Vitality in the Canadian Meteorological Enterprise

On the AMS Front Page, there is an interesting blog post titled Boosting the Vitality of the U.S. Weather and Climate Enterprise by by James Stalker, President and CEO, RESPR, Inc. I urge you to read the post.

James considers the way in which meteorological and climatological information reaches the user in the US noting that there currently are three primary paths: from government, from the private sector and from the academic sector. James makes the argument that these three paths present a drag on the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall enterprise. He makes the argument that the overall enterprise would be best served if each sector (government, academic, private) focussed on their primary mandate. He suggests, for example, that the primary government mandate of protecting health and safety is compromised when resources are not spent on this but rather the provision of services to users – a function he thinks is more relevant to the private sector.

One element that he completely overlooks are government’s commitments to open data and the increasing push for governments to provide ready access to the data and information collected and developed through taxation. In fact, he argues that the “free” provision of data is an unsustainable enterprise and that this “model” puts the private sector at a “severe disadvantage.”

What is your view of the situation in Canada? How could the various sectors of our enterprise collaboratively adjust their priorities and focus in order to assure the best quality of service from the enterprise? Is there room for a conversation about this in Canada?

Jim Abraham’s prior post titled The Weather Enterprise: Role of the media versus the national weather service highlighted some specific issues that could be improved through closer consideration of respective needs/mandates and collaboration between the government and private (media) sectors.

Our country is small; our enterprise is even smaller; collaboration across the enterprise seems absolutely the optimum solution in Canada.  In my mind, such collaboration will need to reflect societies expectations of their governments including, for example, the growing expectations for transparency and open data.

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About Tim Goos

A retired senior manager from the Meteorological Services of Canada.
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