Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1/17 Molehill, WA carbon tax, Timothy Ballew II, dispersants, pesticides & salmon, Nat'l Park Panel, pulse fishing

A molehill (or mole-hill, mole mound) is a conical mound of loose soil raised by small burrowing mammals, including moles, but also similar animals such as mole-rats, kangaroo moles, and voles. The word is first recorded in the first half of the 15th century. Formerly the hill was known as a 'wantitump', a word still in dialect use for centuries afterwards. The common phrase "making a mountain out of a molehill", meaning to exaggerate a minor problem, is an ironical reference to these small features. (Wikipedia)

Some businesses backing Washington carbon tax measure
Microsoft Corp., REI and other businesses joined environmental and other groups Tuesday in testifying in support of Gov. Jay Inslee's ambitious proposal to tax fossil fuel emissions to fight climate change.Inslee has proposed a new tax of $20 per metric ton of carbon emissions that would start in 2019 and increase over time. Money raised pay for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, manage stormwater and reduce wildfire risks. Some money would offset taxes to energy-intensive businesses and help low-income families. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press) See also: Washington State Senators  Hear Testimony On Carbon Tax  (NW News Network)

29 applied for a vacant seat on the Whatcom County Council. This is who got the job.
The former chairman of Lummi Nation has been appointed to fill the remainder of Todd Donovan’s vacant seat on the County Council. Council members picked Timothy Ballew II, a commercial fisherman, from a field of seven finalists on Tuesday night. Ballew was picked by a vote of 5-1, with Council member Tyler Byrd voting no. kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Oil spills are bad, but dispersants are worse for deep-sea coral
An oil spill's effect on deep-sea corals is bad enough. But the chemicals used to clean spills are worse.  A spate of research is finding that the dispersants used to break up the 2010 BP oil spill, Nalco's Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527, are more toxic to the Gulf of Mexico's corals than oil alone.  "You can see it visually in the disintegration of the corals," marine scientist Dennise Ruiz-Ramos said. "They degrade faster with dispersants." Ruiz-Ramos, who works for the University of California's School of Natural Sciences in Merced, published research last month that compared the reaction of black coral, a common species in the Gulf's deep water, to oil, dispersant and a combination of dispersant and oil in a laboratory setting. Coral declined after each treatment, but the decline was faster in corals exposed to dispersants alone. Tristan Baurick reports. (Times-Picayune)

Pesticides and salmon: Can we see a light at the end of the tunnel?
Once again, the National Marine Fisheries Service has determined in official findings that three common pesticides — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — raise the risk of extinction for threatened and endangered salmon. By extension, for the first time, the agency also concluded that those same pesticides threaten Puget Sound’s endangered orca population by putting their prey — chinook and other salmon — at risk. This politically and legally charged issue — which has been around for more than 15 years — has gone beyond a debate over potential harm from pesticides. It also raises uncomfortable questions about whether our society will follow science as we try to solve environmental problems. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Citing ‘Inexcusable’ Treatment, Advisers Quit National Parks Panel
The majority of members of the National Parks System Advisory Board, which advises the federal government on management of the country’s national parks, have jointly resigned to protest Trump administration policies that the board members say have ignored science, squelched efforts to address climate change and undermined environmental protections. The advisory board was established in 1935 to advise the secretary of the interior, who oversees management of the country’s national parks and monuments. Since taking office last year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has come under criticism from environmental advocates for promoting President Trump’s agenda of opening up the nation’s public lands and waters to fossil-fuel exploration, and for reducing the protection of public monuments. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Pulse fishing: MEPs vote for ban on controversial method 
Members of the European Parliament have voted to ban commercial fishing using an electric current in EU waters, so-called pulse fishing. Opponents say the method is equivalent to putting a Taser in the water. The European Commission and the Dutch government say it is better for the environment than traditional trawling.nThe Netherlands has been testing the controversial technique as part of scientific research. This is about a technique called pulse fishing, where trawlers use nets that generate an electric current. Fish - particularly sole - are stunned, which forces them to float upwards, making them easier to catch. Adam Fleming reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  900 PM PST Tue Jan 16 2018  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 10 ft at 13  seconds building to 12 ft at 12 seconds in the afternoon. Rain.
 S wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 17  ft at 13 seconds. Rain in the evening then showers after midnight.

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