Saturday, April 22, 2017

War on Science? Huh?

OMG.  Today is Earth Day and people (sheep) are marching again.  Why?  Reality says is all about power & money.   President Trump wants to reduce the funding to many science organizations & government departments as a means to rein in waste and limit fraud.  This is viewed as a “ War on Science”.  All media gave extensive coverage to these marches around the country, which is OK.  But where was the media this past week during a SCIENTIFIC meeting here in New Orleans, the National Hurricane Conference?  What used to have satellite trucks from all the hurricane prone markets barely saw 10 of us media folk there, and 4 were from NOLA.   I see a double standard here.   Cover the agenda you want to support, but ignore the REAL science that is taking place.   Several of my friends attending the conference voiced their concern about all the government grants being focus on social media.   We fund too many programs with questionable missions.  Reminds me of when I was back in Ann Arbor in the 60s and my Professor had a government grant to study Air pollution.  No, the grant wasn’t for how to reduce or eliminate air pollution, but it was how high does the smoke stack need to be built so that the pollution will be dissipated downstream from the source to not cause health problems!   A total waste of government funding back then as we learned later that the pollution traveled hundreds of miles from the source.  The climate modelers have been having a 20 year run of feeding at the public trough, but they have hardly ever been questioned about their accuracy, or lack of it.    I don’t care which political party you support, but if you don’t think our government doesn’t waste billions of our tax dollars, then you have never been to any “scientific” meetings.


Which I did last week.  The Hurricane Conference produced several things I didn’t know.  Like the spaghetti plot display that we all see each hurricane season.  I didn’t know that the 3 most accurate models are not included in those plots.  Why, because they come from private sources and are not free to the public.  So the next time you see a local weathercaster use those spaghetti plots, just know they didn’t attend this year’s conference.  Some things I did know were repeated…like did you know the cone of error only captures 2/3 of the past storms and that 1/3 have occurred OUTSIDE the cone?   Some good news.  Back in 1980, the 24 hour error was over 100 miles.  Today that same error is down to 45 miles.  The models have really gotten better on the track forecasting while the intensity forecasting still lags.  Here’s one area where more research money is needed.


Finally, a real cold front is coming.  Yep, might need sweaters and jackets for church in the morning.  The cold won’t last long.  We’ll be back to 80+ by Tuesday.  Stay tuned!

No comments: