National Weather Service Union warns people will die because of budget cuts

Update: Senator Harry Reid laments the loss of the “Cowboy Poetry Festival” due to federal budget cuts.  Seems that there is indeed some fat to be cut from the proposed $3.7 trillion budget.

The National Weather Service Employees Organization needs your help to protect against the draconian budget cuts suggested by the House for the rest of FY11. From the Member News website:

(March 7, 2011) The Senate Appropriations Committee has released a proposed alternative to HR 1 that would make a $110 million reduction to NOAA operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, rather than the $454 reduction approved by the House. Of the $110 million cut, $104 million was from earmarks that are no longer funded. This effectively only cuts the NOAA ORF budget by $6 million.

The Senate Appropriations Committee justified the higher funding levels for NOAA stating in their March 4 press release, “The House cuts an additional $340 million which would threaten critical weather forecasts and warnings.”

The sample form letter to Boehner and Cantor follows:

Dear Mr. Speaker (for Speaker John Boehner) OR
Dear Mr. Cantor (for Rep. Eric Cantor)

I am writing to ask you to support the Senate’s proposal for NOAA’s budget. This proposal will help NOAA and the National Weather Service continue the mission of saving lives and property.

The Senate’s proposal includes responsible funding levels in stark contrast to the draconian cuts included in HR1. HR1 would have resulted in the following impacts on the National Weather Service:

  • Reduced staffing at Weather Forecast Offices and River Forecast Centers would result in incomplete forecast production which could prove disastrous in a significant weather event. Even in the best of cases, it will still mean incomplete forecast production at WFOs that have major product workloads for aviation, marine, tropical and public services.
  • This is going to have a negative impact on the economy and on almost every aspect of our daily lives. There will be a large scale economic impact on aviation, agriculture, and the cost shipping food and other products.
  • Service backup of 24 Weather Forecasting Offices has never been tested and runs a very significant risk of a missed tornado, flood or severe weather warning. It is risking lives at the onset of both tornadoes and hurricane season. This is also doubling the area of responsibility for operations and adds the risk of degraded service delivery.
  • The National Hurricane Center is not immune to these cuts as furloughs and staffing cuts will add strain to the program. The Hurricane Hunter Jet, which provides lifesaving data and helps determine a hurricane’s path, could also be eliminated.
  • Information that is vital for weather modeling and accurate tornado watches and warnings will be reduced and in some cases lost. Reduced upper air observations currently made twice a day could be reduced to once every other day. Buoy and surface weather observations, the backbone of most of the weather and warning systems, may be temporarily or permanently discontinued.

Recent advances in aviation weather forecasting have resulted in as much as a 50 percent reduction in weather related flight delays. The Senate’s proposal for funding will help progressive programs such as these continue and may, in turn, prove beneficial to strengthening the economy.
For the safety of our citizens, the protection of property, and the large scale economic impact on aviation, agriculture, and commerce, I am asking you to vote in support the Senate’s proposal for NOAA’s budget.
Sincerely,

——-

Bill Hopkins, the NWS Employees Organization vice president predicts lives will be affected and lost because of the budget cuts. From KSAT12 ABC in San Antonio:

Bill Hopkins, vice president of the NWS Employees Organization, said the public may be in real danger a House bill is passed that would slash The National Weather Service’s budget by $126 million.”It could potentially lead to a loss of lives, not necessarily in San Antonio, but it could in other parts of the county,” Hopkins said.Local NWS offices would likely deal with rolling closures and furloughs, leaving the Corpus Christi NWS office to take over issuing warnings for the San Antonio area.”Not only will they be watching your area, but they will also be watching their area, and there will be no increase in personnel to do this,” Hopkins said.The national NWS office said President Obama has opposed to such harsh cuts. Hopkins said the cuts would significantly affect those along the Gulf Coast.”The National Hurricane Center would be reduced to 32 hours a week,” Hopkins said.There would also be far fewer hurricane hunter flights, which are often vital parts of hurricane forecasts.According to Hopkins, large amounts of weather data would be lost.”Can you imagine flying into an airport and they lose all their surface data? There’s really drastic impacts in this cut,” Hopkins said.

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136 Responses to National Weather Service Union warns people will die because of budget cuts

  1. Mark_K says:

    No doubt, since they’re so concerned, the NWS Employee Organization members will volunteer to work for less wages in order to save those lives.

  2. Gordon Ford says:

    If you don’t give us the money we want, people will die. Sounds like civil service blackmail to me.

  3. Jeff L says:

    …maybe it’s a good time to privatize the whole thing & get that part of the budget down to zero!

    Hard to believe a word they say on this issue. Is it just more alarmism or are there true dangers to cutting services???

  4. T Braunlich says:

    More alarmism. There must be cuts. Everyone will have to make do with less. The sky will not fall. Deal with it.

  5. ew-3 says:

    The people in this country are starting to get really tired of big government. Actions like this by a union during such a difficult economic time are fueling a reaction not seen in the past. Part of it is certainly the availability of information via the Internet. Just yesterday an item appeared in the NY Post, which might have been seen outside the local area and hard copy readership, about a Syosset NY School Supervisor that was getting a pay and benefits package of over $500K per year. That is unbelievable ! The average teacher in Syosett NY makes $79,065 not counting benefits.
    Having this data available on line is feeding a growing anger in the population.
    For the National Weather Service Employees Organization to bring this up is a classic case of a tin ear.

  6. Theo Barker says:

    How about cutting from the top?

  7. tarpon says:

    The demise of the American taxpayer means nothing to big government.

  8. Todd B says:

    Leave the budgets alone for the weather prediction employees and instead cut ALL of their climate prediction / global warming research. Same should be done with NASA.

  9. Ryan Maue says:

    Scrap the Climate Service? FY2012 budget request of > $350 million?

  10. joe says:

    The tornado’s will come regardless of the budget. An extra warning (no guarantee) would be nice but the world survived without them (and still does since there are not always early warnings).

  11. RichF says:

    I’m all for scrapping the NOAA. There is NO reason that what they do needs to be done by government.

  12. Larry Sheldon says:

    If that means we won’t get the screechy Flash Flood Warnings every time somebody’s dog pees, and I won’t get any more panicky calls from newcomers about the tornado warnings because somebody saw a lightening bolt[1]

    [1] “W!hatsho!uldId!oWHA!TSHO!ULDID!O!!!!?”

    Answer step 1, turn off the TV set.

    Answer step 2, remember that you are calling from a house that has been standing for more than a hundred years.

    Answer step 3, note that across the street there is a High School with a big-fing siren on the roof.

    Answer step 4, if the siren starts to howl, take your radio, your cellphone, some blankets, the animals, any other humans in the house and something to drink to the basement and sit under one of the big beams that holds the place up.

  13. Larry Sheldon says:

    I forgot to include my point!

    “….because somebody saw a lightening bolt[1]”

    If the hype, hoopla and death-dealing panics are reduced, I am all for it.

  14. Garry says:

    I will simply ask informed people whom I trust what they think of this proposal.

    Anthony? Joe?

    Your call.

  15. Caleb says:

    Transfer all the money Hansen is blowing over at NASA over to NOAA. Get NASA focused on having rockets get into orbit, rather than falling into the sea. Why is NASA so involved in recording temperatures, anyway?

  16. DD More says:

    Recent advances in aviation weather forecasting have resulted in as much as a 50 percent reduction in weather related flight delays.

    Sounds like nomenclature to me. From one day in Feb

    WEATHER HAVOC: 19 Different Airlines Have Canceled 100 Or More Flights Today
    Gregory White | Feb. 2, 2011, 3:04 PM
    Today’s winter weather has forced 19 airlines to cancel 100 flights or more, according to data from Flight Aware. The hardest hit airport is Chicago’s O’Hare, which has had 932 departures and 1,085 arrivals canceled. American Eagle (a division of AMR) has called off the most flights, with 802 cancellations.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/19-airlines-have-cancelled-100-flights-or-more-today-2011-2

    See some of the list http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4d49b78b4bd7c81d271c0000/chart.jpg

    Isn’t amazing that the union takes a budget reduction to cut current forecasting and not running their stupid useless models?

  17. Neo says:

    The Byrd Amendment, 31 U.S.C. ‘1352, (the “Act” or “Byrd Amendment”), prohibits the use of appropriated funds by recipients of a “Federal contract” for purposes of influencing or attempting to influence federal officials in connection with a “Federal action,” such as the awarding of a “Federal contract.” The Act prohibits “contractors” from using appropriated funds for lobbying in connection with a contract, grant, loan or cooperative agreement with a Federal agency. Furthermore, the Act requires the “contractor” to disclose to the Federal agency involved its lobbying activities connected with such “contract,” grant or loan when the “contract” amount exceeds $100,000 regardless of whether the activities are funded with appropriated funds”.

  18. Frank K. says:

    Todd B says:
    March 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

    “Leave the budgets alone for the weather prediction employees and instead cut ALL of their climate prediction / global warming research. Same should be done with NASA.”

    Agreed. Can anyone tell me what are the critical climate “products” that are generated by NOAA’s “climate service” that we just can’t live without???

    BTW – they’re worried about losing $454 million in funding. Didn’t NASA just blow well over $500 million on the GLORY satellite fiasco???

  19. Latitude says:

    Ryan Maue says:
    March 8, 2011 at 11:52 am
    Harry Reid is more concerned with the Cowboy Poetry Festival.
    ================================================
    liberals are going to die…………………………./sarc

  20. vboring says:

    The budget problems are health care and retirement.

    If current trends continue, they will be the budget and every other government activity will have to be eliminated.

    If you’re talking about the budget without talking about health care and retirement costs, you’re not talking about the budget.

  21. bobbyj0708 says:

    This may sound mean but if a person dies because he missed out on hearing a weather report he probably won’t be missed much anyhow…

  22. ddpalmer says:

    If there services are really that vital to avaition and agriculture, then shouldn’t (and wouldn’t) aviation and agriculture be willing to pay for these services?

    True if they did pay for them they would pass the costs on to us as their customers, but if it was forced to compete in the free market I bet the cost and accuracy would come down.

  23. kbray in california says:

    “I am writing to ask you to support the Senate’s proposal for NOAA’s budget. This proposal will help NOAA and the National Weather Service continue the mission of saving lives and property.”

    … ’cause if we are not paid, the first storm you will see is us “going postal”!

    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Going_postal

  24. ddpalmer says:

    That should have been;

    the cost would come down and the accuracy would go up.

  25. richcar that 1225 says:

    According Sen. David Vinter, La. The department of interior has reduced shallow water drilling pemits to one a month. Sen Vinter says we need 29 a month just to maintain production. He said eight deepwaters rigs have left the US and six more are about to do so. Possibly 90,000 jobs to be lost and Obama wants to tap the SPR.

  26. David Schnare says:

    As a government employee, I lived through the last shut down, and people did not die. Government agencies always play the “Washington Monument” card. (Cut our budget and we will have to close the Washington Monument, and the public will riot!).

    Fact is, most cuts are targetted and not at the items cited by the NWS or NASA or NOAA. And were cuts are not targetted, the agencies have the freedom to make their own cuts. If they choose to cut programs that actually do save lives, then they should be fired for cause.

    /Sarc on
    Could cut Jim Hansen’s program with out a problem . . . but my job is essential!
    /Sarc off.

  27. B. Kindseth says:

    We (US) are currently borrowing approximately 40 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government. This is unsustainable and will bankrupt this country. There is no money to fund Obamacare. The lack of an energy policy is driving up our heating, electrical and gasoline costs, not to mention what cap and trade will do. The EPA is blocking any new oil drilling and power plants. We will have less money to spend on other things which will depress the economy. Could it get any worse? There are a lot of places where budgets must be cut; I doubt that there are any that should escape being cut. We all need to sacrifice.

  28. ThomS says:

    Whenever there is budget cut in a government organization, the management of that organization chooses to cut the most valuable functions of the organization or the function that consumers would most miss. A school system, for example, will go immediately to cutting teachers and sports. A local government will immediately decide to cut fire and police.
    This is the same principle applied to the NWS.

  29. Curiousgeorge says:

    Budget cuts are guaranteed to stampede all the sacred cows and oxen. A wise man will step to one side and let them go over the cliff.

  30. jeez says:

    ThomS

    Bingo,

    I always thought cuts should be from the top down. All the work by top bureaucrats is performed by their assistants. Cut the dept. heads and no one would even notice a change, and each gets paid many times the salary of the lower tiered employees.

  31. burnside says:

    That’s a very interesting letter. It says, in effect, they won’t look for a few efficiencies to adapt to what is, after all, a vanishingly small fraction of their overall budget, but will instead seek to damage the effectiveness of their operations to protest the cut.

    Very inspiring.

  32. PJB says:

    You just have to collateralize the budget by getting a hedge fund to bet on the odds of fair/foul weather. Just like mortgages, they could make billions in profits and bonuses and pay for the whole thing in no time… /sarcoff

  33. Martin Light says:

    Growing up in Missouri back in the 1950s when the weatherman said it was going to snow it did by golly! A lot too!! Nowadays with all the new technology at the finger tips of weather folks (being PC) their forecasts seem to miss the target more than hit it. What’s up? Maybe getting back to some basics through hefty budget cuts might make more of these government types pay better attention to their work and serving the public. Worth a try!

  34. Keith D says:

    Cut it! We don’t need NOAA. They are a complete failure in my eyes. Virtually nothing that they have turned out in the last decade has been worth a tinkers damn. Sounds like easy savings.

  35. Henry chance says:

    Don’t take this post in a political way, but if they are really worried about death, cut back on abortion a bit and we would have a fresh crop of 21 year old replacements 21 years from now.

    If we are really worried about death, drop the standards on gas mileage. The tiny cars will be several thousand more deaths per year.

  36. Olen says:

    Of course the National Weather Service needs funding as do scientists to do their research but it must be honest and without bias and accomplished without the intent of supporting a political agenda.

    Looking at funding for service and research that is in support of a political agenda the question has to be how many lives will be lost by promoting a fraud and how many tax dollars are wasted.

  37. Wolf359 says:

    Everyone does understand that all of the computer models used in forecast from the not only the Weather Service but the Weather Channel come from a NWS source, don’t they? Also major radar imagery and satellite data comes from the NWS and NOAA. Yes cuts can be made, but until private industry can invest in a large observational network and detail model forecast than the NWS is important.

  38. MarkW says:

    Most communities already have weathermen at the local TV stations with better and newer equipment anyway.

  39. Rocky H says:

    There’s quite a difference between public and private sector unions. I was President of my Local for four terms. 1,200 members. My pay: $10 a month for incidentals.
    Except for teachers unions and a few professional unions, almost all paid union officials are just high school graduates. I’m sure most government union officers are the same.

  40. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “This is going to have a negative impact on the economy and on almost every aspect of our daily lives. There will be a large scale economic impact on aviation, agriculture, and the cost shipping food and other products.”

    Don’t get your hopes up. This law has an extremely limited domain; it only applies to any actions taken to cut government programs, not to government actions restricting energy, fuel, and production in the private sector.

  41. davidmhoffer says:

    There is almost no government service that you can propose to cut that cannot in some way be tied back to lives, and therefore justified, for no one can put a price on a life…so we have to fund this.

    WRONG!!

    I always use the same example. Suppose there was one person who had a strange medical condition. They could only be kept alive via a treatment so expensive that everyone else in the country had to live on starvation rations, close all the schools, hospitals, everything, for that one person. Would we? Of course not!

    It isn’t about how many people MIGHT die if we cut back THIS service. It is about how much money is there available, and what services can we spend it on that save the most lives?

    The sense of entitlement that has grown up in government administrations based on the notion that the lives they supposedly save are somehow not connected to the lives someone else couldn’t save because of lack of funding is appaling.

  42. anon says:

    What a shock. Even the NWS could’ve predicted that headline. The NWS infrastructure is based on open source software (eg AWIPS runs on Linux), so why does the NWS spend millions of dollars every year on MSFT products? Does a forecaster really need a MS Word license to do his job? Is Active Directory needed? Anti-virus software? IE? Constant hardware upgrades to support MSFT’s latest offerings? Does the NWS really need to spend millions on web servers and the personnel needed to run them so they can compete with private companies (hey, great web site and no annoying popup ads!)? There’s a ton of fat that’s crept into the NWS over the years just like the rest of gov’t. Something has to be done. Perhaps cutting the MSFT-cord would be a good start. Why should public monies be used to fund Mr Gates monument to himself?

  43. DJ says:

    I’m inclined to think that the abrupt increase in heating oil prices would have a far greater, and much more immediate impact on deaths from weather. (The cold weather…that comes from warming)

    Funny, though, we’re not hearing ANY discussion of that.

  44. My name is Wendell Malone and I live in Carlsbad, New Mexico. I am the Volunteer Regional Skywarn Coordinator for the Midland, Texas, National Weather Service Office which has forecast and warning responsibility for my area in southeastern New Mexico. I am and have been an active storm spotter and storm chaser since 1973. So I think I have a pretty good feel on how well our local National Weather Service Offices do their jobs, which in my opinion is outstanding.

    As I write this, homes are burning in the southwestern corner of our state because of a human caused wildfire yesterday afternoon. The flames were fed by 70 mph southwesterly wind gusts, aided by a developing severe drought over the area. This is only the beginning of what promises to be a potentially long and dangerous fire weather season in New Mexico and nearby areas.

    Anyone who thinks that the NWS needs to take a budget cut hit as is being proposed, needs to take a closer look at what these dedicated and hard working meteorologists and staff are doing for their local communities.

    This proposal is just stupid! If anything these offices need more money not less. They are already stretched to the limit, especially during times of severe weather, such as the high wind event currently fanning the flames in one of nearby communities.

    I live on the very western edge of Tornado Alley. We get on average around a dozen or so tornadoes here in E/SE NM every year. We are very sparsely populated so this tends to lessen our chances of one of our communities being hit. But it occasionally does happen, such as in Clovis a couple of years ago when two people were killed , and several dozen were injured by an EF2 Tornado. The Albuquerque NWS Office had issued a tornado warning some 15-20 minutes ahead of time for the Clovis area, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this warning contributed to there being fewer casualties than there were.

    During Skywarn Operations the NWS Forecasters in these offices are incredibly busy. Constantly updating the public and the media with watches, warnings, special weather statements, and advisories. Many times they are called in to work overtime and help out during significant outbreaks of severe and threatening weather.

    In all of the thirty-eight years that I have been involved with these folks, I have yet to see them fail to rise to the task of saving public lives and protecting property. They are heroes in my books!

    They don’t need to loose their jobs because our government is too inept and stupid to do the right thing. Its not their fault that the budget is in such a mess, so why the hell are they being punished for doing such an extremely important job?

    Please contact your Congressional Representative and ask them to stop this insanity.

  45. Al Gored says:

    Gordon Ford says:
    March 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

    “If you don’t give us the money we want, people will die. Sounds like civil service blackmail to me.”

    Yes indeed. Extortion is standard operating procedure now. Everyone has seen how successful that model is – see the military-industrial complex, the AGW research-industrial complex, or the WHO-Big Pharma research-industrial complex (remember swine flu?), and, of course, ‘if we don’t give the banksters zillions the world will end.’

    Fear sells. So these guys are just making us an offer we can’t refuse, as the Godfather would say.

    I’m all for calling their bluff, on any of these issues.

  46. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Wendell L. Malone says:
    March 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I live in the middle of “Dixie Alley”. Let me know when y’all can actually stop a tornado, and I might support a bigger budget.

  47. AnonyMoose says:

    Now that they’ve made that threat, negative feedback to reduce the threat should be set up.

    To ensure that the public remains protected, the future budgets should require additional cuts if weather-related deaths do increase. So the internal budget decisions will have to be those which protect the public, or they lose more.

  48. littlepeaks says:

    You should’ve seen the fight the NWS put up when they wanted to close the NWS office here in Colorado Springs and open one (or keep one open?) in Pueblo, CO. (They finally did close the office in Colo. Springs, despite immense opposition from the public.) Funny, that everything’s OK when THEY want to do something, but they get upset when others influence their decisions.

  49. ferd berple says:

    “Recent advances in aviation weather forecasting have resulted in as much as a 50 percent reduction in weather related flight delays.”

    Great, the airlines can use these savings to buy the forecasts from private industry! This will create tons of new jobs as private companies compete to take over weather forecasting. Those that do a good job will survive, those that don’t will fail. thenet result will be better forecasts for less $$.

  50. Ed Dahlgren says:

    People will DIE !!!

    The models say so.

  51. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Bah, cut away!!

    I’ve been defensive of cuts to the US EPA, but then this came into my University of Illinois e-mailbox:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting grant
    applications for $1.9 million in funding for environmental education
    projects and programs. The purpose of the grants is to promote
    environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible
    students, teachers and citizens. EPA expects to award at least 20 grants
    nationwide ranging from a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $100,000 and
    will accept applications until May 2, 2011.

    These government folks have far too much money, they can find plenty of fat to reallocate.

  52. Alan Simpson says:

    Good, ( I am not the ex. Senator or the Turd from UK Greenpeace, how common is my name? ), the government should be looking long and hard at their role and asking the important question, ” Is this really the job of government?”.

    99.9% of the time the answer should be no.

  53. Outflow Dominant says:

    One small but symbolic sharing of sacrifice would be for the NWSEO to stop bilking the taxpayers of GS-13 pay and benefits for their senior union officials. Let these officials work a real job working real rotating shifts and conduct union business on their off time. Yes, folks, your taxpayer dollars fund union work done on public time!

  54. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Typical bureaucratic reaction: Cut the directly visible services to the public and keep the unseen gravy train flowing: all those nice, easy, bureaus to fill with worthless, though not to the sinecure holder, high paid job chair bum warmers.

    Grrrr#

  55. johnmcguire says:

    Being a farmer I watch the weather constantly. I’ve noticed for the last two days that the forcasters have got it wrong! Cut their funding as I think experienced farmers and fishermen can survive with out them! Anyone expecting someone else to watch out for their basic needs is setting themselves up for failure!

  56. wayne says:

    If NOAA doesn’t cut this “climate change” and “CO2 warming” crap, defund them and rightfully so. For that is what it is, tax-sucking crap. (excuse the language)

  57. R. Gates says:

    We’ve got to balance the budget or America will become a second-class country– period. We are already facing the time in the not too distant future when the dollar will no longer be the world’s currency. This will have huge impacts on every American’s standard of living. But as I’ve said before, any cuts made to relatively small budget’s like NOAA’s, NWS, EPA, etc. need to be matched by cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget– which is the largest portion of discressionary spending in the budget. Hundreds of billions could be slashed from the Pentagon and we’d be no less safe for it. This bipartisan study gives some areas that could be cut:

    http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/1006SDTFreport.pdf

    When it come to making the really tough budget cuts, Ron Paul is my hero, and though I’m an Independent, it brings me great joy to see his suggestions on cutting the Pentagon so upsetting to other Conservatives who think the Pentagon should be untouchable. So yeah, go ahead and wack a big segment off the budget of the NWS… it needs to happen for our countries financial future…but at the same time, aim that same meat cleaver toward the bloated Pentagon.

  58. George E. Smith says:

    Well how about all the people who will die, if they don’t cut taxes, so those folks, can buy food, or pay the heating bill, or get fresh water to their house, or buy gas so they can go to work to get money to pay the rent. How about all those people.

    I’m one of those people; why do you suppose I am still working; I really thought Bush 41 was going to cut taxes, I really thought Clinton was going to cut taxes, I really thought Bush 43 was going to cut taxes, I really thought Obamination was going to cut taxes. Instead, they all make me take the money out of my retirement funds, and send it to the IRS or the Bankrupt State of California; because they think that somebody my age should die and leave their retirement fund to the State; instead 0f retiring, and going fishing.

  59. John F. Hultquist says:

    I found this interesting and have added the bold borrowing in the quote:

    By THOMAS G. DONLAN in Barron’s [March 7, p. 39]
    “Draconian” budget cuts are what the nation needs.

    http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424052970204794404576178811719241914.html

    “. . . all our taxes only pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans programs, federal retirement funds and some lesser “mandatory programs.” This year the U.S. is borrowing for all its regular government programs, all federal and military salaries, all military and civilian procurement, and all the interest on the national debt.”

  60. Cecil Coupe says:

    As pointed out this the “close the parks” strategy played out in city and states all over the country when discussing budget cuts.

    The odd part, in this time of union discontent, is for a new to me public employee union stand up waving a red flag – “Look at us”…

    I suggest they go on strike before the cuts. That’ll show everyone.

  61. James Sexton says:

    I recall similar arguments with air traffic controllers………sigh, we learn nothing.

    The brass tacks are we don’t have any money. We’re broke, and to quote a favorite movie of mine, “This is a $hit sandwich and we’re all going to have to take a bite.”

    In a perfect world, we’d have weathermen that are accurate 100% of the time. We’d have cowboy festivals for all! We’d have police when we need them and they’d all act properly. We’d have all the fire coverage necessary for all lives 100% of the time. We’d have an infrastructure adaptable and always running at peak performance. Heck, in the perfect world, we’d have satellites and spaceships that made it to outer-space. All the hungry would be fed. A chicken in every pot. Two cars in every garage. And low interest mortgages for low income people. Well heck, while we’re dreaming……free houses for everybody!!!

    But we don’t live in a perfect world and we’re not going to get there. Nor would it be desirable. Not here. Not now. Later, in the bye and by.

    It is past time for this nation and its people to quit with their crying, whining, and generally wallowing in self-pity. Grow a pair and realize that me and my tax money doesn’t exist so that everyone can have a job and that we know when and why a storm is coming. Believe it or not, I’ve got other priorities. Should I whine every time someone wants to show a bit of respect for the contributions of the common man and perhaps show a bit of responsible care for the monies given by myself and the millions of others?

    Yeh, my job is so important that people across this nation should continue to indebt themselves unto poverty, else the world will forget how to rotate. Get real.

  62. BenfromMO says:

    I would have more sympathy personally if the NWS actually didn’t spend money on the climate change gravy train. If they spend money on that, they have too much money. Pure simplicity really.

    Any organization that spends money on climate change has too much money and their budgets should be shrunk yearly until they spend zero on it.

    Just my two cents.

    As for lives lost…well pffsfsddfs. If you are going to play that card, let the pro-life people play the lives lost due to abortion. Otherwise, give us good information and shut your trap. Those scare tactics have been going on since I was a little kid, and frankly I don’t fall for anything like that anymore. In fact, I just tune out anything the second you bring up those scare tactics and just think the cuts are appropriate. This is why these cuts are needed. This is also why we all need to write our representatives and support these cuts. If the agency has enough time to promote itself and grand-stand to this extent, well again like I said, they have too much money.

  63. mike g says:

    @R. Gates

    FYI: All government spending is discretionary.

    In AUbama, we have a little thing called proration. When the government runs short of dough, they cut spending across the board until it matches the available dough. Problem solved.

    With this system, the budget crisis on the federal level would be solved this fiscal year. Sure, there is pain. But, we could all share it together.

  64. Pamela Gray says:

    Here’s some savings for you. Most states have now adopted the Common Core State Standards and are working towards a standardized assessment based on these standards. Graduating with a high school diploma depends on whether or not you pass the test and will mean the same thing whether you are from Mississippi or Illinois, Main or Oregon. Then let the schools post their test results (along with whatever bells and whistles they have added to the standards) and diploma earning graduation rate. Parents can then choose what state they want to live in if a high quality school is to their liking. Under these circumstances, I don’t see any need for a federal department of education.

    Cut entire departments. Pussy foot’n around with pennies here and there isn’t going to do a thing with our over-spending government. And in my mind, not even Republicans have the courage to make these needed cuts.

  65. citizenschallenge says:

    Don’t suppose there are any plans to start cutting the War Budget, the one keeps getting USA into deeper doodoo?

  66. James Sexton says:

    R. Gates says:
    March 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    “We’ve got to balance the budget or America will become a second-class country– period. We are already facing the time in the not too distant future when the dollar will no longer be the world’s currency. This will have huge impacts on every American’s standard of living.”<——————-Agreed.

    “But as I’ve said before, any cuts made to relatively small budget’s like NOAA’s, NWS, EPA, etc. need to be matched by cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget– which is the largest portion of discressionary spending in the budget. Hundreds of billions could be slashed from the Pentagon and we’d be no less safe for it.”

    (Bipartisan my behind.)

    “When it come to making the really tough budget cuts, Ron Paul is my hero, and though I’m an Independent, it brings me great joy to see his suggestions on cutting the Pentagon so upsetting to other Conservatives who think the Pentagon should be untouchable. So yeah, go ahead and wack a big segment off the budget of the NWS… it needs to happen for our countries financial future…but at the same time, aim that same meat cleaver toward the bloated Pentagon.
    =====================================================

    Well, yes and no. Is the military budget bloated? Yep. Should we start cutting now? Don’t you think we should get done with Iraq and Afghanistan first?

    Equating a tax dollar that goes to entities such as the EPA with a tax dollar that goes to national defense is fallacy. There is no more important role of the government than to provide for the defense of this nation. My thoughts and knowledge being that the people, regardless of the circumstance, left to our own devices, will make things work. We always have and we always will. All that is necessary is the provision that this nation be unencumbered by external forces. We can take care of the rest on our own.

    We could, and should first start with the redundancy programs. There is no reason why NASA’s and NOAA’s roles overlap. And now the EPA wants to get into the act. For what? Do we really need two/three organizations that fudge numbers and generally misleads the populous? Do we have a redundant military? (Well, actually, yes but that lends to an entirely different conversation.) But, for practical purposes, we can consider the U.S. military as one unit. Cut the redundant programs. On administration alone the savings would be significant.

    We need to get over the belief that the federal government or any government is a jobs program. It is not! Any job in a government detracts and subtracts from the general wealth of the people. While cutting redundant programs, we need to identify what is necessary, what is a luxury and is extraneous. Cowboy festivals and gifts to really cool artwork and grants to entities that hand out clean needles and condoms and political leaning public paid media……we could consider these for the axe without doing away with other more meaningful programs.

  67. James Sexton says:
    March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    The brass tacks are we don’t have any money. We’re broke

    Just print more money. Printing money is a great solution. Every nation should print money all the time.

    /sarc

    “Printing money……..debasing the currency……. has always been a disaster. And it’s going to be a disaster for the United States as well.”

    Jim Rogers

  68. Claude Harvey says:

    What no one seems to understand is that government employment has long since reached “critical mass”. Ronald Reagan tried starving them out. In a case with which I was closely associated at the time, he cut DOE’s hydrothermal division division discretionary budget from hundreds of $millions to tens of $thousands. Not a single layoff occurred in the branch that administered those funds. Then he cut that branch’s budget below payroll. Again, not a single layoff occurred. Their buddies over at DOD, which was flush under Reagan, simply hid them out at various National Labs where they shifted to another federal payroll and where they didn’t even have the security clearances required to to productive work.

  69. Over the next few years in America cowboys will have plenty of opportunity for writing dark poetry about America. America is heading to a crash. Invest in China, India, New Zealand, and Brazil. Be careful with investing in America It’s going to be ugly and sad in America.

  70. Smokey says:

    How much longer can this continue?

  71. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    March 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Over the next few years in America cowboys will have plenty of opportunity for writing dark poetry about America. America is heading to a crash. Invest in China, India, New Zealand, and Brazil. Be careful with investing in America It’s going to be ugly and sad in America.

    So you are expecting TEOTWAWKI? You do understand that if the USA goes down so does the rest of the world, right?

  72. Spring tornado outbreak forecast posted on the 2nd, Cost to public a couple clicks of the mouse, http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx
    to check the results you can compare to ^my sites^ maps to so far;
    2-27=18 tornadoes http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/110227_rpts.html
    2-28=18 tornadoes http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/110228_rpts.html
    3-05=10 tornadoes http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/110305_rpts.html
    3-06=3 tornadoes http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/110306_rpts.html
    3-08=3 so far today http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/110308_rpts.html
    Richard Holle says:
    March 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm
    Tornado production is a result of Lunar declinational tides pulling air masses from more equatorial areas into the mid-latitudes, so the peak production times when they form can be predicted as the periods from Maximum North culmination to three days after, a couple of days when the moon crosses the equator headed North, and as the moon reaches maximum South declination and several days after.
    These effects are due to the production of the primary and secondary tidal bulges in the atmosphere, that arrive at the same time as the ion content of the air masses reaches a local maximum. Between the induced charge differential between the +ion concentrations riding on the more equatorial sourced air mass, established ahead of the dry line front of -ion concentrated more polar air mass, that sweeps in from the West, forcing the precipitation into the rapidly moving narrow band of severe weather from which the tornadoes form on the trailing edges.
    The periods when these effects will be most likely to occur this spring,
    2-25/28 for three days, which we just had, around max South.
    3-5/7 slight chance of small outbreak
    3-12/17 starting in Arkansas through Kentucky and the Ohio river valley
    3-25/30 Starting Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas through Ohio river valley the beginning of a long period of very wet activity most of April.
    4-5/8 start up of activity
    with the re-enactment of the 1974 outbreak most possible in the period
    4-8/13 Maps of the expected precipitation can be found on my site, bearing in mind that the tornado and severe activity usually forms in the fast moving part of the frontal and not usually in the areas of heaviest total daily precipitation.
    On the maps show on my site you can expect to see the tornado development in the areas with the “netted” looking precipitation patterns due to the usual nature of the part of the front where they occur.
    1974 is one of the analog years for my forecast method, which is why I mention we may see a replay of that out break. It is also why I am in Mesa Az., instead of Kansas this spring.

  73. Steve in SC says:

    Welcome to the Tea Party boys and girls.

  74. James Sexton says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    March 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    @ Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    March 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Over the next few years in America cowboys will have plenty of opportunity for writing dark poetry about America. America is heading to a crash. Invest in China, India, New Zealand, and Brazil. Be careful with investing in America It’s going to be ugly and sad in America.

    So you are expecting TEOTWAWKI? You do understand that if the USA goes down so does the rest of the world, right?
    ==============================================

    Well, we certainly are headed in that direction. And, for the short term……or when ever the American people decide enough is enough, there will be much pain and turmoil. In the end, I don’t believe we’ll get to TEOTWAWKI. But it will change significantly. Americans, on both sides of the aisle are tired of being the world’s policeman. Myself included. It doesn’t benefit this nation. There are ramifications to this action (or inaction). We fund much. Much of it will dry up. Be it contributions to the IPCC or grants and loans to S. Korea and the like. But, I don’t see the public will to continue. We can argue the merits, but I don’t think they will be heard.

    If we are to pull our military out of places like Korea, we can expect much turmoil, deaths, and more societal upheaval. If we do it properly, the only effect it would have on the U.S. is the price of tennis shoes would increase, but perhaps we would decide to manufacture them here, also. So, likely a net gain for the people of the U.S. Calloused? Perhaps. Founded in reality? Yep. This appears to be the will of the people. They should know this is what is likely to occur. Oh, the Koreans and the like? In the end, and it may be centuries later, they will work it out, too. Or not.

    But, no one should have expected us to be the world’s policeman to begin with. We can’t even get our own stuff right. We’ve expanded beyond our means. We need to withdraw, and concentrate on our own difficulties. If we shut our borders, what do we care if the world is full of Sadaam’s or not?

  75. DWB says:

    Given that the NOAA budget has grown from $3.9 billion in 2008 to a requested $5.55 billion in 2011 (including an $806 million dollar increase request just between 2010 and 2011), I think they might have a few funds sloshing around to help out the poor NWS.

  76. Karl says:

    Keith D says:
    March 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm
    “Cut it! We don’t need NOAA. They are a complete failure in my eyes. Virtually nothing that they have turned out in the last decade has been worth a tinkers damn. Sounds like easy savings.”

    We do need NOAA for the gathering and dissemination of weather data including short and medium-range model data along with severe weather warnings. NOAA has gotten into too much specialized products like point and click forecasts on the web, etc. I also agree with all commentors that NOAA’s “climate change” funding should be cut. That means a real sea-change at the top–get rid of the likes of Lubchenko.

  77. NWSEO member says:

    My union deserves criticism for their overheated rhetoric. If I was in the leadership, I would be working with the NWS leadership to find ways to cut spending. I’d probably start with a hiring/promotion freeze and work with what we have. A drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps towards eliminating the 1.5 trillion dollar deficit. If we add 1-2 forecasters to our staff, we can easily handle another office’s forecast/warning workload. We are constantly developing tools to make our job easier, so we can expand services to the general public. Keep in mind, that this may work in my office, but in tornado alley, this may not be possible without degrading services.

    A few years back, the NWS was experimenting with workload sharing between offices. If one office was busy with a tornado outbreak, then one of their neighboring offices could take over routine products for that office. The union worked hard to kill this, because it would prove that the NWS could continue to provide the same services with fewer people. The technology from this project would have been very useful in event 24 offices were closed at one time because of furloughs. Regardless, my fellow forecasters would rise to the challenge despite a sudden cut in pay and whatever limitations the union puts on us.

    Ultimately, I serve the American public. If their representatives want cuts, then the onus is on me to make that work without degrading the services we currently provide. In fact, trying to solve such problems bring joy in my life.

    But let’s keep all of this in perspective. Increased NWS funding over the last few years is not why there is record deficits. I would point at bailouts of financial, etc institutions as one cause…in addition to the ARRA.

  78. E.M.Smith says:

    Can’t we just computerize the warning system? Seems to me that the patterns are pretty well defined and a computer can watch 24 x 7 and issue instant alerts.

    I’m having trouble seeing why it would take any staff… ( the computer repair guy can be on the service contract from the vendor…)

  79. NWSEO member says:

    I have to add that my previous comment is my personal opionion only and not as a representative of my agency or of my union. Expressed on my personal time on my home computer.

  80. HeckSpawn says:

    Who needs NOAA?

    Thanks to Algore and his inventing the internet, we have weather.com…

  81. Curiousgeorge says:
    March 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    So you are expecting TEOTWAWKI? You do understand that if the USA goes down so does the rest of the world, right?

    No, I don’t understand that. I’m not much for melodrama. The world will not be going down.

    America is too big to fail? America has an overinflated view of itself. The world will not end. But life for many people in America will end as they know it. Just because an Americans life is effected by what happens in America doesn’t mean that everyone in the world is affected by it. America not only has a bubble in its economy it has a bubble in its image of itself. Bubbles burst. More powerful nations than America have gone through dark times. The world is still here. The world will go on without America being what it used to be.

    China and India will be unfazed. In fact, many places in the world will be happy to see America hurt just like many Americans were happy to see Russia hurt when the Berlin wall fell. America was unfazed by Russia becoming something different from what it had been. And the world will not be effected like some think it will be from bad times in America.

    All I can say is inflation, higher unemployment, higher crime because of the difficult times, devaluing of the dollar (which includes devaluing of people’s saving accounts), and budget cuts for vital programs like social security and the military, are coming over the next 5 to 10 years. There is no way around these things.

    But if you see a way for America to go in a different direction and avert the these things tell me about it.

  82. Keith Battye says:

    I don’t think that the characterization of America as “the world’s policeman” is correct . . .

    I think America is more “the world’s lifeboat”. Just look at virtually every natural and man made disaster and there is America stepping up and sorting out the problem. Never mind the criticism when she does, or the anguished cries for help when she is slow to act, the fact is the USA plays a huge, and often sole, role in mitigating disasters both before and after they happen.

    Remember the old Chinese saying “why do you hate me , I never helped you?”. Perhaps that will help give context.

  83. James Sexton says:
    March 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Americans, on both sides of the aisle are tired of being the world’s policeman. Myself included.

    I’m tired of it too. I think the world will be just fine. If we think we’re irreplaceable in the world then I have this question: what was the world before America took it upon itself to be the police of the world? I agree too that we better focus on problems here in America pretty soon.

    I heard that Obama wants Gaddafi to step down. Maybe the President should busy himself with what to do in America instead of the rest of the world.

  84. Matt says:

    There are 195 countries in this world. And of their joint military budget, the US spends 50% ! — And their answer to the problem is to shoot the weather man. Yeah, that seems about right :) Also, this means you will NEVER have a ‘weather forcast’ again in the next 10.000 years with view to the amount of debt.

    I wonder whether some private business could emerge from this which caters for certain industries like aviation with to pay-for reports as a result?

    Of course , it is not all that bad – it is a political decission to cut, and they might reverse it in a year if they are not happy then, a new government might have a different take in the future, etc.

    Anyway, outside the US you can read about US cuts on about anything and everything — only the M-word is not mentioned…

  85. Al Gored says:

    NWSEO member says:
    March 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    “I have to add that my previous comment is my personal opionion only and not as a representative of my agency or of my union. Expressed on my personal time on my home computer.”

    I appreciated your comments and your caution. Hope there’s lots like you in that ‘shop.’

  86. wolf359 says:

    It is possible to computerize the warning process, but there are many false alarms so you always need someone to weed out these false alarms

  87. rk says:

    Obviously, people are going to be dying in the streets over this cut.

    From NOAA, in 2010

    In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 President’s Budget, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration requests a total of $4,483,750,000, an increase of $109,880,000 or 2.5% above the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009. Program changes are relative to the FY2010 base which is the FY 2009 Omnibus level less terminated projects plus inflationary adjustments.

    FY 2008 Enacted $3,907.3
    FY 2009 Omnibus $4,373.9
    FY 2010 Request $4,483.9

    So they got a big hit in 2009, 12 percent over 08…and then some more for 10…and I remember 08 and how terrible the excess deaths were. /sarc

    http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/nbo/fy10_bluebook/NOAAwide_One_Pager051109.pdf

  88. John Marshall says:

    If this stops all those 100 year alarmist claims by NOAA then no bad thing. There seems to be better weather forecasting organizations in the States than NOAA, and they are more accurate for local areas and do not produce alarmist 100 year uncheckable forecasts.

  89. James says:

    Funny this is the exact same problem being experienced in the UK where the Conservative / Liberal government are trying to balance the books.
    The bureaucrats are using the cuts to score political points, cutting front line services while retaining empowerment directors and here is a rather well written letter apropos a renowned socialist council:

    … (Comment, March 7) demonstrates what can happen when an elected local council such as Haringey (Labour-run for 40 years) decides that its most vulnerable residents should take the hit when it comes to cuts.

    Local people have not decided that this is what they want – the councillors have. Most local people are outraged when they learn that services for the most vulnerable will be cut – day centres for the elderly and disabled, residential homes for people with severe learning disabilities, a crisis centre for psychiatric patients.

    Surely the government of the day cannot stand back and, like Pontius Pilate, wash its hands. These little centres will not be able to organise themselves into charitable trusts and compete with the big fundraisers. Their people are poor or unwell, and won’t have the contacts or the personal resources to organise to keep such places open.

    Haringey council has misused huge amounts of its income. It has continued to pay vast amounts to its top tier of bureaucrats. (A freedom of information question recently revealed that salaries of its top 100 earners total more than £7 million). Its councillors may have professed sorrow when they voted in these cuts, but not one offered to take a pay cut.

    Neither did they agree to cut Haringey People – the glossy magazine posted out to every household – which politically promotes the opinions and “good works” of the ruling party.

    What can local taxpayers in boroughs such as Haringey do in the face of a council hell-bent on maintaining its bureaucrats’ lifestyles, yet absolving itself of its duty to its most vulnerable residents?

    ————

    And regarding this point: “But let’s keep all of this in perspective. Increased NWS funding over the last few years is not why there is record deficits. I would point at bailouts of financial, etc institutions as one cause…in addition to the ARRA.”

    This kind of thinking is incorrect. I do not agree with US gov policy re: bailouts, QE2,3, etc. but this “spread the wealth” or “it’s only 0.01 cent per taxpayer who would even notice” thinking annoys me. If you really think that please have all your union members send me 0.01 c too. It all adds up, and it all restricts true wealth generation.

  90. Curiousgeorge says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    March 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Curiousgeorge says:
    March 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    So you are expecting TEOTWAWKI? You do understand that if the USA goes down so does the rest of the world, right?

    No, I don’t understand that. I’m not much for melodrama. The world will not be going down.

    Then you would not agree that the Great Depression of 1929, and the recent global recession (both of which began in the US) had little to no effect on the global economy? I think there are a great many people who would disagree with you. The economic and political well being of the world is so interconnected that it would not be possible for the rest of the world to be unaffected by a collapse of the worlds largest single economy. And we know how thoroughly economics and politics are entwined.

  91. Jer0me says:

    I suspect more people will die from the current and predicted cold that if the entire budgets for NOAA and NASA were cut.

  92. Curiousgeorge says:

    Correction to my last: It’s early in morning. :)

    Then you would not agree that the Great Depression of 1929, and the recent global recession (both of which began in the US) had substantial effect on the global economy?

  93. Jer0me says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    March 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    So you are expecting TEOTWAWKI? You do understand that if the USA goes down so does the rest of the world, right?

    That is old school. The modern world is different Europe, India and China can easily take up the slack until Russia joins in again. It’ll hurt not being able to sell lots of useless products to billions of people people with far more money than sense, but new riches will be made, and wealth will outstrip sense once again, never fear!

    The ‘good ol’ US of A can become a marginal economy once more without a total global collapse. Sorry ’bout that!

  94. Curiousgeorge says:

    Jer0me says:
    March 9, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Curiousgeorge says:
    March 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    So you are expecting TEOTWAWKI? You do understand that if the USA goes down so does the rest of the world, right?

    That is old school. The modern world is different Europe, India and China can easily take up the slack until Russia joins in again. It’ll hurt not being able to sell lots of useless products to billions of people people with far more money than sense, but new riches will be made, and wealth will outstrip sense once again, never fear!

    The ‘good ol’ US of A can become a marginal economy once more without a total global collapse. Sorry ’bout that!

    So you believe that wheat, corn, and many other products of the US economy are “useless” ? Interesting.

  95. wesley bruce says:

    Step one Get Piers Corbyn’s predictions. These cost a few hundred dollars.
    Step two send someone to study his methods. Appoint another to get together the data needed to use his methodes in the USA. Have a third go over all his predictions with a probability analysys to measure its true error rate. With his permition of course.
    Step Three Dust off the 30+ reports on architecture and climate risk factors and get the zoning up to date so people are not building vulnerable buildings in flood zones. Hurricane zones, tornado zones (the indians built only undergrond lodges in those areas.) So On for fire, blizzards, etc. OK that could cost a million or so. Publish, for a reasonable price, all of those dusty reports and a new book of recomendations. That shuold pay for some of the rebuilding. Expidite the legalisation of floating houses in flood zones.
    Step four: Send all staff members out to check three weather stations every six months. Pay for the petrol and picnic lunch. Don’t send them all to the one station. (yes we need to spell that out.)
    Step five: Create a bond scheme that raises a few million dolars in ‘private’ (no gov’t garantee) bonds, Ad a fee setting system and Put the basic reports out for free; charge for the advanced reports and area specific long range risk mapping and predictions. Insurance companies, event organizers and farmers will pay and the bond will make a profit over time.
    Step six: Get someone to design cheap wireless weather measurement systems: temperature, wind and rain fall with cell phone based datalink back to base. Thus will allow us to rebuild the networks and put the things back in the middle of the paddocks where they belong.
    Step seven: Buy a dozen more UAV’s and ripp off the weapons systems and put on weather data sensors and send there flying weather stations out to gather data in the critical holes.
    Almost half of the rest is redundant if these are done.

  96. j.pickens says:

    It would be cheaper to purchase a good digital barometer with an alarm for everyone in tornado-prone areas than to fund NOAA. Sudden pressure change, ALARM!
    It would save lives….and money.

  97. R. Gates says:

    The current U.S. Budget situation could be likened to this:

    The Circus tent is on fire and we have the battling groups of circus clowns arguing over whether we should pour a thimble full or water of a cup of water on the growing fire.

    Hence the rest of the world will realize the U.S. dollar is backed by nothing, and will no longer consider it the world currency…and when this happens, those of us who live in the U.S. and have most of our assets in U.S. dollars will see our standard of living decline– this is assured.

  98. smartcuts says:

    Perhaps, what we need is a stratigic retreat. Get rid of NOAA, which is a relatively new inserted layer of paper pushing, and reorganize the whole Department of Commerce as it was configured in the 1950s and 1960s, where the head of each division (like National Institute of Standards and National Weather Service) directly answered to the head of the Department.

    It would properly cut the overhead, rather than the workers, and eliminate a great deal of paperwork. Get rid of the middle level managers, and let those above either cope with the paperwork, or let themget rid of it. Otherwise, if they do not know what to do with it, get rid of them, as they are poart of the problem. Use the ‘Last managment in, First managment out’ route to cut where it needs to be cut, not at the working personnel level. And, eliminate ‘bumping rights’ where managment can keep itself entrenched, eliminating the lower level personnel who really do the work.

    It was interesting, when cuts were going on during the last half of the 1960s to the 1980s, whenever cuts were made, that the only ones who were laid off were the secretaries, which caused everything to come to a grinding halt, until they were rehired under an ‘emergency’ to get things going again. Maybe the secretaries should be made the managers, and the middle managers be gotten rid of (fired), since the only people who appear to know what is going on are the secretaries (administrative assistants, not the head honchoes who rely on the secretaries to keep things going and keep them informed…). Do the same with the paper pushers in the military officer corps, to improve everything over there as well…

  99. Tom T says:

    The frightening thing is that Reed really thinks that funding the Cowboy Poetry Festival is something the Federal Government must do. It couldn’t be done privately by cowboy poetry lovers.
    Oh give me a home, oh home on the range, where seldom is heard stupid thing like this.

  100. beng says:

    ****
    Wendell L. Malone says:
    March 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Anyone who thinks that the NWS needs to take a budget cut hit as is being proposed, needs to take a closer look at what these dedicated and hard working meteorologists and staff are doing for their local communities.

    This proposal is just stupid! If anything these offices need more money not less. They are already stretched to the limit, especially during times of severe weather, such as the high wind event currently fanning the flames in one of nearby communities.

    They don’t need to loose their jobs because our government is too inept and stupid to do the right thing. Its not their fault that the budget is in such a mess, so why the hell are they being punished for doing such an extremely important job?
    *****

    Wendell, the US government is just plain broke — it can’t be made more simple than that. Now is the time for taxpayer-funded operations to either slim down or disband, just like in private industry, or far worse consequences will occur. Nothing is exempt when 40% of your funds have to be borrowed, on top of the already massive government debt.

    Accountability has to apply to everyone, not just private industry.

  101. Smokey says:

    Good thing I’m sitting down, because I am in agreement with R Gates’ statement above. [The exception being that I don't expect the dollar to be jettisoned as the world's reserve currency for quite a while, the reason being that most other currencies are in even worse shape. And China is riding high now, but I think it is headed for a hard landing].

    There’s an old saying: If something can’t happen, it won’t happen. Obvious, and it applies to the present situation. We are piling up debt at a fantastic rate. In the first 4 days of March, $81 billion was added to the national debt. We won’t be able to pay more than a small fraction of our financial obligations. There will be an implosion first.

    Obama is responsible for $trillions in new debt. If he simply rescinded his profligate overspending since being elected, we would be back at previous levels – which were already bad. The media howled because Bush added $200 billion to the deficit in his last year [mostly to ward off a run on banks, which would have led to a replay of the 1930's Depression]. Obama has added over $200 billion in the past month alone. And the media turns a blind eye.

    And for what? How is the country any better off with all this excessive spending? I am convinced that Obama is folowing an unspoken agenda to deliberately ruin the country through his insane fiscal policies.

  102. R. Gates says:
    March 9, 2011 at 7:20 am

    the U.S. dollar is backed by nothing, and will no longer consider it the world currency…and when this happens, those of us who live in the U.S. and have most of our assets in U.S. dollars will see our standard of living decline– this is assured.

    The first thing we agree on R.

  103. Chad Woodburn says:

    How Many Will Die If the Budget Is Not Cut?
    Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that if their budget is cut, some people will die. Even so, that is only part of the equation. We must also ask, if the budget is not cut, how many people will die?

    If the national debt increases to the point that government borrowing gobbles up available money forcing interest rates and prices up, how many more people will lose their jobs, their health insurance, and be unable to afford the things they need? That has consequences too, and those consequences would reasonably include loss of lives.

    If such simple things as an increase in energy costs results in people not keeping their houses warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer, and if that leads to more deaths (which we know it does), then how many more deaths will take place if the national budget doesn’t return to responsible levels?

  104. Blade says:

    Curiousgeorge [March 9, 2011 at 4:14 am] says:

    “Then you would not agree that the Great Depression of 1929, and the recent global recession (both of which began in the US) had substantial effect on the global economy?”

    Hell no. To the extent that speculatory bubbles burst and high risk speculation is bad is as far as I can agree. If other countries are stupid enough to join the party they’re gambling too. We are not going to prop up the market or go to socialism just so the rest of the world is saved. The swine that play this high stakes game of economy busting are everywhere not just in the USA (ever heard of Soros?). I want to address the first statement there about the Great Depression in particular. Note that this isn’t necessarily addressed to you Curiousgeorge unless you believe all this nonsense. I’ve seen that twisted wiki that promotes this garbage, one of the most anti-American hit pieces they have.

    First of all that depression mostly took place in the 1930’s, the stock market crash was at the END of 1929. To describe this thing as the Great Depression of 1929 instead of the more accurate Stock Market Crash of 1929 and Great Depression of the 1930’s is FDR propaganda. It lets Roosevelt off the hook as the biggest failure as president with respect to economic matters, because from his inauguration in March 1933 all the way until early 1942 was almost 9 years, more than two full presidential terms of unheard of malaise and unemployment. The ramp-up for WWII began in 1942 (for the USA of course) and steadily dragged us out of the Depression. This early re-write of history began as soon FDR was elected, he assigned staff to spin things against the outgoing Hoover who reportedly was upset by this ‘betrayal’ when he heard of it (FDR was a nasty little man). This effort was successful because FDR remains higher ranked than Hoover even though simple math shows this: Great Depression: Hoover = 3.5 years, Roosevelt = 9 years. If FDR hadn’t rammed through Social Security there would have been no 3rd term, and he would never have received his popularity from being CiC during WWII and he would be ranked somewhere below Millard Fillmore.

    Perhaps we should remember there were events before 1929, which that wiki literally ignores (this wiki has more truth in it). They’re practically blaming the USA crash and depression for everything from worldwide starvation to Hitler’s rise! Reality:It was World War I (9 million dead), the Bolshevik revolution and Communist atrocities and famines (12-15 million dead), 1918 Spanish Flu (30-60 million dead), post World War I partitioning of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, and the enormous debts from ALL of these events that stressed Europe and the world at large. In total, something like 75 million people died from those WWI and related events in the 15 years from 1914-1929 (2 billion world population), now imagine if 225 million died in a 15 year period today, you think it would have some influence on economics? Governments rose and fell, revolutions came and went, dictators arose and stayed, all of this WITHOUT the USA’s help (it was one of our most isolationist periods). The totality of these catastrophes left the world vulnerable to a future stock market collapse. To disappear these facts and hypothesize that the so-called Great Depression of 1929 caused the worldwide crises is yet another hit job on us greedy capitalist Americans. Don’t fall for it, it’s Communist (and Wikipedia) propaganda plain and simple. Their talking point is that Freedom, Capitalism and the Stock Market is bad, and they caused all this pain for the rest of the world. Outside of the USA nearly everyone was already reeling from disastrous events for a full decade before the crash. God I despise these vermin.

    A far more lucid way to grasp our 1930’s depression coming so late in the game is that we were far more isolated and self-sufficient than the tangled tentacles of European economies and vicinity (not to mention being thousands of miles away, the ocean still only crossed by ship). What happened over there simply did not impact here, or if it did the effect was highly muted. Being isolated and insulated, and the much smaller scale fiscal budgeting and spending during the 1920’s just delayed our own collapse (see: Terminator, Judgement day was only postponed, but always inevitable). It took speculating and in particular margin buying that crashed the market, and many feel it was necessary and don’t feel sorry for those that over-extend themselves (don’t walk into a casino unless you can afford to walk back out with empty pockets). However, what we Americans had better start to realize today is that we do not have that buffer anymore, self-sufficiency and isolation were dismantled by politicians of all parties and gleefully accepted by greedy and disloyal (to the USA) businesses that farmed out and out-sourced this luxury. It doesn’t take a genius to see what is going to happen next.

    What the leftist socialist propaganda fails to mention is that with or without the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930’s and even without the USA itself, those 75 million would still be dead (probably more), the economies would still be mangled and we would still get Lenin, Stalin and Hitler anyway.

  105. R. Gates says:

    I think the end of the dollar as the world currency is closer than many think (or wish) it to be– probably 10 years or less. The replacement will likely be a “basket” of currencies, similar to the current SDR (special drawing rights) of the IMF. The current SDR however is not suitable, so the new SDR will need to include the currencies of emerging markets like China and India. A basket of currencies or SDR approach makes a lot more sense than having one nation’s currency be the “world” standard, and certainly if the world had to choose a standard now, it would not be the debt laden U.S. dollar. The British pound was the world’s currency for long time, but with the collapse of that empire, the dollar came to the front, and now it is approaching the time for the dollar to be replaced as the U.S. empire can no longer be supported by incurring huge debts. Based on the current huge indebtedness of the U.S., when a new world currency is chosen, it will necessarily mean a huge hit on the standard of living for the citizens of the U.S. as the dollar crashes and is valued in respect the all other currencies and each nations relative indebtedness.

  106. Smokey says:

    Ten years is a long way out. Anything could happen, so I’ll avoid predictions. The dollar will crash, the only question is: when? Answer that precisely and you can get enormously rich.

    A world currency scares the hell out of me. Who will admisister such a beast? The über-corrupt from top to bottom UN?? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  107. Peter in MD says:

    How about a 10% paycut across the board for all “Public” employees? I hear them complaining of not getting a raise…… I not only haven’t had a raise in 4 years, every employee for the comapny I work for took a 10% cut 2 years ago March 1st. It was that or the company potentially goes out of business. Oh yea and that Obamacare reaised our Health Insurance rates by 19.8% at the end of last year. This madness can’t go on

  108. R. Gates says:

    Smokey says:
    March 9, 2011 at 8:51 am
    Ten years is a long way out. Anything could happen, so I’ll avoid predictions. The dollar will crash, the only question is: when? Answer that precisely and you can get enormously rich.
    _____
    Well, you may not get enormously rich, but you won’t get enormously poor either if you start now to diverisfy your portfolio away from all dollars. Some gold, some silver, some Swiss Francs, some Canadian or Australian Dollars would all be great hedges against what is to come…

  109. Josh Grella says:

    Alan Simpson says:
    March 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    This is the correct answer. The Federal government needs to get back to doing what it is ALLOWED to do according to the powers granted in the Constitution. Any authority not EXPLICITLY granted to the Federal government belongs to the states or the PEOPLE (it is still “we, the people,” right?). The feds (Republicans and Democrats alike) have spent the last 70+ years slowly giving themselves authority over more and more things they are constitutionally forbidden to be involved in (and no one has called them on it yet). That is why we are in the situation we are in. The Federal govt. has finally gotten to the point that the bloat will cause dire consequences if something is not done about it and now.
    Now, if someone could point out to me the article, clause, or even sentence fragment in the Constitution that explicitly grants the feds to do anything in regards to weather (or a host of other things), I’ll sit down and shut up. Otherwise, defund the entire NWS, and the EPA, and several dozen other agencies…

  110. Patrick Davis says:

    Seems these types don’t consider high energy costs also kills.

  111. Peter in MD says:
    March 9, 2011 at 8:54 am

    How about a 10% paycut across the board for all “Public” employees?

    How about 50%?

  112. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Blade says:
    March 9, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I won’t argue the “Stock Market Crash” vs “Great Depression” nomenclature or timing, etc.. But I think you’ve made my basic point that what happens in one country ( economically speaking ), does have a significant impact on the rest of the world; especially those with large economies. I should clarify that I’m not implying a direct cause and effect relationship, only that the trickle down of a failing, or failed, large economy does have a global reach that cannot be avoided in today’s world. And once that feedback loop begins it is very, very difficult to interrupt it, as we’ve seen in the past few years. Whether we like it or not, we live in a inter-dependent world.

  113. Printing money causes that standard of living of the middle class to go down. And usually after a period of heavy money printing war follows. I hope this time will be different.

    Marc Faber on what potentially is coming:

  114. If you want to see some reasons why America is in such economic trouble this video will clear some things up. Much of it has to do with banks being given permission to be exempt from safeguards that were set up by Washington in the 1930’s as a result of the Great Depression. Starting in the early 1990’s some banks were allowed to be categorized as hedgers instead of speculators. And here we are.

  115. These banks being given these exemptions is also part of the reason food prices have gone up. Speculators are driving prices up.

  116. Jer0me says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    March 9, 2011 at 4:28 am

    So you believe that wheat, corn, and many other products of the US economy are “useless” ? Interesting.

    Sorry, I was not terribly clear. No, I was referring to the useless products sold to the US by other countries. There is a practical limit to the number of shoes and clothes and mobile phones that one can use, but marketing has found ways to obliterate that limit amongst those with more money than sense, and even amongst those with less money than sense from what I can see in Asia.

  117. Jer0me says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    March 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Peter in MD says:
    March 9, 2011 at 8:54 am

    How about a 10% paycut across the board for all “Public” employees?

    How about 50%?

    Oh, I could not agree more. I have worked in and for government departments, and in my experience, the efficiency level is about 25% of the private sector. Even at my low level I have seen literally millions of dollars thrown away on a regular basis because of a very small number of inept people. These are my tax dollars, and there is nothing I nor anyone else can seemingly do about it.

    The only real problem is that if the work is farmed out to the private sector, the management of these contracts is so inept and corrupt that the cost gets even greater.

    Given that we spend significantly more than half* of our hard-earned in taxes, our only solution is to pare government to the bone in order to merely suvive. More government does NOT work, we have seen that in the USSR, and in China, surely. To be honest, I sometimes feel that the only reason we do not suffer massively from government control is that they are so damned inept!

    *Add them up, and remember they are cumulative. I pay about 25% in income tax, 10% in GST on most of the remainder. A great deal of what we do and buy involves private transport, which involves petrol, which has a tax of around 30% AND 10% GST on top of that (a tax on a tax). It goes on, and on, an on. VAT in the UK is now at 20% (introduced at 8% when I was a lad). Now we’ll be taxed on our carbons too.

  118. Jer0me says:

    Re above, UK tax on petrol, now at 175% and rising!

    From 4th January 2011 the UK duty rate for the road fuels unleaded petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol is GB£0.5895 per litre (£2.65 per imperial gallon or £2.20 per U.S. gallon).[4] Value Added Tax at 20% is also charged on the price of the fuel and on the duty.

    Using the UK average untaxed pump price for unleaded petrol of £0.4572 per litre (from the December 2010 average taxed price of £1.221 per litre,[5] the duty rate of £0.5819 per litre[4] and the then VAT rate of 17.5%) this would give a January 2011 taxed price of £1.256 per litre (£5.71 per imperial gallon or £4.75 per U.S. gallon) – that is equivalent to a tax rate of 175%.

  119. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Jer0me says:
    March 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Ahh. Ok. Thanks for clearing that up. But, I also would point out that the people who make those trinkets ( China, et al ) don’t think they are useless – they bring in money, which raises their standard of living, and creates downstream effects. Some of which results in them buying our stuff (like John Deere tractors, Caterpillar heavy equipment, and Boeing jetliners – ~ 49% of parts for the later are made in foreign countries, btw; and, of course, our agricultural output ). It’s all very circular, complex and interdependent. In a word: “Chaotic”. :)

  120. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” Jer0me says:
    March 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    March 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Peter in MD says:
    March 9, 2011 at 8:54 am

    How about a 10% paycut across the board for all “Public” employees?

    How about 50%?

    Oh, I could not agree more. I have worked in and for government departments, and in my experience, the efficiency level is about 25% of the private sector. “””””

    Well I think you are being a bit harsh on public employees, many of whom, do earn their pay.

    But some adjustments of their taxpayer funded pensions are in order. I’m all for letting public employees retire while they are young enough to go and get a real job; in fact the yournger they retire, the better.

    And as for those Taxpayer funded Retirement plans, the fix is simple. All retired former Public Employees become eligible to start drawing their taxpayer funded pension, when they reach the then prevailing Social Security full retirement age (currently 66 I think) no matter whether they retired at age 45 or age 35.

    See how simple that is to fix.

  121. Sharon Prince says:

    Have read and reread some of the comments written so far. Yes money is tight, people don’t spend as much and the federal, state and local gov’t suffer when tax money doesn’t come to meet budgets. But in spite of less money, life must go on. This does apply to how the weather will affect your life.
    Your media weather man or lady has loads of tools at hand now days to explain what the weather will do 24 hours away or 3 to 7 days away. But they can not do all the many jobs the NWS does in just their day to day duties. The media folks depend in a great manner to what the sensors in the weather balloons send, this info generates the daily weather models. The local NWS guy and usually 2 to 4 extra people will look over that daily and figure how much of it will play out in the forecast, the folks who come in the next work shift will get the low down and look at new data which comes in from remote sensors or spotters. I’m one of those spotters who make sure I’m sending info which is current and so far I’m told my info is close to 100% verification.
    Some of you see it as an alarmist move for their union to voice their concerns. The NWS is one of the lower paid branches of the federal gov’t but these are people , not computers , with families to look after. Also the NWS also falls under not just NOAA but Homeland Security as well.
    I had a fight a while back with some people who believed that money was being wasted on the weather balloon sensors, they thought that the same data could come from radar. I’ve been a spotter for over 14 years and have asked alot of hard questions during those times. I don’t see these folks who run the local offices wasting money.
    One of the big events which lead me to get the training to become a spotter was an EF4 tornado which I got a front row seat to witness, no warning. This was back in 1989, changes were being made to down grade the NWS then mother nature had her way, across the country tornado outbreaks and during the next decades hurricanes wreak damage on the coastal areas. Roughly 10 years later I had enough and took classes. Have also taken classes from FEMA to get certification there as well.
    These people work 12 hour shifts and sometimes more right after finishing one. We can’t stop mother nature but if we know ahead of time from a forecast or a loud ringing NOAA radio then hopefully you have a safe place to get.
    Right now across most of the country, these same NWS are holding classes to educate people on dangers and encourage community involvement to assist them with valid reports. These classes are free and you can ask questions if all this is new. This one branch of the gov’t has the backing of thousands of people like myself who volunteer time to do this. Also the Cocorahs.org have many like us. We’re not into the global warming debate we just forwarding real valid weather data.
    I encourage you to go to class and then afterwards spend some time to ask what all they do that the private or media branches can not do. Budgets cuts in all branches of gov’t are needed but not so harsh on those that can save a life.

  122. Patrick Davis says:

    “Jer0me says:
    March 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm”

    Still not quite as rough as it is in New Zealand. Last year GST went up to 15%, an increase of 2.5%. The the ETS, estimated to have added ~8% to the cost of goods etc. Instant ~10.5% increase. Saving the planet? No signs of that yet, but the consolidated fund looks flush!

  123. The first prick to the U.S. Bond bubble? The first domino to depression?

    Gross Eliminates Government Debt From Pimco’s Flagship Total Return Fund

    …..Yields on Treasuries may be too low to sustain demand for U.S. government debt…… Gross in his February commentary urged investors to reduce holdings of Treasuries and U.K. gilts and buy higher-returning securities such as debt from emerging-market nations. “Old- fashioned gilts and Treasury bonds may need to be ‘exorcised’ from model portfolios…. “……… website first reported the change in assets today…… Gross noted that inflation may be a bigger factor than many suggest…….

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-09/gross-drops-government-debt-from-pimco-s-flagship-fund-zero-hedge-reports.html

    PIMCO’s Gross Asks: ‘ Who Will Buy Treasuries When the Fed Doesn’t?’

    The world’s biggest bond fund has dumped over $28 billion in U.S. Treasury securities since January……… shed its entire stash of Treasuries from 12% of assets to zero……..

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/03/pimcos-gross-asks-who-will-buy-treasuries-when-the-fed-doesnt/72276/

    In simpler terms, the inflation rate could rise faster then the interest rate on Bonds. Which means in the real world, for all intents and purposes, the interest rate on Bonds would be negative. You lose money on negative interest. You end up with less money in the end than you put in at the beginning.

    Arguments over a possible budget cut to the National Weather Service will look ridiculous if the dominoes fall in America. The unions can lay on the floor kicking and screaming all they want. They won’t get their way. People will have far more important things on their mind.

  124. “…in the longer run, for sure, U.S. Treasuries and most Government Bonds are a suicidal investment.”

    11:35 video, Marc Faber on Bloomberg, 1/25/11

  125. Larry says:

    Why not turn most of the forcasting over to the private sector. All TV markets have at least one, and often several stations who have licensed meteorologists. Why not arrange to have their forcasts be part of the national forcast? Most would fall all over themselves to be the “official” forcast. Maybe we could even get them to pay for the privilege!

    Let the airlines run and pay for the aviation forcasts. They have a vested interest in getting it right. Why does the government need to pay for it?

  126. E.A. says:

    NOAA/NWS is one of the few government organizations that actually pays for itself in economic benefits. E.g.:

    http://radiometrics.com/lazo_bams09.pdf

    Singling out a very tiny part of the federal budget because some of you have long-standing biases against all atmospheric scientists is neither the logical nor beneficial from an economic standpoint.

  127. ddpalmer says:

    @E.A.

    You do realize that report on the economic benefit of the NOAA was a study paid for, at least in part, by the NOAA?

    Also the values they arrive at has a lot of (in their own words) ‘extrapolation’. And their is no indication that much of what people value in the forecasts they get couldn’t be provided by other sources at less cost, or that other sources (like the local ‘weather man’) couldn’t provide essentially the same forecast without relying on the NOAA/NWS.

    If you have spent any time at this site you would know that their are non-NOAA forecasters that regularly make more accurate forecasts cheaper than the NOAA/NWS. That would seem to indicate that although there is some benefit to the NOAA/NWS there is still alot of fat that could be cut. And just because it is a very tiny part of the federal government doesn’t mean we should just ignore it. Remember the longest journey begins with a single step.

    Getting upset because of your bias for all atmospheric scientists is neither the logical nor beneficial from an economic standpoint.

  128. E.A. says:

    >for, at least in part, by the NOAA?

    NCAR is supported mainly by the NSF, not NOAA. In 2010, NOAA funded 3% of the entire NCAR budget:

    http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/planning/staff_fund.pdf

    None of the authors work for NOAA either. Implying that these scientists altered their research to support a 3% budget portion NOAA is frankly BS….and akin to slander.

    >If you have spent any time at this site you would know that their are non-NOAA forecasters that regularly make more accurate forecasts cheaper than the NOAA/NWS.

    Really? Show me the proof. Hearsay doesn’t count. And how are they making these forecasts without using the entire NOAA data, models, observations, and forecast discussion issued by every NWS office?

  129. pnmnm says:

    I am no fan of the NOAA bureaucracy. It is highly inefficient and probably overloaded. But as a conservative voter, I believe that the gathering, assimilating, and utilizing data for weather forecasts is one of the few roles that the federal government should be taking since it requires a national/international data system that operates 24/7. That data system includes, not only the weather spotters who have posted here and weather balloons, but thousands of surface observing stations (of variable quality), hundreds of radars, ship and aircraft observing systems, and an array of valuable satellites among others. Pulling all of those data together and making forecasts on a regular basis is a critical part of our national security. Air travel, shipping, commuting, fishing, agriculture, energy use, national defense, and our daily lives are all more efficient, safe, and predictable because of it. Sure, the forecasting is not perfect and mistakes are made, but the NWS plays a vital role in our country’s infrastructure and continually improves its forecasts despite the difficulties in making advances on the asymptote of the skill score curve. I would contend that we have now is better, especially on the extended forecasts, than what we had a decade ago.

    We are fortunate to have that national infrastructure and a private sector that can utilize that database to make custom or alternative forecasts. The world is a big place and weather operates at many scales, so there is need for both types of forecasts. But we need that infrastructure maintained and updated if we want to retain the benefits it has provided.

    That said, NOAA could cut some fat from its budget and staff, and find more efficient ways to spend its money. However, Congress is not really addressing the biggest budget problem, which is the entitlement sector. No advancement in balancing the budget will be more than shooting a rhino with a bb gun until entitlements are cut and some regulations eased to get the country operating like America should be.

  130. David Roubille says:

    Wow, there are some seriously stupid people that are posting. Let me ask you these questions. If we shut down the NWS, who is going to pay for maintaining and operating the upper air sites? Who is going to maintain the surface observing sites? Who is going to maintain the radar sites? Who is going the maintain and operate the super computers needed to generate the computer models? Do you actually think private industry wants to do that? There is no profit in maintaining any of this and yet they can not generate forecasts without the data. Next, who is going to pay for a forecast, weather conditions, warnings, etc? Do you actually think private industry wants to issue warnings and possibly face lawsuits if they miss a storm that kills people?

    Look at who uses NWS forecasts? The agricultural community, cities and state agencies, the aviation industry, the marine industry, and so on. When your city plows your streets, they rely on NWS forecasts to determine if plowing will be needed. Many cities do not plow if less than an X amount of snow falls. If they dont have accurate forecasts, they may waste money plowing, which in turn raises your property tax. Ask most city managers and you will find out that NWS forecasts have saved them millions each year, which is YOUR money. Next ask the the agricultural communities in the south and west, where you get most of your fruits and vegetables, how critical accurate temperature forecasts are? If a freeze occurs and they did not have accurate forecasts, their entire crop could be wiped out, which means higher food costs, which then comes out of your pocketbook. How about transporting goods across the country? If the trucking industry is aware of potentially dangerous weather such as winter storms, are expected along the route, they can make changes to prevent downtime, which saves money, and thus saves you money when you shop. Ask the construction industry how important accuarate forecasts are and how much money it saves them, which again means lower costs for consumers.

    Prior to the NWS, several thousand people died a year from tornadoes and hurricanes each year. That was when the population was less than half of what it currently is now. After the NWS started issuing warnings, the amount of deaths have drop to less than one tenth of what they use to be.

    The energy community uses NWS forecasts to control energy costs by diverting where it is needed most and thus prevent wasting energy, which in turn saves money for consumers in the form of electricity and heating costs.

    The idiots posting have no clue how much the NWS actually saves consumers each year. But again most Americans are not very bright, which is quite obvious by most of the previous posts.

  131. ddpalmer says:

    >NCAR is supported mainly by the NSF, not NOAA. In 2010, NOAA funded 3% of the entire NCAR budget:

    http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/planning/staff_fund.pdf

    None of the authors work for NOAA either. Implying that these scientists altered their research to support a 3% budget portion NOAA is frankly BS….and akin to slander.

    Did I say that they altered their research in anyway…and accusing me of such is akin to slander. I just point out that the study was partially funded by NOAA.

    >Really? Show me the proof. Hearsay doesn’t count. And how are they making these forecasts without using the entire NOAA data, models, observations, and forecast discussion issued by every NWS office?

    Yes really. And did I say they didn’t use NOAA collected data? Or is that just your second statement akin to slander?

    Let the NOAA collect data, I have no problem with that. Then they can sell that data to people who have a use for it. Heck they might even be able to turn a profit for the government.

  132. ddpalmer says:

    David, you seem to not understand economics. If there is value in the data then people will pay to have it collected.

  133. look up says:

    If people only had a clue about what EXACTLY NOAA does they would get the rid of the whole program. The headline should read People and animals are going to continue to die if NOAA program isnt eliminated.

    All NOAA is about military weather modification weapons. They spray poison on top of all of us from planes and ships,poison our oceans, to make artificial weather and worse. People need to ask the hard real questions what weather research really is and what they are paying BILLIONS for. Its killing us all. Its shame people are too dumb to even know what NOAA really is fall for the lies and propaganda. Climate services?? what does that even mean?? we already have tons of weather radars out there . Please please educate yourself people..

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