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Ecological Building Pioneer’s Post-Humus Book a Call to Action

12/16/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: green building, Greg Franta, Rocky Mountain Institute, climate change, book

“Greg Franta dedicated his life to changing traditional design approaches to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and develop a truly sustainable economy,” President Bill Clinton writes in the preface to Greg Franta’s Cooling the Warming: The Connection Between Climate Change and the Built Environment, which I just received in the mail.

Franta, a Colorado architect who led the Rocky Mountain Institute’s built environment practice and was instrumental in developing the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system, had just begun writing a comprehensive book about climate change and the built environment when he died in a car crash last year. Unwilling to let Greg’s voice die, his colleagues at RMI have published a slim volume that includes his introductory chapter, Clinton’s preface and chapters from RMI Principal Victor Olgyay and Chief Scienist Amory Lovins.

Cooling the Warming book cover 
Greg Franta's Cooling the Warming is a comprehensive book about climate change and the built environment. 

The book is a call to action that Franta would have relished. His comprehensive approach to energy is the core of RMI’s Reinventing Fire, a series of initiatives aimed at getting the United States completely off fossil fuels by 2050. Lovins writes that Reinventing Fire’s goals are “to create a clear and practical vision of a fossil-fuel-free future for the United States, backed up by quantitative analysis, and to map a pathway to achieve that future, led largely by business.”

“Greg was a giant in the world of sustainable design; his work has lifted us higher and brought us closer to living sustainably on the Earth,” Olgyay writes in his introduction. “Let us return the gift Greg has given us and build on his legacy. Enjoy life, learn from others, and, most important, act. It is an amazing time to be alive. We know what to do, and now is the time.”

Cooling the Warming is available on Amazon for the cost of shipping. It makes a great gift—that keeps on giving.

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