Monbiot on Plimer

Ian Plimer is well aware that numerous serious errors of fact and interpretation have been exposed in his book but has yet to mount any kind of substantive response — all he has done is call his critics names. As a result James Delingpole leaves himself wide open when he writes an excessively credulous review of Heaven and Earth:

My tribe doesn’t believe in global warming! … Plimer has a sciency-looking book saying it’s all a big hoax! … the Australian government will collapse … Al Gore is fat!

OK, that was a paraphrase. Except for the bit about the Australian government collapsing.

George Monbiot takes advantage of the obvious opening.


In one of the gravest misjudgments in journalism this year, today the Spectator has made the book’s British publication its cover story, with the headline “Relax: Global Warming is all a myth”. Its story consists of a hagiography of Plimer by James Delingpole, a man who knows — and cares — less about science than I do about Formula One. Plimer’s book, he says, is “going to change forever the way we think about climate change”, as it demonstrates that anthropogenic global warming “is the biggest, most dangerous and ruinously expensive con trick in history.” Delingpole takes the opportunity to cite the usual conspiracy theories about the “powerful and very extensive body of vested interests” working to suppress the truth, which presumably now includes virtually the entire scientific community and everyone from Shell to Greenpeace and The Sun to Science magazine. That took some organising.

I have come to expect this sort of rubbish from Delingpole but I’m amazed that the Spectator is prepared to run a story like this on its cover when a quick check would have shown that it’s utter nonsense.

Comments

  1. #1 bi -- IJI
    July 19, 2009

    Shorter Ray:

    1. Climate scientists acknowledge that there are uncertainties surrounding climate science. Therefore, climate scientists are religious zealots.
    2. Conclusion: Plimer is absolutely correct in absolutely everything he says.

  2. #2 Betula
    July 19, 2009

    Janet…..

    You seem to have failed to show me a comment where I defended George Bush, other than to show that I cited crimes of Clinton……so I understand your frustration.

    Don’t get me wrong, you have a knack for assumption and accusation that is quite commendable, though a little hard to follow…..but I think I’ve figured it out..

    Using your logic @ 89…… since I am currently visiting this site, I can somehow be associated with every bloggers comments on this site, as can you….

    I’m going to refer to this as “Janets law @ 89″, and it will state that “anyone who watches,reads or links to a source of information, is hereby associated with, and assumed to be defending, all information generated around that source, yet at the same time, can be assumed to be defending the opposite of all generated information, when the need fits”

    It’s quite simple really, and it can be applied to most anything. Here are a few examples….

    1. I recently watched “Old Yeller”. Using Janet’s law @ 89, I agree the dog should have been shot, therefore I hate Dogs and I’m defending all Dog killers.

    2. I recently linked a YouTube video showing Biden joking about Obamas teleprompter….Using Janet’s Law @ 89, I am now associated with all comments ever posted on every YouTube video, and I’m defending Ronald Reagan.

    3. I read parts of “An Anarchists Cook Book” while in college. According to Janet’s Law @ 89, I am an Anarchist.

    4. Janet linked us to her “favourite source”, The Skeleton Closet @ 52.
    We find on this site (under Al Gores skeleton closet) this statement……
    “One thing is, like several of this year’s candidates (notably George W. Bush), Gore has grown up in that protected, distorted world of wealth and privilege that makes it so difficult for him to understand normal people and normal life”

    Janet, according to your own logic @ 89, by linking us to that site, you are comparing Al Gore to George Bush….

    Shame on you!

  3. #3 Betula
    July 19, 2009

    Shorter bi @ 91….

    Joe Biden joked about Obamas need for a teleprompter, Biden is defending Bush. Bill Clinton lied, Clinton is defending Bush. Lincoln was shot, Lincoln was defending Bush.

  4. #4 luminous beauty
    July 19, 2009

    Betula,

    One might think when Obama pauses while speaking off the cuff, he is thinking about what he is saying before he speaks.

    Unfortunately, Betula doesn’t think except to mimic right wing talking points, so this wouldn’t occur to him.

    I hear Obama likes spicy brown mustard on his gourmet hamburgers, too.

    Shocking!

  5. #5 Janet
    July 19, 2009

    Betula, Hand waving, might work with your pals at Free Republic, but not here.

    You somehow forgot the key difference between this site and your favourite site, that being you agree with the mob at Free Republic. You agree soooo much that you copy and paste their work and try to pass it off as your own.

    And hand waving and attempt at distraction was also your tactic to try and shift blame from Bush his enablers (and his shadow-men) for the hundreds of thousands killed in the criminal Iraq invasion.

    The crickets are chirping in response to my invitation to set me straight:
    > But please set me straight Betula, did Bush Get it right on Iraq, the Economy, the Inequality and the Environment?

    While the crickets chirp, readers might conclude, my judgement of your support for Bush is correct.

  6. #6 Observa
    July 19, 2009

    Betual certainly went to some effort to attempt to shift discussion away from the travesty of the Iraq war. It must take some real effort to gather [all those quotes](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/warbloggers_predictions_of_coa.php#comment-1765731) whilst leaving out the assessment of Hans Blix, and the whistle blowers on the military-intelligence-political complex?

    Betual, how did you feel when millions around the world marched to say, we don’t believe the lies put forward for this war?

    If you want to believe those who [will profit form war](http://www.spinwatch.org.uk/-news-by-category-mainmenu-9/149-iraq/908-iraq-wmd-report-to-lay-blame-on-cia), your cherry picked quotes might help your aims. But if you want to consider a wide scope of relevant background you might pay attention to those going out on a limb (at great personal cost), and those who have been show to be accurate.

    Rod Barton quit in disgust after the [CIA censored a crucial WMD report]( http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2005/s1300705.htm), leading to deletion of central facts and conclusions.

    That means paying attention to what Andrew Wilkie, Scott Ritter and David Kelly each had to say about the faulty the invasion story whilst it was being swallowed by the media-political-profit complex.

  7. #7 Ray
    July 20, 2009

    As for Ray’s statement: “This why there are so many reputable scientists who are skeptical”. Speaking as a scientist who actually does a lot of science, Ray, what do you exactly mean by ‘reputable’? Those names who appear on petitions set up by corporate funded think tanks? To me a reputable scientist is one who does intensive research in a field, publishes their results in rigidly peer-reviewed journals, and viligintly refuses to be associated with any groups (especially those where profot margins are concerned) that will use their name to promote a political agenda. The truth is that reputable scientists are always sceptical – that is how science advances. However, by scpetical you actually mean in denial over the causes and consequences of AGW. Isn’t this correct? Now that is an entirely different ballgame. Very few reputable scientists (see my description above) are denialists.
    Posted by: Jeff Harvey | July 19, 2009 8:29 AM

    Jeff,

    My experience on this site has informed me that whatever scientist one quotes in support of an opposing view will be immediately villified and denigrated on all sorts of matters that are not related to climate science.

    If I quote, for example, the views of Roy Spencer who is a very highly qualified meteorologist with a Ph.D, who is involved with the analysis of satelite data on climate matters, the immediate response on this site will be to attack Roy Spencer’s religious views. What more proof do you require that AGW (as expressed on this site) is a religiou matter?

    My last quation for Ray is this: Are you yourself a scientist? If not, what gives you the confidence to know the relative number of those clearly in denial over AGW? Speaking ‘from the inside’, I can tell you that the number in most fields is exceedingly small.
    Posted by: Jeff Harvey | July 19, 2009 8:29 AM

    I’m not a professional scientist, earning a living as such. But my education was largely scientific and I believe I understand well the principle of falsifiability. If you cant’t think of a way of falsifying your theory, it’s not scientifically secure.

    Of course one can’t expect Politicians, such as Penny Wong, to understand this. Their expertise is in Law and Arts. Senator Fielding, with a degree in Engineering, would better appreciate the true scientific implications of the AGW argument. (But of course, he’s described as an idiot.)

    The bodgy scienctific conclusions of the IPCC lend themselves to a new religion for those who have lost their religious faith due to other scientific discoveries. The power of science which has demolished the historical truth of the scriptures written by sages who were clueless of scientific matters, is now presenting itself as a religious certainty with regard to AGW.

    But let me say, I don’t really believe that the scientists behind the research are nearly so certain. The certainty is politicised in order to get action.

  8. #8 Janet Akerman
    July 20, 2009

    Jeff,

    Ray doesn’t need evidence, he “believe[s]”.

    And here we finally have Ray’s definition of “proof”.
    Forget the overwhelming evidence of AGW, Ray has proof of something:
    >If I quote, for example, the views of Roy Spencer who is a very highly qualified meteorologist with a Ph.D, who is involved with the analysis of satelite data on climate matters, the immediate response on this site will be to attack Roy Spencer’s religious views. What more proof do you require that AGW (as expressed on this site) is a religiou matter?

    Ray, great to see you are so skeptical. It sure takes rock hard evidence to convince you. Did the critics of Spenser use his creationism in response to your arguemnt from authority?

  9. #9 MAB
    July 20, 2009

    Ray, I’m waiting for you to backup your calim [from earlier:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/monbiot_on_plimer.php#comment-1784724)

    >Ray writes:

    >>They are beyond the principle of falsifiability.

    >Ray what is your basis for this claim? I believe you are again talking nonsense. So back up your claim and provide some evidence that you are really a skeptic rather than a pseudo-skeptic nonsensne spouter.

  10. #10 Ray
    July 20, 2009

    Did the critics of Spenser use his creationism in response to your arguemnt from authority?
    Posted by: Janet Akerman | July 20, 2009 12:23 AM

    Yes they did. They demonstrated a complete lack of scientific rigor and enquiry, by lumping all creationist views as endorsing the view that dinasaurs walked with man, and that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

    Anyone who has visited Roy Spencer’s site would understand that he is not a creationist in the fundamental sense, as Isaac Newton probably was, but thinks that a theory of intelligent design could explain the lack of definitive proof for Darwin’s theory.

    I don’t agree with him on this issue. But I refrain from misrepresenting his views in order to attack them.

    This practice of misrepresenting the views of others in order to refute the sense and intelligence of their argument, is a practice employed by scoundrels

  11. #11 Janet Akerman
    July 20, 2009

    Ray,

    If you are applealing to Spenser’s authority, then his authority is the issue you’ve put on the table. His belif in creationism is a legitimate questions when considering his authority.

    Instead of appealing to Spensor’s authority, you should stick with his arguments on the the issues. I know that critics of Spenser here have dealt with the [errors and poor practice](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/roy_spencer/) that has influenced Spenser’s claims.

  12. #12 Barton Paul Levenson
    July 20, 2009

    Ray writes:

    Senator Fielding and Ian Plimer are certainly no idiots or frauds.

    Ray, Ian Plimer thinks the sun is made out of iron.

  13. #13 Barton Paul Levenson
    July 20, 2009

    Ray writes:

    Senator Fielding, with a degree in Engineering, would better appreciate the true scientific implications of the AGW argument.

    One possible definition of a pseudoscientist: Someone who thinks engineers are scientists.

  14. #14 Ray
    July 20, 2009

    Ray,
    If you are applealing to Spenser’s authority, then his authority is the issue you’ve put on the table. His belif in creationism is a legitimate questions when considering his authority.
    Instead of appealing to Spensor’s authority, you should stick with his arguments on the the issues. I know that critics of Spenser here have dealt with the errors and poor practice that has influenced Spenser’s claims.
    Posted by: Janet Akerman | July 20, 2009 3:13 AM

    Janet,

    I appeal to no-one’s authority. I try to work things out for myself, something that seems almost impossible for most constributors to this blog.

    We’re all under the influence of our up-bringing, and a whole host of other influences. People hold views that are conditioned by their experiences.

    Know that conditioning and you can manipulate them.

    I’m not interested in manipulating people, just telling the truth as I see it.

    I’m always open to correction on my views. But so far most of the corrections on this site take the form of ad hominem attacks.

  15. #15 Jeff Harvey
    July 20, 2009

    Ray,

    Spencer is an outlier. The very fact that most of the prominent sceptics can be counted on one hand should be enough evidence of this. For every Spencer, Lindzen, Baliunas, Soon, Singer, Balling and Michaels there are hundreds if not thousands of qualified climate scientists with very different views to theirs. Te very fact that we know many of the denialists by name shows how often they are quoted in the corporate maninstream media. Moreover, you should check the number of recent peer-reviewed publications by many of the so-called luminaries amongst the denialist camp. You’ll find that most of them hardly publish anyhting nowadays and instead rely upon think tanks and astroturf sites to maintain their status. The very fact that its primarily the same names amongst the most prominent of the denialists that were around 10-15 years ago should give some indication how small their number really is. Back in the 1990s, a memo was leaked from the American Petroleum Society in which concerns was expressed that the anti-AGW lobby was effectively using up its credibility by relying on the same scientists to promomote the argument of denial. The memo went on to state that the APS should aim to recruit a new generation of what they termed as ‘independent scientists’ to promote the views of the fossil fuel industry which was clearly not interested in the science but in maintaining the status quo. More than ten years later and yet we still see the same names (I listed some of them above) being used to downplay the human component in the current warming. A few new ones have been added since, but the denial camp still relies primarily on the same people. This should be enough to suggest that there really aren’t that many ‘reputable’ scientists in the denial camp. And as I said above, many of those on the recent petitions hardly publsih anything in the empirical literature.

    Your point regarding the principle of falsifiability is a red herring. Very few theories or hypotheses in earth science (esepcially in environmental science) are iron-clad. As scientists, we set up hypotheses and then test them. Even if the hypothesis is accepted, the results of individual experiments do not necessarily constitute a general rule and thus all empirical results of experiments should be treated with some caution. But the fact is that, although science has never advanced by consensus, public policy must be based on it. Rarely is empirical evidence of a process absolute. However, this in no way precludes the fact that there is high statistical probability that a process is due to a specific causal factor. On this basis we are certain beyond a reasonable doubt that the current warming is due primarily to human forcing, and that the consequences of inaction may have serious consequences for the health and vitality of our global ecological life support systems and, ultimately, for us. On this basis it is prudent that action is taken to reduce the impact the human combustion of fossil fuels is likely to have across the biosphere. Using your falsibility argument, we’ll wait until kingdom come and beyond before we act, and by then it will be way, way too late.

  16. #16 Mark
    July 20, 2009

    One way to prove AGW false would be to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

    If the temperature goes down, then AGW from CO2 is true. If it doesn’t, then AGW from CO2 is false.

  17. #17 Ray
    July 20, 2009

    Ray, I’m waiting for you to backup your calim from earlier:

    Ray writes:
    They are beyond the principle of falsifiability.
    Ray what is your basis for this claim? I believe you are again talking nonsense. So back up your claim and provide some evidence that you are really a skeptic rather than a pseudo-skeptic nonsensne spouter.
    Posted by: MAB | July 20, 2009 12:29 AM

    I would have thought this is obvious. There are two issues. One, a slight rising in temperature that rivals the temperatures prevalent in the Medieval Warming period, and (2) how much of this repetition of the Medieval Warming period is due to our C02 emissions?

    That’s the $64,000 question which has not be answered conclusively.

    If you want to predict that sea levels will rise 1 metre (in 50 years, whatever), you have to demonstrate that you understand precisely and exactly all the influences, without exception, that affect climate change.

    There’s no such claim, even from the IPCC.

  18. #18 Ray
    July 20, 2009

    Spencer is an outlier. The very fact that most of the prominent sceptics can be counted on one hand should be enough evidence of this .
    Posted by: Jeff Harvey | July 20, 2009 5:11 AM

    Well, Jeff, thanks for at least a rational response.

    Not necessarily. When there’s a powerful consensus in place it sometimes takes a lot of courage to speak your mind, even in Australia. In China, you’re in jail.

    I recall many stories in Australia of ‘whistle blowers’ losing their jobs and credibility. On this site alone, I’ve been called an idiot and a moron many times. If I were a renouned scientist questioning the case for AGW, I would certainly be reluctant to post my views on this site. It would be like casting pearls before swine.

    I’m new to this climate debate. I’ve got a lot to learn. But I smell a rat already.

  19. #19 MAB
    July 20, 2009

    So to clarify Ray,

    You are not claiming that AGW is “beyond They are beyond the principle of falsifiability”

    This is a claim you disagree with and did not make? We wouldn’t want anyone to be confused about your bold claims.

  20. #20 Janet Akerman
    July 20, 2009

    Ray writes:
    >If I quote, for example, the views of Roy Spencer who is a very highly qualified meteorologist with a Ph.D, who is involved with the analysis of satelite data on climate matters, the immediate response on this site will be to attack Roy Spencer’s religious views. What more proof do you require that AGW (as expressed on this site) is a religiou matter?

    Janet Akerman writes:
    >Did the critics of Spenser use his creationism in response to your arguemnt from authority?

    Ray writes in reply:
    >[Did the critics of Spenser use his creationism in response to your arguemnt from authority]…Yes they did [emphasis added]. They demonstrated a complete lack of scientific rigor and enquiry, by lumping all creationist views as endorsing the view that dinasaurs walked with man, and that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

    Janet Akerman writes:
    > If you are applealing to Spenser’s authority, then his authority is the issue you’ve put on the table. His belif in creationism is a legitimate questions when considering his authority.
    >Instead of appealing to Spensor’s authority, you should stick with his arguments on the issues. I know that critics of Spenser here have dealt with the errors and poor practice that has influenced Spenser’s claims.
    Ray responds:
    > I appeal to no-one’s authority. ..

    Ray go back and read this conversation again.

  21. #21 Janet Akerman
    July 20, 2009

    Then Ray kindly backup your claim, and provide the “many stories, as in:

    >I recall many stories in Australia of ‘whistle blowers’ losing their jobs…

    Or is this more pseudo-skeptical rubbish?

  22. #22 Betula
    July 20, 2009

    Janet asks….

    “But please set me straight Betula, did Bush Get it right on Iraq, the Economy, the Inequality and the Environment?”

    This is classic….. you accuse me of defending Bush without evidence, so you ask me to defend Bush in an attempt to prove your false accusation correct?

    Janet, I would gladly answer the question, if rephrased, perhaps to something like this…….

    Betula,

    I realize I haven’t questioned the facts you presented, but rather questioned your motives for presenting them.

    My assumptions and accusations are a direct result of my ideological blinders that tend to obscure and repel reality while creating frustration and confusion.

    At the risk of waking up from my dream like state, I will attempt to lose my blinders and would like to ask you the following question…….

    Respectfully, Janet.

    Go ahead, give it a try.

  23. #23 Observa
    July 20, 2009

    Jeff,

    Don’t be fooled by Rays foe skepticism, [here is](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/moncktons_vision_of_the_future.php#comment-1776252) a little background on Ray that may save you wasting any time with him.

    And here are some [other choice](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/moncktons_vision_of_the_future.php#comment-1761900), quotes that might help you judge if Ray is trying to [waste time](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/moncktons_vision_of_the_future.php#comment-1786842).

  24. #24 Janet
    July 20, 2009

    Betula Darlin,
    Did you miss the evidence on which I based my judgement of your support for George Bush? Fortunately I can link you back to it, [here]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/monbiot_on_plimer.php#comment-1784194) and [here]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/monbiot_on_plimer.php#comment-1784194).

    See darlin, you accuse me of making an assumption about your support for Bush, but I expose you for apologetics for Bushes war crimes with your hand waving, and attempt at distraction.

    Chirp, chirp.

    Now I notice Observa has some [interesting questions]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/monbiot_on_plimer.php#comment-1786354). How did you feel when millions around the world saw through the lies, and marched in protest?

    Chirp, chirp.

  25. #25 luminous beauty
    July 20, 2009

    There are two issues. One, a slight rising in temperature that rivals the temperatures prevalent in the Medieval Warming period, and (2) how much of this repetition of the Medieval Warming period is due to our C02 emissions?

    20th century warming is significantly greater in amplitude, modality and global homogeneity than the [MWP](http://planetsave.com/files/2008/09/0901pnas2.jpg). It rivals any rate change in global temperatures since the end of the last [ice age](http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev_png) and the maximum temperatures of any interglacial in the last [3 million years.](http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/d/d3/Five_Myr_Climate_Change_Rev.png) 20th Century warming and the MWP simply aren’t comparable.

    20th Century warming is likely all due to human generated greenhouse gas and land use change [plus](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig614.html) some small amount of cooling that has been averted. The climate has been generally cooling since the Holocene Maximum as the procession of the Earth’s axial tilt has moved in relation to the obliquity of the Earth’s orbit, fluctuating by relatively small variances due to slight differences in sunspot cycles, the stochastic clustering of explosive volcanic events, and small albedo changes, either natural or due to human activities.

  26. #26 t_p_hamilton
    July 20, 2009

    Shorter Ray:”Nobody opposes the consensus because brave people are afraid to work in climate science. I am not an idiot.”

  27. #27 Chris S.
    July 20, 2009

    Ray.

    Can I point you in the direction of this site?: http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/

    You may find it handy in your quest for determining who the rat is in this quote “I’m new to this climate debate. I’ve got a lot to learn. But I smell a rat already.”

    Google scholar may help you too…

  28. #28 Betula
    July 21, 2009

    Janet says….

    “Did you miss the evidence on which I based my judgement of your support for George Bush?”

    I saw your evidence, that’s why I’m questioning your judgement.

    According to you, linking factual information about someone other than a republican, is an indicator of support for George Bush, as long as that information counters a belief or exposes hypocrisy.

    I understand your judgement is impaired by, well, your judgement, so I won’t ask you again to show me where I indicated support for Bush, lest the question itself be misconstrued as support for Bush.

    As for your favorite site (The Skeleton Closet) comparing Al Gore to George Bush, I feel your pain, but that is an issue you are going to have to deal with yourself.

    The little comfort I can offer you is the one thing I learned from you….. since we are both visiting Deltoid, you must assume we are of the same mindset.

    At least we’ll always have that.

  29. #29 Mark
    July 21, 2009

    Betula, who would want anything off you except your absence?

    Go find a place where Shrub Is God and Obama is The Black Satan and feel all comfy.

    At least give us that.

  30. #31 Gerhard Kramm
    July 22, 2009

    #86

    sod,

    a feedback process is a physical process. It is described by physical equations, but not by statistical results that are derived on the basis of past observations.

  31. #32 Gerhard Kramm
    July 22, 2009

    #113

    Dear Barton Paul,

    please do me a favor and describe a physically adequate experiment that may be used to prove the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect by empirical evidence. There is an urgent requirement to establish such an experiment because the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect is only related to a hypothesis. As long as this hypothesis cannot be verified by empirical evidence it will be still a non-proven hypothesis without any scientific meaning.

  32. #33 Gerhard Kramm
    July 22, 2009

    #60

    Dear Joshua,

    you are not a native speaker even you are familiar with the German language. A adequate translation into English would be:

    “His theses are considered as correct; his lab is reputed to be the leading institute for the central theme of our society: climate change.”

    This is the opinion of the two editors (in German: Redakteure) of the German Magazine, Der Spiegel, carefully expressed to avoid any trouble either with Rahmstorf or persons who do not agree with the editors’ opinion.

    News media people are trained to use such soft formulations for protecting themselves and their employers against any kind of attack. Supermarket tabloids, for instance, would struggle to survive if they would write their stories (even accurate) in such a plain language as used in science.

    Note that in the German language the word “These” means a statement that demands the proof of the truth.

  33. #34 Mark
    July 22, 2009

    > please do me a favor and describe a physically adequate experiment that may be used to prove the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect by empirical evidence.

    > Posted by: Gerhard Kramm

    Yes. Burn 10 billion tons of fossil fuels for 80 years.

    It’s a common denier meme: show me empirical evidence!

    But anything which isn’t an actual world being actually forced through extinction isn’t for them evidence.

    Why do you need empirical evidence?

    Prove 1+1=2

    I DEMAND IT.

    Prove it.

    1 + 1 = 2

    +++++++++++++++++++

    There is evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    There is no evidence that this doesn’t work in the real atmpsphere.

    There are calculations based on the basic physics that do.

    Look for the 1956 apers by Gilbert Plass:

    Plass, G.N. (1956a). “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change.” Tellus 8: 140-54.

    Plass, G.N. (1956b). “The Influence of the 15 Band on the Atmospheric Infra-Red Cooling Rate.” Quarterly J. Royal Meteorological Society 82: 310-29.

    Plass, G.N. (1956c). “Infrared Radiation in the Atmosphere.” American J. Physics 24: 303-21.

    Plass, G.N. (1956d). “Carbon Dioxide and the Climate.” American Scientist 44: 302-16.

    Plass, G.N. (1956e). “Effect of Carbon Dioxide Variations on Climate.” American J. Physics 24: 376-87.

    Plass, G.N. (1959). “Carbon Dioxide and Climate.” Scientific American, July, pp. 41-47.

    Got any proof that these calculations were wrong?

  34. #35 Mark
    July 22, 2009

    > a feedback process is a physical process. It is described by physical equations, but not by statistical results that are derived on the basis of past observations.

    > Posted by: Gerhard Kramm

    My god! How did you manage to fake it through college with THAT limited an understanding?

    How do you determine the feedback strength you idiotic faux professor???

    1) If it’s simple enough, calculation

    (note: even then you MUST prove it correct by measurement. Guess what: statistics used there you moron)

    2) If it isn’t simple or is emergent, experiment

    Oh, look. Statistics again.

    How did you manage to fake your way with that level of inexcusable idiocy?

  35. #36 janet
    July 22, 2009

    Rather than distract from the demolition of Kramm’s “argument”. I’ll reply to Darlin Betula back at the [Warblogger’s posting](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/warbloggers_predictions_of_coa.php#comment-1791103).

  36. #37 MAB
    July 22, 2009

    Gerhard Kramm is suggesting (@133) that use of neutral language by news editors is evidence that ??? what is it evidence of??

  37. #38 Barton Paul Levenson
    July 23, 2009

    Gerhard Kramm writes:

    please do me a favor and describe a physically adequate experiment that may be used to prove the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect by empirical evidence.

    John Tyndall did lab work to show that water vapor and carbon dioxide were greenhouse gases back in 1859.

    Back-radiation from the atmosphere can be measured with a device called a pyrgeometer (google it).

    The sun only provides enough energy to warm the Earth to 255 K. Earth’s mean global annual surface temperature is 287-288 K.

  38. #39 Martin Vermeer
    July 23, 2009

    #57 sod, #58 Dr Gerhard Kramm:

    Bitte erlaube mich ein herzliches Dank auszusprechen für die indirekte Link nach Dr Rahmstorf’s Schreiben in der Frankfurter Allgemeine. Leider sind solche gutgeschriebene und wohldokumentierte Beiträge zur Verteidigung der Wissenschaft und gegen der Unsinn auch heute noch hochrelevant.

    http://www.faz.net/s/RubC5406E1142284FB6BB79CE581A20766E/Doc~EC099321135B34E6C82F4BF639A779CCE~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

    Nochmals Dank!

  39. #40 Bernard J.
    July 23, 2009

    Further to Barton’s reference to [Tyndall’s work](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyndall#Main_scientific_work) over 150 years ago, I suggest that Gerhard Kramm Google ‘carbon dioxide greenhouse experiment’ or some such, and see just how many people, even at high school level, routinely demonstrate the effect.

    If Kramm is serious in his babbling about “empirical evidence”, I can only assume that he has as much genuine scientific understanding as [Piers Akerman](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/07/piers_akerman_takes_denial_to.php.

    It seems that the Denialists’ rhetorial vehicle for promoting the science for their case is still up on blocks, with its donk swinging from the rafters…

  40. #41 Mark
    July 23, 2009

    I want some empirical evidence that Pissing in the river upstream is bad.

    It can’t use “statistics” since that’s all maths lies.

    It can’t use microscopes since they don’t show how the wiggly things in the water do any damage whatsoever.

    And anything else you can think of, that won’t be evidence either.

    All I want is proof!

    I just want to be able to reject anything I don’t like as not proof. Is that too much to ask???

  41. #42 Gerhard Kramm
    July 26, 2009

    #134

    Mark,

    I beg your pardon, but, obviously, you are not familiar with physics and the standards in science. Any hypothesis (even it is based on theoretical considerations) formulated in physical disciplines demands an experimental proof. Until today there is no experimental evidence that the so-called greenhouse gas-temperature hypothesis is true.

  42. #43 Gerhard Kramm
    July 26, 2009

    #135

    Mark,

    obviously, you have no inside what a feedback process is. That is your problem, but not mine.

  43. #44 Gerhard Kramm
    July 26, 2009

    #138

    Barton Paul,

    I beg your pardon, but your statement is entirely inaccurate. Tyndall found that water vapor and carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation. So far, so good. Then he speculated that changes in the atmospheric composition with respect to these two absorbers may explain the climate variability of the past. A speculation is not a proof.

    In 1859 Tyndall was not familiar with Kirchhoff’s law published in 1860. During that time Tyndall also did not know the Stefan-Boltzmann law published 20 years later by Stefan (1879) and theoretical derived on the basis of thermodynamic considerations by Boltzmann (1884). Tyndall passed away before the radiation laws of Wien (1896), Rayleigh (1900, 1905), and Planck (1900,1901) were published.

    Currently, the best explanation of ice ages is related to the astronomical theory of Milutin Milancovitch pubslisched in 1920.

  44. #45 Gerhard Kramm
    July 26, 2009

    #140

    Bernhard J.

    Science is not based on wishful thinking.

  45. #46 sod
    July 26, 2009

    sod, feedback process is a physical process. It is described by physical equations, but not by statistical results that are derived on the basis of past observations.

    this claim is complete nonsense Gerhard!

    you brought up the example of an ageing population yourself. obviously the age of a population has a feedback on economics and on the age again. the statistical effect is obvious. a population with an average age of 12 will have a different economic output that one with an average age of 32 or one with 63. the feedback is obvious. please try to (exactly!!!) describe the physical EQUATIONS of this underlying process!

    Until today there is no experimental evidence that the so-called greenhouse gas-temperature hypothesis is true.

    there are a lot of simplyfied examples of the greenhouse effect.

    feel free to build a 10 km column experiment to test the real effect.

    you are aware of the databases and the calculations of temperature on different planets, all based on the well established greenhouse effect of CO2???

    Tyndall found that water vapor and carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation. So far, so good. Then he speculated that changes in the atmospheric composition with respect to these two absorbers may explain the climate variability of the past. A speculation is not a proof.

    the claim that this is speculation is idiotic. the effect of CO2 and water is well known,. it is a simple matter of calculation, to understand the effect on our planet.

    your complete reliance on experiments puts you limits of understanding physics at the level of a 12 year old.

  46. #47 Mark
    July 27, 2009

    > Tyndall found that water vapor and carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation. So far, so good. Then he speculated that changes in the atmospheric composition with respect to these two absorbers may explain the climate variability of the past. A speculation is not a proof.

    Heck, even Billy Bob thinks that H2O has such an effect.

    When “professor” has less knowledge of a subject than the Billy Bob’s of this world, you wonder where the “professor” got his education.

  47. #48 Mark
    July 27, 2009

    > Science is not based on wishful thinking.

    > Posted by: Gerhard Kramm

    Indeed, so stop hoping CO2 has no effect and prove that the small scale lab experiments do not continue into the realms of the earth’s (or other planets) atmosphere.obviously,

    > you have no inside what a feedback process is. That is your problem, but not mine.

    > Posted by: Gerhard Kramm

    I’m afraid it is YOU who do not know what a feedback process is.

    An Op-Amp has a feedback process. Doesn’t lead to infinities.

    Despite your hope that it does.

    > I beg your pardon, but, obviously, you are not familiar with physics and the standards in science.

    I’m not familiar with YOUR world’s standards of science. I’m vastly more proficient with this real world’s standards than you, however.

    > Any hypothesis (even it is based on theoretical considerations) formulated in physical disciplines demands an experimental proof.

    And that proof doesn’t have to be “show me the earth under any conditions”

    We do not “prove” that the sun weighs how ever much it does. We do not get out a pair of cosmic weighing scales.

    Yet you would demand this, since you demand not proof that the effect is real and then go from that to the result (the sun produces enough gravity to keep the earth going round in 1 year and we know from small scale measurements of solid weights and torsion bars what the proportionality constant is, yet we do not know that this really applies to an incandescent plasma).

    > Until today there is no experimental evidence that the so-called greenhouse gas-temperature hypothesis is true.

    > Posted by: Gerhard Kramm

    There is.

    The temperature this year and for the last five years has been above any temperature before 1998.

    CO2 is at a higher level than it has ever been since 1998.

    There is your proof.

    Stop wishing it away and deal with the science.

  48. #49 Barton Paul Levenson
    July 27, 2009

    Gerhard Kramm writes:

    I beg your pardon, but your statement is entirely inaccurate. Tyndall found that water vapor and carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation. So far, so good. Then he speculated that changes in the atmospheric composition with respect to these two absorbers may explain the climate variability of the past. A speculation is not a proof.

    Oh, good grief. Do I have to draw you a diagram?

    Greenhouse gases mostly let sunlight pass.
    The sunlight warms the Earth.
    The Earth radiates infrared.
    Greenhouse gases absorb infrared.
    Greenhouse gases radiate infrared.
    Some of that goes back down to the Earth.

    That’s how the greenhouse effect works. You’ve got both sunshine and “atmosphere shine” warming the surface, and BTW, the latter is actually larger than the former — 333 watts per square meter compared to 161.4. They measure atmospheric back-radiation with a device called a pyrgeometer (google it), and it’s really there. Atmospheric back-radiation = the greenhouse effect. Case closed.

  49. #50 Gerhard Kramm
    July 30, 2009

    #146

    sod

    using a pseudonym and stating

    “the claim that this is speculation is idiotic. the effect of CO2 and water is well known,. it is a simple matter of calculation, to understand the effect on our planet.

    your complete reliance on experiments puts you limits of understanding physics at the level of a 12 year old.”

    is not in agreement with any scientific standard.

    My education is well documented. For instance, I earned my doctoral degree in meteorology (magna cum laude) at the Department of Physics of the Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany. This is a world renown institution (see http://www.hu-berlin.de/ueberblick/geschichte/nobelpr_html ), but not a community college. My papers are well known. Where is your education documented and where are your papers listed?

    #147, #148

    Mark

    Are you a scientist educated in atmospheric physics and chemistry? Have you any knowledge in atmospheric energetics including atmospheric dynamics, turbulence, cloud physics, and radiative transfer? Please list your papers so that the common readers have a chance to evaluate your reputation.

    #149

    Barton Paul

    Sorry, you are a programmer, but not a scientist.

  50. #51 Brian D
    July 30, 2009

    Shorter Gerhard Kramm: I am an Authority, and you are Not. Therefore, AGW is bunk (per valde superbia).

  51. #52 Lee
    July 30, 2009

    So, Kramm is dismissing the scientific arguments of others by appeal to authority (or lack thereof)? And also arguing that those same others don’t understand how science is done?

    WTF?

  52. #53 Barton Paul Levenson
    July 31, 2009

    Gerhard Kramm writes:

    Sorry, you are a programmer, but not a scientist.

    I’m certainly not a practicing scientist at the moment, despite my physics degree. But what in my post was incorrect, GK? Care to specify, so I can see what my scientific errors were?

  53. #54 Gerhard Kramm
    August 1, 2009

    #151

    Brian D

    your words are those of a scientific retard. A scientific authority does not use a pseudonym.

    #152

    Lee,

    I have enough scientific arguments. However, I do not further discuss science with people who act like snipers using pseudonyms. Authority begins with your own name, but not with a nick name.

  54. #55 Gerhard Kramm
    August 1, 2009

    #152

    Dear Barton Paul,

    I beg your pardon, but your arguments are incorrect. First, only the divergence of the radiation flux can change the internal energy (and in a further step the temperature) of a layer of the atmosphere, but not the radiation flux itself. This is a fundamental consequence associated with the first law of thermodynamics.

    Second,the radiation flux across the entire atmosphere has to be calculated using the radiative transfer equation and by integrating over all wavelengths.

    Unfortunately, there is no conservation equation for radiation intensities. This means that one needs boundary conditions. At the earth’s surface there is only an energy flux balance, but not a radiation flux balance. The net radiation is a part of this energy flux balance. The atmospheric fluxes of sensible and latent heat are, by far, not negligible. The included soil heat flux is of about 10 to 15 percent of the net radiation. Note that in the case of our moon this soil heat flux compensates the emitted radiation flux on the dark site of the moon. If we would ignore the soil heat flux in our calculation the surface temperature of the moon’s dark side would be nearly identical with the temperature of the space, but not of about 130 K

    At the top of the atmosphere there is, if at all, only a radiation flux balance on a long-term basis. This means there is no radiation balance on a daily, monthly or seasonal scales. The temperature of the thermopause, for instance, can increase up to 1800 K or so. The number density is very small. The mean free passes are very long. What consequences has the thermopause termperature for the radiative transfer calculation? Are you sure that the scientific community understand this exactly? There is, for instance, no possibility to use Planck’s radiation formula as a source function in the radiative transfer equation because aloft a height of 60 km above ground because the assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium cannot further be justified. Consequently, the boundary conditions commonly used by radiative transfer calculations have to be scrutinized carefully.

    Third, it is well known that immediately after sunset the net radiation becomes negative. The emission by the earth’s surface is much larger than the down-welling infrared radiation. Consequently, the earth’s surface temperature begins to decrease. Neither the soil heat flux now directed upward nor the downward directed sensible heat flux are able to compensate this effect. The formation of temperature inversion is mainly the result of this negative net radiation. This means that the atmosphere is unable to prevent cooling of the earth’s surface.

    Fourth, the IPCC claims that the anthropogenic radiative forcing since 1750 amounts to 1.6 W/m^2, on average. This value cannot be justified on the basis of geophysical processes. Simple uncertainty calculations using Gaussian error propagation principle shows that the degree of uncertainty is so large that this anthropogenic radiative forcing is only noise. This is a crudely estimated house number, but nothing more. If you have a degree in physics, then you should be familiar with uncertainty calculations. This is essential in physics.

    Fifth, climate projections provided by General Circulation Models (so-called global climate models or GCMs) are based on conservation equations. However, cloud microphysical processes, turbulent transfer and radiative transfer processes have to be parameterized to solve the entire set of partial differential equations numerically. These parameterization schemes are huge sources of uncertainty. Please, take a look on Roger Pielke’s weblog (http://climatesci.org/2009/07/24/a-new-paper-a-case-study-on-wintertime-inversions-in-interior-alaska-with-wrf-by-molders-and-kramm-2009/). Kramm and Herbert (2009, http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOASCJ/2009/00000003/00000001/48TOASCJ.SGM ) showed that four different parameterization schemes provided such a huge scatter in the results that we have to expect that the degree of uncertainty in this matter is of about 20 to 25 percent. In the case of geophysical processes such a degree of uncertainty is not so bad.

    kind regards

    Gerhard

  55. #56 sod
    August 1, 2009

    Gerhard, what you wrote is a lot of hocus pocus.

    you made a simple claim above:

    Until today there is no experimental evidence that the so-called greenhouse gas-temperature hypothesis is true.

    so i have three simply questions. yes or no will do.

    does CO2 have a greenhouse effect on our atmosphere?

    are there feedback effects on the climate? does one typically base such effects on statistical values? (let me remind you, that you denied the existence of such effects in post #58)

    do you think that the statistical property of age of a population can have an effect on the future age that population?

  56. #57 Chris O'Neill
    August 1, 2009

    Kramm:

    Third, it is well known that immediately after sunset the net radiation becomes negative.

    Where I live this normally starts happening (the temperature starts going down) before sunset.

  57. #58 Gerhard Kramm
    August 1, 2009

    #157

    Dear Chris,

    of course, this is possible because the formation of temperature inversions will start when the net radiation becomes negative. This can occur before sunset. It depends on the location. I described the situation as I observed during field campaigns in the middle of Europe. In Interior Alaska where I am living the situation is quite different. Especially in the period from November to February the incoming solar radiation is relatively small so that the net radiation keeps negative during daytime.

    Over wet soil covered with shrubs or trees former colleagues of mine observed negatives (downward directed) sensible heat fluxes even during daytime in summer because huge portions of incoming solar radiation were converted into latent heat because of the vaporization of water.

  58. #59 Gerhard Kramm
    August 1, 2009

    #156

    sod

    the fundamental laws of physics cannot be denoted as a lot of hocus pocus.

    Carbon dioxide absorbs and emits infrared radiation (see also Kirchhoff’s law and read Einstein’s paper on derivation of Planck’s radiation law, also described in many textbooks on atomic physics and radiation). The notion greenhouse gas is, indeed, hocus pocus.

    A statistical result like a mean value is based on a distribution already observed in the past. Such statistical results have no effect on the distribution itself. It is simple to show that different distributions can provide the same mean value. This is true also in the case of the globally averaged near surface temperature. Note that in statistics it is indispensable to distinguish between random errors and procedural errors. Only the former can be handled using statistical methods.

    Feedback processes are physical processes. During my engineer’s thesis nearly 37 years ago I simulated the heart action on an analog computer. One cannot do this without understanding what a feedback mechanism does mean. To solve ordinary differential equations on an analog computer it is always necessary to connect the outputs with the inputs either directly or in the case of higher-order ODEs over several integrator steps. The feedback equations used in “climate science” are poppycock. They have a poor physical basis.

  59. #60 Chris Colose
    August 2, 2009

    Engaging further with Gerhard Kramm is just a waste of time, and I encourage others not to give the impression that he has something meaningful to say. He cannot even get himself to the level of more “respectable skeptics” and there are only two options for his online behavior, as well as his defense of pseudo-science like G&T— ignorance or scientific fraud. My guess is a heavy combination of both. In fact he will never even be able to communciate the science as efficiently as “programmers” like Barton Paul Levenson (who does a great job by the way) or even to other pseudonym posters who could just read the wikipedia page on the greenhouse effect and have a more complete understanding of what is happening.

    The fundamental physics behind the greenhouse effect (and what a greenhouse gas is) is not in question. Such discussions can be found in most elementary atmospheric science books right up to graduate and professional level material. The fact is that when an absorbing atmosphere is present, the average emission temperature of the planet is less than the surface value, and the loss of energy by the planet is therefore much less efficient than the surface emission. Another aspect of the greenhouse effect as outlined by BPL is the downward emission of terrestrial radiation to the surface. In other planetary applications one can have a significant greenhouse effect from scattering of radiation as opposed to absorption. In all cases, whether it be the Faint Young Sun paradox, the evolution of Earth’s climate over geologic time, early Mars, the climate of Venus, etc, the greenhouse effect (usually CO2 as well) is a very big player and comes with enormous predictive and explanatory power. Such predictive and explanatory power also demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of those who say we can’t make predictions about the effect of rising CO2 levels on temperature, those who deny a greenhouse effect period, and the like.

    Despite Kramm’s experience simulating heart action nearly 4 decades ago, he is also wrong with his understanding of the error in radiative forcing and his opinion that the “equations” (maybe be more specific?) of climate feedbacks is poppycock. Real discussion of these topics on forcings can be found for instance in Myhre et al 1998, Collins et al 2006, and the IPCC reports. There is also extensive literature on feedbacks (see Bony et al 2006 for a good summary), and we can understand climate change through standard forcing and feedback concepts, indicating that nothing is substantially wrong with the physics of energy balance.

  60. #61 Eli Rabett
    August 2, 2009

    Gerhard, it is good that you are a practicing scientist. We may all hope that one day you will have practiced enough to get something right.

  61. #62 sod
    August 2, 2009

    The notion greenhouse gas is, indeed, hocus pocus.

    this is simply false.

    A statistical result like a mean value is based on a distribution already observed in the past. Such statistical results have no effect on the distribution itself.

    you are fighting a straw man there. the mean value of course will have an effect on later values, not on the ones beforehand.

    are you claiming that there is no auto correlation in time series analysis?

    this would make you position even more absurd!

    The feedback equations used in “climate science” are poppycock. They have a poor physical basis.

    that is false of course as well. the sea ice feed back for example is pretty good understood.

    but there is no need to look at the climate. you brought up the example of an aging population yourself. i will repeat my question:

    do you think that the statistical property of age of a population can have an effect on the future age that population?

  62. #63 guthrie
    August 2, 2009

    It is amazing, well, ok, maybe it isn’t, how many denialists get all crotchety of the use of the word greenhouse without quotes around it. I’ve specifically used it as ‘greenhouse effect’ when writing about AGW, and had someone go “ah ha, its not like a real greenhouse therefore you are wrong.” So I said “Thats why I put quotes around it, because I knew someone would complain about it. You do know why the quotes are so used?”

    And so on. Their self centredness is incredible.

  63. #64 Former Skeptic
    August 2, 2009

    @Gerhard Kramm:

    Oh please – the old “GCMs can’t parameterize clouds” canard. I notice that you don’t post at Realclimate as it is a treasure trove of [information]( http://tinyurl.com/5v2f3b) on [models](http://tinyurl.com/a5ka6t) that destroys the straw man you posited on #155.

    Scared of what Schmidt et al. will do to you? Grow a freaking pair and post the sh*te you dump here at RC. I dare you, but I guess you’ll pussy out because you know you are WRONG.

    The last time you tried [taking on people who knew calculus](http://tinyurl.com/ntdyep) you tried [every weasel way](http://tinyurl.com/lk5c6d) to escape acknowledgment of [your numerous high-school level mistakes](http://tinyurl.com/ng94g9) and you finally took your toys out and [left without even an apology](http://tinyurl.com/njn6lh).

    In Duae Quartunciae’s words – you demonstrate [a lack of integrity](http://tinyurl.com/nd9lpz). I would go further and think you have a serious ego issue. Not as big as Motls’ that requires professional psych help, but it’s getting there. At least you contributed to the mirth of everyone who read your stupidity.

    And you take the tacit approval of your paper by RPSr. as some sort of vindication? Oh please. RPSr. is so entrenched in his meso-scale/regional climate worldview that whenever he tries to shift out of this scale, he gets [laughed at](http://tinyurl.com/mjdf7y) by [all and sundry](http://tinyurl.com/l4t4e5). (Oh wait – it applies to you too!)

    And his recent foray into micro-meteorology with WTFWatts is pathetic. How he can assume the Monin-Obukhov ST can be applied to urban surfaces when all urban climate textbooks show otherwise? If I did that, one of my old Ph.D. comm members – a VERY well-known urban micro-meteorologist with more first-rate publications than you and RPSr. combined – would have thrown me out of the program.

    Three words that applies to RPSr.: Dunning. Kruger. Effect. Pay attention Gerhard. It applies to you too.

  64. #65 Mark
    August 3, 2009

    > Carbon dioxide absorbs and emits infrared radiation

    It does indeed.

    But if it hits another molecule before it can emit IR, this can result in an INELASTIC COLLISION.

    Now, someone who’s done physics until 15 years old will know what an inelastic collision is.

    Yet you don’t.

    Funny, eh?

    > A statistical result like a mean value is based on a distribution already observed in the past.

    Nope, temperature, as anyone who did physics up to 18 years old will know, is a statistical mean velocity of a gas molecule in the bulk.

    Does temperature only exist in the past?

    > The feedback equations used in “climate science” are poppycock.

    Ah, just saying it is proves it?

    Poppycock.

  65. #66 Mark
    August 3, 2009

    > of course, this is possible because the formation of temperature inversions will start when the net radiation becomes negative.

    Doesn’t require a temperature inversion.

    Just Energy out > Energy In.

    Or do you think the day doesn’t get dimmer until twilight has started?

  66. #67 Captain Black
    May 25, 2010

    Peter Taylor’s book Chill needs a response. All the deniers are roaring about it like lions. Apparently Taylor has asked Monbiot to debate with him and Monbiot has gone quiet.
    Can someone take a look at Chill and see if it has Plimeroid flaws?

  67. #68 Dave R
    May 25, 2010

    @ Captain Black:

    I haven’t read Taylor’s book, but the PDF he had on his website didn’t seem to have anything other than the usual denialist talking points. Mostly cosmic rays and conspiracies IIRC.

    He commented here on [open thread 27](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/open_thread_27.php#comment-1743503) but did not respond when asked to support his claims. Also mentioned in #33, 34 and 47 of [open thread 41](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/open_thread_41.php#comment-2275634).

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