Winter™ — Property of The Weather Channel®

(photo: Blizzard 2010 by *Low* via Flickr)

With a lot of self-justifying, back-patting hoopla today, The Weather Channel announced it’s decided unilaterally to assign names to winter storms.

During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.

Yes, fewer surprises. Just the one about winter’s natural disasters being branded by The Weather Channel.

There’s no indication that any federal government entity, including NOAA, has sanctioned this scheme let alone the names.

…until now, there has been no organized naming system for these storms before they impact population centers.

One of the reasons this may be true is that there is no national center, such as the National Hurricane Center, to coordinate and communicate information on a multi-state scale to cover such big events. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Hydrologic Prediction Center (HPC) does issue discussions and snowfall forecasts on a national scale but it does not fill the same role as the NHC in naming storms. …

At this point The Weather Channel’s management breaks their arms with back-patting, lauding their efforts while calling it a bunch of euphemisms for team-playing:

…it would be a great benefit for a partner in the weather industry to take on the responsibility of developing a new concept.

This is where a world-class organization such as The Weather Channel will play a significant role. We have the meteorological ability, support and technology to provide the same level of reporting for winter storms that we have done for years with tropical weather systems. …

In the absence of any government inputs, the selected storm names for this season appear to be intellectual property of The Weather Channel.

Bet you didn’t think that natural disasters could be co-opted, branded, and marketed! 

Let’s follow the money behind this brave new branding program. Not only does NBCUniversal (owned jointly by Comcast and GE) and The Blackstone Group own The Weather Channel—so does Bain Capital.

Yeah, THAT Bain Capital, a.k.a. Mitt Romney’s “former” employer.

Will these corporations sue every non-NBC network and news outlet that uses these The Weather Channel-generated storm names? Or will they insist that every entity using these names provide free promotion of The Weather Channel by way of attribution?

Surely you can see it now, at the bottom of every local weather report: This storm name brought to you by The Weather Channel®.

Let’s also look at the holdings of GE, Blackstone, and Bain, to see how they might benefit from this nifty new naming nexus.

GE may own business involved in wind energy production, but it’s been invested for decades in traditional energy and transportation businesses, all of which rely on fossil fuels.

Blackstone has owned chunks of automotive parts businesses along with Houston-based Dynegy, a business wholly consisting of fossil fuel-based energy production.

And then there’s Bain; its holdings make it more like NBCUniversal’s joint venture owner Comcast, in that it owns communications outlets Clear Channel. How nifty that weather reports on Clear Channel might disseminate the branded winter storm names!

In other words, these corporations could own and resell the names of the storms spawned by increasingly volatile climate, created by their other climate changing activities—uh, profit centers.

Welcome to the vertical integration of climate change.

Enjoy it while you can for free; any time now the corporate suits will figure out how to monetize this brand, Climate Change™, property of The Weather Channel®. Then you’ll have to pay for licensing or provide attribution before you can discuss it.

Tweet about this on Twitter7Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook2Google+0Email to someone

24 Responses to Winter™ — Property of The Weather Channel®

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @janehamsher Next thing you're gonna tell me CIA was warned that invading Iraq would result in chaos. @onekade @FearDept
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JohnWMAnthony There was confusion abt which church it was, but several people briefed on the raid now. @iamcoreyevans
3mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Dear #Ferguson police: please look up the meaning of the word "sanctuary" in relation to churches and victims of oppression. Not just a bldg
5mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @jamiekilstein: So "looting" is ok when it's cops doing it to a church?
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Folks, of COURSE the cops were going to raid a Church. They're ticking off each part of the First Amendment systematically.
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Well, sure. It was Chertoff. Selling "Homeland" Security. Of course it was looting. Can I rent you Keith Alexander next? @FearDept
15mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @OKnox: @aterkel Look, you're in a "First Amendment Area," he's in a "Second Amendment Area." What's so hard to understand?
22mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @aterkel: Note that the “go fuck yourself” cop was mostly waving the gun at media — it was right in front of the press area. #Ferguson
23mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV So now the Ayatollah has joined Egypt in trolling the US over #Ferguson. Time for president and governor to intervene, shut down cops.
24mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @khamenei_ir: If US govt hadn't systematically ban its ppl from knowing the truth, movements like the 99% would've been formed in a larg…
25mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @elonjames: Churches. Places that have been SANCTUARIES for CENTURIES are being raided in an effort to stop any sort of resistance to th…
29mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV We'll get it right this time for sure! MT @APDiploWriter: WASHINGTON (AP) — Military weighs plan 2 send small no. additional troops 2 #Iraq.
35mreplyretweetfavorite
October 2012
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031