Green news and views from around the planet:

Barnaby Joyce Godwins the environmental debate. Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce won’t be “goosestepping” along with environmentalists, but denies he’s implying a link between Nazism and what he terms “eco-totalitarianism”. In fairness to Joyce, the Nazis didn’t have a monopoly on goosestepping and could have been referencing any number of totalitarian regimes.

Senate grills Chu. Obama’s pick for energy Secretary, Nobel Laureate Stephen Chu, has had a mild grilling from the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “When the subject turned to Chu’s previous assertion that ‘Coal is my worst nightmare,’ some coal-state senators got a little touchy,” reports Grist. Chu responded by reaffirming his belief that carbon capture technology can be developed.

What’s green for 2009? Daily Green readers make green predictions for 2009. Reusable water bottles will be back, they say, plus urban gardens, electric cars and green offices are safe bets, too. On a more local level, I’m going to predict: a continued increase in bike sales, especially folding bikes, and more and more use of solar power in small electrical items (chargers, clocks, lights, etc).

Gulf States get greener. The United Arab Emirates are investing billions of dollars in green energy, doing what many may beg of the Rudd government: if not investing in green tech for ethical reasons, doing it to profit from such a rapidly growing market.

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