So, your humble blogger found himself subsumed by first week of class duties and fell behind on the job! To make amends, I’ve flagged some stories that caught my eye, which should make for some welcome weekend reading. My eye this week was mostly trained on energy and environment stuff (U.S. greenhouse gas emissions on the rise again – boo!), with a dash of global health (spending up by USG on global health up slightly – yay!) with a side of Springsteen and Fallon (Christie may not be born to run – classic!) Enjoy.

U.S. Energy and Environment

Aside from the chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians, one of the big environmental stories this week was that U.S. energy-related carbon emissions are on the rise again, up 2% in 2013 (a bit more coal use with a cold winter and slightly higher natural gas prices). This isn’t everything since emissions come from other gases, but it’s not a particularly good sign.

  • Omnibus budget bill waters down restrictions on Ex-Im Bank financing of overseas coal plants. Not sure how I feel. If China and India are going to be building new coal plants (China has 350+ still on the books), shouldn’t they be the most efficient ones? Will countries build the most efficient without external support?
  • Senators Boxer and Whitehouse form new Bicameral Climate Change Task Force
  • Environmentalists write pointed letter criticizing Obama’s all of the above energy strategy

China Air Quality – Crazy Bad Again

  • Hey, guess what? Beijing had another period of really bad air. Maybe that’s why tourism declined by 800,000 between 2012 and 2013

Global Health

  • US government appropriations on health ticks up again in FY 2014 Omnibus budget bill, 4.7% increase or $378 million dollars, a good chunk bilateral money for HIV/AIDS ($149.2 million) and food assistance ($107 million)
  • Pakistan tries to recruit conservative clerics in polio vaccination campaign to reduce threat of violence against vaccinators

Fallon and Springsteen and the Chris Christie Controversy

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