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Friday, December 8, 2017


The Star-Advertiser had the following obscure headline recently:

Tests can’t say if rat bait killed Lehua Island fish

In August the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) began a project to eradicate rats on Lehua Island, located just west of Niihau.  There are 17 seabird species and 25 types of native plants on Lehua which are threatened by invasive rats.  While it was recommended by some to just install bait stations that would, over time, sterilize the rat population, by helicopter and hand baiting, three rounds of rodenticides were applied beginning in August.  Said DLNR:

The operation was executed as planned—successfully, safely, and under the close watch of regulators from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and an independent monitoring team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The active agent, diphacinone should have had very little risk to marine and other wildlife.  Well, it worked, and rats were decimated.  Unfortunately, fish and booby juveniles also died.  To quote DLNR:

Preliminary results of samples taken from dozens of dead fish found on Lehua Island during the state’s rodent eradication project are “inconclusive” as to whether rodenticide killed the fish, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said this week.

What DLNR should have said is that the project was a success...however, 46 fish and two birds were unfortunately killed in the process.  There are more than 50,000 birds and maybe a million fish that live on and around Lehua.

More about how Donald Trump is changing the United States of America:
  • Barack Obama and Democrats tried to forestall completion of the Keystone Pipeline.  The current Republican White House immediately approved the project.  However, there was 210,000-gallon oil leak, just before regulators in Nebraska were to decide on whether to allow a major expansion of the system.  HOWEVER, OFFICIALS SAY STATE LAW DOES NOT ALLOW PIPELINE SAFETY TO BE A FACTOR IN THEIR UPCOMING DECISION.
  • Nicaragua signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement, leaving the United States and Syria as the only countries yet to support the accord.  Syria and the USA!!!  Oh, Syria also just indicated they too would sign, bringing the number of nations up to 197, leaving only the U.S. as the holdout.
  • Earlier this Fall the USA quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  However, Republican presidents just don't like UNESCO, for Ronald Reagan previously quit in 1984, and we did not rejoin until 2002 (hey, that was Republican George W. Bush).  While their politics have historically been the issue, there are programs like tsunami warning and the like that are crucial for some.  I've been to some of their gatherings, and it is no secret that minor nations go out of their way to spite the U.S.
  • Yesterday, the USA dropped out of the United Nations Global Compact on Migration, created by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, unanimously adopted by all 193 members a year ago.  Is this terrible?  Well, if you're Donald Trump, it's about time, for our foreign birth numbers are growing oh too dangerously.  Our foreign born population percentage averaged from around 14% from 1860 to 1920, dropped to 4.7% in 1970, and has returned to around 14% today.  How many of you reading this posting would be U.S. citizens if your recent ancestors were not allowed into the country?
As I'm on Trans-Canadian Railway from Vancouver to Toronto, where there is no internet capability, just thought I'd toss this in to cover Saturday. Anyway, all you would see are photos of the color white from the train.  However, try getting reservations during prime time, like in the Fall.


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