What the Future Could Hold

From the various themes of past blog posts, I found one in the Ted Talks section that stood out to me the most. Leah Garden wrote “Times, They are A’Changin” about Lord Nicholas Stern’s discussion about climate change and what countries are and are not doing about it. After reading her blog, I watched the Ted Talk so that I could have a greater understanding of what she wrote about in her post. Stern discussed climate change in relation to cities, energy, and land and how all three are interconnected. Both Stern’s presentation and Leah’s post interested me, because I am interested in being a real estate developer with a focus on sustainability. While building buildings has always been an interest of mine, when I went to Copenhagen in the fall of 2013, I took a sustainable design class and my desire to build sustainable buildings became more than an interest, it became a passion.

Both Stern and Leah wrote about their experiences with the smog in Beijing, and how this experience showed them where the world could be heading. While I have never been to a city surrounded by smog, my experience with learning about sustainability in Denmark made me much more knowledgable about the changing climate around the world. In 1973, Denmark had an oil crisis that transformed their entire country into the place it is now: a country entirely dependent on the oil from the Middle East to a country with a goal to be using 100% renewable energy by 2050 (they are already above 40% renewable power). Along with this energy goal, Copenhagen is striving to be the best biking city in the world (it is currently ranked 2nd behind Amsterdam) and they have a 180% tax on cars. With simple goals and new policies, Denmark completely transformed itself into one of the leading countries in sustainability.

Leah mentions in her post some of Stern’s examples of model countries for more sustainable living. However, they both acknowledge that even with several countries taken steps in being more sustainable, the world is moving to slowly to keep up with climate change. I agree with this statement. This is one of the reasons why I have set my life on being a sustainable real estate developer; I want to do my part in creating some incremental level of change in the way we live our lives here in the U.S.

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