Architecture 2030 : Global Warming Lecture

Throughout school we heard a lot of "hype" about global warming, especially throughout Al Gore's release of his movie "An Inconvenient Truth," and the book to accompany that. Some people got really into it, and others did not. I realize(d) that we have a problem, but it just wasn't at the top of my list.

Yesterday as an office we went to a Green Expo at the Marriot City Center Uptown, and in the middle of it went to a luncheon with keynote speaker Edward Mazria- an architect who spends most of his time speaking on his research and goals in terms of global warming and how to stop it. He started off kind of slowly- good thing the food was amazing, especially the salad (spinach + goat cheese + walnuts + yellow bell pepper + balsamic vin.), but with his visual aids, I was hooked by the end of the whole thing.

One thing he spoke about was the attitude from the majority of the USA: If we don't feel like we're under attack, we don't respond as a whole. Individually, we have a lot of little voices screaming, trying to rally the troops, but as a body of people and, more importantly, those that govern them, we feel like we have to be threatened (personally) to respond adequately. Sad, but it's a good point.

His project, Architecture2030, is a goal to cut back global warming by way of (eventually) getting rid of the use of coal in our country. The statistics came from NASA and other unbiased sources, and were enough to knock you off of your seat. Coming from the midwest, our region has built an economy, and then lost it, on coal and other industrial manufacturing. West Virginia still, hugely, depends on the production of coal- drive up 77 North and take a look at the billboards: "Coal is the future." It's a tough argument- we have enough coal to last us FAR longer than we do oil and fossil fuels, but it's also the silver bullet to getting us out of the greenhouse-gasses snowball we've gotten ourselves into.

Either way, he presented us with these visual aids: he went up and down the coasts of the US- all the way around, Boston to Seattle, including Honolulu, and showed us what the results would be if the ice caps continued to melt from the global warming, raising sea-levels in the next 50-100 years.

It's amazing that I haven't REALLY considered how much a part of this we are in the field(s) we're in. Buildings and the energy required to build / run them accounts of the vast majority of consumption in this country. We have so many alternatives to the types of energy we've been using - solar, wind, etc - and aren't taking advantage of the majority of them. Maybe this was the kick in the pants I needed to wake-up and take some responsibility for myself.

The city of San Francisco, with a 2.25 meter sea-level rise.

The city of Boston, with a 3 meter sea-level rise.

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