Thursday, September 15, 2016

9/15 Friday's moon, Vic sewer, BC pipe & tankers, Overwaitea seafood, science quiz

2014 supermoon (Kai Pfallenbach/Reuters)
Harvest or super-harvest moon? Astronomers debate Friday's lunar event
It's a lunar phenomenon that Neil Young sang about and Native people took as a sign their corn was ready. On Friday, we'll get a peek at the season's first harvest moon. In fact, it's being called a "super" harvest moon by some, but not without controversy. There's a debate taking place in astronomy circles as to whether this first full moon of September 2016 qualifies for supermoon status or not. The harvest moon is usually described as the full moon occurring closest to the autumnal equinox, which falls on Sept. 22 this year. (That said, some astronomers disagree about this definition and time frame.) But most can agree that a supermoon is defined as a full moon that occurs at — or very near — the moon's closest point to the Earth on its elliptical orbit. Kalin Mitchell reports. (CBC)

Capital Regional District approves Victoria-area sewage treatment plant
he Capital Regional District voted in favour of building a regional sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, Wednesday. The approval follows the recommendation of a provincial project board appointed to take a fresh look at the options available and deal with residents' concerns. McLoughlin Point was previously chosen by the CRD as the preferred site, but the plan fell apart when Esquimalt's city council refused to approve the required zoning. Liam Britten reports. (CBC) See also: Jack Knox: Capital region dysfunction: The ultimate in raw deals?  (Times Colonist) And also: Decades of dumping raw sewage is killing Victoria's ocean floor, diver claims Roshini Nair reports (CBC)

A pipeline next door: Canadian project means 34 tankers a month in our waters
…. Nobody in public office, and certainly nobody in the radical/huckster wing of the local environmental movement, has begun developing a response to  the pipeline next door. It's coming. The Canadian federal cabinet, on or before December 19th, is likely to approve a tripling of the TransMountain Pipeline, which carries oil from Edmonton, Alberta, to Burnaby just east of Vancouver. The completed pipeline would have a capacity to 890,000 barrels, more than the Keystone XL pipeline.  The bitumen oil, from Alberta's mammoth tar sands project, would be bound for export to Asia.  Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

If you like to watch: 10,000 Ton Texas Tanker traveling the B.C. Coast
Ingmar Lee and Pacific Wild posted a video a year ago detailing the unescorted movement of oil by a tug barge through BC's Inside Passage. Ingmar Lee writes: "The Nathan E. Stewart/DBL 54 is an articulated tug/barge" (ATB) and is owned by the Texas-based Kirby Corporation, which is one of the largest petroleum product ATB operators in the USA. It travels back and forth up the B.C. Inside Passage by “special waiver" which exempts it from Transport Canada shipping regulations. These guide the movement of all other tankers operating in BC waters. As a result, it operates here with no Canadian pilots on board, it does not require escort tugs while maneuvering in Port Metro Vancouver, and most egregiously, it is allowed to travel north through Seymour Narrows and into the "voluntary tanker exclusion zone" that is the B.C. Inside Passage. As such, this unflagged foreign vessel blatantly flouts the concerns of the people of Canada, and operates here secretively without any social license whatsoever."

Overwaitea seafood gets 'Ocean Wise' approval from Vancouver Aquarium
Overwaitea Food Group, one of the largest grocery chains in Western Canada, has partnered with the Vancouver Aquarium to provide sustainable seafood in its supermarkets. The announcement comes nearly a year after the Suzuki Foundation ended its partnership with the grocer, due in large part to untraceable fish products. Overwaitea chains, including Save-On Foods and Urban Fare, will now offer Ocean Wise seafood products — a stamp of approval from the Vancouver Aquarium that highlights sustainable fishing practices. Ocean Wise measures sustainability in terms of abundant/resilient populations and whether the species are well managed and harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats.   Jon Hernandez reports. (CBC)

Top Takeaways From Presidential Candidates’ Views on Science
The great presidential science quiz is over, and while the overall results aren’t exactly shocking, the candidates did deliver a few surprises. The 2016 election is the third in which ScienceDebate.org has compiled a questionnaire in an effort to get the U.S. presidential candidates to focus on pressing issues in science and engineering, from climate change to space exploration. ScienceDebate.org is a coalition of 56 science organizations and 10 million voters collectively, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences…. While efforts to convince the candidates to hold a science-only debate fizzled, three of the four presidential hopefuls did take to the task of answering 20 written questions with gusto…. You can read the full answers to all 20 questions on the ScienceDebate.org website. Laura Parker reports. (National Geographic)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT THU SEP 15 2016  

TODAY
 LIGHT WIND...BECOMING W 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT...BECOMING 2 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON. W  SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE  AFTERNOON. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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