Friday, September 06, 2013

Philippine Petition To Name Their Tropical Storms After Corrupt Politicians

The thought of a Tropical Storm Benedict (Arnold) or a Hurricane Anthony (Weiner) probably has a few of you shuddering...and in the case of Anthony, hoping that it doesn't last for more than four hours and take pictures of itself.  Thankfully, the World Meteorological Organization has not assigned the names of corrupt politicians to tropical cyclones...although the thought of that as a "punishment" would be humorous.

The WMO is the agency that assigns tropical cyclone names to storms throughout the world, including those that develop in the Atlantic.

The Philippines do not rely on the WMO list but use their own list for cyclones that track within a specific geographic area near the island archipelago.  A petition was set up on change.org to commission the Philippine Atmospheric, Geographic, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to name storms that impact the region after corrupt Philippine politicians.

The Philippine list contains 35 names that are provincial to that part of the world, a mix of Tagalog and Hispanic names that are rotated every four years unless a storm gets retired for damage (like the WMO lists).

It's gotten enough traction that it warranted a response from PAGASA, with a forecaster stating to a Philippine radio station that "We cannot name a cyclone based on negative or offensive meanings."

Buddy Javier, that forecaster in the interview, then went on to say in regards to the specific proposal that it would be possible to name storms after politicians but it would require a long discussion.

Included in that discussion would be the definition of what is a corrupt politician, a discussion that partisans would likely disagree on from various sides.  Given our hyperpartisan political world, such a proposal here likely wouldn't fly...Republicans and Democrats would arguably struggle to agree on who or what a corrupt politician is.

That said, the idea is somewhat humorous...and it would definitely be an unique way to remember a politician for his infamous ways while in office. It likely wouldn't fly here, no matter how much any of us would want it.