In a continuation of the War on Truth, Bill Proenza, the head of the National Hurricane Center has been warned by his boss, acting director of the National Weather Service, Mary Glackin, to shut up about the failure of the Bush Administration to provide adequate funding for hurricane forecasting. He has been complaining since his appointment in January that NOAA should be spending money on a replacement for the obsolete QuickSat weather satellite, rather than on public relations campaigns. This is not his first warning. According to the Miami Herald
Proenza said that on April 13, he was told by Louis Uccellini, a high-ranking weather service official: ``You better stop these QuikScat [and other] complaints. I'm warning you. You have NOAA, DOC [the U.S. Department of Commerce] and the White House pissed off.''
The good news is that he is fighting back, hard, by releasing the letter he received to the press, and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and the Florida congressional delegation have got his back.
''By identifying these issues, Dr. Proenza was upholding the highest standards of public service,'' Nelson wrote. ``Failure to have done so would have been a dereliction of duty from our most senior hurricane forecaster.''
Nelson also said ``clearly there are parties within NOAA who don't appreciate having their shortcomings identified to the public and Congress. However, shooting the messenger is not an acceptable response. . . .''
Nelson intends to investigate, during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing next month, ``whether officials who raise valid safety concerns are experiencing retaliation as a result.''
It would be nice to see this story get some national press attention, so feel free to pass it along.