Newcastle Climate Change Response is a chance to get involved

The drought-hit the Hunter Valley in early 2018. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers
The drought-hit the Hunter Valley in early 2018. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers

 Newcastle Climate Change Response (NCCR) is extending an open invitation to people in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle to get involved. 

Group convener Jacquie Svenson said NCCR was all about creating an opportunity for people who were concerned about climate change to join forces. 

“It’s a place for people to come when they already know they want to do something, but don’t know where to start,” Ms Svenson said. “It’s an invitation to come and find like minded people to act on the issue at hand, with support from others.”

NCCR is also about harnessing the collective energy of existing groups working on the same issue. 

“It also creates a way of joining together all of the tribes …  all of the other amazing groups in Newcastle that are concerned about this, so that we can find each other,” Ms Svenson said. “It’s a bit like a Petri dish, a place for experiments and social fission on climate change.”

Group member Kath Teagle said many people were “overwhelmed” by the “dire” problem of climate change. 

“So, this is about bringing yourself to the table,” Ms Teagle said. “There are all sorts of levels you can get involved in. 

“The overwhelm has such a big impact on mental health. This gives people a way to act.”

The group formed following a symposium on climate change, held at the University of Newcastle in July, 2018. Meetings have been held on the third Thursday of the month at the Croatian Wickham Sports Club – they are open to anyone who wants to get involved. 

Ms Svenson said the group was responding to climate change rather than campaigning on climate change. 

“A campaign is when you stand outside the Citadel and demand change,” she said. “Response is when we go ‘this is all of our problem’. If it was Ebola, we wouldn’t run a campaign, we would respond.” 

The meetings are friendly and non-political. The group will be holding events, summits and forums in the year ahead. Next meeting: January 17, at 5.30pm.