(What starts as a simple reporting of a news item turns into an editorial rant – the evolution of blog post.)
The Obama Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced yesterday the agency’s plans to launch a National Climate Service aimed at helping business, government, and individuals plan for and better adapt to climate change.
Modeled on the NOAA’s National Weather Service that for 140 years has provided short-range forecasts and environmental information, the National Climate Service aims to provide long-term climate data to assist fisheries managers, farmers, state and local government, renewable energy managers, water resource managers, and many others make better decisions based on likely climate conditions in the future.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, whose department oversees the NOAA, said the new service will provide “user friendly” information that will help businesses and governments adapt to the inevitable coming changes in climate:
Even with our best efforts, we know that some degree of climate change is inevitable,” Locke said. “American citizens, businesses and governments — from local to federal — must be able to rise to the challenges that lie ahead. And that’s where NOAA’s climate service will prove absolutely invaluable.”
Locke hopes that, just as with the National Weather Service, the information provided by the Climate Service will also be a catalyst for innovation in the private information sector, citing the Weather Channal as an example of how it has worked in the past.
If you own a ski resort, you’re might be wondering, do you expand or not expand? What’s the impact of climate change on weather patterns at a certain elevation where your ski resort is?” he said. “Some people will take this information to the private sector and focus just on ski resorts.”
The NOAA seeks world domination
Of course, the fact that for some anything to do with the words “climate change” is to be instantly associated with international conspiracy spurs an unimaginative, tired litany in some corners out here in the cold, snowy blogoshere;
“Will no one rid us of this meddlesome AGW nonsense?” writes Clarice Feldman in American Thinker, who I suspect has little experience as a farmer, ski resort owner, fisheries manager, water resource manager… Comments like Feldman’s seem designed to do little more than tow a certain political line without having to think about it too much. She completely misses the point that the service is designed for climate change adaptation for those most effected by it, no matter the source or cause of it.
Talk to a farmer in North Dakota and they may express doubt about “Al Gore and all this global warming stuff,” but they also say in the very next sentence that growing conditions have changed, the weather isn’t like it used to be. Instead, people like Feldman only use climate as a political football, irrespective of the real issue at hand and its complexity.
Nobody’s talking about cap and trade, it isn’t telling anyone what to do. Like the Weather Service, it is only a source of information. The climate is changing, no matter what you ascribe the source of that change to be. The notion that forming a National Climate Service will “concentrate ever more money and power in the hands of an international ruling class” is laughably ludicrous – based on absolutely nothing.
All this from a National Climate Service? Administered under the NOAA? Feldman shovels it out there nonetheless, red meat for those that would lap it up.
But I digress (sorry, mindless comments like Clarice Feldman’s make me cranky).
The new Climate Service (in its quest for world domination) will consolidate existing resources within the NOAA, including the National Data Center, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and the Weather Service’s Climactic Data Center.
Even while the debate rages (or doesn’t) on Capital Hill about proposed efforts to mitigate anthropogenic global warming, there is a real and growing need for an integrated source of climate information that helps users adapt to the already observable changes in climate. The federal government is increasingly called upon by state government, local municipalities, and private industry for help “understanding how the shifting climate will affect their operations.”
The idea of a National Climate Service has been discussed for years, and the concept has been approved by both president Obama and former president George W. Bush (don’t tell Feldman). Also endorsing the new Climate Service is Bush’s former NOAA administrator and president and CEO of Duke Energy, James E. Rogers.
The NOAA hopes to have the service fully up and running by October 1st. To get the ball rolling, NOAA has launched its Climate Services website. Be careful.