Two Degrees: The Built Environment and Our Changing Climate
Routledge – 2013 – 262 pages
The Earth’s temperature has been rising. To limit catastrophic outcomes, the international scientific community has set a challenging goal of no more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) average temperature rise. Economists agree we will save trillions of dollars by acting early. But how do we act successfully? And what’s the backup plan if we fall short?
Setting politics aside, Two Degrees reviews the current science and explains how we can set practical steps to reduce the extent of warming and to adapt to the inevitable changes, all while improving the bottom line, beautifying our communities, and increasing human health. The book is a practical guide intended for a broad audience of those who occupy and shape our built environment. The authors provide a clear framework for communities, policy makers, planners, designers, developers, builders, and operators to help manage the impacts and capture the opportunities of our changing climate.
Two Degrees is divided into three sections—Fundamentals, Mitigation, and Adaptation—covering a diverse array of topics ranging from climate-positive communities and low-carbon buildings to the psychology of choice and the cost of a low-carbon economy. After a foreword by Amory Lovins, more than 10 contributing authors share knowledge based on direct experience in all aspects of built environment practice. This book clarifies the misconceptions, provides new and unique insights, and shows how a better approach to the built environment can increase resilience and positively shape our future.
"This book is a must-read for people who want to know more about how better buildings can be the cornerstone for resiliency in our cities and our communities."—Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council
"We have our challenge laid out — Two Degrees provides a well-structured guide in which anyone who designs or builds in the built environment can find lasting value."—Ed Mazria, founder and CEO, Architecture 2030
"A beautiful book, logically and accessibly laid out. I value its positive approach and rational sequencing for responding to threats that feel overwhelming. It reminds me of the way a doctor approaches a new and very sick patient who presents with a huge medical chart and a problem list that nearly immobilizes us with its complexity. But ‘no decision’ is a decision, and inaction, oftentimes, but not always, does more harm than good; the case demands a thoughtful action plan. Two Degrees disentangles the threats and, in this doctor’s mind, offers a ‘treatment’ plan that can save lives, environments, and resources."—Richard J. Jackson MD, Designing Healthy Communities, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta and former California Department of Public Health officer
"[Two Degrees] is a world-class book. There is a waterfall of ideas… Thoughtful. Clear. Two Degrees emerges from some of the best minds in sustainable practice. Enjoy!"—Jim Cramer, Design Futures Council; chairman and principal, Greenway Group
"A truly unique approach to meeting the challenge of solving the complexity of global-scale climate change on a human scale, using practical, profitable, and sustainable approaches to developing buildings."—Jeffrey R. Koseff, Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
"Two Degrees connects good science, professional practice, and people, with a dash of passion and optimism. A timely and important contribution, and an enjoyable book, well worth reading and sharing."—Steve Selkowitz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Building Technology & Urban Systems
"Two Degrees presents a clear and cogent approach to building and community design to address the changing climate. As the authors state, this is not a book of theory — it contains solid strategies from three of the most experienced practitioners."—William Browning, Partner, Terrapin Bright Green
Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgments Part 1: Fundamentals 1. The Science of Climate Change 2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Built Environment 3. Policies to Mitigate Climate Change 4. Sustainability and Climate Change Chapter 5. Mitigation and Adaptation. Part 2: Mitigation Strategies 6. Approaches to Zero Energy and Carbon 7. Low-Carbon and Zero-Carbon Buildings 8. Low-Carbon and Climate-Positive Communities 9. Getting to Zero for Existing Building Stock 10. Integrated Design 11. How We Choose: Evaluating Strategies and Trade-offs 12. Can We Afford a Low-Carbon Economy? 13. Corporate Leadership 14. The Walmart Story Part 3: Adaptation Strategies 15. Introduction to Adaptation and Resilience 16. Planning for Adaptation and Resilience 17. Designing for Warmer and Wetter Climates 18. Designing for Hotter and Drier Climates 19. Designing for Coastal Communities 20. Designing for Inland Communities Glossary. Author Biographies.