Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sustainability Action Newsletter, 10 June 2014

"The profiteering drive of commerce owns no malice or mercy, is incapable of regret, and takes no prisoners.  It is simply an engine with no objective but to feed itself". - Barbara Kingsolver

We are a community-supported resource that relies on you.  Please make a donation today.  
CLICK HERE >>  http://www.sustainabilityaction.net to donate by PayPal
We are a 501(C)(3), so you get a tax deduction on your Federal tax return.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014, 6:30pm - FREE
Overland Park Lutheran Church, 7810 West 79th St., Overland Park KS 66204

"The human species has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the Earth.  But the game is up.  The technical and scientific forces that created a life of unparalleled luxury for the industrial elites are the forces that now doom us.  Ceaseless economic expansion and exploitation has [led to] our economic and environmental systems unraveling.  After the hottest year in the contiguous 48 states since record keeping began 107 years ago, we lack the emotional and intellectual creativity to shut down the engine of global capitalism" - Chris Hedges.  

The exponential growth of the human population on a finite planet is the driving force behind accelerating resource and energy extraction in spite of attempts at efficiency.  "Efficiency programs have tremendous potential and are extremely cost effective, but ultimately they cannot keep up if exponential population and economic growth continues" - Energy Reality, Post Carbon Institute.  Climate disruption from industrial growth means that fresh water for agriculture is drying up, at the same time that record temperatures are causing massive crop failures - Adverse Effects of Overpopulation, Overconsumption, Biodiversity Loss, Energy Scarcity, & Climate Disruption.

Any number of studies have calculated that at 7 billion, human population has long surpassed the Earth's carrying capacity, and that our population will need to stabilize more near 2 billion.  The crises of energy depletion and climate disruption will be met only if the population issue is addressed.  Population control is the elephant in the parlor that everyone skirts around out of fear of the church, fear of our nation falling behind others, fear by the ethnic-purity-racists that the "other" will gain the upper hand.  

At this Sierra Club presentation, Craig Lubow will present a program that focuses on strategies for reducing global population.  He will describe how population reduction relates to climate disruption, ecological sustainability, and economic and environmental justice.  

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

Tuesday, 10 June 2014, 6:30pm  ¤  CounterSpin     
As a result of the new EPA rules limiting carbon emissions, the outcry from industry -- lost jobs! higher energy costs! -- was completely predictable.  But people concerned about climate change aren't exactly dancing in the aisles either.  So are the new rules a bold step toward fighting climate change, or something much less?  A realistic critique will be provided by Janet Redman of the Climate Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014, 12:00pm  ¤  All Souls Forum    
The talk this week will be "Mercury Pollution: the Other Global Environmental Crisis".  Half the top predatory fish in US lakes are seriously contaminated with mercury.  This menace is analogous to climate change and has the same basic cause - coal burning power plants.  Craig Volland is Air Quality Chair for the Kansas Sierra Club.  He has followed this issue since 1990, when he attended the First International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Gavle, Sweden.

Thursday, 12 June 2014, 12:00pm  ¤  Sprouts Radio   
This week on Sprouts, we use audio to "see" the story of the Mesoamerica Resiste graphics campaign by the BeeHive Design Collective.  It's about globalization in the Americas, focusing on resistance to mega-infrastructure projects that are literally paving the way for free trade agreements that devastate local economies and communities. detailing the struggle for environmental justice in Central and South America.  Learn more at - Mesoamérica Resiste | Beehive Design Collective.

Thursday, 12 June 2014, 12:30pm  ¤  Making Contact   
More than 60 counties either ban or require labeling of Genetically Engineered (GE) foods; the US is not one of them.  Frustrated consumers and farmers are pushing for state or county regulations, but the seed and pesticide companies are fighting back.  Making Contact presents "Genetically Engineered Democracy", a special episode investigating corporate control of our democracy and our dinner plates.

Friday, 13 June 2014, 9:30am  ¤  Bioneers Radio Series 
Bioneers presents "Betting on Native Culture: Coming Home to a 'We' Culture".   ChairmanGreg Sarris of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, facing cultural resistance, gambled to create a casino that would uphold traditional values and benefit Native land and local communities.

Monday, 16 June 2014, 5:00am  ¤  Exploration with Dr. Michio Kaku    
On this edition, Dr. Kaku will
 feature a special tribute to the the life, times, and politics of Albert Einstein.  Fred Jerome and John Brinster comment on the legacy of this great scientist.

Monday, 16 June 2014, 6:00pm  ¤  locally produced Eco-Radio KC 
This week's EcoRadioKC will have host Richard Mabion interviewing Sarah Fjell on what goes into the storm drains of Kansas City KS.  Then Elaine will talk with Mandy Stark about the Water One utility in Johnson County.

11 June 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

Wednesday, 11 June 2014, 5:30pm
Public Works Conference Room, lower level, City Hall, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The June 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, 11 June 2014, 7:00pm
Carnegie Building Conference Room, 200 West 9th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The June agenda is not yet available.  The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition is a joint effort of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods and the League of Women Voters.  Monthly meetings are open to the public.  For more info go to Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, or contact Laura Routh .

Thursday, 12 June 20147:00-8:00 pm.
1515 Crossgate Drive  Lawrence, KS 66047
(courtesy Emily Reno)

Citizens Climate Lobby is an all-volunteer, bi-partisan organization that works to inspire the political will for a livable climate.  We advocate for carbon-fee-and-dividend as one solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while returning the money to households in order to offset the tax and make alternative energies more attractive investments.  Our Lawrence Chapter welcomes newcomers from all backgrounds and ages to contribute.  We've got rewarding volunteer opportunities for everyone!  For more information contact Emily Reno at (785)840-6880 or Frank Schawaller at (785)550-1939, or Citizens Climate Lobby.


Like a classic Democrat, President Obama is fence riding trying to please all the people all the time with his carbon reduction plan.  And predictably, everyone is displeased.  Progressives say it's nowhere near enough, given the dire circumstances, and climate deniers are posturing with chicken-little cries of "the economy will be falling!".  Everyone from Bill McKibben to Joe Romm to Sustainable Cities Network and CREDO Action have said that the base year of 2005 frames it unrealistically, the targets are too small, and market forces have already reached the half-way point without Obama's plan. 
Emissions in 2013 were already 13 percent below 2005 levels because of a shift toward cleaner-burning natural gas.  Calculating from the 1990 base year of the Kyoto Accord (that everyone else uses), Obama's plan will drop carbon emission by only 3-4 percent by 2020 - EPA Plan to Cut Power Plant Emissions Already Half Way There.  And states that are currently the most intense emitters, those that create the most carbon pollution from each unit of electricity produced, have some of the most relaxed reduction targets -How Obama's Climate Plan Accommodates Coal States.  Meanwhile, the deniers are claiming that these crumbs that Obama is throwing us are going to crash the economy! - In response to President Obama's greenhouse gas regulations, Republicans roll out their usual lies.

So one has to wonder, what's the point of this half-baked plan for reducing greenhouse gases?  Did Obama's handlers think that his base will be energized for the mid-term elections in preparation for the 2016 Hillary race?  Did they hope that this "dramatic" climate "solution" would forestall any outrage by Keystone XL Pipeline opponents if Obama approves it?  Or did they think that acting on an executive order would incense the Tea-publicans to new levels of rabid political absurdity, effectively discrediting them?  One thing we know, it's certainly not enough and should have been done far earlier.

The Clean Power Plan is what it is, and deserves feedback.   The following may help you to prepare comments for the EPA - 8 Things You Should Know About the Clean Power Plan.   Citizens will have 90 days from 31 May to submit comments.  Of the four public hearings scheduled, the closest to Kansas City will be in Denver CO on 29 July.  If you can't make it to a hearing, you can always comment on line at - Comment on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule.

Friday13 June 20149:00am-3:00pm - FREE, optional $15 lunch
Stull United Methodist Church, 1596 E. 250 Road, Lecompton, Kansas, 66050

The program is intended to provide information on native pollinators and pollinator habitat conservation in a rural setting.  Participants will learn about the importance of providing habitat for pollinators and methods and strategies for installing pollinator habitat in the rural setting.  The workshop will be conducted 
byJennifer Hopwood, Midwest Pollinator Conservation Specialist from The Xerces Society for Invertibrate Conservation.  Holly Shutt will provide information about USDA programs that help implement pollinator habitat.  The Kansas Rural Center is partnering with the Douglas County Conservation District, and Jim Weaver of the D.C.C.D will lead a tour of pollinator habitat plots installed on his property.  For more info and to register go to - Pollinator Habitat Workshop | description and registration.

Saturday, 14 June 2014, 6:00pm dinner, 7:00pm program - $$
IBEW Local 124, 301 East 103rd Terr., Kansas City MO 64114

Populist political analyst and news commentator, Jim Hightower, will be joined by Anne Feeney, hell-raising singer-songwriter, to celebrate 25 years of the Heartland Labor Forum on the air at KKFI Radio, 90.1FM.  Billed as "Radio that talks back to the boss", the Heartland Labor Forum has been directed by Judy Ancel, and produced by a staff of mostly labor union volunteers.  The show airs on Thursday evenings at 6:00pm and Friday mornings at 5:00am.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or at Brown Paper Tix -http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/692822.


Between the release dates of the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), it became clear that the State Department and their hired contractor had gamed the system with flawed conclusions by the consultant, ERM, Inc.  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.  It is thought his decision may come soon, so 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.

Monday, 16 June 2014, 7:00pm
Red Tractor Farm, 974 E. 850th Road, Lawrence, KS 66047

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, 17 June 2014, 3:30pm
Lawrence City Hall, 6th & Massachusetts, Lawrence KS 66044

On 13 May, Sustainability Action made a presentation to the City Commission requesting they budget $2million per year for safe and convenient bicycle transportation, and hire a Bicycle Transportation Engineer to implement it.  On 20 May, the Commission held the first budget study session and also a public hearing on the 2015 budget.  A second study session will be on 17 June (where the Commission discusses it among themselves) and the public is invited to attend and observe.  

ONLY the City Commission can set new transportation policy and priorities.  Reallocating auto funds over to bicycle transportation will happen ONLY if citizens push for it.  Some form of draft budget will be released on 17 June, assembled by the City Manager, and presented for the Commission's consideration.  It will total somewhere in the vicinity of $200 million.  That money is divied up based on the priorities set by the Commission.  If the City Commission has the political will, they could use either of two methods to finance bicycle transportation.  First, they could move some money from motor vehicle funds over to bicycle projects - to reallocate the pie chart.  Or, they could enlarge the pie chart to generate more money from increased taxes.  

Now IS the time to create a truly effective, convenient, and safe bicycle transportation system.  It's time to dust off all the bicycle plans and take them beyond being mere wish lists.  It's time to hire bicycle engineering staff that can properly design the system and provide year to year continuity managing the construction budget.  It's time to move beyond that perennial excuse that "there's just not enough money in the budget to include bicycles". 

Tuesday, 17 June2014, 5:00pm
Lawrence Parks & Rec. Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

The June 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.

Thursday, 19 June 2014, 6:30pm  --  NOTE DATE CHANGE
location TBA, Lawrence KS
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Possible discussion topics
  • How to plan non-profit fundraising
  • Treasurer position search
  • Grant data base opportunities
  • Review a Sustainability Action 2014budget
  • K.P.C. grant money allocations for community gardens
  • K.P.I. & Kaw Permaculture collaborating on July PDC course
  • Perma-blitz planning
  • Plans for reskilling workshops
Everyone is welcome  -  http://www.sustainabilityaction.net/

Second course - Introduction to Kansas Fish
Monday,Wednesday,Friday - 20 June to 2 July 2014 - $$$
University of Kansas Field Station, 350 Wild Horse Road, Lawrence, KS 66044
The KU Field Station summer courses, offered primarily as for-credit KU classes, are available to the public (anyone 18 or older; or 16 or older for the fly-fishing course) through KU Continuing Education.  Classes are listed below.  Register for any of these courses online at: https://cpep.ku.edu/field-station-summer-2014.
Introduction to Kansas Fishes, June 20-July 2, MWF 1:30-4:30pm
Introduction to Field Entomology, July 7-18, MWF 1:30-4:30pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing, T-Th 6:30-9:30 p.m., June 24 and 26.

Saturday, 21 June 20149:00AM-2:00pm - FREE
K-92 (Springdale Rd) at 195th St. (3rd drive to north), Leavenworth KS 66045 (5 miles west of Leavenworth KS
(courtesy Susan Jones, Kansas Permaculture Collaborative)

Permaculture designer, Michael Kay, will lead this permablitz (AKA crop mob) to create hugelkultur raised planting beds supported by a rock retaining wall laid up dry.  There will be training for using a Bunyip Water Level for leveling the rock walls.  This is the first in a series of permablitz informal training being organized by the Kansas Permaculture Collaborative, a program of the Sustainability Action Network.  The host will provide snacks, drinks, and a soup and bread lunch; bring a pot-luck side dish, work clothes and boots and gloves.  For more information contact Michael at .

Sunday, 22 June 20149:00AM-11:00am - FREE
rendezvous at 8:00am at Tanger Outlet Mall, 1035 North 3rd St., Lawrence KS 66044

Explore three of the most diverse and scenic tallgrass prairies in North Eastern Kansas with co-leaders Ken Lassman and Shirley Braunlich.  The first hour will be spent at the Fredrick Prairie (100 acres) at 265617 Tonganoxie Dr.  From there, the tour will go to the High Prairie at Bauserman Rd. at 187th St., and spend one-half hour there.  The final site will be the Homeplace Prairie - west on 187th St. to a right turn on Jarbalo Rd. and then on Gilman Rd., for a half-hour tour there.  Dress appropriately with long pants, sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, and bug repellent.  Bring a water bottle.  For more info contactShirley (785) 218-5480 


Truly responsible energy policy in response to Obama's Clean Power Plan
There were two key pieces of environmental legislation introduced last week by Congressman Jim McDermott of Seattle.  The Managed Carbon Price Act of 2014 (H.R. 4754) sets carbon reduction targets, requires polluters to purchase permits, and returns 100 percent of the revenue to consumers.  A second bill, Investing to Modernize the Production of American Clean Energy and Technology Act of 2014 (H.R. 4753), amends the federal tax code to repeal a number of subsidies for the fossil fuels industry.  Unfortunately, it's doubtful that either of these bills is likely to see the light of day in the Republican-controlled US House.  In fact, it's unlikely that even watered-down versions of these ideas would pass muster in either chamber.

We suggest readers avail themselves of the following sources for news on the nuclear demise:  Japan for Sustainability -http://www.japanfs.org/Japan Focus - http://japanfocus.org/Fukushima Update - http://fukushimaupdate.com/;  and Fairewinds Energy Education - http://www.fairewinds.com/.

Thursday, 30 June 20146:00-8:00pm
Douglas County Courthouse., 11th & Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

Like most communities, Lawrence has a comprehensive land use plan that guides how Lawrence will grow.  It includes sections on residential, commercial, and industrial land use, farmland preservation, environmental impacts, transportation, historic resources, and more.  The current plan, Horizon 2020, is being updated, and City officials want citizen input.  There is a Steering Committee that is holding public open house sessions for citizens to learn about the plan and complete a questionnaire on many aspects of the plan.  In addition to the 29 May open house, there will be one more open house in Lawrence, and others in outlying communities.  View the full schedule here - Comprehensive Plan open houses schedule.

(courtesy of Cole Cottin & Linda Cottin)

New season, new markets, new hours - find what's new this year.   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!

Wednesday-Friday, 9-19 July 2014 - $$$$
SubTerra Castle, Keene KS
The  Kansas Permaculture Institute is pleased to have Kaw Permaculture teach our ten-day PDC course at the SubTerra Castle Permaculture Center, 20 minutes west of Topeka KS.  This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from four instructors well-versed in North American temperate permaculture of the Great Plains Bioregion - Steve Moring of Kaw Permaculture, Michael Almon of Forest Floor Permaculture, Laura Odell of the Light Center, and Amber Lehrman.  Students who complete this 72-hour course will be awarded a Permaculutre Design Certificate from the  Kansas Permaculture Institute, a program of the not-for-profit Sustainability Action Network.
This information packed course promises to be personally transformative and a community building experience.  Among the topics central to permaculture design, participants will learn how to apply principles of ecological design to both the urban and broad-acre settings.  The course will include classroom instruction, hands-on exercises, group discussion and teamwork, and field trips to six local urban garden and farm sites.  For detailed information and registragion materials, click on the following link: 10-Day Permaculture Design Certification Course (PDC).   For more information, contact Steve Moring at (785)691-7305, or Michael Almon at(785)832-1300

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 Creates - local tool sharing, recycling, and community shared innovation incubator - Lawrence Creates

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

No comments: