This Week at TreeHugger: Climate Showdown in Bangkok and Water (Fountains) Under the (Solar) Bridge

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This Week at TreeHugger: Climate Showdown in Bangkok and Water (Fountains) Under the (Solar) Bridge This Week at TreeHugger: Climate Showdown in Bangkok and Water (Fountains) Under the (Solar) Bridge
Environment

This Week at TreeHugger: Climate Showdown in Bangkok and Water (Fountains) Under the (Solar) Bridge

by Alex Pasternack

October 14, 2009
Just before he won the Nobel, Obama got dissed at climate talks in Bangkok. TreeHugger spoke with Oxfam's lead climate representative about the contentious summit and what needs to happen next. World, know that America can be serious about this: the prospect of a climate bill passing before Copenhagen has just been rekindled, and California just levied a fee of 15 cents on each ton of big polluters' greenhouse gas emissions to help pay for its landmark cap-and-trade system, set to begin in 2012

The story of toxic Chinese drywall has been festering since at least the beginning of the year, when TreeHugger began covering it while mainstream outlets passed over it. Now the Times reports that thousands of people are sick, many across the Gulf Coast states where post-hurricane construction used the material. Their houses, already corroded from the inside out, will probably need to be rebuilt once again.

Pepsi smeared egg on its face after releasing an iPhone app that guides users on how to score with treehuggers (okay, fine-we'll go home with you, but you have to promise to recycle that phone the right way).

In the architecture department, we looked at Brad Pitt's floating house for New Orleans (it's not as good as it sounds), and the world's longest solar footbridge, which even provides electricity to the main grid. We also enjoyed some terrific-if sometimes terrifying-treehouses and encouraged architects to relearn their ABCs and designing buildings like letters again.

In the wacky architecture department, a competition to design a new bridge (sponsored in part by an oil company), yielded an innovative proposal for separating cars from pedestrians and cyclists. Not only does it require less infrastructure investment and create a tourist attraction, it uses more gasoline (Careful: not everyone is laughing).

England keeps putting bottled water makers on notice. Hyde Park got a new water fountain, and a set of water dispensing machines refill your reusable bottle. (Then again, Australia's wonderfully named town of Bundanoon has already banned bottled water outright.)

While a Japanese airline encourages passengers to poop before they board, a Massachusetts company is trying to turn that very same poop into ethanol. (Could the ethanol someday power the plane?)

There's more interest than ever in connecting the environment to our economy, however controversial an idea that can be. Planet Green looks at nature's price tag.

Photo by Flickr user oxfam international.

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