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Global Weirding: Wreaking Havoc On FM

By Greg Zimmerman Green

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, you’d have to admit things are getting weird these days. And more than a bit frightening. Wildfires. Massively destructive hurricanes of unprecedented frequency and power. Floods. Drought. Heck, we even had a week-long stretch of late-September days in the 90s here in Chicago during which we broke our record high temperature for seven days in a row. It was most unwelcome.

As crazy as this is, let’s face it: This is the new normal, weather-wise. Climate change is weirding our weather and it’s wreaking havoc on many a building’s operating plans, energy budgets, and overall facility management strategies.

As we wrote in our July issue, dealing with climate changes requires a combination of resilience and sustainability strategies. Resilience so that facilities are better prepared to recover after an emergency, and to withstand a disaster in the first place. And sustainability for the same reasons, but also to help mitigate the overall effects of climate change on a large scale.

The good news, if any can be found, is that global carbon emissions held steady in 2016 — repeating a trend from 2014 and 2015. So progress is being made. Though of course that is little consolation to the people in Northern California, Puerto Rico, South Florida, Houston, and wherever the next disaster strikes.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on the how sustainability and resilience complement each other.


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