Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Green: October 2009


MANHATTAN, Kan. - Dare to imagine a world where people matter more than corporate profits; where economic development is planned and carried out with respect to the natural systems; and agriculture produces food that is consumed locally with a broad biodiversity of choices. Impossible? Dr. Vandana Shiva thinks it is within our reach.

On October 16th Shiva brilliantly lectured on the interconnectedness of humanity's most urgent crises - food security, peak oil and climate change in a public lecture entitled: Soil, Not Oil: Food Security in an Age of Climate Change. Approximately 800 people filled McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University to hear the lecture sponsored by K-State's Women's Studies and Agriculture programs along with numerous other campus and community organizations.

Wes Jackson and The Land Institute

BASEHOR, Kan. - National Public Radio had a lengthy story yesterday about Wes Jackson and The Land Institute.

I used to have a getaway place in Chase County, and, because Wes was also involved in trying to resurrect a tiny unincorporated Chase County place called Matfield Green, he was a bit of a local fixture. From the radio story, it seems that Wes has literally gone back to his "roots," trying to encourage plant diversity through plant breeding programs aimed at natural sustainability.

I was pleased to hear that Wes and his crew are still kicking around. We need dreamers and long-term thinkers like Wes, whose goal is to work with the natural order of things and still provide for the food supplies needed by an ever-increasing population.

YOCEMENTO, Kan - The lesser prairie chicken may be threatened with extinction because of choices we are making.

Since European settlement of the Plains States began in the mid-1800's, we've been chipping away at the habitats of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC). As excessive grassland was plowed for crop production, LPC populations dwindled. Biologists estimate that about 90% of the LPC population was destroyed by the 1980's.

This species needs undisturbed open spaces to perform its famous mating dance. It is relatively intolerant of human structures and activity. Kansas is home to almost half of the world's LPC population. New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma also host this rare breed of prairie grouse.

TREECE, Kan. - Reading about the problems of the residents of Treece, Kansas, takes me back to a day when Carol, my office mate, told me about her bus trip from Wichita through Missouri, a trip that took her through my home town of Baxter Springs, Kansas, a Southeast Kansas town five miles or so from both the Missouri and Oklahoma border.

As Carol talked about the sights she saw on the trip, she asked about some hills she'd seen near Baxter Springs. "Are those the foothills of the Ozarks?"

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Women's Study Program at Kansas State University is bringing world-renowned environmental justice advocate, Dr. Vandana Shiva, to speak at KSU on Friday, October 16th, at 7:00 pm in the McCain Auditorium.

A native of India, Dr. Shiva is a trained physicist, ecofeminist, and founding member of Navdanya - "nine seeds" - a participatory research initiative on global environmental justice based in New Delhi.

Shireen Roshanravan, Ph.D., Asst. Professor of Women's Studies at KSU, is hoping that this upcoming event will have lasting benefits for progressive dialogue. Dr. Roshanravan told us...

TOPEKA, Kan. - For the past two years the Kansas legislature has devoted major energy trying to undo a decision made by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Director, Roderick Bremby, which prevented Sunflower Electric from moving ahead with the construction of two coal-fire power plants slated for construction in the southwest Kansas community of Holcomb.

Following the departure of Gov. Kathleen Sebeilus, Gov. Parkinson in private negotiations with Sunflower Electric Cooperative gave them what they wanted and put the health of Kansans at risk by having the legislature pass legislation that prevents KDHE from doing its job in the future.

GREENSBURG, Kan. - In May of 2007, Greensburg was struck with tragedy. A colossal tornado ripped through the town of 900, killing 11 people and destroying 95 percent of the community.

Left with nothing, the town made the decision to rebuild as the "greenest town in rural America." But now, as reported in the New York Times, Greensburg's efforts are setting them apart as one of the most environmentally-advanced towns in the country.

Mike Estes owns a John Deere dealership in Greensburg that has received the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification, the highest level possible and a goal that has yet to reached by some of the country's biggest cities. Greensburg is also home to a LEED platinum certified arts center and six other buildings anticipate to reach this level.

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