NOAA outsources climate data management

No mention in this press release of what it might actually accomplish. Meanwhile a full scale siting assessment and quality control analysis of the entire NWS COOP network remains undone. On the plus side, they won’t now be able to use the CRU excuse of “we are understaffed” to avoid the FOIA requests surely coming their way. h/t to Joe D’Aleo – Anthony

Contact:  John Leslie                                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

301-713-0214                                                                       Sept. 16, 2010

NOAA Awards Contract to Manage Climate Data Records

NOAA officials today announced that Global Science & Technology, Inc., of Greenbelt, Md., has been awarded a contract to help manage the agency’s satellite Climate Data Records (CDR) program, which is based at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

The contract has a one-year base period, with two one-year option periods. The total contract value is $10,307,788.80. The contract will enable Global Science & Technology to add up to 25 jobs at NCDC’s Asheville location.

Scientists use CDRs to detect, assess, model and predict climate change and variability. Decision-makers use this information to develop effective strategies to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change in their local communities.

Through this contract, Global Science & Technology, Inc. will provide management support of the CDR program, including project control and oversight services, system and product development, and customer and community outreach.

“Global Science & Technology, Inc. brings experience as an industry leader to the CDR program, which is developing some of the most important climate data products in the world,” said Scott Hausman, acting director of NOAA’s NCDC.

NOAA’s NCDC is the largest environmental data center in the world. NCDC data help the scientific community and policymakers assess global climate variability and trends. The work on this contract will support the suite of climate services that NOAA provides government, business and community leaders, so they can make informed decisions.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for the National Climatic Data Center and for western North Carolina to expand our climate research and create up to 25 new high-paying, stable jobs in our area,” said Rep. Heath Shuler. “NCDC is home to the world’s most impressive and comprehensive collection of climate data, and this is one more step forward in making our mountain region unsurpassed in climate research in America.”

Scientists, researchers and leaders in government and industry use monthly U.S. and global temperature reports from NCDC to help track trends and other changes in the world’s climate. These climate services have a wide range of practical uses, from helping farmers know what and when to plant, to guiding resource managers with critical decisions about water, energy and other vital assets.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us online or on Facebook.

– 30 –

Advertisements

68 thoughts on “NOAA outsources climate data management

  1. Of course they should have signed the secrecy agreement called “The Holy creed of Global Warming” when applying to get the contract. 🙂

  2. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun
    What do they define as “the surface of the sun”?

  3. GST’s GREEN Philosophy:
    When the cost of oil raced past $130 per barrel and gas prices rose above $4.00 per gallon in 2008, many of us questioned our driving habits and the use of petroleum-based products. Escalating prices affect our disposable income and force us to change our patterns of consumption. We have identified the enemy and the enemy is our dependence on petroleum. Even with some of the recent decreases in the cost of gas, many people are becoming a little bit greener today than they were yesterday. One thing is certain and that is that we will see higher prices at the pump again; the question of course, is when.
    At our 2008 corporate retreat, GST decided to embrace a “green” philosophy to address our dependence on petroleum (as both a company and as individual employees) and the threat that global warming has to life on Earth. We recognize that there are as many definitions of green as there are shades of green. Ours is the following:
    GST’s business strategy reflects our values of being a responsible corporation to its employees, customers, communities, and the environment.
    Specifically, the GST green philosophy speaks to three objectives: 1) to manage our internal resources to reduce energy resource consumption; 2) to provide products and services to our customers that assist with reducing their energy resource consumption; and 3) to create a business infrastructure that positions us to obtain a significant return on our investment to meet our business objectives while addressing our customers’ challenges and needs related to sustainability.

    IT’s A DUCK!

  4. In the UK, government statistics are normally outsourced when they want to avoid things like FOI law and being subject to parliamentary scrutiny … it also makes it a lot easier for the next administration just to dump the whole thing!

  5. Hmm, this sounds more like ” pork barrel politics ” than anything else… Hard to believe ‘civil servants’ couldnt have done the job for much less…. $10 million and upto 25 jobs seems way to high.

  6. “NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.”
    A somewhat agressive mission, to say the least, some might say an impossible goal to achieve. As a matter of fact, I would say that.

  7. “No mention in this press release of what it might actually accomplish”—or what it might actually avoid.

  8. http://www.linkedin.com/companies/global-science-%26-technology-inc
    Founded in 1991. They also have an office in Asheville, NC (a very pretty town by the way, be sure to see Biltmore Estates). I’m thinking GST was chosen because they are sufficiently loyal to the $cause$ and they have an office in the same place as NCDC. GST looks like it lives off government contracts. Per the profile from above: “Global Science & Technology’s major clients include NASA Goddard Space Flight Center(GSFC), NASA Headquarters, NOAA, Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the State of West Virginia. Much of Global Science & Technology’s work has been in direct support of NASA and NOAA science missions and related data systems.”
    In any event, GST isn’t going to do things to sour its relationship with the honeypot.

  9. This method has been used for years to skirt FOIA requests. Farm the info or data to a third party who is not subject to FOIA. I’m not saying that it’s going to happen, but with the data in the hands of a company, can they now claim copyright on it? Maybe sell it back to the government? Issue DMCA takedown orders?
    Something stinks about all this.. and it’s not just Al Gore.

  10. I was thinking along the similar lines. But I was thinking, “OK, so NOAA outsources data management, which NOAA used to do. Which means there’s less for NOAA employees to do.. so who gets fired? Nobody? Oh, so we’re just spending $10 million to do the same job? Great.”
    I’m moving to an island and starting my own country. Until the sea increase swallows the island and I’m besieged by angry walruses and polar bears seeking refuge.

  11. NCDC data help the scientific community and policymakers assess global climate variability and trends.

    Shouldn’t that be Global Climate Disruption?‎

    September 16, 2010 FoxNews.com
    “The White House wants the public to start using the term “global climate disruption” in place of “global warming” — fearing the latter term oversimplifies the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is. ”
    http://tinyurl.com/2vdqpm7

  12. GST:
    GST’s Mission and Vision
    Our mission is to apply our leading scientific and technical expertise toward solving the challenges fundamental to advanced science and technology-based enterprises.
    Our vision is to capitalize on our unique knowledge and accomplishments to sustain our growth as a financially stable and responsible corporate citizen with increasing employee ownership.

  13. “Through this contract, Global Science & Technology, Inc. will provide management support of the CDR program, including project control and oversight services, system and product development, and customer and community outreach”
    .. system and product development
    Will this put the system(s) and product(s) beyond the reach of FOI?
    Why this move, and why now?

  14. Yes, as posters above have said, won’t they be able to claim IP on their data and methods? And also avoid FOI requests (is this the case in the States)?

  15. The announcement says “satellite” climate data records. No one here has addressed this. What is the danger in giving some control of the sat data, which largely contradicts the GCMs, over to this “green” firm?

  16. “…and create up to 25 new high-paying, stable jobs in our area,” said Rep. Heath Shuler.
    Certainly looks generous enough remuneration per job. I guess three years is considered stable in the current economy. Either that or they’re is the assummption that once their in on the job keeping the contract will be easy.

  17. I don’t get this. They outsource, at some cost, and this means they then ADD 25 jobs? What am I missing here?
    (Oh, right, it’s government. Forgive me my momentary lapse.)

  18. J Hekman says:
    September 17, 2010 at 10:56 am
    The announcement says “satellite” climate data records. No one here has addressed this. What is the danger in giving some control of the sat data, which largely contradicts the GCMs, over to this “green” firm?
    =========================================
    J, expect to see the sat data homoginized, pasturized and beat into submission……….
    Then try getting a FOI from GST

  19. Ssam seems to be asking the trillion dollar question. “I’m not saying that it’s going to happen, but with the data in the hands of a company, can they now claim copyright on it?”
    Now it’s entirely possible, as Ssam mentions that hiding data from FOI requests isn’t what’s behind this. Nothing mentioned so far indicated the company has a track record with this sort of activity and they seem to have been in position to have been doing so. It seems like something we want to know more though. Anyone know what they handle for the agencies they work for and if there’s ever been a problem with them?
    Good sense would demand we look deeper and as Enneagram pointed to, apparently from the company, “2) to provide products and services to our customers that assist with reducing their energy resource consumption”
    They seem to admit to be merchants of ‘products’ that depend on given outcomes within the climate and economic policy debate.
    We cannot rule out that this is an honest company that was merely branding itself to appeal to a market and that it respects FOI law on that alone, though. Clearly there’s a lot of government contracts going out to those that look, walk and act like ducks. Afterall, it’s not doing the duck-step on every issue that gets people branded ‘deniers’ and ‘liars’.
    Be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

  20. evanmjones says:
    September 17, 2010 at 11:26 am
    “I don’t get this. They outsource, at some cost, and this means they then ADD 25 jobs? What am I missing here?
    (Oh, right, it’s government. Forgive me my momentary lapse.)”

    And who’s to say that GST, in a year or so, won’t outsource the data management to India? (I’d put my usual “winkie” emoticon after that but I’m afraid it’s probably going to happen.)

  21. September 17, 2010 at 11:01 am
    Wow, 25 jobs, $10.3 mil over 3 years. $136,000 /job/yr. Time to dust off the old resume.

    $136K billed per slot. Figure the average salary is actually going to be around $60-$70K. Not really a lot for an experienced DBA/developer. Looks like a low bid to me.

  22. The circle is complete.
    Dr. James Hansen keeps his thumbs on the temperature scale at NASA GISS, Phil Jones keeps his thumbs on the temperature scale at CRU, and now GST will keep their thumbs on the temperature scale at NOAA.

  23. Now all that GST needs is a contract to manage data for the NIH. That would greatly facilitate the homogenization of climate and health information, revealing that CO2 is making us ill. Whereupon EPA would close all gas stations. Or something equally stupid.
    GST has apparently gone all shy. There’s no response on the “Contact Us” button at their corporate HQ. I just wanted to ask them about their political contributions and whether they employ a lobbying firm in Washington. Couldn’t find any record of them contributing to Shuler, the pol quoted in the release.

  24. Quote
    NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun
    Unqote
    This includes, at least part time, the climate on Venus and Mercury!
    Quote
    create up to 25 new high-paying, stable jobs in our area
    Unquote
    stable for a year, or up to 3 years!
    Looks to me that it is more about meteorology than climate, the future will tell!

  25. Most of the outsourced government contracts move the current employees to the new contractor. They still sit in the same chairs and do the same job. The only new people are the people at the top.

  26. Trying to figure out just what this company does. As far as a can tell, their main products are long document that use many words but don’t actually ever get around to saying anything, Corporate Press Releases on meth.

  27. From the conclusion of the main post:
    “Scientists, researchers and leaders in government and industry use monthly U.S. and global temperature reports from NCDC to help track trends and other changes in the world’s climate.”
    Just “temperature reports” and nothing else? Temperatures alone do not make a climate.
    “…to help track trends and other changes in the world’s climate.” That may be where some of the problems stem from. A trend does not necessarily indicate changes but could, aside from indicating positive or negative changes, show no change at all.
    It became completely confusing for me when I read “and other changes in the world’s climate.” What changes those are is not mentioned, but it is obvious that they are too numerous to mention, or they would surely have been listed.
    Nevertheless, all of that tracking of trends and changes too numerous to mention is derived from “temperature reports from NCDC.” That is perhaps why we have so many problems with the faithfulness of that tracking and why things don’t track properly, but not the least of the problem must surely be that the NCDC temperature reports are cooked up and mysteriously tailored almost exclusively, no to the least by the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, recently whitewashed but quite clearly not exonerated.
    “NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.”
    Right, and their track record is just the thing to convince me that their skill level used in the creative interpretation of questionable and largely manufactured data is not what anyone must put his faith in and base his fortunes on.
    It seems that anyone whose livelihood depends on NOAA’s conservation and management of coastal and marine resources can expect a lot of problems with making a living and will quite possibly be unable to survive.
    http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/dwh.php?entry_id=809
    http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater_horizon_oil_spill.htm
    NOAA gave the orders to apply liberal doses of “dispersants” that caused the spilled oil to sink and thereby to become unrecoverable.
    http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2010/07/16/noaa-admits-toxic-dispersants-may-be-in-bp-gulf-oil-spill-seafood/

  28. DocattheAutopsy says:
    September 17, 2010 at 10:16 am
    I was thinking along the similar lines. But I was thinking, “OK, so NOAA outsources data management, which NOAA used to do. Which means there’s less for NOAA employees to do.. so who gets fired? Nobody? Oh, so we’re just spending $10 million to do the same job? Great.”
    ************
    They were much too busy working on the blog and trying to bury WUWT to have time for such mundane things as data resolution, manipulation and integrity.
    Now, if Anthony, Steve and the growing number of outraged climate realists would lay off a bit….they would have time to do some actual climatological work….

  29. JamesS says:
    September 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    September 17, 2010 at 11:01 am
    Wow, 25 jobs, $10.3 mil over 3 years. $136,000 /job/yr. Time to dust off the old resume.
    $136K billed per slot. Figure the average salary is actually going to be around $60-$70K. Not really a lot for an experienced DBA/developer. Looks like a low bid to me.
    =========================================================
    True that, but how many DBAs and developers(?) does one need? I’m not sure they’re going to be programing with the data, are they? Thought they were just going to manage the data. Maybe a developer or two to do something cute with the numbers.

  30. “NOAA officials today announced that Global Science & Technology, Inc., of Greenbelt, Md., has been awarded a contract to help manage the agency’s satellite Climate Data Records (CDR) program, which is based at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.”
    ==============
    Say what you will about “NOAA officials”, but they know how to build a firewall.

  31. Govt. outsources the shredding of inconvenient records, in order to protect itself from FOIA. That way when all the records are “lost” they can just fire the contractor and keep their govt. salaries.

  32. Wow 25 jobs for 10 mil. That’s about 133 thou per head per year. Lucky S. O . Bs. o_O
    Did anyone tell em that they could get the same sex service for half the price using six full timers plus four interns with proper security to boot. But of course who’s counting dollars these days when there’s a full blown financial crisis.
    (If you don’t get the whole same sex service for half the price, yer a friggin moron. Haha)

  33. This is both an offensive and defensive play by NOAA.
    The offensive play is to have someone else to blame for errors found in the record. The defensive play is to move source data away from FOI requests.
    I expect GST are being paid very, very well for this ‘service’. I wonder if it was competitively tendered… or simply awarded?

  34. NOAA climate scientists and meteorologists do not have computer programming expertise necessary to deal with the insanely huge datasets being generated. Much of the money will likely be dumped into producing new fancy data portals, online GUIs, and those very pretty high-quality glossy-photo reports.
    The job applications on GST website for Asheville have nothing to do with climate science but database management. This really is no different than a university lab hiring a computer PhD/geek to manage their data servers.
    Fight another battle, not this one…

  35. Ryan N. Maue says:
    September 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    “NOAA climate scientists and meteorologists do not have computer programming expertise necessary to deal with the insanely huge datasets being generated.”
    ===============
    Point taken, but, somebody is pontificating about said datasets.

  36. AnonyMoose says:
    September 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm
    “Thank you for calling NOAA. My name is Pjeggy. How may I direct your FjOIA request?”

    Caller : “I was wondering about the data…”
    GST call center: “jYest”
    Caller : “May I get a copy your raw data”
    GST call center: “jYest”
    Caller : “Do you know what raw data I need”
    GST call center : “jYest”…
    So funny…

  37. I can tell them for the cost of a email the world is getting colder at least in australia ,a record cold spell for september , our govt is trying to bring in a ETS ” the gooses”

  38. Do we know whether James Hansen or one of his minions owns or controls the company hired to do the data management?

  39. Folks there’s nothing to see here. Government organizations frequently outsource all kinds of IT functions to private firms. As a confirmed skeptic… but from the IT industry, I just don’t see anything here to get excited about. For those of you doing the math and theorizing about FOI requests, copywrite, etc:
    1. Outsourcing data management implies no change of ownership of the data. Outsourcing is by defination their management of your data.
    2. You can’t take the cost of the contract and divide by the number of jobs and get a meaningful number. The outsourcing likely includes infrastructure provisioning, backup and disaster recovery systems, and so on.
    3. I too skimmed their web site. They clearly have very high end expertise in management of large data sets with specific expertise in weather data. They are selling services to private companies like weather warnings for off shore drilling rigs, and they are doing work for Korea, Phillipines, Cayman Islands, Dutch Antilles, and others.
    Unless the entire site is a fake, this is a very specialized company with expertise that a lot of countries are after. The data still belongs to NOAA and will be subject to the same legal discovery processes such as FOI as it was before. That this company and the outsource contract exists would be completely invisible to the legal processes.

  40. Ryan N. Maue says:
    September 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    “NOAA climate scientists and meteorologists do not have computer programming expertise necessary to deal with the insanely huge datasets being generated. Much of the money will likely be dumped into producing new fancy data portals, online GUIs, and those very pretty high-quality glossy-photo reports.
    The job applications on GST website for Asheville have nothing to do with climate science but database management. This really is no different than a university lab hiring a computer PhD/geek to manage their data servers.
    Fight another battle, not this one…”
    Not so fast. It may be true that climate scientists and meteorologists do not have expertise in database management, but why would you imply that NOAA has no one with the expertise or could not hire computer geeks themselves? What have they been doing so far?

  41. Billyquiz says:
    September 17, 2010 at 9:21 am
    http://www.directmet.com/green_philosophy.html
    At our 2008 corporate retreat, GST decided to embrace a “green” philosophy to address our dependence on petroleum (as both a company and as individual employees) and the threat that global warming has to life on Earth.
    Gatekeeping anyone?

    A few more accurate terms would be: Conflict of interest, preconceived notions, foregone conclusions, and ‘ready-made solutions.’
    Not only is it ‘worse than we thought,’ but it’s a calculated deception, if what you say is indeed true.

  42. Ryan N. Maue says:
    September 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    NOAA climate scientists and meteorologists do not have computer programming expertise necessary to deal with the insanely huge datasets being generated. Much of the money will likely be dumped into producing new fancy data portals, online GUIs, and those very pretty high-quality glossy-photo reports.
    The job applications on GST website for Asheville have nothing to do with climate science but database management. This really is no different than a university lab hiring a computer PhD/geek to manage their data servers.
    Fight another battle, not this one…

    Begging your pardon, Ryan, but isn’t it the NOAA scientists themselves who’ve actually written the code for their own ‘forecasting programs?’
    And if not, then why have they —and others in the AGW/CC/WHATEVER IT IS TODAY community— insisted on not revealing the code, not releasing data, and just plain played hide-and-seek over the long haul in order to prevent a serious evaluation of their so-called ‘climate models?’
    You protest too much, methinks …

  43. Enneagram says:
    September 17, 2010 at 9:21 am
    NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun
    What do they define as “the surface of the sun”?
    —-
    Relevance?

  44. davidmhoffer says:
    September 17, 2010 at 7:46 pm
    I don’t know what gave the impression that NOAA is a company.
    It’s an agency. NOAA dot gov runs on taxpayer dollars.
    United States Department of Commerce.
    They should not be selling that which we all paid for.
    They also should not be hiring people or agencies in other countries to do the job we are already paying them to do.
    Everything that NOAA has built or collected while being paid with our tax dollars belongs to the US.
    So, when did the 4 sale sign go up, I missed it.

  45. On the plus side, they won’t now be able to use the CRU excuse of “we are understaffed” to avoid the FOIA requests surely coming their way. h/t to Joe D’Aleo – Anthony

    Will this non-government body even be bound by FOIA ?!

  46. Here they use the term commercial in confidence, this stops FOI in its tracks and is an excuse to prevent parliament from examining contracts, and data. The product then is copyright and sold on a user pays principles.
    You pay for the product, but only recourse is to sue if you can prove it is defective or not fit for purpose. Unless the company is protected (indemnified) by the government of the day looking after its mates.
    I suggest this is the reason. Please press for effective oversight by government on behalf of the taxpayer (both the contracts and charges) US Senate?. Otherwise its the thin end of the wedge, power and control over knowledge and capable of protecting the spin and propaganda that is said to be based on that data.
    Sad day in my view. Vigilance protects truth.

  47. Glenn
    It may be true that climate scientists and meteorologists do not have expertise in database management, but why would you imply that NOAA has no one with the expertise or could not hire computer geeks themselves?>>
    I’ve been selling high performance compute environments to public and private research organizations for so long that my first deal involved less cpu power than a modern digital wrist watch. I can assure you that this is not the sort of thing that you just hire a few geeks for. There are very few organizations in the world that can do this sort of thing well at that kind of scale. If you check, you will find that everyone from Disney to BP to the CIA obtains this expertise from companies that specialize in it.
    rbateman;
    I don’t know what gave the impression that NOAA is a company.
    It’s an agency. NOAA dot gov runs on taxpayer dollars.
    United States Department of Commerce.
    They should not be selling that which we all paid for.
    They also should not be hiring people or agencies in other countries to do the job we are already paying them to do.>>
    I never said they were a company, and they haven’t “sold” anything. And the supplier in question here is not in another country, they are in the U.S.
    899;
    Begging your pardon, Ryan, but isn’t it the NOAA scientists themselves who’ve actually written the code for their own ‘forecasting programs?>>
    There is a massive difference between writing the code to analyze the data and managing the data itself. I bet you can use Excel, but could you write your own spreadsheet program from scratch? Even if you could, the amount of time it would take you would be rediculous when compared to the cost of buying Excel. Further, a researcher uses the technology that s/he is proficient in and which is suitable to the task. Another researcher might need completely different tools to analyze the same data for a different purpose. Should the researcher who only knows how to use Fortran and flat files drop what they are doing to figure out how to convert their data to NetCDF for someone else? If researchers whose expertise is in analysis, not data conversion, make an error in conversion, how much research will wind up as wasted money when the error is detected, or worse not detected and results tainted as a consequence?
    This contract is no big deal, no stealthy conspiracy. It is a standard method used by public and private research organizations alike to acquire the expertise for tasks such as this from those who specialize in it. The scale required for NOAA’s data reduces the number of potential suppliers to very few world wide, it is not a common skill set. Having seen what happens when organizations think they can just hire a few geeks, I can attest that this is the road to disaster. I won’t name names, but the companies and organizations who have tried to do this kind of thing on their own and failed miserably would surprise you.

  48. Thank you for calling NOAA Climactic Database technical support. Your call is important to us. All calls may be monitored and traced for quality assurance purposes. If you are a researcher who has published in a peer-reviewed NOAA-accepted scientific journal and have registered with NOAA, press 1. All others, please stay on the line until our next available representative can assist you. Our normal technical support hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 8AM Eastern time and 5AM Pacific time.

  49. I’m with davidmhoffer on this one. I, too, am in the IT business, and I’m familiar with the process of outsourcing data management functions.
    For those who are making wisecracks about “$136K per job”, don’t assume that the contract value as stated is only about a few people. The cited contract value could also include hardware procurements for GST on behalf of NOAA.
    Outsourcing is cheaper in the long run for a very simple reason: the Federal government finds it all but impossible to fire people. This came about from abuses long years ago, but there have now been so many restrictions written into the Federal code that once someone is on the government’s actual payroll, they can’t be gotten off, period. That also includes extremely generou (by today’s standards) pension and retirement benefits.
    By contrast, contractor positions can be eliminated easily if the budget is cut or “department priorities are re-directed”. The government just tells the contractor: “Hey, guess what, you’re going to have to get rid of 5 of your people.” Or 20. Or 100. Or they can cut off the entire contract, no matter how big.

  50. “This is a remarkable opportunity for the National Climatic Data Center and for western North Carolina to expand our climate research and create up to 25 new high-paying, stable jobs in our area,” said Rep. Heath Shuler.”
    =========================
    How will these “jobs” be paid for?
    I assume they will just be added to our national debt.
    “stable jobs” is a term that could only be uttered by someone with no business experience.
    Or a government employee.

  51. Lordy! Too many people on this site aren’t sceptics, they’re cynics.
    For ages there has been complaining on WUWT that the climate scientists won’t use people with the proper expertise: programmers, statisticians, etc. We say some things should be done by people with proper training and experience, not some PhD who is self-taught.
    Yet when the NOAA do actually hire someone expert in a field – a highly technical one – there’s endless bleating about it being a cover-up.
    We complain vociferously about Phil Jones’s inability to reliably store and retrieve old data, yet slag NOAA for attempting to prevent the same problems.
    And the whinging about copyright is even stupider: no-one gives over copyright in a situation like this. You don’t spend all that time and money collecting something, then pay someone else to get your copyright. GST are just storing the information. A library doesn’t get copyright because it owns a copy of a book!
    It’s not even clear the NOAA database is copyright, because it is not creative, but a collection of facts: http://www.iusmentis.com/databases/us/ Certainly the raw data would struggle to be classified as “creative”.

  52. The observation about this contract giving no extra legal immunity from FOI requests may well be true, but the observation that it’s easier for the government to fire contractors, and for contractors to fire their employees, means that whistleblowing is much less likely to occur. For example, the climategate email leak, had it occurred at a contractor, could easily have resulted in everyone under serious suspicion being fired, discouraging future leakers. Note also that when a contractor is fired, perhaps because he doesn’t like the way the data is being handled, he almost automatically becomes a “disgruntled former employee” who can be disregarded by “serious” media people everywhere. In short, the lack of job security leads to stronger and more potent groupthink and part of that groupthink will be pleasing the customer above almost all other concerns.

  53. To ZZZ:
    You wrote: ” In short, the lack of job security leads to stronger and more potent groupthink and part of that groupthink will be pleasing the customer above almost all other concerns.”
    That’s part and parcel of the government contracting world, anyway. The way most government contracts are written is that they are “cost plus award fee”. This means that the contractor must in effect show the government their books–the “cost” part of the equation. Written into the contract is a set of criteria by which the contractor is nominally judged. Based on that judgment, the government will give an “award fee”. That’s the company’s profit. Pleasing the customer is how you get the award fees up toward the top of the scale.
    Firm fixed-price contracts are relatively rare in the government contracting world.

  54. To Chris R: I agree, and that may well be why NOAA wants to contract out its data handling. The more potent groupthink means that the data and what is really happening to it is less likely to be leaked in an embarrassing way. From NOAA’s point of view this is a major plus and from the skeptic’s point of view it is a minus, because now there is less likely to be another climategate-type of leak.

  55. Once the original data is currupted or shredded, if such a likely event were to happen, would we have to start over? Might that be a way to end Global ‘whatever’? Does the CIA outsourse covert-ops? Does Treasury outsourse accounting? Does Defense outsource invasions and airstrikes? Is this an American company or a multi-national owned by Sornose&Co? Is it Global Climate that’s changing, or Global Politics? Hummmmm.. i wonder

Comments are closed.