Friday, December 21, 2018

12/21 Winter solstice, BC voting referendum, Exxon BC LNG, blue carbon sink, salmon hatcheries, green crab stock

Oak King and Holly King
The Legend of the Holly King and the Oak King
In many Celtic-based traditions of neopaganism, there is the enduring legend of the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the Wheel of the Year turns each season. At the Winter Solstice, or Yule, the Oak King conquers the Holly King, and then reigns until Midsummer, or Litha. Once the Summer Solstice arrives, the Holly King returns to do battle with the old king, and defeats him. Patti Wiginton writes. (Thought.Com)

B.C. votes to keep first-past-the-post electoral system
For the third time, British Columbians have voted to keep the first-past-the-post system for provincial elections. Elections BC announced the results Thursday, saying 61.3 per cent of ballots had been cast in favour of the status quo, while proportional representation got 38.7 per cent. (CBC)

Exxon Mobil withdraws application to approve $25-billion BC LNG project
Exxon Mobil Corp. has withdrawn its environmental assessment application for a $25-billion LNG export facility on the B.C. coast it proposed in 2015. The apparent shelving of the WCC LNG project is the latest blow to the West Coast liquefied natural gas export industry which at one time featured about 20 proposals, but has resulted in only one firm commitment to build. The project had been proposed by Exxon Mobil and its Canadian partner, Imperial Oil Ltd., for Tuck Inlet in the Prince Rupert area on B.C.’s north coast. (Canadian Press)

Deep Seagrass Bed Could Stall Climate Change, If Climate Change Doesn't Kill It First
Amid a sea of dire climate change news, researchers say they’ve found a rare bright spot. A meadow of seagrass among Australia’s Great Barrier Reef — estimated to be twice the size of New Jersey — is soaking up and storing carbon that would otherwise contribute to global warming. Scientists call this carbon-removal powerhouse a “blue carbon sink.” The term refers to an ocean or coastal ecosystem — including seagrasses, salt marshes and mangrove forests — that captures carbon compounds from the atmosphere, effectively removing carbon dioxide, a known greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Emma Bowman and Michel Martin report. (NPR)

Salish Sea hatcheries to increase salmon stocks
When the demand for a product increases, a company will often raise production to meet that demand. Fish hatcheries are using this economic concept in Washington, and are planning to release more Chinook salmon next spring to fulfill the demand by humans, marine mammals and the Southern resident orcas. “Everybody wants Chinook — the fishermen, the whales, people in the restaurants, so that’s what we’re focusing on,” said Glenwood Springs Facility Manager Mike O’Connell. Orcas Island’s Glenwood Springs, managed by nonprofit Long Live the Kings, is incubating one million Chinook eggs over the winter to be released at the end of May. Since salmon are not native to the creek where Glenwood Springs is located, it gets its eggs from the Samish Hatchery near Burlington. This year, the Samish hatchery had extra eggs because of increased production requirements from the state, so it’s giving that surplus to Glenwood Springs. Mandi Johnson reports. (Islands Weekly)

A Rich Stock for the Feast
As you start to count your seven fishes, here’s a holiday helper: Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Company is selling seafood stock for stews and soups. It’s made from green crabs, an invasive species that threatens New England’s shellfish. This aggressive European crab is not new to American waters, but warming seas have led to increased numbers of them, according to fishery experts. The crabs have too little meat for commercial value, but Vinny Milburn, an owner of the Brooklyn fish market, is exploiting them to make stock. It’s sold frozen at the store, and is dark, murky and richly flavorful. Florence Fabricant reports. (NY Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  222 AM PST Fri Dec 21 2018   
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 14 ft at 12 seconds subsiding to 10  ft at 11 seconds in the afternoon. A slight chance of showers. 
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell  8 ft at 12 seconds. Rain in the evening then rain likely after  midnight. 
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 8 ft at 13 seconds. A  chance of rain in the morning then rain in the afternoon. 
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell  13 ft at 16 seconds. 
 SE wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 13 ft at 14 seconds. 
 SW wind 15 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell  20 ft at 15 seconds.

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