Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Way We Were

When the ecological alarm bells had started going off in 1999, we had anticipated that there would be a worldwide engagement in the reduction of pollution, carbon emissions and consumption of resources. At that time, the architecture profession was engaged in a dialogue about how to live on the earth more responsibly and mindfully, as the article above from The Architecture Review attests (click to enlarge). Our atmospheric concentration at the time was at 367 PPMV, and the weather had not yet begun to destabilize. This was in the decade before the limit of 350 PPMV was declared by James Hansen of NASA and became a focus of the 2009 UN COP international climate treaty.

These hopes have been dashed by the corporate sector that controls the US Congress, particularly the fossil fuel industry, as well as the governments of India and China in the chase for extreme energy development. The chart below shows how the emissions accelerated instead, resulting in the recently begun polar melting and collapse, as well as the disastrous climate impacts that we're currently experiencing.

California, in particular, has become an extreme case of climate change impact, as the NASA GRACE satellite photos show below. One can only imagine what the US Congress can be thinking as the US attempts to disrupt the climate agreements coming up at COP 20 in Lima and COP 21 in Paris so that the US, China and India can continue to spew carbon into our ecosphere and complete its destruction.