Monday, January 15, 2018

1/16 WA climate action, nitrogen trifluoride, Zinke's Interior, Sanchi sinking

Song sparrow (Eugene Beckes/BirdNote)
Sparrows Kick, Robins Pick
If you watch backyard birds, you will likely see some characteristic behaviors. One example is "foraging" styles — the behaviors that a bird uses to find food. Some birds, such as sparrows, are famous for their "double-scratch" behavior. The bird jumps forward and back, quite quickly...twice. In each forward jump, the bird lightly hooks leaf litter with its toes. Each return jump pulls the litter aside to expose the food underneath. Other species of birds, like robins, use their bills to simply grab leaf litter and toss it aside. Two strategies, one goal: expose and grab that food! (BirdNote)

Enviro Groups Cite Strong Support For Multiple Climate Action Policies In Wash.
A public hearing on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to tax fossil fuel emissions takes place Tuesday in Olympia. A coalition of environmental groups is urging people to go and organizing carpools to ensure a strong turnout. They say the governor’s carbon tax is just one of at least three climate policies they want to see action on this session. And two groups have new polling data to back that up. The groups say Inslee’s carbon tax, which would impose a $20-a-ton price on carbon emissions that would go up over time, is a good step forward but not enough. The think tank Climate Solutions teamed up with Audubon Washington to study the feasibility of two additional policies. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Province to examine source of potential new harmful greenhouse gas emissions
The British Columbian government is hoping to get a handle on the province's emissions of a greenhouse gas that is 17,200 times more harmful than carbon dioxide and commonly used to manufacture everyday electronics. Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is a colourless, odourless, non flammable gas used in the manufacturing of high tech goods, especially liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and thin solar panels. "It's one of the most potent [greenhouse gases] that we know of," said Tim Lesiuk, executive director and chief negotiator for the B.C. Climate Action Secretariat, a branch of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Ash Kelly reports. (CBC)

The Damage Done by Trump’s Department of the Interior
On his first day as Secretary of the Interior, last March, Ryan Zinke rode through downtown Washington, D.C., on a roan named Tonto. When the Secretary is working at the department’s main office, on C Street, a staff member climbs up to the roof of the building and hoists a special flag, which comes down when Zinke goes home for the day. To provide entertainment for his employees, the Secretary had an arcade game called Big Buck Hunter installed in the cafeteria. The game comes with plastic rifles, which players aim at animated deer. The point of the installation, Zinke has said, is to highlight sportsmen’s contribution to conservation. “Get excited for #hunting season!” he tweeted, along with a photo of himself standing next to the game, which looks like a slot machine sporting antlers. Nowadays, it is, in a manner of speaking, always hunting season at the Department of the Interior. Elizabeth Kolbert reports. (The New Yorker)

Huge oil spill left after burning tanker sinks off China
Chinese ships are racing to clean up a giant oil spill after an Iranian tanker sank in the East China Sea. The 120 sq km (46 sq mile) oil slick is thought to be made up of heavy fuel that was used to power the vessel. The Sanchi oil tanker sank on Sunday and officials say all its crew members are dead. It was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude oil from Iran which generates a toxic underwater slick that would be invisible from the surface. Both the fuel and the ultra-light oil could cause devastating damage to marine life. (BBC

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  900 PM PST Mon Jan 15 2018  
TUE  SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 11 ft  at 13 seconds. Showers.
TUE NIGHT
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 11  ft at 13 seconds. A chance of showers in the evening then a chance  of rain after midnight.

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