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Conflicts of Interest? NOAA’s Nominees AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers, and Dr. Neil Jacobs of Panasonic


Conflicts of Interest? NOAA’s Nominees AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers, and Dr. Neil Jacobs of Panasonic

Andrew Rosenberg

"These agency leaders affect the lives of literally every person in this country."

Do people have a right to accessible weather information that they pay for with their tax dollars? Myers and AccuWeather, as well as Jacobs and Panasonic appear to think not. I happen to think Americans deserve access to the life-saving forecasts and other weather information provided to the public by NOAA scientists.


This author’s words of respect for science illustrate that our way of life is under actual assault by business interests to serve their own ends. Most especially, many of us are concerned that for some reason, there is no way for the public to insist that the guidelines and traditions used in appointing qualified people to head departments (and which have functioned well for us over the years) be respected! Scientists should run departments concerned with science!

We would object if a chemistry professor was chosen to head the history department in an university wouldn’t we? It doesn’t make sense and it goes against the grain (tradition). Yet under Trump/Republicans our way of life and our traditions of excellence are repeatedly subjected to inappropriate and even destructive and hostile appointments.

What is our recourse? What Trump and the Republicans are doing actually constitutes an assault on ‘our America’ (the America of scientists leading science departments that we grew up in and read history books about).

Who knew that a destructive personality that was against the America we know would be able to cause so much damage to our way of life as does Trump and the Republicans.


Yes, I agree. It’s a harsh wake-up, isn’t it? We are finding out how powerless we are, as a public. What comes next? I appreciate this scientist’s words, and warning. I remember years ago, attending with my young 11 year old son, a NOAA sponsored beach exhibit in Rhode Island, about sharks, and the value they have in our ecosystem. My family learned a lot, and were able to see the value of tax-funded science. (as Mr. Rosenberg indicated, NOAA is not a household name).
Trump will, hopefully, be ousted in 2020 if we work and interact to save the structure and purpose of government. I am reminded though, that our science can and has and does indeed serve the military industrial master, making war and death all over the world, even as I write. So at some point, ‘pure’ science gets directed at whatever ends those in power determine. We as tax-payers and civilians and citizens of this world will need to grapple with that practice, if we want to take civilian control.


Union of Concerned Scientists

Text of letter to Senators from ‘take action’ page for those who would like to participate

Protect Our Science-Based Safeguards

To: Senators

As your constituents, we ask you to fulfill your mission to protect the public health and safety of your state’s residents by not sponsoring or voting for any attempts to dismantle science-based safeguards or federal agencies’ ability to carry out their legal responsibilities.

President Trump’s policy positions, as well as his team’s history of attempts to roll back vital safeguards, is alarming and can deeply affect the health, well-being, and prosperity of our state. From renewable energy to infrastructure safety, we also believe there are tremendous economic opportunities that come with protecting our health and environment.

Our families, colleagues, and neighbors deserve representation that protects their health and safety, and we hope you will be a champion for these protections. We look forward to following how you engage on these issues.


I fully agree with your post except offering a caution of sorts. While I agree with your statements regarding how science is coopted for military uses is valid, I think that has always been a driver of scientific research but science is far more than just better gunpowder! Science is you and your son learning about sharks. Science did the research on sharks of course. That is science with a big S!

However science is also a beach exhibit about sharks. That is the cultural science aspect not military but social. That beach exhibit and storm forecasts and so forth are part of our way of life! These bastards who want to dismantle that way of life in America are actually America haters. To them only money counts or corporate oligarchy.

For many if not most of us - the “We the people” of this country, we liked and still want the NOAA that offers us forecasts and beach exhibits! We still want an EPA that protects us, an FDA that ensures our food is wholesome and medical care that isn’t determined by a person’s tax bracket!

Trump appoints people who actually want to dismantle our way of life!


We can all help out by always getting our weather forecasts and climate information straight from NOAA-NWS websites, not “AccuWeather” - who I have found will deliberately alter and sensationalize weather forecasts for profit. Accuweather is the source of all this ridiculous crap like “snowmagdden” and giving eastern US winter storms hurricane-like names.

Another private group you will encounter is “Weather Underground” - I have mixed feelings about them. Their proprietary weather forecasts are not a accurate as the NWS, but unlike the denialist AccuWeather, they are at least involved in a lot of useful global warming awareness-raising.


It is becoming painfully obvious that the reason for the dragging out of these nominations is that suitably avaricious and calloused nominees are difficult to find. I guess that reflects well on the nation as a who;e while highlighting the unsuitability of the president. Small comfort that.