Government Shutdown’s Latest Victim: a Global Weather Conference

From Bloomberg

By Brian K Sullivan

December 28, 2018, 1:07 PM EST

  • American Meteorological Society expected 700 U.S. scientists
  • Annual meeting is a clearinghouse for weather research

In January, more than 4,000 weather forecasters and researchers from around the world are scheduled to descend upon Phoenix for the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting. That is, if the U.S. government is open.

The meeting is going to end up with a much smaller crowd and a thinned-out agenda should the government remain partially closed, according to Keith Seitter, the society’s executive director. “Over 700 are government employees currently affected by the partial shutdown,’’ Seitter said by email. “They are conference chairs, session organizers and presenters whose contributions to the meeting are very significant.’’

The annual meeting is a clearinghouse for the latest research on weather and climate as well as the impacts on industries such as energy, transportation and agriculture. Academic, government and commercial scientists use it to trade tips on tackling problems facing all forecasters. The National Weather Service and other federal agencies including the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency typically send people.

Read the full story here.

HT/My 19 year going online buddy Duncan

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December 29, 2018 6:07 pm

One word: Skype

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 30, 2018 2:30 am

A dedicated blog would also be useful: here is my talk in words, any questions or comments? That would allow much more focused discussion than the traditional conference format.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 30, 2018 5:10 am

One Problem: These conferences are really nothing more than an excuse for Government Employees to vacation and party at taxpayer expense. Doubt it? Ask yourself why they aren’t holding this conference in Chicago. Or how about Phoenix in June. Rates are so much lower and green fees are much cheaper.

Reply to  Bill Powers
December 31, 2018 11:00 am

Good news for the New Year. If there was really a global crisis, you think the bureaucrats might attend to save themselves and their families. Recall, government employees always get paid anyway for time off, anyway. Stop funding gibberish. The Japanese called our NOAA predictions “alchemy” and they may mean turning gruel into cash.

J Mac
December 29, 2018 6:13 pm

The world won’t end and the climate won’t fail if these +700 government employees do not attend the conference at the expense of taxpayers.

December 29, 2018 6:20 pm

I blame Trump.

To think that under the previous WH CEO that the sea levels were receding. The ozone was healing…..etc.

I think food stamp recipients also increased but meh, omelette/eggs…

Reply to  Jones
December 29, 2018 7:18 pm

“Jones December 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm
To think that under the previous WH CEO that the sea levels were receding.”


“Jones December 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm
The ozone was healing…..etc.”


“Jones December 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm
I think food stamp recipients also increased but meh, omelette/eggs…”

The only part you got partially correct.

“Jones December 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm
“I blame Trump.”

Absurdly, apparently.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  ATheoK
December 29, 2018 7:33 pm

Obtuse much?

Reply to  ATheoK
December 29, 2018 8:54 pm

Did I really have to specify I was being sarcastic?

Doug Proctor
Reply to  Jones
December 29, 2018 10:40 pm


Reply to  Jones
December 30, 2018 10:40 am

It is always amazing that people assume some communication is passed to others when the speaker claims they are being sarcastic.

There is not.
Maybe people who know you well can figure out when you are sarcastic. Otherwise, the only option is to assume people are being straight forward and mean what they write; or to disregard everything, and I mean everything, you write.

Professional writers ensure their writings are over the top by reaching their word limits claiming the most outrageous things, or they flat out label their writing as fiction.

Reply to  Jones
December 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Only for the benefit of the conceptually challenged.

Reply to  ATheoK
December 30, 2018 4:13 am

Humorous. Obvious. Don’t miss the obvious.

Reply to  Jones
December 31, 2018 2:04 pm

I’m a bit humor impaired, but that was flat out funny, Jones.

December 29, 2018 6:26 pm

If this were paid by private donors there would be no problem…but since it’s paid for by Tax dollars: Problem.
Actually, this sounds more like a taxpayer funded vacation getaway for Lobbyists. If so, glad it’s cancelled!

Reply to  Barbee
December 29, 2018 7:41 pm

Here’s something from Adam Smith.

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it (the law) ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. link

Everyone knows the first part of the quote. Taken by itself, it’s true but sounds a bit cynical. The wisdom is in the second part of the quote. It’s in the people’s interest that the meeting should be canceled.

The problem in the social sciences is that their teachings are almost never both true and non-trivial. IMHO, the above quote qualifies.

Reply to  commieBob
December 30, 2018 4:14 am

Nothing good has come from a Climate Conference.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  hunter
December 30, 2018 5:00 am

You are overlooking the International Climate Conferences sponsored by the Heartland and that includes the two America First Energy Conferences.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
December 30, 2018 11:41 am

Are the Heartland conferences public funded?
But I get your point; one blanket statement does not suit all situations.

December 29, 2018 6:28 pm

Every cloud has a silver lining.

December 29, 2018 6:29 pm

Let’s hope the “govt.” stays shut. 700 people could then help e.g. shovel snow.

Reply to  Harold
December 29, 2018 6:52 pm

Instead of shoveling something else?

December 29, 2018 6:47 pm

Snowflakes melt in Arizona. Shutdown the border too! 😀

Ha ha

December 29, 2018 6:51 pm

I’m liking this Government shutdown already.

December 29, 2018 6:54 pm

It’s AMAZING how much money all these government agencies suck down. If they would just stick to their core job(s), instead of inflating budgets with boondoggles, unnecessary layers of bureaucracy, and top-heavy management, maybe American taxpayers wouldn’t have to fund this largesse. When I went to an AMS conference, it was a big party…literally…although that tab was picked up by a private corporation. But, the gov’t fat cats lived for it, and the other beneficial extras. Doesn’t anyone ever ask why the NWS still needs regional offices? How much money is spent on a daily cleaning service, multiplied by a gazillion agencies’ offices? Multiply the NWS by all these other agencies, and we could really save some bucks, which people…citizens without gov’t pensions in their future retirement…could save or spend. I just don’t understand the flight toward socialism and even bigger government in this country, which is following Europe. I hope Brexit is not just a one-off, and, even worse, derailed by the powers-that-be that want to continue the EU-trip.

Reply to  s4caster
December 30, 2018 2:36 am

Private industry has essentially the same problem, such as Oil and Gas exploration, many fun conferences, all ultimately paid for by consumers.

Shawn Marshall
Reply to  s4caster
December 31, 2018 5:25 am

We are all slaves to the Federal government as long as t
‘they’ have first claim to our earnings. Thank the Civil War which birthed the income tax and did not ‘end’ slavery but put everyone in chains.
Ok — but they brought it back – for all those who will say it was ended after the war.

December 29, 2018 7:05 pm

“The meeting is going to end up with a much smaller crowd and a thinned-out agenda should the government remain partially closed, according to Keith Seitter, the society’s executive director. “Over 700 are government employees currently affected by the partial shutdown,’’ Seitter said by email. “They are conference chairs, session organizers and presenters whose contributions to the meeting are very significant.”

“Over 700 are government employees currently affected by the partial shutdown”: 700 government employees are involved with this charade!? i.e. Paid by Federal government to plan, organize and present along with their expensive hotels, travel and ‘per diem’?
During winter, in Phoenix?

Talk about AMS abuses against the Federal Government and American citizens. Let AMS put on their own shows.

No more pseudo business vacations!

Reply to  ATheoK
December 29, 2018 10:42 pm

Trying hard to imagine how the serious, vital messages created by 600 people at a meeting can be efficiently gathered and dispatched to the attendees without error or misunderstanding. Never happened at any meaningful conference I was involved in, but then I was seldom at one with more than a dozen people. Not the same beast as a big party gathering of hundreds where the most work that was done was some strategic swaps of business cards and the effort of cracking beer cans open.

December 29, 2018 7:09 pm


I am not all that sure that most of the government folks that attend these things are re-mbursed by we taxpayers. In other words, many take leave and pay their way because they are “interested”. A few high mukety-muck folks or presenters in a particular area may be re-imbursed, but in the history of all “shut downs”, all government employees have been given back pay and such. They had a paid vacation.
Unless the credit card folks do not honor government cards during the “shutdown”, they will be re-imbursed in a month or so just like they used to. Can also use a personal card like I did as a government-paid trigger man ’cause the government card didn’t work in an ATM in those days.
Gums laughing the hysteria….

December 29, 2018 7:10 pm

I doubt that this will effect Dr. Ed Berry’s presentation as he is independent but it would be a shame if none of the government types got to study his poster ( showing errors in the IPCC analysis that concluded fossil fuel CO2 is the only source of increased CO2 since the industrial revolution. He shows how little our energy production emissions effect atmospheric content and points out the errors in the IPCC thought process.

paul eade
Reply to  DMA
December 29, 2018 7:56 pm

very interesting stuff.Paticularly his discussion with ATTP

Global Cooling
Reply to  DMA
December 30, 2018 8:27 am

Interesting indeed. Especially look at Harde’s empirical CO2 vs SST graph and that IPCC has special handling of human CO2 compared to natural CO2.

Reply to  Global Cooling
December 30, 2018 11:09 am

Yes, the handling of human CO2 is “special” alright, as Salby puts it, so special that it belongs in some other universe.

As to “it would be a shame if none of the government types got to study his poster”,
I suspect that’s wishful thinking. Those who may be deprived of another expenses-paid vacation probably wouldn’t take note anyway. After all, they are paid for doomsday.. by doomsday.
That, of course, can only be avoided by more government bureaucracy, which in turn
will attend more January meetings in Phoenix. Round and around it goes.
See Driessen’s article above for just how much dough is streaming in to produce
this climate show and tell.

Doubt there would be too many Berrys who would attend at their own expense, let alone have something to present that was produced on their own dime. Until this picture changes,
the merry-go-round will continue.

Michael Jankowski
December 29, 2018 7:39 pm

Conference is Jan 6-10. In my experience, registrations for gov’t officials were likely paid by purchase order. Reimbursement this late would be probably be zero. Flights were likely booked via credit card and non-refundable rates (although Southwest does fly to Phoenix and will allow cancellation without penalty with funds expiring at the end of May). Hotel rooms booked at conference rates may only be partially reimbursed.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
December 30, 2018 4:04 am

Yes, but the actual employees are all non-essential & therefore put on furlough. Ie, they have to stay home & can’t work.

December 29, 2018 7:45 pm

I used to have to attend bi-annual conferences to make sure my “ethics” hadn’t slipped.
Never knew I had any, and I’m not sure if I gained any with my attendance.
It was called “continuing education”, I learned some stuff during the 20 hours required I guess, but the hour trying to instill “ethics” into me, just never sat right.

Reed Coray
Reply to  u.k.(us)
December 30, 2018 9:31 am

A long time ago, I worked for a company that via questionable business practices peaked congressional interest to the point the company’s CEO was called to testify before congress. Before his scheduled appearance, lawyers from the front office were sent to all divisions to instruct us on how to be ethical. Come on! Lawyers teaching ethics–that’s got to be the oxymoron of all oxymorons. At the time, and to this day, I believed the CEO’s primary reason for sending out the wolves to enlighten the sheep was so he could pre-empt his testimony by claiming he was addressing the problem. Such an action, at least in my mind, seemed a tad unethical; but then I’m sure the lawyers who advised the CEO wouldn’t agree.

Duncan Smith
December 29, 2018 8:28 pm

I’ve been to conferences, to have a “booth” costs a lot of money out of company pocket to advertise/network their ideas/products. If the shutdown stopped an Oil & Gas conference it would never get reported on the MSM. Just saying….

Clyde Spencer
December 29, 2018 8:31 pm

Are you saying that your attendance was unethical coercion?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 30, 2018 3:02 pm

More just tiring.

December 29, 2018 8:59 pm

But the science is settled – stay home.
Oh wait, it’s weather that needs research, not climate, right?

James Schrumpf
December 29, 2018 10:15 pm

I popped over to the NOAA weather data site to pull up some records, and there was instead a static page that read. “The website you are trying to access is not available at this time due to a lapse in appropriation.” Now I can understand the data not being updated since the shutdown began, but why take the entire page away? The website is up, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t get the “Closed!” page, so why not just leave the data access in place?

I’m a database/web developer on federal contracts, and we have data that is updated daily, but when our office was affected by an earlier shutdown, we left our page up and available to those who needed it. It takes more effort to stick the shutdown page in place than it does to just leave the site up. Seems to me that they just want to rub the public’s collective noses in it.

Reply to  James Schrumpf
December 30, 2018 4:16 am

Deliberate sabotage by NOAA.

December 29, 2018 10:29 pm

What is the “Track record” over the years from say 1980, the beginning of the climate hoax to present date, of this particular conference ?


December 29, 2018 11:13 pm

I just wonder how many morons actually believe this so called shut down is about the cost to build the wall?

Reply to  rah
December 30, 2018 4:07 am

Of course it isn’t about the cost. The Democrats don’t want a wall at all, they want free and unconstrained immigration. A large sub-population of the Republicans want cheap labour from South and Middle-America. Illegal immigrants fits the bill nicely. That’s why they conspired with the Democrats to block any funding for the wall.

Wiliam Haas
December 29, 2018 11:15 pm

We would all be better off if they held the conference on the internet instead. It would be better for the tax payers and would waste far less fossil fuels and hence add less CO2 to the atmosphere.

Another Ian
Reply to  Wiliam Haas
December 30, 2018 12:11 am

Might reduce attendance to a level where something positive actually happens too

– so long as it doesn’t get a dose of “Climategate”

Peta of Newark
December 30, 2018 3:29 am

There are 60+ million folks here in the UK who spend time talking about the weather each and every day.

Can they come instead?

Assuming they haven’t died laughing at this:

(Presently at 11:25 GMT, average UK temp seems to be 10 or 11 degC and forecast to briefly dip to -1 here in The East on Weds night)

There IS presently a Weather Warning coming in force force Shetland for overnight tomorrow night.
For wind.

tell me about it

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 30, 2018 3:37 am

poor ol’ Shetland eh
may the force of the forth of the force be for or against the for of the forth force. force
You get ‘forcing’ inside Climate Science but its all junk too

Actually, some of the UK’s best windmills are up there, they consistently run at 50% of nameplate capacity

That’s why nobody lives there.
Pity the poor saps that do, may the force be with them.

December 30, 2018 7:27 am

the longer the shutdown continues the longer the swamp will drain.

The US taxpayer is saving billions of dollars each day the shutdown continues. The biggest Christmas gift the government has given them in many years.

Rod Everson
December 30, 2018 7:42 am

Someone should ask each of the 700 missing government employees this question: Is global warming such a huge problem that it must be addressed with government action?

If they answer honestly, I’d bet on 90%+ responding “Yes”.

And if that did indeed turn out to be the case, we might have save a lot more money than just the cost of sending them to the conference by keeping them at home.

December 30, 2018 8:02 am

‘Hundreds of states, counties, cities, businesses, universities, and other entities are implementing actions that build resilience to climate-related impacts and risks, while also aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these actions have been informed by new climate-related tools and products developed through the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) since NCA3’ – NCA4

Your tax dollars at work. I hope all this is shutdown. And stays shutdown after the shutdown.


From NCA4:

1. How do we know Earth is warming?

Many indicators show conclusively that Earth has warmed since the 19th century. In addition to warming shown in the observational record of oceanic and atmospheric temperature, other evidence includes melting glaciers and continental ice sheets, rising global sea level, a longer frost-free season, changes in temperature extremes, and increases in atmospheric humidity, all consistent with long-term warming.

End excerpt.

This is produced by the United States of America. Land of the Free.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Gamecock
December 30, 2018 2:25 pm

But what I wanna know is, how do we know water is wet?

December 30, 2018 3:58 pm

Good. Don’t validate their parking, either.

December 30, 2018 5:40 pm

1. So nobody in the AGW crowd has heard of video conferences?

2. Why don’t these Oh-So-Alarmed and dedicated evangelists pay their own way. I mean if the conference is so vital and all…

Insufficiently Sensitive
December 30, 2018 8:18 pm

Why don’t these 4000 weather forecasters and researchers do some extreme virtue-signaling, and swear off the CO2-generating mass pilgrimage to Phoenix? They could do an online conference! So virtuous and green and sustainable! The government shutdown could be sneered out of town, and all participants would receive their participant badges and virtue-points.

Johann Wundersamer
January 1, 2019 1:24 am

They are conference chairs, session organizers and presenters whose contributions to the meeting are very significant

and not willing to work in clearinghouses on exotic places without fee.

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