An exhibition and panel on sustainability in design
Lester Brown has been called “one of the great pioneer environmentalists” and one of Marquis Who’s Who "50 Great Americans". Earning his master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland in 1959, he went on to pioneer the concept of sustainable development. During his distinguished career, he was presented with the 1987 United Nations Environment Prize, the 1989 World Wide Fund for Nature Gold Medal, and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize for his "contributions to solving global environmental problems."
Climate change is no longer an abstract idea that might happen sometime in the distant future: it is upon us now and its effects can be felt via enormous storms, serious drought and massive flooding here in the Midwest. We know that climate change exacerbates disease, famine, and conflict, and the human costs only increase along with CO2 concentrations and temperatures. By 2100, rising oceans are estimated to force as many as 2 billion residents of coastal areas worldwide to migrate toward higher ground and agriculture yields in huge swaths of the Midwest will decline by 50 percent or more if we don’t cut emissions.
The threat climate change poses is existential, and architecture is one of the key drivers—even more so than that stock culprit, the automobile. Buildings consume some 40 percent of the energy in the US annually. Construction and its related trades are responsible for nearly half of the carbon emissions in the U.S. and many architecture firms in the United States are participating in the AIA’s 2030 Commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030.