In the wake of the American Electric Power agreeing to spend up to $4.6 billion to clean up its coal-powered electric generating facilities, many environmentalists are pleased at the outcome of a years-long lawsuit against the utility giant.
But cleaning up coal energy production isn't enough, says Ed Mazria, AIA, whose Architecture 2030 organization launched the 2030 Challenge subsequently adopted by AIA convention delegates, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, individual architecture firms, and many others.
Because oil and gas are becoming increasingly scarce and therefore soon will be prohibitively expensive, coal is the sole affordable fossil fuel that might take Earth to the point of 450 ppm of carbon dioxide, which, he predicts will happen by 2035 if current trends go unchecked. At that point, he says—citing Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics—global melting will be out of human control.
The solution, he adds, is not to produce more fossil-fuel-generated power but to concentrate on conserving energy and learning how to design entirely carbon-neutral new buildings and major renovations by 2030.
Stop coal now? What do you think?