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Do We Really Need a National Climate Service?

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the neither-rain-nor-snow-nor-government dept.

United States 358

coondoggie writes "I suppose it's natural for Washington to try and wrap issues up in a tidy legislative package for bureaucratic purposes (or perhaps other things more nefarious). But one has to wonder if we really need another government-led group, especially when it comes to the climate and all the sometimes controversial information that entails. But that's what is under way. Today the House Science and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing on the need for a National Climate Service, that could meet the increased demand for climate information, the committee said. The NCS would provide a single point of contact of information climate forecasts and support for planning and management decisions by federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; and the private sector."

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Obviously it's a good thing. (3, Insightful)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 5 years ago | (#27857907)

Obviously it's a good thing.
At least always better than letting Halliburton, Enron and Total decide what our future looks like.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858009)

Obviously it's a good thing.
At least always better than letting Halliburton, Enron and Total decide what our future looks like.
::facepalm::

Yeah, because we know that Greenpeace, PETA, Nancy Pelosi, the DailyKOS/MoveOn crowd, George Soros, Al Gore, and Harry Reid will make reasoned, informed decisions balancing the peoples' and the nations' needs with the demands of the environmental whack-jobs.

Get real.

(Yeah, I know. This will almost certainly get modded down to oblivion by KOSdot mods, probably modded "-1 Troll" but screw it. I've got the karma to burn.)

Strat

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858061)

lol

Why are those the only options? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858085)

Could your post not be modded down because it's horseshit?

Or is that not an option?

Re:Why are those the only options? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858197)

Could your post not be modded down because it's horseshit?

Or is that not an option?

Well it'd have to be horseshit for that to be an option. So no, not an option.

But I fully expect that his 5: Insightful moderation will begin to evaporate as the left coast wakes up, has a few bong hits, stumbles down to Starbucks and gets some caffeine in it only to discover an infidel has been blaspheming against all the gospel.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (0, Offtopic)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858151)

Wharrgarbl + Preemptive moderation whining + Signs post = Comedy gold!

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (0, Troll)

Enry (630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858391)

Obvious troll is obvious.

But back to the point, I'd take the word of Al Gore over that of Dick Cheney any day.

And Soros? Really? Go look up the kinds of fun things Richard Mellon Scafie has been up to for the past 20 years. Makes the money Soros contributed look like a drop in the bucket.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (-1, Troll)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858645)

You would take the word of a $30000 electricity bill a month person that "we all need to conserve power" ?

I'm thinking perhaps you should move to North Korea, lots of Al's there. Have you tried pine needle tee for breakfast yet ? I hear it's extremely healthy, better than eggs and bacon. Pine needle tea, the true breakfast of champions. Apparently it even cures cancer. Lucky people, those North Koreans.

And yes, I'd take Dick Cheney's word over Al Gore's any day. It's closer to reality, by a wide margin. Even if that doesn't mean it's anywhere near the truth.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (3, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858817)

Shouldn't you be moving to Somalia? I hear there's no pesky government or taxes getting in the way of free enterprise there.

Doesn't that sound just as retarded as your statement?

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (0, Offtopic)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858167)

George Soros, Al Gore, and Harry Reid

Moe, Larry, and Curly? Nancy Pelosi would be Shemp, but I don't remember Shemp having a mustache.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858173)

> (Yeah, I know. This will almost certainly get modded down to oblivion by KOSdot mods, probably modded "-1 Troll" but screw it. I've got the karma to burn.)

Actually, on /. that statement pretty much guarantees (Score:5, Insightful) regardless of anything else you said. "I've got karma to burn" is a magical phrase that compells the mods to forget anything they were doing and mod you up.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858187)

There is something terribly wrong with your reasoning: Halliburton, Enron and Total have only 1 objective: their bottom line. That's not true for greenpeace : they want to inspire people to leave this world in a better state than how they got it. The peoples need and the nations need are what define them; in case of Halliburton : their only thing that define them are their shareholders pocket.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (4, Interesting)

bsane (148894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858237)

a better state than how they got it

What if I don't agree with what greenpeace is shoving down my throat as 'a better state'?

One could argue that all Halliburton wants to do is leave the world in a better state... as defined by them- really the same goal as greenpeace, just different definitions of 'better'.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858293)

yeah, indeed different definitions : greenpeace's definition is altruistic. Halliburtons' is egoistic.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (2, Interesting)

bsane (148894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858361)

Altruism... yeah, I'm sure thats greenpeace's only motive...

Even if altruism was their _only_ and _focused_ mission, there is a whole school of thought (I don't subscribe to it, but it exists, and is valid as any other) that contends altruism leads to suffering, and only hurts in the long run.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858573)

There is also a whole school of thought (I don't subscribe to it, but it exists, and is as valid as any other) that contends that the Earth is flat.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1, Insightful)

bsane (148894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858713)

I shouldn't feed trolls, but...

is as valid as any other

Earths shape: provable.

Long term effects of social behavior: endlessly debatably- when you come up with a provable theory let me know.

If you can't see why altruism could have negative effects- you need to get out more.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858557)

*sigh*

In the open market it's the consumers that decide what they need. Not the companies. In the case of Haliburton their consumers are, ironically, governments who buy weapons to kill people. Enron was an electricity company. Most electricity companies get monopoly privileges from governments. I don't remember the specific details regarding Enron's operations though so I'll leave it at that (I just recall that they were a utility company in California that was caught in a corruption scandal).

Everybody is interested in their bottom line. Their bottom line being their very survival. When you produce a product or service to be consumed by others you cannot succeed by going around and telling others that they must consume your product. Yes, I know the altruists and collectivists who insist that humans are all evil and thus demand constant sacrifice will have you believe that any attempt to improve your personal conditions must always be at the expense of others. What's extremely funny and sad about such assertions is that the only organization capable of improving it's situation at the expense of others is one that has the sanction of the majority to employ coercion. That would be the government. If any other group attempted to do so the majority, whom would not recognize the organization's authority, would quickly over power them.

On a fundamental level we are all selfish. That's not a bad thing. If we weren't we could never survive. Individuals must concern themselves with their own survival first and that is inherently selfish by nature. The question is, does selfishness imply a disregard for others ? As rational beings obviously it cannot. The benefits to voluntary social cooperation are obvious to anyone. Mutually beneficial exchange and the voluntary division of labour produces far better conditions for all individuals. That is both rational and moral.

So I will take an inventor or an entrepreneur who is trying to make a buck by producing a good or service that improves the lives of his peers over an organization that tries to get people to buy into some "higher purpose" which demands sacrifice (which ultimately boils down to sacrifice of reason) any day. And in the mean time I will push for smaller government to get rid of the fascist government/corporate "partnerships", which are the only corporations that apply to your charge.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858627)

Capitalism tries to externalize (and therefore ignore) all costs. Environmental impact is a cost everyone has been doing a great job of externalizing and taking is right into an ecological disaster in the process.

It's the government's job to make sure that those costs that can just be tossed off on everyone else get paid by the entity that is attempting to externalize them.

that's how capitalism works.

Capitalism is not laissez faire [aka Anarcho-Capitalism]

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858781)

Capitalism is not laissez faire [aka Anarcho-Capitalism]

You mean the capitalism from the books i presume, and not the o,ne practised in the real world ?
Real Capitalism is IMPOSSIBLE. it needs : perfect information to all players.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (4, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858891)

Environmental issues are a perfect example of government failing to do it's job.

We need to ask "what is the role of government?" Classic liberals felt that the only role of government is to protect the rights of individuals. All rights are property rights (I can elaborate on that if you'd like me to but I'll skip it for brevity).

During the industrial revolution many companies were sued by others who felt that air pollution was a violation of their property rights (not only their land and air but their lungs - ie: bodies - as well). Judges ruled basically that "well, we know these are clear violations but we're going to look the other way because we don't want to hinder economic development" (!!!)

Now, you can blame the industrialists all you want. But if government were doing it's one, single job then we wouldn't have air pollution. The only way a company can survive is to produce goods and services that benefit the lives of others. When people feel that their rights are being violated and the means they've chosen to enforce those rights is not functioning then you get a case of capitalism deteriorating and externalizing costs ... by using the very institution designed for the opposite purpose.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858737)

in case of Halliburton : their only thing that define them are their shareholders pocket.
Actually, that is false. It is NOT about their shareholder's pocket. If so, then they (and all American corps) would be thinking LONG-TERM. Far too many actions are short-term. They are looking only at their OWN pockets.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (2, Insightful)

dmhummel (1549587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858205)

1) Haliburton,Exxon... have TRILLIONS of $ to decide what are future looks like.

2) They will determine that future with the sole intention of immediate gratification of increased (3)profit.

As much as you don't like Greenpeace et all, they do not have the money nor the intentions to contend with these companies.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858221)

And I'm sure Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Haliburton, and Rush Limbaugh will make equally good decisions... If anything the environmental whack jobs are the ones that will really push to keep where we live clean, and lately we could use a little bit of that. The check on this of course is that most of what the push for will get passed on only letting things that are either cost justifiable or at least politically popular through. Even with a democratic congress, there are a lot of different people representing a lot of different interests that will have to be balanced out. What really got me on the band wagon though, was when Oil Tycoon T Boone Pickens jumped on the renewable energy platform.

Parent is definition of troll (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858357)

because we know that Greenpeace, PETA, Nancy Pelosi, the DailyKOS/MoveOn crowd, George Soros, Al Gore, and Harry Reid...

The argument you make is quite dishonest. By conflating activist groups with government leaders, you try to pretend the GP said something that he did not. His point was that history shows that we cannot trust corporate interests to be honest participants in a debate on climate. We cannot trust their data, we cannot trust their motives. They create phony "think tanks" with the sole purpose of obfuscation.

Yes, we need a National Climate Service.

You know what? I trust a democratic (small "D") system. If a multinational corporation pollutes a river, causing cancer deaths and birth defects, we can't vote out the corporate officers and their deep pockets protects them from legal recourse (see: A Civil Action). If I hate the way the government's going, guess what? There's an election coming up. There's always an election coming up. And with the exception of a group Slave States that made a very bad decision in the 1860's, power has transferred peacefully in this system.

You know what's NOT in our Constitution? Capitalism. It's not there, I looked. Not by name, and not by inference. Because capitalism is not the same as "free enterprise" even though people mistakenly think they are synonymous.

But that's a discussion for another day and there are goldfinches on the tree outside my window and my dog wants a walk.

But bluestrat, that was just a shitty troll. Ineffective, wrong-headed and stupid. Plus, you wrapped it all in a troll package with your "I bet I'm gonna get modded down" disclaimer, which is a sure sign that you intended your post to be a troll.

You've got a bit to learn, no matter how long you've been here.

Re:Parent is definition of troll (2, Informative)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858621)

We cannot trust their data

And, for some reason, you think you can trust the government's? How quaint. [surfacestations.org]

Re:Parent is definition of troll (0)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858665)

You know what's NOT in our Constitution? Capitalism. It's not there, I looked. Not by name, and not by inference.

Capitalism isn't in the Constitution? Seems I just saw it there in the 10th amendment!

Because capitalism is not the same as "free enterprise" even though people mistakenly think they are synonymous.

Apparently, it's a whole lot of people: Capitalism From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Redirected from Free enterprise [wikipedia.org] .

But bluestrat, that was just a shitty troll. Ineffective, wrong-headed and stupid. Plus, you wrapped it all in a troll package with your "I bet I'm gonna get modded down" disclaimer, which is a sure sign that you intended your post to be a troll. You've got a bit to learn, no matter how long you've been here.

It is fortunate that bluestrat has a kind and eloquent mentor such as yourself to help them learn the errors of their way.

Re:Parent is definition of troll (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858767)

Capitalism isn't in the 10th ammendment.

The constitution doesn't specifically enable or prohibit any single economic system.

Re:Parent is definition of troll (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858845)

It is fortunate that bluestrat has a kind and eloquent mentor such as yourself to help them learn the errors of their way.

That was my point.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858413)

Yes you are trolling. How about you produce some real scientific evidence to support your apparent position that either "global warming doesn't exist" or that "humans didn't cause it"

keep in mind the steady-state atmospheric carbon load has increased by 50% since the start of the industrial revolution and at the fastest growth rate in the last .5 Ma and possibly (probably?) longer. [the last chart I saw and can clearly remember only went back to .5 Ma]

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858449)

Replying to myself: .5 Ma chart: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png [wikimedia.org]

(wiki) "Present carbon dioxide levels are likely higher now than at any time during the past 20 Myr" (citing: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig3-2.htm [grida.no] )

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858067)

Why would you assume that?

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858135)

Or the University System. Who has really lost their way. In a more perfect world the University's who are doing a lot of this research should be communicating with each other and as well with open, non-confrontational dialogs with other companies R&D. As well getting proper funding from these companies and the governments to work on/get better understanding of the problem.

However real life sets in and Universities need to focus on being grades 13,14,15 and 16 to meet the educational demands for jobs outside. Their research is focused on what can be patented and sold, or breakthrough enough to get public interests. Not a bunch of underpaid grad students looking at a bunch of swirls on a computer screen and predicting that the swirl will go 400 miles North West in 3 days.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1)

Mendoksou (1480261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858143)

Finally, they are creating a government entity to control the weather rather than just sit by and watch it helplessly. Stupid natural weather! What did it ever do for us anyways? The real question is, will we be able to use this power to cause natural disasters for our enemies or just avert them from ourselves?

Or is this just another meaningless committee to tell us that carbon is bad every couple of weeks?

How is hyperbole (1, Troll)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858343)

insightful? Or are there just certain buzzwords that people are compelled to rate higher?

The future of our climate isn't being decided by corporations, it is being decided by an overly politicized system. Contrary laws and NIMBY laws are what are screwing us. I won't even try to list what is beyond our control outside our borders that may just undo anything we can try.

Look, they have pushed this line of thought for so long that they are locked in. They have to create a new office, which in turn can issue all sorts of "findings of fact", so that they can continue their agenda. After all, a National Climate office wouldn't release opinion now would they? There would never be the slightest bias in presentation of what is fact or how to read numbers would there?

Get real.

Lets see what they are doing to help the environment?

1. Pushing new incentives for bio fuels while not curtailing the fraud of corn based ethanol.
2. Ignoring know safe energy production of nuclear because certain people in the Administration hate it, let alone the moonbats in Congress. Gee, if it works for France and even Germany is considering it it might be a good idea!
3. Cap and Trade . Backdoor tax on the poor and middle class without calling it that.
4. Remember MBTE ... thank you Al for poisoning all are water supplies.
5. I am quite sure the Military isn't friendly to the environment on a whole; but I excuse a lot of what they do.

Sorry, the government does more damage when political regulations being implemented rather than scientific. The majority of their regulations seek to curry favor of specific groups or to pay them back for their activities related to elections. The preponderance of evidence against many forms of man made global warming is building faster than support for it.

No, its the moonbats coming to roost. They are going to create a new government bureaucracy where we already have more than one which does the same job. Instead of trying to find ways to save the American tax payer money they look for ways to guilt them or waste their money.

Re:How is hyperbole (3, Informative)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858551)

1) actually food planet based biofuels (esp soy diesel) just got canned by Obama's EPA - failed some tests that disqualify it from the running for those new green biofuel subsidies. I live in Iowa, our farmers were howling - I told them to go rent space to wind farms ($2k-$5k/year per turbine)

2) I doubt the administration hates it.. find me cites [Yucca doesn't count, the site was actually found upon further analysis to be unsuitable for long term waste storage - has a semi-active fault line running right under it]

The problem with Nuclear energy in this country is that it has been demonized - Look at the media reaction to TMI

3) Prove it. If you mean "the companies will just pass on the cost" you MIGHT have an argument.
PS I'm hardly some rich elitist
My parents, combined, made less than $45k/year when I grew up... so I'm not exactly what you'd call "rich" (though I now make that singlehandedly.. 1 year out of college w/ a computer science degree)
Between my wife and I we have a house worth of college loans to pay back

4) As for Al Gore and MTBE, he never claimed to be infallible.

5) No. Shit. A Tank gets .5 MPG Diesel.

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (1, Flamebait)

darjen (879890) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858437)

I guess you think the slimebags in washington, DC will do any better? given their pathetic record on just about everything else they try?

Re:Obviously it's a good thing. (5, Informative)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858655)

The NOAA and it's subsidiaries (which the NCS would be one) are one of the most effective government agencies ever created. Not only is it filled with competent scientists it's also filled with ones that know how to keep up with technology to disseminate information as efficiently as possible.

Yea, why the fuck not? (3, Insightful)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27857927)

The US gov't already swallows 36% of GDP. What is feeding another couple hundred parasites?

Meanwhile (1, Interesting)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858031)

Meanwhile [slashdot.org] , in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal mutters something about all this wasteful government spending.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana"

Re:Meanwhile (-1, Troll)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858141)

I'm sorry, how is this anything but a non sequitur?

If the people in Alaska are really concerned about monitoring that volcano's activity, what's stopping them from implementing a LOCAL government effort to deal with it, which affords the population MUCH more control?

Or do you think you can get more accountability from a boob in Washington rather than your neighbor Bob who works for the local government?

Re:Meanwhile (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858209)

2005: "Screw Literacy!" Bush eliminates popular 'Even Start' program. [dailykos.com]

2009: Glorious Leader Obama cuts $17 billion in wasteful government spending (including 'Even Start' program).

Re:Meanwhile (2, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858369)

Apparently, Bush wasn't even very good at getting rid of programs!

Re:Meanwhile (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858231)

Shouldn't the people living near the volcano be the ones to pay for monitoring the volcano? This is somewhat similar to the fact that New Orleans should probably be the one the pay for any measures they take to protect themselves from hurricanes.

Jindal's an idiot, but it doesn't change the fact that people need to assume some responsibility for themselves and their local community instead of always expecting the Federal government to take care of all of their problems. If they can't bother to pay for some detection service why should I bother to pay for it either? And if it's too costly to support locally, they probably shouldn't live there.

Climate Service is at least something that could be said to affect the entire nation and therefore at least be considered as a worthwhile federal program. Anything else probably shouldn't be.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858419)

I fail to see how yet another department is needed to fill in the gaps that NOAA and the National Weather Service doesn't provide. Seems easier and much cheaper to simply steer our existing resources into this increased scope and give them additional funding if needed.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858687)

that's what this does - the NCS would be another NOAA department, just like the NWS

Re:Yea, why the fuck not? (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858319)

36% of the GDP? rotfl.

citation, right now.

Re:Yea, why the fuck not? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858457)

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html [usgovernmentspending.com]

That was actually easier than I thought

Re:Yea, why the fuck not? (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858717)

Try a reliable source.

You know why I say that? your number is off by a magnitude of 10 when compared to all other numbers I've seen.

Re:Yea, why the fuck not? (3, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858889)

You cant expect numbers to agree with him. That's just unfair, everybody knows reality has a liberal bias!

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27857931)

Short answer: Yes
Long answer: Hell yes

Re:Yes (3, Interesting)

ruckc (111190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858079)

Way to go. We already have a national weather service [noaa.gov] . Why would you encourage the government to create yet another redundant service.

I thought tracking weather involved tracking the history of weather, which would lead me to believe that it would take a small investment into the national weather service to create a climate forcasting/monitoring service. Oh wait, NOAA's NWS already tracks climate.

Re:Yes (5, Informative)

kholburn (625432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858453)

Because "climate" and "weather" are different things.

How's Obama going to cut the budget doing this? (0)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858659)

According to CNN [cnn.com] , the administration is announcing a proposal tomorrow that will $17Billion by eliminating programs, and an official said "In many cases we have multiple programs that do the same things." So won't this just be adding another program that does the same thing. Climate, weather, come on, enough already.

Imagine a state that already has a Department of Child Protective Services saying that they need to create a new department called Department of Kid Protective Services because child abuse is getting worse so another department and increased overhead will certainly make everything better. Naturally, opponents to this would get to hear cries of Won't somebody please think of the children?

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858719)

The problem is that the NWS is full of meteorologists and not climatologists. A NCS would pull together resources currently embedded in NWS, State Climatologists, NCAR/UCAR, NSF, Universities, CDC, CPC, and NCDC. These climate groups are scattered and not providing the best services possible. Housing them under the same umbrella, a NCS, would create a much stronger force. I don't think this will involve much if any increase in money required.

no, of course not (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27857973)

I mean, the real question is whether or not there's even any climate change going on in the first place! But if we concede the point that it might be happening, is it man-made? Because if it's natural instead of man-made, that changes everything, right? A 10 degree change in average temp may see the polar caps melt and seas rise by 200 feet but if this was going to happen anyway it's no longer a problem, right? But I still say the jury's out on this one. Just like with the addictiveness of nicotine. There's been no conclusive scientific evidence from scientists paid by the tobacco industry to show that there's any addictiveness with nicotine. Oh, and that prison torture in Iraq? Did you not listen to the press conference? Bad apples in the lowest ranks of the military, nothing more.

I really wish people would pay more attention to the official story. A lot of time and money has been put into getting it down pat and it's incredibly disrespectful to then go and listen to other sources.

Re:no, of course not (5, Insightful)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858017)

I mean, the real question is whether or not there's even any climate change going on in the first place! But if we concede the point that it might be happening, is it man-made? Because if it's natural instead of man-made, that changes everything, right?

No, it doesn't. It would still flood a lot of major cities in the world, disrupt crops and change weather patterns. I know you were being satirical, but this point seems to be missing a lot on the debates. Earth doesn't care if we're heating her skin or not, she'll just be hot for a while, shed the parasites and try again. If we as a race want to survive, we'd better do something about that shedding. If anything, if it turns out we're NOT doing it, we're in for a much harder job of fixing it than if it's us...

Re:no, of course not (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858035)

I think we can award an official 'whoosh' here.

Re:no, of course not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858185)

And we have a winner!

Re:no, of course not (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858021)

you forgot to close your tag. I'll do it for you : </sarcasm> or </cynical>. Do I hear whooshing sounds ?

Re:no, of course not (-1, Troll)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858127)

OMG IT'S A CLIMATE CHANGE GET IN THE CAR!

or maybe it's just a Gore-shaped bag of hot air?

Re:no, of course not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858289)

Troll? What, it's not okay to make fun of Gore anymore?

Re:no, of course not (1)

Shugart (598491) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858171)

I've always wondered why it's important whether the climate change, assuming it is happening, is natural or otherwise. Whether it is natural or man made, the problems it would cause are the same. Man has always attempted to change the environment to suit himself. If we can affect climate change in a way that is better for man kind, why not? That might include reducing carbon, etc.

Re:no, of course not (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858711)

The second half of your comment is the answer to the first. If it is man made, our actions can probably have a bigger impact, meaning that it may make more sense to take costly actions.

Re:no, of course not (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858345)

Since the start of the industrial revolution the steady state carbon dioxide load in the atmosphere has gone up 50% in ppm and total tonnage.

fastest growth rate in the last half a million years on this planet, maybe longer. [last graph I saw only went to .5 Ma]

The National Academies recommended this (4, Informative)

DrJay (102053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27857987)

This will undoubtedly induce all sorts of railing about both the government and climate, but this step was actually recommended by the National Academies of Science, and I'm happy that it's being seriously considered. The NAS issued in a report [nap.edu] that, distilled down, says that we're already paying for climate science, but the info generated by that work isn't reaching the people who need it most, like the ones that have to manage water supplies in the desert southwest. When those people do find the research, it's typically not structured in a way that's especially useful to them. (For a more elaborate summary of the report, see here [arstechnica.com] - full disclosure, i wrote that).

So, this is largely an attempt to take information we're already producing (the government has paid for climate research for a long time through NOAA and the NSF) and make it useful.

Re:The National Academies recommended this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858247)

This will undoubtedly induce all sorts of railing about both the government and climate, but this step was actually recommended by the National Academies of Science, and I'm happy that it's being seriously considered. The NAS issued in a report [nap.edu] that, distilled down, says that we're already paying for climate science, but the info generated by that work isn't reaching the people who need it most, like the ones that have to manage water supplies in the desert southwest. When those people do find the research, it's typically not structured in a way that's especially useful to them. (For a more elaborate summary of the report, see here [arstechnica.com] - full disclosure, i wrote that).

So, this is largely an attempt to take information we're already producing (the government has paid for climate research for a long time through NOAA and the NSF) and make it useful.

The foundation for a National Climate Service already is in place.

The Prism Group at Oregon State University has been mapping in climate in the US for a long time.

http://prism.oregonstate.edu/

So, maybe what needs to is better coordination of all the data sources through NOAA

What about NOAA? (4, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27857999)

I guess they are not political enough.

Re:What about NOAA? (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858097)

Mod parent up. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration... pros equipped with satellites and all to do the job.

And bet there are at least two subcommittees hidden inside that proposal.

If you'd read the article - this *is* NOAA. (5, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858159)

The NCS would fall under the auspices of NOAA but would utilize the expertise and resources of other federal agencies to meet the growing demand for climate services, the committee stated.

NOAA describes the NCS as being the nation's identified, accessible, official source of authoritative, regular, and timely climate information. That includes historical and real-time data, monitoring and assessments, research and modeling, predictions and projections, decision support tools and early warning systems, and the development and delivery of valued climate services.

Which part of this is unclear? This is NOAA (who are good at what they do) getting access to even more "expertise and resources." Sounds cool.

Re:What about NOAA? (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858189)

In typical slashdot fashion I have yet to RTFA before I comment, but I would assume that they want something where the local weather conditions are not collected by volunteers (although I totally dig their dedication to what they are doing).

Depends on independence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858013)

Reliable data that doesn't come from people with vested interests is a great thing and very useful for decision-making.

However, if the ruling party is able to secretly quash unfavorable datasets or pressure the report makers, then it's a waste.

Big government entity ? (3, Insightful)

Davemania (580154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858019)

What is with the paranoid underlying tone of the article ? "nefarious", could be "large government entity" ? When you have people that doesn't want the government to work (i.e last 8 year), we saw positions filled by political criteria rather than individual merits. It's time that the federal government have a organized response and start basing their decision based on scientific merits. All this sounds like is an information dissemination service ? Depending on the mandate of this new organization, what is wrong with organizing and have a focused approach on a large global issue ?

Re:Big government entity ? (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858787)

"Depending on the mandate of this new organization, what is wrong with organizing and have a focused approach on a large global issue ?"

You just answered your own question by prefacing that with "depending on the organization's mandate".

When an individual or organization needs to employ it's own resources to undertake any kind of productive endeavor (whether it's research or producing a product) it's success is measured by the contributions that it makes to individuals. When an organization uses other people's resources there is no way to measure it's success and eventually it's purpose becomes finding ways to justify it's own existence.

The question that needs to be asked is "What is the role of government?" If we look to government to solve all of our problems then sooner or later we become a socialist state. A socialist state cannot lead to better conditions for individuals than a capitalist because in a socialist state there is no way to employ economic calculation. The productive efforts of individuals are confiscated in order to fund projects that do not benefit very many people. All socialist states eventually deteriorate into mass starvation and conflict.

I'm all for private research and education into global environmental issues. I'm also all for government doing it's job and enforcing property rights. If it did that there would be no air pollution or noise pollution. During the industrial revolution many companies were sued by individuals for violating their property rights and judges basically ruled to the effect of "well, we know that people's rights are being violated but we're going to look the other way in order to promote 'economic growth'" !!!! If that's not a clear indication of what happens when people buy into a "greater good" (ie: collectivist) mentality than I don't know what is.

climate (2, Funny)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858063)

Round my part's of the wood's climate is what you does to a mounting, and that's how I likes it.

Yes we do. (-1, Flamebait)

reidiq (1434945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858071)

Because I want cap and trade to pass. I want businesses to raise the costs of the products by passing the tax increase on to the consumer. I want regulation for carbon output because the 'man made global warming' is really killing the earth, even though the earth has been around for billions of years, survived meteors, volcanic eruptions, and an ice age time and time again. I highly doubt that 100 years of carbon output is really killing this planet. South pole ice is up 43% this year http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/comment.php?comment.news.109.3 [globalwarminghoax.com] The earth goes through cycles of cooling and warming every 20 or so years. Right now we are in a cooling cycle. I'm gonna get pissed when we go through the warming cycle because people again are going to say that we are warming the earth. We have no control over it folks. Cap and trade is nothing more that a tax designed to redistribute wealth. Environmentalism is nothing more than regulating our lives with the false pretense of saving the planet. You see, if we can't all be equal, we'll tax the hell out of the filthy, disgusting, hate-filled rich and bring them down to our level and well all be equal..... in shambles. I got Karma to burn Fother Muckers.

Re:Yes we do. (3, Insightful)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858427)

Wow. You're full of hate. The sad part is, I don't think you're trolling - I think you actually believe that stuff.

You "highly doubt" that man-made carbon output is killing this planet? Take a look at this chart: List of Countries Per Capita Carbon Dioxide Emissions [wikipedia.org]

After you look at it, tell me that, for the US alone, 20.4 metric tons of CO2 times 300,000,000 people, isn't having an effect.

Or how about this chart? Greenhouse Gas Emissions Per Capita [wikipedia.org] See how much of an impact deforestation is having?

These are real numbers. All you have is your pseudo-Ayn Randian Libertarian bullshit. We all went through that phase, and once we realized that it had serious flaws, we relegated it to "interesting, but not viable". The reaction to global warming is regulating our lives because so far we've been incapable of doing it ourselves. Capitalism is so concerned with the short-term wealth of its shareholders that it has failed to see the long-term implications of its actions. Burn another rainforest? Bah! We don't live there. Another Alaskan Oil Field? We'll die rich because of it, and screw the rest of ya.

Grow up and look around you. We're doing this. You're part of the problem.

Re:Yes we do. (1)

smidget2k4 (847334) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858435)

I don't really see anything wrong for paying a "pollution tax" on products that are particularly nasty to make. Find more environmentally friendly alternatives. I don't understand why this doesn't seem reasonable to everybody. Even if the vast majority of scientists are incorrect (which is very rare, mind you), I still don't want to breathe in pollution so you can have cheap ass plastic and lead paint ridden toys for your kid.

And, I know I am just feeding the trolls here (judging by the super reliable link given), but try looking at some research from real organizations/universities about this stuff. Tinfoil hats aren't really renown for their scientific rigor.

Weather is global (3, Insightful)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858075)

The weather impacts crops, military operations, flight plans, hurricane preparedness, and countless other things. Weather forecasts require data gathered from all around the world. State, local, and tribal governments don't have the reach to collect this data on their own. That leaves only private industry. Do you really want to pay a private company to know what the forecast is, particularly when the data would most likely be collected at taxpayer expense anyway? If weather services were privatized, would it be legal to share the forecast with your colleagues?

Re:Weather is global (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858351)

If weather services were privatized, would it be legal to share the forecast with your colleagues?

We have private news services, yet the news seems to be available to everybody.

Re:Weather is global (4, Informative)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858385)

If AccuWeather and Rick Santorum had their way not only would we be paying for the NOAA/NWS to make those forcasts, but then we wouldn't be able to get that data from them without going through a pay-company like AccuWeather.

AccuWeather wants us to pay for it twice, just so we can pay them for work they didn't do.

[see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AccuWeather [wikipedia.org] ]

Re:Weather is global (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858743)

Someone got undeserved mod points. This is not a flamebait post. There was a proposal from Ricky to restrict NWS data and leave the rest of us to suffer from (In)AccuWeather. Anyone want to guess if AccuWeather is from Ricky's state? Not that it is much of a guess.

Re:Weather is global (2, Informative)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858835)

Whoever -1 flamebaited me needs to read the wiki article. I was talking about something that is ON THE PUBLIC RECORD. Things ON THE PUBLIC RECORD are hardly flamebait.

Then they need to post an apology in this thread to undo their moderation.

We already have one (2, Interesting)

R80_JR (1094843) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858077)

National Climatic Data Center, Asheville NC The only problem is that the charge $$$$ for the data that has already been collected at taxpayer expense.

Right now (1)

bothemeson (1416261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858181)

...what's happening is that most countries are funding the wrong questions WRT climate.

I'm mainly with Dr Jay on this.

The European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna a couple of weeks back highlighted this point: funding bodies are interested in, say, 'what the climate will be like' in twenty years in a specific place (probably a country) - typically no mention is made of the numerous uncertainties involved.

You are unlikely to get that grant if you point out that what is being asked is the wrong sort of question and that what should be happening is internationally co-operative, team-based and includes mathematicians (preferably Bayesian statisticians) qualified to wrangle the data and develop new stats methodologies. I say wrangle the data as actually getting RAW data from scientists can be a very difficult and frustrating process - often you get binned averages and the declaration that this is the raw data. Yeah, I know, picky!

There's a frequent cry of 'but we are scientists and, therefore, co-operative' from people who, of course, have had to compete for funding and many of whom privately admit to being intensely competitive individuals: "That's how I got the job in the first place" as one of them said to me at the conference.

Often, as with much funding, you simply find that people who have been previously successful in getting funding see a new gravy train rolling into town and jump on - difficult to compete with the established egos if you are an unassuming but cheap and ideally suited researcher.

At the EGU meeting (http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2009/) a late addition of a session concerned with uncertainty was packed out and a fair number of scientists heard, many for the first time, that the classical maths tools that they've typically been using are simply not up to snuff.

So, is this proposal a Good Thing(TM)? I reckon that it is - I hope so as well as the clock is most definitely ticking.

As a fun aside, with methane being the number one greenhouse gas, the biggest difference we can make (in the medium term - pause for fart gags) as individuals is to go veggie :-)

Re:Right now (1)

Brewmeister_Z (1246424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858755)

Go veggie to reduce methane? No thanks. I like meat along with my veggies and won't change just to fit someone else's ideals (more power to you if you like that diet). I am sure you referring to the cows that give off methane. So you would rather more people make more methane eating more veggies like broccoli? If everyone went to veggies, a new environmental problem would arise from production of more vegetables.

Rechargeable cars have a similar problem if you are supporting them for there no emissions factor. However, the production of the batteries and the electricity to charge them may have other environmental impacts that are just shifted somewhere else.

I am not against trying to protect the environment when it is reasonable and prudent to do so. I do question the amount of impact human production of greenhouse gases contribute to the grand scheme of thing. Some proposed solutions hurt humanity more than they would ever help. A good sized volcano eruption could have a climate impact that would negate our reduction efforts.

Cap and trade will be another tax passed onto consumers. Would it not be better to set a baseline for current industries and then adjust taxes in regard to operating cleaner? The concept of rewarding businesses for doing the right thing is better than taxing for doing wrong.

The big divide between the camps on climate change are a bit to extreme. I think the environmentalists exaggerate the problems while the industries tends to downplay obvious problems. The workable solutions are toward the middle but I think the problem is if you start your stance as moderate you will end up making giving in too much to the extremists when hammering out a compromise.

National Weather Service (4, Insightful)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858191)

What's wrong with the National Weather Service? Part of NOAA.

Re:National Weather Service (1)

bsane (148894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858321)

If we just use that we wouldn't be expanding government, and remember Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution : 'To have the power and responsibility to grow government at any opportunity'

Re:National Weather Service (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858589)

I think the Article I Section 8 bullet point this comes from is: "To create politically-driven departments alongside existing scientific-driven departments"

Re:National Weather Service (2)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858423)

Because weather is not at all the same thing as climate.

Re:National Weather Service (2, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858629)

The difference is merely in time scale. They use most of the same data for starters and the same knowledge and skills. If there is a National Climate Service that is distinct from the National Weather Service, it should be under the NOAA.

Kind of like the ... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858253)

Kind of like the War Department that morphed into the Defense Department when there wasn't a war anymore. But look how much we've benefited from a pervasive and powerful military industrial complex!

At least the military threat to our country was OCCASIONALLY not contrived...

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration? (0)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858285)

How about using the agency that's job already IS monitoring climate, and meteorology, and just about everything related to the atmosphere and hydrosphere

No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858487)

It's as simple as that.

Wrong Focus (1)

sts3 (1548127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858517)

non-sarcasm:

We don't need to be worried about sea levels.. God never intended for us to worship the earth.

Proverbs 8:29 -
"When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth"

Genesis 8:22 -
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

yeah, we do (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858615)

Even with the sun's output/sunspots being at record lows, and even in spite of this past winter, we're still well above 1990's temps. Burning fossil fuels, clean or not, still consumes oxygen as it produces co2, and yet we clear-cut a football field of forest every second. The question is... is a drop in the bucket in terms of expense and manpower really too much to ask for when the odds that we're facing a very difficult future are as good as or better than the odds that everything is a-ok. I'd rather err on the side of caution and create a few jobs in the process.

can't kill what you can't pin down (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858639)

There's got to be an agency for climate change so that it can be put on display for the benefit of politicians, get wrapped up in bureaucratic bullshit, and never get anything done. This is no different than a company performing a hostile takeover of a competitor except that the government doesn't have to answer to any antitrust laws.

If there's anything the government should do... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858869)

...then trying to prevent us from a potential global apocalypse seems like a pretty good thing to put on that list.

Does the military want it ? (1, Troll)

bmajik (96670) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858885)

Is it necessary to defend the united states? No?

Then why is it the federal government's job?

Weather forecasting has its roots in military strategy. To the extent that climate forecasting might keep the country safe -- safe from real threats -- I'd support it being a job of the federal government.

I wish people would give up the idea that there is some dispassionate public interest that should be accorded to "scientists", while people holding the same education doing the same work that _dont_ milk from the public teat are shills, etc.

I'll be plain: nobody in the federal government serves _me_. You could fire the entire lot of them and it would be at least 6 months before I noticed. Well, i'd notice all the extra money that is no longer being extorted from me pretty much immediatley. Other than that? Not sure I'd miss em.

Anyway, I'm _shocked_ that a bunch of publicly funded climate activists are pandering for more money and power for climate activism.

I look forward to paying the salaries of a bunch of guys that will argue with each other over how important each of them is. James Hansen really needs some new competition, let's create a new three letter agency!

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