Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Privatising The Weather

While the privatisation of the Student Loans Company would be only marginally more wicked and evil than the creation of the Student Loans Company in the first place, the suggestion that The Met Office should be included in The Great British Closing Down Sale of 2009 is absolutely absurd.
The Met Office has never existed in anything but public form. The fact that all of us have some kind of stake in the weather, whether we be farmers, ship owners, airline passengers or buyers of umbrellas, should indicate that it's not really the kind of thing that should, or even can, be run for profit. While all the Tamsins and Jontys in the mainstream anti-globalisation movement will no doubt be delighted at the growth in such folk activities as dousing, and sales of weathercocks will bo through the roof, the idea of the weather forecast becoming pay-per-view is somehow unappealing.
The idea of corporate logos appearing on weather charts is downright dangerous. Will all the lines indicating the presence of isobars be sponsored by manufacturers of knicker elastic? And while everyone will be fighting for the premium advertising space on ridges of high pressure, will forecasts of storms be omitted because nobody wants their brand associated with misery and destruction?
All in all, it's a bust of an idea. Better to leave it as it is, rather than having pilots having to stick their fingers out the window to check which way the wind's blowing because their discount airline has ripped out all the radar equipment on account of them being unable to afford the weather subscription, or millions of housewives using their tumble dryers on the hottest days of the year because nobody will sponsor the storm reports.

2 Comments:

Blogger James Higham said...

The Met needs to be public. We don't want them accurate now.

20 October, 2009 18:48  
Blogger Martin said...

James,

I presume you're being facetious. Being in private ownership makes water no more wet, nor electricity more electric. Weather forecasting is notoriously haphazard; and it is absurd to assume that the fact that they are issued by the private sector will give Met Office reports the same intellectual credibility as entries in the OED.

21 October, 2009 06:51  

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