Friday, August 21, 2015

8/21 Fires, floating LNG, safe oil pipe, derailment, bad oysters, hot weather, Rainier glaciers, BC whales

(Steve Spitzer/BirdNote)
The Crow and the Gull
Crows and gulls are opportunists - grabbing a bite wherever, whenever, however they can. Listener Nick Woodiwiss of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, wrote to BirdNote about a funny scene between an American Crow and a Glaucous-winged Gull on the beach. Can you guess who wins? (BirdNote)

Weather service issues ‘red-flag warning’ in North Cascades
The warning foreshadows worsening weather conditions — high winds throughout the Okanogan Valley will make things even more difficult for firefighters. Jack Broom reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Washington Under Siege By Fire: 'We Are Understaffed And Underequipped'   Ross Reynolds and Liz Jones report. (KUOW)

If you like to watch: Remembering 'The Big Burn' That Scorched The West http://www.opb.org/artsandlife/article/remembering-a-big-burn-that-scorched-the-west/
Thursday is the 105th anniversary of what’s been dubbed “The Big Burn,” a devastating wildfire that burned three million acres in Washington, Idaho and Montana, killing 80 people and changing the entire U.S. approach to forest fires. With fires again raging across the west, Idaho Public Broadcasting has shared this video about the 1910 conflagration, originally aired on the program Outdoor Idaho. (OPB)

New blog: Are You An Environmental Racist?
Think about it: The disappearance of the wild and its wildlife is often attributed to too many people. Who do you think “those people” are? Do they look like you, talk like you, share your values? If they don’t, who are “those people?”

Floating LNG plant proposed for Saanich Inlet
The Malahat First Nation and Steelhead LNG are proposing a floating liquefied natural gas processing facility offshore in Saanich Inlet. It would be capable of processing six million tonnes of natural gas annually. Cost of the project, the pipeline that will need to be built to bring gas to the Island for the Malahat LNG plant and Steelhead's other proposed LNG plant near Port Alberni, and the financial consideration paid to the Malahat First Nation as part of a mutual benefits agreement were not disclosed. The project would see a floating LNG facility built on the foreshore at the Bamberton site, which the Malahat First Nation bought last month. Andrew Duffy and Lindsay Kines report. (Times Colonist)

Trans Mountain tells NEB pipeline expansion is ‘safe and viable option’
An expanded Trans Mountain pipeline would add $18.2 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product over 20 years, benefit First Nations and reduce environmental harm, Kinder Morgan says. The energy giant filed its final written submissions to the National Energy Board on Thursday, arguing the $5.4-billion proposal is a safe and viable option to transport diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to British Columbia’s coast. Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

BNSF caboose derails near Cherry Point in Whatcom County
The caboose of a BNSF train hauling 20 cars of petroleum coke product partially derailed Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 19, near Cherry Point in Whatcom County. No product spilled, no one was injured, and no hazardous materials were involved, said Gus Melonas, BNSF spokesman. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

B.C. oysters sold for eating raw are recalled
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced a recall of B.C. oysters harvested for eating raw, because of possible contamination by food-poisoning bacterium. The Canada-wide federal recall applies to oysters harvested for the raw market before Tuesday because they may contain the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The recall follows a move Monday by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to ban restaurants in its area (most of the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast) from selling raw oysters, also because of possible Vibrio contamination. Richard Watts reports. (Times Colonist)

July Was Earth's Hottest Month On Record
Earth just keeps getting hotter. July was the planet’s warmest month on record, smashing old marks, U.S. weather officials said. And it’s almost a dead certain lock that this year will beat last year as the warmest year on record, they said. (Associated Press)

Mt Rainier's Glaciers Retreating, Likely At Fastest Rate Ever Seen In Summer's Heat
Mount Rainier is famous as the most glaciated peak in all of the United States. But the massive flows of ice and snow that cover the mountain are retreating rapidly, likely more rapidly than ever in the record warmth of this summer…. Park scientists have been measuring the glaciers’ retreat and have found they’re now melting six times faster than the historic rate. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

What's killing whales off B.C.-Alaska coast?
The large number of dead whales appearing along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska since May is raising alarms among scientists. Thirty dead whales have been detected in the Gulf of Alaska since May, representing a die-off more than three times the normal rate, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Another six dead stranded whales have been reported along B.C.'s north coast over the same time period, also a significant increase above annual seasonal numbers. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC) See also: Finding needles in a haystack on the B.C. coast It wasn’t your average whale-watch trip. The science crew aboard the Canadian Coast Guard ship John P. Tully documented almost 5,000 cetaceans during 483 sightings along about 1,600 nautical miles of the remote B.C. coast. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 249 AM PDT FRI AUG 21 2015
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SAT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NW 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
NW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS
--
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