Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sustainability Action Network, Weekly Newsletter, 24 Dec. 2013

"You never give me your money, you only give me your funny papers" - The Beatles, Abbey Road

Please donate at our PayPal link to keep the Sustainability Action Newsletter going:
CLICK HERE >>  http://www.sustainabilityaction.net
or mail checks to:  Sustainability Action, P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.
As a 501(C)(3), you get a tax deduction on your Federal tax return.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Ellen Brown in her excellent blog Web of Debt asserts that 100 years of a private cartel of bankers acting as our National Bank is enough.  It's time to make the Fed a public utility.  In 1913, the Federal Reserve Act that was passed was not what the populists had fought for, or what their leader William Jennings Bryan thought he was approving when he voted for it.  He said at the time "that the issuing of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business".  

Brown says that "What Bryan and the populists sought was a national currency issued debt-free and interest-free by the government. What the American people got was a money supply created by private banks as credit (or debt) lent to the government and the people at interest.  Although the national money supply would be printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, it would be issued by the "bankers' bank," the Federal Reserve.  The Fed is composed of twelve branches, all of which are 100 percent owned by the banks".

For the first half century, the Fed issued and loaned money to the U.S. Government, AND pocketed the interest on those loans.  Brown relates "But in the 1960s, Wright Patman, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee, pushed to have the Fed nationalized.  To avoid that result, the Fed quietly agreed to rebate its [interest] profits to the U.S. Treasury.  The Fed was charging the nation interest on its own credit--which no true national bank of issue could conceivably, or with any show of justice, dare to do".  They had their cake and ate it too.  Again Brown - "The federal debt has been accumulating ever since 1835, when Andrew Jackson paid it off and vetoed the Second U.S. Bank's renewal; and all that time it has been accruing interest.  If the government had been borrowing from its [publicly held] central bank all along, it might have had no federal debt at all today".

She concludes "It may be time for a new populist movement, one that demands that the power to issue money be returned to the government and the people it represents; and that the Federal Reserve be made a public utility, owned by the people and serving them.  The firehose of cheap credit lavished on Wall Street needs to be re-directed to Main Street".  Read more at - 100 Years Is Enough: Time to Make the Fed a Public Utility.


There is a rule of thumb that corporate exploiters use if outsmarted - "If it's not possible to win on the facts, rely on ridicule, pretense, or outright lies".  The year 2013 saw a lot of this in the face of growing success of clean technology.  

Wind and solar and conservation are making huge strides in the market, and being embraced by more and more people and countries.  As reported by Deutsche Welle, Germany's international media, as of December 2012 wind energy provided 3 percent of the global demand for electricity, soon to be delivering more electricity than nuclear power plants.  According to Renewable Energy World.com, the price of solar electricity has dropped 50% over the past five years, while fossil electricity prices continue to rise, with price parity projected near the end of 2015.  Meanwhile, the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" campaign has tallied since 2010 that 159 of the 523 U.S. coal plants have closed, due to the prohibitive cost of pollution upgrades or the rising cost of coal itself.  And the U.S. Sustainable Energy Network, reported in November that for the first ten months of 2013, renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar) accounted for 32.8% of all new electrical generating capacity, more than coal (12.5%), petroleum (0.3%) and nuclear (0.0%) combined.

If Wall Street can do anything well, they can do the numbers, but they don't like what they see.  So because right wing media can't convincingly argue using numbers, it has resorted to smearing clean technology.  The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and the Drudge Report are saying things like: "Solar power might be tanking our economy", "the New York City bike share program is the city's most important danger pursued by the all powerful bike lobby", and "Wind turbines cause devastating health effects from 'Wind Turbine Syndrome'." - Clean Tech Dishonestly Maligned by Right Wing in 2013.  

Debunking these myths and lies is not too difficult.  A couple good sources are Media Matters for America and FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, both of which strive to correct the misinformation in the corporate media.  Media Matters produced an excellent report debunking common myths about solar electricity - Myths And Facts About Solar Energy.  Another couple good references are: The global boom in wind energy, and Solar Prices Projected to Soon Reach Parity With Grid Electricity.

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

Thursday, 26 December 2013, 12:30pm  ¤  Making Contact   
This show will be "Looking Back, Moving Forward: 2013 Year In Review".  There will be updates on stories of pregnant women in prison who've been mistreated; the tomato fields of Florida, where the power of community radio helps workers take action; and then out west, to a national forest in California, where wildfires are raising questions about fire management techniques.

Friday, 27 December 2013, 9:30am  ¤  Bioneers Radio Series 
Bioneers presents "The Clash of Civilizations: Liberation Ecology and the New Superpower" with Paul Hawken.  There is indeed a clash of civilizations today, between a sustainable civilization and a disposable one.  Author and social entrepreneurPaul Hawken identifies a new superpower: the mighty river of global popular movements with real solutions.  He tracks the unprecedented phenomenon of this biggest movement in the history of the world, the diverse face of a rising new culture of restoration, of reconciliation, of healing.

Monday, 30 December 2013, 6:00pm  ¤  locally produced Eco-Radio KC      
This week's EcoRadioKC will feature Richard Mabion reviewing the year 2013 from an ecological perspective.

Sunday, 29 December 2013, 3:30pm - FREE
Oread Friends Meeting House, 1146 Oregon St, Lawrence KS 66044 (where 12th St. ends at the Burroughs Creek Trail)

This will be a lecture and community discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, founders of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.  Mary Evelyn Tucker is the co-producer with astro-physicist Brian Swimme of the Emmy Award Winning film, "Journey of the Universe", which was heavily influenced by the thought of Thomas Berry.  John Grim is currently a Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar at Yale University, teaching courses that draw students from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale Divinity School, and the Department of Religious Studies.  For more info, contact Rachel Myslivy 785-764-2055MysRachel@gmail.com.

Monday30 December 2012, AND 6 January 2013  
Lawrence KS

Christmas "tree-cycling" of live-cut trees will take place on two Mondays at your curbside.  Remove all artificial items including tinsel, lights, and tree stand, and have the tree by the curb or in the alley by 6:00am.  For more info call 832-3030 or visitwww.LawrenceRecycles.org.


The private contractor, Energy Resources Management (E.R.M.) who wrote the "clean bill of health" Keystone XL Environmental Impact Statement for the State Department has been exposed with more conflicts of interest.  A CREDO Action Notice says "It just keeps getting worse.  Politico reported this week that the contractor hired by the State Department to conduct the crucial environmental analysis of Keystone XL, E.R.M., is a member of no fewer than five oil-industry trade groups that are pushing for approval of Keystone XL.  It's time for Secretary of State John Kerry to end this charade once and for all and immediately halt ERM's involvement in the Keystone XL evaluation. 

Tell John Kerry: Remove oil-industry flack Energy Resources Management from the Keystone XL process, and tell the president to reject this project once and for all! Click here to automatically sign the petition.

"E.R.M.'s draft environmental analysis of Keystone XL, released in March, was pretty much what you would expect from a company that is a member of the Western Energy Alliance, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute, AND has two top staffers on the board of the Western States Petroleum Association. (The American Petroleum Institute alone has spent $16 million lobbying on behalf of Keystone XL.


Since the time the Keystone XL Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement was released and it became clear that the State Department and their hired contractor had gamed the system, over 75,000 citizens have signed a "pledge of resistance".  Each person committed to risk arrest if necessary to stop Keystone XL, and President Obama has felt pressure in a way he never had before.  His decision may come soon or may be delayed until 2014, but protectors of the land and air need to be ready when the time comes.

With over 400 volunteer action leaders trained in 25 cities nationwide, the local sit-in actions will be deployed when and if the Obama Administration recommends approval of Keystone XL.  Chances are there's one near you.  To stop Keystone XL, you can take the next step and sign up with your local pledge action.  You can Find your nearest Pledge of Resistance action and sign up to be part of it.  The passive resistance actions will be at places like the State Department, EPA and Federal offices, oil industry contractor ERM offices, and branches of TD Bank.  If you click the above link and plug in your zip code, you will learn where the nearest action is to you.


Nuclear power: a "clean" alternative to fossil fuels?
While desperately clinging to the 1950's myth of nuclear power being "too cheap to meter", but faced with the astronomical costs and dangers of the nuclear reality, nuclear proponents are angling for a new hook.  They now falsely claim that nukes are free of CO2 emissions and are our "clean" energy salvation from climate disruption.  But that ignores the mining impact and the toxic waste byproduct.  Industry proponents also have claimed that new advances in nuclear energy have led to safer designs such as "small modular reactors."  But Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear says that "the 'inherently safe' designs actually would pump radioactivity into the environment in an accident because of convection currents that are put there by design."  Kamps also said that Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute has shown several times that energy efficiency is more cost-effective and faster than nuclear power at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Read more at - What, If Anything, Will the US Learn From Fukushima?.

We suggest readers avail themselves of reports from the following sources:  
BeyondNuclear - http://www.beyondnuclear.org/; Japan Focus - http://japanfocus.org/Fukushima Update - http://fukushimaupdate.com/;  and Fairewinds Energy Education -http://www.fairewinds.com/.


Wednesday,8 January 2014, 6:30pm
Capital City Bank conference room, 740 New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044
This initiative by Sustainability Action meets every other Wednesday to lay the groundwork for a broad based local currency.  To be successful, it should have broad community participation of producers who have products in demand, users, and agencies, that will assure reciprocity and a high level of daily exchanges to avoid stagnation.
The core organizing group isdeveloping a mission statement, a facebook page, a newsletter, and "money literacy" among ourselves and the community.  We welcome anyone who has creative ideas and energy to contribute - Lawrence Community Currency ☼ An Ecologically Sustainable Economy.  If you want to join in the planning and design of this local exchange system, please bring your ideas and energy to the group.  To get on the e-mail info list, send your contact information to.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014, 5:30pm
Public Works Conference Room, lower level, City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The January 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 meeting - http://www.lawrenceks.org/sustainability/sab.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014, 7:00pm
Carnegie Building Conference Room, 200 West 9th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition is a joint effort of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods and the League of Women Voters.  The Coalition has asked the City Commission to include an examination of pedestrian access and safety, and the state of Lawrence sidewalks in the City Auditor's 2014 work plan.  Monthly meetings are open to the public.  For more info go toLawrence Pedestrian Coalition, or contact Laura Routh .

8 January 20144:00-6:00pm
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

Saturday, 18 January 2014, 10:30am - FREE
Dreher 4-H Building, Douglas County Co-op Extension, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence KS

Urban agriculture has been gaining in popularity for reasons of fresh and healthy food, for personal food security, and as a means of building the local community.  Many gardeners think their yard is limited in food-growing potential because it's too shady or too sloping or it has low fertility.  But think again!  A landscape design using permaculture principles can make it possible to grow food on practically any site.  This lecture will be by Michael Almon who has been using his design training to develop Forest Floor Permaculture, a nut and fruit centered forest garden in Lawrence KS.  In the permaculture garden of perennial food crops, there's no need to till every year, much of the weeding is eliminated by groundcovers, shade trees and shrubs will bear food, and irrigation needs will be reduced.  And you might end up retiring your lawn mower! 
January - May 2014
JCCC Centennial School Campus, 2145 Louisiana St., Lawrence KS 66047

Among various JCCC extension classes offered in Lawrence are the following two horticultural ones.  HORT 215: Woody Plants II, Evergreens - identification, ornamental characteristics, site requirements and use of evergreen trees and shrubs and flowering shrubs in our landscape.  HORT 245: Commercial Crop Production - introductory class on farm-to-market food production.  For More information contact SShafer@jccc.edu
January - May 2014
University of Kansas, School of Urban Planning, Lawrence campus

This course will critically examine the evolving relationship between rehabilitation, preservation, and new construction in creating asustainably built environment in the United States during the twenty-first century. It will explore the options of "building our way to sustainability" vs "conserving our way to it", and if there is anappropriate balance between rehabilitation and new construction.  For more info contact the instructor, Dale Nimz at 864-3067 or .  

(courtesy of Cole Cottin & Linda Cottin)

In order to find any of dozens of farmers' markets in Kansas and Missouri, use these searchable data bases for both states.  They are - Kansas Farmers' Market Search by LocationMissouri Farmers' Market Search by Location, and Missouri Farmers' Market Search by Map.  Wherever you are, there is probably a market nearby!

Monday, 20 January 2014, 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, 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.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014, 5:00pm  
Lawrence Parks & Rec. Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

The January agenda is not yet available.  The Bicycle Advisory 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

Friday, 31 January 20146:00pm-9:00pm
VanGo Arts, 715 New Jersey St., Lawrence KS 66044

Come help us celebrate our sixth birthday with a potluck dinner, a great speaker, and conviviality!

We are pleased to have as our keynote speaker, Rachel Myslivy, Program Director for the Climate and Energy Project. Rachel has been involved in many community sustainability efforts, has been Chair of Kansas Interfaith Power & Light, was co-founder of the Lawrence Environmental Education Project, and won the 2013 Sustainability Leadership Award from the K.U. Center for Sustainability.   

At 7:30pm, we will recap our 2013 achievements in permaculturebicycle transportationrural ride sharingcommunity gardens, etc., and discuss our 2013 plans and funding.  Then we will elect our officers for the coming year.  Since forming in late 2007, Sustainability Action has been bringing to our community local solutions for transition to a sustainable economy.  Everyone is welcome, non-members and members alike, so we hope to see you there!.

Thursday, 6 February to 10 May 2014  -  $$$
Dreher 4-H Building, Douglas County Co-op Extension, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence KS

Permaculture is a system of ecological design that addresses whole systems, not just individual solutions.  Its scope goes far beyond just gardening.  Students who complete this 72 hour course will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Kansas Permaculture Institute.  The course will include nine 3-hour class sessions, six field trips, four practicum sessions, and a student project presentation.  

Lead instructor will be Steve Moring, and assistant instructors will be Laura Odell and Michael Almon.  The fee is $750 for the full course, and $650 if registered before 14 December.  The Course Syllabus and registration form are available at Mr. Moring's website - http://www.kawpermaculture.com/education-training/.  For more info contact Steve Moring at (785)691-7305 or.

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

Join the Sustainability Action Network by clicking this link - Become a Sustainability Action Member - and follow the instructions. The Sustainability Action 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.  

Sustainability Action Programs 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 & Alternative Transportation - promoting bicycles, complete streets, ride sharing, and electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations - Lawrence OnBoard | Community Supported Transportation

4) Local Community Currency- fostering money literacy, and implementing a local currency, either cash or electronic or both, that will transition to a sustainable local economy and weather global economic instability.

5 Sustainability Action Newsletter- informing and encouraging people to be active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action-driven groups.

6) Energy Conservation & Renewables - reducing our carbon footprint by promoting a carbon diet, an energy diet, conservation, and decentralized renewable energy.
7) Prime Farmland Preservation - protecting Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.
8) Water Rights and Watersheds protecting the water commons from privatization and contamination, and restoring watersheds.
9) Collaboration with sister organizations - building synergy with the combined talents and creativity of like-minded groups to achieve a transition to sustainable local economies. Groups such as: Films for ActionThe Light Center eco-village; churches and civic groups; Kaw River Valley Food System farm-based economic development; 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.

Sustainability Action sponsored organizations:
1) Lawrence OnBoard - local roadside ride sharing for safe and convenient transportation in rural and urban areas - Lawrence OnBoard | Community Supported Transportation

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

No comments: