Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weather Matters: Whether We Weather The Weather Underground or Above?

I posted yesterday about weather, and the torrents of rain in southwestern Mexico.  Fortunately the casualty rate due to the mudslides was less than feared, but the region has been devastated and as many as 300 homes buried.

Tropical Storm Nicole is barreling up the east coast, and should entertain us on Long Island Sound tomorrow with a bit of wind and rain.  Storms are beautiful, casualties and damage not so.  Meteorology does matter indeed, in that it can save lives.  However a larger point is at hand.

Two man-made disasters threaten ours and many other species.  Nukes and global warming.  Nukes are unfortunately only in the hands of policy makers(not a reliable place for them, to say the least-how 'bout eliminating them--the Obama administration has set that as official U.S. policy for the first time since the civilian targets Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed by the U.S. in 1945).

Global warming was indeed put on the map by Al Gore.  He may not have invented the internet, as he once claimed, but he did have an election stolen from him by one vote(5-4 party line US Supreme Court vote) and he did win the Nobel prize for advancing the facts of climate change.  To the point that even conservatives no longer try denying it's reality.

Generally speaking, those in the scientific community go unrepresented staff-wise in the news media, especially the broadcast media.  They are usually represented by meteorologists who wind up doing all kinds of other science duties, since hard science does not result in the desired demographic numbers NBC, Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner's successors desire.

Prominent meteorologists, both local and national, tend to know their science and tend to advance certain causes when given the opportunity.  One such cause is the reduction of carbon emissions asap, because they know the damage already done and the damage being done and the damage that will be done.  As a group, these people have done much to advance many good causes.  Including investment in tsunami warning devices since the last devastating one a few years ago.  Also in tornado warning devices and systems in areas prone to twisters.  Advocating for scientific research funds.  Improving relief capabilities during disasters, especially post-Katrina.  And persistently reminding us of the imminence of the climate change threat.

Not organized in any sense, this loose confederation of on-air and off-camera weather experts are doing much to save the world, quietly, subtly and every day.  So to this small army of motivated experts, I say thank you.

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