Climate in the Pub - next meeting:
Tues 8 Dec 7pm: Three Weeds, Evans Street, Rozelle
. . . and a chance to hear from you. We'll have a speaker to start the ball rolling - and then it'll be up to everyone to fire in whatever they want. Discuss where we are going; what CCBR could (or should) be doing more, or better; the state of the climate change debate in Australia; the Paris talks. Or just have a general "get to know you better" drink or two to round off the year.
If you want to find out more about the politics of climate change, or if you'd simply like to meet other CCBR supporters over a beer, why not come along to the meeting. No need to book, just turn up.
-previous meetings -
Climate in the Pub - How to Win Friends and Influence Policy
13th October 2015, at The Three Weeds, Rozelle
Numbers continue to grow for our meetings, and this was a record turn-out. The panel comprised
Ella Weisbrot, Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC)Phil Bradley, Climate Action Working Group, Greens NSW
Erin Watt, Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN)
and from their various contributions, and discussion afterwards, we learnt that a successful community group needed to:
- Focus on solutions
- In our case, focus on renewables
- Be a grass roots organisation
- Talk to people, one-on-one, and do it again and again
- At eco festivals, have models for people to play with so you can engage them in unthreatening conversations
- work hard and just keep going
- Form alliances with others
- Run specific campaigns - project focused work really attracts people.
Climate in the Pub - Climate and Human Health
11th August 2015, at The Three Weeds, Rozelle
Three leading doctors spoke persuasively on the threats from climate change and fossil fuel use.
Dr Peter Sainsbury points out that air pollution kills more people than the road toll in Australia: think asthma, emphysema, chronic lung and heart disease. An excellent report on coal and health in the Hunter released in February describes the effects of coal mining, transport and burning. "We don't need to be passive victims," observes Dr Sainsbury, "We need to fight in the Hunter, and elsewhere, to maintain jobs in agriculture and to create new ones in renewables."
Dr Sujata Allan lists among direct effects of climate change a rise in extreme weather events such as heat waves, "a 'silent killer', already causing 1100 deaths per year in Australia." Indirectly, climate change affects food security and disease distribution. Ross River and dengue fevers are moving south as the climate changes. "Children are particularly vulnerable - the early effects on their immune systems of exposure to pollutants can affect their lifetime health, and they are more at risk from extreme heat, infectious diseases and water shortages"Dr Helen Redmond notes that behaviours which create high greenhouse gas emissions are also bad for health directly - lots of driving of fossil-fueled vehicles, air travel, and a diet high in fat and processed foods. "The stomach has a big footprint. A low carbon lifestyle, including active transport, is both healthier and more sustainable."
Climate in the Pub - Solar Citizens
9th June 2015, at The Three Weeds, Rozelle
At our first Climate in the Pub meeting, we welcomed about 29 people, and introduced Jason Lyddieth and Alex Soderlund from the Solar Citizens organisation.
Jason and Alex talked about their organisation and campaign Solar Citizens - an opportunity for those with solar, or who want to install solar, to join together to ensure that the rights of solar owners are protected from attack either by governments or by the established fossil fuel energy companies. They mentioned several instances of how the united voice of many thousands of solar owners had pushed state governments on particular points.
While Australia's large-scale solar capacity is very low in international terms, it has quite a high domestic rooftop solar profile, and it is still growing fast, despite the federal government efforts to wind back renewable energy.
They talked about their efforts in promoting solar on private residences. We were told the take-up on private residences, whilst slowing, is still growing. In particular, Solar Citizens had argued strongly for the domestic part of the Renewable Energy Target (S-RET) to be preserved at full strength, which the Federal Government has agreed to.
They invited attendees to visit their website standupforsolar.org.au and sign the pledge as a Solar Citizen, or to go a stage further and become a Solar Neighbour (signing up friends and family) or a Solar Champion (contacting or meeting the local MP).
Jason also spoke of Solar Citizens' next big activity - a nationwide series of "Solar Shindigs", to take place in neighbourhoods in the 2nd last week of July). There will be more information about organising an event or joining one, on the Solar Citizens website very soon.
There was general discussion around the issues of solar panel financial viability (getting better all the time) and installing batteries (will be extremely viable within a year).
What About Paris
30th April 2015 at Balmain Town Hall
CCBR and Balmain Institute's joint meeting with The Climate Institute's John Connor was a great success with a packed meeting room, a lively introduction by John Doyle, and a very informative talk by John Connor, tracing the path of international climate negotiations up to and including the Paris talks due at the end of this year.
John Connor pointed out that Australia was well-placed to take an influential role as Chair of the UNFCCC Umbrella Group. (Although there is no formal list, the Group is usually made up of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the US.)
We are really grateful to John for giving his time to us for this talk - immediately after a full day in a round table meeting with Climate Minister Greg Hunt and other leaders.
Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle - PO Box 890 Rozelle, NSW 2039