Today, the House of Representatives is debating and voting on additional aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) — who had in the past said that global warming is a “hoax” — sponsored an amendment to cut funding for forecasting and storm modeling from the bill. Here’s how he justified his amendment:
BROUN: Our hearts go out to the victims who have suffered from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. However, in the wake of large storms like this, governments’ knee-jerk reaction is often to throw money at forecasting or storm modeling in order to prevent widespread damage in the future. Unfortunately, even with the best imaginable system, forecasting systems, we would not have been able to prevent the structural damages which resulted from this particular storm. Yet here we are.
Although storm forecasting may not be able to prevent all structural damage, it can help save lives. “By improving our forecasts, we can alert the public, emergency managers, air carriers, utility companies and others sooner so they can prepare more effectively for significant storms, and save lives, property and money,” said National Center for Environmental Protection Chief Science Officer and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps Capt. Barry Choy in a recent press release.