Site: Bill Hooke

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Bill Hooke: “Forecasting the weather” vs. “protecting life and property?”

A big leap. Just how big a leap? And why? Why is it so difficult to go beyond a forecast of the weather, an inherently chaotic system, to using that forecast to protect life and property? What makes that seemingly …

2017-07-21 14:56   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Weather services and social science: the tail (re)-discovers the dog.

For the past year or so it’s been my privilege to be part of a National Academy of Sciences study on social and behavioral sciences and the weather enterprise. We’re in the process of concluding the study; the findings and …

2017-07-20 14:45   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: A televised red-blue debate on climate change?

One of the topics that came up while I was on the road for the past month. Haven’t seen anything more on it this past week, so this post may be “kicking a dead horse.” (In any case, this horse …

2017-07-18 23:18   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Remembering C. Gordon Little, 1924-2017

I returned to my desk this morning after a month out of the office to the (belated) unhappy news that C. Gordon Little had passed away. Forty-four years ago, Gordon took a risk and gave me my first science-management position, …

2017-07-17 20:09   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: I love Paris.

The previous LOTRW post, Presidential power – not all it’s cracked up to be, argued that the President’s recent decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, while comforting to elements of his base, was really of small consequence. …

2017-06-04 12:56   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Presidential power –not all it’s cracked up to be.

(Yesterday’s furor over the President’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement may have been overblown. Here’s why.) _________________________ Richard Neustadt, the famous presidential historian, tells us what some of Mr. Trumps’ predecessors had to say about the …

2017-06-03 13:50   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: The morning after.

“We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson President Trump’s speech announcing U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement appears to be triggering the predicted response. Both domestically and globally, people everywhere, from diverse publics – …

2017-06-02 19:43   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Climate change? Whatever changes this week, some things will stay the same.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet – William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) What’s past is prologue – William Shakespeare (The Tempest) Saturday’s print edition of the Washington Post …

2017-05-30 03:00   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: E(arth)xit.

Stephen Hawking has been asking a proper question: How much time do we (humans) have here on Earth? His answer is uncertain, and in fact has been a moving target, but can be summed up like this: not much! (and …

2017-05-27 14:30   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: The Spirit of Margaret Davidson.

1When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will …

2017-05-25 20:33   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Social (science) notes from all over.

(With apologies to – and continuing admiration for – The New Yorker, which for decades had a column by this name.) While our backs have been turned, social scientists have been working on cool stuff. A sample, in no particular …

2017-05-03 13:29   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Science and politics? Vive le différence!

The other day an alert LOTRW reader (thank you!) passed along this link to an April 26 post by Brad Plumer on Vox. In this article, entitled A Cold War theory for why scientists and the government have become so …

2017-04-29 13:23   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: On-site reflections on the March for Science – and on “community.”

“Scientists are a community of scholars engaged in a common search for knowledge.” – line (as I recall it) from my ninth-grade science textbook[1] Yesterday had a lot of moving parts around our household, but a time window between noon …

2017-04-23 23:08   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Before leaving the topic of “defensiveness” for good…

… one last, brief set of thoughts for scientists on the eve of tomorrow’s March for Science and Earth Day. This post is triggered by an article by Tim Requarth in Slate (a tip of the hat to Fred Carr, …

2017-04-21 20:39   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Celebrating – not defending – science and scientists.

Air pollution? An unintended consequence of population growth and economic success, contamination of U.S. air (as well as water and soils) was becoming daily more evident throughout the 1960’s. The establishment of NOAA and EPA in 1970 by President Nixon …

2017-04-20 10:17   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Reflections on science, defensive behavior – and Easter. Part II. The good news.

(Physicist Tom McLeish’s quote and eleven others in a similar vein can be found on that well-known religious website – where else? – BuzzFeed.) “…The best defense of science is pointing out all the positives we’ve accomplished…” –John Plodinec (In …

2017-04-16 12:26   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Reflections on science, defensive behavior – and Easter.

Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up. The mood of both is somber, a bit defensive. From the Earth Day website: Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy. Education is the foundation for progress. We …

2017-04-15 14:29   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: How to increase long- and short-term risk to the American economy.

America and Americans are today blessed with the world’s largest and strongest economy. Suppose you wanted to put that economy and that world standing at risk? How would you go about it? Some argue that’s exactly what China is attempting …

2017-04-11 15:06   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Xi Jinping, Donald Trump… and H.R. 353, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017.

Last week saw two major events in the United States. The first, the historic encounter between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, was duly accompanied by pomp and by breathless, nonstop media attention. Meanwhile, under the media radar, …

2017-04-10 15:11   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Progress on Climate Change? Good news… and bad.

This weekend, both the Washington Post and the New York Times carried op-eds on the new administration’s attempts to turn back the clock on climate change policy. Both articles suggested such efforts will fail, for a variety of reasons: Writing …

2017-04-04 02:30   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: A Goldilocks approach to climate change.

“A Goldilocks planet is a planet that falls within a star’s habitable zone, and the name is often specifically used for planets close to the size of Earth… …In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), or simply the habitable zone, is the range of orbits around …

2017-03-29 15:42   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: The $100T opportunity.

“Most managers spend 80% of their time on problems, and 20% of their time on opportunities. They ought to reverse that ratio.” – Peter Drucker(?)[1] Tonight’s news reports, spanning all media, will be headlining the new administration’s unwinding of the …

2017-03-28 20:06   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Good policy still matters.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” – Matthew 7:12 In recent months, Earth scientists, whether focused on natural resources, hazard resilience, or protection of ecosystem services provided by forests, wetlands, floodplains, etc. have expressed growing …

2017-03-27 11:17   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Matthew J. Parker

“Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? …

2017-03-19 15:20   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Living the American Dream – ca. 2017

Spending the weekend with friends… … and my friend shared his dream from the night before: Seems America had built a wall along the Mexican border. A great wall. An impenetrable wall. A wall so great that it interfered with …

2017-03-18 21:55   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: $100T, (clumsily) translated into jobs and business opportunity.

A week ago, I ran into a long-time USACE colleague in the supermarket. We started out the way people of our generation do: “I’m thinking of retirement,” he said. “I’m pushing seventy.” “I’m pulling seventy,” I replied. Then we talked …

2017-03-13 01:01   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: $100 trillion? Opportunity or sinkhole? The reaction so far.

The law of holes: “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” – Will Rogers As noted in a previous LOTRW post, the world’s peoples face a $100T bill coming due. That’s how much nations must spend over coming …

2017-03-11 13:47   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: What will world leaders pay for a good night’s sleep? $100 Trillion over the next twenty years.

O, sleep it is a gentle thing, Beloved from pole to pole! To Mary Queen the praise be given! She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven, That slid into my soul. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient …

2017-03-03 17:09   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Why world leaders lose sleep at night.

And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds, That, with the hurly, death itself awakes? Canst thou, O partial …

2017-03-02 15:26   Click to comment

Bill Hooke: Junk Food for Thought

Food for thought: An idea or issue to ponder… This metaphoric phrase, transferring the idea of digestion from the stomach to mulling something over in the mind, dates from the late 1800s, although the idea was also expressed somewhat differently …

2017-02-26 12:47   Click to comment


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