Wednesday, January 15, 2020

1/15 Snow geese, Big Bar landslide, LNG-by-rail, GasLink LNG, BlackRock on climate, WCC NEH grant

Snow geese [Jack Dykinga/NPL/Minden Pictures]
Lack of Snow Is, Ironically, Helping Snow Geese
Snow geese are aptly named: they have brilliant-white plumage, fly in blizzard-like flocks, and breed at the top of the world. Recently, though, they’re finding less actual snow when they get there. Global warming means winter snow in the Arctic is melting earlier and earlier. But snow geese on Alaska’s northern coast don’t seem to mind—in fact, the lack of snow may be contributing to a population boom. Elizabeth Preston reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Kiewit awarded $17.6M contract to clean up Big Bar landslide threatening salmon runs with extinction
Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says construction will begin soon to help salmon pass through a section of British Columbia's Fraser River that was largely closed by a landslide. The federal contract posted online Monday awards $17.6 million to Peter Kiewit Sons ULC for work on the landslide near Big Bar while there is a low water flow on the river. The slide sparked a coordinated emergency response from multiple levels of government and local First Nations after it was discovered in June northwest of Kamloops. The federal government said in procurement documents in November that the work had to happen during the first available period of low water flows between December and March, although the contract was not awarded until Dec. 31. (Canadian Press)

Oregon's US Senators Join Call To Reject LNG-By-Rail Rules
Both of Oregon’s U.S. senators expressed concern on Tuesday over the Trump administration’s proposed rule to transport liquefied natural gas by rail lines. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley released a joint statement criticizing the proposal to permit the transport of flammable materials through densely populated areas. The two Democrats said such a change will pose serious threats to public safety to Oregonians and others nationwide. Monica Samayoa reports. (OPB)

Conference on UNDRIP has no easy answers for Coastal GasLink dispute
A business conference in Vancouver discussing implications of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples had no easy resolutions to the dispute of Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders objecting to the Coastal GasLink pipeline crossing their territory. Work halted in the region after a group of hereditary chiefs issued a symbolic eviction notice to contractors building the 670-kilometre pipeline, though the project has signed deals with the elected governments of all 20 First Nation communities on its route. One lesson in the case, said legal expert Sandy Carpenter, is that the UN declaration “gives, potentially, more strength to hereditary leadership, and there are going to be, and are with Coastal GasLink, situations where there are disputes within a Nation about who can speak for the Nation.” Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: RCMP set up checkpoint restricting access in Wet'suwet'en territory amid clash over pipeline The RCMP have blocked access to a First Nation's territory in northern B.C., heightening tensions as government officials and hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en continue to clash over the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Chantelle Bellrichard reports. (CBC) And also: Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations  (Canadian Press)

World's Largest Asset Manager Puts Climate At The Center Of Its Investment Strategy
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, says that it will now make climate change central to its investment considerations. And not just for environmental reasons — but because it believes that climate change is reshaping the world’s financial system. That was the message in BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink’s annual letter to CEOs published on Tuesday....BlackRock manages approximately $7 trillion on behalf of investors. Its shift could signify a watershed moment for corporate action on climate, particularly among U.S. firms. BlackRock says it will require additional reporting from the companies it invests in, including disclosure of climate-related risks and plans for operating under the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Laurel Wamsley reports. (NPR)

National Endowment for the Humanities Announces New Grants
This round of funding totals $30.9 million and will support 188 projects across the country....Funding will also go toward developing a curriculum at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., that creates new courses on the history, cultures and science of the Salish Sea. Devi Lockwood reports. (NY Times)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  255 AM PST Wed Jan 15 2020   
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
  
TODAY
 E wind 20 to 25 kt rising to 35 to 45 kt in the  afternoon. Combined seas 8 to 10 ft with a dominant period of  12 seconds. A chance of rain in the morning then rain likely in  the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 E wind 30 to 40 kt becoming SE 25 to 30 kt after  midnight. Combined seas 9 to 11 ft with a dominant period of  10 seconds building to 16 to 17 ft with a dominant period of  12 seconds after midnight. Rain likely in the evening then rain  after midnight.



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