig In, KC! : Cultivate KC community dinner.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012, 6:30pm  -  FREE
Lawrence Public Library, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy Monika Eichler, Prairie Moon Waldorf School newsletter editor)

This documentary of Rudolf Steiner's life explores his ideas on a whole range of activities - education, agriculture, medicine, philosophy, social and financial issues, and the arts.  He was the founder of the Waldorf school movement as well as biodynamic agriculture.  The development of biodynamic agriculture began in 1924 with a series of eight lectures by Steiner in Silesia, Germany.  Farmers were concerned with soil degradation and decrease in crop quality due to use of synthetic fertilizers.  As a science, Steiner stressed that his methods should be tested experimentally, and a research association did just that up until it was dissolved by Hitler in 1941.  Today, biodynamics is practiced in more than 50 countries worldwide.  Demeter International is the primary certification agency for farms and gardens using the methods.  To view a trailer of the film go to - Rudolf Steiner film.

Friday-Sunday, 28-30 September 2012  -  $$
The Land Institute, 2440 East Water Well Road, Salina, KS 67401

This annual meeting of the eco-social-agro activists takes place on the land in amphitheaters, barns, meeting rooms and camp grounds.  Speakers include Wendell Berry,David Orr, and Palagummi Sainath, an Indian journalist focused on globalization, small farms and famine.  Films and tours will also be featured over the weekend.  Registration is open with info and a form at - The Land Institute - 2012 Prairie Festival.

Saturday, 29 September 2012, 8:00am-4:00pm  -  $$
City Composting Facility, East of 11th and Haskell, over the tracks)

The material is composted from leaves, grass clippings, and prunings collected by the City.  Quantities are restricted to pick-ups and small trailers, and the cost is $10 per load; more for larger trucks and trailers.  For more info, contact the Waste Reduction and Division at 832-3030 or visit www.LawrenceRecycles.org.  The City certifies that the material has been tested for the herbicide,chlorpyralid, which has a potency measured in parts per billion.  Nevertheless, because it is impossible to test every cubic foot of the compost, it is advised to use it only on ornamental plants and NOT food plants.

Wednesdays, 3,10,17,24 March 2012, 4 sessions, 7:00-9:00pm  -  $$
UMKC School of Medicine, Theatre C, 2411 Charlotte Street, 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 four 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 $18, plus $5 for materials; bring picture ID.  Register at UMKC Communiversity.  More info at Food Not Lawns KC, or.

Saturday-Sunday, 6-7 October 2012, 10:00am-6:00pm  -  $$
self-guided tour of 23 participating farms

This annual tour of sustainably run farms covers a broad range from a bee apiary to a bison ranch to school-based CSA/gardens to orchards to wineries to market farms and goat dairies.  The common thread is that these operations all are local-regional food suppliers, are as ecologically sustainable as farms can get, and acre-for-acre their specialty crops contribute more significantly to the local economy than do commodity mono-culture crops.  More info at Kaw Valley Farm Tour 2012.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012, 5:30pm
Public Works Conf. Room, City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The October agenda is not yet available.  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 meetinghttp://www.lawrenceks.org/wrr/envadvisoryboard 

Wednesday, 10 October 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

Thursday, 11 October 2012, 7:00pm  -  FREE
Cosmic Beauty School, 1145 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence KS 66044
(courtesy Amber Lehrman)

Edible City, a 60 minute documentary film, tells the stories of the pioneers who are digging their hands into the dirt, working to transform their communities and do something truly revolutionary: grow local food systems that are socially just, environmentally sound, economically viable, and resilient to climate change and market collapse.  A discussion will immediately follow the film.  Please bring food to share and/or make a donation to the nonprofit hosting space.

Saturday, 13 October 2012, 9:00am to 1:00pm
Free State High School (north parking lot), 4700 Overland Drive, Lawrence KS
(courtesy Cassandra Ford, Waste Reduction & Recycling, City of Lawrence)

Electronics devices typically contain toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury and cadmium, and precious metals like silver and gold.  If recycled properly, these metals can be materials feed-stock for new industrial processes, not to mention saving production costs, and keeping them out of the landfill.

This one day event will provide Lawrence residents and businesses a way to conveniently recycle old, unwanted electronics equipment.  Items accepted for recycling are computer monitors, desktops, laptops, keyboards, printers and other peripherals, televisions, copiers, scanners, telephones, cell phones, pagers, fax machines, VHS/DVD drives, hand held devices, and small appliances like micro wave or toaster ovens.  There is a recycling fee for computer monitors ($10.00) and televisions ($15.00).  There are no charges for other electronic equipment.   Items not accepted are large appliances such as refrigerators and AC units, and household hazardous waste such as compact fluorescent lights or compressed gas cylinders.  Fees may be paid by cash or check.

Electronic recycling will be provided by Extreme Recycling, Inc. http://www.extremerecyclinginc.com/  recycling the E-waste in accordance to Federal and Kansas Electronic Waste Processing Regulations.  The event is sponsored by the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Division  http://www.lawrencerecycles.org/

Sunday, 14 October 2012, 4:00pm (S.A.N.), 7:00pm (K.P.C.)
Vajra Farm, 14370 54th St., Oskaloosa KS 66066
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

4:00pm,Sustainability Action:  
  • 1304 Penn. St. Garden design charette andPerma-blitz
  • Annual Campaign fund raising launch
  •  workshop on Food Pickling & Fermentation
  • U.S.D.A. SARE grant writing
  • S.A.N. generic business cards
  • S.A.N. website upgrades
6:00pm,Potluck dinner
7:00pm,Permaculture Collaborative:
  • report on 2012 sweet potato bulk purchase
  • report on 2012 permaculture tour
  • demonstration sites progress
  • collaborative funding opportunities
  • other plans for collaboration

Monday, 15 October 2012, 7:00pm
location TBA, Lawrence KS 66044

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 producerspreserve 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.

Friday-Sunday, 19-21 October 2012  -  $$$
San Rafael CA

The Bioneers are social and scientific innovators who develop solutions that mimic nature's operating systems.  They are visionaries who, in their own communities, are creating a healthy, diverse, equitable and beautiful world.  With phenomenal effectiveness, the Bioneers reach tens-of-thousands of people at their conference and simultaneous satellite conferences, through their year-round radio show, by their professional intensive seminars, in their Eco Schools program, and by their Democracy School training.  There are dozens of simultaneous regional conferenceswith speakers and workshops and major speakers beamed live from the San Rafael conference -Bioneers beaming to regional conferences.

The conference lineup matches prior years quality with presenters such as: 
  • Annie Leonard
  • Paul Hawken
  • Andy Lipkis (Tree People)
  • John Liu (Chinese permaculture)
  • Bill McKibben 
  • Asher Miller (Post Carbon Institute)
  • Vicki Robin (Your Money or Your Life)
  • Carolyne Stayton (Transition U.S.)
  • Sandra Steingraber
  • Daniel Wildcat (Haskell University), and more.  
For conference info, schedule, and registration go to the 2012 Bioneers Conference.
Revolution From the Heart of Nature
It's all alive; it's all connected; it's all intelligent; it's all relatives

We welcome suggestions for Newsletter items
.  Please send items to .

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 is to 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 Instituteformal training of permaculture designers, and issuing them PDC Certificates - Kansas Permaculture Institute.
2) Kansas Permaculture Collaborative - freely and informally sharing knowledge and resources about sustainable food production and dwellings -Kansas 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.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please click this link »Subscribe to the Sustainability Newsletter.  Enter your name and e-mail address, and follow the instructions.  The system will send you a confirmation message with a "Confirmation Link" which you MUST click in order to complete your subscription confirmation.  If you don't get the confirmation message, check in your junk mail folder for blocked as spam.

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

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