21 September 2010
ECO RADIO KC ¤ WEEKLY ECOLOGICAL ISSUES RADIO SHOW
Tuesday, 21 September 2010, 12:00noon-1:00pm ¤ on Kansas City Community Radio
Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or on web-streaming at http://www.kkfi.org/
On Eco-Radio KC this week, host Reenie Carmack will interview will be discussing her philosophy of health, and why "alternative medicine" is so vital in helping solve some of the current ecological and environmental problems facing our planet today. To learn more, read her article in this month's "EVOLVING" magazine - "Decrease Toxins to Improve Health", p. 7.
On Friday at 9:30am, listen as the Bioneers radio series presents "Don't Mourn, Organize: Power and Passion for Environmental Justice and Democracracy". Somewhere in a typical American city, a woman wakes up to the noxious odors of a nearby sewage treatment plant. Her daughter carries a rescue inhaler to school. Like hundreds of her neighbors, this woman is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Women and men from vulnerable communities everywhere are rising up to gain equal access to clean water and air, equal environmental enforcement and protection, and equitable land use and planning. Impassioned community organizers Mary Gonzales and Peggy Shepard show us all how successful environmental justice campaigns across the U.S. are raising the voices of people of color and low-income communities and creating a better world for everyone.
LAWRENCE BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Tuesday, 21 September 2010, 6:00pm
Public Works Conference Rm., City Hall Ground Floor, 6th & Massachusetts St.
The agenda will include: the City ordinance against bicycles on sidewalks, bicycle parking downtown, a bicycle side-path on Iowa from 15th-to-Yale Streets, 7th Street bicycle bridge over Iowa St., and more. The 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 & minutes.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010, 10:09 PM CDT
The Earth passes the point in our solar orbit where the northern hemisphere begins tilting away from the Sun, and Autumn begins. "The fool on the hill sees the Sun going down, but the eyes in his head sees the world spinning around". - John Lennon.
MYTH OF THE NUCLEAR MIRACLE CROWDS OUT EFFICIENCY & RENEWABLES
"The so-called French nuclear miracle embraced by some U.S. policymakers as a model for this nation is a misconception masking a pattern of fast-rising nuclear reactor construction costs and a crowding out of investments in renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydro-electric power." This finding is from a new study by the Vermont Law School's Institute for Energy and the Environment - Policy Challenges of Nuclear Reactor Construction Crowding out Alternative Energy - pdf.
Study author Mark Cooper, the VLS Institute's senior research fellow for economic analysis, said: "The problems in the French nuclear industry are similar to the problems that have long afflicted the U.S. industry, so there it no reason to believe that things will change if the U.S. follows the French path. Nuclear power will remain a great burden on ratepayers, as has been the case throughout its history in both France and the U.S., and it will retard the development of lower-cost renewables alternatives, as it has done in France and portions of the U.S
Some of the report's key findings are:
- The increasing complexity of nuclear reactors make standardization difficult, and the more recent, more complex technologies are more costly to construct.
- Building larger reactors to achieve economies of scale causes construction times to increase,
offsetting the cost savings of larger reactors.
- The commitment to nuclear reactors in France and the U.S appears to have crowded out
alternatives. The French track record on efficiency and renewables is extremely poor compared
to similar European nations, as is that of the U.S.
- In the U.S., state not interested in nuclear reactors have a better track record on efficiency and renewable and more aggressive plans for development of efficiency and renewables.
- Such "no nuclear" states had ten times as much non-hydro renewable energy in their 1990 generation mix, set RPS goals for the next decade that are 50 percent higher, spent three times as much on efficiency in 2006, and saved over three times as much energy in the 1992-2006 period.
- In both nations, nuclear reactors are substantially more costly than the alternatives.
INTRO TO PERMACULTURE ETHICS, PRINCIPLES & DESIGN ¤ LECTURE SERIES
Weekly on Thursdays, 23 Sept. - 18 Nov. 2010, 6:00-9:00pm - $$$
Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park KS
This nine-session course is being offered by Steve Moring of the Kaw Permaculture Collaborative. If the registrant chooses, it can be combined with more extensive training leading to a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Kansas Permaculture Institute. The course consists of 48 hours of lecture, video and field work covering topics including food security, permaculture ethics, ecological principles, system design, sustainable soils, food production, earth works and construction of human habitats.
The first session is "Food Security and Energy Depletion" with a video "The Power of Community". The full course costs $240, or a $30.00 admission fee will be requested at the door. The fees will support both the K.P.C. and it's parent organization, Sustainability Action Network. For more information contact Steve Moring at 785-691-7305 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WENDELL BERRY: AUTHOR AND BIOREGIONALIST
Thursday, 23 September 2010, 7:00pm - FREE
Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City MO 64113
"To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival" - Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry is a longtime bioregionalist and wholistic thinker, whose life is fully consistent with his ethics. His poetry, fiction and essays embrace the earth with reverence, ponder the values of the good life, and celebrate the miracle of ordinary relationships. The author of more than 50 books, Berry taught at New York University and the University of Kentucky. He lives and farms in Kentucky. His honors and awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.
The talk is co-sponsored by The Land Institute, a non-profit research, education, and policy organization dedicated to sustainable agriculture based on perennial grain crops. An exhibit entitled Art of the Prairie accompanies Berry’s appearance, featuring the works of regional artists Louis Copt, Dan Coburn, Phil Epp, Allan Chow, James Borger and Arlie Regier. The exhibit will be in the church’s first floor gallery beginning 9 September.
MISSOURI ¤ AGROFORESTRY OR WOOD FIRED ELECTRIC GENERATION?
Over the past 150 years, atmospheric CO2 increase has been attributed to increased fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and land use changes. To reduce atmospheric CO2 from its current level of 392 parts per million (ppm) down to a safe level of 350ppm, there are two main strategies: reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, and increase CO2 sequestration. But there has been a schizophrenic view of the role of biomass in finding solutions to climate change. Although it's true that biofuels offset fossil fuel CO2 emissions, biomass removed from the land releases sequestered CO2. It is becoming increasing clear that we can't have it both ways - Studies Deem Biofuels a Greenhouse Threat.
Because biofuels from crops like corn or soy have a minimal or negative energy return, attention has been directed toward biofuels from crop waste (stalks). But agronomists point out that global soils hold twice as much CO2 as does global vegetation - crops, grasslands, forests, etc. - Carbon Sequestration in Soils. So if crop waste is removed, it is not stored in the soil, plus soil fertility drops with the drop of soil organic matter.
Similarly, forest biomass is being promoted as a "renewable" energy source. On 23 August 2010, Sen. Bond hosted a discussion of biomass as a source of clean energy and a boost to the state economy. "Just like corn and soybeans, trees and grasses are a biofuel waiting to be developed in Missouri." Bond encouraged state and local elected leaders, and business owners to support tax incentives to encourage the use of wood waste and other biomass products - Sen. Bond touts forest biomass energy at MU roundtable. But when woody biomass is removed, the CO2 in the trees is released, and any biomass renewal will take decades to recapture that lost CO2.
There currently are as many as six large wood burning electric generating facilities being planned in Missouri, leading to an unprecedented new demand on forests - "Liberty Green Renewables" in Perryville (400,000 tons annual), "Viburnum Eco-Devo Corp." in Viburnum (325,000 ton annual), "ProEnergy" in Salem (325,000 ton annual), "University of Missouri" at Columbia (100,000 tons annual), "Springfield City Utilities" (100,000 tons annual), and "Fort Leonard Wood" in Rolla (tonnage being studied). Generating electricity by burning wood is the least efficient use, converting only 25% of caloric energy. The potential 1.5 million tons annual use would produce only 125MW. Compare this to the fourteen wind farms in Iowa that generate over 150MW each.
A far better use of forests is for agroforesty, for nut crops, riparian buffers, inter-planting with berry crops, and silvopasture (adding 25% tree coverage to pasture land). This can be very productive economic development sustained over time (rather than just burning up the resource). The Center for Agroforestry: University of Missouri promotes and funds a wide range of such programs through their Horticulture & Agroforestry Research Center. Unfortunately, because such institutions at the University of Missouri are largely funded by heavy hitters in St. Louis like Anheuser-Busch and Monsanto, the Center also promotes woody biomass for bioenergy. Their MU Agroforestry Center 2009 Annual Report has a "spotlight" article on page 18 titled "UMCA Looks to Future With Biofuels", in which they explore the "fuel chip" technology and distribution for the very type of woody biomass electric generation facilities mentioned above.
It appears that sustainable agriculturists and permaculturalists are in a struggle with the exploitative economic development folks over the fate of Missouri forests and Missouri energy policy. It seems it will replicate the struggle over wind energy vs. coal energy in Kansas.
CITY OF LAWRENCE COMPOST SALE
Thursday-Saturday, 23-25 September 2010, 8:00am-3:00pm (til 4:00 on Sat.)
The material is composted from leaves, grass clippings, and prunings collected by the City. Quantities are restricted to pick-ups and small trailers for residential use, not commercial use. Cost is $10 per load if loaded by tractor, or free if self-loaded by hand. For more info, contact the Waste Reduction and
THE 2010 PRAIRIE FESTIVAL AT THE LAND INSTITUTE
Friday-Sunday, 24-26 September 2010 - $$
2440 East Waterwell Rd., Salina KS 67401
Wendell Berry will be the keynote speaker at this year's Prairie Festival, but there is a great lineup beyond him. Some other presenters will include: ecologist Sandra Steingraber, Seed Savers Exchange co-founder Kent Whealy, and economist Josh Farley. The festival is an annual mecca for some of the best thinkers and doers on sustainable agriculture, economics, and energy policy. For more info and registration go to The Land Institute - 2010 Prairie Festival.
PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE ¤ BY PATRICIA ALLISON
Saturday-Saturday, 25 September-9 October 2010 - $$$$
Wildscape Acres, Bonham TX 75418, (828)669-7632
Patricia Allison is the lead instructor, along with Dylan Ryals-Hamilton and Mateo Ryall. Ms. Allison is a member of Earthhaven Ecovillage in North Carolina, and has taught permaculture design courses since 1994. Information on the Permaculture Design Course, including an extensive curriculum can be viewed at Permaculture Design Course - Allison. A Dallas-Fort Worth internet radio station, Enlumnia Radio, has an hour-long interview with Ms. Allison - Patricia Allison interview on Sustainable Planet. At about 14 minutes into it, she begins describing permaculture design.
The course will be held at Wildscape Acres which has it's own permaculture design in process. Completion of the course will result in a Permaculture Design Certificate. To register, call Melissa at (828)669-7632, or e-mail <email@example.com>.
"OUR LOCAL FOOD FEST"
Friday, 1 October 2010, 6:00pm - $$
Liberty Hall, 642 Massachusetts St., Lawrence KS 66044
This is a fun and informative event sponsored by the farms that grow food within the North East Kansas region of twelve counties, and locally owned businesses that support them. There will be presentations about various local school gardens, and proceeds will go to support those programs. There also will be local food samplings, children's activities, and a screening of What's on Your Plate?. Watch the Whats On Your Plate? trailer here. For more info go to Our Local Food-Kaw River Valley.
ELECTORAL POLITICS FORUM: "ELECTIONS & KANSAS LEGISLATURE IN 2010"
Friday, 1 October 2010, 7:00pm
ECM Center, 1204 Oread Ave., Lawrence KS 66044 (one block from K.U.)
This forum is being sponsored by the Kansas Sierra Club, Wakarusa Chapter, and will highlight the political races, candidates, and noteworthy issues to be addressed by the Kansas Legislature in their upcoming session. The public is welcome.
KAW VALLEY FARM TOUR ¤ LOCAL-REGIONAL FOOD SUPPLIERS
Saturday-Sunday, 2-3 October 2010, 10:00am-6:00pm - $$
self-guided tour of 22 participating farms
This annual tour of sustainably run farms covers a broad range from a bee apiary to a bison ranch to school-based CSA/gardens to orchards to wineries to market farms and goat dairies. The common thread is that these operations all are local-regional food suppliers, are as ecologically sustainable as farms can get, and acre-for-acre their specialty crops contribute more significantly to the local economy than do commodity mono-culture crops. More info at Kaw Valley Farm Tour 2009
10/10/10 ¤ COMMUNITY ACTION CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
Sunday, 10 October 2010
350.org, the inspiration of Bill McKibben, has launched 10/10/10, a major campaign of grassroots action on climate disruption. On 10 October 2010, they are asking communities world wide to plan some tangible and real action locally that will contribute to reversing CO2 emissions, global temperature rises, and the 480ppm atmospheric concentration of CO2. These solutions could be planting trees or community gardens, installing solar collectors or wind turbines, holding bicycle workshops, etc. They have some suggested Ideas For Your 10/10 Work Party. At present, some local actions range from building community gardens in Kansas City, to Lawrence events of a farm day at Mellowfields Urban Farm and a film screening at the ECM. We'll report more events as they are announced.
KANSAS ENERGY CONFERENCE
(formerly KANSAS WIND & RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE)
Tuesday-Wednesday, 12-13 October 2010 - $$$
Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center, Wichita KS
Even though the name change seems to imply the "all of the above" energy policy of BP (coal, nuclear, oil, wind, solar, natural gas), the program seems to focus on wind, solar and efficiency as in the past. But program details are scarce, and a list of speakers is not yet available. Will it be worth traveling to Whichita? Stay tuned - Kansas Energy Conference 2010
BIONEERS ¤ CELEBRATING 21 YEARS OF BREAKTHROUGH SOLUTIONS
Friday-Sunday, 15-17 October 2010 - $$$
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 conferences with 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: Jane Goodall, Peter Warshall, Jessy Tolkan, James Hansen, Mallika Dutt, John A Powell, and more. A particularly notable session will be "The Buckminster Fuller Challenge: Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science". The Challenge awards a $10,000 prize for whole-systems solutions to global crises, and finalists will present their proposals. For conference info, schedule, and registration go to the 2010 Bioneers Conference.
Revolution From the Heart of Nature
It's all alive; it's all connected; it's all intelligent; it's all relatives
The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK, Inc. is a Kansas not-for-profit organization. DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED, and checks can be mailed to P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044. Our mission is to advocate and organize societal scale action to address sustainability issues. The triple crises of Energy-Ecology-Economy are building so rapidly that large scale action is needed immediately and methodically to overcome institutional barriers and advance public policy that preserves ecological sustainability. Our focus is to build a relocalized economy-ecology in concert with the Transition Town movement occurring in many other communities. To join the Sustainability Action Network please contact us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Our current projects include:
1) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy, and municipal level Peak Oil response planning.
2) Kaw Permaculture Collaborative - developing skills and resources for poly-cropping sustainable food production.
3) Energy Conservation & Renewables - advancing a green economy through decentralized technologies and regulations, for conservation and renewable energy.
4) Land Consortium - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.
5) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.
6) Electric & Human Powered Vehicles - promoting neighborhood electric vehicles and utility tricycles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.
7) Weekly Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action driven groups.
8) Collaboration with sister organizations - such as: The Light Center eco-village; Kaw Valley Food System farm-based economic development; Citizens for Responsible Planning; Films for Action; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; national efforts by the Sustainable Energy Network; KC Metro groups like the Kansas City Food Circle and the All Species Project, etc.
We welcome suggestions for items to be included. Please send items to <email@example.com>
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