2006 Election  
2007 Election  


2015-16 diary

17th September 2016: We gathered for photos at Ballast Point Park, calling on AGL to go Fossil Free.

21st August 2016: We had a stall at the Footprints EcoFestival, where Kate handed round her "Ugly Food" soup, we collected signatures on petitions calling for a Climate Energency to be declared, and calling on AGL to shift to renewables faster.

19th April 2016: We attended Leichhardt Council's "Climate Conversations", where Tim Silverwood spoke about throwaway plastics' effect on marine life. At our stand we asked "what does it take to make it?" about everyday objects: think before you throw things out. Also, with the election coming up, we asked people to fill in thought bubbles saying "I'm voting climate in 2016 because..."

14th November 2015: We handed out nearly 2,000 flyers about the People's Climate March to people in Balmain, Rozelle, Lilyfield (Orange Grove), Annadale, Leichhardt and Glebe.

17th October 2015: CCBR members Kate Marcus and Angela Michaelis presented a "Fridge First" workshop at Annandale Community Centre as part of Leichhardt Council's "Treading Lightly" and the statewide "Love Food Hate Waste" programs. Encouraging people to use leftovers from the fridge to make new, appetising meals (thus saving money and reducing waste), Kate & Angela demonstrated their recipes - producing a meal for all the participants to enjoy afterwards. Like an earlier session at Strathfield, the session was booked out well in advance.

9th June 2015: Our first "Climate in the Pub" meeting at the Three Weeds, where 29 people met with our guests from Solar Citizens, and discussed the growth of, and challenges facing, rooftop solar PV electricity.

3rd June 2015: We handed over our petition calling for a Renewable Energy Target for NSW - undiluted, undelayed - to Balmain MP Jamie Parker at NSW Parliament House. The petition had 798 signatures, and another 303 online.

30th April 2015: Our What About Paris meeting (jointly with Balmain Institute) was packed out to hear John Connor CEO of The Climate Institute explain Australia's role in international climate talks leading up to Paris in December 2015, and the task in front of Australia to reduce its emissions enough to match international efforts to limit warming to 2 degrees.

18th April 2015: CCBR had a stall at Leichhardt Council's "Our Solar Future" launch at Leichhardt Town Hall. First opportunity to collect signatures for our RET petition.

March 2015: Handed out nearly 2,000 election scorecards outlining the Balmain candidates' responses to our questions on climate change policies. The leaflets were generally very well received.

28th February 2015: Joined the last day of the Walk for Water from Bridgewater Park, Rozelle, to Parliament House and then Hyde Park. Jamie Parker and Verity Firth both addressed the walkers as they set off.

23rd February 2015: Hosted Coal and Health Forum jointly with Balmain Defenders at Glebe Town Hall.

14th February 2015: Out in force at a forum at the Balmain Institute to quiz the election candidates for the seat on their environmental credentials.

5th November 2014: CCBR held its AGM, electing new office bearers and acommittee of 7!

1st November 2014: Stall at Petersham EcoFest

24th August 2014: CCBR had a stall at the Leichhardt Council Footprints EcoFestival at Whites Creek Park, Annandale. For the first time we demonstrated a full-size solar PV panel powering a selection of domestic LED lights, with Gavin & Warren on hand to explain them. In another first, Kate made soup (for over 100 people!) from "reject" vegetables: the pieces that supermarkets consider too unattractive to sell, and would otherwise be bullodozed into greenhouse gas-producing landfill. Nice soup too! And we surveyed over 140 people on whether they had considered solar PV for their house, and what the problems were. Plus the always fascinating concentrated solar thermal model from BZE.

26th March 2014: CCBR had a stall at the recent "Sustainable City Living" forum hosted by Leichhardt Municipal Council. It was the first opportunity for us to talk about some of the new initiatives we are getting started on - from Food waste and composting through to Solar PV and LED lighting, not to mention our low-carbon kitchen ideas. They are all aimed at finding ways for local people to get involved in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Watch out for more, much more about this in the weeks and months to come.


Jan, 2006 - 5 people decided to incorporate "Climate Change Balmain - Rozelle"

Feb, 2006 - Website development, formation of vision and mission.

April, 2006 - Letterboxed 10,000 postcards in the local area - launching CCBR, raising awareness on Climate Change, raising awareness on coal fired power and it's connection to greenhouse gases and promoting our inaugral fundraiser

May, 2006 - Ist monthly Newsletter. Informing locals on current news and activities about Climate Change. Each newsletter includes a letter to lobby politicians.

May 6, 2006 - Cool Change Curry Night Fundraiser. Over 100 people gathered for a very successful fundraiser dinner. Speakers Geoff Evans, Bev Smiles and Cate Faermann.

May 19, 2006 - Article in the SMH. Solar Sell: residents provide the energy to halt climate change. http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/solar-sell-residents-provide-the-energy-to-halt-climate-change/2006/05/19/1147545529277.html

May, 2006 - Started a short regular news spot in the local school newsletters - outlining tips, facts, and upcoming events about Climate Change - fortnightly

May, 2006 - local Balmain resident donates $40,000 worth of photovoltaic solar panels to be put onto local schools. (April, 2008 - still battling it out and wading through red tape to be allowed by the state authorities to do so!!)

June 5, 2006 - World Environment Day CCBR joined others in supporting a colourful flotilla to occupy the world's largest coal exporting port - protest organised by Newcastle's Rising Tide.

June, 2006 - CCBR distributed fridge flyers to children at local primary schools. Flyers had 5 tips to reduce your electricity usage - plus asked people to lok at and record their KwH usage over 3 billing periods.

June 10, 2006 - CCBR attends Australian Premier of Al Gore's, An Inconvenient Truth. Sydney Film Festival and Creates a prescence outside the State Theatre after the movie.

June, 2006 - Local environmental auditor offers to do free energy audits for CCBR supporters.

August, 2006 - CCBR holds stalls weekly at local markets. The stalls have proforma letters to sign, petitions and information on reducing your carbon footprint plus general info about Global warming.

Sept. 5, 2006 - CCBR & The Glebe Society host a community screening of 'An Inconvenient Truth' at Norton St Cinema. Speaker: Julie-Anne Richards.

..........Too busy to keep a proper record here :-(......

March 22, 2007 - Article in SMH: No campaign, No gain. http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/no-campaign-no-gain/2007/03/20/1174153064540.html

Sep 2008 Submission to Federal Government's CPRS Green Paper

Feb 2009 CAG Summit, Canberra (Jenny's speech)

Apr 2009 Submission to Department of Climate Change's Exposure draft of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation

Oct 2009 - CCBR provided a free public screening of "The Age of Stupid" at Leichhardt Town Hall. Over 200 people attended.

Oct 2009 Submission to NSW State Government's Major Infrastructure Planning, Bayswater B Power Station Proposal The response can be found here.

Submission to NSW State Government's Major Infrastructure Planning, Mount Piper Extension Power Station Proposal.The response can be found here.

Dec 2009 Joint meeting with Tanya Plibersek and representatives of Vision Generation, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Climate Action Network Australia, Make Poverty History, and Climate Action Newtown.

Dec 2009 Walk Against Warming (Jenny's Speech)

Jan 2010 Submission on The Treatment of 'Solar Credits' Renewable Energy Certificates under the RET is here.

... record discontinued - too busy doing.

 History of Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle 

Like many similar groups, Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle began because a few individuals saw a desperate need for change and set out to galvanise many. However, this group differs from others in one key respect: 
CCBR was the first climate change action group in Australia to be run by local residents for local residents

The evolution

The seeds of the group were sown in July 2005 at a global warming forum at the Balmain Town Hall. A small group of parents and residents began meeting with a view to creating a local action group. This embryo group was initially nurtured by the environmental organisation the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and began meeting regularly and having a presence at local shopping precincts and markets.
In early 2006, five members of the original working party decided that the most effective way to bring about real change within the local community was to focus their energies on a single key issue and they formed a new, completely non-partisan group. Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle was incorporated on February 3, 2006. 

Our achievements

With a working party made up of a core of the earliest members, the highly motivated Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle group has a growing local supporter base and has made considerable gains in its short life, including: 

•    A fundraising dinner which attracted over 70 people and raised more than $3,000
•    A letterbox drop of 10,000 postcards to every household in the Balmain/Rozelle neighbourhood introducing the group
•    Attracting the attention of established green groups and being approached for advice by other local communities
•    Widespread media coverage, including headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald and coverage on the ABC 7.30 report.
•    The launch of its Solar Schools project

Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle will continue to concentrate on one of the biggest issues facing the local community - the predilection of governments (both state and federal) for fossil fuels and their support for industries which produce energy from damaging and unsustainable resources, notably coal. As well as lobbying governments, Climate Change will encourage the residents and businesses of Balmain and Rozelle to take their own action by choosing renewable, clean sources of energy.

There is so much to come.


Sep 2011

Aug 2011

    July 2011

    June 2011

     May 2011

    (See also Newsletters,  Letters to Newspapers)


    2006 NSW State Election 

    On Nov 30, 2006 CCBR met with the candidates of the 3 major parties standing for the seat of Balmain to present them with our CCBR Position Statement on Coal, Nuclear,Renewables and Demand Management .We have transcribed some of the discussions at that meeting for your information. 

    Position Statement - November 2006 
    jump to the politicians' responses.
    Demand Management 

    Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle (CCBR) has built its campaign around coal on the basis that it's the worst of greenhouse offenders. Our predilection for coal has to be addressed, at a government, community and personal level. This includes informing people about the dangers of coal, and its role in climate change, as well as lobbying governments. 

    Coal is one of - if not the - dirtiest of energy sources, which produces far more CO2 than other fossil fuels such as oil or gas. In Australia coal supplies 88% of our electricity, which in turn produces 35% of our greenhouse gas emissions. It is clear that if we reduce our reliance on coal-fired electricity, and turn instead towards safe, renewable forms of energy, then we also reduce the pollution that causes climate change. 

    CCBR abhors the fact that Australia's coal industry - the source of so much global warming - is heavily supported and subsidised by state and federal governments. 

    Coal Mining 
    There are more than 100 mines producing black coal in Australia, with at least 45 more in various stages of planning and development. The highest concentration of coal industry is in NSW's Hunter Valley, where 220 square kilometres - roughly 20% of the valley - have been given over to coal mining. This activity is now spreading into the Mudgee district, an area known as the western coal fields. Here, 3 coal mines have either been approved, or have applied for consent, in the past year (2 of which have coal fired power stations attached to the DA). Together, these 3 mines - Moolarben, Wilpinjong and Ulan - are capable of producing some 25 million tonnes of coal every year for the next three or four decades. 

    Coal mining amounts to environmental rape. The ground is torn open, the big machines move in, and as a result air quality is degraded, local waterways are sullied, natural habitats are lost and biodiversity is threatened. There's a human cost too; people are displaced, communities pulled apart and livelihoods destroyed. 

    CCBR believes the income derived from coal mining is far outweighed by its environmental and social costs. And that's before you even begin to consider the price of burning the coal that the mines produce. 

    Coal-fired Power Stations 
    Coal-fired power stations burn coal to generate electricity. Every tonne of coal burnt emits at least 2.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide blankets the earth, trapping heat and raising temperatures. We've known for a long time of the environmental havoc that causes, but thanks to the Stern Report released in Britain in late October, we now understand how much greenhouse pollution costs us in actual dollars (through its impact on health, industry, agriculture and ecology). In setting out to put an economic price on climate change, the Stern Report calculated that every tonne of CO2 emitted wreaks $110 worth of damage to the economy. This compares with the approximate $55 per tonne that coal sells for on the market. 

    Coal fired power stations may produce 'cheap' energy but the true costs of that energy can no longer be ignored. 

    Coal Exports 
    In 2005, Australia exported 233 million tonnes of coal, about a third of all coal shipped around the world. Going by the Stern Report calculations, this amounts to something like $61.5 billion worth of climate change damage in one year. Newcastle is the world's largest coal exporter, shipping out some 80 million tonnes of coal every year, and therefore the greatest single source of climate change, with that 80 million tonnes creating $27 billion dollars worth of damage. That's a lot more than the coal is worth on the market. It's widely believed that coal exports are vital to Australia's economy - and indeed, coal is Australia's largest export. However, the $220 million earned by the NSW government in coal mining royalties each year , is less than 1% (according to Stern's formula) of the cost of that coals potential damage. The fact that Australian coal ends up in 35 countries, many of them in Asia, raises a moral issue which cannot be ignored. 

    In exporting coal, Australia is also exporting climate change. We must find ways to decrease our dependence on coal dollars because at present our financial gain is the planet's environmental pain. 

    In Australia, geosequestration or carbon capture and storage (CCS) is being promoted as one answer to the problems caused by fossil fuel emissions. Geosequestration involves capturing carbon dioxide (for example at a power station) and then injecting it into underground geological reservoirs for the purposes of long term storage. The federal government, along with several state governments (Victoria and WA), are investing in R & D into geosequestration technology and a number of places around the country have been identified as potential carbon storage sites. A pilot project is proposed for the Otway Basin in western Victoria and a conglomerate of multinational oil companies have also proposed sequestering CO2 deep beneath Barrow Island in the remote northwest of Western Australia. 

    According to the Australia Greenhouse Office the potential risks of geosequestration to human health, safety and the environment are low. The Australia Institute, however, has produced a report which expresses serious concerns about the technology. The report notes that geosequestration is a very expensive way to deal with greenhouse gas emissions (better not to make them in the first place), but, more than that, there are many questions about its safety, it's impact on the environment and its permanence that still need to be answered. And even if it is shown to be technically and commercially viable, it will be a very long time (around 2030) before geosequestration could make any significant impact on greenhouse pollution. 

    CCBR believes that, even if all those questions are resolved, geosequestration is not a silver bullet - it is simply not a big enough solution. The Barrow Island project, for example, can only contain thousands of tonnes of CO2 compared to the millions that Australian coal releases when combusted. Even large CCS projects such as one in the North Sea can only deal with a fraction of the CO2 currently released into the atmosphere. For the United States to capture and store its emissions from fossil fuel power generation it would require 200 projects, each 10 times larger than the North Sea storage. Likewise, other "clean coal" technologies such as coal gasification are not yet viable on a large scale. 

    CCBR believes that geosequestration, quite literally, buries the problem. It does not address the perils of using coal - a dirty, 19th century, finite commodity - in the first place. We are also concerned that focusing on geosequestration - along with other "clean coal" technologies - will divert time, energy, research and funds from being invested in the true solutions; that is, renewable energy technologies that can be accessed immediately. 

    Australia currently has no nuclear power generation, but it is being touted as a long term alternative to coal-fired electricity. 'Long-term' is the key word here. A report to the Federal Government (November 06) has suggested that 25 nuclear power stations could be built by 2050. At a cost of between two and three billion dollars each, this is an expensive proposition, especially considering that those 25 reactors would only be supplying about one-third of Australia's electricity. Furthermore, none of these plants are likely to be in operation before 2020. 

    Nuclear power generation raises many very serious issues. The major hurdles include a lack of local expertise, the vast amounts of money time and energy required to construct the plants, the massive costs of decommissioning and, of course, the transport and disposal of hazardous waste materials. But even if all those obstacles are overcome, the impact that nuclear power would have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be slower than any carbon-free energy source. And for all that money spent, neither is it a broad enough solution. According to the report to the Federal Government, 25 nuclear power stations would reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by between 8 and 18% by 2050. And yet we know that we need to reduce those emissions by 60% if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate change. 

    CCBR believes that the problem of greenhouse gas emissions is at a crisis point and the investment into nuclear power funnels financial and technical investment away from the carbon-free and renewable resources which will more rapidly have a mitigating consequence on our greenhouse gas emissions. 

    Commercial and residential buildings, including houses, are responsible for more global warming pollution than cars and trucks. If we can cut household and commercial emissions by shifting our reliance on fossil fuels, then we can all make a significant impact on the problem of climate change. CCBR believes the best way to do this is by taking up renewable forms of energy, which are cleaner, safer and more sustainable. 

    More and more Australians seem to be agreeing with this approach. In a poll taken by the Sydney Morning Herald and AC Nielsen in the first week of November, 2006: 
    • 91% of Australians now recognize global warming as a problem 
    • 2/3rds (63%) said they would be prepared to pay more (in taxes/services) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 
    • 53% of 18-24 year olds and 57% of 40-54 year olds (with other age groups not far behind) are in favour of solar power 
    • At the same time, only 16% (18-24yo) and 13% (40-54yo) support nuclear power as an alternative energy source 

    What is not quite as heartening is John Howard's insistence that renewable forms of energy such as solar and wind power will never provide the electricity Australia needs. And yet the picture looks different in other countries. For example: 

    • In 10 years from 1995 to 2005 electricity production from PV cells increased from 88.6 MW to 1400 MW, globally. 
    • Wind power is already competitive with coal-fired power in Germany. 
    • 23% of Denmark's power is from wind generation. 
    • It has been predicted that 16% of global power could be provided by wind power alone  

    In fact, renewables are now the fastest growing of all energy technologies and have created employment and wealth in many countries including the United States, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and China. Worldwide, renewable energy industries employ 1.7 million people. Australia too has great potential to make significant power from the wind, sun and other renewable technologies but at present only 9% of our electricity comes from renewable sources (principally hydroelectric power). Just 30 windfarms could supply 10% of NSW's energy needs and one solar hot water system on every home would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%. 

    CCBR believes that creating power from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and other carbon-free, renewable sources is the best scenario for Australia. Such technologies can go a long way towards meeting our energy needs very quickly - if the will is there. We are very concerned about the lack of support and funding these industries have traditionally received in Australia. If governments were as committed to renewables as they are to coal, our future would look very different. 

    In 2000 the federal government legislated to set a mandatory renewable energy target (MRET), requiring that power companies supply a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources. That target was set at 2%. Considering that the International Climate Change Taskforce recommends a cut to carbon pollution of 60% (of 1990 levels), that is shamefully low and falls way short of targets set in other countries. The European Union has set a renewable energy target of 21% by 2010, Sweden, 60% by 2010 and China, 10% by 2020. And yet despite reviews of the MRET, the Australian government has said it will not reconsider its target until 2010. 

    Climate Action Newcastle has calculated that if the NSW government made it mandatory that 25% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020, this would create 4000 new jobs and $9 billion worth of new investment in NSW. Some state governments have done what their federal counterpart will not, and set more realistic targets for clean energy. But at a state level these are voluntary not mandatory. 

    If Australia is to do its bit in reducing greenhouse pollution, it is vital that the federal government legislate to increase its mandatory renewable energy target to at least 10% by 2010, in line with other countries. 

    The final prong in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change is demand management - that is, looking at how we use our electricity. CCBR strongly believes that raising awareness of our energy consumption and adopting daily practices to reduce and use electricity more efficiently is the most effective way for every household to tackle global warming. The choices that households make should be based on the sound premise that their appliances, lighting and heating can all come from carbon-free sources or a combination of low-carbon and carbon-free. Similarly the way individuals use transport, recycle their waste and consume goods has a large impact on their total emissions and therefore global warming. Demand management strategies that we can all employ, include: 

    • use of compact fluorescent light globes, 
    • switching to green power accredited suppliers, 
    • choosing 5 star energy rating appliances, 
    • switching off all appliances when not in use including stand-by switches 

    CCBR believes that all householders are able to actively participate in mitigating their personal greenhouse gas emissions. As a group, we actively work towards informing the community about their choices and responsibilities when it comes to using - and managing - power. 

    Greenpeace Factsheet "A Way Forward for Coal Communities" 
    According to the Australian Greenhouse Office. The Stern Reports calculates 2.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide for each tonne of coal burnt 
    "The coal exports costing us billions", Sydney Morning Herald, 2/11/06 
    Climate Action Newcastle Media Release, 2 November, 2006 
    According to the Australian Coal Association, coal represents about 13% of Australia's total commodity exports and is worth $13.5 billion dollars. (2004 figures; sourced from The Greens Coal Fact Sheet, October 2005) 
    The Greens Coal Fact Sheet, October 2005 
    see www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/australia/resources/reports/climate-change/geosequestration-what-is-it-a.pdf 
    Sally M Benson, The 10-50 Solution: Technologies and Policies for a Low Carbon Future (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) 
    Sydney Morning Herald, November 22, 2006 
    Monica Richter, Sustainability Programs Manager, Australian Conservation Foundation 
    Speech by Al Gore, published by Think Progress on September 18, 2006. Available at www.energybulletin.net/20624.html 
    Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday November 7, 2006, p.1, 4 
    Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday November 8, 2006, p.6 
    Sven Teska, Greenpeace: from an address on sustainability, UTS, September 06 
    Australian Conservation Foundation policy brief, May 2005 
    Greenpeace Fact Sheet, Time for clean energy leaders. 
    Climate Action Newcastle Media Release, 2 November, 2006.


     What the politicians said

    On the 30th November 2006, 3 members of CCBR (Alex, Alison and Sue) met with the 3 known candidates for the NSW State seat of Balmain i.e. Peter Shmigel (Liberal), Verity Firth (Labor) and Rochelle Porteous (Greens). We asked them their position on these areas of interest: coal, nuclear, renewables and demand management. We then gave them our position paper. We appreciated their time to meet together to air their positions on these issues.

    Topic: Coal

    Peter: If all our coal (production) were to stop tomorrow we must consider the economic cost. The greenhouse gas emissions reduced would be replaced by China in just three days. Families matter and the cost (of electricity) would be dearer, making it difficult for those who can't afford it. The net environmental impacts of coal should be considered too, but we must be cautious and balance the costs of 1. the economy, 2. the environment and 3. social cohesiveness.

    Verity: While "we need to reduce our reliance on coal, we can't suddenly ban coal", although there should not be any new coal mines, and a financial incentive to shift from coal. We can't afford to wait the 15-20 yrs to discover the efficacy or otherwise of "clean coal'. Issues of livelihoods, wages and income need to be grasped and the building up of a manufacturing sector related to renewables. Renewable energy industries can be labour intensive.

    Rochelle: There's no getting away from the fact that 44% of our CO2 comes from coal-fired power stations. To say that this issue will be dealt with geosequestration is wrong and will leave a toxic legacy. There should be a moratorium on all new mines and no more coal-fired power stations. When the cost of CO2 is factored in, a level playing field is created for alternative energy sources. If the govt. gets tax from the polluters, alternative users would be taxed less. What is needed is an effective carbon emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax. "Guts" are needed to deal with the climate change. Transition away from coal is a vital part of what we need to do to deal seriously with Climate Change.


    Each speaker was personally opposed to nuclear power.

    Verity: The Labor Party does not support nuclear power.

    However, Rochelle pointed out that in May 2006, Ian Cohen (Greens) put forward legislation to protect NSW from development of nuclear power stations. The legislation was rejected by the two major parties, underlining the fact that there are no assurances that such an option won't go ahead.

    Peter: I have a strong moral dilemma to the fact that we mine and export uranium and don't use it ourselves. Nuclear is not an option.


    Peter: I am running a carbon-free campaign. The technology has to be the "right mix". The debate needs to be about technical and scientific fact, not schemes. I've saved tonnes of greenhouse gases through 'alternative waste technology'. After recycling, materials left in the bin can be extracted for renewable energy by applying heat (to the garbage), extracting steam and converting that steam into energy. It's cheaper than solar, wind and hydro. So rather than talk about targets and try to develop policy regimes etc., why not start from what we know? We prop up natural resource extraction to an extraordinary level, start to strip back some of those subsidies, you'll start to see renewables will become much more competitive.

    Verity: All technologies should be used to create energy but should not be divorced from targets and economic incentives - so it's worth people's while to find and pursue new ways. Since NSW started the accredited green power system (1997) over 157000 commercial and residential users have chosen 'green power'

    Rochelle: We only need to look at what is happening around the world to see that the Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets (MRET) are essential to phasing out our reliance on fossil fuels. The total renewable target in the European Union is 22% by 2010, Italy, for example, 25% by 2010. Renewable energy projects are only made viable if MRET creates incentives for markets. There is great technology for renewables available in NSW. It is a myth that renewables are not viable because they cannot provide baseload. In NSW hydro, a renewable, is our baseload. 100% of our future energy production can be from renewables if our growth in energy consumption can be held in check.

    Topic:Demand Management

    Peter: Demand management is crucial to the whole Climate Change equation - domestically and globally. Fostering change is crucial, and making changes individually, taking responsibility individually. It is well and truly part of a Liberal party framework that an individual has to be held accountable for his or her environmental impacts. The Liberal Party empowers community-based groups to take control over the climate change agenda. One of the good models empowering people is through environmental trusts. Enforced (change) through legislation is highly discriminatory (and abhorrent to me) and has unintended consequences in society for those least able to bear them.

    Verity: With increasing economic growth and population control of demand is the key to solving the Climate Change problem. There is a need for a carrot-and-stick approach to energy efficiency domestically (e.g. for measures like ACF's Greenhome project), education and the harnessing of political will now. Carbon trading will only work with Govt. regulation - the free market will not solve Climate Change.

    Rochelle: Energy efficiency is one of the keystones of the Greens plan to tackle Climate Change. Education is fundamental. Energy efficiency goes beyond individual responsibility, it is also about how to make corporations and big business more energy efficient and it is in this area particularly, that legislation is required. Legislation and real political leadership are essential if we are going to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Controlling our use of energy is a necessary prerequisite for a renewable energy future.

     2007 Federal Election

    The science is in......The next 12 months are crucial …….we must act now…….Renewable is do-able.

    What we need now is the political will to make change happen.

    "Turn the Tide Kevin" is giving all Australians the opportunity to tell our Prime Minister how we would like him to respond to Climate Change. We are asking him to make 2010 Australia's peak emissions year.

    Come on Kevin - Turn The Tide - Peak Carbon by 2010

    See the campaign click here

    The campaign presently has over 100 images that have been sent to us since August.

    In November while the government is formulating it's White Paper we plan to present Kevin Rudd with an album showcasing these images.

    What to do:

    1. Find a group of people that would be happy to stand in a photograph supporting this message

    2. Make a banner / sign!! cardboard, paint a sheet, coconut husks (pictured here) anything that comes to hand

    3. Take the photo - please limit other banners/messages to club banners only (no party political signage). The message needs to be clear.

    4. Send the photo to turn.the.tide.kevin@gmail.com and please include:

    · Where you are from.

    · What type of community you are.

    · Estimated numbers in the photo.

    · Date photo was taken

    · Contact person and details. Plus comments about your photo that you'd like to share.

    You could also:

    • Get media exposure - get in contact with your local paper. For media tips see... www.acfonline.org.au/uploads/res/res_communityclimatekit.pdf (ACF publication p20)
    • Put it on Face Book !
    • Lend the Banner out! - This morning at our Primary School, when we invited parents to participate in a 'photo-shoot' at pick up time, parents were coming up and asking if they can borrow the banner to take a photo with the football team on Sat morning!!! Yes Yes Yes!

    Happy snapping

    "Turn The Tide" team.




    The Say YES campaign

    In April 2011, CCBR signed up to engage in the national Say YES campaign.  This included a national series of conversations with members of the public on renewable energy.

    The aim of this series was both to spread the appreciation of what renewable energy technologies can do and to measure public support for clean energy.  It culminated with a doorknock on May 28th and a rally in Prince Alfred Park on World Environment Day in June.

    • 86% said the Government could be doing more.
    • 94.5% said the Government should be supporting investment in renewables.
    • 82% said the Government should be developing a plan to get us to 100% renewable energy.
    • 79% said that the Government should put a price tag on pollution.

    As well as feeding the results into the national tally, CCBR presented both the national and local results to Tanya Plibersek, the Federal Member for Sydney.  We are pleased to report that Tanya readily agreed to our requests:

    • to support the use of revenue raised from a carbon price to boost investment and growth in the renewable energy sector;
    • to tell the Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, about the overwhelming support that exists in her electorate;

    But she needs all the support she can get.  So we are letterboxing 16000 households in her electorate, asking people to let her know they support her push for more renewables.

      100% Renewables

    CCBR is engaged in this national campaign to push for Australia to be powered 100% by renewable energy.  To many this still sounds like a pipedream, yet a detailed, fully-costed plan (ZCA2020) exists for one way it could be done - in ten years!  What's needed?  Political will.  What do we face?  Political won't.

    As part of the launch, we took these pictures of a few of our supporters.

    Jobs in Renewables analysis from the ACTU.

    'Zero Carbon Vision' (UK)

    No New Coal

    CCBR actively supports this state campaign initiated by Greenpeace and the NSW Greens.  We continue to fight the recent approval of new fossil-fuel (almost certainly coal) power stations at Bayswater and Mount Piper.  New power stations are not needed with anything like the urgency claimed.

    Solar for Schools

    In June 2011, CCBR presented Birchgrove school with $2300 towards installation costs of solar panels.  The panels had been previously donated to CCBR and passed on to the school.

    Under a $10000 grant from DECCW, mediated through CCBR, further panels were installed in May at Balmain PS, Eaton St.

     Village Voice on the Doorknock

    Read a report of the CCBR doorknock from theVillage Voice, September 2010

    Door-to-door Survey

    OnSaturday August 7th, thirty of us knocked on doors in the area, surveyingcommunity attitudes to renewable energy.We previously helped a group in Newtown do it, and we were amazed how good it felt, with residents thanking us for helping them be heard.
    We will let Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese and the other Federal candidates for these electorates know what people in our area have to say.  Meanwhile, here's a video of the day
    Free Film Night7.30pm, Wednesday 3rd November 2010
    at Leichhardt Town Hall

    The Future Makers 

    The Future Makers tells the story of key Australians leading the way on the world stage in renewable energy. Some are designing a future based on models in nature. Others are creating a sustainable energy model for a 21st century economy. Energy solutions that won't cost the earth.

    PLUS guest speakers:
    Nell Schofield (Al Gore climate presenter)
    Dr Geoff Evans (environmental scientist and social ecologist)

    supporting film: The Mechanicals 
    (ever felt there's more going on than you can see...?)

    Free admission: lucky door prize: please invite your friends.

    Supported by Leichhardt Council and Go Get

    Footprints Ecofestival

    Leichhardt Town Hall - 6th June 2010

    Recent heavy rain forced this Leichhardt council event to be relocated from White's Creek to the Town Hall, but it was a great success nonetheless.  The seven CCBR members and supporters that took turns on our stall enjoyed a front-row view of the quality musical acts.  We signed up 30 new supporters, and we hope to see several of them at meetings in future.

    Doorknock in Newtown

    5th June 2010

    We helped Climate Action Newtown conduct a doorknock survey of community attitudes to political (in)action on climate change.

    Of 110 respondents:

    •    85% say the Rudd Government is not doing enough to tackle climate change
    •    93% believe the government should significantly boost investment in renewable energy and create clean energy jobs
    •    92% believe that Australia should develop a plan to move to 100% renewable energy
    •    75% believe that the government should stick to its 2007 election commitment to put a price on carbon and make polluters pay
    •    75% were more likely or much more likely to vote for a candidate committing to a price on carbon and significant investment in renewable energy

    •    95% of swing voters were more or much more likely to vote for a candidate if they were to commit to a price on carbon and significant investment in renewable energy

    Meeting with Verity Firth on No New Coal for NSW

    23rd April 2010

    The State Government recently gave in-concept approval to extending two coal power plants: Mt Piper, near Lithgow, and Bayswater, near Muswellbrook.  This move is calculated to make the existing plant more attractive to purchasers.  If coal-burning, as is likely, they would emit a combined 22 million tones of greenhouse gases a year: a blow-out in emissions of 15% on national levels and 5% on NSW levels. 

    Lucy and Derek of CCBR met with local state MP, Verity Firth, to ask how she reconciled this worrying development with being taken seriously on the issue of climate change.

    Importantly, Ms Firth said that in the party room and in Cabinet she does not support coal as an energy source. She stressed that leaving the choice of fuel open to the market was a win for the environmentally minded in the party, since a sufficient carbon price would possibly force the plants to be gas. 

    CCBR expressed several reservations, namely: that existing infrastructure is set up for coal already, not gas; that there is still a question mark over if and when we will have a carbon price and how much it will be; and even if they are gas plant the emissions will still blow out by 7.1 per cent (as opposed to 15 per cent).

    This brought us to the debate about whether NSW needs more baseload power rather than more renewable energy and energy efficiency schemes.

    Unfortunately, Ms Firth was unable to attend a presentation at Parliament House earlier this year by the Institute for Sustainable Futures on "Meeting NSW Electricity Needs in a Carbon Constrained World". (We left a copy with her to share with colleagues.) That research concludes that building new coal power stations is not only the most polluting option but the most expensive, and that even with modest energy efficiency improvements new baseload power stations are not needed in NSW until 2017 at the earliest. That makes it quite premature to commission new plant now.

    While Ms Firth's support for more renewable energy and less reliance on coal was heartening, is is disappointing that it has not been enough to sway decision-makers within the party.

    One area where Ms Firth might have more influence is with the Premier herself. In June, as part of this No New Coal campaign, Bob Carr and John Hewson will co-chair a public forum on How to Make NSW the Clean Energy State.  Opposition leader Barry O'Farrell has said he will take part, but no response yet from Kristina Kenneally's office. Ms Firth has agreed to follow this up with the Premier. We wish her success.

    The last meeting CCBR had with Ms Firth was in 2008, shortly after the state election.  We argued then (in part) for a feed-in tariff to encourage the renewables industry. Knowing that we returned to her office with a feed-in tariff now in place, we are hoping Ms Firth's influence in the party prospers. Watch this space.

    The "Age of Stupid"

    Leichhardt Town Hall - Oct 13 2009 - 7.30pm - Free!!


    On Oct 13, 2009 we were proud to show this film to over 200 locals free! 


    The movie is a compelling documentary style piece (very low on the graphs) and the evening ended with relevant information that can help us all to take meaningful action to make change happen.


    If you missed it, we encourage you to look out for future screenings....see our promo HERE

    World Environment Day 2009

    CCBR invites you to attend the Sydney gathering on Saturday June 13, 10am in Sydney CBD [venue to be advised ]. Wear red clothing - red is the colour of the climate emergency.


    This rally is focusing on a rapid transition to renewable energy. Join us to demand....

    • Green collar jobs not job cuts
    • 100% renewable energy by 2020
    • global climate justice: Australia should take the lead

    Let's repower Australia !!!!

    Following the National Climate Summit in February, climate action groups around Australia have co-ordinated these Climate Emergency Rallies in capital cities, including Sydney. This event will coincide with other similar international W.E.D. events.


    There will be stalls and invited speakers at the start of the Rally.

    Go to www.climaterally.org for more information.


    "Step In to Step It Up" November 2008....

    CCBR is participating in "Step In to Step It Up"... http://stepitupaustralia.wordpress.com/about/

    Because this next month is so important many CAGs (Climate Action Groups) like ours from all over Australia will be approaching their Federal MPs with two major requests:

    1. That in December, the Government makes a commitment that 2010 will be Australia's peak carbon year.
    2. Ditch the proposed concessions to the emission-intensive industries in the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

    This is the first time that independant CAGs will be uniting with the same message in this way.

    The first phase: CCBR will be meeting with a representative from Tanya Plibersek's office next Wednesday Nov 3rd. We will be requesting that these two points are reflected in the White Paper (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme) and requesting that she support the proposed Climate Protection Bill.

    The second phase of "Step In to Step It Up" will occur in response to the White Paper - early December. If our requests have not been met we plan to occupy Tanya's office in some way - there are many ways that this could be done (check out the website) and we will be exploring options on getting our message across in the coming weeks.

    Check out the website for ideas http://stepitupaustralia.wordpress.com/category/how-to-step-in-to-step-it-up/ and let us know if you would like to be part of it!! ccbrmail@aapt.net.au

    November 2008:

    CCBR bulk buy solar panels

    We are currently working within our community to help residents buy solar photovoltaic panels for their homes at a cheaper rate.

    A public information meeting will be held Thursday Nov 27 at Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre. contact Thomas Bywater at Sydney Energy co-operative :9557 1648


    November 2008:

    "Come on Kevin - Turn The Tide - Peak Carbon by 2010"

    Be part of  a visual petition. to see the campaign click here

    Anyone who cares about the future of the planet can easily be part of this campaign. This is asking our prime minister to take swift radical action in recognition of the climate emergency we are facing by ensuring that Carbon emissions peak in the year 2010, thereafter reducing as rapidly as possible.

    Send a photo with one or all of the phrases " Come on Kevin - Turn The Tide - Peak Carbon by 2010" to turn.the.tide.kevin@gmail.com

    These images will be presented to Kevin Rudd later in November '08. The campaign will continue to grow until the 2010 Federal election. Send photos of you with your buddies, sports clubs, schools.....

    make a banner - use it a couple of times - have a look at what hundreds of other Australians have done!

      - The man lying on the sand was a climate sceptic 12 months ago!

    George Monbiot by satellite link talking at Sydney University, June 2008.

    http://turnthetidekevin.blogspot.com/  email: turn.the.tide.kevin@gmail.com


    Aug 31 - Sept 1, 2008. Cycle ride to Parliament house for The Climate Protection Bill.

     The Bill is being taken to Penny Wong at Parliament House in Canberra.

    Join other campaigners for part, or all of this 3 day cycle ride.


    Walk Against Warming 2008 -


    Climate Camp Australia 2009 -

    The 2008 Climate camp was a great success and the organisers are looking to build on this year's successes with another camp in 2009

    This year's camp gave uus 5 days of inspiring workshops and direct action.

    More info at: Climate Camp Website 



    Climate protection Bill:  Climate Action Groups across the country have proposed the Climate Protection Bill - a comprehensive plan to cut Australia's spiralling greenhouse pollution. This campaign is inspired by the success of a community driven Climate Change Bill in the UK, which has achieved laws to cut greenhouse pollution in that country.

    Sign the petition, signatures need to be gathered before September 2008.

    Who On Earth Cares

    Turn The Tide. http://turnthetidekevin.blogspot.com/



    Letters to Newspapers

    Dec 2009

    Tony Abbott's rough calculation that a 25% reduction would cost five times a 5% reduction betrays an alarming ignorance of what these target numbers mean.
    Those two reduction targets are relative to 2000 levels. Current levels are about 10% higher, and the business-as-usual prediction for 2020 is 30% higher.
    So as a reduction on the anticipated 2020 level, 5% below 2000 is a 33% cut and 25% below 2000 is a 47% cut.
    The corrected rough calculation says the stronger target would cost 50% more.
    (That, though, is an underestimate because the whole point of a cap & trade scheme is to make the cheapest cuts first.)

    Jan 2010

    Claims that global warming stopped ten years ago are like the old Irish joke about checking if the car's indicator is working ("Yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is..").
    One glance at the graph (attached) from the NASA data (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A4.txt) for the last 130 years makes it clear that 10 years is a meaningless snapshot. Even a 5-year weighted average (1-4-6-4-1) is jerky, but removes the hint of a pause. Maybe we're approaching another local peak like 1940, but you wouldn't bet the farm on it.
    Tony Jones quoted Kevin Trenberth's remark (Lateline, Nov 23rd) that we cannot yet explain these short-term fluctuations. As a scientist, that troubles him, but the real travesty is when denialists use this to pretend the problem has gone away. For The Australian to misrepresent this interview as "Tim Flannery tells Tony Jones the planet isn't warming" is simply indefensible.
    Remember readers, if anyone tries to tell you it has stopped, show them a graph for the last 50 years or more and ask them to be serious.

    Jan 2010

    I'm pleased that Frank Furedi ("It's 15 below", The Australian, Jan 13th) agrees with George Monbiot that the current freeze in Europe is a single event, so does not constitute a trend.
    But he is quite wrong to imply that Monbiot is being inconsistent. Other commentators may have made that error, but not Monbiot. Here, for example, is what he wrote in The Guardian on August 12, 2003: "we cannot say that the remarkable temperatures in Europe this week are the result of global warming."

    If we try to judge the actuality and nature of climate change by such events it will be decades before we have the answers. By then it may be too late to avoid catastrophe. What we can say is that we are changing the atmosphere to an extent that poses unacceptable risk.

    March 2010, in response to this interview

    To the Chair of the ABC Board, Maurice Newman
    Subject: Climate Change balance
    I see you describe yourself as a climate change agnostic. That is a respectable position for someone who has not invested the time and energy to understand the science and the arguments.
    But such an investment is necessary if you are to judge whether the media has provided balance. Equal airtime to contradictory views is not balance. Would you recommend the ABC give equal airtime to Osama Bin Laden? To Holocaust deniers? Fair coverage, surely, consists of finding speakers of equal authority and giving them airtime in a proportion which to some extent reflects their number. And to do that, you do need some understanding of the issues.
    As has been masterfully documented by Bernard Keane, the ABC's attempt to provide balance on the climate change discussion so far has failed to include any worthwhile sceptics. Instead, we have been treated to the usual ratbag deniers with about as much credibility as Alan Jones. How do you pick the difference? Easy. There are many popular denialist arguments that are trivial to shoot down. The real sceptics don't go near them, sticking to the genuine unresolved questions, of which there are many. Meanwhile, Monckton, Plimer and the like persist in trotting out these distractions, unperturbed by logic.
    In short, the balance you appear to be encouraging is as a shopkeeper leaning on the scales to make the goods balance the weights. I urge you to desist until you have found the time to acquaint yourself with the science.

    April 2010 (The Australian)

    Your editorial (April 9) focuses on the Liberal vote having been a fraction more than Labor's. But McKim backs Labor for the obvious reason that he sees Greens' policies as closer to Labor's than to the Liberals'. Labor almost surely does have a two-party preferred majority of the total vote. That's why a Bartlett government is the likely more stable of the two options, why Hodgman has no right to feel robbed, and why the Greens, having in effect supplied one third of Bartlett's support, most certainly deserve a voice.

    April 2010

    Was it the Grattan Institute's damning report that made Rudd set aside the CPRS? Could it really be that rational argument has prevailed? Whatever the reason, it has so set back the schedule that there can now be no excuse for further delay in introducing a price on CO2 emissions. The Australian renewables industry has suffered heavily from mixed messages and policy reversals from this Government; a decent carbon price would give it the security it desperately needs.

    April 2010 (Innerwest Courier)

    Re: Greens see red over Cr Byrne, Inner West Courier, 06.04.10

    Three years ago the Leichhardt Council voted unanimously to call for a ban on all new coal mines, precipitated by the imminent approval of three massive mines in NSW (Anvil Hill, Moolarben and Wilpinjong). The council was rightly convinced that in a climate-changing world the expansion of the state's coal industry needed a change in direction.

    In 2010, as the link between fossil fuel use and catastrophic climate change is obvious, the E.U. is developing a massive energy grid to deploy carbon-free renewable energy sources from Portugal to Norway to power Europe. The worlds' financiers are endeavouring to raise $30b for the world's poorest countries to assist their adaptation to impacts of climate change. U.N advisory groups are considering levies on international air travel. And China's renewable energy sector is growing exponentially and it's reliance on coal-fired power is shrinking.

    Zoom back to NSW, where the state-owned coal-fired power stations can only be viable if they grow, i.e. consumers buy more and pay more, and the State's economy is increasingly reliant on export coal, at the expense of tourism and food exports (in a carbon-constrained world which would you be expanding at the expense of the others?)

    CCBR's modest request for funding to spread the word about coal in this State has precipitated a storm in a tea-cup, "Greens see red over Cr Byrne" - but really no different to State parliament when the alliance between the State Govt and the expanding coal industry comes under the microscope. Tragically, in the term of this Labor Government, all mine applications have been approved by successive planning ministers - Sartor, Keneally and Kelly. Thousands of public submissions against coal approvals on the basis of their contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions have been ignored.

    However it is only the weight of public opinion that will change the direction of this government's generous support of the expanding coal industry. It is only when it becomes politically unsustainable to continue the coal alliance, that government leaders will take steps to provide us with a safe, renewable energy sector.

    Where do I get a sticker?

    May 2010 (The Age)

    Chris Berg (National Times, May 2nd) sings the praises of international trade as driven by the free market. He cites instances where, independent research concludes, long haul food supply has the lower environmental footprint. But this ignores that well-known problem, the tragedy of the commons. The Free Market does indeed work wonders where every process within it bears its true cost. Right now, emissions of greenhouse gases cost the emitter nothing. Instead, we all pay for the consequences. It is therefore likely that, were an appropriate carbon price introduced, the average distance food is transported would drop substantially, and the overall result would be economically even better. It is of course possible that some long distance shipments would still come out ahead, but being able to cite two or three is distinctly unconvincing as a general guide.

    The analysis also ignores the consumer's option of switching to different foods. If a carbon tax were to raise the UK price of NZ apples, yet they remained competitive with the more local alternative, fewer apples would be bought in total.

    If Mr Berg were just a private citizen airing his views these oversights would be pardonable; with a by-line of Research Fellow at the IPA it becomes disingenuous.