Climate Change

“Scientists warn that current CO2 emissions should be cut by at least half over the next 50 years to avert a future global warming disaster. Princeton researchers Robert Socolow and Stepehen Pacala have described 15 stabilization wedges to realize that goal using existing technologies. Each carbon-cutting wedge would reduce emissions by a billion metric tons a year by 2057. Adopting any combination of these strategies that equals 12 wedges could lower emissions 50 percent” Carbon´s New Math.

“Climate change is simultaneously a challenge and an opportunity for designers and planners. It demands that we abandon the old equilibrium paradigm the assumption that, after perturbations, the system will eventually return to a steady state. And it challenges our disciplines to understand that urban environments are multi-equilibria systems“ Climate Change and Place.

The quotes above have been extracted from two texts that analyze the consequences of climate change. While the first text is pessimist and tries to generate awareness, the second one is optimist and tries to generate action.

The first text begins with a historical overview on global warming and how it has been increasing since the industrial revolution. It also explains how due to the high dependence on fossil fuels, it is almost impossible to increase its price and therefore, to make a change to alternative energy sources. Although this idea seems to be fairly widespread today, the text exposes it just before giving a list of countermeasures. Of particular interest is this list and its representation on a graph, explaining what would be the effect of each measure regarding the decline of global temperature and obtaining an acceptable level of emissions. The list is organized in the following categories:

– Efficiency and Conservation.

– Carbon capture and storage.

– Low carbon fuels.

– Renewals and bio-storage.

The second text exposes a brief statement of the facts related to global warming, describing the current situation as a challenge but also as an opportunity. Instead of listing (as to the previous article does) the actions that have to be taken to mitigate climate change, this text presents the different perspectives to approach the problem: Envisioning radical futures (bold to respond to changes in future conditions), Adaptation, mitigation and uncertainty (adaptive urban planning and design solutions), Loss of cherished places (the public and private sense of loss caused by climate change) and Calls to action (the sense of urgency and commitment about this problem) are cited as the main characteristics of the time we are facing.


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