With Hurricane Harvey set to come ashore in Texas today as a
category 3 storm (now Category 4 as of 4:30 PT), perhaps now is a good time to review Preznint Stupid’s plan to cut the National Weather Service. We all know that the NWS provides forecasts and warnings and is the source of data for our smart phones and the evening news guy to sound all smarty pants and weathery. When you want to know if you need sunscreen or an umbrella, the NWS is your pal.
Charged with providing weather forecasts and warnings, the National Weather Service also makes its data available to hundreds of companies that use it for everything from smartphone applications to agricultural equipment. Trump earlier this year proposed cutting its budget by 6 percent and that of its parent agency, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), by a mammoth 16 percent. It was an unprecedented proposal in the National Weather Service’s storied history, which extends back to 1890, when it was founded as the U.S. Weather Bureau.
Trump also proposed huge subcuts for programs that engage in computer modeling of storms, as well as observation of storms and dissemination of data. Tsunami research and prediction would be cut, along with supercomputing investments and a program to extend more accurate modeling to 30 days from 16, which could have huge benefits for everything from the insurance to the transportation industries.
And because all of this is science related to tracking FAKE climate change and JUNK SCIENCE (I suppose) so who needs it anyway, amiright?
So for everyone in Texas already evacuated from the hurricane’s path, enjoy the privilege of being in the record books: if Stupid’s budget cuts are passed, you may be the last Americans saved by weather science. Next season, you will be left to your own predictions, like the old knees aching, or the bunion swelling, or the frogs suddenly going silent.
Hey, that’s solid science.