Politics
Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Among the most consequential impacts of the government shutdown are the strain and diminution of capacity to the National Weather Service (NWS) operations, upon which all public and private daily weather forecasts are based. 

Why This Matters: One-third of the U.S. economy is impacted by the weather.  Indeed, as The Post points out, that means many sectors such as transportation, energy, national security, agriculture, the stock market, not to mention forecasts of extreme weather — are now operating on less than the highly accurate forecasts they usually can rely upon. And imagine if we have a “billion dollar” storm such as a “snowmaggedon” while the shutdown drags on, with lives and profits at risk, which seems increasingly probable as we are now squarely in winter snow season.  Offices like the one that Saha works in are down to skeleton staff — only one or two rather than dozens.  This weather forecasting degradation is much riskier to the general public than any risk we face from the lack of a feckless border wall segment.  

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Climate change back on the agenda in Washington

Climate change back on the agenda in Washington

The new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives was sworn in last week and they’ve already set an agenda for hearings addressing climate change. Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) as well as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) have already scheduled hearings that will put climate change back into the political dialogue on Capitol Hill.

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Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

As of last Friday, the government shutdown has gone on for 13 days, with no end in sight. The shutdown has meant that national parks have been severely understaffed as trash and restroom waste have been allowed to pile up. As the Washington Post explained, no one is at the gate. No one is collecting a fee. The visitor centers are closed. There are some law enforcement and emergency personnel on site, but certainly nothing as standard as a park ranger who can answer a question.

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