I’d ask how all of you out East were holding up in the big storm, but apparently three million of you are without power and aren’t going to be able to read or reply for a while. When you do finally get back online, at least you’ll find this entertaining.
Fox News thought it would be clever to invite an atheist on, ask him what he was doing to prepare for the hurricane, and then sneer at his spiritual poverty. Unfortunately for them, they got David Silverman, who proceeded to show that the talk show hosts were cretins. Shrill, angry, obtuse cretins.
And if you really want to see more Fox News inanity, here’s an opinion piece in which a couple of thinktank troglodytes argue that we don’t really need a national weather service. Why? Because it’s sometimes wrong, because if it really was useful then private industry would provide the service, because it’s exploited for political purposes, and because it costs too much. It’s all bog-standard libertarian bullshit.
Weather is complicated and you’re never going to get perfect accuracy: the weather is always predicted with an awareness of the range of error possible. Commercial weather agencies rely on data from the wide range of federally established monitoring stations — not just locally, but internationally, at sea, and in space. The private agencies don’t actually want NWS/NOAA to end, they just want them to stop distributing their information to the public for free (amusingly, AccuWeather has tried to copyright forecasts taken verbatim from the National Weather Service).
The accusation that the NWS/NOAA service is used for political purposes is asserted without evidence, but I can guess what they’re talking about: Republicans and Libertarians hate the fact that there’s all this data pouring out of weather services that supports the fact of climate change. In their minds, reality is a conspiracy to undermine their ideology.
These pundits also expect their audience to be innumerate.
As it stands today, the public is forced to pay more than $1 billion per year for the NWS. With the federal deficit exceeding a trillion dollars, the NWS is easily overlooked, but it shouldn’t be.
Yes? So the cost of the National Weather Service is equal to less than 0.1% of the budget deficit?
These goons are only outdone by Ron Paul, who sees no virtue in forecasting and emergency response plans from agencies like FEMA: he thinks “We should be like 1900“. Hands off, just let people cope as well as they can in areas affected by natural disasters.
They could sit around and pray without federal assistance, after all.