News

Landscape Architects Stand Up for Science-based Policy Making


Roxanne Blackwell

2017-05-02

On April 22, millions of people around the globe celebrated Earth Day with events and activities that recognized the earth’s ecological and biological diversity, while highlighting the growing challenges facing the planet. 

This year’s Earth Day coincided with the March for Science, a series of rallies and marches hosted in Washington, D.C., and in more than 500 cities across the world that focused on the vital role science plays in protecting the earth’s natural resources. ASLA is a co-sponsor of the March for Science and stands with the millions of individuals, organizations, and governments that recognize climate change as one of the greatest global challenges and the need for science-based data to address this issue.

Recently, the administration issued a series of executive orders and other policy actions that will threaten the planet and its citizens’ health, safety, and economies. Help us uphold landscape architects’ long-standing value of stewardship for the natural environment. Sign onto ASLA’s letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to reconsider recent actions that will endanger our planet. 

ASLA will submit the letter signed by landscape architects and other supporters into the official record requesting public comment on Presidential Actions Related to Regulatory Reform. 

Take action—sign the letter today!

 

Official Letter: 

Dear Administrator Pruitt: 

We, the undersigned landscape architects, submit the following comments in response to your request for public input on Presidential Actions Related to Regulatory Reform.

As landscape architects who lead in the stewardship of our natural environments, we are extremely concerned about recent actions taken by the administration to eliminate federal programs and policies that protect and preserve our planet’s sustainability. In particular, we strongly object to activities that roll back U.S. climate policies, undermine the collection and dissemination of climate science and data, and withdraw the United States from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement. These actions not only endanger our natural resources, but they also jeopardize our vulnerable economy and threaten national security. 

Recently, President Trump issued an Executive Order to review the Clean Power Plan, rescind several climate-related regulations and reports, reverse the moratorium on new mining leases on federal land, and overturn other climate-related federal activities. The order also revokes the President’s Climate Action Plan, which called on the federal government to make “climate-resilient investments” through agency grants and technical assistance to local communities. Together, these actions completely abandon the United States’ road map to achieving emissions reductions, and leave local communities vulnerable to the destructive impacts of climate change, including worsening air pollution, heat waves, poor water quality, coastal erosion, sea-level rise, wildfires, drought, and other devastations.

Landscape architecture combines science and design to plan and protect a variety of outdoor spaces, including multimodal transportation networks, water and stormwater management systems, parks and outdoor recreational facilities, residential communities, commercial developments, and more. Our profession understands the importance of and relies on credible science and data, which heightens our concern for recent administration recommendations to cut funding for critical federal scientific research and development programs, particularly climate science programs. Many of these programs diagnose the causes of the changes in the Earth’s climate system, but they also provide solutions and technologies to mitigate the risks from climate change while creating new economic opportunities for the nation. 

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our planet and our nation, but can also be a catalyst for great economic opportunities. Employing more green infrastructure projects and low-impact development, increasing active transportation networks, creating more parks and open spaces, using alternative energy sources like solar and wind are just a few climate mitigation techniques that also create new economic opportunities, including local jobs.

We are also concerned about recent threats to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on global climate change. This landmark accord would strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and the ability of countries to deal with its devastating impacts. The United States should continue to honor its global commitment to the agreement and take every action possible to achieve its principles and goals. 

We urge you, as the major federal official charged with protecting and preserving our natural resources, to change course and work to continue federal carbon reduction programs and regulations, fund scientific research and make it accessible to the American people, and honor the United States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement. Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments on this critical issue. 

 

Sincerely,

Contact

Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371
ktgrajales@asla.org
@ktgrajales

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