Consider this: The Amount of Money Spent on the Unsuccessful Attempts to Defeat Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell Was $200 Million. Yet, the Forecasts of the Election’s Outcome Generated By Those Campaigns, and By Independent Pollsters and the News Media, Were Almost All Laughably Wrong!!
A few additional examples:
- Fox News’ “Decision Desk” prediction Election Night that the D’s would pick up 10-15 seats in the House was incredibly wrong. The D’s actually lost 7 to 10 (depending on which network’s projection you use. Not a single Republican incumbent was defeated.
- NBC News/WSJ’s poll for Wisconsin two days before the election was off by 16.
- Quinnipiac Poll for Ohio off by 12.
The same remarkable forecasts were made with Hurricane Zeta: With some areas in the sixth day without power, compare the maps of the forecast power failures (upper map) to the actual power failures (lower map).
The budget of the National Weather Service (capitalizing its investment in weather satellites) is a mere $2 billion per year. In spite of the tremendous value the NWS the creates the agency is nickeled and dimed to death. President Trump has even proposed drastic cuts to its budget!
While literally hundreds of millions are wasted in politics, the NWS doesn’t have enough money to fully deploy its data collection jet when hurricanes threaten!
Roger is 100% correct. My first book was the story of the tremendous societal value of weather science in terms of thousands of lives saved each year, tens of billions of averted property losses and incalculable billions of increased business efficiency.
The reason meteorology often does not receive the respect it deserves is because when we do our jobs well nothing happens. You don’t notice the planes that don’t crash, the trains that are not blown over, and, outside of the immediate area where a tornado occurs, it doesn’t make news unless there are fatalities.