Environmental Issues Discussion


Environmental Issues In recent years, the term sustainability has become a major topic of discussion among architects, builders, developers and the general public. But just what is sustainability; how can it be described? One of the most succinct definitions of sustainability that I have found comes from Edward Allen in his book “How Buildings Work” (Oxford University Press, 2005.):

Sustainability – “meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

According to the Worldwatch Institute, each year

Buildings consume:

  • 40% of the energy utilized in the world.

Release into the atmosphere:

  • 33% of the carbon dioxide.
  • 40% of the chemicals that cause acid rain.
  • 50% of the fluorocarbons that destroy the protective ozone layer. 

U.S. Buildings consume :

  • 17% of our fresh water supply. 
  • 25% of our harvested wood. 
  • 40% of our landfill materials come from construction projects. 

If you believe that global warming is a real threat to our planet, list 5 activities that you as a student can engage in to promote energy conservation and a more sustainable future.

If you believe that global warming  is a hoax, list 5 different scientific (peer-reviewed) references that back up your thoughts.

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