steve austin

  • On October 8, 2018, the UN released a bombshell report whose implications will shake the profession of landscape architecture to its core. The report lays out clear evidence that if world governments don’t take […]

    • I am curious to know how many LA’s either “believe” or “deny” these claims. I do not believe it (especially from the IPCC and the UN). I don’t subscribe to the “doom and gloom” per these predictions. I’ve been around long enough to see too many “predictions” come and go with no effect. Of course, we should all be good stewards of the Earth and landscape and including design, we have an opportunity to make things better. Surely planting 1000 trees would make the world a better place. But, no, I don’t believe that the use of fossil fuels etc. is the cause sea level rise, “global warming”, and/or “climate change.” If I admit something like that in a job interview I can assure you that I will not be a candidate for hire at a prestigious LA firm because of my “beliefs” nor will I rise to any highlighted position, grace the cover of ASLA’s Landscape Architecture Magazine, or offered a rewarding contract or project. It’s not going to happen. So, in the end, I’m merely trying to point out the thought in that I won’t be accepted amongst my peers because I’m not a staunch supporter of the “global warming” or “climate change” crusade. I can guarantee you that anyone admitting that you are a “denier” could likely jeopardize their career path because of it.

    • I agree with “Martin” above. For one, I’m not convinced that increased CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere has any direct correlation to “climate change”. As we all know, the Earth has basically been doing “it’s thing” with regards to weather….changing for Millions of years, since the very beginning. I did the research…the Earth’s atmosphere consists of .04% CO2…or as the experts like to say, 400 ppm. I’ve read, that experts do agree…that a warmer Earth is better than a cooler one….for both people and animal life.

      Funny to watch an interview with a NASA Astronaut the other night. He said, “Well, if you have a problem with the amount of CO2 on Earth, you’re not going to like the CO2 levels on the planet MARS”. He was asked about the possibility of humans settling on Mars (if Earth were to become uninhabitable). Mars’ atmosphere has over 90% CO2. He went on to state that in his professional opinion, we’re over 1,000 years away from being able to live on MARS. If we ever do make it to Mars, we most likely would be living under ground, in bunkers (where we would need to generate our own Oxygen).

      But, back to the Earth. It’s a fact, that “cows” and “active volcanoes” emit more CO2 emissions than ALL of the cars and trucks on our planet put together.. And, the U.S. is doing a better job of curbing CO2 than nearly all of the other Nations. Go visit China, India, South Korea, etc… can’t even breath their air or see the city skylines. In Seoul, South Korea, the Gov’t shut down 650 downtown parking lots (to force workers to use mass transportation) due to very high levels of toxic air. STILL…..don’t know why I’m even talking about CO2…..yes, it definitely causes terrible “air pollution”…but, WHY are people so convinced CO2 (and people) are causing “climate change”???

      Even IF the air quality in the U.S. was 100% pure…….wouldn’t matter. There are so many other Nations with awful air quality & high CO2 levels….the jet streams bring their BAD air to the U.S. Going with ALL “Electric” vehicles isn’t the answer either. If everyone drove an Electric car, think what that would do to the U.S. “power grid”. We would be very vulnerable to attack by a foreign Nation. And, our power grid would be stretched to the point where we would have constant “power outages”. Tesla believes they have a great car….but, OK, maybe I’m a bit old school, but, IMO, we are just not ready for “Electric” or “Hybrid” cars/trucks. And, pricing a “new” Tesla, even their new compact (and compact cars are not selling due to lower gasoline prices)…Tesla’s are priced from about $78k to $120k…..thanks, I’ll pass.

      And, WHAT does “Climate Change” have to do with “Landscape Architecture”? Nothing, IMO. Oh, I’m sure there are several Liberal University Professors who think they have the answer…..don’t think so. The “green energy” movement under former President Obama was seriously flawed, IMO. Way too much regulation, that hurt our economy and businesses in America. I think so much of all of that was about the “money”….a multi-Billion industry….and an experiment at that…didn’t work.

      I’m just NOT buying the concept that “humans” are in any way causing “Climate” to change here on Earth. Yes, humans are contributing to air and water pollution, for sure. But, every Nation should be financially responsible for cleaning up their own mess…..that’s why I was glad to see President Trump pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement.

      J. Robert (Bob) Wainner

  • thanks for your comment Mike – yes, we landscape architects can’t pretend to be “green.” We must be committed to working with reality.

  • The chart above is of profound importance to landscape architecture as a profession and especially for any practitioner or student under the age of thirty.

    This chart, which is based on the science […]

    • Steve, while I “agree” with most of what you have stated about the concern for CO2 emissions around the Globe…..IMO, the U.S. should ONLY be responsible for our Nation…….NOT for other Nations around the World. The Paris agreement is totally “unfair” to the United States! Why should U.S. taxpayer pick up the tab for cleaning up the air pollution in China, Pakistan, India, China, etc. Those Nations need to be encouraged to find their OWN solutions. The U.S. has a debt of over $20 Trillion!!!

      I watch a lot of K-Drama TV shows on Netflix….many of those programs are filmed in China, Japan & South Korea….In every program you can SEE how terribly filthy their air quality is!!! The air quality in Russia (Moscow) is exceptional bad too….you can barely see to drive on the highways.

      Maybe the U.S. should give some of those Nations some “incentives” to clean up their air and STOP all of the excessive CO2 issues,,,,,by cutting some of the Millions of dollars of “Foreign Aid” we send to those Nations every year.

      However, with regards to the CO2 problems here in the U.S…..those who advocate that we convert all or most of our gasoline powered vehicles to electrical cars won’t work. Having so many “electrical” powered vehicles in the U.S. would over-load our Nation’s Electrical Power Grid….also, making that Grid susceptible to attack by foreign Nations. Besides, Chevy tried producing hundreds of “electric cars”….they were flawed, problems with batteries, too expensive and people weren’t buying them.

      Nicely written article though…….I wish you luck with all that.


      J. Robert (Bob) Wainner

    • Hi Steve,

      This is a useful article in which you have opened my eyes to how much influence the LA design has on increasing the C02 burden, which is a big step away from the green and fluffy landscapes we think are responsible for creating. Importantly, as designers we are reminded that each of us is at the best stage in the design process to seek out ‘greener’ alternatives and challenge design and specifications.


      • thanks for your comment Mike – yes, we landscape architects can’t pretend to be “green.” We must be committed to working with reality.

      • Mike, while I understand and admire your enthusiasm………IMO, common sense tells me even IF the U.S. became ZERO free of CO2 emissions……we would still have a ton of it to deal with. Because, as I mentioned, unless American can build a “glass dome” over it to keep CO2 emissions out… will continue to be carried into the U.S. via the jet streams from other Nations…..who are much, much worse at NOT controlling their own CO2 emissions.

        The U.S. taxpayers should not be responsible for paying to clean up the polluted air in foreign nations. We have a $20 Trillion debt as it is. Those Nations need to deal with their own “environmental” problems….the U.S. can’t force those Nations to do anything they don’t wish to do. Besides, even IF we did give every foreign Nation Billions of dollars to help them improve their CO2 and other environmental issues…..I’m not convinced that’s WHERE the money would actually go.

        LAs can only do just so much to help our Nation’s environmental issues. City, State & Federal leaders have more power than we do. As I have practiced for the past 40 yrs…..I have seen our profession disrespected and unappreciated……even by other design disciplines. ASLA may argue with me, but, I really don’t think it is our main objective as Landscape Architects to “Save The Planet”.

        And, I find it very interesting that certain “groups” used to used to use the term “Global Warming”….but, now they are using the term “Climate Change” instead. That climate change is a direct cause of CO2. But, we all know……the Earth’s climate has been change for Billions of years….and will continue to do so, regardless of anything we humans here on Earth do or don’t do.

        Yes, there are alternative types of “fuels”…..nuclear, natural gas, electrical, wind driven, solar panels, etc….but, in doing some research on ALL of those types of energy recourses…..there is a downside to all them. Interesting too, to learn that the 1.5 Million cattle on our Planet emit 18% of the greenhouse gases…that’s actually more than ALL of the cars, trucks and other vehicles on this Planet. And, the number of livestock is growing. So, we can blame cars (oil) that emit CO2, to a point….but, I think it’s all more complex than we all realize.

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