ONTD Political

From Volcano Monitoring to Tsunami Warning Centers: All a Waste of Tax Payers Money

12:03 pm - 03/11/2011
Instead of monitoring Tsunamis, what Congress should be monitoring is the Tsunami of spending in Washington.

GOP Budget Cuts Would Lead To Furloughs At Tsunami Warning Centers, Undermining Their ‘Ability To React’

Congressional Republicans’ 2011 budget would slash funding for government agencies directly responsible for issuing tsunami warnings and severely reduce the government’s capacity to track and respond to these disasters
, the president of the union that represents employees of the National Weather Service told ThinkProgress today in the wake of the tragic tsunami in the Pacific. The House Republican budget, which was rejected by the Senate this week, would have cut funding to NOAA — the agency directly responsible for tsunami monitoring and warning — restricting the government’s ability to respond.

Dan Sobien, the president of National Weather Service Employees Organization, said in a statement to ThinkProgress that while his agency, a subsidiary of NOAA, has made contingency plans, the GOP cuts would “put considerable stress” on the country’s tsunami monitoring and response systems:
NOAA has put together part of a contingency plan to handle such a massive cut and while it spares tsunami buoys, all other coastal buoys are non funded and there will be furloughs at both Tsunami Warning Centers (TWC). These furloughs will take away the TWC’s ability to upgrade tsunami models and will put considerable stress on watchstanders ability to react. This plan unfortunately only account for about half the cuts that need to be made, about 60 of the 126 million that needs to be cut. While today’s disaster is of particular concern to everyone, we are just now entering tornado season and soon will be hurricane season and our organization firmly believes any effort to defund and dismantle our nations early warning system for all disasters is very unwise.
These furloughs could result in “a very heightened risk for loss of life,” a National Weather Service forecaster told CNBC. Indeed, the GOP’s cuts would have a significant impact on the nation’s disaster preparedness:
$1.2 billion cut in funding for NOAA, the government agency with “primary responsibility for providing tsunami warnings to the nation, and a leadership role in tsunami observations and research.”

$1.5 billion cut in grants for first-responders to disasters of “mass destruction.”

12 percent cut to Emergency Management Planning Grants, which provide critical funds to help communities conduct “effective catastrophic all-hazards planning.”

Closure of local National Weather Service offices and a furlough of NOAA employees for more than 27 days at a time. The closures would essentially silence the government’s warning system during disasters.

– Cuts in NOAA’s satellite maintenance budget, putting satellites out of commission more quickly and crippling the government’s ability to track tsunami wave patterns, hurricanes and even routine weather patterns.

– Additional cuts to FEMA and the Coast Guard.
According to a Ocean Conservancy fact sheet obtained by ThinkProgress, at least a third of US GDP is concentrated in weather sensitive industries and the GOP’s cuts could leave large sectors of the economy vulnerable to natural disasters. The cuts would also deny daily weather information to more than 30 million Americans, and reduce the military’s access to weather information before combat missions.

For now, funding remains in place and agencies have been able to respond properly to today’s crisis. Negotiations over the agencies’ budget are now taking place in the Senate, where at least one Tea Party senator, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), has argued that federal relief for tsunami victims is unconstitutional.

Why is it that we dont have a Tsunami Tag?!
spinnigold 11th-Mar-2011 08:04 pm (UTC)
It seems rather pertinent that this came up on my Twitter feed..

brewsternorth 11th-Mar-2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
Hah, I think that got retweeted into my timeline too.
celtic_thistle 11th-Mar-2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
simonejester 12th-Mar-2011 07:15 am (UTC)

When Australia got hit by Yasi, one of the first things one of my friends there said she was glad of was the strict building codes there because it made the damage and loss of life so much less.
shirozora 11th-Mar-2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
How fucking stupid are these people?

I just. I just can't.
victorialupin 11th-Mar-2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
I swear, they always seem to promote cuts for stuff like this right before something awful happens. Didn't the same thing happen with Bobby Jindal mocking volcano monitering?
serendipity_15 11th-Mar-2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
I like to think of it as the universe's way of telling them to sit down and stfu.
lightbird777 11th-Mar-2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
I agree. Not that I expect these people would actually listen though.
shadownlite 12th-Mar-2011 05:23 am (UTC)
This so much.
bluebombardier 11th-Mar-2011 08:46 pm (UTC)

Yup. Eyjafjallajökull went BOOM two months later.
teacup_werewolf 11th-Mar-2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Wooooow GOP really?
ruby_stevens 11th-Mar-2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
But having good infrastructure and strict building codes hurts Libertarian Jesus's feelings! Yeah, I can't anymore with these kinds of people either.
krazykat88 11th-Mar-2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
umi_mikazuki 11th-Mar-2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
c_yo_yus 11th-Mar-2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, just keep cutting until we're all fucked in the ass by the planet you're actively helping to destroy.
grace_om 11th-Mar-2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), has argued that federal relief for tsunami victims is unconstitutional.

How does he work that one out? Does the constitution allow relief for hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, or earthquake victims -- but not tsunamis?

I wonder how many of these bright sparks we have in congress could pass a high school exit exam with questions on civics, not to mention science.

whatisurdamage 12th-Mar-2011 12:20 am (UTC)
Says the Senator from a state that will never have to worry about being hit by one. Color me surprised!
simonejester 12th-Mar-2011 07:21 am (UTC)
They should call 'em "tidal waves" or something in the literature. Maybe "tsunami" sounds too OMGFOREIGN.
jiaren_shadow 12th-Mar-2011 01:03 am (UTC)
I love the logic these folks cling to so desperately.

Schools having decent funding to pay teachers, have up-to-date technology, and not fall apart: UNNECESSARY WASTE OF MONEY

Our scientific research institutions having enough money to fund advanced projects and innovations that will keep us ahead of the economic and engineering curve: WE MUST MAKE SACRIFICES

Community initiatives having the funding to reach the people who need help the most: BOOTSTRAPS WHARRGARBL

Our meteorological and geological services having the money to fund the technology that will warn us about natural disasters that could potentially kill thousands of people: WHO NEEDS IT?

Tax cuts for the rich: OMG HAVE SOME MOAR MONEY! YAYZ!

Seriously, this makes me rage so hard.
on_a_corndog 12th-Mar-2011 01:43 am (UTC)
This reminds me of the brats I see responding to news articles in the comments section with bullshit like "yay jesus is wiping out the godless nation. my tax dollars won't go toward helping them non-americuns. etc"

I just... hatred. So much hatred.
evildevil This reminds me of the brats12th-Mar-2011 02:47 am (UTC)
If Japan goes, so is one of our trade partners and ally, how stupid are these morons...
homasse 12th-Mar-2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
Y'know what? I'm watching LIVE warnings happening right now as we speak warning people to take cover because a major earthquake is eminent, and seeing the time in between the warning and the quakes because everything is being live broadcast from Tohoku.

These asshats wanted to cut early warning systems in the US can kiss the blackest part of my ass.
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