Will a new 'Weather Commission' be a benefit or a travesty?

A supercell thunderstorm menaces central Oklahoma on May 17, 2010. Tornadoes and hurricanes have killed more than 2,000 Americans and wreaked billions of dollars in damage over the last decade. Credit: ©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin.

This smells like Trenberth’s doings at the behest of Al Gore and his “Dirty Weather” Campaign. If so, then I’m against it, because all this will do is create another bureaucracy loaded with opinionated thinkers sucking up more tax dollars adding to the already out of control federal deficit.

From the  National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Experts call on Congress to create first US Weather Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the U.S. economy vulnerable to weather events costing billions of dollars, an expert panel today asked Congress to create the first U.S. Weather Commission. The commission would provide guidance to policymakers on leveraging weather expertise across government and the private sector to better protect lives and businesses.

“The nation must focus its weather resources on the areas of greatest need in order to keep our economy competitive and provide maximum protection of lives and property,” says Thomas Bogdan, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. “Emerging technologies are providing an opportunity to create forecasts that are more accurate and detailed than ever, and to communicate them instantly to key communities and businesses. We need a U.S. Weather Commission to ensure that our entire weather research and technology enterprise provides maximum benefit to the nation.”

At a time of fast-changing technological innovation, the commission would advise federal policymakers on setting priorities for improving forecasts and creating a more weather-proof nation. The goal is to help ensure cost-effective spending on the nation’s weather systems while minimizing the impacts of both major storms, which last year alone cost about $52 billion, and normal fluctuations in weather, which have an estimated annual economic impact of $485 billion.

Earlier this year, the National Academy of Sciences released a hallmark report, Weather Services for the Nation: Becoming Second to None. The report concluded that, even with recent concerted and much-needed efforts to modernize the National Weather Service, the country faces challenges in harnessing the best science and private sector resources available for protecting the nation from weather impacts.

These challenges are rooted in evolving scientific and technological advances, rapidly changing needs of the nation’s weather information consumers, and an increasingly capable and growing third-party community of weather services providers.

Congress has twice created an ocean commission for setting direction on commerce, research, and defense related to the world’s oceans. But there has never been a U.S. Weather Commission, even though weather has far-reaching effects on all Americans.

Commissioners would provide guidance on issues such as making appropriate investments in satellite and radar systems, protecting vulnerable communities, setting research priorities, and meeting the needs of key sectors, ranging from agriculture to utilities to the U.S. armed forces.

“Weather is immeasurably important to public safety and our economic competitiveness,” says Pam Emch, a senior staff engineer/scientist with Northrop Grumman Corporation and one of the panelists. “Effective organization of the diverse entities that span our weather enterprise is necessary for economic stability, innovation, and the good of the nation.”

“Improved weather information can be an engine for economic growth,” says panelist William Gail, co-founder and chief technology officer of the Global Weather Corporation. “As we develop increasingly detailed understanding of our atmosphere, there is enormous potential for helping the public and businesses.”

“We must keep pace with accelerating scientific and technological advances and meet expanding user needs in our increasingly information-centric society,” says panelist John Armstrong, chair of the Committee on the Assessment of the National Weather Service’s Modernization Program.

Bogdan says that a commission approach, guided by key actors across the entire weather enterprise, will provide needed direction and consensus.

“The U.S. Weather Commission offers the promise of better research, state-of-the-art prediction, and protection for the health and prosperity of the U.S.,” he says. “It will also foster growth for the innovative private weather sector we have all come to rely upon. This is an issue that affects all members of Congress and all their constituents, no matter where they live.”

Today’s panel briefing was the first step in a process that will continue into the next Congress. The panel’s next steps are to brief staff and members on the importance of the commission and the role it will play, seeking their guidance and support for establishing the commission in 2013.

###

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

On the Web:

For news releases, images, and more www.ucar.edu/atmosnews

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KnR

Now I wonder who they have in mind to enjoy such further taxpayer largeness ?

Theo Barker

“The commission would provide guidance to policymakers on leveraging weather expertise across government and the private sector to better protect lives and businesses.”
Ah, yes. “We’re from the government. We’re here to protect you.” Just what we need!

Bill Marsh

Will this be similar to the Ministry of truth?

So that University Corporation is from the same group that issued that troubling USGCRP 2013-2021 report. Given the fact that I see every NAS released report it is difficult for me not to see this as a continuation of the model of treating the economy and the environment as a single ecosystem that government officials plan to redesign and plan. Then the only science becomes officially approved science.
I think the key words are in the phrase “harnessing the best science and private sector resources available for protecting the nation from weather impacts”. A report that came out about 10 days ago from NAS on Advanced Climate Change Modelling proposed making sure the “Best Minds” went into Climate Change Research. Basically the federal purse that is our taxes or indebtedness tries to corrupt talent with a better paycheck than anyone else is offering.
Ditto on the language about “private sector resources” being harnessed. The government becomes the primary customer and then uses that monopsony power to control development. Much like WalMart with its vendors. Every report I have seen coming out of NAS or UN is adamant about wanting control over future technology development in all areas. In fact the UN wants veto rights to prevent countries from going into the production phase without UN approval.
It would not be an overstatement to say the bureaucrats and politicians really do want to control and direct economic development and human behavior of the masses going forward. And honestly that has never worked well anytime in history. There is no more likely cause of a stagnant economy than making the only prosperity for the political entrepreneurs. The players with their own lobbyists.

EM

Goebbels would be proud.

Curiousgeorge

“We’re from the Gov’t and we’re here to help.” Right.

richardscourtney

Anthony:
You write

This smells like Trenbert’s (sic) doings at the behest of Al Gore and his “Dirty Weather” Campaign. If so, then I’m against it, because all this will do is create another bureaucracy loaded with opinionated thinkers sucking up more tax dollars adding to the already out of control federal deficit.

I remind that I have been warning about the likelihood of such bureaucracies because –
as the AGW-scare fades away – those in ‘prime positions’ will attempt to establish rules and bureaucracies to impose those rules which provide immortality to their objectives. Guarding against those attempts now needs to be a serious activity.
I wrote on WUWT and elsewhere saying the AGW-scare was killed at the failed 2009 IPCC Conference in Copenhagen. I said then that the scare would continue to move as though alive in similar manner to a beheaded chicken running around a farmyard. It continues to provide the movements of life but it is already dead. And its deathly movements provide an especial problem.
Nobody will declare the AGW-scare dead: it will slowly fade away. This is similar to the ‘acid rain’ scare of the 1980s. Few remember that scare unless reminded of it but its effects still have effects; e.g. the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) exists. Importantly, the bureaucracy which the EU established to operate the LCPD still exists. And those bureaucrats justify their jobs by imposing ever more stringent, always more pointless, and extremely expensive emission limits which are causing enforced closure of UK power stations.
Bureaucracies are difficult to eradicate and impossible to nullify.
Richard

Are we going to close NOAA down then? How many federal agencies do we need to figure out when a storm is coming?

pat

Leftwing Boondoggle. EPA double down on junk science and ruining people and business.

Auto

Big State.
I thought that went out with Khruschev.
Or Brezhnev, anyway.
Even on this side of the pond, the Shadow Chancellor [Opposition finance chappie] has indicated a ‘ruthless’ review of state spending – and he of the neo-endogenous growth theory [ I F I understood him!], was the architect of the colossal state spending that, even now, sees the UK Government spend two thousand pounds – for every man woman and child in the country – that it doesn’t raise in taxes, fees, charges etc. – this year alone, adding to the already mountainous debts we have from the Brown Profligacy. And so H.M. Government borrows those many many tens of billions. We have to pay that back – and interest in the meantime.
So.
Guess what – look out for INFLATION [also called Quantitive Easing when it’s an mewling infant].

We need weather commission? What do you call NOAA?
Oh… NOAA doesn’t have any power to make law.
I have an idea… Try advising Congress rather than circumventing it. It is far more Constitutional.

Jeebous.
“…Becoming Second to None…” {snicker, yeah, I’ve seen that before}
It should be more … factual.
“Second to None, First to Nobody, and Third in a Class all by themselves.”

Roy Jones

Writing from the almost bankrupt UK I have no dog in this fight, but it seems that you have a National Science Foundation which manages the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research which manages the National Centre for Atmospheric research which wants to set up (and manage) a U.S. Weather Commission, to provide “better research and state-of-the-art prediction”. How many layers of management can you afford before you get to where someone does any actual work?
And if it’s going to be “better research and state-of-the-art prediction” what’s the betting that it’ll be models all the way down?
Apologies for interfering from this side of the pond.

[Snip. Sorry, Nik, this is a family blog. — mod.]

Myron Mesecke

More pork. And this one is greasier than most.

Phillip Bratby

Just what you need, your very own Met Office, with huge and expensive computers, hundreds of staff, shiny state-of-the-art buildings and overseen by over-paid zealots.

terrybixler

Nothing good can possibly come from this.

You just sense that the Commission will not have your best interests at heart. In Australia they set up a Climate Commissioner with huge annual remuneration and he is as useful as a Wombat at helping anyone on weather or climate.
No, sorry, that does a dis-service to Wombats.

William McClenney

Looks like it’s almost 10:1, we should focus on “normal fluctuations of weather”.
By 485 to 52 billion normal is the new bad! Who’d a thunk?

J Martin

I bet the EPA have already got their application in to acquire this new role.

William

What a wonderful new government sponsored scam. If there is a drought, the commission can pay for rain dances.
Perhaps the commission can hire the UK MET weather forecasters to provide long range forecasts for the US.
Everyone complains about the weather. This new commission can really do something about it.

NikFromNYC

“Tear down the wall!” – Pink Floyd, 1982
“Tear down this wall!” – Ronald Reagan, 1987
My original post was to the Judge animated character from a Pink
Floyd movie which I labelled: “Tribunal.”

CodeTech

From the picture credit:

Tornadoes and hurricanes have killed more than 2,000 Americans and wreaked billions of dollars in damage over the last decade.

Sounds scary.
So, just to compare, how many people lost their lives due to tornadoes and hurricanes in every other decade?
What is the trend? It’s definitely in the DOWN direction…

Maus

“The nation must focus its weather resources on the areas of greatest need in order to keep our economy competitive and provide maximum protection of lives and property, … ”
In other words: Pass new laws on the basis of completed scientific papers.
“Commissioners would provide guidance on issues such as making appropriate investments in satellite and radar systems, protecting vulnerable communities, setting research priorities, ”
In other words: The government will choose which scientific papers are to be completed.

They truly think they can control the planets climate. And they will probably convince the moron’s in Washington that they can. God help us!

george e smith

Just what we need is another unconstitutional Government agency. In the case of a weather one, it stands to reason that they will never solve whatever problem they imagine it to be, so they have a public trough swilling for life.

An Opinion

This could be a good thing, if they stick with the weather, and known working weather predicting techniques, and avoid climate modeling altogether. Hopefully it won’t end up the the UK MET.

Is it just me, or is Jo Nova’s site down again?

pat

dismantling the CAGW should be the priority, not building more:
19 Sept: Reuters: Alister Doyle: Climate change threatens nature from coffee
to Arctic fox-forum
Price said Colombian coffee plantations, for instance, would have to be
shifted to higher altitudes and onto more shaded northern slopes as
temperatures rose. “It’s going to require wholesale movements of coffee
plantations in Colombia,” he (Jeff Price, coordinator of the Wallace
Initiative) said.
That could put coffee more into competition with habitats for rare tropical
animals and plants…
In Scandinavia, the Arctic fox is among animals under pressure since climate
change is reducing the availability of its main prey, the lemming. And red
foxes, bigger than their Arctic cousins, are moving north as temperatures
warm.
“In a bad lemming year there won’t be many Arctic foxes born,” Anouschka
Hof, of Umea University in Sweden told the GBIF, which is funded by
governments…
Warming temperatures are also be a threat to many northern plants. The
northern bilberry, for instance, may gain niches such as on the coast of
Greenland in coming decades but will lose far bigger areas to the south.
“There are not many place where the northern plants can move into. The
Arctic is mainly ocean,” said Inger Greve Alsos of the University of Tromsoe
in Norway. “We expect a loss of range for many plants.”…
An early peak to greenhouse gases would give the biggest respite to animals
in places such as the Amazon basin, southern Africa, southern Australia,
parts of Russia and Asia.
Plants would also benefit most in the Andes, southern Africa and Australia,
according to ***modeling*** by the Wallace Initiative, named after British
naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-author with Charles Darwin of the
theory of evolution in 1858…
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/us-climate-species-idINBRE88I0ZB20120919
ABCG Adaptation Workshop: Climate Tools
The Wallace Initiative is a collaboration of WWF-US, Tyndall Climate Change
Centre (University of East Anglia), Center for Tropical Biodiversity and
Climate Change and Research Center (James Cook University), National Climate
Change Adaptation Research Facility, Global Biodiversity Information
Facility, and Center for Tropical Agriculture …
http://frameweb.org/adl/en-US/7475/file/997/Climate%20Tools.pdf

pat

bit more about the Wallace Initiative:
March 2010: CIAT: The Wallace Initiative: Preserving Biodiversity in an Era
of Change
by Julian Ramirez-Villegas |
Last year during a meeting at Copenhagen in March, our program leader Andy
Jarvis performed a set of very interesting presentations on the impacts of
climate change on agriculture and biodiversity. Luckily, and thanks to our
hard work, and to substantial efforts done by Jeff Price from WWF, Rachel
Warren from Tyndall Centre, and to the funding provided by GBIF, The
Wallace Initiative was born…
We then held a meeting in Tyndall Centre in August, while I was visiting the
UK to receive training on UK MetOffice’s PRECIS modeling system…
A new member of the Wallace Initiative was then appointed. Amy McDougall, a
PhD student from University of East Anglia, under Rachel’s supervision. We
invited Amy to Colombia, to learn the whole thing of modeling that we’re
doing at CIAT under The Wallece Inititative framework. Some of her feelings:
“It has been said that modelers are the James Bonds of the Scientific
Community, stepping out into the tropical heat of a Cali evening, there was
no one I felt less like. However, I came to Cali on a mission- as a newly
appointed member of the Wallace Initiative Team, it was time to learn my
trade.”…
http://dapa.ciat.cgiar.org/the-wallace-initiative-preserving-biodiversity-in-an-era-of-change/

Robert of Ottawa

Isn’t NOAA supposed to do this?

Jimbo

What use then is the weather service? This is yet another useless layer of the scam.

Richdo

“…all this will do is create another bureaucracy loaded with opinionated thinkers sucking up more tax dollars adding to the already out of control federal deficit.”
I couldn’t agree more Anthony. Even if there were some benefit to the idea, it doesn’t make sense to do it at a federal level. Resources would be better devoted to addressing weather related issues at a regional level, e.g. the concerns of the gulf coast are pretty different from Great Lakes region. Not much thought put into this idea except of course to provide another federal teat for all the climate drones being cloned in graduate programs at universities everywhere.

D Böehm

This is government by decree. It doesn’t take much foresight to see dictatorship approaching. We’re already three fourths of the way there.
The naive and credulous will now tell me to put on a tin foil hat, I suppose. But this is from a very well respected Democratic pollster.

Fred 2

And the very first report by the new US Weather Commissioner would be something along the lines of “if we don’t spend an extra 1 trillion dollars studying CO2 we’ll be DOOMED. Doomed, I tell you.”

John F. Hultquist

Skeptic says:
September 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm
Is it just me, or is Jo Nova’s site down again?

The site loads for me using Chrome — she is not quite fully back in the sense of new and interesting posts. Give her another day.

Katherine

Commissioners would provide guidance on issues such as making appropriate investments in satellite and radar systems, protecting vulnerable communities, setting research priorities, and meeting the needs of key sectors, ranging from agriculture to utilities to the U.S. armed forces.
I read that as “Commissars would provide guidance on issues.”

wayne

Just about like asking the Mafia to set up a Federal Morals and Ethics Commission.
This is one very, very bad idea congressmen. Senator Inhofe, heads up.

Power Grab

@george e smith says:
September 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm
Just what we need is another unconstitutional Government agency. In the case of a weather one, it stands to reason that they will never solve whatever problem they imagine it to be, so they have a public trough swilling for life.
==================
Indeed. That is exactly what I was thinking!
What they need to do is free the met staff innovators in the trenches to continue enhancing the detection technology, as well as the methods for notifying vulnerable populations when a threat is looming. From where I sit (in Tornado Alley), there are parts of the country that could do with a good upgrading of their weather technology and staff, and have a few lessons on how to tell when a big blow is coming. There have been tornadic storms in some unusual areas lately. I keep thinking that if they had met staff like we have, and awesome radar technology like we have, they could have protected themselves.

Dan in California

If creation of this agency requires legislation, it probably won’t get through Congress. If it can be done by administrative fiat, then congress will get bypassed. This is likely to happen if the current administration gets voted back in November. Let’s hope for the former situation.

Peter Miller

Just the creation of another utterly pointless bureaucracy, presumably designed to transfer existing bureaucrats in overpaid jobs into even more overpaid jobs in bigger offices.
I have tried hard, but I cannot think of any other reason for suggesting the creation of a new Weather Commission.

I know it has been quoted here many times before but is worth reminding ourselves again of Eisenhower in 1961:
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

D Böehm

Katherine,
I read it exactly the same way at first: commissars.
The past century and a half has been about the best climate in history. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right. Temperature variation has been ≤ 0.8ºC over the past 150 years. You could not ask for a better global climate. It is as perfect as it ever gets.
Now the bureaucrats want to diddle with it. Or pretend to, because humans can only affect local climates through UHI effects. We cannot alter the global temperature. And the “carbon” nonsense is being falsified by Mother Earth herself. CO2 simply does not have the claimed effect.
Anyone who cannot see this as just a big government money making power grab should not be allowed to vote; they’re that stupid.

jim2

Of course, we need more committees, commissions, departments, agencies … h*ll, entire other governments! Where would we get a job without them? (sarc off)

Bobl

Simple, USAans… Vote, when you vote make sure you choose an Adult. In Australia we forgot that last federal election, we chose a Party, the Party is full of children, and sheep of children, with only one or two real Adults. Choose wisely USA.
Think about your local representative. Think about your freedoms, anyone who for a moment mentions anything about curbing your freedom (to emit CO2, to build on your property, to fill your swimming pool, to eat what you want, to keep your animals, to decorate your house, to have parties…. or whatever) MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HOLD OFFICE. Look at their pronouncements, if they ever say I will impose this law “For the good of the community” be afraid, be very afraid and vote for someone else. “For the good of the community” is the key mark that your freedoms are being attacked.
PS. Jo Nova is getting there, I expect it’ll be bigger better and more hacker proof when she returns

beesaman

Nickname it the King Canute Corps….

Keith G

That man, William Gail, has the perfect name to lead the Commission, even if the Commission is a bad idea. Just saying!

Mike Smith

Nice public stipends for the faithful members of the team.
Obscene but guaranteed to pass.

Sean

While they are creating agencies to deal with science fiction threats will they also be creating a group like Men In Black to deal with all the threats from alien species? Based on all the models, the threat from aliens is worse than we first thought. The models show it will get even worse as the population increases. Perhaps a human birth licence cap a trade market would also help?

Leon Brozyna

This reminds me of this bit of wisdom from Dorothy Parker:

The power to do things for you is the power to do things to you.