March 13, 2011
AP: GOP budget targets agency that warned of tsunami
WASHINGTON (AP) — A spending plan being pushed by Republicans would slash funding for the agency that warned Hawaii and the West Coast about the devastating tsunami in Japan.
From CBS News:
The GOP budget plan that passed through the House last month aimed to cut funding for a tsunami warning center that issued a slew of warnings around Japan's devastating earthquake.
The budget, which proposed about $60 billion in budget cuts, would slash funding for the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That would potentially cripple the effectiveness of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii, which issued a series of warnings over the past several days regarding the situation in Japan, where an 8.9 magnitude earthquake triggered a massive tsunami along the nation's east coast. (The PTWC is a part of the National Weather Service, which falls under the umbrella of NOAA - the organization responsible for providing tsunami warnings in the U.S.)
The Republican's proposed "continuing resolution" to fund the government, which was defeated in the Senate this week, aimed to cut $1.2 billion - or 21 percent - of President Obama's proposed budget for NOAA, ClimateProgress.org reports.
[Previous text from AP article deleted for copyright reasons - mdc]
Another episode relating to disaster-warning-system infrastructure funding, from 2009: [FOXNews].
Posted by Menzie Chinn at March 13, 2011 11:46 AMdigg this | reddit
Does it cost more than 90% of the NWS's budget to perform disaster-related duties?
Posted by: Andy at March 13, 2011 12:01 PM
This is the Obama/Democrat/MSM rope-a-dope strategy.
Claim to find only $6 billion that can possibly be cut out of a $3.5 trillion budget, then break out the sob stories for every trivial budget reduction the Republicans propose.
We have to run deficits of 10% of GDP or Babies Will Die!
Good to see that Econbrowser is still a team player.
Posted by: W.C. Varones at March 13, 2011 12:42 PM
Americans cannot afford to fund every worthwhile project. Budgeting is about admitting dollars are limited and setting project priorities. Just like a household that goes to the grocery with a fixed budget. The household cannot afford to buy every appealing delicious or nutritious food item in the store that catches their eye. Some items must stay on the shelf and not go in the cart.
Looking at any government project or expense in isolation is unfair. You have to look at all of the items together and decide which are the ones you want to keep and fund and which are the one you want to pass on.
Would you rather have a Tsunami warning system, headstart, a no fly zone over Libya, heating fuel subsidies for the poor, housing rent subsidies for the poor, incentives for converting to solar energy, etc. A great majority of the things the government spends money on are worthwhile, but which are the keepers and which are the unfunded and shelved.
The choices are tough. There is no right or wrong answer or choice, but it is unfair to discuss just one project in isolation. It makes it seem as if there is no reason other than politics not to fund a project and that is not the case when one is trying to reduce a deficit and balance a budget. In budgeting, sometimes very worthwhile funding must be curtailed.
Posted by: Milton Recht at March 13, 2011 12:51 PM
Milton Recht: I agree, budgeting is tough. I think I would rather have the tax rates for those with AGI over $250,000 per year back to pre-2001 levels before I start cutting back on funding early warning capabilities for tsunamis, hurricanes and (for those of us living in the Midwest) tornadoes. To put this in standard microeconomic terms, I have a pretty good feeling that the marginal social benefit of a dollar spent on these activities exceeds the marginal social cost, and indeed the marginal private benefit to the household with AGI > $250K.
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at March 13, 2011 01:26 PM
This story may be incomplete with the facts. I'll wager there are other resources available for monitoring tsunami. Since we are focusing on Hawaii, I'll bet Japan could give us a heads-up. Satellite technology being what it is, can likely measure tsunami effects immediately and fire off a warning.
Posted by: Martin at March 13, 2011 01:38 PM
I live in a beach area that was under tsunami warning. We didn't get official alerts. We heard it on the radio, read it on the Internet, saw it on TV, and spread the news by word of mouth.
You could eliminate the NOAA entirely, and there would still be plenty of scientists able to make the connection that a massive earthquake might cause a tsunami. And the news networks would still cover it just as they did.
Posted by: W.C. Varones at March 13, 2011 02:24 PM
Menzie reinforces his "Team" creds with this: "I think I would rather have the tax rates for those with AGI over $250,000 per year back to pre-2001 levels before I start cutting back..." Cutting NOAA, may or may not cut any emergency service responsibilities. When these cuts roll down to the Departments/Agencies the racking and stacking are usually already done internally and sent forward to OMB for review.
Is there any evidence that the emergency services portion of NOAA is being cut? Is there any reason to believe that if they are it any more than politics? Certainly not from these articles which are heavily caveated with coulds. BTW both articles cite an interview with another union official. Is he even a senior executive in the NWS?
I propose we cut back the ~+20% that the budget has risen in the past four years before we start raising even more taxes for these fools to just spend.
Disappointed in this one, Menzie. All political fluff.
Posted by: CoRev at March 13, 2011 02:51 PM
All good points and discussion, as too that this is a legitimate question. It is unfortunate, though, that a number of economists decide to raise topics overwhelmingly to support their partisan leanings. It's not only Menzie Chinn. Republican leaning economists engage in such methods as well, perhaps more, but in the interest of economics, one can dream of less topic/story selection bias.
Posted by: Gus Satkowski at March 13, 2011 03:33 PM
There is the saying about the man thinking of killing the king: YOU MUST KILL THE KING! The king of the hill in budgeting is our War Dept. If you don't take on the task of killing that king you should go back to tending your garden.
Posted by: dilbert dogbert at March 13, 2011 05:16 PM
Martin's cut and paste is impressively stupid. Japan is going to warn Seattle about its Cascadia fault tsunamis? Where were the instantaneous satellite derived warnings on Friday?
This is perversely delusional. They've lost their minds.
I count Andy, W.C. Varones, Milton Recht, and Martin as flat out antiscience, antirational regressively tribal hacks. None of them have ever demonstrated the least familiarity with basic arithmetical operations, let alone statistics. Which of you guys are NOT being paid to produce (or cut and paste) this ridiculous crap?
Posted by: Russell L. Carter at March 13, 2011 05:30 PM
Dilbert said: "The king of the hill in budgeting is our War Dept." Not actually. Entitlements make up ~55% of the overall budget, and of entitlements Social Security is as large as the defense budget, 20% of the overall budget.
Posted by: CoRev at March 13, 2011 05:39 PM
What a pity, it did such a great job for Japan...
Posted by: James at March 13, 2011 05:52 PM
W.C. Varones: Who do you think gave the tsunami alert to the private radio stations, tv stations, etc., to disseminate? Like, duh.
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at March 13, 2011 06:49 PM
"What a pity, it did such a great job for Japan..."
And similarly, of course, it's completely pointless to make any effort to deflect asteroids from impacting the earth, as that might negatively affect the budget, which erodes freedom.
But we can go further, since as a general principle no centralized planning can ever have a net beneficial effect. For example Government imposed sanitary sewage systems have cause colossal economic losses over the last 150 years; without them we would all be rich. Another example is government imposed air traffic control; all you have to understand to see that centralized control of airline traffic is a total union hijacking of public funds is to note that airplanes still crash occasionally. Air traffic control did such a great job for them, eh?
Even further, since government financed construction and maintenance of levees is just a regional system of political patronage and bribery, it's simply unfair for taxpayers in say Louisana to bear this unspeakably unfair burden. After all, levees still fail, especially when maintenance is unfunded, therefore levees cannot possibly achieve what the pointy headed engineers with their calculating machines and their historical data claim they can accomplish. Any two bit innumerate hack can see that.
Boy this can get fun! How do I get on the payroll, boyz?
Posted by: Russell L. Carter at March 13, 2011 07:19 PM
Read it slower this time.
You could eliminate the NOAA entirely, and there would still be plenty of scientists able to make the connection that a massive earthquake might cause a tsunami. And the news networks would still cover it just as they did.
Like, duh, indeed.
Posted by: W.C. Varones at March 13, 2011 08:01 PM
W.C. Varones: I read sufficiently slowly to assimilate the information before. Yes, that self-organizing/funding approach worked so well in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami case.
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at March 13, 2011 08:28 PM
It is good to know the Washington Monument Gambit never dies. Menzie, you should be ashamed of yourself promoting such.
Posted by: Ed Hanson at March 13, 2011 08:57 PM
That would potentially cripple the effectiveness of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii
I think the word potentially is key here. I am not sure what all of NOAA's operations are, but it is likely they have many different things they can cut and that it won't necessarily be those vital tsunami warnings that will get cut. It is also an interesting question as to whether that function may be being duplicated. For instance, the Navy needs to know about hurricanes, tsunamis etc... Perhaps NOAA and the Navy could pool resources to get back to similar levels of service. Perhaps they already do and this budget cut is a horrible idea. The point is, we don't know. All we know for sure is that if that budget gets passed, there is less spending than if Obama's budget is passed. So honestly, I would like to see more impact studies.
Also, raising taxes is not the same things as cutting spending. Taxes always have a cost on real people. Government spending does not always have a benefit for real people.
Posted by: PrometheeFeu at March 13, 2011 09:36 PM
MC, your blog claims to "analysis". Your colleague's entries always provide some. Increasingly, your entries (like this one) simply frame a news item one-sidedly. Are you implying that a govt agency that does even one good thing should never have its budget cut back? If so, where is your entry "Democrats wanted to cut funding to U.S. military units that provided relief after 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami"?
Posted by: Nick Curtin at March 13, 2011 10:03 PM
Continuing in such way, Econbrowser may fall out of top economic blog list. Lately, after November 2010 elections, half of its blogs have become too partisan. Reads more like a political blog (or , to be honest, there is nothing to read in that half).
Posted by: Ivars at March 14, 2011 03:48 AM
OK, first, Varones and his fellow travelers don't know that Japan could give the US a heads up on tsunamis. That's just silliness meant to detract from a perfectly legitimate point being made about GOP budget plans. The GOP is insisting on funding the part of the budget that has grown least over time, and so has to make bad choices because they have taken good choices off the table. Which is also an answer to Varone's silly rope-a-dope comment. Yes, babies will die. And old people. That's what budget choices do. They change outcomes. In the extreme, the change in outcome is shortened lives. Anybody who doesn't know that has no business discussing budget issues out loud.
The underlying notion that Obama ought not have a strategy for dealing with GOP budget demands is not new, either. Much of the GOP PR approach to Obama and Democratic majorities in the prior Congressional term was to demand that the majority stop trying to act like a majority, unilaterally disarm and just do what Republicans want, darn it! Yes, Obama and his buds will point out when the GOP's terrible ideas about the budget lead to terrible outcomes. That's how you do it. It would be immoral to do otherwise.
Posted by: kharris at March 14, 2011 06:58 AM
"Much of the GOP PR approach to Obama and Democratic majorities in the prior Congressional term was to demand that the Much of the GOP PR approach to Obama and Democratic majorities in the prior Congressional term was to demand that the majority stop trying to act like a majority, unilaterally disarm and just do what Republicans want, darn it!"
Well, to be fair, the Democrats pretty much agreed to do just that last term so it would be foolish of the GOP to not try again. I mean, if your opponent agrees to lie down while you kick him as long as you ask forcefully enough, you'd be a fool not to ask.
Posted by: PrometheeFeu at March 14, 2011 08:25 AM
Ivars: I thank you for your concern. I do wonder why you rail against certain of these posts, when you commented thrice on the dog post.
Nick Curtin: Perhaps you are a newcomer to Econbrowser, but my first posts ever (September 2005) had to do with budgetary restraint. I have also referenced CBO's listing of budget options, the most recent of which is here, although I am of the view that most savings will have to come from defense and entitlements, rather than nondefense discretionary. By the way, the first paper I ever published (in 1984) had to do with agricultural subsidy spending.
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at March 14, 2011 08:41 AM
AP: Bill Clinton and the Democrats cut the Integral Fast Reactor program that would have developed a safer and cleaner reactor for both power generation and nuclear waste disposal.
There's plenty of money for NOAA. Lets just cut all the useless social welfare programs, and tax wealthy liberals who think it's our duty to redistribute people's wealth and income.
Posted by: Six Ounces at March 14, 2011 09:46 AM
menzie, you continue to polish your street cred with this kind of comment: "but my first posts ever (September 2005) had to do with budgetary restraint...
By the way, the first paper I ever published (in 1984) had to do with agricultural subsidy spending."
You are being called on the obvious political bias in your writings. Admit it and go forward. At least I'll give you credit for not denying it.
Posted by: CoRev at March 14, 2011 09:46 AM
Dear Martin, who says you 'didn't get official warnings, you saw it on TV, heard it on radio and the internet"...
Where do you think they got it from? You figure CBS has people out in a boat waiting to call back to New York in case there's a tsunami someday? The "official warnings" go to the media, who then relay it to you.
Posted by: Rick Starr at March 14, 2011 10:48 AM
"Ivars: I thank you for your concern. I do wonder why you rail against certain of these posts, when you commented thrice on the dog post. "
I think I am conservative, but, as in Latvia we are still coming out of Soviet 100% liberal (government controlled) environment, I do not know how that compares to the USA definitions. So , I come against propositions that increase state control and redistribution as I have personally seen the worst of it in practice- real communist party rule.
So I may have and overbias in other direction, for the time which is now 20 years since collapse of SU. That proved to be a too short period to reform brainwashed society. We still have government spending our money in worst possible ways, with high levels of corruption.
It so difficult to get of this slave mentality, I want it to happen faster, and do not like to see even glimpses of it anywhere.
Hence my bias against government. Historically acquired in practical life in a totalitarian regime with no capitalism.
Posted by: Ivars at March 14, 2011 10:59 AM
I will note that the NOAA budget was 3.9BN for FY2008 and increased to 4.7BN for FY2010 (20%+ increase). The idea that cutting it back by 10% is the end of the world is simple fearmongering. If NOAA believes that tsunami warning is more important than some of its other functions, it could shift resources around. The AP story is designed to hide this fact and smear the Republicans (so what is new?).
Posted by: Rich Berger at March 14, 2011 01:08 PM
Rich Berger: Sure, let's cut back, since global climate change has been disproved, in your book. As you wrote:
And to add to Ambler's point #4, given past natural variability in climate, changes in temperatures in the last 100 years or so do not prove that humans are significantly affecting the temperature on a planetary scale.
By the way, does this statement about my worries sound familiar?
...I am fascinated by the bearish/pessimistic mindset. I think pessimism stokes the ego (all you fools do not know that we are doomed - doomed!). The b/p is privy to the knowledge of the select. On the other hand, the b/p may have a political act to grind and the forecast of disaster confirms what he already knows (e.g., "Note that the only thing keeping the Bush Economy out of recession has been stupendous mortgage equity borrowing levels.")
I am an optimist by nature, but I also recognize that things can go wrong, that policies can be mistaken. I also know that the economy is adaptable, and when the inevitable mistakes are made by some actors, correction comes.
That was you, writing about the absence of an impending housing market crisis, on October 22, 2007. That worked out well. So you'll excuse me if I worry more than you about things like hurricanes and tornadoes (which should rise in frequency according to most models). And tsunamis (since some portion of my family lives near the Cascades).
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at March 14, 2011 01:36 PM
My comments about the NOAA budget remain unrebutted or answered.
I think you meant to say Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) instead of climate change. It seems pretty clear that climate changes all the time (ice ages, Medieval Warming Period, etc.).
I said what I meant in 2007 and see no reason to change what I said. As noted in the last paragraph, I have been around long enought to know that things can go wrong, but I hadn't anticipated the rise of the magnificient Obama to set things straight and correct the mistakes of the evil Bush.
Posted by: Rich Berger at March 14, 2011 01:48 PM
Rich Berger: OK, just so I have you on record -- there was absolutely nothing to worry about in the housing market, in October 2007. Please answer yes, or no.
Regarding AGW, on the basis of your previous comments, I think I can conclude you are a denier. Then, indeed, you would find absolutely no basis for the rationale for enhanced expenditures. A large chunk of the increase is for satellites. From NOAA:
Satellites: One of the greatest challenges facing NOAA today is ensuring continuity of satellite operations to provide unbroken coverage of weather forecasts and climate measurements into the future. In FY 2012, NOAA will continue development of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) with an increase of $687.8M, and other satellite missions including DSCOVR (+$47.3M), COSMIC-2 (+$11.3M), Jason-3 (+$33.0M), and the restoration of climate sensors (+$30.4M). In addition, funding for GOES-R preserves the 2015 launch date and begins the acquisition of two additional satellites which will improve our ability to detect and predict severe weather events.
I know you view large portions of Antarctic ice sheets disintegrating with equanimity, but many of us don't. Just like some of us thought the housing market would go through some very difficult times, helping to pull the US economy into recession, while others did not (and apparently still think unimportant).
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at March 14, 2011 02:30 PM
Menzie, I sure wish you had not brought that ole Global Warming. Your writings have been highly politicized, but someone with your math and economics background should know the cost/benefits of his concerns.
Here's a little help with those.
"...First, the cost … truth is, no one knows. These things are hard to estimate. I took the EPA figures. They say that the new regulations will cost US$78 billion per year. Considering that’s only a tenth of the size of the recent “Stimulus”, that doesn’t seem like too much. Other analysts have put larger numbers on the cost, but I’ll take the EPA’s low estimate.
And how much will it reduce the temperature?
Again, no one knows … so I’ll take the EPA figures from the same source. They say
Based on the reanalysis the results for projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by an average of 2.9 ppm (previously 3.0 ppm), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.006 to 0.0015 °C by 2100.
Whoa, be still my beating heart. I’ll take their average estimate, 0.00375°C (about four thousandths) of a degree cooling by 2100.
OK, now to run the numbers:
Total Cost = US$78 billion per year times 90 years = US$7 trillion dollars with a “t”, or about half a years GDP for the US.
Total Cooling = 0.00375° C in 90 years
That gets us to where we can make the final calculation …
US$7 trillion divided by 0.00375°C gives us … wait for it …
US$1,900 trillion dollars for each measly degree of cooling...."
From here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/13/how-much-would-you-buy/#more-35859
Posted by: CoRev at March 14, 2011 02:55 PM
PrometheeFeu It is also an interesting question as to whether that function may be being duplicated. For instance, the Navy needs to know about hurricanes, tsunamis etc... Perhaps NOAA and the Navy could pool resources to get back to similar levels of service.
I don't know about the Navy, but I do know that the Army works with NOAA and USGS. For example, a couple of months ago I worked with NOAA and USGS as part of a cost/benefit analysis for reinforcinng the physical structures of 15 ammunition plants. I worked with them to compute the 50 year probabilities of a structure of "x" dimensions surviving an XXX year flood, an F* or greater tornado, hurricane and an earthquake exceeding a certain ground acceleration rate, etc. And of course my friends with the Corps of Engineers work with NOAA all the time.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at March 14, 2011 02:59 PM
Ivars Hence my bias against government. Historically acquired in practical life in a totalitarian regime with no capitalism.
What makes societies totalitarian is not the absence of capitalism. What makes them totalitarian is the absence of mediating institutions that stand between the state and the individual. By mediating institutions I mean things like churches and labor unions...you know, the kinds of things that undercut the authority of the Gen Jarulzelski regime in Poland.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at March 14, 2011 03:04 PM
Rich Berger My comments about the NOAA budget remain unrebutted or answered.
Actually, I think your comment is unintelligible. Whether you think NOAA could better manage its budget so as to absorb a 10% cut (the number you suggested) is not terribly relevant to the discussion. To begin with, the GOP wanted to cut 21%, not 10%. So right off the bat your comment was nonresponsive to the issue. You don't get to make up your own numbers and then think you've won the debate. The number proposed by the GOP is 21%, not 10%. Second, do you have any expertise in government budgets? Or are you just BS'ing your way through? Finally, in case you hadn't noticed, we're in the midst of a very weak recovery from a nasty recession. Private sector aggregate demand is very weak. The govt can borrow at extremely low rates, so all that's required to justify NOAA spending money on things like a tsunami warning system is a rate of return that's a little north of 3%. A tsunami warning system is a public good, which means you vertically sum private demand curves. Do you think the summed public good benefits of a dollar in tsunami warning spending is likely to generate a rate of return greater than 3%?
Posted by: 2slugbaits at March 14, 2011 03:21 PM
CoRev Setting aside the fact that the Senate Minority Report hardly stands up as a piece of economic analysis, Watts doesn't appear to understand the numbers that he's quoting. The CO2 ppm EPA numbers that he cited only referred a proposed policy for light duty trucks. Follow the links. And speaking of links, it's interesting that one of the key references in the Senate Minority Report is to something at the US Chamber of Commerce. But lo and behold it turns out that the Chamber has taken down that reference. Could it be because the Chamber realized that they too misinterpreted what EPA was saying?
If you want to actually read some adult papers on the economics of GHGs, try these from Marty Weitzman:
You might want to pay a lot of attention to the part about fat tails. Then ask yourself if it makes sense when people claim that the hypothesis of global warming fails to reject the null.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at March 14, 2011 04:27 PM
Again I repeat, The Washington Monument Gambit is alive and well. Can't anyone realize when they are being emotionally manipulated by government officials protecting their turf of ever increasing taxpayer largess?
Posted by: Ed Hanson at March 14, 2011 04:28 PM
2slugs, fascinating but typical response. Citing the CoC web site dropping a link to their own request for stay as evidence of: "that they too misinterpreted what EPA was saying?" As one of the litigants it's highly unlikely they were misinterpreting EPA. It was surely their own analysis in their own "Stay Request."
You also claim that the EPA reference, #65, is for "proposed policy for light duty trucks." No, it's for light duty vehicles. That usually means cars truck vans, SUVs etc.
Regulating their emissions is what saves us that ole Total Cooling = 0.00375° C in 90 years.
Since this is not our first rodeo you pro9baly remember that I have done the math, and a total stoppage of ALL US CO2 emissions amounts to global temperature reduction of miniscule proportions. Admittedly not a fraction in the thousands, but one in the hundreds.
Please stop bringing up that fat tail foolishness. Do the simple math to determine the actual risk of a small fraction of a degree rise. Weitsmann's insurance study is crap. If you want a study read Pielke Jr's.
Posted by: CoRev at March 14, 2011 07:03 PM
2slugs, an interesting question for another of your favorite studies: Which Group Is Smarter? Farmers or Climatologists studying crop production?
Remember the claim that crops lose productivity as temps rise above their optimums? Did the scientist consider moving the growing period to an earlier part of the year? There are still seasons even in warm climes.
Posted by: CoRev at March 14, 2011 08:16 PM
Reread the AP story: it's a10% cut.
Posted by: Rich Berger at March 15, 2011 02:49 AM
Dave Ramsey made a point I would like to expand on given Menzie's theme.
Caller: Dave, I make $60K per year, I spend $75K per year, and I am $300K in debt. I have a budget that will cut my spending to $73K per year. My daughter is angry with me because I have proposed to take away her overseas long-distance cellphone service. She accused me of endangering lives because just recently she called a friend in Japan and warned her that she heard on the radio there was going to be a tsunami. What am I to do?
Of course the numbers are estimates but they are pretty close to what the situation is with the US federal budget and the recommended Republican spending reductions.
Posted by: Ricardo at March 15, 2011 04:29 AM
2slugbaits: "What makes societies totalitarian is not the absence of capitalism. What makes them totalitarian is the absence of mediating institutions that stand between the state and the individual"
May be , but the absence of capitalism made economy totally useless, destroying value accumulated by previous generations, surviving on natural resources and sale of Imperial wealth artifacts to the West, and slave labor in camps.
In my opinion, free market capitalism is essential to create value, but totalitarian regime would stifle it, especially communist type one where all power is hold by state and markets does not function ( except black).
Hence You have totalitarian regimes mostly in either natural resource rich (Soviet Union is prime example), or nuclear warheads rich ( Nkorea) , or supported by someone places ( e.g. MENA). Nowhere else.
From all these, government controlled totalitarian regime with no markets is the worst. Where government controls 100% of decision making. Total mess, You can not imagine how useless it is, and how it destroys value or national wealth.
e.g Latvia, with its 2 million inhabitants , has lost about 500 billion to 1 Trillion USD in aggregate wealth during 50 years under Soviet rule ( just by comparison to countries that had similar starting point in 1940, like Finland or perhaps Denmark.) That does not include 40% of productive population lost due to emigration/imprisonment/extermination/miseducation.
That is the cost of 100% government run economy over longer period of time. Totally worthless, damaging.
Posted by: Anonymous at March 15, 2011 05:13 AM
From what I can find, the budget for the tsunami warning center is $41 million. If this center is so vital, you would think that the 10% cut ($4.1 million) could be offset by reductions elsewhere in NOAA. I wonder how many functions in NOAA are also provided by private industry and are redundant.
Posted by: Rich Berger at March 15, 2011 07:11 AM
Rich Berger I wonder how many functions in NOAA are also provided by private industry and are redundant.
I don't know, but I would hope that the private sector isn't doing too many of them because it would be awfully inefficient. Most of the things that NOAA does are close to pure nonrival public goods...tsunami warnings would fall in this category, and while private markets can provide public goods, output is usually below the socially optimal level.
CoRev you pro9baly remember that I have done the math
No, what I recall is that you did some naive arithmetic...not exactly what I would call math in the context of global warming. Even the most primitive models found in basic undergraduate textbooks on climate change begin with phase diagrams of systems of FODEs and go from their.
For example, a few that I happen to have on the bookshelf:
And I hardly consider myself deeply read in climate science. Even Paul Krugman's simple "climate ramp" toy model for pricing carbon emissions relies on elementary phase diagrams in order to express the intuition:
So you'll forgive me if I'm not impressed with a few arithmetic squiggles...especially given that you think fat tails" are just "crap." So were concerns about fat tails just "crap" when it came to the collapse of the housing market?
Posted by: 2slugbaits at March 15, 2011 01:51 PM
Ricardo: I think the better analogy is cutting the purchases of insulin for the diabetic child (NOAA), while keeping up the purchases of sugar (ag subsidies for corn).
Tangent: Who the heck is Dave Ramsey, and why should I care?
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at March 15, 2011 02:38 PM
It seems to me that in the 2004 quake... the folks that survived in the outer areas didn't even have a written language (let alone higher math). Their oral traditions told them that when the sea moved away from the shore (as it always does in a tsunami) to head to higher ground. No government funding, no math, just good sense.
I know, we should spend $14 trillion dollars seeing if that's the way to go or if radio works better... Yeah, that the ticket... our government will come to the right decision as long as we throw enough funds at it.
Posted by: 1st Thinker at March 15, 2011 02:42 PM
Of course, depending on the tsunami, by the time you see the water pull back, it is likely far too late. And it won't help if you're sleeping, which is when a notice to your home or cell phone could alert and wake you in time.
What astonishes me is, that per the Anonymous email cache, the people being paid to post and muddy the waters are earning close to $100/hour, and for such low quality work, too.
Posted by: Fraud Guy at March 15, 2011 03:49 PM
I see we got the 2slugs two step back again. My point repeated: "and a total stoppage of ALL US CO2 emissions amounts to global temperature reduction of minuscule proportions. Admittedly not a fraction in the thousands, but one in the hundreds."
And you tell us how the Climate Change theory is complex with this: "Even the most primitive models found in basic undergraduate textbooks on climate change begin with phase diagrams of systems of FODEs and go from their." Neither my reference nor my comment were referring to Global Warming/Climate Change, but the impacts in terms of reduced global temps for the EPA GHG regulations. Simple math. Not complex theory.
BTW which is it? Global Warming or Climate Change? Interchanging the two terms within two sentences shows a serious lack of precision in your thinking.
I'm done here. No point in taking this thread any further off topic. You have a good night now.
Posted by: CoRev at March 15, 2011 05:58 PM