The latest July 2016 AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) newsletter features an article by our Karen Robichaud – New England AIA COTE Leadership Summit.
The Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the profession, the building industry, the academy, and the public—design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. COTE serves as the community and voice on behalf of AIA architects regarding sustainable design.
New England AIA COTE Leadership Summit
This past June AIA COTE leaders from across New England gathered in Boston for a regional summit centered on the theme Integration. The Summit kicked-off with an opening keynote from Paul Hawken who energized the crowd by addressing the need to change the messaging around climate change. Hawken’s keynote remarks included statements like “science is not something you believe in … we don’t believe in climate change, no more than we believe in gravity.” His comments initially focused on how to reframe the urgency of climate change as a matter of fact, rather than one of gloom and doom.
By focusing on the facts and “doing the math” behind climate change, Hawken believes the general public will become engaged in how we can each, as individuals, impact our climate. As stewards of the message environment, he encouraged us to be fearless and to take risks. Hawken also shared with us his work at Project Drawdown. Drawdown is the point at which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begin to decline on a year-to-year basis. They are focused on “doing the math” behind climate solutions and proving which solutions have the biggest impact for both businesses and the individual. Hawken also shared this video from NASA that shows how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe. He concluded his keynote by telling the audience he doesn’t believe in hope, he believes in brilliance of humanity to address the challenges we face.
It was a pretty great way to kick-off the Summit.