Two Years Ago in TreeHugger: Obama, China and New Orleans


left: new SIP house; right: ninth ward, little progress in two years.

It was early in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina and we covered community group Rebuild Green. Two years later one sees that there has been some progress; in their second anniversary update they are building "safe, strong, and sustainable--housing suitable for semi-tropical, coastal environments in this 21st century of ongoing storms and and floods due to climate-change." They are using a concrete structural insulated panel system and geothermal cooling. Unfortunately they not also that "I have to tell you that each and all of the above efforts is receiving very help little from any Government entity. It's as if there may be some kind of multi-level plot to make sure that nothing of self-help can happen among poor and working-class Black people in New Orleans and nearby. It's as if the daily story of obstructions, broken promises, racism and corruption in the Post-Reconstruction South continues more than a century later." ::Rebuild Green


We first showed Edward Burtynsky's photographs of the Three Gorges Dam in China; how entire communities were being relocated to make way for the rising waters of this controversial project that is now changing weather patterns and more. Since then Ed's book has been the subject of the dramatic and important film Manufactured Landscapes that all should see.


We first noticed Senator Barack Obama, who came out swinging at the US Environmental Protection Agency over its foot-dragging on lead paint remediation. "I find it unbelievable that the EPA would continue to drag its feet despite the fact that their own analysis found that these rules could prevent 28,000 lead-related illnesses each year." Since then Obama has received a lot of pixels on TreeHugger, not all favourable as we disagreed with his policies on coal (he is from a coal state, and said ""The people I meet in town-hall meetings back home would rather fill their cars with fuel made from coal reserves in southern Illinois than with fuel made from crude reserves in Saudi Arabia." He then received a few friendly phone calls- "When our friends do things that we think are not smart, we tend to call them and talk to them about it," Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said. "We thought this was a mistake. We let them know that we thought it was a mistake and why." and he refined his position. and has stepped it up on climate change. He has more recently called for cap-and-trade limits- "No business will be allowed to emit any greenhouse gases for free."

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