Storm Chasing: Ethics and Safety

May 6, 2005
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Moore, OK
Note: Please keep this thread professional by adding useful information which will hopefully enhance the ethical standard and safety of the storm chasing community.

I believe the time has come for us as a community to reflect on how we go about storm chasing. Rather than post a personalized rant, I will simply paste information from various sources for chasers to read. After reading this information, I matured as a chaser and realigned my own priorities.

Mods, I found one thread relevant to this one that was started in 2006 (old thread). I thought it might be a good idea to start a new thread in light of recent events.

Storm Chasing Ethics (via wikipedia):

A growing number of experienced storm chasers advocate the adoption of a code of ethics in storm chasing featuring safety, courtesy, and objectivity as the backbone.[SUP][28][/SUP][SUP][29][/SUP] Storm chasing is a highly visible recreational activity (which is also associated with science) that is vulnerable to sensationalist media promotion.[SUP][30][/SUP] Veteran storm chasers Chuck Doswell and Roger Edwards have deemed reckless storm chasers as "yahoos".[SUP][31][/SUP] Doswell and Edwards believe poor chasing ethics at TV news stations add to the growth of "yahoo" storm chasing.[SUP][32][/SUP] Edwards and Rich Thompson, among others, also expressed concern about pernicious effects of media profiteering[SUP][33][/SUP] with Matt Crowther, among others, agreeing in principle but viewing sales as not inherently corrupting.[SUP][34][/SUP] Self-policing is seen as the means to mold the hobby. There is occasional discussion among chasers that at some point regulation may be adopted due to increasing numbers of chasers and poor behavior by some individuals, however, many chasers do not expect this eventuality and almost all oppose regulations --as do some formal studies of dangerous leisure activities which advocate deliberative self-policing.[SUP][35][/SUP]
As there is for storm chaser conduct, there is concern about chaser responsibility. Since some chasers are trained in first aid and even first responder procedures, it is not uncommon for tornado chasers to be first on a scene, tending to storm victims or treating injuries at the site of a disaster in advance of emergency personnel and other outside aid.[SUP][36][/SUP] Jason Persoff, M.D., a physician and storm chaser, ended his chase to treat victims of the 2011 Joplin tornado and has provided first response and mass-casualty incident triage suggestions to chasers.[SUP][37][/SUP]

28.
Moller, Alan (Mar 1992). "Storm Chase Ethics". Storm Track 15 (3): 8–9.
29.
Doswell III, Charles A. (4 April 2009). "Storm Chasing with Safety, Courtesy, and Responsibility". Michael Graff. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
30.
The Online Storm Chasing FAQ
31. Edwards, Roger (07 February 2002). "The Reality of Storm Chase Yahoos". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
32. Edwards, Roger; Doswell, Chuck. "Irresponsible Media Storm Chase Practices". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
33. Rich Thompson; Roger Edwards. "Cancer Within". Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
34. Crowther, Matt. "Some Chase Musings". Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
35. Olivier, Steve (2006). "Moral Dilemmas of Participation in Dangerous Leisure Activities". Leisure Studies 25 (1): 95–109. doi:10.1080/02614360500284692.
36. Burgess, Cindy. "The Weather Network". 2011.
37. Persoff, Jason (5 June 2011). "First Response Mode: May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado". Blogger. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2012



Chaser Safety and Responsibility suggestions (via Stormtrack):

http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?7928-Chaser-Safety-and-Responsibility-suggestions&highlight=storm+chasing+ethics+safety

Here is the first post:

Dr Doswell gave the keynote speech at the Denver convention on chaser safety and responsibility. In a humerous but very serious fashion, he talked about dangerous chaser practices by new and veteran chasers along with your "average Joe" out to see the tornado. Dr Doswell also talked about his fears should there be a serious accident (ie lady with baby walking across street is killed by speeding chasers) He stated that any bad behavior becomes a reflection upon all of us.

Link to Dr. Doswell's often cited and quoted paper on safety
http://www.cimms.ou.edu/~doswell/Chasing2.html

Dr. Doswell asked that there be some discussion on how chaser safety can be nurtured and improved.


My thoughts: I don't think there is a way to enforce chaser safety through rules, membership in an association or sanctions. All chasers should strive to set an example of good chaser behavior. This should also be emphazied among tour groups since some participants are likely to be future chasers. When dangerous behavior is observed, I would suggest that the offending individual be privately e-mailed or contacted. As a last resort, a description of the situation, video clips or stills can be posted to ones website or a public forum. Nobody is perfect. I certainly would not be angry if someone contacted me about something I did.

Bill Hark
 

jeremy wilson

I think this is completely tasteless to bring up right now. come on man, wait at least a week or so .To bring this up today is very dis-respectful...
 
Disrespectful??
So the numerous videos on YT right now that show people whooping it up in celebration of the killer tornado as they madly drive down the wrong side of the road, that's not disrespectful? Now is the best time to discuss ethics, not next week, not next November.
 
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jeremy wilson

Of course hind-sight is 20/20 Stan, and we can look back and say that cheering on the tornado that took the life of fellow chasers is disrespectful. Lets leave judgment and opinion on the current situation alone right now. Now its time to mourn and remember, not get on the storm chase police high horse. A lot of people knew Tim and the other guys personally on here and could care less what anyone thinks of right and wrong chase methods. Tasteless.
 
Oct 19, 2006
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Southern Wisconsin
Tragedies are always conveniently used to avoid discussing what caused the tragedy. It's always too soon, until we all forget and move on and nothing ever happens. At least until the next "unforeseeable" tragedy.
 
Apr 14, 2011
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My thoughts: I don't think there is a way to enforce chaser safety through rules, membership in an association or sanctions. All chasers should strive to set an example of good chaser behavior. This should also be emphazied among tour groups since some participants are likely to be future chasers. When dangerous behavior is observed, I would suggest that the offending individual be privately e-mailed or contacted. As a last resort, a description of the situation, video clips or stills can be posted to ones website or a public forum. Nobody is perfect. I certainly would not be angry if someone contacted me about something I did.


It will be extremely difficult. History on this forum has shown that some chasers take exception to the fact of such a discussion taking place. IIRC, a suggestion was once made to collectively come up with merely a list of basic ethics that chasers can voluntarily pledge to uphold, and even this suggestion was balked at as an attack on personal freedom or some such. With even such a lukewarm collective effort grating on the nerves of a few, statements such as "all chasers should strive to set an example of good chaser behavior" are bound to put a few bees in some bonnets, however much common sense would seem to agree with you.

But I am not allergic to this discussion. What are some examples you can think of, of what might be considered good and bad chaser behavior?
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
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skywatch.org
There's no value a ST discussion on the topic. Commit to safely and ethically (?) chasing on your own. No matter what you want to happen - nothing will change the actions of others. Doing this will result in nothing that isn't already known.

Peruse the archives and see what the results have been :)
 
May 6, 2005
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Moore, OK
Jeremy, I brought up this topic not because of the tragedy that happened to Tim, Paul and Carl. I think we all universally agree that they were not thrill seeking adrenaline junkies. Tim's research with probes will continue to be valuable and help save lives. From what I have seen and read, they were a very safety conscientious group.

The purpose of the thread is to try to help instill some chasing values into those that might be reckless. We have all seen them. We may even have been reckless once ourselves. I have been too close and too callous before. I have no high horse to preach from.

There are likely some chasers that have never read the links above from Doswell et al. I changed as a chaser after reading them, so I figured some others might find it useful.
 

Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
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Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
There's no value a ST discussion on the topic. Commit to safely and ethically (?) chasing on your own. No matter what you want to happen - nothing will change the actions of others. Doing this will result in nothing that isn't already known.

Peruse the archives and see what the results have been :)
Unfortunately, I believe this is how it always eventually ends. Unlike some professional organization or regulatory agency that indoctrinates new professionals prior to assuming their responsibilities (e.g., AMA, ADA, NEA, etc.), storm chasing is a hobby with loosely organized individuals, each of whom is probably pursuing a slightly different goal with little cohesion, other than the fact that all share on common norm - a desire to chase. Though I won't argue there isn't value in human reflection, the concept always seems to get lost on the few that probably should be taking care to review the ethics of their approach. Therefore, I always seem to go back to the argument that "chase and let chase" probably works best, with the assumption that each of us, as chasers, will have to accept responsibility for our own actions if we get a citation, cause an accident or get ourselves injured (note that that comment is not in any way directed as a statement on what happened on Friday - just a general concept). There are always those that do not take well to the concept of collective ethics, will never read the discussion, and/or will refuse to follow most of the advice in pursuit of individual self-interests, so the 'communal norms/ethics approach versus the individual liberty to chase as one sees fit' rages on, and this will be continue to be a source of contention in the community probably well into the foreseeable future.

Brian, et al., there is nothing wrong with starting the discussion, but personally I don't feel it ever really sinks in with those who might be doing things that most of us would agree are risky at best.
 

Rob H

EF5
Mar 11, 2009
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Twin Cities, MN
Crossposting this, since it's essentially relevant in both places, and some people might not see Bar & Grill:

Here's why this thread, or any chaser policing won't be effective in any way, shape, or form. Taken from the YouTube comments posted by the owner of a close up video of the El Reno tornado:

You have no idea how much fun this was. Haha. Plus, it's not like we drove INTO the tornado like some other people... who were tossed.
Well, man. I don't know who you are, so there's no leverage here. If you intend to preach, do so to someone who actually was part of the problem. Cheers!
Who the hell still uses Stormtrack?
These people aren't part of the community, put minimal effort into it because they live in the heart of tornado alley, they think it's fun and a good adrenaline rush, and they don't respect storms or each other. This is the toxic mess that the "community" at large has become. YouTube views and Facebook likes are more important than anything else to 95% of the idiots on the roads near storms like El Reno.
 

Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
1,938
239
11
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Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
Crossposting this, since it's essentially relevant in both places, and some people might not see Bar & Grill:

Here's why this thread, or any chaser policing won't be effective in any way, shape, or form. Taken from the YouTube comments posted by the owner of a close up video of the El Reno tornado:







These people aren't part of the community, put minimal effort into it because they live in the heart of tornado alley, they think it's fun and a good adrenaline rush, and they don't respect storms or each other. This is the toxic mess that the "community" at large has become. YouTube views and Facebook likes are more important than anything else to 95% of the idiots on the roads near storms like El Reno.
This is essentially what I was getting at, and why I think the "chase and let chase" individualistic approach will prevail. The community is too loosely organized and it is a hobby, not a profession for most. Sure, in my profession, if I violate state ethics for professional teachers, I can lose my license and become unemployed. Chasing is an entirely different animal. We have so many people with varying levels of experience who chase for different, individual motives. Furthermore, you're always going to have people who view certain actions differently, i.e., what is "unethical, dangerous or irresponsible" is highly subjective in most cases. While I personally find it worthwhile to reflect on my goals and habits while chasing, not everyone shares the same sentiments, and so this ends up being a circuitous topic that really has little consequence in changing the behaviors that some find most problematic with exacerbating the so-called poor image of storm chasing.

If nothing else, however, recent incidents over the past few years, starting with the YT video in 2010 and continuing last year with the April 14th traffic issues in KS, and now last week's events in OK, do seem to be sparking more discussions about the topic amongst other stakeholders.
 

Rob H

EF5
Mar 11, 2009
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Yeah, there's really no way to stop this. If all the major media brokers hold the stringers to a certain level of behavior, someone will get bent out of shape when their broker drops them and start their own business that all the other whackers will go to. If Allisonhouse, Gibson Ridge Software, WDT require you to have a chasing license to use their software/services, someone else will come out with something that works almost as well and gets the job done. And none of this would stop the people that just grab a cell phone for the video and hop in their truck and drive towards an updraft. The people that *need* the chasing license would never agree to it and have no use for it.

My only answer so far is to stop chasing south of 400. Hopefully that will limit my exposure to these people while giving me plenty of storms to look at. I'm also going to pull back on what I share on Facebook/ST/etc. and not encourage any of this stuff that's done for ego or exposure. If enough content providers stopped worrying about their chasing as a brand that they need to manage, the fans would disappear and much of this crap would shrivel up and die. It's a step in the right direction, IMO.

edit: Yes, I realize the hypocrisy in me selling footage, doing interviews, being a part of charity DVD organizations, etc. It's something I'm currently struggling with right now, as I'm sure many of us are.
 
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I do believe it's too early to discuss the specifics of what happened to Tim. None of us know for sure what actually happened. Tim knew what he was doing and I always had the deepest respect for his work. We exchanged emails about ethics on several occasions -- mainly about Stormchasers. I have not had the heart to go look at them yet. This is a big loss and I really don't feel much like chasing ATM.

I started to write a blog about TWC's near disaster when I heard about Tim. I think it's critical to separate the two events. I believe Tim's death was a freak tragedy while TWC accident was caused by inexperience and a "copycat" syndrome many chasers have.

I believe the fallout from all this will be "getting too close." I have to disagree that a chaser needs to be in the inflow of a tornado to "spot." This was not happening 6-7 years ago. It became a trend right after Stormchasers. Although it's helpful to have experienced eyes on a storm, radar advancements have come a long way in providing accurate warnings. As I noted in my blog, I believe news stations are creating a very dangerous precedence. People are waiting to see up-close footage before they actually "believe" there is a tornado. I don't need to know if it's a wedge or a EF3 stovepipe in order to take shelter. You mark my word, this is going to kill people as they wait for visual confirmation. I'm afraid television station ratings have become a player in all this.

For those of you who have not read Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air - A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster," I suggest you do so. Following that tragedy, people flocked to Mt. Everest. Judging by the number of emails I've received from people who want to go chasing since the tragedy, I think chasing will experience the same attention.

Warren
 
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Mar 16, 2012
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Lenexa, KS
While I don't believe we should dissect specifics of Tim's tragedy today (we don't even have all of the facts), I whole-heartedly disagree with those who think we shouldn't look in depth at this tornado and its near misses and its tragic consequences.

I know first-hand that the greatest ability to influence positive change occurs when individuals feel an emotional tie to the situation. You see, I work as a firefighter and I have for 24 years. I have personally been involved in losing two Brothers on the fireground and I also coordinated Honor Guards for seven years. During that time I sat with the families and fellow firefighters of over two dozen men who died in the line of duty.

The culture of firefighting dictated that you don't talk about or question what happened with LODD (Line of Duty Deaths). It was felt this was disrespectful and dishonorable. This resulted in my professions repeated mistakes that raised the body count of dead firefighters. It was only about 20 years ago that we said enough is enough... We could see a pattern of actions and behaviors that was costing lives.

We have begun to change the culture in firefighting and are losing the reputation of "200 years of tradition unimpeded by progress". We know that we must pay Honor and Respect to our fallen Brothers & Sisters and we must forever support their families, but we also know that Honoring them also means learning from their mistakes. We also are learning to be open and honest about our own mistakes that were "Near Misses".

I believe much of what the fire service has learned can be positively applied to storm chasing. Both segments are filled with giant egos, adrenaline rushes, a feeling of bravado, and a sense of accomplishment when you "beat" nature at its own game. We must remove the egos and provide a safe environment where people who screw up can say, "Wow, don't make the same mistake I just made" and not be chastised.

With that said, we also must call out those who repeatedly act in an unsafe and unprofessional manner. If you continue to be a role-model for stupidity, expect to be labeled with that. If those who act irresponsibly are banished by the community, we can teach those new into storm chasing how to conduct themselves safely.

If you are going chasing with a group, please, please, please look at whoever is "leading" your team. The worst thing an officer can do in firefighting is lose his composure. When this happens, they lose their ability to make sound and logical decisions and they begin using emotion and their guide. They amps up the fellow firefighters and have an entire crew who does not recognize simple clues that could save them. Many firefighter deaths could have been avoided if there was an experienced and competent officer.

Let's honor those who we lost by committing ourselves to not repeating their mistakes. Let's provide a safe environment for people to come forward and admit their errors so others can learn. And let's call out those who continue to act carelessly and recklessly then welcome them with love if they change their behaviors or make them outcasts if they continue.

Semper Vigilante
 

Rob H

EF5
Mar 11, 2009
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Twin Cities, MN
Let's just be honest about this, the king you allude to is Reed Timmer. So let's say everyone on StormTrack condemns him publicly - then what? That doesn't stop the guy in my original post that probably doesn't like Reed anyways. "Storm Chasers" is off the air, plenty of influential people condemn Reed (http://cadiiitalk.blogspot.com/2011/05/growing-sense-of-revulsion.html), and the 24/7 news cycle still only buys extreme footage. Reed has 248,000 fans on Facebook that literally paid him $200,000 this year to keep doing what he's doing. So even if he was the problem, and I'm not saying he is, why is there any reason for hundreds of thousands of people to listen to anything we say?

It's really easy to define the problem and some of the potential causes, but I haven't seen anyone come forward with a realistic way to make things better.

If you are going chasing with a group, please, please, please look at whoever is "leading" your team. The worst thing an officer can do in firefighting is lose his composure. When this happens, they lose their ability to make sound and logical decisions and they begin using emotion and their guide. They amps up the fellow firefighters and have an entire crew who does not recognize simple clues that could save them. Many firefighter deaths could have been avoided if there was an experienced and competent officer.
e
Teams are one of the problems. Why do you need a "team" to chase? Make a logo, sell some shirts, see some 'naders, pimp your brand? There's an awful lot of ego in this hobby, and not many people willing to admit that they really, really care what other chasers and groupies think of them.
 
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Kathryn Crowe

Enthusiast
Feb 11, 2013
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I have seen lots of very articulately expressed statements on what has gone wrong with chasing in the last few years, but I would like to to see more descriptions of everyone's opinions on how it should operate instead, i.e:

Is chasing for simple photography purposes ethically wrong with the new problems of chaser convergence? With this new issue, what are ethical reasons to chase?
For those who are chasing to provide better spotter information to NWS/media, how should responsible live streaming be conducted?
Should we become better organized? For instance instead of individualistic effort, could we work together to provide a better network of observations?
Could we work together to develop cheap. easily reproducible instrumentation for use by chasers that could report back to a single database that is accessible by research teams and thus be further scientific research with no profit to ourselves?

So, what should we be? What can we do to be better? What can we do to further the scientific aspects?
 
Jul 2, 2004
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Hastings, Michigan
www.stormhorn.com
Cross-posting the following also from B&G.

The topic of chaser safety and ethics has been around for a long time, and with the advent of so-called "extreme" chasing--a media coinage that is sheer marketing, instilling and then capitalizing on viewers' thirst for sensationalism--the result has been to separate chasers into two factions trading salvos from their entrenchments. It's the Hatfields and the McCoys calling each other either idiots or wusses, depending. That, to me, is what gets old. Is that really what storm chasing has come to?

I saw the video Rob refers to, and in light of it, I think it's wise for each of us to bear two things in mind:

1. You're not bulletproof. And the argument, "I haven't gotten killed yet," is not exactly convincing. It ends when you get killed. But losing a limb or getting paralyzed by a traumatic head injury, or subjecting your chase partner to same, is probably just as effective a counterargument. The problem is, it's one that stays with you the rest of your life.

2. That said, stuff happens to the best, the wisest, the most experienced, the most knowledgeable, and the most cautious of us. It just does. You can be the most safety-conscious of chasers and still find yourself suddenly caught with your pants down. The only 100 percent safe way to chase storms is not to chase them.

These are two realities of chasing storms. But neither of them is likely to persuade anyone on either side of the safety/ethics debate So ultimately, the issue, as has often been stated, remains a personal one. How are YOU going to chase--and perhaps even more importantly, why are you chasing? What drives you? When I ask myself those questions, I find a mix of motives, some of which I don't like and which aren't the ones I started with seventeen years ago. These past two weeks--really, the last two years--are causing me to do some soul-searching.
 
Let's just be honest about this, the king you allude to is Reed Timmer. So let's say everyone on StormTrack condemns him publicly - then what? That doesn't stop the guy in my original post that probably doesn't like Reed anyways. "Storm Chasers" is off the air, plenty of influential people condemn Reed (http://cadiiitalk.blogspot.com/2011/05/growing-sense-of-revulsion.html), and the 24/7 news cycle still only buys extreme footage. Reed has 248,000 fans on Facebook that literally paid him $200,000 this year to keep doing what he's doing. So even if he was the problem, and I'm not saying he is, why is there any reason for hundreds of thousands of people to listen to anything we say?
You make good points and I doubt nothing will change.

My journalistic instincts tell me the flood gates are open and we will begin to see chasers killed on a regular basis. Getting close will become Mad Max entertainment. It will survive like scuba diving and sky diving. A certain number of deaths will be accepted as part of the game.

W.
 
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Feb 14, 2005
879
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Charleston, South Carolina
The influence of the media can't be over-stated enough. That's the status quo these days and, unfortunately, the media acts as the moral compass for so many. Last week, when TWC had Cantore tagging along with Timmer, it was basically an endorsement of Timmer's methods. I hope with the embarrassment of Mike Bettes's little ride in the air, TWC will step back and reconsider it's lurch toward this torn porn. And, I'm sick and tired of every chaser out there, when interviewed by the media, claiming they're doing it for purely scientific and public safety reasons. Some do, but it's really not the majority - hell, I doubt most chasers even carry along the most basic instruments like barometers, let alone actually record observations and forward them to the NSSL.
 
Apr 23, 2010
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I'm surprised I haven't seen folks on jet-skis trying to get in Florida waterspouts. Less debris, no traffic--no getting in the way of emergency services, etc.

That wouldn't endanger anywhere near as many folks, especially if you used this: http://tech.spotcoolstuff.com/boat-watercraft/dolphin-seabreacher

Dive under the funnel wall, and pop up in the eye and film straight up.

If you want a pristine image of just a clean condensation funnel itself, instead of a murky mess--the Joe Golden route would seem a better way to go...

Lastly, for folks with a little money, a roll cage may need to be looked into.

Most chasers in the plains are away from most sources of debris, as would be expected in lonesome roads, so one doesn't need armor perhaps as much as a roll cage.
 
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Rob Hurkes, you're right...and if you noticed I provoked some of those responses to the video. I deleted my comments because 1) they won't change anything 2) Ive seen far worse offendors 3) I'm not without sin...etc

Warren--funny you mention 'Into Thin Air' since i just referenced it in my response to the original MISC thread before reading your comment here. I think it's a very good analogy--and it tells us that things are going to get much worse, although there is room for some hope. I applaud you for being one of the few well known chasers to take a stand publicly--if more veteran chasers would do so i think it would go a long way towards curbing some of the misguided 'enthusiasm' of the newer crop of chasers. I don't quite agree with you on those specific chasers, but you don't deserve hate mail for speaking your mind--no one does.
 
Mar 16, 2012
30
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Lenexa, KS
Rob, I agree with much of what you said. I don't believe we can change a certain few individuals. One of the truths in life is that whatever gets recognized and rewarded gets repeated. I will not buy any product that is endorsed by those who I believe are acting irresponsibly. I also send letters to the companies that hire such people. It' not a big hit on them, but it's a small thing I can do.

I think we need to review what went right and what went wrong during each and every chase. We can develop a clear roadmap for "safe" (relative term) chasing behaviors and positions. By doing so, we help ensure those new to chasing and those with limted experience are making informed and educated choices. It's the Lessons Learned Information Sharing philosophy that will bring about "Best Practices".

I believe we have an obligation to learn more about tornado behavior and to teach each other how to make educated decisions. For decades we have had conversations about the eventual certainty that chasers will be killed. Sadly it has happened and it will happen again, I have no doubt.

I pray no one ever dies chasing again, but if it happens, I'd like to be sure the only people are those who choose to act carelessly and wrecklessly and not those who are inexperienced or uneducated.

Let's each do our small part to help. I'd like to see the Mods open a new forum called "Close Calls: Lessons Learned & Informaion Sharing". Only comment on your own decisions and situations. Share what you learned, what you hope others will take from it, and what you will do differently next time.
 

STexan

EF4
Feb 11, 2012
316
37
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Athens, TX
I think many in the "chaser community" continue to lie to themselves and say "we need the research and eye-witness reporting". Fact is, we don't. You can't convince me we are learning things today that will help improve future forecasts ... that we don't already know. In storm forecasting, there are certain givens, and certain random and unpredictable realities. The givens are understood and the randomness is just that and there is nothing you can do about that aspect to stay ahead of the curve. I say all this to say that the chasing world has evolved into something else, and if we can't be honest about the realities, we can't expect any change. Sure, a few are motivated by purely scientific or purely stationary "spotter" oriented, but they are a small minority any more.

People engage in a variety of dangerous pursuits for a variety of reasons. But until you're willing to strip citizens of their freedoms to be themselves, you're going to have to learn to accept crap is going to happen. Don't take others' poor decisions and/or mistakes personally. The 'thrill-seekers" have just as much right to be out there in front of major cells as the "information gatherers" do ... perhaps more so given the fact there is not much we don't already know about tornadoes and their life-cycles and what breeds them. We climb peaks, we race cars and motorcycles, we invest in markets, we surf, we swim with sharks, we dive to great depths, we rock climb, and we chase storms. But again I say, until we can be honest about the situation, this entire conversation is an exercise in futility. Let the flame responses begin
 
The influence of the media can't be over-stated enough. That's the status quo these days and, unfortunately, the media acts as the moral compass for so many. Last week, when TWC had Cantore tagging along with Timmer, it was basically an endorsement of Timmer's methods. I hope with the embarrassment of Mike Bettes's little ride in the air, TWC will step back and reconsider it's lurch toward this torn porn. And, I'm sick and tired of every chaser out there, when interviewed by the media, claiming they're doing it for purely scientific and public safety reasons. Some do, but it's really not the majority - hell, I doubt most chasers even carry along the most basic instruments like barometers, let alone actually record observations and forward them to the NSSL.
Mike, you nailed it 100%.

It's about balance.

I have nothing personal against Timmer. He can chase however he wants. The problem is with the media. For the past 7-8 years they have completely forgot how 99% of us chase.

Warren
 
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