This op-ed was published in the SF Chronicle on December 18, 2020. Since publication: Pres. Biden has asked Housing and Urban Development to “lift barriers that restrict housing and neighborhood choice; Sacramento’s city council voted unanimously to end exclusionary zoning; and Berkeley’s city council voted unanimously to end parking minimums in most of the city.

Average Annual Household Carbon Footprint by Zip Code (c/o Coolclimate)

In order to more completely address climate change, we need to think beyond energy infrastructure and tackle our housing crisis as well. To do this, we need to change the way we build, and in doing so change the environmental rhetoric around new housing. This…


Local environmentalists are ignoring the biggest opportunity to reduce emissions with local policy

This piece was originally published in Streetsblog on Oct 21.

Average Annual Household Carbon Footprint by Zip Code (c/o Coolclimate)

Over the last several years, local environmental organizations and their endorsed candidates have ratcheted up ambitions for tackling the climate crisis. We are hearing overdue calls for getting fossil fuels out of our buildings, our cars, and our power grid. Advocates rightly demand that we halt new fossil fuel extraction and advance a just transition to a renewable economy. …


Picture of Scott Wiener in drag with a red bike
Picture of Scott Wiener in drag with a red bike
Sen. Wiener at a drag bike rally to oppose Prop 6 in 2018, which would have eliminated transportation funding and reduced the gasoline tax, which I attended. Image c/o KQED.

This is an open letter to the board of the SF Bike Coalition, written this Monday morning before work, following the release of endorsements late last week, for the November 2020 elections. Scott Wiener is running for re-election in the CA State Senate, representing SF and Daly City. Please consider donating to his campaign here. The last paragraph of the letter, calling for a connected network of safe streets, was not intended to be related to the endorsement: however, it is worth noting Sen. Wiener’s SB 288 is now awaiting Gov. …

Zack Subin

I work in climate policy at Rocky Mountain Institute, co-lead Urban Environmentalists, and live in SF. Unless stated otherwise, opinions are my own.

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