Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER, Sustainability Action Network, 25 November 2014

"Europeans and Indians would live together in peace as long as the creeks and rivers run and while the sun, moon, and stars endure" - Chief Tamanend, Delaware Indians, 1863
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The mid-term elections means party time for Big Energy. Republicans and the Tea Party want to remove all restraints from tapping North American fossil fuels. Approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline will be among the first measures "we're very likely to be voting on", said soon-to-be Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. But Keystone XL is only one of their plans to exploit oil, coal, and natural gas reserves. They want to remove any "obstacles" to the construction of any border-crossing pipelines, prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from placing carbon restrictions on coal, ban federal oversight of fracking, open up more off-shore drilling, and promote oil and liquefied natural gas exports.

There are apparently two major motives for the fossil Republicans, that of bolstering national power and prestige, and that of maximizing resource through-put to maximize profits for their billionaire benefactors. Klare points out that "The giant energy firms are among the leading sources of campaign financing. Most of their money has, in recent years, gone to Republicans who espouse a pro-carbon agenda".

Most of the world along with the U.N. recognize the need to cut back dramatically on burning fossil fuels. And President Obama may take executive action on climate issues such as the recent climate deal with China. But Klare is concerned that "for each modest step forward on climate stabilization, the latest election ensures that Americans are destined to march several steps backward when it comes to reliance on climate-altering fossil fuels". Learn more at -Fossil-Fueled Republicanism : Michael Klare.


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 100,000 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 occur unannounced, 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.

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

Friday, 28 November 2014, 9:30am - Bioneers Radio Series
Bioneers presents "Why the World Doesn't End: Recreation Myths of Nature and Culture". "When the culture collapses, what's left are the the people that kept close to the Earth who continue to tell the stories. I call them the recreation stories." Mythologist, author and storyteller, Michael Meade, reminds us that the word "apocalypse" (epoc-collapse) actually means an unveiling, not an end. It's the beginning of a new story, a new beginning to the old story.

Monday, 1 December 2014, 6:00pm - locally produced Eco-Radio KC
This week's EcoRadioKC will have have another of their ecologically minded shows.

Friday, 28 November 2014

For more than 20 years, Adbusters have admonished us through Buy Nothing Day to consume less - for the sake of our ecological life-support base, our fiscal solvency, our community health, and the hole in our soul that we try to fill with stuff. Adbusters advocate that on "Black Friday" 28 November, we stop buying for 24 hours, and shut off our lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances, park our cars, turn off our phones and log off of our computers for the day. Adbusters was the initial inspiration for Occupy Wall Street.

In Lawrence there are several opportunities to take your money from the big box consumer mills that are undermining our local economy, and instead buy from local producers and craftspersons, and fair-trade providers.

Friday-Saturday, 28-29 November 2014, 5:00-9:00pm Fri., 9:00am-5:00pm Sat.
Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044

Hundreds of local artists of unusual stripes will be selling their unique creations in this annual art fair. Types of items range from clothing to painting and sculpture to toys to household, and more. There will be local food and performances by local musicians. Bizarre Bazarre.

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 6:45-10:00pm
Van Go Arts, 715 New Jersey St., Lawrence KS 66044

Van Go, Inc. is an arts-based social service agency that provides year-round after-school and summer job-training programs to high-needs and under-served youth. The Adornment Show is one of their fund raisers that offers personal adornment art made locally by their program participants. For more info go to - http://www.van-go.org/

Saturday, 6 December 2014, 12noon-4:00pm
Prairie Moon Waldorf School, 1853 E. 1600 Road, Lawrence KS 66044 (1/2 mile E. of airport)
This is a delightful annual sale of lovingly crafted toys and crafts made entirely from natural materials. A silent auction will feature special items in the faire. There also will be hard to find books on Waldorf education, child rearing, biodynamic agriculture, Anthroposophy, and Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education. There will be local food and performances by local musicians. Prairie Moon Waldorf School.

Saturday, 6 December 2014, 10:00am-5:00pm
Lawrence Art Center, 940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044

A local tradition for over 30 years, the Lawrence Art Guild's annual Holiday Art Fair is a good place to find unique creative gifts this holiday season. This year's fair features over 30 Kansas artists, and live music from area musicians.

Saturday, 13 December 2014, 9:00am-5:00pm
Lawrence Holidome, McDonald Drive at 2nd Street, Lawrence KS 66044

The Lawrence Farmers Market Annual Holiday Market features local producers and craftspersons, and fair-trade providers. Artisan foods, seasonal produce, holiday crafts, etc. are available at the Holiday Market, a local alternative to the big box consumer mills that are undermining our local economy. Lawrence Holiday Market.


Peal oil deniers claim that world oil extraction decline has been averted, or else the only real problem worth worrying about is climate disruption. Consider Richard Heinberg's observations: "oil is essential to the functioning of the modern industrial world. We use it for just about all transportation, which is key to trade. It's also the fuel for construction, resource extraction (mining, fishing, forestry), and agriculture. Together, these sectors form the backbone of the real, physical economy of industrialized nations."

Whether or not there's actually an abundance of geological petroleum in some form, the cost of extracting and delivering it is rising ten percent per year, and that's the real problem. The conundrum is: if the price at the pump is too high, it stifles travel and trade and therefore the economy; but without a high retail price, producers can't afford the extreme extraction technologies such as fracked oil, Arctic oil, ultra-deepwater oil, and bitumen.

Meanwhile, climate champions claim the solution is low-carbon energy sources of solar and wind electricity, electric transportation, and energy efficiency. Heinberg responds: "Transitioning the electricity sector is a huge task [involving] soaring costs for energy storage, capacity redundancy, and grid upgrades. Even the most advanced batteries do a poor job of storing energy when compared to oil. That's why we're unlikely ever to see electric airplanes, tractors, ships, 18-wheel trucks, or bulldozers. And at the end of the day, efficiency is subject to the law of diminishing returns. We can't simply unplug a coal plant, plug in a solar panel, and go on expanding population and consumption. Peak oil and climate change are two sides of the same coin. [They both] demand that we reduce our fossil fuel dependency as rapidly as possible."

Again Heinberg: "Oil is stubbornly hard to substitute. This effectively spells the end of the historic period of rapid economic growth that began shortly after World War II. There is no way out. Inevitably, society will become less mobile and - this should be cause for much greater concern - it will either produce less food, or produce it in more labor-intensive ways. The end of growth will almost certainly entail financial and political turbulence with real human casualties. But from the standpoint of diagnosis and treatment, it simplifies everything marvelously. If our impending crises stem from fossil-fueled expansion of population and consumption, their resolution surely starts with a coordinated, planned, and managed program of decarbonization and degrowth.We must reduce population and energy consumption from fossil fuels, while minimizing the human and environmental impacts.

Read Heinberg's Muse Letter #268 in full at - Why Peak Oil Refuses to Die | Heinberg Museletter 268.

(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 Location, Missouri Farmers' Market Search by Location, and Missouri Farmers' Market Search by Map. Wherever you are, there is probably a market nearby!

Sunday, 7 December 2014, 1:00pm - $
Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, 1263 North 1100 Rd., Lawrence KS 66047
(courtesy Thad Holcombe)

The film chronicles the climate-change activism of seminary student Tim DeChristopher, who derailed a widely-protested federal oil and gas land sale, bidding millions of dollars to save thousands of pristine acres surrounding U.S. National Parks with no intention of paying. Tim served two years in prison for this act of civil disobedience. Sponsored by the Unitarian Fellowship, Kansas Interfaith Power & Light, and Lawrence Ecological Teams United in Sustainability. For info contact Daniel Bontempo deb193@gmail.com, and watch a trailer at http://www.bidder70film.com/#!trailer/cxbx.

10 December 2014, 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 Management Commission.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014, 5:30pm
Public Works Conference Room, City Hall ground floor, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS 66044

November 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, 10 December 2014, 7:00pm
Carnegie Building Conference Room, 200 West 9th St., Lawrence KS 66044

The December 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 toLawrence Pedestrian Coalition, or contact Mike Dupont com>.


U.S. Wind electricity is tops for October, nuclear is last
According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of Energy Projects, wind power provided over two-thirds (68.41%) of new U.S. electrical generating capacity in October. And of all new installed capacity for 2014, wind accounted for 2,189 MW (22.10%), followed by solar at 1,801 MW (18.19%), 241 MW of biomass (2.43%), 141 MW of hydropower (1.42%), and 32 MW geothermal (0.32%). Also, natural gas provided 5,373 MW (54.26%), and oil 47 MW (0.47%). There has been no new coal capacity added thus far in 2014. New capacity from renewable sources in 2014 is more than 37 times that from oil, coal, and nuclear combined.
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, 11 December 2014, 6:30pm
Lawrence Public Library, Meeting Room A (lower level), 7th & Vermont St.
, Lawrence KS 66044
Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Possible discussion topics:
  • Sustainability Action 2015 budget
  • Sustainability Action 2015 Annual Meeting
  • 2015 Board officer nominating committee
  • Board member recruitment
Everyone is welcome -http://www.sustainabilityaction.net/

Monday, 15 December 2014, 7:00pm
location TBA, 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 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.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014, 5:00pm
Parks & Rec Conference Room, 1141 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044

The December agenda will most likely include the Public Works 2015 street maintenance plans, which often involve modifications for bicycle lanes. 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 atBicycle Advisory Comm | agendas.
Saturday, 20 December 2014, 10:00am-3:00pm
838 Garfield St., Lawrence KS 66044
The Lawrence Fruit Tree Project will have a work day to smother and sheet-mulch the Bermuda grass with layers of cardboard and wood chips. Grass makes for a mostly bacterial soil which is not conducive to tree growth. Wood chips make for a mostly fungal soil which is what trees thrive in, as in a forest. They ask you to bring corrugated cardboard that is no smaller than 2ft by 3ft. Cardboard can be found in green cardboard recycling dumpsters throughout the city. As always, bring water and sun screen. Walking and bicycling to the orchard are encouraged. Please park cars on Delaware street.

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) Food Sovereignty & Permaculture -local control of food, permaculture workshops, tours, and crop mobs.

2) Bicycles & Alternative Transportation - promoting bicycles, complete streets, ride sharing, and electric vehicles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations - Bicycle Transportation Funding: Lawrence 2015 Budget

3) 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.

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

5) Energy Conservation & Renewables - reducing our carbon footprint by promoting a carbon diet, an energy diet, conservation, and decentralized renewable energy.
6) Prime Farmland Preservation - protecting Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.

7) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons from privatization and contamination, and restoring watersheds.
8) 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 Action; The Light Center eco-village; churches and civic groups; Kaw River Valley Food System farm-based economic development; Cultivate Kansas City; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; the National Sustainable Energy Network; the Kansas City Food Circle, and more.

ustainability 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 Fruit Tree Project

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