Yay, pointless self-inflicted global catastrophe avoided. In between all the gnashing of teeth about whether the United States Congress would act to forestall a default on the country’s national debt and actually reopen the government, some other things were happening around the world. I’ve been meaning to write about the energy and environment front for weeks, but my attention has been captured by the awful spectacle that was the U.S. Congress, namely the machinations of the radical Tea Party right. Before I delve into links about energy and environment, let me give conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat the last word on the government shutdown:

It was an irresponsible, dysfunctional and deeply pointless act, carried out by a party that on the evidence of the last few weeks shouldn’t be trusted with the management of a banana stand, let alone the House of Representatives.

In other news, there were some amazing developments on energy and the environment.

China

  • China (!) will build nuclear power stations in the UK
  • China set to ban new projects in sectors with overcapacity including steel, aluminum, shipbuilding and cement

United States

  • The Supreme Court agrees to hear narrow case about EPA authority to issue pollution permits for stationary sources but lets stand ability to regulate greenhouse gases, confusing I know (see here as well)
  • Is Bixi, the company responsible for city bike share schemes around the U.S. in financial trouble?

India

  • India pioneering use of expanded use of biomass as energy source?
  • India buys some time on HFC phaseout implementation in bilateral meeting with U.S.

Europe

  • European companies getting antsy about their cost disadvantage in paying for energy; natural gas much cheaper in the United States compared to Europe, firms starting to blames environmental rules
  • France retains ban on fracking
  • Will EU rules thwart fracking in Europe (see also here)?

Forests

  • Scammers trying to use potential funds from averted deforestation to bilk forest dwellers out of rents
  • Indonesia goes wobbly on forest conservation

Climate Negotiations

  • Michael Levi sketches out some possible scenarios for climate negotiations leading up to 2015, with dustups over rich country commitments on finance a major potential point of contention

Energy and Sundry

  • Investments in clean energy going down
  • Not very many carbon capture projects, 65 last year down from 75 year before

Here are some songs to pass the time now that we have avoided a meltdown of the international financial order

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