s/Crud/Fink

So, the Tories have been naughty boys again and everyone is shocked – shocked, I tell you – to discover that all that money that people pay to the political parties is actually paid for something, rather than just given for love. Well, its a bit of fun but I doubt it goes anywhere, because no-one is surprised. Labour will posture, but then squirm when their union money comes up. The house of Lords is stuffed with people who bought their way in.

My ‘umble prediction is that the “main” damage will come from an impression of incompetence, and it won’t be much. They are supposed to be sufficiently competent to do this stuff quietly. Its similar – ha, obligatory link to climate stuff – to the Heartland stuff; their main damage from that is going to come from anonymous donors, who won’t trust them to keep their names quiet.

Misc

* The U.S. Navy – Navigating Through a Changing Climate – h/t Todd.

Comments

  1. #1 Eli Rabett
    2012/03/25

    This is, as they say, very serious crap. Basically Cruddas was selling access for money to any comers. All you had to do is show up at the door with a check for 250,000 pounds.

    [Yes indeed. But what I'd doubtful about is that this is news. Do you think that money doesn't talk? Or were you expecting different numbers? -W]

    The union thing is a total red herring. The unions have always been an important part of the Labour party (in the beginning visa versa) and as such take part openly in party conferences, etc. They openly provide support and money to Labour. They get listened to by Labour in the same way that the Confederation of British Industries gets listened to by the Tories.

    Three guys maybe from Luxembourg OTOH. . . .

    [I'm not sure you're right. Donations from TU's and private individuals are public, over a certain level (and £250k is over that level). So we know who gives money to them. What we don't know is how much influence that money buys. If you listen to their public pronouncements, the answer is not much -W]

  2. #2 David B. Benson
    2012/03/25

    Maybe everybody is too jaded from watched the telly?

  3. #3 John Mashey
    2012/03/25

    In both US and UK, political parties and other above-board advocacy organizations have different tax treatment than tax-exempt public charities like Heartland (501(c)(3)) or the GWPF. See GWPF Charity Framework, carefully, for much amusement. You may not have realized it is for the benefit of:

    “THE GENERAL PUBLIC / MANKIND ”

  4. #4 Dunc
    2012/03/26

    I’m with Eli – the whole point of the Labour Party is (OK, was) to represent Labour, in the form of the Trade Unions. The clue is in the name. Complaining about it is like – actually, not “like”, it is – complaining that a political party is representing its own members, and complaining about the money they contribute is complaining that members contribute funds to the party. It’s exactly how party politics is supposed to work. (Well, except the block voting bit… Arguably.)

    Now, the fact that Labour also basically sold peerages… That is directly comparable. The union stuff? Not so much.

    [The origin of Labour was in representing labour, specifically the TUs. But nowadays - no, that isn't their main purpose, or at least they will tell you so. And insofar as you can divide these things up, if the purpose of Labour is to represent Labour, then the purpose of the Tories is to represent Money. That is no secret -W]

  5. #5 Andrew Dodds
    2012/03/26

    Nowadays, it seems that the purpose of the Labour party is to pretend to represent workers whilst doing the bidding of the City, whilst the purpose of the Conservative party is to pretend to represent businesses (general) whilst doing the bidding of the City.

    Whilst the purpose of the Lib Dems is apparently to make squeaking noises whilst preserving the two party system..

  6. #6 Dunc
    2012/03/26

    The origin of Labour was in representing labour, specifically the TUs. But nowadays – no, that isn’t their main purpose, or at least they will tell you so.

    Nonetheless, members of affiliated Trades Unions (and other affiliated organisations) remain members of the Labour Party, and as such are fully entitled to contribute and have influence. That’s what “affiliated” means.

    [Certainly they are. But no-one is questioning that -W]

  7. #7 J Bowers
    2012/03/28

    Union members get to opt out of their dues being paid to any political party. If you’re a member of Unison, you must pro-actively opt in to such a levy.

    Hedge fund managers (and they are the biggest financial props for Tory HQ), don’t even need to ask such a question. Shareholders have no opt-in or out option either.

    [Yes, but that is an entirely different issue; it doesn't affect influence etc.

    Incidentally, https://pefonline.electoralcommission.org.uk/Search/CommonReturnsSearch.aspx?type=basicDonationSearch appears to offer you the ability to search donations -W]

  8. #8 Eric Lund
    2012/03/28

    What we don’t know is how much influence that money buys. If you listen to their public pronouncements, the answer is not much -W

    I don’t know if you have this saying in the UK, but in the US “honest politician” is sometimes defined as “one who stays bought”. We have had numerous instances on this side of the pond of lobbyists basically writing legislation. As long as there is no explicit quid pro quo, everything is basically wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more. But when you do have an explicit quid pro quo (or, as in this case, 250,000 quid pro quo), that will often be specific enough to trigger bribery laws, at least in the US.

    [Agreed. In the case of the UK, all we really get to know is who has given how much money (and then trust the politicians to actually report stuff. I think the penalties are enough that they will. Though there was some kind of stuff a while ago about Labour taking "loans" instead of donations, when the "loans" were really donations, but because they were called loans they "didn't need to be reported". http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4826680.stm, maybe.

    But I think we know that for all the parties. I'm not convinced that "going to dinner" tells you that much more -W]

  9. #9 Hank Roberts
    2012/03/31

    http://www.tapsns.com/blog/index.php/2011/05/polar-ice-volumes-over-time-is-the-climate-debate-over/

    [Hmm. "However, some ice will remain, North of Greenland, that will survive beyond 2010, 2020. But most will be gone much sooner than we have believed before.". Summer or Winter? But more importantly, why does he believe this? -W]

  10. #10 Hank Roberts
    2012/03/31

    > why

    Navy submarine service ought to have records for pinch points, on current flow and temperature at different depths, for use in navigation.

    But of course that wouldn’t be something they’d publish details on.

    What he points to is the satellite work on ice volume. I’d guess that’s pointing to public sources, but it’d surprise me if several different navies haven’t put instruments all over the Arctic and northern oceans generally that they don’t talk about in public.

  11. #11 Hank Roberts
    2012/03/31

    More specific to
    > why

    he says the IPCC models underestimate currents that satellites can’t detect that are melting the ice from underneath.

    He doesn’t say what other sources of information he might have access to; seems like a notable omission.

    He says what’s missing from the models is that

    “melting from below due to warm water from Pacific side … has a strong influence on the water even in the winter.”

    I’d suggest looking for information on commercial and military orders for building new icebreakers — how thick are the hulls planned for the next generation, what kind of ice are they expecting to deal with, and why do they plan what they plan.

    Just guessing of course. Like the methane cataclysmoclast stuff, I figure the navies have data they can mine but not publish.

  12. #12 Hank Roberts
    2012/03/31

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/n92r56n36u056876/
    Arctic Climate Change
    Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library, 2012, Volume 43, Part 2, 405-436, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2027-5_11
    Global Climate Models and 20th and 21st Century Arctic Climate Change

    Cecilia M. Bitz, Jeff K. Ridley, Marika Holland and Howard Cattle

    “… We present highlights of GCM simulations from two sophisticated climate models that have the highest Arctic amplification among the the models that participated in the World Climate Research Programme’s third Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3)…. the Hadley Center Global Environmental Model (HadGEM1) and the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3)…. the surface warms by about 50% more on average north of 75∘N in HadGEM1 and CCSM3 than in the CMIP3 model mean, which amounts to more than three times the global average warming. The sea ice thins and retreats 50–100% more in HadGEM1 and CCSM3 than in the CMIP3 model mean. Further, the oceanic transport of heat into the Arctic increases much more in HadGEM1 and CCSM3 than in other CMIP3 models and contributes to the larger climate change.”

    [HadGEM1 is quite a decent model, though it had teething problems when I was working with it, oh, years back. I wonder what the lessons that the paper talks about are? -W]

  13. #13 Hank Roberts
    2012/04/01

    > what the lessons
    That’s a book chapter; searching the authors’ names and chapter title turns up this 2008 paper which seems likely:
    http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Paper/12909960 (abstract, much the same as the above description; links on that page to 80-odd references).

    PDF: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~bitz/Bitz_etal2008.pdf

    And there was http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/01/arctic-sea-ice-decline-in-the-21st-century/

    [Interesting comment in there: CCSM3 and HadGEM1
    have the most realistic pattern of present-day Arctic sea ice thickness among
    CMIP3 models (Gerdes and K¨oberle, 2007), and they are the only models
    that simulate recent Arctic summer ice retreat that is consistent with satellite observations (Stroeve et al., 2007)
    . If I finish reading it there may be more... -W]

    [Only "The sea ice thins and retreats 50-100% more in the selected models
    than in the multi-model ensemble mean..." which is the same thing -W]

    Regrettable lack of submariners writing about about ice thickness or deep currents hidden where satellites can’t see them, tho’.

  14. #14 Hank Roberts
    2012/04/01

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/ocean.html
    (late 2011)

    “… anticyclonic regime has dominated for at least 14 years instead of the typical 5-8 year pattern (as reported in Proshutinsky and Johnson [1997, 2010], who analyzed statistics of Arctic circulation regimes between 1948 and 2010). It may be that after the anomalous 2007 conditions (a historical minimum of September sea-ice extent, and maximum upper-ocean warming and freshening) the Arctic climate system bifurcated towards a new state characterized by a more persistent anticyclonic regime and with relatively small changes from year to year….

    … changing advection of warm ocean currents from the south (Steele et al. 2011). In recent years, solar radiation has penetrated more easily into the upper ocean under thinning and retreating ice cover to create warm near-surface temperature maxima (Jackson et al., 2010). In the Canada Basin, this maximum has descended to depths around 30 m because of increased downwelling in the convergent Beaufort Gyre during recent strongly-anticyclonic years (Yang et al. 2009), while surface mixing is decreasing as stratification increases (Toole et al. 2010; McPhee et al. 2009). Outside of the Beaufort Gyre, the temperature maximum does not survive through the winter (Steele et al. 2010). …

    … Warm water of North Atlantic origin, the Atlantic Water Layer (AWL), resides between approximately 200 and 900 meters and is characterized by temperatures >0°C and salinities >34.5. In 2009-2010, AWL maximum temperature anomalies were generally highest on the Eurasian side ….

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/images-ocean/so-fig12.jpg
    … The freshwater flux from the North Pacific Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean provides a ”short circuit” for the global thermohaline ocean circulation (e.g., Wijffels et al. 1992). Important changes in Pacific Winter water spreading between 2002-2006 and 2007-2010 are shown in Fig. SIO13 In the period 2002-2006, this water penetrated into the Beaufort Sea from the southern end of the Northwind Ridge. In 2007-2010, it took a different path, spreading northward along the Chukchi Plateau directly from the Herald Canyon. The pathway change was possibly associated with changes in strength and spatial pattern of the wind-driven sea-ice motion (Fig. SIO13, bottom panels). While the extent to which the Pacific Winter water is influenced by wind forcing is unclear, it may be that in recent years the increased westward wind forcing (and increased westward ice transport) prevents the Pacific Winter water from spreading directly east. These changes in the physical environment cause changes in the biogeochemical environment in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean (see the essay on Ocean Biogeophysical Conditions)….”

    – just noodling through picking at bits that might lead to something interesting. Noting: “solar radiation has penetrated more easily into the upper ocean under thinning and retreating ice cover to create warm near-surface temperature maxima …. ” — which probably means more opportunity for photosynthesis and more biological activity under the ice and working up into it as well. I wonder how that affects the stability of the ice layer?

  15. #15 Hank Roberts
    2012/04/01

    “SUBICEX” is a fruitful search term. Lots of activity under the ice for quite a few decades, even before the nuclear subs.

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