Friday, June 29, 2018

6/29 Swallow, SCOTUS on environment, greater Canada, saildorones, hogweed, plastics

Barn swallow [Audubon Field Guide]
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
One of our most familiar birds in rural areas and semi-open country, this swallow is often seen skimming low over fields with a flowing, graceful flight. It seems to have adopted humans as neighbors, typically placing its nest in barns or garages, or under bridges or wharves; indeed, it is now rare to find a Barn Swallow nest in a site that is not manmade. The species is also common across Europe and Asia, wintering to southern Africa and South America. (Audubon Field Guide)

Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Could Reshape the Environment
The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, announced Wednesday in a letter hand-delivered to President Trump, could bring about sweeping changes to U.S. environmental law, endangering the federal government’s authority to fight climate change and care for the natural world. With Kennedy gone, a more conservative Supreme Court could overhaul key aspects of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, legal scholars say. And any new justice selected by President Trump would likely seek to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency, curtail its ability to fight global warming, and weaken its protections over wetlands. Robinson Meyer writes. (The Atlantic)

Here are the ways Canada is indisputably better than the United States
Thanks to Donald Trump’s baffling decision to plunge us into a trade war, Canada Day this year will almost certainly feature a higher-than-average rate of passive-aggressive America-bashing. The United States remains our closest friend and ally, and continues to supply us with all our non-Drake entertainment. Nevertheless, in the spirit of informed jingoism, here is a quick (and obviously biased) guide to the ways in which Canada is indisputably superior to our southern neighbour. We fought Nazis earlier! No Civil War! No slavery! No vicious beatings in our parliament! No Indian Wars! We abolished the penny! No violent founding! We had way less Prohibition! We’re not as fat! We aren’t utterly crushed by debt! Our obnoxious reality TV star failed miserably at politics!Tristin Hopper writes. (Vancouver Sun)

Saildrones set out to monitor fish stock along West Coast
Two little orange robot ships sailed out on the tide from Neah Bay, Wash., on Tuesday on a mission to monitor fish stocks along the West Coast. The project will gather data on fish populations managed jointly between Canada and the U.S. to see if the robot vessels, called Saildrones, can potentially replace larger, manned research ships.... For 100 days, the wind- and solar-powered crafts will monitor conditions like air and water temperature, salinity, and carbon dioxide concentration and beam data back to researchers. Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC)

Canadians warned to look out for invasive giant hogweed that burns, blinds
Canadians are being warned to look out for a dangerous, invasive plant that can cause third-degree burns. The Nature Conservancy of Canada says giant hogweed is one of Canada's most dangerous plants.  The non-native plant grows up to six metres in height and has large clusters of white flowers at the top. Its clear, toxic sap can cause rashes, blistering, burns and even blindness if it touches the body and is then exposed to the sun. (Canadian Press)

China Has Refused To Recycle The West's Plastics. What Now?
For more than 25 years, many developed countries, including the U.S., have been sending massive amounts of plastic waste to China instead of recycling it on their own. Some 106 million metric tons — about 45 percent — of the world’s plastics set for recycling have been exported to China since reporting to the United Nations Comtrade Database began in 1992. But in 2017, China passed the National Sword policy banning plastic waste from being imported — for the protection of the environment and people’s health — beginning in January 2018. Now that China won’t take it, what’s happening to the leftover waste? According to the authors of a new study, it’s piling up. Sara Kiley Watson reports. (NPR) See also: Seattle's Ban On Plastic Straws And Cutlery Kicks In July 1, But Some Plastic Straws Remain  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PDT Fri Jun 29 2018   

TODAY  Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 4 ft at  10 seconds. A chance of showers. 

TONIGHT  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 10 seconds. A slight chance of showers in the evening then a  chance of showers after midnight. 

SAT  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at  9 seconds. A chance of showers. 

SAT NIGHT  W wind to 10 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 

SUN  W wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.

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