Michael Huang's Reviews > The Coming Storm

The Coming Storm by Michael   Lewis
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really liked it

A really good, focused piece on an agency that people don’t know much about: NOAA. The more than 12,000 people agency methodically kept weather data on the US for decades and is continuing to improve their understanding of the data as well as their ability to predict disasters, specifically the hard-to-predict tornadoes. The story explains how people in the tornado corridor deals with the storm, how people became weather scientists, how they try to master the difficult art of making their findings useful, how they are decidedly a low profile lot never trying to advertise their achievements. These people are really unsung heroes and their data helped all kinds of new inventions such as helping farmers to predict when to fertilize which field to minimize waste and unwanted runoff.

As if getting the science part right is not tough enough, there is the politics and greed to deal with. Did you know NOAA is part of Commerce department, (which btw is headed by Wilbur Ross — a person who is not a billionaire but mistakenly treated as one by Forbes and yet happily pretending to be one). Did you know that Commerce department deals with all kinds of science and engineering things and so little about trade that it’s really a misnomer to call it that (and a bad idea to have people like Ross running it). And guess who the whitehouse wants to be the next head of NOAA, the CEO of accuweather who profits from public data provided by NOAA. This is even more dangerous than Scott Pruitt running EPA.
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Reading Progress

September 8, 2018 – Shelved
September 9, 2018 – Started Reading
September 11, 2018 – Finished Reading

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