Global warming pact set for 2009 after US backs down

World climate negotiators set a 2009 deadline Saturday for a landmark treaty to fight global warming after two weeks of intense haggling led to a climbdown by an isolated United States.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who flew to the Indonesian island of Bali for a late appeal for flexibility, praised the deal as a “pivotal first step” to confront climate change, “the defining challenge of our time.”

Following gruelling all-night talks, the conference of 190 nations finally launched a process to negotiate a new treaty for when the UN Kyoto Protocol’s commitments expire in 2012.

AFP: Global warming pact set for 2009 after US backs down.

‘People Need Beauty': Architect Oscar Niemeyer Turns 100

Oscar Niemeyer, the last surviving founder of architecture’s Modernist movement, turns 100 on Saturday. The grandfather of Brazilian architecture is a living legend, and plans to remain so for a while.

‘People Need Beauty': Architect Oscar Niemeyer Turns 100 – International – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News.

Recycled sewerage for Library landscape

Human waste from the new mega-library in Peppermint Grove will be recycled and used on a $1 million landscaped park around the building.

It will be the first time the technology has been used in Australia.

Harvested “brown water” will water the lawns and urine will be treated and added to the irrigation system on the site.

“The plants will love it,” landscape architect Matt Huxtable told the council.

POST Newspapers Online: Headline News.

Lawrence Livingston Jr., ‘Mr. Open Space,’ dead at 89

Lawrence Livingston Jr., a planner who left his mark on everything from San Francisco’s Market Street to the Bay Area’s natural landscape, has died at his home in Tiburon.

Lawrence Livingston Jr., ‘Mr. Open Space,’ dead at 89.

Fountain figures might pour cold water on project

As workers pounded in tall fence posts and moved stacks of metal barriers into Washington Square Park on Monday and Tuesday, cordoning off the area for Phase I of the park’s renovation, opponents were making a last-ditch effort to derail the project.

Luther Harris, a plaintiff on an environmental lawsuit against the project that was defeated last week, personally funded a study of whether moving the park’s fountain would add to the cost of its renovation. Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe has publicly stated that there is no cost difference between repairing the fountain in place or repairing it and moving it.

Anthony Walmsley, a New York City-based landscape architect hired by Harris, determined that moving the fountain would add more than $500,000 to the $2.5 million cost of refurbishing the fountain.

Fountain figures might pour cold water on project.

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