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Brian Bell

Brian Bell

As an emerging "provocateur" within the Weather Enterprise Brian Bell is keen to expose what he sees as the slow, insidious silent storm of the corporate takeover of the nation's weather service.

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Success! April Fools' Day 2023 sold 11 pre-orders by July 9, 2016, was queried to 2 publishers, and is in discussions with publishers.

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April Fools' Day 2023

The Future Weather Tragedy

Based on actual events, this fictionalized story foretells a national tragedy occurring in 2023. A devastating weather event catches the nation by surprise, which is directly attributed to the privatization efforts that have debilitated the National Weather Service (NWS). It’s a story that describes how pernicious, self-serving corporations could weaken the NWS and consequentially place millions of Americans at risk.

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Manuscript

Literary Fiction
65,000 words
0% complete
Wellington, New Zealand
2 publishers interested

Synopsis

As with many government agencies, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's  National Weather Service (NWS) is under great budgetary pressure. Year after year, budgets and priorities are challenged by congress. Most will agree that maintaining a state-of-the art weather service is a costly enterprise. Howerver, some  argue, that the private sector could offer more efficient and better service than the the government. Trimming personnel, reducing the number of weather forecast offices, eliminating funding for observation assets, re-focusing NWS on more narrow  mission, and establishing more public-private partnerships are on the table. There are many companies in the Weather Enterprise that would welcome a greater opportunity to profit from this situation. Driven by profit, instead of purely for purpose, the private sector may not necessarily be the best steward in which to place the nation's trust to protect life and property. The make up and shifting priorities of congress is anyone's guess. Congress establishes NOAA's budget and appropriates funding to NWS programs. If congressional dynamics favor more private sector involvement, the transformation will happen rather rapidly, with rarely any notice at all, until tragedy occurs. It is more likely than not that budget pressures will continue, politicians will take aim at funding, and the private sector will encroach on the the mission of the NWS, resulting in a different weather service than we rely on today.

I have been personally involved in negotiations and building weather programs that are in effect beginning to tip NWS more toward private sector reliance. I have personally engaged with congressional members to influence their support of specific weather programs and projects. I have attended many meetings in the offices of powerful lobbyists discussing NWS project funding. I have heard the stories of business executives complaining that their investors are demanding them to secure more revenue, and how to do this by exploiting  federal funding. I have been in strategy sessions where companies map out their long term strategies and short term tactics. I have helped pick the winners and losers of weather project funding. My story is based on real events that I have witnessed and know are still happening today. This is the story of what could (will) happen if there isn’t more scrutiny given to the privatization of NWS.  This is the story about the weakening of a distinguished and well-respected national weather service  that jeopardizes millions of Americans. This the story of greed, corruption, and scheming venture capitalists that are collectively at the heart of altering an iconic institution.

Outline

The book with be structured in three primary parts, each containing 4 chapters. The main character faces many challenges throughout his journey from one of childhood discovery,  to fulfilling a dream of building a thriving business, and then to a final realization of the illusion and destruction he helped create. The story demonstrates the relative ease that a few people can have influencing national policy and profiting off of federal funds. 

CHAPTER 1 - APRIL FOOLS’ 2023 SUPER TORNADO OUTBREAK – Newspaper Articles

The story is set in 2023 and is introduced through articles from major newspapers from around the world reporting on the destruction and devastation that occurred during a horrific 3-day super tornado outbreak in the US, which is being designated as most deadly and costly outbreak in history. But the story goes beyond the weather, as one Congresswoman leads an investigation to determine what placed so many Americans in harm’s way. For her, the real storm is just about to happen.

PART 1 DISCOVERY (Chapter 2-5)

The beauty and the powerful forces of weather are revealed in way that will have a long lasting impact on the main character’s life. The early memories shape the character in a way that nothing else could. Bringing him elation as well as the greatest sorrow in his life; weather is his love and his foe.

PART 2 COMPREHENSION (Chapters 6-9)

Attending university to study meteorology, the main character as a young man becomes enamored with the science, but struggles to maintain his academic standing and begins to recognize his limitations. Using his charisma he seeks and finds help through relationships, which he discovers is much easier than meeting stringent academic requirements and the demands of his professors. His recognizes that his ambitions can’t be fulfilled alone, so he finds utility in others.

PART 3 COMPULSION (Chapters 10-12)

Armed with a vision and an air of entitlement, the main character will set off on a quest where business and political manipulation become his weapons of choice to prove to the world that he can conquer weather and acquire the power, wealth, and fame he so desperately seeks.  The main character convinces many to join his journey, while many others attempt to preempt it. He builds a weather empire, but perhaps out of a house of cards.

CHAPTER 13 - APRIL FOOLS’ 2023 SUPER TORNADO OUTBREAK – Congressional Hearing

The story concludes with a congressional hearing about the devastating outbreak that reveals the methodical and deliberate degradation of one of the most vital US institutions – the National Weather Service – and the consequences of placing trust in the hands that are washed with greed and corruption.

OTHER 

Of special interest, the story will be interwoven with connections to the ten deadliest tornadoes in the US, be it a brief encounter with a character that may have lived through it, or through stories shared about a specific event during a tornado.

Audience

April Fools' 2023 will be enjoyed by liberal-leaning, educated adults (18-34), and especially those who are becoming increasingly wary of Corporate America and venture capitalists, as well as those generally concerned about the future of democracy in the US. It will also appeal to those readers interested in weather, climate, politics, and policy. 
 It features a diverse range of characters (passionate entrepreneur, powerful lobbyist, greedy venture capitalist, progressive congresswoman, diligent public servant).  With the destructive stories about weather and climate often in the news, the story and the potential tragedy will resonate with the readers.   It offers a chilling look into the intentional dismantling of the National Weather Service and the unseen forces that influence Congress. It will reach readers at an emotional level and provide them with a glimpse of the corruption and collusion that takes place at the epicenter of our government.

Author

Brian Bell has been working in the Weather Enterprise for over 15 years. He has been primarily engaged in exploring novel and unconventional ways of densifying the weather observation network to enhance the accuracy of weather forecasting and real-time severe weather alerting. He has spent much of his career in exploring public-private partnerships and hybrid business models that can foster societal benefits while incentivizing private sector investment, including adopting the paradigm known as the Fourth Sector Enterprise. He has been an active member in the American Meteorological Society (AMS) contributing papers, presentations, leading AMS groups, and facilitating conference sessions.

Brian recently joined Meteorological Services of New Zealand (MetService) where he is responsible for managing the company’s programmes and projects portfolio. He brings with him experience in product and innovation management and is currently involved in evaluating viable opportunities related to non-traditional observation data and Cyber Physical Systems (CPS).  He is leading the creation of a collection of weather intelligence “recipes” that can be provided as a service both for internal and external applications for automating weather forecasts, alerts, warnings, and briefings.

Previously he was product manager at Exelis (recently acquired by Harris) overseeing the Helios Environmental Data Platform, a unique approach of transforming traffic cameras across the US into an aggregated network that autonomously and persistently monitors and tracks weather conditions. He oversaw the $200 million NOAA Comprehensive Large Data-array Stewardship System contract for Global Science and Technology’s (GST) commercial Weather Group. As VP of Innovation, Mr. Bell cofounded GST's Innovation Lab and directed its activities toward developing mesoscale and microscale environmental observation networks. Mr. Bell is the visionary behind GST's efforts related to mobile (vehicle-based) observation networks; led the company's efforts on the NOAA-NWS Mobile Platform Environmental Data System and the National Mesonet Program Expansion; and provides leaderships to the United States Mesonet Consortium. Mr. Bell continues to pursue creating unique observation networks by merging environmental micro-sensing systems with telematics to create novel micronets and "wearable" sensors. His areas of expertise include: earth science data systems, innovation, commercialization, hybrid business organizations, and monetization strategies for observation data. Mr. Bell has over 25 years of career experience in high technology, has been involved in several start-up companies, developed new products, and has been instrumental in many initiatives that resulted in new and exciting entrepreneurial and business opportunities. Mr. Bell has an MA degree in GIS and remote sensing from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a BA degree in geography and environmental science from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Mr Bell is a recognized digital artist that transformed NASA earth imagery into Spatial Innovation artwork, Brian is an amalgam of technologist, futurist, scientist, entrepreneur, and artist.

Promotion

Social Media: A dedicated Facebook page is in the making that will be used to  promote the book. My 300+ connections on LinkedIn are primarily from people in the Weather Enterprise.  

Direct: I will attend conferences and events associated with the American Meteorological Society and World Meteorological Organization as in-person method for book promotion. There are many opportunities to use MeetUps in Wellington NZ

Indirect: The pre-release of the book will be sent to key individuals in the Weather Enterprise who will be asked to read and review. I will use their influence as a method of promotion as well use their reviews for

2 publishers interested
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  • Jessica Bunker on June 11, 2016, 1:11 p.m.

    Good luck with your book!

  • Nancy Hamilton on June 11, 2016, 7:47 p.m.

    Go Brian Go!

  • Kasia Lundquist on June 11, 2016, 8:40 p.m.

    Looking forward to it!!

  • Brian Bell on June 11, 2016, 8:51 p.m.

    Thanks so much for the well wishes and your support. Truly appreciated.

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