House Quashes Bid for National Climate Service

Monday, 21 Nov 2011 11:57 AM

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The demand for climate information is high, so the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided it was time to create a National Climate Service. But the House of Representatives, fearing it could be source of “propaganda,” put a stop to it, The Washington Post reported.

The idea of a one-stop office for climate information surfaced under the presidency of George W. Bush, and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco now says demand for such information is increasing.
Farmers want to know when to plant, insurers need the data to set rates, and developers want to know about groundwater conditions, the Post reported.

“Our hesitation is that the climate services could become little propaganda sources instead of a science source,” the post quotes Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., as telling Lubchenco at June hearing.

The move had gained the support of Conrad Lautenbacher, Bush’s NOAA chief from 2001 to 2008, along with such groups as the Reinsurance Association of America. The reinsurance group’s head, Franklin Nutter, told the Post, “It’s become clear that historic patterns of natural catastrophes — hurricanes, tornadoes, floods — are not good predictors of future risks.”

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