SAN - 2011-08-30 - Sustainability Action Network - Announcements - Greater KC via Kaw River Valley (Lawrence, KS ~ K.C.))


30 August 2011

The SUSTAINABILITY ACTION NETWORK is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization. 
This Newsletter is an all-volunteer publication.  Your donation helps support our work.  Mail tax deductible donations to P.O.Box 1064, Lawrence KS 66044.

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.  

To join the Sustainability Action Network, please click this link - Become a Member of S.A.N. - and follow the instructions. 

Ongoing until Saturday, 3 September 2011
District of Columbia

The Canadian Tar Sands are a huge carbon bomb, and the Keystone XL Pipeline is its fuse.

As protestors continued their two week civil disobedience in the District of Columbia, a climate-exacerbated hurricane went through it.  Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground said "The bizarrely high water temperatures of at least 26°C extend all the way to southern New Jersey, which will make it easier for Irene to maintain its strength much farther to the north than a hurricane usually can, [and] make Irene a much wetter hurricane than is typical, since much more water vapor can evaporate into the air from record-warm ocean surfaces".  Sure enough, Masters later reported the "hurricane's torrential rains have unleashed one of the Northeast's greatest flood disasters".  A landfall hurricane is rare this far north according to Masters - "The only other hurricane to hit New Jersey since 1851 was the 1903 Category 1 Vagabond Hurricane."  More at - Irene's 1-in-100 year rains trigger deadly flooding : Weather Underground.

But not to worry.  On Friday, 26 August, the U.S. State Department released their final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Keystone XL Pipeline, essentially concluding "A pipeline that would greatly expand imports of oil sands crude from Canada won't significantly threaten water in the Great Plains or have much impact on climate change" (from McClatchy Newspapers) - State Dept. signs off on controversial oil sands pipeline.

Of course, many disagree.  Dr. James Hanson responded "that the Keystone XL pipeline awaiting approval from the president is like a dirty needle from a fellow oil addict, Canada.  If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that Obama was just greenwashing all along".  The position of Bold Nebraska is "We do not want to see it built.  We want to see investments in American-made energy, including domestic oil.  We want to see regulations including an Emergency Response Plan" -TransCanada Pipeline Background.  The Northern Plains Resource Council (a non-profit) said "Montana still has to issue a state permit.  Today's Final EIS fails to provide an Emergency Response Plan, or include a full review of the safety of tar sands pipelines to determine whether the current regulations are adequate for this type of highly corrosive oil. It also does not demonstrate the U.S.'s need for the Keystone XL pipeline" - EIS for Keystone XL lacks emergency response plan.  And scores of religious groups across the spectrum have publicly come out against it - Religious groups oppose Keystone XL pipeline.

Then again, according to Michele Bachmann, last week's hurricane is a message from God to get Washington's attention that they need to cut spending.  "We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane.  Government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending."

Read the EIS summary here - Keystone XL_EIS Executive Summary.pd.  Then prepare for the EIS Public Hearing in Topeka on 26 September - Keystone XL Pipeline EIS Public Hearings.pdf.
There are three other things you can do in solidarity from wherever you are:

1. Sign the petition to President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline -- we've already rocketed past our initial goal of 35,000 signatures and are hoping to add as many names as possible before we deliver it to White House officials on September 3rd.

2. Send in a solidarity message or photo to the people taking action at the White House.

3. Take part in Moving Planet -- a worldwide climate rally on September 24 -- and move beyond all fossil fuels in the loudest, most beautiful way possible.  

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Now that environmental lawyer, Stuart Smith, has sounded the alarm, scientists from Louisiana State University and U.C. Berkeley are on the case too.  "I think the primary source with high probability is associated with the Macondo well,"said Robert Bea, an internationally prominent petroleum engineer and professor emeritus at the Berkeley campus of the University of California.  LSU scientists have confirmed that it's "sweet Louisiana crude", the same type of oil that lies beneath the 'sealed' Macondo Well.

The Mobile Press-Register gathered samples which were examined by Ed Overton of the National Oceanagraphic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Having done much of the chemical work used by federal officials in 2010 to fingerprint the BP oil known as MC252, Overton concluded "After examining the data, I think it's a dead ringer for the MC252 oil, as good a match as I've seen".  But he added a caveat - "My guess is that it is probably coming from the broken riser pipe or sunken platform ... However, it should be confirmed, just to make sure there is no leak from the plugged well".  More at - New Evidence: Oil At BP's Deepwater Horizon Site Is From Macondo Well and Oil Fouling Gulf Matches BP's Macondo MC252 Oil.

Listen at KKFI-FM 90.1, or web-streaming at 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011, 9:00am ¤ If You Love This Planet  
Dr. Helen Caldicott's program will feature Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Nuclear Power & Weapons in Space.  He will have more revelations about how the weaponization of space and U.S. military spending protects companies profiting from the weaponization of space.  The U.S. Space Command's aim is to defund all social programs to fund new weapons, nuclear reactors and plutonium in space - Bruce Gagnon on U.S. plans for space supremacy.

Thursday, 1 September 2011
9:00am ¤ Greenpeace radio
The Greenpeace show is this week's featured program on Sprouts Radio.  Policy Analyst Jim Riccio will update listeners on the state of the Japanese Nuclear Disaster.
9:30am ¤ Making Contact will have Christian Parenti speaking about his new book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.
Friday, 2 September 2011, 9:30am ¤ Bioneers 2011 Radio Series   
Bioneers presents "Education for Action: Reinventing Everything".  Perhaps the single greatest systems error of human civilization is the illusion that people are somehow separate from nature - not subject to the ground rules for the rest of the web of life.  As a result, we're getting an environmental education the hard way -- because when you fight nature, you lose.  Join ecoliteracy leaders David Orr and Dr. Anthony Cortese and young educational social entrepreneur Jess Rimington for an inspiring teach-in on how educators and students are creating a living curriculum for an engaged society that's solving problems while studying them.

Monday, 29 August 2011, 6:00pm¤ locally produced Eco-Radio KC
Hosted by a co-operative team of eco-advocates, EcoRadio KC explores our interdependence with the rest of the world, showing the connections between the ways we choose to live and the health of the whole community of life.


A wide area around the Fukushima plant "could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels." (N.Y. Times).  An excellent source of the Japanese perspective on Fukushima and other issues, Japan Focus, reported "The formal announcement, expected from the government in coming days, would be the first official recognition that the March accident could force the long-term depopulation of communities near the plant, an eventuality that scientists and some officials have been warning about for months." - From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Japan Set to Declare Wide Area Uninhabitable Due to Radiation.
We suggest readers avail themselves of reports from the following sources.  Nuclear Information and Resource Service - Nuclear Crisis in Japan - UpdatesReader Supported News - Disaster in Japan - 21 March 2011, andFairewinds Associates - Updates on Fukushima.

Saturday, 10 September 2011  -  FREE
Fair from 10:00am-4:00pm, Home Tours at 10:30am & 1:30pm
Community Building, 115 West 11th Street, Lawrence, KS

The eleventh annual Energy Conservation Fair will feature a wide range of energy conservation organizations and companies, and an expert line-up of speakers and presenters.  The venue is downtown, centrally located, and the Lawrence Transit System will give free rides to the event and on all fixed routes.  The first 100 children receive a free T-shirt!  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 the Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling Office, who also sponsor the Energy Fair itself.  To learn more, visit -, or call 832-3030.  Also find them at

Sunday, 11 September 2011, 10:00am-7:00pm  -  FREE
The Uptown Shoppes, 3600 Broadway, K.C. MO 64111 (at Valentine Rd.)

The Green Fest is an eco-friendly celebration that promotes sustainable and healthful living, highlights local businesses that provide eco-solutions, and provides information on healthful living to the Kansas City community.  It's a family oriented event with six bands, food vendors, performance artists, speakers, food demonstrations, a farmers' market, and recycle shop.  For more info go to - K.C. Green Fest


The renowned Institute for Food & Development Policy, begun by Francis Moore Lappe 30 years ago, has posted info from the latest WikiLeaks cables.  Not surprising to readers who follow the GMO push worldwide, the cables reveal new details of the U.S. effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont.  In some cables, U.S. diplomats ask the State Department for funds to send US biotech experts and trade industry representatives to target countries for discussions with high-profile politicians and agricultural officials - US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide.

Unlike in the U.S. where it's a crime to state on a food label that the product does not contain GMOs, the rest of the world supports full disclosure so people can make informed choices.  So high awareness levels in many countries like France and Germany mean some products are banned, and sales of GMO's are low.  If you want to inform yourself about GMO dangers, go to - Institute for Responsible Technology.  And a handy guide is available from - Non-GMO Shopping Guide, where you can print out the guide or buy a pocket guide.

Wednesday, 14 September - Saturday, 17 December 2011  -  $$$
Dreher 4-H Building, Douglas County Co-op Extension, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence KS

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 instructor will be Michael Almon, with consultation by Michael Morley.  The registration form is available at - K.P.I.-Course-Fall-2011-Registration-Form.pdf.  For more info contact Steve Moring at (785)691-7305 or .

Wednesday, 14 September 2011, 5:30pm
Lawrence City Hall, Planning Dept. Conference Room, 1st Fl, 6 East 6th St., Lawrence KS

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 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011, 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, 15 September 2011, 7:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, 7th & Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044
This meeting of Transition Kaw Valley will continue efforts to mobilize the creativity, talents, and resources in Lawrence to create a relocalized, sustainable community.  Transition Kaw Valleyis addressing climate disruption and peak oil inflation at the local level, a relocalization effort similar to hundreds around the globe.  By working together, the whole will be more than the sum of the parts.  The U.S. Transition Movement is coordinated by Transition US based in Sebastapol CA.  For more info, or to get on the S.A.N. Transition Kaw Valley e-mail list, contact them at .

Sunday, 18 September 2011, 6:30pm
Community Mercantile class room, 901 Iowa St., Lawrence KS 66044

Local Solutions for Transition to a Sustainable Economy
Organizing societal scale action in our personal lives, and through public policy changes.
The meeting agenda will include:  
  • Lawrence Peak Oil Plan - City Commission to review it
  • USDA-NIFA grant application report
  • other grant possibilities: Elizabeth Schultz Fund; Natural Heritage Program
  • Transition Kaw Valley - Update and next steps?
  • community workshops: super adobe, solar food dehydrator, cold frames, bat houses, etc.
  • S.A.N. web site: list serve, content, pay pal, etc.
Please join us

Monday, 19 September 2011, 7:00pm
location to be determined - Lawrence, KS 66046

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.

Friday-Sunday, 23-25 September 2011  -  $$
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 Richard Heinberg and Naomi Klein, and films and tours will be featured over the weekend.  Registration is open with info and a form at - The Land Institute - 2011 Prairie Festival.


This is a world wide movement started by for a day to put demand for climate action into motion - marching, bicycling, skating, organizing - calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.  Each community is asked to organize an event or series of events that dramatize the issue in creative, moving messages.  For more info, go to - Moving Planet | A day to move beyond fossil fuels.

Monday, 26 September 2011, 12:00pm-3:30pm, & 4:00pm-8:00pm
1 Expocenter Drive, Topeka KS 66612

On Friday, 26 August, the U.S. State Department released their final Environmental Impact Statement (E.I.S.) on the Keystone XL Tarsands Oil Pipeline.  At that time, as required by the National Environmental Protection Act, they announced 90 days for public comment, including a series of public hearings in the states through which the pipeline would run.  The very first day for hearings, 26 September, will include two sections of hearings in Topeka.  Even though the only section of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that is already in place is the part through Kansas, stopping construction of the other sections is just as effective for stopping the whole project - a chain is as strong as it's weakest link.  Here's the official announcement for hearings - Keystone XL Pipeline EIS Public Hearings.pdf

Current S.A.N. projects include:

1) Transition Kaw Valley - initiating transition to a relocalized post-carbon economy, and municipal-level Peak Oil response planning - Transition Kaw Valley

2) Kaw Permaculture Collaborative and Kansas Permaculture Institute - developing skills and resources for polyculture sustainable food production - Kaw Permaculture Collaborative   

3) Eco Village Land Trust - Designing and focalizing a sustainable intentional community near Lawrence.

4) Growers' Land Trust - organizing interested stakeholders to acquire prime farmland in the urban fringe for land-based economic development and regional food security.

5) Weekly Sustainability Announcements - informing and encouraging others to become active in the Sustainability Action Network, or other action driven groups.

6) Water Rights and Watersheds - protecting the water commons, the source of all life, from privatization and contamination, and restoring our watersheds.

7) Electric & Human Powered Vehicles - promoting neighborhood electric vehicles and utility tricycles, including infrastructure and pro-active regulations.

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; Transition Kansas City; Citizens for Responsible Planning; Kansas River Valley Growers fighting for local water rights; national efforts by the Sustainable Energy Network; the Kansas City Food Circle, the All Species Project, and more.

We welcome suggestions for items to be included.  Please send items to com> or .

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