Skyepony's WunderBlog

Weather Modification Bill~on to the Senate

By: Skyepony, 3:47 PM GMT on October 10, 2005

Came across some stuff about the weather modification bill~

U.S. Senate Bill 517 and U.S. House Bill 2995, a bill that would allow experimental weather modification by artificial methods and implement a national weather modification policy, does not include agriculture or public oversight, is on the �fast track� to be passed early in 2006.

This bill is designed to implement experimental weather modification. The appointed Board of Directors established by this bill does not include any agricultural, water, EPA, or public representatives, and has no provisions for Congressional, State, County, or public oversight of their actions or expenditures.

This experimental weather modification bill will impact residents across the United States, not just in California. Many current and ongoing weather modification programs (47 listed by NOAA in 2005), including the one in Wyoming that is designed to increase the snowpack, may be diverting rainwater away from Oklahoma and Texas, two states that are currently fighting fires caused by a lack of rainfall. We have no idea what the unintended consequences of the Wyoming action or other experimental weather modification programs might be now or in the future.

This bill is out of the committee & on to the Senate ~link

Here is a link to the bill

Final results for proposed policy change that would stop NWS & etc from duplicating the weather info that the private sector could provide. Looked okay with NWS, not treading on TV & radio's markets by not requiring NWS forecast being used unless the weather is extreme. The public has free access through other mediums as well as the same types of access as the private sector, when it comes to the multible wonders that NWS has to offer.

Basically only 138 people commented (shame shame, after all our hard work & Dr Masters urgings). Though I noticed wunderground was mentioned more than once in the comments:) 128 against (yeah), from the public. 7 for, including a long letter from the weather channel. 1 completly off topic. & 2 against because it wasn't clearly stated well enough that the government would hand over all the weather info to privite industry & stop forecasting all together ~ 1 was accuweather & the other was National Council of Meteroligists (who by the way recomends NOAA not only stop forecasting but to help privite industry find the most profitable ways to package info for private industry to sell back to us).

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The Interactive Weather Information Network (IWIN) has been proposed for termination. NWS will accept comments on the proposed termination from Nov 1, 2005 to January 31, 2006 ~HERE~ The site boasts: over One BILLION served since 1997 and over 10,000 Web sites on the Internet link directly into the IWIN system. It's a pretty nifty site. Alot of their reasons for the termination sound familiar:
~Information on IWIN is available on other NWS websites;
~Termination of IWIN is in line with planned consolidation of NWS web farms;
~Allow NWS to focus dissemination efforts to fewer systems to save resources and allow better focus on mission.

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Many of us has said there is no way they'll privatize the desemination (destributing) of the weather info gathered by govt agencies & govt funded universities. Yes, we have a bill not doing much in committee, but that's just the smoke.

There's also a small bad section in a larger bill that's a great bill conserning the operation of NOAA, NWS & etc. This would allow congress in closed doors to decide the fate of our online free info from NOAA, Navy, NHS & etc. as well as our daily forcasts from NWS.

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The following is in bill S 786 IS1S which is currently in the committee for commerce, science & transportion. If it passes it goes strait to the Senate.

(b) COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR- The Secretary of Commerce shall not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a product or service (other than a product or service described in subsection (a)(1)) that is or could be provided by the private sector unless--

(2) MODE OF ISSUANCE- Data, information, guidance, forecasts, and warnings shall be issued under paragraph (1) through a set of data portals designed for volume access by commercial providers of products or services and by such other mechanisms as the Secretary of Commerce considers appropriate for purposes of that paragraph.

(d) PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN DISCLOSURES- An officer, employee, or agent of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, or any other department or agency of the United States who by reason of that status comes into possession of any weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning that might influence or affect the market value of any product, service, commodity, tradable, or business may not--

(1) willfully impart, whether directly or indirectly, such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning, or any part thereof, before the issuance of such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning to the public under subsection (c); or

(2) after the issuance of such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning to the public under subsection (c), willfully impart comments or qualifications on such weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning, or any part thereof, to the public, except pursuant to an issuance that complies with that subsection.

(e) REGULATIONS- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall prescribe regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

(f) PRODUCT OR SERVICE DEFINED- In this section, the term `product or service' means a product, service, device, or system that provides, senses, or communicates meteorological, hydrological, climatic, solar, or oceanographic data, forecasts, or other similar information.

~A link to all the Senators that sit in this committee, this includes links to the Senator's web sites. There are many, so see if one lives near you;)
E-Mail your Senator

*And there's this*

This bill (below) is a stealth hidden companion bill to the privitization senate bill, if the senate bill is passed along with this bill, the House and Senate can get together in Committee behind closed doors and privitize weather information dissemination, according to provision in Section 5 e quoted below. (personally I think it's where the weather info from the universities would eventually end).

Title: To provide for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Ehlers, Vernon J. [MI-3] (introduced 1/4/2005) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 5/19/2005 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

"Section 5. (e) Public-Private Partnerships- Not less than once every 5 years, the Secretary shall develop and submit to Congress a policy the defines processes for making decisions about the roles of the National Weather Service, the private sector, and the academic community in providing weather -related and climate-related products, technologies, and services . The first such policy shall be completed not less than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act. At least 90 days before each submission of the policy to Congress, the Secretary shall publish the policy in the Federal Register for a public comment period of not less than 60 days."

This would be most detrimental to our safety. The web sites for all govt. weather data would be no more (NWS, NHC, NOAA, etc.) This could also put a halt to the weather info flowing from the universities since many are govt. funded. We would no longer have the access to the Hurricane Hunters raw info as well.

US citizens taxes pay for the gathering of all this info, if this bill passes, we would then pay for it again from privite companies. With the lack of free info the price would be more than it is now. Also we would have access only to the info that the companies chose to allow us to access. If this was limited, it would hamper the abilites of us amature forcasters.

A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the bill threatens to push the weather service back to a "pre-Internet era" � a questionable move in light of the four hurricanes that struck the state last year. Nelson serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has been assigned to consider the bill.

"The weather service proved so instrumental and popular and helpful in the wake of the hurricanes. How can you make an argument that we should pull it off the Net now?" said Nelson's spokesman, Dan McLaughlin. "What are you going to do, charge hurricane victims to go online, or give them a pop-up ad?"

Please feel free to discuss the weather political issues here & please post any info you find on the subject.
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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.