Earth Day 2021: Powers of 10

This is our second Earth Day separated, and working remotely. We pause to reflect on our powerful connection to nature, especially this year. We want to share our views of nature outside our windows in our remote workspaces… a collage of sorts to note how we are attuned to and connected through our environments.

Although we are separate, nature binds us all together and reminds us of the power of the natural world and community. Inspired by Eames’ Power of Ten, we found some hopeful examples of how we are connected from the molecular scale to a global one –and our shared commitment to climate solutions. We celebrate Earth Day 2021 with these solutions that jump scales and will create a climate-positive and equitable future.

Story By

Gwen Fuertes

1. 10^-4: At the molecular level, celebrating the work that many scientists and researchers put into developing the Covid-19 vaccine.

2. 10^-3: Watching springtime arrive in the Bay Area, and in this sustained pause, noticing growth, photosynthesis, and carbon sequestration of living things around us.

3. 10^-2: Fighting for solutions that improve air quality for everyone, by reducing pollution and wildfire risk.

4. 10^-1: Per the IPCC, anthropogenic global warming is increasing 0.1°C-0.3°C per decade. Designers of the built environment play a crucial role in slowing that rate this decade by creating equitable communities, high performance building, through good design.

5. 1: President Biden re-joins the Paris Accord on Inauguration Day to restart the climate crisis conversation with global nations.

6. 10: California Electrification Movement - Over 50 cities and counties across California sign on for all electric new construction.

7. 10^2: 101 Nobel Laureates issue a statement to the Climate Summit World Leaders: Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground.

8. 10^5: Build Back Better Federal Legislation – Climate Action in The American Rescue Plan, The American Jobs Plan and the Infrastructure Bill, promising hundreds of thousands of jobs.

9. 10^7: Architects participating in the AIA 2030 Commitment reported last year that their high performance buildings saved 20.2 million tons of CO2. 

10. 10^9: A vision for a regenerative future on Earth for our 7.6 billion neighbors depends on our ongoing commitment for equity, building community and partnerships, and stewardship of our resources.