Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Your sex life 'hit by global warming'

You won't believe the U.S. government's new claims about climate change. Having been born and bred in the tropics, however, I can assure one and all that a warmer climate is in fact VERY GOOD for people's sex lives.

The official report lists about every ailment imaginable as worsened by global warming but I have excerpted below only the most amusing bit.

Northern Australia is one of the few tropical locales inhabited mostly by white people living at a Western standard of living so it is an excellent test of what a warmer climate would do to other white people living at a Western standard of living. I concede that the inhabitants of our far North may sometimes be a little eccentric but their physical health is fine. None of us die from the cold, that's for sure.

What utter bulldust government scientists can be dragooned into uttering! The reality of Northern Australia completely trumps all their far-fetched theories

I could go on and on about this but the lickspittle government scientists claim that extreme weather event cause sexual dysfunction. As it happens, Australia's Far North is in fact rather prone to VERY extreme weather events: cyclones. And right after the last big blow there was an upsurge of pregnancies! Again, facts trump theory -- JR

Global warming may make the world's inhabitants cranky and stressed, drive them crazy, give them cancer and even worsen their suffering from sexual dysfunction, according to a new government report on climate change – but the scientists say more money is needed before they can be certain.

Government scientists from several taxpayer-funded agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, compiled an 80-page report titled, "A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change: A Report Outlining the Research Needs on the Human Health Effects of Climate Change." ....

Mental health and stress

"Psychological impacts of climate change, ranging from mild stress to chronic stress or other mental disorders, are generally indirect and have only recently been considered among the collection of health impacts of climate change," the report warns. "Mental health concerns are among some of the most potentially devastating effects in terms of human suffering, and among the most difficult to quantify and address."

The scientists claim extreme weather events such as hurricanes, wildfires and flooding may cause anxiety and emotional stress and an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated grief, depression, poor concentration, sleep difficulties, sexual dysfunction, social avoidance, irritability and drug and alcohol abuse.


Is the Climate Bill Frozen?

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is increasingly frustrated. He is hot to trot. He wants action on the climate. But he seems to be getting the cold shoulder. Not so much from his fellow Republicans as from his Democratic partners across the aisle.

No one seems to be paying much mind to Graham’s feverish efforts at bi-partisanship. Or, might it be because global warming passions have cooled? Last week’s Earth Day was a tepid affair. Gone was the hot passion that stoked the fires of environmental activism in years past.

“Where are the snows of yesterday,” asked the French poet Francois Villon in the Middle Ages. Do we now think this Gallic green was really lamenting the Medieval Warming Period?

Maybe Sen. Graham’s colleagues have had their ardor chilled by the latest Gallup polls. A March poll said Americans’ concern about global warming have dipped to their lowest point since 1997. Since 2007, the saliency of the global warming issue has dropped precipitously. In that last year of economic prosperity, 41% of Americans told pollsters they were “very concerned” about global warming. Today, those who “worry a great deal” about climate change has dropped to 28% of the nation. Of eight environmental issues, Americans are most concerned about the purity of drinking water and least about global warming.

Much of this cooling has been the result of the meltdown of the economy, to be sure. But ClimateGate hasn’t helped. We learned last year, just before President Obama jetted off to a world climate summit in Copenhagen, that climate scientists had been faking their data, pulling “tricks” to make warming seem more alarming than it is. The leaked emails from climate scientists at Britain’s University of East Anglia and from some stateside institutions showed a willingness of the climate science clique to try to blackball any reputable scientist who happened to dissent from their Doomsday scenarios.

Britains’ Nigel Lawson is no climate scientist, he readily admits. But he did deal with many of the issues of how governments respond to such crises when he served as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. That’s a top post. Lord Lawson has written: An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming. In this short book, the former Secretary of State for Energy lays out a calm and carefully modulated response to climate hot air.

Will an increase over 100 years of between 4.5º C. and 7.5º C. really mean the end of civilization as we know it? Lawson asks if humans have adapted to living in Singapore (average annual temperature of 84º F) and Helsinki (average annual temperature of 41º F)? Is the gradual northerly creep of wine-producing vineyards necessarily a bad thing?

He explains how carbon dioxide must not be considered a pollutant. It is essential to life on earth.

If environmentalists really insist on a climate bill, Lord Lawson argues, then it should be a simple carbon tax. Tax gasoline. Tax heating oil. Tax electricity. This carbon tax would, of course, hit lower income folks hardest. But, he says, their carbon tax could be offset by corresponding cuts in their income tax.

I should emphasize that I do not agree with this proposal of this distinguished British writer. That’s because I think the increasing taxes on carbon would never be offset by tax cuts on lower income families. Government is simply too voracious for new revenue.

Still, I see the force of Nigel Lawson’s reasoning. The Cap and Trade Bill is really a Cap and Tax Bill. And if Lindsey Graham succeeds in passing this, it will create a huge and cumbersome new bureaucracy which itself eats up vast revenues—and—worst of all—becomes the source for untold corruption of government. You will see corporations lining up to get favored treatment from government. Cap and Tax is really Cap, Tax, and Plunder. Washington, D.C.’s famous K Street would become home to hundreds of new lobbyists, each angling for bonanzas from government for his bosses. The infamous “K Street strut” would give way to a K Street glut.

I hope Sen. Graham does not find any dance partners on the Hill. This bill is ill-timed and ill-advised. It’s time the lawmakers started listening more to those who have to live under the laws they pass.


Climate Scientist Faces Knockout Punch in Virginia Court

Climategate's discredited scientist, Michael E. Mann, is set to be pummeled to defeat under Virginia law if he persists in hiding data from the courts. Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, is seeking return of half a million dollars allegedly purloined from taxpayers by the proxy researcher during his stint of tree ring counting at the University of Virginia.

In his assault the ambitious attorney general will likely make his case from three heavy body blows: first, will surely be the 2005 study of Mann’s tree ring samples by two Canadian data analysts; the second, those leaked data files from the November 2009 Climategate scandal; while the third, and perhaps the most damaging, is a section of Virginia’s legal code that punishes litigants who refuse to disclose evidence.

Having been turned into a metaphorical climate science punch bag by his skeptical critics, Mann has threatened to sue his detractors for defamation. Like others from an elite clique of climatologists, he has refused to allow independent examination of his calculations.

Canadians Expose Data Cherry-picking

In 2005 the eminent scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letters landed the first big punch by publishing a debunk of Mann’s findings by Canadian statistical analysts, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.

In an interview with Marcel Crok of Canada News (January 28, 2005) McIntyre explained he was shocked to uncover that Mann had based his entire conclusions on only one tree. McIntyre clarified that, “Dendrochronologists (tree ring researchers) generally do not use data based on one or two trees.”

Climategate Proves Willful Data Tampering

Climate skeptics then landed a flurry of effective punches in November 2009 with the Climategate data leak. This gave auditors a chance to see some of the withheld files. Leaked files labeled "CENSORED" and "FIXED" affirm that a 14 bristlecone pine series had been deliberately excluded by Mann in his calculations and thereafter kept from public view.

But even more disturbing, McIntyre could now accurately identify that Mann had ‘flipped’ or consciously turned upside down his tree ring data to make the temperature proxy say the opposite of what was recorded. Thus a cooling trend would appear to show warming.

Virginia’s Law For Non-disclosure

The knock out blow for a punch-drunk Mann will likely come from Virginia’s own laws relating to the intentional withholding of evidence. Legal statutes provide that “[w]here one party has within his control material evidence and does not offer it, there is [an inference] that the evidence, if it had been offered, would have been unfavorable to that party.” Charles E. Friend, The Law of Evidence in Virginia § 10-17, at 338 (5th ed.1999).

In July 15, 2005 the Penn. State professor rebuffed Joe Barton, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations who sought access to Mann’s numbers. He stated, “I have made available all of the research data that I am required to under United States policy as set by the National Science Foundation…. I maintain the right to decline to release any computer codes, which are my intellectual property...”

Finally, Mann further implicated himself on October 27, 2009 in his leaked email, ”As we all know, this isn't about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations.”

More HERE (See the original for links & references)

AR4 on “1998 was the warmest year”

As most CA readers know, a few years ago, I wondered how they knew that 1998 was the warmest year in a millennium – a claim that you don’t see in AR4. Nor, at first (second or even fifth) glance does the assertion, once so prominent, even seem to be addressed in AR4.

The Climategate letters offer an interesting vignette. Chapter 6 authors were not unaware of the matter and worked over language on the issue like New York or London lawyers, eventually inserting a clause deep in the chapter that gave them cover, intentionally leaving the issue out of the chapter Executive Summary.

On July 28, 2006, Chapter 6 Coordinating Lead Author Overpeck (1154090231.txt) wrote to Briffa (copy Jansen) passing along a question from WG1 Chairman Susan Solomon, asking the reasonable question about what happened to claimes that 1998 was the warmest year, 1990s the warmest decade.
Hi Keith – in our TS/SPM discussions, Susan has raised this question:

“In the TAR they spoke of 1998 being the warmest year in the millennium and the 1990s the warmest decade. I don’t see that chapter 6 addresses any of these time scales. I am not saying you should do so – but are you planning to say anything about it and why you aren’t doing so? and if you’re not planning to say anything at all, can you please tell me what you think about it, just for my own info?”

Would you please give me your feedback on this, with enough thoughtful detail to hopefully make me/Susan fully informed (a para should be enough).

Thanks, Peck

On Aug 1, 2006, Briffa replied (728. 1154484340.txt) with a comment that would not be out of place at Climate Audit (one of the interesting things about Climategate letters is how often they express views in private that are expressed publicly at CA). Briffa:

The TAR was, in my opinion, wrong to say anything about the precedence (or lack thereof) of the warmth of the individual year 1998. The reason is that all reconstructions have very wide uncertainty ranges bracketing individual-year estimates of part temperature.
Given this, it is hard to dismiss the possibility that individual years in the past did exceed the measured 1998 value. These errors on the individual years are so wide as to make any comparison with the 1998 measured value very problematic, especially when you consider that most reconstructions do not include it in their calibration range (curtailed predictor network in recent times) and the usual estimates of uncertainty calculated from calibration (or verification) residual variances would not provide a good estimate of the likely error associated with it even if data did exist.

Now Briffa didn’t leave it quite like that. He continued with the opinion that confidence could be attached to decadal averages that could not be attached to individual years:
I suspect that many/most reconstructions of NH annual mean temperature have greater fidelity at decadal to multidecadal timescales (based on examination of the covariance spectrum of the actual and estimated data over the calibration period. This is the reason many studies implicitly (Hegerl et al.,) or explicitly (Esper et a;., Cook et al.) choose to calibrate directly against decadally-smoothed data.
The exception is the Briffa et al (tree-ring density network based) reconstruction back to 1400. This has probably the best year-to-year fidelity – but for summer land only and does not go back anyway to the MWP.
We are on much safer grounds focusing on decadal/multi-decadal timescales and so this is where we place the emphasis. As for the warmest decade’ – this is likely to be the 1990s or the last 10 years – but again, the proxies do not cover this period, and we do anyway state that post 1980 is the warmest period – which I think is fair enough.

Overpeck (728. 1154484340.txt) acknowledged this message the next day, passing it on to Solomon and Jansen:
Hi Keith – thanks. This makes sense to me. I’ll cc Susan so she understands the issue better, and also can advise on any strategy we should adopt to make sure we communicate effectively.

thanks again

best, peck

On Sep 1, 2006 (739. 1157138720.txt), Overpeck and Jansen adopted the strategy of inserting some protective language in the chapter text, while leaving it out of the Executive Summary, and urgently requested Briffa to write some language on the matter (it had not been specifically addressed in the drafts sent to reviewers).
As for the 1998/2005 warmest in last 1000 years issue, we suggest adding nothing new to the ES, in line with our chapter policy from Bergen, BUT adding something in the chapter along the lines of: ” There is currently insufficient knowledge to form a consensus on the issue of how the warmth of individual years of the last 100 years compare with individual years of the last 1000 years” Keith, would you like to make a suggestion on the wording and placement?

On Sep 13 (744. 1158180188.txt), Briffa reverted with some language that was carefully crafted to say the least.
Eystein and Peck

I have thought about this and spent some time discussing it with Tim. I have come up with the following
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm years observed in the recent instrumental record. However, there is no new evidence to challenge the statement made in the TAR that 1998 (or the subsequent near-equivalent 2005) was likely the warmest in the last 1000 years.

This should best go after the paragraph that concludes section I believe we might best omit the second sentence of the suggested new paragraph – but you might consider this too subtle (or negative) then. I think the second sentence is very subtle also though – because it does not exclude the possibility that the same old evidence that challenges the veracity of the TAR statement exists now , as then!

I think this could go in the text where suggested , but I think it best NOT to have a bullet about this point. We need to check exactly what was said in the TAR . Perhaps a reference to the Academy Report could also be inserted here?

Anyway, you asked for a straw-man statement for all to argue about so I suggest we send this to Stefan, David , Betty and whoever else you think.



Overpeck wrote back the same day ( 744. 1158180188.txt):
Keith – thanks for this and the earlier updates. Stefan is not around this week, but hopefully the others on this email can weight in. My thoughts…
1) We MUST say something about individual years (and by extension the 1998 TAR statement) – do we support it, or not, and why.

2) a paragraph would be nice, but I doubt we can do that, so..

3) I suggest putting the first sentence that Keith provides below as the last sentence, in the last (summary) para of To make a stand alone para seems like a bad way to end the very meaty section.

4) I think the second sentence could be more controversial – I don’t think our team feels it is valid to say, as they did in TAR, that “It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere,… 1998 was the warmest year” in the last 1000 years. But, it you think about it for a while, Keith has come up with a clever 2nd sentence (when you insert “Northern Hemisphere” language as I suggest below). At first, my reaction was leave it out, but it grows on you, especially if you acknowledge that many readers will want more explicit prose on the 1998 (2005) issue.
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm years observed in the recent instrumental record. However, there is no new evidence to challenge the statement made in the TAR that 1998 (or the subsequent near-equivalent 2005) was likely the warmest of Northern Hemisphere year over the last 1000 years.

5) I strongly agree we can’t add anything to the Exec Summary.

6) so, if no one disagrees or edits, I suggest we insert the above 2 sentences to end the last (summary) para of Or should we make it a separate, last para – see point #3 above why I don’t favor that idea as much. But, it’s not a clear cut issue.
Thoughts? Thanks all, Peck

David Rind weighed in (744. 1158180188.txt) as follows (copies to other Lead Authors)::
Leaving aside for the moment the resolution issue, the statement should at least be consistent with our figures. Fig. 6-10 looks like there were years around 1000 AD that could have been just as warm – if one wants to make this statement, one needs to expand the vertical scale in Fig. 6-10 to show that the current warm period is ‘warmer’. Now getting back to the resolution issue: given what we know about the ability to reconstruct global or NH temperatures in the past – could we really in good conscience say we have the precision from tree rings and the very sparse other data to make any definitive statement of this nature (let alone accuracy)? While I appreciate the cleverness of the second sentence, the problem is everybody will recognize that we are ‘being clever’ – at what point does one come out looking aggressively defensive?
I agree that leaving the first sentence as the only sentence suggests that one is somehow doubting the significance of the recent warm years, which is probably not something we want to do. What I would suggest is to forget about making ‘one year’ assessments; what Fig. 6-10 shows is that the recent warm period is highly anomalous with respect to the record of the last 1000 years. That would be what I think we can safely conclude the last 1000 years really tells us.


Jansen (745. 1158204073.txt) suggested a version without Briffa’s casuistic second sentence:
Hi all,

My take on this is similar to what Peck wrote. My suggestion is to write:
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm individual years observed in the recent instrumental record, such as 1998 and 2005, in the context of the last millennium.

think this is scientifically correct, and in essence means that we, as did the NAS panel say, feel the TAR statement was not what we would have said. I sympatise with those who say that it is not likely that any individual years were warmer, as Stefan has stated, but I don´t think we have enough data to qualify this on the hemispheric mean.

Best wishes,


On Sep 15, 2006, Fortunat Joos wrote that if there isn’t enough evidence to say whether 1998 was the warmest year or not, they should say so.
I support Eystein’s suggestion and agree with David.

If there is not sufficient evidence to support or dismis claims whether 1998 or 2005 was the warmest year of the millennium than we should indeed say so. It is the nature and the strenght of the IPCC process that points from the TAR and earlier reports get reconsidered and reassessed. It is normal that earlier statements get revised. Often statements can be strenghtened, but sometimes statements can not be supported anymore. Our job is to present the current understanding of science as balanced as possible.
With best wishes,


A little later, Briffa signed off on the revision, noting his own reservations about the original “too clever” language, expressing a slight worry that they had “inserted this late with no refereeing and no justification in the text” – (a scruple that he and Jones didn’t worry about when it came to matters MM):
I do not disagree either – in fact I preferred not to make the “too clever” second statement in my “straw man” as I said at the time. If this is the consensus (and I believe it is the scientifically correct one) then I would be happy with Eystein’s sentence. The worry is that we have inserted this late with no refereeing and no justification in the text. I would also suggest dropping the second “!individual” in the sentence.

On Sep 15 (746. 1158324958.txt), Overpeck decided to go with Jansen’t language on the “all important 1998 sentence”.
Thanks Keith, Tim and Fortunat for your input. We’ll go with what we have then – Eystein’s suggestion minus the second “individual”. Eystein and Oyvind – just want to double check that you’ve deleted that 2nd “individual” in the all important 1998 sentence??

Thanks, Peck

In the AR4 Final Version, section ended as follows;
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm years observed in the recent instrumental record, such as 1998 and 2005, in the context of the last millennium.

AR4 agreed with MM on the “warmest year in 100 years”. Who would have known?

Which leads to another question. What caused the WG1 authors to have a more guarded opinion in AR4 about “1998 is the warmest year” than in AR3? What was their justification for modifying the opinion of AR3 (relying on the statistical analysis of MB98-99) that they knew with statistical confidence that 1998 was the “warmest year”?

In the penultimate comment above, Briffa observed that there was “no justification in the text” for introducing this more guarded opinion in the conclusion to the section.

The obvious location in the text for justifying this more guarded opinion was in the discussion of the MM papers, which had, after all, raised this issue. After the MM papers observed the abject failure of MBH verification r2 statistics in the early segments, even MBH supporters abandoned any pretence that the reconstruction had any “inter-annual skill”. This point is conceded in a couple of Climategate letters though not publicly.

But Briffa, as the author of the relevant section, did not concede even this point in the text on MBH vs MM – a point would have provided a small bit of credit to MM. Worse, between the Second Draft (submitted to reviewers) and the Final Draft, during surreptitious correspondence with Briffa, Eugene Wahl, neither an IPCC author or reviewer, inserted a statement that our analysis had a negligible impact – a statement that was contrary to the corresponding Second Draft statement and a statement that was never submitted to reviewers.

Ironically, Chapter 6 Lead Authors adopted a key position of the MM papers in respect to individual years (though not yet individual decades) – a position that clearly contradicted MBH98-99 and AR4 – but failed, as Briffa observed, to document the changed view in the running text.


NYT: Review of U.N. Climate Panel Begins

The Interacademy Council has named the 12-member panel that will assess the activities and approach of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and issue a report by October. The committee, led by Harold Shapiro, a past president of Princeton and the University of Michigan, contains some scientific luminaries, including the Nobelist Mario Molina and Syukuro Manabe, one of the pioneers in efforts to simulate the climate system using computers.

At the request of the United Nations, the InterAcademy Council is conducting an independent review of the polices and procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Based on this review, the IAC will issue a report to the Secretary-General, with recommended measures and actions...
Continue on to reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net

But the committee lacks specialists in social sciences, the history of science or science-based policy making. I see this as a gap given that some of the most important issues related to the past performance of the climate panel and its utility going forward concern the interface between its scientific assessments, the governments that have final say over the reports and the wider audience.

Overall, the panel’s reports have never focused much on research examining how humans respond ( or fail to respond) to certain kinds of risk, particularly “ super wicked” problems such global warming, which is imbued with persistent uncertainty on key points (the pace of sea-level rise, the extent of warming from a certain buildup of greenhouse gases), dispersed and delayed risks, and a variegated menu of possible responses.

Another question unrelated to the process of scientific assessment is how the leadership of the climate panel should comport itself and weigh the responsibility — written into the panel’s charter — to be “neutral with respect to policy.”

The current chairman, Rajendra K. Pachauri, has frequently spoken out aggressively in favor of particular policies on emissions, while the panel is constrained to laying out “what if” scenarios. He defended this practice to me last year as his right and responsibility as an individual, but doesn’t stress the difference between his personal and official stances when giving speeches largely under the mantle of the panel. I’m less concerned with whether he’s wrong under the letter of the existing bylaws as whether such a communication approach is useful in getting countries to seriously consider the science pointing to a human-disrupted climate. Hopefully the committee will explore such questions.

Presumably the committee will be able to draw on others to navigate such questions. I vote, among others, for Mike Hulme, the climate scientist who wrote “ Why We Disagree About Climate Change,” and Spencer Weart, the physicist and historian who wrote “ The Discovery of Global Warming.”

There are other important questions about the path forward, related to how to handle reasoned minority views on particular science and policy questions, how to deal speedily with errors and how to break down barriers among the three main “working groups” — on the basic science pointing to warming, the range of impacts and possible responses.


Taxing the Heart out of Australia

Most of the destructiveness outlined below is Greenie-inspired

The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that the Rudd Resource tax was just another in a long line of taxes helping to depopulate rural Australia.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that depopulation of the outback started with the fringe benefits tax and the removal of accelerated depreciation, both of which penalise companies who provide housing for employees.

“Every government since then has accelerated the drift to the coastal and capital cities.

“The heavy burdens of excessive fuel taxes, coal royalties, rail freights and infrastructure bottlenecks have for years restricted the development of the outback resource industry. Only deposits that are rich or close to the coast can pay their way, which is why the Galilee Basin has been undeveloped for so long.

“The vegetation control bans, water mismanagement and growth of carbon credit forests are depressing agriculture and will depopulate rural towns.

“Humans and their industries are also prohibited from vast areas of our land and sea sterilised by a confusing mixture of exclusion zones. And the lack and high cost of outback infrastructure has fed the fly-in mentality of industry and governments.

“Had the money wasted just on roof insulation been spent on new infrastructure, Australia would be a more decentralised and productive place.

“The climate alarmists urge still more carbon taxes and force the usage of expensive alternative energy. All outback industry relies almost totally on carbon fuels for motive power. None of our quad bikes, cars, trucks, road trains, tractors, dozers, trains, planes or ships are powered by solar panels or wind turbines – they need diesel, petrol, gas and electricity (from coal). And our biggest outback industries are focussed on exploring, developing, supplying or transporting carbon products. Coal, gas, oil, beef, sheep, dairy and timber are all threatened by more carbon taxes.

“The Rudd Resource tax is yet another centralising force, depressing outback industry and stimulating the population of drones around the government honey pots in Canberra. It increases the risk that the belated rush to build infrastructure will leave new trains without freight and new ports without ships.

“Taxes are creating ‘A Nation without a Heart’.”



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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