Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Trump is President. What could possibly go wrong? Could the Electrical Power Grid go down? Ask NIST.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 20, 2018

If the GOP and POTUS have their way, your cell phone GPS, cell phone clock, Internet clock, atomic clock, communication satellites, and countless other devices reliant upon accurate timekeeping which are not even owned by you could go awry. Even our power grid could suffer.

Why?

First, some background.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has for many years operated our national Atomic Clock. In fact, in 2014 they “launched a new atomic clock, called NIST-F2, to serve as a new U.S. civilian time and frequency standard, along with the current NIST-F1 standard.

According to the NIST’s news item, the “NIST-F2 would neither gain nor lose one second in about 300 million years, making it about three times as accurate as NIST-F1, which has served as the standard since 1999.

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, the NIST has for many years operated the service offered by WWV and broadcast standard time of day, and intervals on shortwave frequencies of 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20MHz, in addition to operating radio station WWV and WWVH in Kauai, Hawaii. Operation of those services is integral to proper operation of the Internet, and countless other even life-saving devices. As well, that taxpayer-funded science has a telephone number to call to check the accuracy of your clocks, which number is (808) 335-7111. If you’ve never heard it, call it sometime!

But more to the point.

As the NIST has pointed out, atomic timekeeping “is part of the basic infrastructure of modern society. Many everyday technologies, such as cellular telephones, Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite receivers, and the electric power grid, rely on the high accuracy of atomic clocks. Historically, improved timekeeping has consistently led to technology improvements and innovation.” As well, emergency communications relies heavily upon the signals from WWV.

But now, POTUS Trump and the GOP want to kill that.

Specifically, they want to “zero out” the budget for WWV and that valuable service. The proposed 2019 budget calls for closing WWV and WWVH for a net savings of only $6.3 million. In comparison to the entire budget of $4.4 Trillion, that’s less than a sliver of 1/100th of 1%. In fact, the President’s budget would ass $7 Trillion to deficits. That is NOT fiscally sound, nor is it wise. It’s not even being “penny wise,” and it is most certainly being “pound foolish.”

The GOP and POTUS want to cut:
• $4.1 million in R&D targeting application of NIST quantum breakthroughs to applied measurement needs, including temperature and atmospheric gas metrology

• $3.5 million for Lab to Market, which seeks to accelerate technology transfer from federal laboratories

• $6.7 million in forensic science, reducing the program size to $7.3 million by prioritizing measurement science in the NIST labs and eliminating program management functions and external grants for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science and the Forensic Science Center of Excellence

• $5.8 million eliminating the NIST Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Measurements program, including Urban Dome research grants to advance the direct measurement of GHG emissions on the scale of cities or regions.

• $6.6 million in environmental measurements projects across NIST laboratories, including work measuring the impact of aerosols on pollution and climate change, and gas reference materials used by industry to reduce costs of complying with regulations

These dangerously treacherous cuts represent nothing more than an attack upon American ingenuity and are stabbing a dagger into heart of science, entrepreneurship, commerce, and the very American way of life.

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