5kits zhao

big ideas.


Our blog is a library of resources and ideas found by us or shared with us by our friends and client network. It’s a collection of articles, radio stories, infographics and videos that relate to our work and broaden our thinking: our favorite content from the internet and beyond. Original commentary gives insight into our process and poses questions about the world inside and outside of the studio.


Energy

This week kicked off the COP21 climate talks in Paris, a city still reeling from the attacks on November 13th. In his speech on Monday, President Obama stressed the need to come to an agreement at this year’s summit, and how Paris’ hosting of the talks just weeks after the violence was an act of […]

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The US Forest Service has developed an app to help cities quantify the value of their trees. Landscape lovers know that they’re good for climbing, picnicking and napping under, contemplating, watching bud and bloom, and leaning against. But now planners and environmentalists are assigning dollar values to trees and other natural resources to tally up […]

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Hi everyone, I’m writing because I just joined an important campaign to stop the tar sands in Canada–and I want you to join me. It only takes a minute to sign the petition: www.350.org/take-a-stand If you haven’t heard of the tar sands, they’re a massive operation that many people call the most environmentally destructive project […]

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California’s Cap and Trade program takes effect tomorrow. Initially planned as an alliance of Western states that would create a regional market to put a price on emissions, California is now a lone pioneer with one standing ally, Quebec, Canada. With Obama’s reelection, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) expects that other states will follow […]

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Add it to your daily vocabulary, hash-tag it, say it loud and get it stuck in everyone’s heads: “systematic causation”. We need to start talking clearly if we’re going to fix this. “Global warming systemically caused the huge and ferocious Hurricane Sandy. And consequently, it systemically caused all the loss of life, material damage, and […]

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I love the NPR Cities Project. Here’s an excerpt from just one of their fascinating stories. As our cities have become more complex the physics embodying their behavior and organization has also become more nuanced, subtle and profound… [The] city becomes a vast interconnected system designed for turning energy into work. Seen through that lens, […]

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In typical California fashion, solar energy companies are finding a way to bring us the very essence of our Golden State in a the form of affordable electrical power. They’ve figured out how to lease the hardware so that we can enjoy cheaper home electricity today without a huge capital outlay. I love the quote […]

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As Bill McKibben puts it, the numbers above add up to  an enemy of Earth: The fossil fuel industry. Perhaps the one light suggested by this article is that the anti-climate change movement has found a powerful enemy in its narrative. The goal of the movement, as he puts it, should be to put a […]

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Listening to this conversation between Terry Gross and Garbology author and investigative journalist Edward Humes, I was fascinated. As a proud garbage-picker, Goodwill shopper, up-cycler, and true materialist, I am often struck by the fact of just how much stuff there is out there. I aspire to be rigorous and economical with trash and sometimes […]

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Thanks to KQED’s Climate Watch series and this brilliant illustration.

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