[Vision2020] National Climate Service nixed

Ron Force rforce2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 21 11:11:53 PST 2011

Congress has killed the National Climate Service, reports Brian Vastag: "At first look, the proposal is as dull, bureaucratic and routine as an agency request to Congress can be. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wanted to reshuffle its offices to establish a National Climate Service akin to the agency’s National Weather Service. It asked for no new 
funding to do so. But in a political climate where talk of the earthly 
kind of climate can be radioactive, the answer in last week’s budget 
deal was 'no.' Congress barred NOAA from launching what the agency bills as a 'one-stop shop' for climate information. Demand for such data is 
skyrocketing, NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco told Congress earlier this year. Farmers are wondering when to plant. 
Urban planners want to know whether groundwater will stop flowing under 

Note: the service was first proposed by the George W. Bush administration. More:

The proposal has drawn wide-ranging support. NOAA’s administrator from 2001 to 2008 under Bush, Conrad C. Lautenbacher, urged Congress to approve it this year. So did scientific, weather and industry groups, including the Reinsurance Association of America, which represents huge firms that backstop home, car and life insurance companies. 
Franklin W. Nutter, president of the RAA, said insurance companies are 
increasingly relying on the predictions of a changing future that NOAA 
provides. “It’s become clear that historic patterns of natural 
catastrophes — hurricanes, tornadoes, floods — are not good predictors 
of future risks,” he said. In other words, the future’s looking rougher...

...After the deal, which passed Congress last week, a House 
Appropriations Committee news release implied that Congress had saved 
$322 million in fiscal year 2012 by nixing the climate service. 
The reality: Congress is still giving NOAA those funds for climate research and data delivery. But they’ll be distributed across the agency instead of consolidated under an umbrella climate service. The hundreds of 
millions in savings trumpeted by the Republican-led Appropriations 
Committee are an illusion. 

Ron Force
Moscow Idaho USA
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