David Suzuki has been passionate about the planet for decades. Now the scientist and environmental activist has turned 80, an age where in his words you enter the death zone and are compelled to speak from the heart. On March 24, 2016, CBC's The Nature of Things will pull back the curtain and get close and personal with the longtime host to speak to his dedication to defend the environment, his thoughts on the future of science and reflect on his success in life and entering what he calls "the death zone." Anna Maria Tremonti reports. (CBC)
We had all better hope these scientists are wrong about the planet’s future
An influential group of scientists led by James Hansen, the former NASA scientist often credited with having drawn the first major attention to climate change in 1988 congressional testimony, has published a dire climate study that suggests the impact of global warming will be quicker and more catastrophic than generally envisioned. The research invokes collapsing ice sheets, violent megastorms and even the hurling of boulders by giant waves in its quest to suggest that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels would be far too much. Hansen has called it the most important work he has ever done. Chris Mooney reports. (Washington Post) See also: Earth’s Most Famous Climate Scientist Issues Bombshell Sea Level Warning Eric Holthaus reports. (Slate)
Support for B.C. LNG industry slipping: poll
Support for the B.C. Liberal government’s plan to create a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry has slipped since just after the 2013 election, an Insights West poll has found. In an online survey of 802 adults conducted this month, 43 per cent of British Columbians said they supported the provincial government’s push to expand the development and export of LNG, while 41 per cent were opposed. That’s a change from a more positive sentiment registered in an August 2013 survey, when 50 per cent supported LNG expansion and only 32 per cent were opposed. Gordon Hoekstra, reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Slow Train Coming – Crude By Rail To Northwest Refineries Still Resilient
Most of the crude by rail (CBR) shipments to 4 refineries in Washington State are ex-North Dakota from where rail freight costs are over $10/Bbl. Bakken crude from North Dakota competes at Washington refineries with Alaska North Slope (ANS) shipped down from Valdez, AK. Back in 2012 ANS prices were more than $20/Bbl higher than Bakken crude – easily covering the rail cost. In 2016 so far the ANS premium to Bakken has averaged well below the $10/Bbl freight cost making CBR shipments uneconomic. But as we discuss today - Northwest refiners are still shipping significant volumes of crude from North Dakota. Sandy Fielden blogs. (RBN Energy)
Scientists want federal government to restore fisheries protection
Prominent scientists and environmental groups are urging the federal Liberals to hurry up and repair what they see as damage to fisheries done by the previous government…. The signatories run from the World Wildlife Fund to the B.C. Federation of Fly Fishers and include researchers such as David Schindler from the University of Alberta, whose work revealed some of the earliest evidence that the oilsands were releasing contaminants…. The letter asks Federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo to repeal changes made under the Harper Conservatives in a controversial 2012 omnibus bill. Those changes removed prohibitions against the harmful alteration, damage or destruction of any fishery. Attention was instead focused on commercial fisheries. Bob Weber reports. (Canadian Press)
B.C. backs CRD plea for more time on sewage plan
The provincial government is backing the Capital Regional District’s plea for more time to submit a detailed sewage treatment plan to the federal government. B.C. Community Minister Peter Fassbender has written federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi asking for “latitude” regarding the March 31 filing deadline. The district, which is already operating on a one-year extension, risks losing $83.4 million from federal Crown corporation PPP Canada if it fails to get more time. The district said Wednesday that it plans to ask for an extension to August of this year. Lindsay Kines reports. (Times Colonist)
Peninsula birders see shifts in populations, behavior
Nature is ever-changing and birds are no exception. Observed changes among local bird populations have been recorded for the past 40 years by members and volunteers of the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society (OPAS) during the annual Christmas Bird Count. “It’s perhaps the longest running timeline study that has been done on organisms in the Sequim-Dungeness area,” Bob Boekelheide, OPAS vice president and bird count organizer, said. “There’s some very interesting data that has popped up over the years.” Among the data have emerged some noticeable trends, including a general decline in the number of seabirds, such as western grebes, white-winged scoters and common loons. Alana Linderoth reports. (Sequim Gazette)
Shoreline bulkheads impose changes on the natural ecosystem
Chris Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "t goes without saying that wood, rock or concrete bulkheads built along the shoreline are not natural. They certainly don’t look like any structure formed by nature. And when the water is pushing up against them, waves bounce around and splash back instead of rolling up on shore. I have never had any trouble understanding some of the problems caused by bulkheads…."
Halibut season trimmed to eight days
Anglers will get fewer days this year to fish for halibut in waters around Whidbey Island. The recreational halibut season in Puget Sound waters bordering the island will be reduced to eight days from 11 days last year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced in a news release Wednesday. May 7 is the first day anglers may fish for halibut in Puget Sound in Marine Areas 5-10, which includes the waters around Whidbey and San Juan islands. (Whidbey News Times)
Environmental Coalition of South Seattle announces new executive director
Since 1994, Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) has engaged businesses and communities with sustainable solutions on environmental issues. A frequent partner with state, county, and city governments on programs addressing stormwater pollution prevention and waste reduction, ECOSS works throughout the region with diverse communities, cultures, and businesses to overcome technical, language, and cultural obstacles that stand between people and a healthy environment…. ECOSS recently announced West Seattle resident Cluny McCaffrey as its new executive director. McCaffrey has a nonprofit career spanning more than 20 years specializing in environment, communications, program management, and operations. (International Examiner)
Port Townsend community group plans deer count in April; organizational meeting set for next week
After years of uncertainty about the size of Port Townsend’s resident deer population, an improvised community group aims to count them. The census will take place from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. April 2, with an organizational meeting planned for 7 p.m. this coming Wednesday in the Marine Science Center’s Natural History Exhibit at Fort Worden State Park. “We’re just really curious. A lot of people say there are too many of them,” organizer Sue Lane said. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 235 AM PDT THU MAR 24 2016
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 13 FT AT 16 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 15 FT AT 15 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 15 FT AT 15 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 13 FT AT 14 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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