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GOP Government

An Associated Press report tells us NOAA Wasted Millions:

The federal government is spending millions of dollars on a publicity campaign while its hurricane forecasters are struggling with budget cuts, the National Hurricane Center’s director said Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is spending up to $4 million to publicize a 200th anniversary celebration, said Bill Proenza, who heads the hurricane center, part of the National Weather Service, which is a NOAA agency. At the same time, it has cut $700,000 from hurricane research, he said.

“No question about it, it is not justified. It is using appropriated funds for self promotion,” Proenza said in a phone interview while attending the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

NOAA spokesman Anson Franklin said the agency is only spending about $1.5 million on the campaign over two years. He said it is justified to publicize the agency’s mission to a public that is often unaware of its involvement in weather prediction and forecasting.

“It’s part of our responsibility to tell the American people what we do,” Franklin said. “It’s inaccurate and unfair to just characterize this as some sort of self-celebration.”

Facing South reports that even FEMA is upset about what NOAA is doing and that Problems still beset hurricane readiness systems.

NOAA has its logo all over everything, so this has nothing to with telling people who they are. The reality is that the Office of Coastal Survey is going to be 200 years old this year. It got put under the Department of Commerce from the Department of the Treasury about 100 years ago. NOAA is about 137 years old this year. This is image polishing, and a waste of limited resources.

I think someone should tell the spokesweasels at NOAA there are a couple real snarkmeisters at the National Hurricane Center, and if you keep it up you could have every weatherperson in the country laughing at you on camera while talking about the latest hurricane. Anybody who thinks “Avila” wouldn’t put in a snide remark in his hurricane discussions hasn’t been paying attention.


1 Steve Bates { 05.20.07 at 1:45 am }

But Bryan, it’s such a nice logo…

This sickens me. One major coastal city has been destroyed by a hurricane. All of us who live near the Gulf Coast or East Coast (at least) are vulnerable this year to being similarly blown away. Research on hurricanes equals lives and homes saved. But with these guys, it’s always image, never substance. I am growing soooo weary of that. We need adults in charge again, even if they’re imperfect adults. These people are indeed running the government like a business, if you count Enron as a business.

I don’t remember Forecaster Avila in particular, but I have noticed there are distinct differences in writing style among the NHC forecasters. Given the circumstances, snark from the forecasters would be most welcome… to us, at least… and a refreshing contrast to the crap coming out of their bosses’ mouths. Sarcasm beats uncaring disrespect any day.

2 Bryan { 05.20.07 at 9:26 am }

Steve, there are a half dozen senior hurricane forecasters and they are individuals. Each has opinions and they assume they are talking to intelligent people when they write. They can get excited and they don’t mind admitting they are wrong when that happens. Reading them is a course in meteorology.

We all deserve better than having political appointees interfering with the way they do their job.