In 2008 and 2011, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) held panel discussions on climate change, sustainability, and cultural heritage. Both panels present information on how cultural resource managers can help slow climate change, adapt resources to changing environments, and be a part of sustainable communities.
The first panel considers the impacts climate change will have on our cultural heritage, what we can do to prevent those impacts, and how we can use our cultural resources to slow climate change. Participants include cultural heritage professionals from the U.S. and England as well as members of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Global Green USA. Their conversation covers topics from the higher frequencies of 100-year storms, to the plausibility of conserving mid-century structures, to embodied energy, to the preservationist’s role in public education on effective energy management.
Participants in the second panel are representative of historic sites and collections conservation, and they begin the panel by presenting their own work in sustainability. The panel ultimately emphasizes that to be part of the cross-discipline sustainability conversation, preservationists should re-direct the dialogue away from new green construction and towards reuse and repair of the current building stock.