With The Deepest Respect, Charles, Please Do Shut Up
When Her Majesty read the Queen’s speech to the assembled houses of parliament last week, it was, as usual, impossible to tell whether she agreed with any of it, all of it or none of it.
We should make the most of this; for when or if her eldest son succeeds her, the coverage of what will then be the King’s speech will be full of informed speculation about Charles’s great displeasure at various aspects of it.
“My government will bring forward proposals to eliminate subsidies for renewable energy and therefore reduce the cost of heating for hard-working families”, for example, would provoke screeds about the monarch’s fury at such a proposal.
Or, worse, the absence of such a commitment, if it had been pledged in the election manifesto of the governing party, would immediately cause us to wonder if its excision from the gracious speech might have been a result of intensive lobbying by the King himself.
These thoughts are not provoked merely by the fact that for the first time the duty of attending the Commonwealth heads of government meeting has been passed to the prince, in recognition of the need to reduce the burden on the 87-year-old monarch.
Last week, at a conference at St James’s Palace, Prince Charles launched yet another attack on those who disagree with his views on the problems confronting the planet — in which he includes not just fossil fuels but all form of genetically modified crops. The prince criticised what he called “corporate lobbyists” for turning the Earth into a “dying patient”, and his intervention was praised at the conference by a member of the Spanish Socialist party’s think tank, who called such lobbyists “forces of darkness”.
Yet there is no lobbyist in the land with more access to government than Prince Charles himself. In this he is assiduous to the point of driving ministers to distraction (though none dares tell him so). And he gets results: if it were not for his obsessive efforts in the cause of homeopathy, successive governments would not have directed millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, via the NHS, towards the purchase of potions with no medical properties whatever.
Provoked by the scale of the prince’s behind-the-scenes lobbying, The Guardian has attempted to use the Freedom of Information Act to discover the true extent of his influence on ministers. Last September an FoI tribunal ruled that the public had the right to know how the prince had been seeking to alter or influence government policy. A month later the attorney-general, Dominic Grieve, overruled the tribunal and vetoed the publication of 27 letters between Charles and government ministers.
Grieve declared that the release of the prince’s “particularly frank” letters would “have undermined his position of political neutrality”; he added that “inherited monarchy could not be preserved” if the sovereign was seen to have abandoned such neutrality.
It was not hard to conclude that it was precisely because these letters demonstrated a ferocious partiality that their contents and effect had to remain secret. For the time being we must await the result of The Guardian’s appeal against Grieve’s decision, heard over two days at the High Court last week.
In the prince’s defence, his campaigns against GM crops and for “alternative” medicine — while they might, if successful globally, result in millions of avoidable deaths through starvation and inappropriate coffee enemas for cancer sufferers — are entirely public-spirited. He in turn should try to accept that those who take a different view from him are not all malevolent profiteers, but may also be concerned about what is good for the public as a whole.
The prince, indeed, might be summed up by that strangely disparaging term “do-gooder”, though he does not have the desperation for public approval that tends to characterise such people in political life. Moreover, his work with the Prince’s Trust is an admirable example of what such a sense of public duty can achieve, without courting controversy. Yet in the fields of medicine, agriculture, architecture and energy production, the prince is taking positions that are intensely partisan; and some of these are areas in which decisions have monumental economic implications for every family in the land.
Normally, when a highly influential public figure makes dramatic assertions on such topics — for example, Charles’s comment that industrial-scale food production will cause farmers to be “driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness” — we would expect him to agree to debate and defend his views with John Humphrys on the Today programme. Charles is a controversialist who will never allow himself to be questioned in open debate.
Even if this is out of a proper regard for royal dignity on his part, rather than any insecurity in a man of intellectual instincts but without all the necessary equipment, such a rigorous encounter might still do the prince some good.
One of the observations that even his friends make of him is that, unlike his mother, he is incapable of taking criticism; and although he is in a wonderful position to hear from the best, on both sides of every argument, he tends to listen only to those whose views match his own primordial prejudices — what in this context we should term “yes, sir” men.
The prince certainly needs someone to point out to him that the planet is not “dying” and that it was doing just fine when CO2 concentrations were vastly higher than they are now or are ever likely to be as a result of whatever amount of fossil fuels we burn.
He might also be told that his duties do not extend to “saving the planet” and that he could find enough to occupy his time in the everyday activities of being seen by his people and performing the often mundane and even tedious public functions associated with his status as the monarch’s representative.
Yet this is the man who in his book Harmony declared that he “would be failing in his duty to future generations and to the Earth itself” if he did not preach in this way. Again, we should not doubt Charles’s genuine concern, however much such grandiloquent expressions might seem more properly the role of popes than of princes. He is an anguished man; agonised, even.
Unfortunately for him — and perhaps for us — a monarch really should be someone at ease with his (or her) station in life. In the meantime, the prince’s job, dreadful though it may seem to him as the decades go by, is just to be the heir to the throne.
It was Jeremy Paxman in his book on royalty who pointed out that Charles “consistently misunderstood or ignored a basic truth at the heart of the relationship between royalty and the people. He seemed to believe his significance lay in what he believed and did. The truth was simply that his significance lay in who he was.”
As a result, we know far too much about him and what he thinks. A period of silence on his part would now be welcome.
An historical perspective from Dr. Vincent Gray
Comment from New Zealand. Dr Gray is now 90 and still has his marbles so he has a perspective few can match
My professional career began during the war when science made a substantial contribution to its outcome. We had vigorous scientific discussions both in public and in the media. We published them in the journals. We enjoyed prestige, attractive salaries and public confidence.
It declined immediately the war ended. R V Jones, in his “Most Secret War” recounts that as soon as the war ended the military were no longer interested in measures to improve conditions of survival of pilots.
We have benefited from technical progress, based on scientific discoveries of the past. Chemistry, X-Ray diffraction have enabled molecules to be visualized. Combined with the genetic code it has led to modern medicine and our longer lives. Computers and solid state physics have changed our communications completely.
The environmentalists accept these grudgingly, but they reject nuclear power, chemical pesticides, genetically engineered crops, and even (current National Geographic article) nitrogen based fertilizers. They have rubbished Darwin’s theories of evolution and replaced them by The Environment and Sustainability
There have not been any revolutionary scientific discoveries for 50 years. Scientists now live on short term contracts, interspersed with press announcements which either scare the public or claims to have made world shattering discoveries, all in the aid of receiving the next grant.
The climate models that have been foisted on the public would have been rejected by all the journals I knew in 1940. They can only gain credance in an atmosphere where science education has been replaced by dogmatic endorsements of the pioneers, and, increasingly, of the charlatans who have taken science over.
They have confessed that they are frauds in the Climategate letters, and even, as I point out, in such items as Jim Hansen’s item on “The Elusive Surface Temperature”
But, who cares? They still routinely promote the views of environmental activists on every excuse, Prince Charles and Al Gore keep up their worrying. So, at last, to get to the point of this Newsletter, are we returning slowly to reality? There are currently a number of indications that the worm is beginning to turn.
This is a method developed in 1947 for improving oil production which has been the deliverer of the United States economy where they now export oil, instead of importing. It has had the effect of making coal so cheap that it has boosted cosl-fired powers stations and made up the energy shortfall in Japan that followed their unwise abandonment of nuclear energy. European environmentalists and anti-nuclear Japanese must now face the fact that gas prices in the USA are now $3.32 per million BTU in USA, $11.77 in Europe and $I6.66 in Japan
The New Zealand Government seems at last to be encouraging oil exploration. Discouraging damaging protest and even approving the ming of gold in its traditional region, Waihi.
I have spent much effort pointing out that you cannot measure the average temperature of the earth’s surface and that the “Mean Global Surface Temperature Anomaly Record” is a very poor substitute. It is not a temperature record at all, but consists of a series of multiple averages each of which is based on a different mixture of measurements from unrepresentative weather stations. It is also, like all of the ”data” favoured by the IPCC, subtly biased to enable it to support the greenhouse theory.
What is amazing is that they did not do a better job, and that the world could be made to cringe at the thought of an increased temperature of less than one degree in 100 years.
Yet it has now got stuck. It has stayed much the same for 17 years and Dr Pachauri is so worried that he thinks it might last another 15 years before his desired warming actually happens.
Apart from the infected Met Services, like the UK where they still keep predicting forthcoming warm winters and our own service which failed to predict the drought. Most ordinary meteorologists carry on with genuine science which does not depend on greenhouse gas concentrations
The companies are going bust and the US is trying protectionism for its own dying manufacturers. Brian Leyland shows that windmills actually increase emissions of carbon dioxide because they have to be backed up with inefficient powere stations that can be frequently turned on and off.
Only 15% of greenhouse gas emissions currently come from countries that signed the Kyoto Treaty. The New Zealand Minister, Tim Groser, recommends it should be ditched (Carbon Price is “Inching close to zero”)
Eminent German climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson says no need for panic about climate
Over the last two decades climate change has evolved into a key worldwide issue with major involvement of media,the political community at different levels and the public at large not the least on Internet. The views vary widely but the dominant opinion is that climate change is genuine and a potential challenge to the world community at least in the longer perspective. This is also an opinion shared by a majority of leading scientists in the field. At the same time there is an increasing tendency towards a polarization in the opinion on climate change with on one hand a preference for dramatic and extreme consequences such as so called tipping points and on the other hand a tendency to even question basic aspects of the physics of climate change.
However, because of the strong public interest we are now facing a dilemma as the public and the political community have become too much involved in the climate change debate influencing the actual science and this not necessarily in a positive way as it implies an arbitrary selection of priorities and preferential issues.
Natural processes drive climate and practically all kinds of extreme weather have always been part of the climate and are practically unrelated to the modest warming we so far have had. The effect of increasing greenhouse gases is a slow but relentless process that will have to be dealt with but will require more time and better insight in key processes.Some events are seen as very dramatic as the reduced Arctic summer ice, others, even more puzzling, such as the surprising lack of warming in the tropical troposphere is hardly discussed.
The global temperature has not increased steadily but in irregular intervals. Typical features are a distinct warming trend 1910-1940, a slight cooling trend 1945-1970 followed by the sharp warming trend until the end of the 20th century and finally the last 15 years without any clear warming trend. The lack of any significant warming in the tropical troposphere since the beginning of space observations in 1979 is particularly intriguing in particular as present models show a warming trend over the same time of 0.3-0.4°C in the average, figure 2.
Such results, scientifically very puzzling as they are, have hardly received any media attention but instead the public has been overwhelmed in recent years by excessive reports of a rapid and threatening global warming very soon running out of control, unless the most drastic steps are taken to stop it. If there are no obvious global signals available, suitable arguments are created from an endless number of extreme weather events. The fact that similar extreme weather has been found to be a property of the present or undisturbed climate is not recognized. The global warming has been taken out of the hands of the meteorologists and traditional climatologists and is now run by professional media experts and different well-recognized members (political or otherwise) of the general public that have found the present climate hype to be a suitable way to remain or be obtain a place in the media limelight.
In the very emotional climate debate today is it hardly possible to have a sensible and balanced exchange of views. If you do not support climate catastrophes as the one recently from the World bank, you are placed into a deniers box and accused to support the interest of the oil industry or alternatively that you are a man in a senior age and therefore unable to understand the concerns of the younger generations. Some of our colleagues are exposed to a powerful group pressure or that of a politically correct boss. The real genuine interest in climate and climate processes is fading away as the interest is confined to the concept of climate typical of the general public or rather I shall say the predominant or politically correct concept of climate.
However, the observational records are clear and the global warming is proceeding much slower than generally is anticipated.
Instead of being grateful for this comforting result the reaction is rather the opposite. In the almost hysterical climate hype of today a less dramatic warming is not very well received as all political correct members of the public would prefer to hide this uncomfortable fact by following the popular maxim of letting the ends justify the means. From the standpoint of the green movement all political efforts, even extreme ones, are required as they wish to abandon fossil energy as well as nuclear energy and this at a time when the world population is increasing and where the lack of suitable energy is a primary obstacle towards a better life.
We do not yet know how to best solve the Earth’s energy problems but many thing may happen in the next 100 years. A modest climate sensitivity that is supported by observations combined with a transition from coal to natural gas will provide the world with a waiting time of half a century or so but not very much longer. This will make it possible to avoid unnecessary and highly expensive panic-type subsidized investments driven by political whims and the expectations of quickly earned money and instead invest available means in a well thought-through long- term energy research programs.
Italian Greenie paper does an about turn
April 10, 2013 will surely be remembered – at least in Italy - by the critics of the so called “consensus” on climate catastrophism as a memorable day, maybe a sort of “turning point”. It was the day when Repubblica, Italy's second most popular newspaper (330,000 copies/day) after the “Corriere della Sera," with offices and correspondents in cities throughout Europe, America, etc., published an unusual (for them) article, “The mystery of Earth no more over-heating” by journalist Elena Dusi.
The “meat” of the article was as follows:
“Between 2000 and 2010, 100 billion tons of CO2 have been released in the atmosphere. However, the “fever” of our planet remains unchanged. Earth is 0.75° C warmer than one century ago, but since 1998 no further increase of temperature was being recorded, in disrespect of all climate models forecasting a continuous heating by the greenhouse effect…”
Before commenting on these telling words, it seems necessary to inform the reader that Repubblica is one of the most “pro-greenie” Italian newspapers. In 2007 Repubblica devoted many articles and pages to the IPCC report (one of the most catastrophic ever!).
Let's be clear: usually Repubblica consumes a lot of column inches with interviews, analysis, graphics, comments, etc., regarding the issue of “global warming”. And needless to say, 100% of articles have been - till now - supporting the widely held opinions of the green community on melting Arctic ice, interviews with Al Gore, James Hansen, etc. All replete with comments from “experts” from the last conference on climate change; latest news on “eolian and photovoltaic” technologies, etc.,etc.
This is important to put forward, because for an Italian reader an article such as the above in Repubblica is so very surprising – more or less like finding a penguin crossing Death Valley in California; something that you never thought possible!
Although in the rest of the article the author is often quite cautious - interviewing meteorologists advising readers to still wait for some years yet before “acceptance” of this “unexpected” new trend - it is important to underline this new “change of mood.” It is a key change of opinions of even the most zealous supporters of climate catastrophism in the Italian media.
Now, the questions are: how could this happen? And – above all – is this also a signal foreshadowing a radical change in the so called “consensus” of the entire global scientific community regarding dangerous climatic warming?
In my opinion it is not so difficult to understand why this could happen. Although it is difficult to say how much time it will take for the whole scientific community to officially admit, after 20 years of doomsaying, that the anthropogenic climate alarm with its cornerstone "science" of the greenhouse gas theory is no more.
1) More and more scientists/researchers do not support anymore the “consensus” on climate.
It seems centuries ago when a scientist as eminent as the physicist Dr. Nir Shaviv in 2007 candidly admitted that in the past he believed that CO2 was causing a global warming because he was – like everyone – “listening to what the media was saying!”
After 2007 - the year of that most catastrophist report from the IPCC - more and more scientists began to release new studies criticizing as “not scientific” many IPCC statements and papers by man-made global warming/greenhouse gas obsessed supporters.
And many of them decided to form new scientific communities, as those who started Principia Scientific International, and others.
2) Public opinion is more skeptical regarding the issue of anthropogenic global warming
As in any sphere of cultural/scientific discourse it is very difficult to keep always a strong attitude and support favoring a wrong headed, yet widely held opinion, such as anthropogenic global warming.
When more and more scientists start to change their opinions, and when you have also powerful universal technological instruments – such as the Internet – to share new research challenging the “consensus," we should not be so shocked that the “wall” of supportive public opinion crumbles.
Actually, the height of public support for action on global warming came in the years between 1995 and 2005, and since then there has been a steady decline counterpointed by a growth in more skeptical attitudes.
3) The cold winters of the last 3-4 years
It should be remembered that particularly here in Italy at the end of ’90's and beginning of the new millenium – many persons were believing –according to the IPCC catastrophic forecasts – that winters were about to “disappear.” According to many newspapers there would have been no snow anymore up to 2,000 meters, and it would not be possible to grow “date-palm” and olives in the north of Italy (where the winters are cold), just as in Sicily and in the south.
Now, it has been enough for native Italians to see with their own eyes that the last three or four Italian winters were unexpectedly cold with lots of snow to persuade many of us that forecasts of man-made global warming alarmists were wrong.
Moreover, 5-10 years ago a scientist like Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, probably the only one warning of an imminent new ice age, was judged as an amusing “eccentric” in the scientific community. Not today.
Now that more and more scientists are sharing the opinion that a new mini ice age is very likely in the coming years/decades, more and more people are waking up to what they see with their own eyes and abandoning any fears of global warming.
4) Impact of the economic crisis
Another important factor likely explaining Repubblica’s change of mood seems to be the huge economic crisis, not just in in Italy but across many European countries (Greece, France, Spain, etc.). Repubblica's readers are feeling the pain.
Actually, it seems now anachronistic to be so worried by “reductions in CO2 emissions," as it was strongly suggested by the media until three or four years ago, as trumpeted by reports on the Kyoto protocol, Rio conference, etc. Now we are in an economic crisis compelling governments, individuals and industries to make painful cuts in expenditure.
Such widespread economic angst seems to me to be the wake up call behind the sudden and unexpected change by a newspaper like Repubblica on the issue of anthropogenic global warming. Now it has been signalled in Italy we shall see whether the pressure of necessity will signal the final worldwide crumbling of the scientific consensus concerning global warming.
Nils-axel Morner on the latest findings about Greenland ice and sea level
With very great pleasure did I read the paper by Faezeh et al. (2013) just printed in Nature (May 9). After a careful study of four major marine-terminating outlet glaciers, collectively draining 22% of the Greenland Ice Sheet, they were able to estimate the annual dynamic losses at volumes corresponding to a mean global sea level rise of 0.01–0.06 mm per year. In 100 years this would only give a sea level rise on 1-6 mm, which is insignificant.
By applying a hypothetical future warming or 2.8 oC they increase this value to 19–30 mm rise by year 2200 (or about 9-15 mm by year 2100). Even this value is so low that it poses no threat whatsoever to humanity.
What did I say?
I could refer to numerous previous papers of mine, but especially the paper on “Setting the frames of expected future sea level changes” (Mörner, 2011), where the problem of the contribution of glacial melting is specially addressed (Fig. 1).
During the Holocene Climatic Optimum with a temperature 2.5 oC higher than today, the Greenland ice cap seems to have been of roughly the same dimensions as today. The Little Ice Ages of the last 600 years with significantly larger glaciers had small to insignificant effects on mean global sea level.
A sea level rise of today would never stay a chance to exceed that of the main melting phase at the end of the Last Ice Age which amounted to about 10 mm year-1 (i.e. 1.0 m in 100 years); on the contrary, it would have to be well within these frames.
Now, we can see that the present day melting of the Greenland Ice Cap provides sea level effects that are minute to negligible and fall well within the values of about 1 mm year-1 (Fig. 1) recorded during the last 300 years (Mörner, 2004).
Signs that warming scare is all hot air
by Andrew Bolt, writing from Australia
AND so the great global warming scare dies. Around Australia, bruised taxpayers will ask each other: "What the hell was that about?"
The 10 signs of the death of the scare are unmistakable. Now it's time to hold the guilty to account.
Just why did we spend the past year paying the world's biggest carbon tax, which drove our power bills through the roof?
Why were our children forced to sit through multiple screenings of Al Gore's dodgy scare-flick An Inconvenient Truth?
Why did we scar the most beautiful parts of our coast with ludicrously expensive windfarms?
And why did so many people swallow such bull, from the British Climatic Research Unit's prediction that "children just aren't going to know what snow is" to ABC science presenter Robyn Williams' claim that 100m rises in sea levels this century were "possible, yes".
Yes, we may yet see some warming resume one day.
But we will be wiser. We have learned not to fall so fast for the end-of-the-world sermons of salvation-seekers and the tin-rattling of green carpetbaggers. And here is why.
1st sign: The world isn't warming
Yes, the planet warmed about 0.7 degrees last century, but then halted.
Professor Richard Lindzen, arguably the world's most famous climate scientist, has argued for two years that "there has been no warming since 1997". Others date the pause as late as 2000.
Even the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted in its latest draft report that while its usual measurements of global temperature found some warming trends since 1998, "none of these are statistically significant".
2nd sign: The warming models are wrong
The weekend papers screamed alarm: "The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history."
But wait. Lots more carbon dioxide, but no more warming? This isn't what we were told to expect.
See, predictions the world is heating dangerously are based on mathematical models of how the climate is meant to work. Add our emissions to the equation, and scientists are meant to figure how much the world should warm. But as Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told a US Congressional committee last month, those models guessed too high, and didn't predict pauses in warming longer than 17 years.
Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, found the global temperature since 2005 on the very lowest end of the widest range predicted by influential climate models.
3rd sign: Warming disasters aren't happening
In 2007, Chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery predicted "even the rain that falls isn't actually going to fill our dams and our river systems". But it did.
In 2001, the IPCC predicted "milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms". But the US National Snow and Ice Data Center this year tried to claim global warming had now increased snowstorms in the US.
In 2008, Greens leader Bob Brown claimed data showed "drought is the new norm across Australia's greatest foodbowl", the Murray-Darling basin. But the drought quickly broke.
Same story with so many other scares. Al Gore was wrong - the critical glaciers of the Himalayas are not vanishing, with Bristol University researchers now finding "negligible mass loss". Nor are we getting more cyclones, bigger floods, worse diseases or greater famines, as some predicted.
4th sign: People are relaxing
People are now less prone to panic, as a Lowy Institute poll confirmed.
In 2006, two in three Australians thought global warming was so serious we should act now, even if it cost us plenty. Five years later, just one in three Australians thought that.
5th sign: The rest of the world is chilling, too
The Gillard Government told us it was not ahead of the world with its carbon tax. Other countries were just as scared of global warming and keen to stop it.
Rubbish. The US still won't agree to a national carbon tax, because voters won't wear it. China, the world's biggest emitter, doesn't have one either.
And Europe, home of the world's biggest carbon trading system, is now so broke and bored with global warming that the price of its permits has fallen to under $5, a fraction of our own $23 a tonne, leaving us looking like mugs.
6th sign: Even Labor hardly seems to care now
If the Gillard Government still believed "climate change is the great moral challenge of our generation", would it have tied our own carbon trading system from 2015 to Europe's, so permits could fall as pathetically low as $5?
Would it now be considering hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to green schemes in tomorrow's Budget?
7th sign: A bit of warming seems good for us
Global production of wheat, rice and corn have all doubled since 1970, when man-made global warming is said to have really taken off.
Perhaps it's because of better farming. But more warming also means more rain in most places, and more carbon dioxide means more plant food.
8th sign: Warming seems worth the price of getting richer
More carbon dioxide is what we get when lots more people become rich, helping themselves to more electricity and all things that use it.
That is why China's carbon dioxide emissions soared as it dragged hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. China now produces a quarter of the world's man-made gases and rising. It's the price of progress.
9th sign: "Stopping" warming isn't working
Australians pay a $9 billion-a-year carbon tax and billions more in subsidies for "green" technology.
If we keep paying these billions for the next seven years, what difference will we make to the world's temperature by the end of the century?
Australia's Professor Roger Jones, a warmist, says no more than 0.0038 degrees, and that's even assuming the climate models are right.
10th sign: Sceptical scientists now get a hearing
In 2007, ABC staff protested when the ABC decided to finally show one documentary questioning the warming scare, The Great Global Warming Swindle.
The ABC compromised. The screening was given a hostile introduction and was followed with an even more hostile panel session.
That's how hard it was for sceptical scientists to get a hearing.
That wall is now breaking. Dissent is being heard, with Professor Ian Plimer's sceptical Heaven and Earth alone selling more than 40,000 copies here.
Yes, the world may start warming again. Yes, our emissions may be partly to blame.
But, no, this great scare is unforgivable. It's robbed us of cash and, worse, our reason.
Thank God for the 10 signs that this madness is over.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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