Saturday, May 21, 2011

National Geographic is good for pretty pictures only

With a touch of Boy's Own Adventure, of course

National Geographic thinks there is normally sea ice along the southwest coast of Greenland. They probably should have checked that out before writing an article about it.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The Truth About Greenhouse Gases: The dubious science of the climate crusaders

By William Happer (William Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University)

"The object of the Author in the following pages has been to collect the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes,” wrote Charles Mackay in the preface to the first edition of his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

I want to discuss a contemporary moral epidemic: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet. The “climate crusade” is one characterized by true believers, opportunists, cynics, money-hungry governments, manipulators of various types—even children’s crusades —all based on contested science and dubious claims.

I am a strong supporter of a clean environment. We need to be vigilant to keep our land, air, and waters free of real pollution, particulates, heavy metals, and pathogens, but carbon dioxide (CO2) is not one of these pollutants. Carbon is the stuff of life. Our bodies are made of carbon. A normal human exhales around 1 kg of CO2 (the simplest chemically stable molecule of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere) per day. Before the industrial period, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 270 ppm. At the present time, the concentration is about 390 ppm, 0.039 percent of all atmospheric molecules and less than 1 percent of that in our breath. About fifty million years ago, a brief moment in the long history of life on earth, geological evidence indicates, CO2 levels were several thousand ppm, much higher than now. And life flourished abundantly.

Now the Environmental Protection Agency wants to regulate atmospheric CO2 as a “pollutant.” According to my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, to pollute is “to make or render unclean, to defile, to desecrate, to profane.” By breathing are we rendering the air unclean, defiling or desecrating it? Efforts are underway to remedy the old-fashioned, restrictive definition of pollution. The current Wikipedia entry on air pollution, for example, now asserts that pollution includes: “carbon dioxide (CO2)—a colorless, odorless, non-toxic greenhouse gas associated with ocean acidification, emitted from sources such as combustion, cement production, and respiration.”

As far as green plants are concerned, CO2 is not a pollutant, but part of their daily bread—like water, sunlight, nitrogen, and other essential elements. Most green plants evolved at CO2 levels of several thousand ppm, many times higher than now. Plants grow better and have better flowers and fruit at higher levels. Commercial greenhouse operators recognize this when they artificially increase the concentrations inside their greenhouses to over 1000 ppm.

Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom King Edward VIII renounced the British throne, supposedly said, “A woman can’t be too rich or too thin.” But in reality, you can get too much or too little of a good thing. Whether we should be glad or worried about increasing levels of CO2 depends on quantitative numbers, not just qualitative considerations.

How close is the current atmosphere to the upper or lower limit for CO2? Did we have just the right concentration at the preindustrial level of 270 ppm? Reading breathless media reports about CO2 “pollution” and about minimizing our carbon footprints, one might think that the earth cannot have too little CO2, as Simpson thought one couldn’t be too thin—a view which was also overstated, as we have seen from the sad effects of anorexia in so many young women.

Various geo-engineering schemes are being discussed for scrubbing CO2 from the air and cleansing the atmosphere of the “pollutant.” There is no lower limit for human beings, but there is for human life. We would be perfectly healthy in a world with little or no atmospheric CO2—except that we would have nothing to eat and a few other minor inconveniences, because most plants stop growing if the levels drop much below 150 ppm. If we want to continue to be fed and clothed by the products of green plants, we can have too little CO2.

The minimum acceptable value for plants is not that much below the 270 ppm preindustrial value. It is possible that this is not enough, that we are better off with our current level, and would be better off with more still. There is evidence that California orange groves are about 30 percent more productive today than they were 150 years ago because of the increase of atmospheric CO2.

Although human beings and many other animals would do well with no CO2 at all in the air, there is an upper limit that we can tolerate. Inhaling air with a concentration of a few percent, similar to the concentration of the air we exhale, hinders the diffusional exchange of CO2 between the blood and gas in the lung. Both the United States Navy (for submariners) and nasa (for astronauts) have performed extensive studies of human tolerance to CO2. As a result of these studies, the Navy recommends an upper limit of about 8000 ppm for cruises of ninety days, and nasa recommends an upper limit of 5000 ppm for missions of one thousand days, both assuming a total pressure of one atmosphere. Higher levels are acceptable for missions of only a few days.

We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5000 ppm to avoid harming people. That is a very wide range, and our atmosphere is much closer to the lower end than to the upper end. The current rate of burning fossil fuels adds about 2 ppm per year to the atmosphere, so that getting from the current level to 1000 ppm would take about 300 years—and 1000 ppm is still less than what most plants would prefer, and much less than either the nasa or the Navy limit for human beings.

Yet there are strident calls for immediately stopping further increases in CO2 levels and reducing the current level. As we have discussed, animals would not even notice a doubling of CO2 and plants would love it. The supposed reason for limiting it is to stop global warming—or, since the predicted warming has failed to be nearly as large as computer models forecast, to stop climate change. Climate change itself has been embarrassingly uneventful, so another rationale for reducing CO2 is now promoted: to stop the hypothetical increase of extreme climate events like hurricanes or tornados. But this does not necessarily follow. The frequency of extreme events has either not changed or has decreased in the 150 years that CO2 levels have increased from 270 to 390 ppm.....

The earth’s climate has always been changing. Our present global warming is not at all unusual by the standards of geological history, and it is probably benefiting the biosphere. Indeed, there is very little correlation between the estimates of CO2 and of the earth’s temperature over the past 550 million years (the “Phanerozoic” period). The message is clear that several factors must influence the earth’s temperature, and that while CO2 is one of these factors, it is seldom the dominant one. The other factors are not well understood. Plausible candidates are spontaneous variations of the complicated fluid flow patterns in the oceans and atmosphere of the earth—perhaps influenced by continental drift, volcanoes, variations of the earth’s orbital parameters (ellipticity, spin-axis orientation, etc.), asteroid and comet impacts, variations in the sun’s output (not only the visible radiation but the amount of ultraviolet light, and the solar wind with its magnetic field), variations in cosmic rays leading to variations in cloud cover, and other causes.

The existence of the little ice age and the medieval warm period were an embarrassment to the global-warming establishment, because they showed that the current warming is almost indistinguishable from previous warmings and coolings that had nothing to do with burning fossil fuel. The organization charged with producing scientific support for the climate change crusade, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), finally found a solution. They rewrote the climate history of the past 1000 years with the celebrated “hockey stick” temperature record.

The first IPCC report, issued in 1990, showed both the medieval warm period and the little ice age very clearly. In the IPCC’s 2001 report was a graph that purported to show the earth’s mean temperature since the year 1000. A yet more extreme version of the hockey stick graph made the cover of the Fiftieth Anniversary Report of the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization. To the surprise of everyone who knew about the strong evidence for the little ice age and the medieval climate optimum, the graph showed a nearly constant temperature from the year 1000 until about 150 years ago, when the temperature began to rise abruptly like the blade of a hockey stick. The inference was that this was due to the anthropogenic “pollutant” CO2.

This damnatia memoriae of inconvenient facts was simply expunged from the 2001 IPCC report, much as Trotsky and Yezhov were removed from Stalin’s photographs by dark-room specialists in the later years of the dictator’s reign. There was no explanation of why both the medieval warm period and the little ice age, very clearly shown in the 1990 report, had simply disappeared eleven years later.

The IPCC and its worshipful supporters did their best to promote the hockey-stick temperature curve. But as John Adams remarked, “Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” The hockey-stick curve caught the attention of two Canadians, Steve McIntyre, a mining consultant, and an academic statistician, Ross McKitrick. As they began to look more carefully at the original data—much of it from tree rings—and at the analysis that led to the hockey stick, they became more and more puzzled. By hard, remarkably detailed, and persistent work over many years, consistently frustrated in their efforts to obtain original data and data-analysis methods, they showed that the hockey stick was not supported by observational data. An excellent, recent history of this episode is A. W. Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion.......

The frightening warnings that alarmists offer about the effects of doubling CO2 are based on computer models that assume that the direct warming effect of CO2 is multiplied by a large “feedback factor” from CO2-induced changes in water vapor and clouds, which supposedly contribute much more to the greenhouse warming of the earth than CO2. But there is observational evidence that the feedback factor is small and may even be negative. The models are not in good agreement with observations—even if they appear to fit the temperature rise over the last 150 years very well.

Indeed, the computer programs that produce climate change models have been “tuned” to get the desired answer. The values of various parameters like clouds and the concentrations of anthropogenic aerosols are adjusted to get the best fit to observations. And—perhaps partly because of that—they have been unsuccessful in predicting future climate, even over periods as short as fifteen years. In fact, the real values of most parameters, and the physics of how they affect the earth’s climate, are in most cases only roughly known, too roughly to supply accurate enough data for computer predictions. In my judgment, and in that of many other scientists familiar with the issues, the main problem with models has been their treatment of clouds, changes of which probably have a much bigger effect on the temperature of the earth than changing levels of CO2..........

I began with a quotation from the preface of the first edition of Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, and it is worth recalling now a quotation from the preface of the second edition: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

Much more HERE

Red-faced WWF "Biologist"

ABC news crew in minus 40 weather gets a sob story from WWF about how Polar Bears now only have one cub, when the used to have two. Due to global warming, of course.

The next day the news crew finds a mother – with three cubs.

Evidence suggests global warming is good for our health

Fiona Armstrong claims that there are substantial health gains possible from climate action, and waved the banner of scientific integrity and “fact”. Unfortunately for Armstrong, the mortal facts from countries all over the world show that more people die in colder weather. Any statistic that suggests climate change is killing people only survives as long as we ignore the number of people saved.

Medical studies rarely show such unanimity. The results stand whether you look at seasonal or daily temperatures, extremes or averages, cold locations versus warm ones, or the trend in flood deaths and droughts. No matter where you live, whether you ail in your heart, or your lungs: You’re less likely to die in warmer weather.

Armstrong cites a NGO report that guesstimates 300,000 people die each year of climate change, but she doesn’t mention that most of those unnamed people were not struck down by floods, droughts, fires or heatstroke. Instead 95% of them were killed by starvation, diarrhoea or malaria, and a certain percentage of the global death tally in each condition was arbitrarily filed under “climate change”.

Curiously in 2003 the death toll was “calculated” as 150,000 assumed deaths, but by 2009 the assigned percentages were recalculated to get 300,000 deaths pa with a tap of the keyboard. Prof Roger Pielke Jnr summed up the 2009 report as “a methodological embarrassment and poster child for how to lie with statistics.”.

Speaking of starvation, while nearly half a million people die from a lack of food each year, some 6.5% of the worlds grains, and 8% of the vegetable oils are now fed to cars instead of people. Arguably action against climate change is a net killer, and we’d save people by doing nothing at all to stop carbon dioxide emissions.

If Armstrong and the Climate and Health Action (CAHA) were more concerned about health rather than climate, they would know that the largest killer around the world is cardiovascular disease, which is responsible for some 17 million deaths every year. That’s nearly 30% of all deaths, and 500 times larger than the number who die from extreme weather events (which cause about 0.06%). Clearly, if we want to save lives, medical research on our vascular system would save more people than buying solar panels in Sydney and hoping they’ll protect people in Cairns from nasty storms.

The statistics on cardiovascular disease make it clear that cold weather is deadly. In Russia, ischemic stroke is 32% more likely on colder days; in Norway, cardiovascular deaths are 15% higher in winter months; in Israel, cardiovascular deaths were 50% higher in winter, even though Israeli winters are not exactly cold. Likewise in California heart disease mortality in 220,000 deaths was 33% higher in winter. A study in Brazil found that deaths were 2.6% more likely for every degree the temperature fell below 20°C. Need I go on?

Respiratory diseases kill one hundreds times as many people as extreme weather events, and are not called “colds” for nothing. A Norwegian study found that respiratory deaths were fully 47% more likely in winter. There were 5 major population contractions in China in the last 1000 years and all of them occurred in periods with a cold climate.

What about all the disasters this summer?

When it comes to droughts and floods, the news is bad for the Climate Commission but good for the human race. A report published in the American Journal of Physicians and Surgeons by Indur Goklany in 2009 (so not including the last summer) points out that deaths due to droughts peaked in the 1920s and have since declined by a whopping 99%. Likewise, deaths due to floods peaked in the 1930s and have fallen by 98%. The rate per capita figures are even more impressive. Eighty percent of man made emissions of CO2 have been produced since 1940, and deaths from floods and droughts is lower than ever.

And when it comes to Malaria, the IPCC assumes that it will be worse as the world warms, but history tells us otherwise. One of the largest malaria outbreaks was in Siberia early last century, and then there is that awkward point that malaria deaths in England, of all places, were more common, during — by crikey — the little ice age 300 years ago. Paul Reiter reminds us that the entire area under the British Parliamentary Houses was once a notorious malarial swamp.

Possibly the most disturbing aspect of cold related deaths is not just that they kill so many more people than heat related deaths, but that they increase deaths for up to a month after the cold spell. When a heatwave strikes, the death rate increases, but then it’s often followed by lower death rates. Researchers surmise that while cold weather weakens otherwise healthy people, heat waves speed up the deaths of people who were close to dying anyway.

Atmospheric CO2 is handy for growing crops, in the same sense that breathing is handy for your health. In order to feed billions of people without destroying more forests to create farmland, there is no better yield multiplier than CO2. Indeed it’s so good, it is pumped into commercial greenhouses to enhance yields.

And while Armstrong points out that the coal industry has health issues, she forgets that windfarms have their own depressing toll. (Even installing pink batts can be deadly!) Coal provides 80% of our electricity. Sure we can give it up, but every alternative costs at least twice as much. Coal mining is dangerous, but the obvious answer is to make mining safer, not to slap on a carbon tax.

Likewise if we are concerned about deaths (and who isn’t?) the answer is to research the causes and look for cures. It’s like a form of pagan witchcraft to pretend that adding windfarms is the best way to reduce malaria.

The Climate and Health Alliance is clearly not that interested in health per se. They’ve declared their top priority and don’t even bother to disguise their real aim: “1.) Health: Advocate for a strong emissions reduction scheme…”. A health advocacy group would surely list “longer lives” or “less disease”, but not CAHA. They judge their success not by whether they save anyone, but by whether they get legislation about a trace gas passed. CAHA is just another climate propaganda group.


Obama's destructive energy policies

President Obama’s speeches sum up his views on oil, natural gas and energy prices in just 44 words. “We have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. We’re running out of places to drill. We’re running out of oil. We need to end our $4 billion in annual taxpayer subsidies to oil companies. We need to invest in clean, renewable energy,” he said.

As Congressman Joe Wilson would say, That’s a lie! Or at least a deliberate distortion of facts.

Oil “reserves” are what can actually be produced at today’s prices, with existing technologies, and under current laws and regulations. America has vast oil, gas and coal resources — centuries of potential hydrocarbon energy. We certainly have the technology to extract it, especially at $100 a barrel. What we don’t have are laws and regulations that allow us to do so.

If the President were honest, he would say: “We’re running out of oil that Democrats, my Administration and our radical environmentalist allies will let this country produce. We’re running out of places we’ll let companies drill. We have 2 percent of world oil reserves, because we’ve made most of our resources off limits.”

If he were honest, he would also say: “We will demonize, penalize, hyper-regulate, tax and kill hydrocarbons. But we will mandate and subsidize wind, solar and ethanol, ignore their environmental and human costs, and extol the measly, expensive, unreliable energy they produce.

“We oppose subsidies for oil and coal companies (even in the form of tax deductions for actual expenses), because they promote drilling — and their CEOs and workers rarely vote for us. We support huge subsidies for wind, solar and ethanol, because those guys help keep us in power and drive a transition to renewables.

“We know oil, gas and coal generate royalty and tax revenues, and provide 85 percent of the energy that powers America and supports jobs, commuting, factories, transportation, tourism, hospitals, ambulances, churches and living standards. But we don’t care about that or about revenues, except when they come from higher taxes on corporations – or rich families that make over $250,000 … $150,000 … $65,000 a year. We detest free enterprise, and think government should control more of your energy, economy and lives.

“And we love the way supply and demand laws drive prices up. DC area gasoline is already $4.25 a gallon. That’s about half of what Energy Secretary Chu and I would like it to be: European prices. And we know restricting energy supplies even further will send all prices skyrocketing even higher.”

As crazy as they sound, these ideologies are even more frightening and demented in practice.

Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is projected to drop 240,000 barrels a day this year. That’s $9 billion more that America will have to pay this year to import replacement oil … $1.3 billion we won’t collect in federal royalty payments … thousands of jobs that won’t be “created or saved” … and billions in corporate, personal income and sales taxes we won’t collect.

The U.S. Geological Survey says upwards of 90 billion barrels remain to be discovered in the Arctic. ANWR alone could hold 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil, producible from areas totaling 1/20th of Washington, D.C. But it’s all locked up, off limits to We the People who own it.

Meanwhile, the huge Prudhoe Bay field is slowly running dry. So the Alaska Pipeline is operating at a fraction of its capacity, which increases corrosion and blockages in the pipe, magnifies the risk of ruptures and spills, and threatens the future of all Alaskan oil. Shell Oil spent $3.5 billion acquiring and exploring leases in the Chukchi Sea — but Interior and EPA refuse to issue drilling permits, because diesel emissions from the rig could cause global warming or affect the health of natives 20-50 miles away! It all adds up to less oil, less royalty revenue, fewer jobs and more imported oil. Just as Obama & Co. intend.

Made in America technology and innovation have unlocked centuries of new natural gas in U.S. shale formations (and similar deposits all over the world). This game-changing development has reduced gas prices … completely unhinged Obama, Democrat and other environmental ideologues … and devastated their “we’re running out” mantra. So they’ve rallied the troops, to produce a bogus “documentary” film (“Gasland”), a sloppy Cornell University “study,” and reams of new EPA regulations, to stymie shale gas. A thorough analysis by science writer Matt Ridley provides much needed facts and perspectives. (The same horizontal drilling and “fracking” technologies are also unlocking eco-nightmarish new oil riches.)

Coal generates half of all U.S .electricity, and 70-98 percent in twelve states — sustaining jobs by keeping air conditioning, heating and machinery operating costs at about half of what is typical in states that get little or no electricity from coal. But the EPA has issued 946 pages of new air quality rules and launched a massive propaganda campaign against mercury emissions — even though those power plants account for barely 0.5 percent of all mercury in the air Americans breathe. President Obama has said he wants to “bankrupt” the industry.

All told, over a billion acres of onshore and offshore energy prospects are locked up — costing us centuries of fuel, millions of jobs, and hundreds of billions in bonus, royalty and tax revenues. Of course, there are “no quick fixes” for our energy problems, as President Obama loves to remind us. But if we’d begun drilling in some of these places 10-20 years ago, we wouldn’t be in this fix today.

As to subsidies, even the alleged billions for oil companies are a pittance compared to subsidies for wind, solar and ethanol. Subsidies per unit of energy actually produced are even more shocking. According to the Energy Information Administration, gas-fired electricity generation received a mere 25 cents per megawatt-hour in 2007 subsidies; coal got 44 cents. By comparison, wind turbines got 23.4 dollars and photovoltaic solar received 24.3 dollars per mWh.

Moreover, oil and gas is 24/7 — with 95 percent reliability. The industry supports 9.2 million jobs, directly and in companies that depend on reliable, affordable oil, gas, gasoline, fertilizer, plastics, pharmaceuticals and electricity. It generates federal revenue, paying billions in taxes and royalties. The same holds true for coal.

By contrast, wind and solar produce electricity just two to eight hours a day — with backup generators making up the monumental shortfall. That means we must duplicate every megawatt of wind and solar with a MW of (mostly gas-fired) backup power — which requires even more land and raw materials to support the government-mandated transition to “eco-friendly” renewable energy systems.

More appalling, instead of generating tax or royalty revenues, wind and solar require perpetual subsidies. Solar panel maker Solyndra got a $535 “stimulus” loan in 2009; then, the day after the 2010 elections, it announced it was laying off 190 people. In April 2011 alone, the Department of Energy poured $9 billion in loan guarantees into wind and solar projects that will blanket large swaths of crop and habitat land.

Ethanol receives subsidies of $5.72 per million Btu (190 times what oil and gas companies get), so that we can burn food to make fuels that government won’t let us drill for. In 2010, American farmers turned 36 percent of their corn crop into ethanol, which provides 30 percent less energy than gasoline — meaning cars get less mileage per tank for more bucks per gallon. Making one gallon of this substandard fuel also requires some 1,700 gallons of water and large quantities of petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides. Worse, energy economist Indur Goklany calculates, biofuel policies cause up to 200,000 deaths a year in poor countries, by raising food prices, increasing malnutrition and making people more vulnerable to disease.

Overall, since assuming power in Washington, the Obama Administration has channeled over $60 billion into the “green jobs” sector. And the renewable energy subsidy train rolls on, with tanker cars of red ink bankrolled by US taxpayers and consumers — to provide less than 1 percent of the energy we use.

If Congress still refuses to hold inquiries and end these tax-subsidized scams, perhaps the most we can hope for is that a few courageous and publicly spirited governors and AGs will step into the breach.


New Technology Promises To Tap Vast Reserves of Methane — And Sequester CO2

They’ve done it in a laboratory: Scientists have injected carbon dioxide into the kind of methane ice that underlies vast tracts of permafrost in the Arctic and lurks beneath the deep seafloor throughout the world.

In that experiment, the carbon dioxide exchanged with the methane molecules. While the CO2 was sequestered inside the ice, the scientists extracted an energy source that may exist in nature in greater volume than all other fossil fuels combined.

Now DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, in partnership with Conoco Phillips, will try to repeat that success on the North Slope of Alaska.

NETL and Conoco Phillips have completed installation of a well they call “Iġnik Sikumi”— using Iñupiaq terms for “fire in the ice”—NETL announced yesterday. The well will be available for experimental operations this winter.

At that time, the scientists will begin injecting carbon dioxide into the well and capturing freed methane.

You may remember methane hydrate as the crystal that formed when methane gas escaped from the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead last summer, foiling efforts to cap the well and recapture the gushing oil.

Methane hydrate has also been written about for its potential to escalate climate change if warming seas and thawing permafrost release it to the atmosphere. It consists of methane gas trapped inside a lattice of ice and is believed to line the sea floor below depths of 300 meters in layers several hundred meters thick.
Methane hydrate chunk with dissociating methan...

“While global estimates vary considerably, the energy content of methane occurring in hydrate form is immense, possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels,” according to the Department of Energy.

So far, no commercially viable method has been found to tap that energy. DOE’s research and development program has focused on two priorities:

1) the need to detect and quantify methane hydrate deposits prior to drilling, and

2) the demonstration of methane production from hydrate at commercial volumes.

The Iġnik Sikumi project tackled the first of those priorities, documenting the location and concentration of methane hydrate deposits in saturated sandstone beneath the North Slope.

“The data confirm the occurrence of 160 feet of gas-hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs in four separate zones, as predicted, and provide insight into their physical and mechanical properties,” DOE stated.

Once extraction begins this winter, the team hopes to tackle the second priority over the next year.

China is also pursuing methane hydrate as an energy source, but through a very different method: constructing a seabase in Qingdao, Shandong Province, to serve a deep-sea submarine that will explore energy and mineral resources on the deep sea floor.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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