- Construction engineer, U.S. Dept. of State »
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- Senior Director of Facilities »
- DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE FACILITIES »
- Facilities Director »
Against the Constant Crisis, Rise
As I write this note, much of the West coast is burning. Climate change is one of the reasons this year’s fire season has reached apocalyptic proportions.
I’m sure you’ve seen the meme. There’s a little fish (that’s you) about to be gobbled up by a bigger fish (the pandemic) which is about to be gobbled up by an even bigger fish (climate change.) Even while we are racing to find a solution to COVID-19, the climate continues to change, the environment continues to be degraded, and resources continue to be gobbled up. In a year that is already too much, we overshot the Earth’s carrying capacity back in August.
The pandemic and climate change have striking similarities. Both are relentless and hard. Addressing both requires personal sacrifice, behavior modification, and collective action. Both are overwhelming and it would be much more pleasant to pretend they don't exist. But that is simply not an option.
In every choice made in a facility, there is always a more sustainable option. In this issue we cover reflective roofing, the smart grid, and optimizing HVAC systems. We discuss integrating daylighting and how to make space use more sustainable. We could have instead discussed a hundred other topics. Everything the facilities management department touches, every decision, and every policy has a direct and very real impact on our biome. And even in the most cutting-edge forward-thinking facility, there is always more to be done.
I can’t escape the irony of delivering a “green issue” to you on paper. Even with those of you reading our virtual issue, I can’t escape the carbon footprint and embedded resources in that medium either. But it’s not about being precious about perfection. It’s about consistent action. Against the pandemic and against climate change, it all comes down to you and to me. Let's try harder despite it all, like our lives depend on it.
Editor • email@example.com