to burn jade and common stone

is a newsletter about Chinese civil society and climate change.

玉石俱焚 (yù shí jù fén) is a Chinese idiom that means to burn jade and common stone and to destroy indiscriminately. This idiom encapsulates the prospect of climate change if China were to carry on its emissive status quo — to do nothing about it is to permit destruction of everything, precious or ordinary.

This newsletter is run by me, Mel Guo. I’ve been a student at Stanford for the past three years, but I’m currently taking time off.

to burn jade and common stone is a culmination of a few interests near and dear to me. I hope this platform can open doors for conversations and community. Join the mailing list to take part in the comments section or PM me at toburnjade@gmail.com to chat!

I publish every other Friday. Subscribe here if you’re intrigued at all.

signing off,


This newsletter is born out of a research project under the 2020 Stanford Existential Risks Initiative (SERI) Summer Fellowship. The brilliant Jeff Ding kindly mentored me and this research project.