A Tribute to Ben Kjelshus

Ben Kjelshus, founder of the KC Food Circle and an organizer for the Green Party,  gave great ideas to our community.  His work toward building community enriched all our lives.  He was a contributor to KKFI for many years and on many topics.  Tune in to listen to our archives of Ben.

The environmental news for the week of 11/26/18:

11/21 Democracy Now reports:

* Leaders of the U.S. fossil fuel industry knew as early as 1954 that carbon dioxide pollution accumulating in the atmosphere posed a growing threat to life on Earth, but failed to warn the public. That’s according to new research published by a Stanford historian in the journal Nature Climate Change. He found that in the 1950s the American Petroleum Institute commissioned a study by a Caltech scientist which concluded global CO2 levels had risen by 5 percent in a century. It’s the earliest known industry-funded research into climate change, and the findings led in part to a 1965 report by President Lyndon Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee on the threat posed by global warming. Speaking to members of an oil industry conference that year, the American Petroleum Institute warned, “This report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action. The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world’s peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out.” The American Petroleum Institute would instead go on to fund decades of climate change denial while fighting efforts to switch to renewable energy sources.

* The governments of the U.S. and Canada warned that all romaine lettuce recently purchased or currently for sale is unsafe to eat in any form. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control warns the lettuce is at risk of containing a dangerous type of E. coli bacteria and should be thrown away. Last spring, an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine killed five people and sickened more than 200 others. That outbreak followed a decision by the Trump administration to shelve water-testing rules crafted under President Obama that could have prevented the outbreak.

11/23 Reuters reports:

* Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a government report issued on Friday that the White House called inaccurate. The Fourth National Climate Assessment, a congressionally mandated report written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impact of global warming on every corner of American society in a dire warning that is at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda. Global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor and broadly undermine human health the report said.  But it added that projections of further damage could change if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply curbed. The report clashes with policy under President Donald Trump, who has been rolling back Obama-era environmental and climate protections to maximize production of domestic fossil fuels, including crude oil, already the highest in the world, above Saudi Arabia and Russia. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said the new report was “largely based on the most extreme scenario.” Trump and several members of his cabinet have repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, arguing that the causes and impacts are not yet settled. Environmental groups said the report reinforced their calls for the United States to act on climate change. Thirteen government departments and agencies, from the Agriculture Department to NASA, were part of the committee that compiled the new report. The entire report can be viewed at www.globalchange.gov.

11/25 USA Today reports:

* This holiday season collides with what has become known as the great recycling crisis. Earlier this year, China, which for years has been America’s go-to nation for processing recyclables, started rejecting all but the cleanest, purest loads. This caused recyclables to pile up and prices to plummet. Values have fallen by half from pre-crisis levels. Cities across the U.S. are imposing higher collection fees, eliminating items they are willing to pick up or in a few cases, weighing whether to curtail recycling altogether. This is not good news for the environment. Roughly 35% of the nation’s total waste is diverted to recycling.  The crisis can be addressed in large measure by the way Americans recycle. Clean and sort the recyclable waste. Cardboard boxes are recyclable but not if they are smeared with battery acid or turkey grease. Some junk should not be in the recycling at all, such as spent garden hoses, lawn chairs or the industry’s top bugaboo, plastic bags.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS for the week of 11/26:

* The Status of Kansas Groundwater Resources, Monday, 26 November 2018, 7:00pm, Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 New Hampshire St, Lawrence KS 66044. This Jayhawk Audubon Program features Don Whittemore speaking on the groundwater resources of Kansas, including both quantity and quality issues of supply. Don Whittemore is a Senior Scientist Emeritus in the Geohydrology Section in the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas. * Bridging the Gap has flexible shifts to stuff envelopes at their West Bottoms office, 11/26 through 11/30, 9 a – 5 p. Volunteers must register in advance. Min age: 18. For more information and to sign up, please contact Amy Smith at 816-561-1062 or email volunteer@bridgingthegap.org and mention your preferred date and time. * 11/29 6:30 pm, Californos, 4124 Pennsylvania Ave, 64111. Green Drinks KC Winston Apple and Jarrod Ousley will be joining us to talk about how the most recent election may impact environmental issues. They’ll try to cover both sides of the metro, Winston on the Missouri side, Jerod on Kansas.

* Sustainability Action Network Meeting Thursday, 11/29, 6:30pm Lawrence Public Library, Study Room 3, 7th and Vermont St., Lawrence KS 66044

* LAWRENCE-DOUGLAS COUNTY BIKEWAY PLAN OPEN HOUSE Saturday, 12/1, 10:30am–1:30pm, Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., Lawrence The Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is working to update the Countywide Bikeway Plan. At this event you can learn more about bikeway Engineering-Enforcement-Education, etc., and share your thoughts about how to make Lawrence more bicycle friendly. Members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) will be at all of this open house to answer questions. Questions – contact Jessica Mortinger, Senior Transportation Planner at (785) 832-3165

* 12/1 Kansas City WildLands 18th Annual Red Cedar Christmas Tree Event Mildale Farm, Edgerton KS 66021 Generally, volunteer shifts will be 3 hours, between the timeframe of 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM. Min age: 13, with adult. All volunteers must register in advance by contacting Linda Lehrbaum at 816-561-1089, or email linda@bridgingthegap.org.

* 12/1, 12:00 – 3:00 PM Street Tree Planting, Waldo Neighborhood Kansas City, MO 64114. Volunteer to plant street trees in the Waldo neighborhood near Wornall and 75th Street in Kansas City, Missouri! No prior tree planting experience is necessary. Tools and equipment will be provided. Min age: 14, with adult supervision. Ages 14 – 16 must be accompanied by an adult, volunteering alongside them. Volunteers less than 18 must have parental co-signature on waiver. All volunteers must register in advance by completing online registration at @bridgingthegap.org or 816-561-1086.

* 12/2 Sowing Seeds – Restoration at the Lawrence River Trail: 1 – 3 pm, 8th Street Boat Ramp, North Lawrence. Native Lands LLC & Friends of the Kaw – Kansas Riverkeeper need volunteers to spread seeds over the reclaimed areas of the Lawrence River Trail. Thanks to volunteers, invasive species have been cleared from over 4 acres of forest this fall! Now, help fill those spaces with the seeds of native grasses and wildflowers. They’ll rest all winter and sprout in the spring.

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