2010 Imperative - Global Emergancy Teach-in

thanks to +q/Quilian-

SAVE THE DATE: February 20th, 12:00-3:30pm (EST)

Architecture 2030 (where +q freelances) is launching The 2010 Imperative, a brand new challenge and strategy to transform design education. Along with the imperative, they are also organizing a fully interactive Teach-In webcast, on February 20th, featuring: Dr. James Hansen from NASA, Susan Szenasy from Metropolis Magazine, Chris Luebkeman from Arup, and Edward Mazria from 2030. I encourage all interested fellow bloggers and archinecters to tune in and if your school or workplace is interested to maybe organize a showing. The following is the full press release from Architecture 2030:

The 2010 Imperative: Global Emergency Teach-in

With so much attention given to transportation, many people are surprised to learn that buildings are the single largest contributor to global warming. In the US, buildings are responsible for almost half (48%) of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually; globally the percentage is even greater. To address the Building Sector's role in climate change, Architecture 2030, in partnership with AmericaSpeaks, is hosting a Global Emergency Teach-in (for more information go to

The Teach-in, entitled The 2010 Imperative, will be web-cast live from New York on February 20, 2007 from noon to 3 p.m. EST. Hundreds of thousands of students, faculty, deans and practicing professionals in the architecture, planning, and design communities in North and South America and around the world will be logging on to discover how they inadvertently fuel global warming through design, and what they can do to change this. In addition to addressing climate change, participants will also learn about 'The 2030 Challenge' and 'The 2010 Imperative'.

In response to the climate-change crisis, Architecture 2030 issued The 2030 Challenge in January of 2006. The Challenge calls for all new buildings and major renovations to immediately reduce their energy consumption by 50%, and all new buildings to be 'carbon neutral' by 2030. As The 2030 Challenge spreads across the country and around the globe, it will be the professionals and young designers who will be asked to implement it. Yet today, climate-change science, mitigation and adaptation strategies are virtually absent in many professional offices, as well as US and international professional design schools.

To address this situation, a rapid transformation of the entire design and design education community must begin immediately. The 2010 Imperative, a challenge and strategy for transforming design education, will be issued to all schools during the Teach-in, and participants will be asked to adopt, support, and implement its targets.

During the Teach-in, participants will be able to interact with leaders at the forefront of design and climate change. Panelists include Susan Szenasy, editor in Chief of Metropolis Magazine; Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Edward Mazria, AIA, Founder of Architecture 2030; and Dr. Chris Luebkeman, Director of Arup's Global Foresight and Innovation Initiative. The event will feature presentations by the panelists and an extensive question and answer session, where participants around the world can query the expert panelists in real time. There will also be an action-oriented discussion on implementing The 2030 Challenge and The 2010 Imperative. This highly interactive approach will allow participants to learn from and educate the panelists and each other. The Teach-in will take place in New York City before a live audience, translated into Spanish and Portuguese and simultaneously web-cast.

The Global Emergency Teach-in, which is free, is sponsored by The American Institute of Architects (AIA), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), New York Academy of Sciences, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, AIA Large Firm Roundtable, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Supporters include Metropolis magazine, AIA Committee on the Environment, Campus Climate Challenge, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, American Institute of Architecture Students, the Jonathan Rose Companies, and the Society of Building Science Educators among others. The Teach-in will focus on professionals and schools of architecture, planning, engineering, landscape architecture, interior design, industrial design and other design disciplines, but is open to all.

To register for and/or participate in the web-cast, please visit


originally posted here & here. Many, many thanks to +q!

Dec 21, 06 2:22 pm


A reminder to all those that may have missed this thread during the holiday season.

We are about a month away from this event and so far we have thousands of people from all over the world signed up to participate via web. If you are tuning in please register in so that we know more or less how many people plan to attend.



Jan 18, 07 10:33 am

my school studio is going to be watching

Jan 18, 07 10:38 am

reminder: this event is a week away.

If you want to watch it with others find an event in your are at:


Feb 12, 07 12:08 pm

damnit, i've got an interview.
will they podcast it so the slackers can catch the recap?
mazria's solar book(s?) were bibles in germany.

Feb 18, 07 11:45 pm

There will be an online streaming video posted sometime (a day or two) after the live Teach-in.

Feb 19, 07 12:26 pm


will someone be posting the video in the forum, or will you post a link?

my structures prof refuses to cancel his lecture... designing for shear forces won't matter too much if there's no earth to build on.


Feb 19, 07 5:25 pm


staNJ, stage a coup. seriously. i'm sure you're not the only one that would rather attend the teach-in than a structures lecture.

or get admin. involved. activism over passivism.

Feb 19, 07 8:16 pm

I'm taking over our conference room to watch this thing. I didn't send out an invite because if I do, people will actively avoid it, so I just figured I would set it up and start watching and people will filter in if they think they are missing something. The psychology of my office is bizarre.

Feb 19, 07 9:00 pm
Chili Davis

Only half an hour away. Don't forget!

Feb 20, 07 11:25 am

Well this is pretty interesting. I wish someone would give engineers and scientists a little crash course in keeping people's attention though. They are always so DRY!

A lot of this was stuff I already knew, but I managed to lure a few people in and expose them to new information.

Honestly, I don't know why more people aren't paying attention to these issues. We don't really have a choice anymore.

Feb 20, 07 2:36 pm

I am afraid they are just speaking to the choir

Feb 20, 07 2:36 pm

Did you hear the question from the 7th grader? "What can I do?" he asked. Poor kid might not get the chance to visit New York if it's underwater in 20 years....

Feb 20, 07 2:39 pm

how can they be speaking to the choir if we - designers - are responsible for 48% of the Energy Consumption?

Feb 20, 07 2:41 pm

Heh, boat around the crown of the statue of liberty.

I wonder how you get developers and industry who are focused obsessively on short term gain, to do anything - outside of focusing on quarterly gain. All the suburban sprawl, malls, strip malls, etc...they are not becoming less...they are exponentially more...and we are all using more electricity, not less....even their streaming and website...its unavoidable...who will propose the big changes and implement them?

I just hear the typical info...then again I have heard Mazria lecture 3 times already.

Feb 20, 07 2:43 pm

because we don't pay for what gets designed

Feb 20, 07 2:44 pm

i wish they had brought in some architects who are at the forefront of green/sustainable design. last night, i went to a lecture given by michael sorkin ( and he was a vibrant, passionate speaker who had very interesting theories and insights about sustainability and what the possibilities are. i also went to a lecture by nicholas michelin ( last who had amazing environmental and design solutions that unfortunately are not up on his website. with europe being more open to sustainable designs, i think it would have been great to have seen more examples of what is being done to be able to grasp the viability of such a challenge. i'm sure there are more architects but those just come to mind.

2010 touched on the problem and the control measures but it lacked inspiration. i think another archinector was saying that sustainability is our current cultural and architectural movement. this truly is a tremendous opportunity and we need 1) the tools and knowledge to mobilize such change at a granular level and maybe not obvious, 2) the inspiration, the flash, the hype, the fire to gain momentum quickly on a large scale. some of the work being done really IS "sexy and fashionable" and we need them as posterchildren.

Feb 20, 07 2:52 pm

oh one more thing i feel like they could have touched on was resource consumption (not just energy)

Feb 20, 07 2:57 pm

how about human population? and's combined effect on all resources.

how do you design that away? These are huge questions that design alone only tickles.

Feb 20, 07 3:00 pm

absolutely, that's another thing that michael sorkin touched on yesterday. that out of the 6billion ppl on earth, 3billion live in cities and 1million ppl are moving to cities per week. urban areas are unable to sustain this exponential growth and half of the populcation of cities live in slums. the united states is of course the most gluttonous of countries and if the world were to consume at our rate, we would need the surface area equivalent to 2 more earths to sustain life. he gave the example where it requires 6 times the weight of the kiwi in resources just so that we can have the luxury of choices. the united states sets the standard for the world and we certainly don't want everyone over-developing and over-consuming.

how do you design that away? he is saying that we should be sorkin had elaborate ideas about prescriptive eutopian (not to be confused with utopian) urbanizations and dismantling cities (which have become apraxic at the mega level) into smaller self-sufficent villages. very interesting ideas!

2010 is talking a lot about regulation and an imposition of rules, which i think is imperative. i think it's a combination of regulation and education. it's important to instill a sense of motivation and interest beyond the design and building industry. it has to become a cultural, social revolution. i'm not so worried about how becuase people will find a way if they care.

Feb 20, 07 3:13 pm

Yeah, but when GE's lobbyist talks to the politician and says they are against these regulations...well know what happens next...see the electric car.

I am afraid things will get much worse before they get better...I am also 35 and worked for greenpeace in the 80's and have only seen things maybe I am just not viewing this very rosily.

Feb 20, 07 3:17 pm

Did you mean GM? GE is actually doing some pretty interesting things in terms of sustainability. GM, on the other hand, is very bad.

Feb 20, 07 3:23 pm

You all should spend your time doing something better. Seriously, thirty years ago it was the Global Cooling myth.

On second thought, keep up what you are doing. I will do all the architecture while you buy and sell mythology.

Feb 20, 07 3:35 pm

despite what mazaria says, architects are NOT responsible for 40% (or more) of the enrgy use in the us.

Architects account for 3% of A/E/C billings in the US. Thus we effectively have direct control of 3% of what gets built and how it gets built. Further, Mazaria's statistics conflate indutrial processing loads with architecture's energy use (say for a factory or a laboratory-something architects definitely do no control).

We certainly need to do more (I ain't arguing otherwise) but I think it is more sensible to see what the actual problem is and how architects can contirbute their expertise to range of problems. But his had-waiving account of the issues is misleading.

Feb 20, 07 3:45 pm

myth or not, i don't think that precludes you from becoming a good, responsible architect. shouldn't architecture be a vehicle that improves humanity whether the need for improvement is imminent or not?

Feb 20, 07 3:45 pm

My boss* came in while the web cast was going on and starting spouting off about how he "doesn't know about all this global warming stuff" and doesn't climate change "happen in waves? Like didn't this happen a few million years ago?"

I pointed out that while climate change might in fact happen in waves of a few million years, no one was around to build cities on the edges of coasts a few million years ago, so no one really noticed when the ice caps melted and the sea level rose about 80 feet back then. He goes "oh that's a good point".

*No one is quite sure how he got to be in charge.

Feb 20, 07 4:23 pm

agreed, FROCCLI. i'm just sick of the scare tactics such as this:

and this:

Did you hear the question from the 7th grader? "What can I do?" he asked. Poor kid might not get the chance to visit New York if it's underwater in 20 years....
underwater in 20 years? the 'experts' think if we do all that we can and spend massive amounts of money, we will reduce the average change in temperature by .7 degrees fahrenheit over the next 100 years.

these cycles over millions of years are way bigger than what we've done in the last 200 years ..
Feb 20, 07 4:23 pm

And then Free Ramos and Compean comes along and proves my point, again.

Feb 20, 07 4:24 pm

i'm your boss. get back to work.

Feb 20, 07 4:26 pm

you seriously think new york will be underwater in 20 years?

Feb 20, 07 4:27 pm

I liked the comment "We don't know how to live in cities yet"

I think the focus of the 2030 imperative is essential, but I wonder how well it will work psychologically to be making all these reductions long before we see the benefits. It's like when you start a work-out routine or a diet and you have to wait months before great results. But in this case, it's our planet that needs to go on a diet.

It's gotta be done.

Feb 20, 07 4:33 pm

And you know what else? I'm so fucking sick and tired of people complaining about scare tactics. How the hell else are we supposed to get through to people? The news media does it every goddamned day. "New study out, eggs can kill you" or "Somebody else got shot in this stereotypical inner city black neighborhood".....

But a bunch of highly reputed scientists get together, put out a report that is certified by researchers all over the globe that have spent the majority of their careers observing these things, and somehow facts become scare tactics?

What a bunch of lousy bullshit. It's time to finally get off your ass and start learning the things that your clients pay you to know, and for the present and the future, this knowledge involves sustainable, ecological design. Jesus christ, get with it. I have no time for people who would rather whine and stomp their feet than try to make progress in their field because they are too comfortable to give a damn.


Feb 20, 07 4:33 pm

we've got a global thread warming effect going on here...

Feb 20, 07 4:37 pm

It is true that these cycles do exist and the earth will purge itself and cleans itself of our pollution, but at what cost to us. The pollution caused by the wasteful use of fossil fuels and the society that we currently live in has dangerously spead up this 'cycle'. To simply say we do not have an affect on something as big as the world and its cycle is ridiculous. The earth will go on yes, but at what cost to our standard of living. Nobody says that our race will be around forever. I agree with Free Ramos that we cannot destroy the earth, and that it can naturally heal itself, but let me know how that ice age treats you when the earth suddenly chills to fix itself.

</additional rant>

Feb 20, 07 4:43 pm

i'm all for sustainable design as long as it looks good. as i wrote in the columbia school blog (same topic):

energy-concious design should be out of a desire for efficiency and ending the u.s. dependency on foreign oil, not out of 'it's gettin' hot in herre' scare tactics ..
and the facts the scientists have pulled together are based on hundreds of assumptions required for their computer modeling programs. then it's presented as an absolute fact and people everywhere start screaming 'we're all gonna die !!!'.
Feb 20, 07 4:47 pm

Well the truth is we ARE all gonna die !!!

Feb 20, 07 5:07 pm

how do YOU know ?!?

since the average lifespan has nearly doubled over the last 200 years. keep doubling that and what happens? according to my computer models, the average lifespan will last 76,800 years by the year 3,000.

we can only see where that's going ..

Feb 20, 07 5:18 pm

yeah, let's all wait and watch the world end together!

Feb 20, 07 5:59 pm

Sorry for all the profanity, I just get so frustrated. But that is what scientists do, they make assumptions based on models which are actually based on facts.

I recently read an article, which was originally printed in "Extra! The Magazine of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting", which stated that the tendency towards journalistic balance in this country was actually a form of Global Warming bias. Basically they proposed that the public's desire to hear "both sides to every story" meant that nay-sayers or skeptics with little to no scientific background were being given equal time and consideration as actual scientists and researchers who had data to back up their claims. That's SO frustrating!

PS. We are actually all going to die. I think its the way we go about it that is prompting us to take action against climate change. Do we want to live in a world that is slowly choking to death or do we want to end our lives knowing that the next generation will live on a cleaner planet than we did?

Feb 20, 07 6:06 pm

GE makes nuclear bombs too...the sustainable aspect is minimal in their woek...and they have lobbied for grandfathering of coal plants too...the make parts for everything, and money off of most everything war, excess, etc.

Feb 20, 07 6:32 pm

i love the neo-con argument; you can't prove x will happen, and we can't prove it won't happen, so, let's just wait and see what happens.

my question is this, what if science is right, and the world is in dire straits, what then? what will you, your grandchildren's children do then, when it's too late? what happens if science is wrong? what are the drawbacks to a cleaner environment, a livable world, where everyone becomes the caretaker, and stewards; food is plentiful, resources are used appropriately, i could go on.

if the neo-cons are wrong - the world ends [oh shit, the religious right would love that and maybe that's the plan.]

if the scare tactic scientists are wrong - we leave the world better than we found it? that's a bad thing?

Feb 20, 07 6:44 pm

adding in from here in South Africa. where is the GETI happening here? does it not count? isn't Africa the most affected by Climate Change....

There are over 2000 designers gathered this week in Capetown? Where is the global in the G-ETI?

This is not an 'our problem, our solution' situation....

I offered to run one here and am still waiting for a response.

btw. the teach-in is near midnight here...

/rant over.

Feb 20, 07 6:49 pm

no one says its a bad do you do it if you do not hold the $

How will you wanting to do good make a developer who bases profits on 6 months to 18 months change his habits.

And again, how do you change the growth of the human population? None of the scientists want to touch that question and it is critical to any long term solution.

Feb 20, 07 6:51 pm


Ed Mazria mentioned at least once in the GETI that he has plans to bring this teach-in to the other half of the world, citing time-zone issues specifically. Otherwise, all sides of the planet were addressed in all 3 presentations. During the Q & A session, questions were submitted from people in the Middle East, the Far East, and Europe.

Feb 20, 07 7:20 pm

I am a global warming skeptic. Not skeptical that it is happening, but skeptical that it is caused by what most people think it is caused by.

I am not a neocon by the way. And I am not suggesting that we should blithely keep on doing what we are doing. There is still a debate to be had on this - it is not over a Al Gore says. It has not yet begun. There are plenty of opposing views from people who have no agenda except for balance and representation of a genuine scientific argument. Granted, there are some nutcases on both sides.

Here is but one viewpoint from the opposing side:

Nigel Calder: Relax, it's only the sun
POSTED 2007-02-20T08:24:47

WHEN politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change, which is due for publication in a few months' time.

They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.

The small print explains very likely as meaning that the experts who made the judgment felt 90 per cent sure about it. Older readers may recall a press conference at Harwell in 1958 when John Cockcroft, Britain's top nuclear physicist, said he was 90 per cent certain that his lads had achieved controlled nuclear fusion.

It turned out that he was wrong.

More positively, a 10 per cent uncertainty in any theory is a wide open breach for any latter-day Galileo or Einstein to storm through with a better idea.

That is how science really works.

Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis, which redefined the subject as the study of the effect of greenhouse gases. As a result, the rebellious spirits essential for innovative and trustworthy science are greeted with impediments to their research careers.

And while the media usually find mavericks at least entertaining, in this case they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.

Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter's billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages.

The early arrival of migratory birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adelie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8 per cent in the Southern Ocean.

So one awkward question you can ask, when you're forking out those extra taxes for climate change, is "Why is east Antarctica getting colder?" It makes no sense at all if carbon dioxide is driving global warming. The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.

That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.

Climate history and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis. The 20th-century episode, or Modern Warming, was just the latest in a long string of similar events produced by a hyperactive sun, of which the last was the Medieval Warming.

The Chinese population doubled then, while in Europe the Vikings and cathedral-builders prospered.

Fascinating relics of earlier episodes come from the Swiss Alps, with the rediscovery in 2003 of a long-forgotten pass used intermittently whenever the world was warm.

What does the Intergovernmental Panel do with such emphatic evidence for an alternation of warm and cold periods, linked to solar activity and going on long before human industry was a possible factor?

Less than nothing. The 2007 Summary for Policymakers boasts of cutting in half a very small contribution by the sun to climate change conceded in a 2001 report. Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate.

The sun's brightness may change too little to account for the big swings in the climate. But more than 10 years have passed since Henrik Svensmark in Copenhagen first pointed out a much more powerful mechanism.

He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds.

The sun's magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.

The only trouble with Svensmark's idea - apart from its being politically incorrect - was that meteorologists denied that cosmic rays could be involved in cloud formation.

After long delays in scraping together the funds for an experiment, Svensmark and his small team at the Danish National Space Centre hit the jackpot in the summer of 2005.

In a box of air in the basement, they were able to show that electrons set free by cosmic rays coming through the ceiling stitched together droplets of sulphuric acid and water.

These are the building blocks for cloud condensation. But journal after journal declined to publish their report; the discovery finally appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society late last year.

Thanks to having written The Manic Sun, a book about Svensmark's initial discovery published in 1997, I have been privileged to be on the inside track for reporting his struggles and successes since then.

The outcome is a second book, The Chilling Stars, co-authored by the two of us. We are not exaggerating, we believe, when we subtitle it: A New Theory of Climate Change.

Where does all that leave the impact of greenhouse gases? Their effects are likely to be a good deal less than advertised, but nobody can really say until the implications of the new theory of climate change are more fully worked out.

The reappraisal starts with Antarctica, where those contradictory temperature trends are directly predicted by Svensmark's scenario, because the snow there is whiter than the cloud-tops. Meanwhile, humility in face of nature's marvels seems more appropriate than arrogant assertions that we can forecast and even control a climate ruled by the sun and the stars.

Nigel Calder is a former editor of the New Scientist. This is an extract from The Sunday Times in London.

Feb 20, 07 7:27 pm

Just to clarify my GE comment

One of the top lobbying companies

One of the worst histories of corporate pollution

And a history of dabling in green/sustainable like windmills and using it as advertising to cover up their image.

wow...its 2005 and now GE wants to show us it has "ecomagination"

Feb 20, 07 8:53 pm

o.k. it's not as bad as i thought but still, let's look at the facts:

1900-1960: life expectancy rises from 47 to 67. there was a little dip in 1918 due to influenza, but i'm sure you will all agree the fact of this graph is alarming.

global living is out of control and we must do something to stop this age rise - after all, we created it. these are facts. in the future, our grandkids will live to be over 140 years old. and after that .. well, it will keep going up forever.

this is all based on facts and all scientists agree the average age has been rising over the last 100 years.

Feb 20, 07 9:44 pm

What does the glaciers melting and flooding the eastern seaboard have to do with us living longer lives?

And jasoncross, I figured that GE had done some bad things, I just wanted clarification, because you had mentioned emissions and lobbying, which leads me to think of automobiles immediately.

Feb 20, 07 10:25 pm

I asked him personally and he said 'This Teach-in is geared to the west because we are the ones doing most of the polluting', he did say the next one is for Asia and I understand where he is coming from but the perception of leaving Africa last on the totem pole when there is a huge building boom happening here comes off a little weird.

I look forward to the 2010 GETI responding to the needs of many in the global south. Remember it is not only what we have done but what we are about to do that needs to be factored in.

Regardless I support this initiative and wish y'all the best.


ps. for those who don't believe this is happening then bugger off - this isn't compulsory. Don't piss in the pool of a party you don't want to attend.

Feb 21, 07 12:00 am
vado retro

life expectancy has gone up because infant mortality has gone down. it is doubtful that we are going to be living til 140 years old.

Feb 21, 07 9:48 am


Feb 21, 07 9:49 am

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