Climate change is a very serious issue that faces humans, animals, and plants. Climate change is caused by many factors, including biotic processes, variations in solar radiation, plate tectonics, volcanic eruptions, and human activity. The latter category is described as Anthropogenic Climate Change. Also known as ‘Global Warming’, it is a category that can be mitigated by sustainable landscape architecture. People actually have a huge part to play in climate change. There are so many things that we do that are harming the environment. For example, whenever we drive in a car or fly in a plane, we are impacting the environment. That is why companies like Cool Effect (https://www.cooleffect.org/content/travel-offset) are trying their best to reduce carbon emissions through a number of projects. People can donate to these projects by paying the travel offset of their journey, helping the company to fund these projects. That’s one way that people can start taking accountability for their part in climate change. Not only would this positively impact the environment, but it would also transform communities around the world. Many people are already discussing this measure in climate change documentaries, and there is some serious thought to the process being put forward by high ranking individuals and organisations. HM. Treasury The Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change 2006 was a study by the climate change by the British Chief Economics Adviser, Sir Nicholas Stern, available online on
Unusually for British government publications, the executive summary is involved in twelve foreign (meaning the non-British) languages, from Arabic to Chinese to Japanese to Brazilian Portuguese to Russian. Sir Nicholas Stern is an economist and the argument was that we could not afford not to deal with Climate Change. More recently he has published A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity Bodley Head: 2009.
One response to climate change is to argue for a low Carbon Economy and in that respect, we recommend Martin Kemp (ed.) Zero Carbon Britain 2030 Centre for Alternative Technology: 2010 which is supplemented by their website http://www.zerocarbonbritain.com/ . Another economist’s critique of this subject is Dieter Helm The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong – and How to Fix it: Yale University Press: 2012.
But what does this mean for landscape architects whose education invariably involves some consideration of climate and microclimate? Chip Sullivan Garden and Climate: Old World Techniques for Landscape Design McGraw-Hill: 2002 addresses microclimate modification based on a study of Mediterranean gardens. The Landscape Institute position statement is Landscape Architecture and the Challenge of Climate Change: 2008 and is downloadable from their website from http://www.landscapeinstitute.org/policy/ClimateChange.php . The ASLA web page on climate change leads to many other websites and resources and was updated in 2011.