Late last year I came across a local group called Climate Action Now Wingecarribee, otherwise known as CANWin, a group dedicated to taking action on climate change at a local level. I was intrigued and decided to attend a meeting to see what it is all about. The group meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month in the CWA meeting rooms in Bowral at 10:00am.
At my first meeting I met the Convener, Mike Meldrum who welcomed me with open arms and very quickly integrated me into the group and had me signed up as a member. I found that a lot of their thoughts, ideals and their vision aligned with my own and I very quickly became involved in discussions on subjects as diverse as peak oil and nuclear power!
CANWin’s goals are clearly summarised in this excerpt from their website:
Within the main group there are currently two working groups: the Energy Working Group (EWG) of which I am now the “leader” and the Community Engagement Working Group (CEWG). When you join you are offered the opportunity to join either or both of these groups to get involved and to support the other members. There is no pressure to join either group and there are other roles and things that you can get involved in if you wish.
The groups aims are as follows:
CEWG: Our aim is to inform environment, business, industry and society groups about the various clean energy options that are available and seek feedback from those groups on the particular options that they believe to be most appropriate for Wingecarribee.
EWG: Our aims are: To raise awareness of the need for energy efficiency and provide independent, expert advice, at low or no cost, to residents, industry, especially small and middle sized organisations, and community organisations that own property or are responsible for the energy costs of operating a property.
To investigate and evaluate the technical feasibility within Wingecarribee shire of the various renewable energy options identified at CANWin’s “Clean Energy Future for Wingecarribee” Workshop.
One of the most important things that CANWin does is to organise regular speakers to attend either a group meeting or to present a talk to the general public related to climate change, peak oil and the opportunities we have to address these issues. The talks are generally held in Henrietta Rose Room in Bowral or at Council Chambers in Moss Vale and are usually well attended.
Since I have joined I have been to a couple of talks the most interesting and possibly controversial, being the one on nuclear energy presented by Rob Parker. You can see the post related to this talk here.
One of the most important aspects of being a member is continuing to educate yourself about climate change and peak oil and all of the peripheral issues associated with these. There are many ways to do this, and so far I have completed an online course called Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Change Conversations delivered by Coursera; and attended a 2 day congress in Canberra on Community Energy – C4CE. I am also about to go on a regional tour of a wind farm, solar farm and a bio-mass generator on NSW.
CANWin is also involved in many local events such as the Home & Garden Show in Bowral and Sustainable House Day.
We are also currently working with a couple of local community groups helping them to install solar panels, cut their electricity bills but mostly to reduce their carbon footprint.
So you can see that there is a lot to be involved with, so please, if you are interested come along to one of our meetings, or contact me to learn more.