Hurricane Sandy and the waning finances of U.S. meteorology

In this image taken today by NOAA's GOES East, Hurricane Sandy is seen on the east coast of the United States. The storm was expected to continue moving parallel to the Southeast coast most of the day and approach the coast of the mid-Atlantic states by Monday night, before reaching southern New England later in the week. AP Photo/NOAA

In this image taken today by NOAA's GOES East, Hurricane Sandy is seen on the east coast of the United States. The storm was expected to continue moving parallel to the Southeast coast most of the day and approach the coast of the mid-Atlantic states by Monday night, before reaching southern New England later in the week. AP Photo/NOAA

J. Marshall Shepherd and John Knox, both meteorological experts at the University of Georgia, have turned this op-ed noting that Hurricane Sandy is being tracked by a U.S. climate-and-weather network – largely funded by the federal government – that is coming under increasing financial pressure:

In the waning weeks of hurricane season, nature continues to provide tricks rather than treats. Hurricane Sandy, a storm with the lowest central pressure of the 2012 hurricane season, is bearing down on the East Coast of the United States.

The trick is determining the extent of meteorological, societal, and political impacts from Hurricane Sandy as it transitions to a mega-Halloween storm. Campaign activities have been altered in key states, early voting may be affected, and sustained power outages could linger through Election Day. Here, in Georgia, the coldest temperatures of the season will appear this week in response to the storm as well.

“Frankenstorm,” the name handed Sandy by the media, will interact with a weather system moving east toward it and poses difficult challenges for forecasters. It also has the potential to create unprecedented weather conditions for the East Coast.

What would a megastorm look like? It could be a so-called “perfect” storm, but worse than its October 1991 namesake, with hurricane-strength winds, drenching rains, severe coastal flooding and even heavy snow impacting the populous mid-Atlantic and northeast corridor.

How do we know this megastorm could happen? Advances in numerical weather forecasting during the past several decades have extended our ability to see into the future. In September 1938, before all of these advances, a hurricane devastated Long Island and much of New England. No hurricane warnings were ever issued prior to its arrival. Today, thanks to satellites, weather balloons, supercomputers and skilled forecasters, we are often able to anticipate hazardous weather up to a week in advance.

The computer forecast models are in consensus on the megastorm diagnosis at the time of this writing. The chance that the storm will treat us to a deviation out to sea is increasingly unlikely. But while we wait, the various scenarios provide a backdrop for addressing some critical issues facing the field of weather-climate analysis, as well as the safety and economic interests of U.S. citizens.

Recently, GOES-13, the United States’ main weather satellite monitoring the Eastern Seaboard and Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane basin, experienced technical difficulties and was taken offline. Luckily, a “spare” satellite was in orbit and was able to provide seamless coverage until GOES-13 was reinstated.

What if we didn’t have that spare? Or what if budget pressures were setting up the real possibility of significant gaps in satellite coverage in the coming five to 10 years? These are not hypothetical questions. The National Research Council recently called attention to the consequences of a degrading or waning research and operational satellite fleet.

While satellites provide a watchful eye on the storm, computer models are essential for predicting where the storm is going and how strong it will be. Many National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA satellite data sets are fed into models and provide essential input. Hurricane track forecasts have significantly improved in the past 40 years. However, intensity forecasts are still imperfect.

Even with Sandy, there were unexpected ebbs and flows in intensity in the Caribbean Sea. Policymakers must continue to adequately support satellite, aircraft, and observational capacity. Such investments pay for themselves multi-fold through saved lives, property, and dollars from needless evacuations and other planning costs. The best estimates are that taxpayers reap $5 or more from every $1 spent on weather forecasts.

We must also continue to ensure that our world-class weather modeling centers have the necessary funding and manpower to implement the most advanced modeling and data assimilation techniques. Numerical weather forecasting was invented in the United States, but today other countries have extremely capable modeling capacity.

In Great Britain, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts was targeting an East Coast landfall days ahead of the best American model. With the appropriate resources, the U.S. could firmly establish itself as the leader in weather forecasting and increase our lead time for weather disaster preparation, if the public and political will exists to do so. The cost would be peanuts compared to most other government programs. The entire budget of the National Weather Service—everything and everyone, from computers to carpet—is less than $1 billion per year.

Improvements in track forecasting, intensity changes, and storm genesis often come from collaborations among the government, private sector, and academia. Scientific meetings are key forums to share scientific research, vet new methodologies, and forge new partnerships.

Yet, recently, our federal meteorologists and other scientists have been denied access to such meetings due to budget or administrative mandates. Even worse, some have suggested scientific meetings are a waste of taxpayer dollars. It is reasonable to ask how well we would be able to predict or assess a storm like Sandy without the knowledge and capacity gained through meetings held by the American Meteorological Society or the National Weather Association.

So as Sandy bears down on the U.S., key issues confronting the weather-climate enterprise are on the table. Most taxpayers clearly recognize the impact that weather events like Sandy and the “ghost” of Sandy megastorm can have on life, property, and the economy. In austere times, it is critical that neither required fiscal discipline nor short-sightedness jeopardize U.S. citizens. We should not let an obsession with penny-pinching trick us into thinking that a penny saved on weather forecasts is a penny earned. Instead, it is nickels and dimes and dollars lost, as well as lives lost. Let’s treat ourselves to a safer future instead.

Marshall Shepherd is a professor of geography and director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia and president-elect of the American Meteorological Society. John Knox is an associate professor of geography and a recipient of the National Weather Association’s highest research award, the T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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77 comments Add your comment

Hypocrite Hunter

October 28th, 2012
11:50 am

I don’t think anyone is suggesting this isn’t important. The suggestion is that there just might be a smarter way to do this other than spending $1b to be the “leader”. The outside the box idea is that weather satellites could be a genuinely cooperative effort among nations, that satellites might not have to be duplicated, that weather balloons can be shared…that military requirements overlap civilian interests in places and that this could be a genuine starting spot for some new approaches. Conservative or Liberal, global warming alarmist or skeptic, we can certainly talk about ideas that might make both an improvement in the process and possibly reduce the costs without necessarily being nationalistic or looking to government for solutions.

Jussthinkin'

October 28th, 2012
11:59 am

Hypocrite Hunter; Your “outside-the-box” thinking has much merit and we should explore the possibilities for universal cooperation among nations. having said that, however, think about satellite-sharing and weather balloons and, of course, cross-cooperation with the military; good luck with those ideas!

Sunraynews | Top US news

October 28th, 2012
12:03 pm

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

cc

October 28th, 2012
12:03 pm

“What if we didn’t have that spare? Or what if budget pressures were setting up the real possibility of significant gaps in satellite coverage in the coming five to 10 years?”

There is no problem here. Obama needs merely to make use of the peace-loving muslims who have added so much to our rich national heritage in the past. He can import a few more to handle all weather prognostication.

After all, he saved a lot of money refusing assistance to the Americans who died in Benghazi.

Kris

October 28th, 2012
12:16 pm

Want to take bets as to how many weather man/woman we will see blown away by Sandy?

2 from the weather channel.
1 each from the big 3.

CNN and fox good …..

LeeH1`

October 28th, 2012
12:35 pm

We don’t need to pay taxes for this indulgence. We can just endure the storms as they come, and not worry about having to plan or have the government tell us what to do. During Thomas Jefferson’s day they didn’t need satellites, and they did quite well.

All this money is simply going into the pockets of government bureaucrats and the businesses which don’t need it. If the businesses did need it, they would pay for it themselves. No need to make the taxpayers pay for their profits!

Ol' Timer

October 28th, 2012
12:40 pm

@cc — Just a note: you’re leading in the Dumbest Post of the Month contest.

Bill Berry

October 28th, 2012
12:45 pm

NOAA and more specifically the NWS is an example of how all federal government agencies have the potential to get the most bang out of their budget; that said, it is by no means perfect. I remember when we had a NWS office here in Columbus…it’s gone now. Today, many people believe the Weather Channel based in Atlanta is the face of the NWS; it is not. However, in many ways it is its voice, but lets not confuse who has the real responsibility when it comes to warnings..it is the NWS. The authors are correct, the ECMWF…the European global model has done a terrific job with this sytem; the GFS has performed excellent as well with the track of Sandy to date but it did not foresee the left turn when the ECMWF was what we call the outlier…the lone “voice” of all the model ensembles. Hat goes off to HPC, the long range forecasters in discussions dating back to before the recent cold front that reached the Caribbean that there was a possible tropical cyclone that the models were hinting at…it verified! I remember when we had a weather office at the Columbus airport and how we collaborated with them over at our weather office at Lawson Field (Ft Benning). One of the things we talked about was the redundancy in NOAA and in the USAF and USN. Technology has evolved to eliminate the need for human weather observers, today both observing and forecasting are taught at Keesler AFB, MS and not as two distinct training programs as it use to be in the old days. While the technology has been able to reduce the number of people in meteorology, the technology need people to interpret it. I don’t pretend to know if NOAA’s budget can be trimmed anymore than it is, but I do know it provides a vital and life-saving mission and that alone defines it as an agency that must be smartly funded and not be made victim to today’s political winds. Don’t get me wrong there is redundancy in this agency too but it must be asked by us, citizens how much more a reduction of budget before we really degrade NOAA and the NWS to do their mission…these folks save lives. Our politicians we be wise to concentrate on where the real fat is, they’ve pared NOAA enough. I hope this storm provides the catalyst to remind people what really matters…the damage expected to be inflicted on infrastructure will be way more than what is saved by asking NOAA to run on a frugal budget.

cc

October 28th, 2012
12:58 pm

Ol’ Timer@12:40 pm:

Your opinion means so very much to me . . .

zeke

October 28th, 2012
1:16 pm

I sure was hoping that when NBC/GE bought the Weather Channel that the headlong indoctrination of “man made global warming” would stop in favor of actual weather reporting and professional predictions not some agenda based assumptions! Just look at the current storm. # or 4 days ago they did not know where it was going, how strong it would be or if it would just die out! but, they want us to believe that they can tell us that the current climate cycle, as has happened since the beginning of time, is caused by activity of man! they have used corrupted data, false reporting and such to promote their scam! The founder of the Weather Channel resigned from the national professional organization under protest for their lies and false assumptions! The weather persons cannot even accurately tell us next week’s weather, how can they tell us next decade’s or next century’s??

I suppose that millions of years ago when the only industrial activity was sharpening a rock to make a crude knife or spear, that man caused to hot climate?? IDIOTS!

Georgia

October 28th, 2012
1:18 pm

Jim Galloway need not worry about losing a weather satellite or even two. I am available 24/7 365 with my tin foil hat, which picks up all weather related ionization of solar particles. I stay deep in my mom’s basement to filter out all local white noise which ensures the accuracy of my forecasts. Which brings up a weather problem that has yet to be solved, but here goes. In the produce section at grocery stores, they have a simulated thunder storm to keep the veggies fresh with a mist of water. First you hear the thunder, then comes the downpour. Niagra Falls. I mean, last week, in front of the pole beans, these two vietnamese people started a tet offensive. I barely got out of there. But seriously, there’s hardly any mist warning, and my hand usually gets wet, reaching for a tomato. I’ve already had two fake rolexes rusted out, man. Solution? I’m suggesting a doppler radar tower in the brussel sprouts.

Another early warning system is needed in the Depends isle, because if you hear a loud noise there, that ain’t thunder, baby.

Clean up on isle three.

Michael

October 28th, 2012
1:27 pm

When Santorum was in the Senate he tried to get weather funding cut so that private industry could take over the job. Of course, Accuweather in Pennsylvania was his constituent and assuredly wrote the proposed legislation.

carlosgvv

October 28th, 2012
1:32 pm

Funding for science related needs will become increasingly scarce under a Romney-Tea Party government. The majority of their electorate won’t mind however since they believe “we’re just strangers here, heaven is our home”.

Shark Punch!

October 28th, 2012
1:32 pm

This argument can be boiled down to:

People-who-are-not-affected: OMG this is a waste of my tax dollars!
People-who-are-affeceted: OMG why didn’t the gov’t spend more tax dollars on this!

Shark Punch!

October 28th, 2012
1:33 pm

Enter your comments here

Real Athens

October 28th, 2012
1:39 pm

“We don’t need to pay taxes for this indulgence. We can just endure the storms as they come, and not worry about having to plan or have the government tell us what to do. During Thomas Jefferson’s day they didn’t need satellites, and they did quite well.”

For real? Please tell me this is satire.

FYI: the life expectancy of a white male in 1850 (at the time of birth was 48 years old). It increased by 6 years if you made it to 10 years old.

In a directly related matter, before modern meteorology, the deadliest hurricane in history occurred in Galveston TX in 1900.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galveston_Hurricane

Compare the death toll of it and any of the modern, category 4 storm and doing “quite well” gains relevance.

Jeff Burdick

October 28th, 2012
1:42 pm

Tired of saturation coverage of the “Frankenstorm” and looking for a funny angle on Hurricane Sandy? How about this: What is the Hurri-Simulator 4000 and why do media outlets use it to train for hurricane coverage? http://www.chicagonow.com/fluffington-post/2012/10/hurricane-sandy/

cc

October 28th, 2012
1:43 pm

Georgia@1:18 pm:

Great post! Thanks for making my day!

honested

October 28th, 2012
1:48 pm

Real Athens,

Agreed!
Of course, there is a sick attitude in this country that ‘those with the assets know what is best for all of us”.
I guess that’s why they support ALL military spending that protects THEIR assets.

JoeGobSnobber

October 28th, 2012
2:10 pm

Look, it’s very simple. This is happening because you idiots are voting a Mormon into the White House. Romney needs to go home, change his magic underwear, and shut his yap.

NotATeaPartier

October 28th, 2012
2:33 pm

Republican-TeaParty-Tinfoil hat logic: We need to cut funding for science, FEMA, meteorology, etc and anything that helps the “dependents” here at home and increase our military funding so that we can fund a couple of more ground wars and “liberate” foreign nations and then provide their citizens all the benefits we are trying to cut here at home.

Joe

October 28th, 2012
2:35 pm

If Romney wins, you can be assured that federal funding to weather programs will be cut. Fellow Bain alumnus, and Chairman/CEO of The Weather Channel David Kenny, will be happy to continue to beef up TWC’s scientific and analytic capabilities and sell the information to governments and businesses around the world.

It’s a good plan. A government function privatized, increased profitability and jobs for an American business, reallocation of taxpayer dollars to more pressing needs.

NotATeaPartier

October 28th, 2012
2:48 pm

The Weather Channel recently announced a re-org and layoffs. Some more Bain-style outsourcing, layoffs and middle-class life destruction.

Independent voter

October 28th, 2012
2:51 pm

joe… exactly we need to privatize more Gov’t programs to save $$$ and be more efficient tax payer money

Old timer

October 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

Keep in mind….there is a limit yo our money.

MandyMarie

October 28th, 2012
2:54 pm

You may think that’s a good idea, Joe, until it’s privatized such that the average American has to SUBSCRIBE to receive their weather information. “Oh, you didn’t get that tornado warning and your home was destroyed? Well, if you’d paid 49.99 for our ‘Severe Weather Warning’ package, you would have gotten the information when you needed it!”

Furthermore, what many don’t realize is that The Weather Channel, Accuweather, Wunderground, and all other private weather companies obtain their data from the government funded National Weather Service. All the radars, all the satellites, all the field observations, the entire climate record, all of those are manned by the National Weather Service. You want to get rid of the NWS? Fine. Have fun with your weather sans radar imagery and timely watches and warnings, and you better hope you don’t live in “flyover country” either, because then you’ll likely be ignored.

And, ‘reallocation of taxpayer dollars to more pressing needs’? I don’t know what’s more pressing than the protection of American lives and property. But, that’s just me. The NWS is funded UNDER 1 billion dollars a year. That’s less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee per American per year for accessible, potentially life-saving weather information. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Independent voter

October 28th, 2012
2:57 pm

Many Bain co’s needed to be reorganized or they would be completely out of business…. examples Clear Channel Burger King, Dominos, Staples, Toys R Us, Warner Music, Bloomin Brands, Burlington Coat Fact., AMC Ent and on and on…. just like Soc. Sec. today !!

jay

October 28th, 2012
3:23 pm

Write a program, flip a switch on, and fire the meteoroligists supping at the federal trough. Suffer like everyone else, the joyride on taxpayers is over. Jay

double

October 28th, 2012
3:25 pm

@ 12:40 pm- cc has my vote.

jay

October 28th, 2012
3:25 pm

Write a program, flip a switch on, and fire the meteoroligists supping at the federal trough. Time for U to suffer like no federal workers . Jay

Independent voter

October 28th, 2012
3:27 pm

Women, minorities, 20 somethings… un and under employment is over 15 %… so they can’t pay back student loans… disability and food stamps.. way up !!!

Clueless

October 28th, 2012
4:17 pm

It was all about a video.
Just ask Obama.

Carl

October 28th, 2012
4:17 pm

Obama lied and 4 Americans died.

jconservative

October 28th, 2012
4:22 pm

I use a forked stick to find water; same thing should work on a hurricane shouldn’t it?

carlosgvv

October 28th, 2012
4:45 pm

Carl – 4:17

Bush and Cheney lied and, so far, thousands of Americans have died.

NotATeaPartier

October 28th, 2012
5:11 pm

Whats with the Breitbart commenters on this article? What does Libya have to do with the weather service? And where were you guys when Bush was leading thousands of our soldiers to death in a war under false pretense?

Wilbur

October 28th, 2012
5:13 pm

What is this guy’s point? Some meteorologist was not allowed to go to a fancy symposium? I read looking for a fact…like our budgets have been reduced from x to y over this timeframe. All that he said is that meteorology is very important and your should impoverish yourself or borrow money to allow us to spend whatever we want. This guy is a clown although likely a highly educated and intelligent one. It’s just that he is greedy for our money.

Hillbilly D

October 28th, 2012
5:33 pm

I’d be happy if the Weather Channel would just go back to showing the weather.

cc

October 28th, 2012
5:48 pm

The coming months will force an austerity move in government. Unnecessary functions will be abolished and duplication of services will be eliminated. Wherever possible, services will be combined in order to lower governmental expenditures. Anticipation of these actions leads me to make the following recommendation. As most people get their daily weather forecast prior to leaving home in the mornings, It would make sense to combine the weather forecast with Sesame Street. Big Bird can serve as the weather forecast reader. Burt and Ernie can do the actual prognostication of the weather and will probably be just as accurate with their forecasts as the National Weather Service has been with theirs. After Thanksgiving, a replacement must be found for Big Bird, however, as he is to be the main course of the Thanksgiving Day meal.

China's GOP: Cripple US Science as an Investment Strategy

October 28th, 2012
6:14 pm

For the literate, it is quite clear that the investor class and their shills are making a lot of money moving US jobs offshore. If the GOP reign of ignorance continues, the US won’t be a science and technology leader, and soon all those Asian and Persian students packing the engineering and math classes will be migrating to better universities and opportunity elsewhere. Maybe that’s what Romeny’s self-deportation meme is all about. Cripple technology and science here in America, and going forward, we’ll be Communist China’s ultimate Wal-Mart marketplace. Totally dependent on the money changers and their offshore partners.REally–no GOP Congressman accepts science as real, they think it’s liberal. Meanwhile, they’re imposing their own GOP Evangelical Sharia Law. Ralph Reed as a Mullah…

When the oldest continuously published American magazine, SCIENTIFIC American, no less, calls the Anti-science agenda and movement the greatest threat to AMerican Democracy, and then one of the oldest most esteemed international magazines, Nature, has an editorial titled Science Scorned, with the subhead: The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.

But who care about the facts–this is inbred Georgia, anti-evolution, promoting private serrated schools with vouchers and private charters, and with congressmen who think science comes from the pits of hell.

Georgia is also the state where you can impregnate by RAPE your sister of daughter and have parental custody rights automatically under law of the offspring–look it up. Laws like that are from the pits of hell, Congressman Broun and Westmoreland, et al.

Ryan/Romney want to deny abortions to rape victims, just like they deny climate change.

Perhaps Georgia is so inbred it’s past the tipping point. Maybe Communist Chinese investors and their Mormons taking over our voucher charter schools and running our prisons would be a good thing. The churches are sure screwing up the state.

cc

October 28th, 2012
6:47 pm

“If the GOP reign of ignorance continues, the US won’t be a science and technology leader”

“The following rankings come from various lists, but they all tell the same story. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), our 15-year-olds rank 17th in the world in science and 25th in math. We rank 12th among developed countries in college graduation (down from No. 1 for decades). We come in 79th in elementary-school enrollment. Our infrastructure is ranked 23rd in the world, well behind that of every other major advanced economy. American health numbers are stunning for a rich country: based on studies by the OECD and the World Health Organization, we’re 27th in life expectancy, 18th in diabetes and first in obesity. Only a few decades ago, the U.S. stood tall in such rankings. No more. There are some areas in which we are still clearly No. 1, but they’re not ones we usually brag about. We have the most guns. We have the most crime among rich countries. And, of course, we have by far the largest amount of debt in the world.”

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2056723,00.html#ixzz2AdTxTI2P

“no GOP Congressman accepts science as real, they think it’s liberal. Meanwhile, they’re imposing their own GOP Evangelical Sharia Law. Ralph Reed as a Mullah…”

That is merely an opinion based on the actions of a relatively few Republicans. An equal or greater number of dimocrat idiots can also be pointed out, but you wouldn’t accept that they are representative of the dimocrat party.

“When the oldest continuously published American magazine, SCIENTIFIC American . . .calls the Anti-science agenda and movement the greatest threat to AMerican Democracy, and . . .Nature, has an editorial titled Science Scorned, with the subhead: The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.”

These are, again, opinions . . .

“this is inbred Georgia . . . you can impregnate by RAPE your sister of daughter and have parental custody rights automatically under law of the offspring–look it up”

Your OPINIONS are duly noted, and I have an opinion of my own: If I were you, I’d refuse to live in this state. Pack up immediately, call a moving company and give them a destination somewhere out of Georgia. You’d be much happier somewhere else, and it would make me happy knowing you were elsewhere.

Real Athens

October 28th, 2012
7:09 pm

Newsflash:

This is an opinion or else you would cite examples.

“An equal or greater number of dimocrat idiots can also be pointed out, but you wouldn’t accept that they are representative of the dimocrat party.”

cc Georgia does give parental rights to rapists

October 28th, 2012
7:30 pm

cc, I appreciate the follow-up, but let’s separate fact from fiction and opinion.

The GOP congressional House members unanimously deny climate change and oppose carbon emission reduction legislation–not supported by an equal number of Democrats. The GOP Presidential candidates all, but for the smarter, bi-partisan Mormon, Huntsman ,who came in last in the GOP polling, ALL oppose acceptance of the fact of man-caused atmospheric changes, aka “climate change’.

Look it up, it’s no opinion that Georgia grants parental rights to RAPISTS who succeed in creating offspring through violence against women. T’s some kind of cracker family planning now endorsed by drove and the GOP. Clearly the GOP National Platform and Georgia GOP platforms support this ongoing sideshow of fighting women having autonomous rights to control their health and bodies. At least 15 GOP national candidates affirm that impregnation by rape would not be legally terminated if the victim chooses so if they get elected. Where’s the opinion, cc?

As to leaving the state, I’m an Atlanta born fifth generation cracker who had rather fight the GOP infidel frauds who are destroying my Georgia. Try to put unnecessary medical devices in my or my family’s bodies and you’ll pay a price, you GOP perverts. Best if all the Ralph Reed pseudo-Christians would go to Planet Kobol with the Mormons, and keep your pervert new laws off our bodies and your corporate pandering politics in your tax manipulating churches. Reed and Rove and their Chinese handlers can run those sweatshops in the US territories they pimp for.

How come Georgia, and the other most federal dependent, least literate states, all so Republican? Maybe they can’t govern themselves and need outside help. Help doesn’t have to come from evangelical frauds, mormon corporations, and communist China. cc.

We real crackers are better of if the GOP rich people worshippers you went back to Florida or Yankee land. WE can smell carpetbagger in the funding of such ideas as Ammendment 1 to Georiga’s constitution. If you have to stay and so worship your money over America’s future, Creflo Dollar has a pew for you.

Their was a reason Christ threw the money changers out of the temple–their stupidity was ruining everything. Same for the GOP money grubbers who are spearheading all these treasonous policies. What frauds. They should self-deport to open of their tax haven islands.

Rafe Hollister

October 28th, 2012
7:43 pm

Well, Georgia does have a Dem Representative that thinks Guam might tip over and spill its inhabitants into the sea, if we keep loading down the island with military assets. Is that lack of training and belief in science or just plain stupidity? Does this lack of science training reflect on the rest of us Georgians?

Real Athens

October 28th, 2012
8:09 pm

“Is that lack of training and belief in science or just plain stupidity?”

How about a “deadpan … facetious metaphor?”

cc, On a lighter note...

October 28th, 2012
8:10 pm

Besides a Georgia family heritage that predates Scientific American’s first issue, 1847, I would stay here in Georgia just for the laughs. Rafe makes a fun point, the hyperbolic remark that a Democrat made about that base in Guam (there to protect Asia from Japan’s military resurgence from WWII) might sink the island by capsizing it, but that’ not nearly as funny, or dangerous than the understanding of reproductive workings and reproductive rights that the Georgia GOP put forth.

Notable are Congressmand Gingrey and Braun, licensed medical doctors in Georgia. Scary, very scary views, but really funny that such nut jobs as these and the Chips (Pearson, Rogers) Grifter Governor Nathan, Banker Jack–Senate banking chair under FDIC indictment, Pro-ATT but anti-science Lynne Westmoreland, Speaker Ralston who called ethics laws a liberal conspiracy, and the great Chip’s microchip implant GOP law and hearing that made national news…we could go on and on and on, but the laughing could cause hiccups, and I’d have to get some Christian speaking in tongues GOP activist to excise tax me in order to stop…

say, didn’t the just trade a state tax cut on electricity to manufacturing plants for a local exist tax on “energy” ? THese GOP old white boys are funny…too funny.

Kris (under the weather)

October 28th, 2012
8:15 pm

All you need is a rock.

This rock is the perfect weather indicator, it
never fails. It is more accurate than your local
weather person. This rock is the living word and
is 100% correct. This is how it works:
a dry rock means fair weather.
a wet rock means it’s raining.
a dusty rock means a dust storm.
a swaying rock means it’s windy.
a shadow under the rock means it’s sunny.
a white rock means it’s snowing.
if the rock is jumping up and down, an
earthquake is upon us.
if the bottom of the rock is under water it’s a
flood.
most beautiful of all, though the rock is not
attached to its’ existence, it doesn’t mind which
of the above is happening.

http://www.windycreek.com/weatherrock.html

A little more intelligent than the morons from the planet Kolob and magic underwear!

Re-elect President OBAMA

cc

October 28th, 2012
8:54 pm

Big Bird is as good as fried.

Obama is toast.

Romney/Ryan 2012!

mike

October 28th, 2012
9:05 pm

Hope that you are wrong cc or else we will end up with fools like yourself running the country.

cc

October 28th, 2012
9:11 pm

Kris (under the weather):

Seriously (just this one time!), hope you feel better soon!

Good night, folks . . .