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

Just before he won the Nobel, Obama got dissed at climate talks in Bangkok. TreeHugger spoke with Oxfam's lead climate...

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.

via National Nurses United/Twitter

An estimated eight million people in the U.S. have started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for their own or a member of their household's healthcare costs, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll, which was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, also found that in addition to the millions who have launched crowdfunding efforts for themselves or a member of their household, at least 12 million more Americans have started crowdfunding efforts for someone else.

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via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coast from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken from their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The internment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

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The Planet