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E – 1771 Climate Change: Facts & Solutions; An Ethical Challenge For Engineers and Architects

Intended Audience: All Engineers



A recent Google search on climate change returned 818 million hits in a matter of 0.53 seconds. How can anyone wade through so much information and why would anyone feel the need to add yet another commentary? The overwhelming amount of information itself, some of which is false, is the reason for narrowing the information down to a clear definition of the problem and a clear definition of the solution. This course presents a summary of the science of climate change and climate-related obstacles faced by modern civilization followed by an analysis of how the world can profit from engineers and architects becoming a part of the solution through economically attractive contributions to the built and transportation environment. This course is especially designed to meet the AIA HSW requirement since global climate change is an imminent, challenging, threat to the health, safety and welfare of the population and the environment of the entire planet.


  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports.
  2. US Energy Information Agency (EIA) reports.
  3. Journal of Bioscience 2019 signed by 11,000 scientists.
  4. US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports.
  5. https://www.joboneforhumanity.org/climate_tipping_points.
  6. Blunden, J., and D.S. Arndt, Eds., 2019: State of the Climate in 2018, Bull.Amer. Meteor. Soc., Volume 100.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student should understand

  • What’s going on out there and how serious is it?
  • Climate change fiction and facts.
  • The connection between climate and weather.
  • Why the climate is changing – effects of greenhouse gases.
  • Eleven key tipping points and the need for urgent action.
  • How much will it cost to fix the problem?
  • Specifics and economics of zero energy building technologies.
  • How to determine the carbon footprint of fossil vs electric fuels.
  • Zero greenhouse gas transportation technologies.
  • Low/zero greenhouse gas industrial, agricultural and water resource technologies.
  • The role of government in promoting sustainability.
  • Sustainability ethical obligations of architects and engineers.

Course Reviews


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  1. 3

    Good introduction to the climate change issue.


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