Two Points!

You hear two points in conversation after conversation, and presentation after presentation this week. So it’s not unexpected that Jason Samenow and his colleagues at Capital Weather Gang aimed unerringly at the two “unavoidables” in a pithy encapsulation of how proceedings have gone in this AMS Annual Meeting so far:
CWG’s Brian Jackson, on the vital need to keep satellite programs strong:

Our weather satellites do much more than provide the images that you see on your local news. They measure countless variables depicting atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, storm monitoring, and provide vitally important data to our weather models. The prominence of presentations regarding this data reveal just how necessary it is to keep our satellites flying and to continue to innovate new and improved sensors and instruments for the next generation of environmental satellites.

And his colleague Camden Walker, on the collaborations we’re building for the future:

With more data than ever thanks to the newest measurement technologies, and fewer disciplinary boundaries among social and physical sciences, we have unprecedented ability and bandwidth to create a unified voice that is respected, authoritative – to educate and engage the public en masse.

Maybe those were free throws, but CWG sank them both.

Want to Reduce Disaster Losses? Keep Score.

by William Hooke, AMS Policy Program Director
from the AMS Project Living on the Real World

In the early 1900’s, my grandfather faced a challenge at work. Though only a teenager, he was foreman in a foundry making cast-iron bathtubs in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His company was struggling. A large number of the bathtubs they produced were defective – so badly flawed they had to scrap them. They were losing money. What to do?
My grandfather was a baseball fan.[1] He solved the problem the way a baseball fan would. He got a big blackboard. He hung it on the foundry wall. He wrote every workman’s name on it. Next to each name he started keeping a tally: how many passable bathtubs had that worker produced that week? And what was his batting average? Of all the workers, who was the best that week? The Top Tubber? The MVP?
The workers reconnected with their competitive side. Almost overnight, the foundry’s output shot up. Defects went down. No one had to be threatened with loss of a job. No one had to be offered any more pay. Morale improved. All that was needed? A scorecard.[2]
Maybe we can scale this up. If we want to reduce disaster losses, why shouldn’t we start by

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