Environmental and Energy Planning

Environmental planning covers a wide range of concerns having to do, generally, with minimizing the damage that human activity does to the natural environment. The goals may pertain to any of the following:

Minimizing threats to human health and life, for example, by reducing the concentration of dangerous pollutants in the air or the water supply or by limiting development in hazardous areas like flood plains

Preserving resources for future use, for example, minimizing soil erosion or minimizing the emission of greenhouse gases

Achieving aesthetic and recreational goals such as preserving some areas in a pristine condition

Minimizing damage to the environment for its own sake rather than humanity's sake, for example, by preserving the habitat of a rare species that has no known or readily foreseeable use to us.

Energy planning got off to an abrupt start in 1973 when the Arab- Israeli War of that year caused crude oil prices to quadruple in a few months. The concern was the controlling of energy costs. But over the years the field has morphed into one whose prime concern is reducing fossil fuel use to slow climate change.

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