On September 20, 2019 Mahlum staff in Portland and Seattle took part in the School Strike for Climate in support of over 4 million students and adults across the world demanding immediate and transformative climate action. While wet weather in Portland threatened to dampen the crowd, both cities saw record numbers of climate strikers contributing to the worldwide demand for immediate action. Students of all ages challenged adults to recognize the urgent climate crisis and act now to ensure that they have a just and livable future on this planet. Speeches and protest signs clearly communicated the fear and anger this generation harbors, unsure what their lives will be like after the year 2050. There was also optimism that the collective strength of our next generations can lead this change.
So how are we, as adults, professionals and government leaders going to respond? Estimates show that to meet our drawdown targets and avoid a global warming tipping point, we need to more aggressively reduce our carbon emissions in all aspects of our economy and we understand that the building industry is responsible for 30-50% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions on planet earth. This means that architectural practices worldwide have a huge opportunity to positively impact the direction of this crisis. It is our responsibility to leverage the technology and systems that already exist to bring our carbon footprint to zero by 2030 or sooner.
Thank you to all the brave and inspiring youth who are coming forward to demand action to sustain a just and livable planet. It’s our opportunity to listen to the next generation and ACT NOW.
To learn more about the local impact to Washington State, see No Time to Waste, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC and Implications for Washington State.
To learn more about the local impact to Oregon, the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute has published its Fourth Oregon Climate Assessment Report.