March 2014 Open thread

More thread.


  1. #1 chek
    March 29, 2014

    BBD – further to the Recursive Fury thread over at STW (the one where Foxgit threatened that Big Stevewould track me down and sue me for calling Stevieboy a crank), this just in from UWA. (h/t the Rabbet)

    “The University of Western Australia appears to have noticed tho, and sent a Dear Steve letter to dear Steve
    Dear Mr McIntyre,
    I refer to your series of emails to University officers including Professor Maybery and myself (which you have copied to other recipients including the Australian Research Council) in which you request access to Professor Lewandowsky’s data.

    I am aware that you have made inflammatory statements on your weblog “Climate Audit” under the heading “Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”” including attacks on the character and professionalism of University staff. It is apparent that your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced that there is no useful purpose to be served in corresponding with you further. I regard your continued correspondence to be vexatious and there will be no further response to your requests for data.

    Yours faithfully,
    Professor Paul Johnson,

    I’m not sure which of a ‘tee-hee’ or ‘har-de-har’ is more suitable.

  2. #2 BBD
    March 29, 2014


    I saw. It’s about time SM was shown the back of someone’s hand again. And as for the projectiverse inhabited by FG & co… total eversion of the loon (with apologies to Gilmour, Waters et al. )

    The proof that they are all nuts is that they have no idea that they are projecting like poisoned dogs. Eg. geoffchambers actually using “Big Brother” as a simile for the scientific consensus on AGW. Nuts, whole hazel-nuts…

  3. #3 Lionel A
    March 29, 2014

    I also saw that SM slap down over at Sou’s with Unbalanced Antagonism: The UWA Vice-Chancellor stands up to a “vexatious” blogger as well as Eli’s.

    Indicators are that SM is screaming like a stuck pig. Har! Har”

    And let’s have a go at Tim Flannery is the ideation of one twerp ‘bushbunny’.

  4. #4 Stu 2
    March 30, 2014

    ” 1.3 billion people still don’t have access to modern forms of electricity. About three billion people use fuels like dung and cardboard and twigs to keep warm and cook.
    This is the world’s biggest environmental problem. Not global warming, not even outdoor air pollution, it’s indoor air pollution that kills 4.3 million people.
    I appreciate that the [Earth Hour] organizers will say ‘but ‘we’re all for electricity, we’re all for technology’ and that’s all good and sound.
    But it is a celebration of darkness. We turn off the lights for an hour and it sends the signal that’s what we need to do in order to tackle global warming. And that’s simply not what we need to do, especially not for the three billion people in the world that need more light.”

  5. #5 BBD
    March 30, 2014

    But it is a celebration of darkness.

    Silly gestures are silly. But they don’t invalidate radiative physics. Pointing at silliness doesn’t change the serious stuff.

    It’s called misdirection.

  6. #6 chek
    March 30, 2014

    WG2 is due out and the shills are once again working at full capacity, with the free help of their enablers, of course.

  7. #7 Lotharsson
    March 30, 2014

    But it is a celebration of darkness.

    So you cited this to show that Lomborg proves once again he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Speaking of which:

    We turn off the lights for an hour and it sends the signal that’s what we need to do in order to tackle global warming.

    What a complete crock.

  8. #8 bill
    March 30, 2014

    Ah, that’s brought out Pid’s inner Bernardi!

    Anything that annoys him, and the likes of Lomborg that much really has to be on the right track!

    Plenty of things in life can be derided as ‘tokenistic’ and ‘silly’ – Sorry Day, for example – but that doesn’t mean we have to embrace the deadening cynicism of our enemies…

  9. #9 Stu 2
    March 30, 2014

    Nonetheless et al above, Lomborg’s comments bear a remarkable similarity to this recent statement by Tol:
    ‘You have a very silly statement in the draft summary that says that people who live in war-torn countries are more vulnerable to climate change, which is undoubtedly true.
    But if you ask people in Syria whether they are more concerned with chemical weapons or climate change, I think they would pick chemical weapons – that is just silliness.’

    Neither of these economists are denying climate change.
    Neither of them are denying the science.
    They are instead questioning the economic modelling and the economic theories and economic solutions that have been touted as the answer to tackling climate change.
    Tol has also questioned the work that estimates the economic cost of future climate change.

  10. #10 bill
    March 30, 2014

    Talking about ‘very silly statements’: how much has the prolonged drought in Syria influenced the crisis there, Pid?

    Answer, please, on the back of an envelope, to be sent to anyone you imagine might possibly credit that you’re not an all-round ignoramus…

    It’s revealing that, grammatically, Tol actually labels his own Lomborgian quibbling as daft in that lat sentence: Freudian slip, perhaps?

    Here’s another question for you, Sparky: I live on a bush block, it’s 45C outside, the water tanks are empty, it’s peak bushfire season, and there’s only a dribble of water coming into the house. And now a very unhappy Tiger Snake’s just turned up in the lounge room!

    Which of these life-threatening crises is actually the most readily solvable? How stupid would I have to be to conclude that the snake was the only real problem I faced? Answers please as above.

  11. #11 Eli Rabett
    March 30, 2014

    Stu, almost all of those people without light and electricity don’t have wires coming up to their village. In the same way that cell phones eliminated the need for hard wires and spread to the third world, solar and wind can do a faster and better job of electrifying the third world.

    Second, Tol was simply ignorant about Syria. A four year drought which pushed about a million people off the land and the inability of the Assad government to do anything about it was a major reason for the outbreak of the civil war.

  12. #12 Lotharsson
    March 30, 2014

    Neither of these economists are denying climate change.

    No, they’re denying the seriousness of the impacts instead. This is one step up the denial ladder from denying that climate change is happening or that humans are the major factor driving it.

    Neither of them are denying the science.

    Tol certainly is, as has been indicated above.

    And Lomborg may not be directly denying it, but he’s hoping to distract people from its implications (often by setting up false dilemmas). In the end this is about as intellectually bankrupt as outright denial – arguably more so if you think his tactic has a bigger impact on public policy aimed at mitigating the problem than outright denial does.

    They are instead questioning the economic modelling and the economic theories and economic solutions that have been touted as the answer to tackling climate change.

    That’s a rather flawed appraisal of what they are doing.

    For example Tol may be questioning the economic modelling etc, but that doesn’t meant that his questioning is grounded in reality. In order to be grounded in reality it needs to fully take into account what the scientists are saying. Given his recent comments it seems pretty clear that he isn’t doing that. (Heck, as has already gone over your head upthread, he isn’t even taking into account what journalists and sociologists are saying about the factors driving conflicts…)

    In that case, it would be very foolish to accept that his economic analysis was superior to others that do take what the scientists, journalists and sociologists say into account.

  13. #13 Lotharsson
    March 30, 2014

    If Lomborg were genuine in his concerns he’d be advocating the kinds of things that Eli points out, including perhaps things like this, etc. And most importantly his advocacy would not be positioned in opposition to seriously tackling climate change which is a false dilemma. One can simultaneously do both – and there are arguably synergies that can be exploited by doing so. As far as I’m aware he’s not advocating that.

    So from what I’ve seen I get the strong impression that Lomborg really really really doesn’t want us to tackle both and is simply putting up the false dilemma to attempt to delay or avoid tackling climate change.

    I don’t even believe that he’s genuine in his concern for the poor because climate change will impact them much harder and much sooner than the rich and if his positions prevail their lot will be much worse than if the world gets on with doing something serious to mitigate it.

  14. #14 Lotharsson
    March 30, 2014

    Speaking of ladders, looks like Eli recently posted a flowchart of denial

  15. #15 Stu 2
    March 30, 2014

    Bill & Eli,
    Of course hardships caused by drought have contributed to the problems in Syria.
    However, drought and an arid, harsh landscape is not a new concept in that part of the world and productive land use is limited and necessarily highly concentrated due to the arid nature of the country.
    “The bulk of the country is arid, with little vegetation. In 1984, nearly 20 percent was classified as desert. Another 45 percent of the land was classified as steppe and pasture, although its grazing capacity was very limited—much like land in the American Southwest. Less than 3 percent of the land was forested, with only part of it commercially useful. Cultivatable land amounted to 33 percent of the total area. In 1984, 91.7 percent of the total cultivable area of 6.17 million hectares was cultivated.
    Major expansion of the cultivated area occurred in the 1940s and 1950s. Much of the expansion was the result of investment by wealthy urban merchants, many of whom were from the country’s religious minorities. Their innovations included large-scale use of farm machinery, pumps, and irrigation where possible, and different tenure arrangements for farm operators than were used in other parts of the country. But the efforts of the merchants of Aleppo and other commercial centers largely exhausted the potential for bringing new land under cultivation. The area of cultivation (6.9 million hectares) and land irrigated (760,000 hectares) peaked in 1963 and has been appreciably smaller since then. In 1984, approximately 5.7 million hectares were under cultivation, with 618,000 irrigated.”

    Currently touted economic solutions to climate change will unlikely improve Syria’s exposure to drought, concentrated land use and poor government, which is along the same lines of one of Tol’s comments.

    And Bill
    As for your little scenario:
    The snake is the most urgent problem.

    To solve the issue of your low water tanks, I would suggest you do what most others in Australia do and have done under those same circumstances (myself included)
    * Order in town water to fill up your tanks.
    * Make sure you invest in increasing your water tank storage capacity and upgrading your water use efficiency so that next time it rains you can store more water and be better prepared for the next inevitable Australian drought or hot dry Summer.

    If you live in a bush fire prone area, I would also hope for the sake of your family’s safety that you possess enough common sense to have a well maintained fire break around your your block so that you can help to protect your home from bushfires.
    I would also hope that you have a well maintained and well organised escape route.

    But in all seriousness – if that tiger snake bites you or one of your family I would respectfully suggest that, quite understandably, you would not be focused on any of the other issues until you got that one sorted.
    Which is also along the same lines as one of Tol’s comments.

  16. #16 Jeff Harvey
    March 30, 2014

    Stu2 is clearly illustrating how much he is out of his depth on this area. And yet he persists.

    What the Tol’s and the Lomborg’s singularly leave out of their analyses are salient political and economic processes all under the guise of the ‘Washinghton Consensus’, ‘Free Market Absolutism’ and its attendant nakedly predatory capitalism. In other words, the developed world plunders resources and capital from the lands of the poor to ensure hegemony. There’s tons of evidence from this, lecture on it and its effects on the environment, yet people like Lomborg write as if the plight of the poor is some kind of accident, a blip that we in the rich world are doing everything to change. In reality, western planners, as I have said on here many times, are doing everything in their power to maintain massive disparities in wealth because they are fully aware that our economies foster huge ecological deficits that can only be offset by reaching into the lands of the poor and stealing – or, as Samir Amin calls it – looting their resources and in maintaining poverty and corruption. Many of the conflicts in the south are well orchestrated in the north, and are part of the ‘great game’.

    Lomborg is either too stupid to understand any of this or else it does not fit in with his narrative so he ignores it. At the conclusion of one of his silly Copenhagen Consensus bashes I saw a photo-op of him standing in front of a UN banner with notorious neocon loony John Bolton. The photo revealed so much about both men, the hypocrisy of it all, and yet of course our corporate media did not pick up on it.

    While Tol is wrenching his heart about the plight of many poor in war zones who are not or should not be concerned about the effects of climate change, perhaps he can shed a tear for the trillions of dollars spent annually (most of it in the developed world and most of that in the US) on developing weapons and technologies aimed at killing people or of ensuring that resource and capital flows remain largely uni-directional, also fomenting regional conflicts at the same time.

  17. #17 Jeff Harvey
    March 30, 2014

    One final point: Lomborg reiterates the point in the stupid CBC interview (why oh why does the media pay this clown so much attention?!) that he won’t turn out his lights as a symbolic gesture because 3 billion people (in the lands of the poor) don’t get enough light.

    Again, all political reality is stripped away from his views. Nowhere does he address the fact – and it is a fact – that the rich countries have never been remotely interested in alleviating poverty from the lands of the poor. Given the massive ecological deficits in the rich world, based on resources consumed and wastes produced (as eco-footprinting analyses clearly show), we depend on cheap resources looted from the south to maintain our affluence as currently defined. And as I said above, there is a pile of empirical evidence to prove this; read any declassified state planning documents and the real agendas become manifestly clear. John Perkins writes about it in hie series of books; economists like Tom Athanasiou, Patrick Bond and Samir Amin write about it. Certainly our corporate media doesn’t, as well described in the propaganda model of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in ‘Manufacturing Consent’, perhaps the most classic critique of the media ever written. And of course, this is why Lomborg has become a media star in the west. He pushes all the right buttons, arguing that the poor lands will one day become affluent and will then integrate into a wonderful utopian global economy blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. But his narrative consistently fails to address political realities, biophysical limits and other relevant areas. The political reality is that western planners know that there aren’t enough resources for everyone on the planet to live like the average European or American, and the biophysical reality is that at present the developed world alone consumes more resources than the planet can sustainably produce. Therefore, our planners realizer that transferring technologies to the lands of the south would, eve in the short term, conflict with our own over consumptive lifestyles so they do everything to maintain disparities. At the same time, our politicians, the ‘paid liars’, consistently tell us that they want to create a socially just, sustainable world. In doing so they have Lomborg speaking with them.

    Its no wonder he won’t debate me any more after I skewered him in 2002. He avoids scientists like the plague because he knows we can demolish him. But of course his books and soundbites were never aimed at scientists, who he knows full well are much more informed than he is. Instead, he aims his message at the general public who know even less than he does (like Stu2). In doing so, he can hook them in. Its a classic trick.

  18. #18 Lotharsson
    March 30, 2014

    However, drought and an arid, harsh landscape is not a new concept in that part of the world…

    …which is a complete non sequitur. No-one is saying that the concern is that drought will suddenly appear in Syria, having never occurred before. The concern is that the existing agricultural situation will be – and arguably already has been – made worse, by climate change. Once we remove the non sequitur the foundation for the objection crumbles.

    Currently touted economic solutions to climate change will unlikely improve Syria’s exposure to drought, concentrated land use and poor government, which is along the same lines of one of Tol’s comments.

    And that is a failure of logic, because “improving the current situation” is not the right test here. Apply the relevant metric and your objection is seen to be spurious. Tol’s (apparent) preference for business as usual will definitely lead to Syria’s agricultural problems getting worse. Mitigating climate change will make those problems less intense in the future than they would be under business as per usual. The right metric is based on comparing the future outcomes with policies to deal with climate change vs business as usual.

    Which is also along the same lines as one of Tol’s comments.

    And which neatly illustrates the (deliberate?) stupidity of Tol’s comment.

    The fact that one has a short term snake concern does not make the medium term bushfire concern go away, any more than a short term concern about chemical weapons makes a longer term concern about food security go away. If Tol were to ask a more pertinent and less disingenuous question of the Syrians he might ask whether food security is a serious concern, rather than which concern ranks highest right now.

    The answers to that would lead to a very different picture than the one he is trying to paint. Ranking perceived threats as Tol and Lomborg wants their readers to do is very poor thinking, as ALL significant threats have to be dealt with, not just the one currently at the top of the list.

  19. #19 craig thomas
    March 30, 2014

    Steve McIntyre’s letter from UWA:
    “It is apparent that your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced that there is no useful purpose to be served in corresponding with you further.”.


    Looks like the Unis are learning to deal with these cranks the way they should be dealt with.



  20. #20 FrankD
    March 30, 2014

    People who are trying to get sense out of Stu2’s flummery, may find some convenience in the following pre-generated answers to your comments:

    Currently touted economic solutions to drought will unlikely improve Syria’s exposure to climate change, concentrated land use and poor government.

    Currently touted economic solutions to concentrated land use will unlikely improve Syria’s exposure to climate change, drought and poor government.

    Currently touted economic solutions to poor government will unlikely improve Syria’s exposure to climate change, drought and concentrated land use.

    Newsflash! Solutions to problem A are unlikely to solve problem B for which they were not developed! In other news, water is wet! Stu2 is on the scene with this breaking story….

  21. #21 Bernard J.
    March 30, 2014

    I am in a similar situation to Bill with respect to water, fire, and tiger snakes, and I can confirm Lotharsson’s comment that snakes are the least of the worries.

    I’m fully aware of the risk of wildfire and indeed I am anticipating it and preparing for it, and I’ve added as much water storage as I can afford, but the changes that are coming over the decades would make water, fire, and food production even more fraught issues than they are now. As a society the ability to deal with exacerbated stressors (and in particular with the exaggerated extremes) becomes ever more wobbly the more that we ramp up the thermostat.

    For a country dweller tiger snakes are by comparison a piffling entertainment.

  22. #22 Eli Rabett
    March 30, 2014

    Stuie, you might try reading Rabett Run on Syria. Turns out the last drought in Syria drove about a million farmers off the land and contributed strongly to the start of the civil war because the government was useless in dealing with it.

    For God’s sake, even Tommy (Friedman Unit) Friedman has a clue.

  23. #23 Eli Rabett
    March 30, 2014

    Eli is quite amused by the Ferret’s latest that farmer adapt. Only problem is that millions die before they do.

    Tol is not even as deep as Pielke.

  24. #24 Lionel A
    March 30, 2014

    For a country dweller tiger snakes are by comparison a piffling entertainment.

    I once had an entertaining hour or so during the early hours in a Florida wood hearing rattlers all round me. I very carefully turned around and retraced my steps to clear ground hoping that none of those ‘living mines’ had moved far.

    Now a tiger shark in your living room Bill would probably be welcome right now for that could mean that you have a sudden abundance of the wet stuff, except for the salt but it would still damp things down.

    How did that once mooted idea of some ME states to tow ice bergs there-too to relieve water shortages work out? Is that the real reason behind the loss of multi-year ice in the Arctic? Just saying.

  25. #25 Lionel A
    March 30, 2014

    When this started and I read that last paragraph in that Pielke piece:

    When you next hear someone tell you that worthy and useful efforts to mitigate climate change will lead to fewer natural disasters, remember these numbers and instead focus on what we can control. There is some good news to be found in the ever-mounting toll of disaster losses. As countries become richer, they are better able to deal with disasters — meaning more people are protected and fewer lose their lives. Increased property losses, it turns out, are a price worth paying.

    I very nearly threw up over the keys because of the lack of cogent thought and empathy that is exhibited therein. That paragraph is just laughable and betrays the shallow within.

    There is now a new expression on the streets, ‘What a Pielke!’

  26. #26 chek
    March 30, 2014

    It’ll be interesting to see how Silver responds to maintaining the integrity of his project – so far it looks good with him promising publication of a rebuttal to Pielke’s piece.

    Of course, why Pielke (the Pol. Sci. conservative mouthpiece) was chosen as a spokesman for climate science in the first place remains a big question, given his track record.

    I’m sure a lot of people were rooting that Silver’s brand would challenge the established Establishment brands using new, data driven techniques that should, if correctly applied, challenge the prevailing “wisdom”.

    Whether that’s going to be the case or not still remains to be seen.

  27. #27 Stu 2
    March 30, 2014

    Eli Rabett @ # 22 & # 23.
    No one as far as I am aware – including Tol – is denying that drought has contributed to the problem in Syria.
    Drought is a problem whenever and however it occurs.
    As you also point out, poor governance has exacerbated the problem.
    From your comment here, I very much doubt that there is disagreement between you and Tol on those basics.
    Bernard J @ # 21.
    With respect, I suggest you need to examine the actual analogy a little more carefully before you summarily dismiss anything as ‘piffling entertainment’.
    I would also suggest that you look up the difference between important and urgent and how those two concepts combine in different scenarios, including Bill’s.
    Frank D @ # 20,
    Yes well done.
    Solutions to problem A are unlikely to solve problem B.
    I believe that’s a very simple way to explain Tol’s reasons for his public comments.

  28. #28 BBD
    March 30, 2014

    It’s all fairly positive as far as I can see. RPJr is proving to be a liability in full public view. If he fluffs this gig, he may wait a while for any more high-profile endorsements.

  29. #29 chek
    March 30, 2014

    From your comment here, I very much doubt that there is disagreement between you and Tol on those basics.

    Just as from that comment, 2Stupid, I very much doubt that you even comprehend” the basics”.

  30. #30 turboblocke
    March 30, 2014

    Tol doesn’t appear to understand farmers’ mentality: what do they do when their normal crop fails one year? They generally plant it again. It may take a number of years before they match their crops to new conditions (if that’s possible). In the meantime what do they and we live on?

  31. #31 Eli Rabett
    March 30, 2014

    Stu: No one as far as I am aware – including Tol – is denying that drought has contributed to the problem in Syria.

    Now some, not Eli to be sure, might use the technical term for this: Bullshit.

    Tol never mentioned the drought (perhaps he has now after being called on it) and certainly meant to convey the idea that the drought which has been linked to climate change, by among others Marty Hoerling, had nothing to do with the worries of the Syrians.

    Stu appears to have signed on to the quantum school of Tollism, abandoning cause and effect.

  32. #32 Stu 2
    March 30, 2014

    I have not offered a personal opinion one way or the other re Tol’s public comments last week.
    I have merely tried to point out that the claims made here that he is denying science and that he is linked to some sort of shady conspiracy are questionable.
    Tol was working on economics.
    The fact that Tol ‘never mentioned the drought’ in his public statement does not then mean he is therefore denying that the drought has had some influence in Syria.
    I would reasonably assume that while he was working with the IPCC he would have read and assessed the economic research on the matter.
    If he was denying that drought in Syria has contributed to Syria’s woes I would totally agree that it would be total BS.

  33. #33 JOHNL
    March 31, 2014

    New report and Summary for Policy Makers now available :

  34. #34 Jeff Harvey
    March 31, 2014

    As said, Tol is creating a false dichotomy. Lomborg does it, and Stu2 swallows this crap whole.

    Lomborg’s version is constantly that there isn’t enough money to solve many of the world’s most pressing problems, so we have to prioritize. But of course there is more than enough wealth; there just isn’t a whole lot of social justice. And western planners are working hard to maintain those disparities, rendering Lomborg’s argument invalid.

    Tol has joined the Lomborg bandwagon. And his point is equally nauseous. If these two twerps gave me one indication that they understood basic political realities driving poverty and social injustices in the world, I might be able to give them a token nod of acknowledgment. But neither of them, as far as I can see, do. This explains why they are both courted by the political right and the corporate funded think tanks and GW denier weblogs. They are preaching to the ignorant, who apparently want to believe that mass poverty is the south is by some unfortunate accident rather than by design. This notion finds a home in elite circles as well as in the corporate media.

  35. #35 craig thomas
    March 31, 2014

    Hang on, “mass poverty in the South” is the result of the last of the Ice Ages….

  36. #36 craig thomas
    March 31, 2014

    Stu2, Tol’s MO is to put undue weight on various tangential irrelevancies.

    It’s called diversion. And there’s only one reason anybody would be employing “diversion” as a response to what is the most pressing issue facing Mankind today…

  37. #37 BBD
    March 31, 2014

    Tol has been a Lomborg collaborator for a long time – RT was involved with Lomborg’s Copernhagen Consensus in 2008 and IIRC they had worked together before that.

  38. #38 FrankD
    March 31, 2014

    craig, I don’t think you don’t need to tell Stu2 that, since it’s his MO too.

  39. #39 Lotharsson
    March 31, 2014

    Solutions to problem A are unlikely to solve problem B.
    I believe that’s a very simple way to explain Tol’s reasons for his public comments.

    So apparently your best argument is that Tol is making statements that don’t actually address the topic at hand?

    In other words, he’s intellectually incompetent – or deliberately misleading and/or diversionary. That’s pretty much what I and others said earlier…but wait, there’s more:

    I would reasonably assume that while he was working with the IPCC he would have read and assessed the economic research on the matter.

    So, if he’s aware of the topic at hand having allegedly studied it and you clearly think he’s intellectually competent, then his off-topic answers when asked about the topic can only be seen as evidence of deliberate disingenuousness.

    Which several people have pointed out up thread. Good to see you finally made it.

  40. #41 Lionel A
    March 31, 2014

    No OP tuck that #40 back in your knickers I aint going to click on any link to the sticky bishop aka cardinal puff and I doubt anybody else here is in the least bit interested in his noise.

  41. #42 Olaus Petri
    March 31, 2014

    Why is that Lionel? Don’t you like th new Lomborgesque IPCC report. 😉

    And hear I thought Mr Bicorne had “crushed” the Great Dane into pulp! 🙂 But in reality Scoby Doooo did another green goblin with major Napoleon complex. 🙂

  42. #43 BBD
    March 31, 2014

    Olaus you are a deluded cretin. Please just go away.

  43. #44 chek
    March 31, 2014

    All hands to the pumps so moron posts link to known disinfo asset’s garbage.
    There’s too much educated stuff to keep up with to waste time on drivel that appeals to a clownshoe like Olap, this week particularly.
    Never mind Olap, I’m certain 2Stupid will have their usual ineffectual shot at it too.

  44. #45 GSW
    March 31, 2014

    Marc Morano’s released quite a considered statement on the new WG2 report,

    “‘Does anyone, other than the usual suspects, take this UN IPCC report seriously? The UN IPCC is guilty of nothing short of making the science fit their political agenda. The UN IPCC is a political body masquerading as a ‘science’ body.’ The UN’s “science” conclusions are agreed to line by line for its Summary for Policy Makers with politicians, UN officials and delegates.”

    “After years of covering this debate for well over a decade as a reporter, researcher, and U.S. Senate staffer, I find myself completely bored by the UN’s same old ramp up the alarm approach. I have covered this debate on a daily basis, hourly basis and sometimes minute by minute basis. I am trying to get excited, but alas, even the alarmism and apocalyptic claims fail to excite me. Can’t the UN think of more effective ways to get attention? Can’t the UN try something different? This report will generate a few days of news cycle and then it will be back to the same old uncaring public. (Thank goodness)'”

    It’s hard to argue with his point of view.

    (h/t climatedepot)

  45. #46 Lionel A
    March 31, 2014

    OP I am too fucking busy trying to get alternatives to Win XP now Microsoft (I have another name for that gang of what some would consider are protection racketeers) have pulled the plug. I am pulling the plug on them!

    BBD I download an ISO image for 32 bit from ubuntu but the recommended image burner Infra Recorder barfs for me.There must be a way to extract this stuff here. What does not help is the ubuntu instructions mention DVD at some points and CD at others, but the intended is clear because the image is too big for CD.

    I’ll have another crack later.

  46. #47 BBD
    March 31, 2014

    Going Ubuntu eh? Perhaps not a bad idea, all things considered, even if the usual device driver issues have already bitten. Good luck sorting it out – it’s generally just a matter of time and patience and trawling the net for all the pieces of the jigsaw.

  47. #48 BBD
    March 31, 2014


    Marc Morano’s statement isn’t “quite considered” or even vaguely considered. It is the denialist ravings of a right-wing ideologue convinced that “the UN” is faking it all for political advantage.

    The man is insane and you are a cretin.

  48. #49 GSW
    March 31, 2014


    Fairly straight forward process, other bits and pieces you can sudo apt-get or just use synaptic


  49. #50 chek
    March 31, 2014

    “The man is [paid to be] insane and you are a[a unpaid] cretin [who doesn’t know the difference between a report and rhetoric].

    Fixed that Griselda reply for you, BBD.

  50. #51 BBD
    March 31, 2014

    Thanks chek.

    It’s depressing that GSW comes out with so much obvious crap and yet parts of his brain clearly work, as with the sensible suggestion about installing Ubuntu from memory stick and sorting out the optical drive mess later.

    How can people be such a mix of teh Stupid and apparent rationality? It speaks of a level of mental compartmentalisation quite outside the ordinary range. Fire doors in the brain. The pathology of denial.

  51. #52 Lionel A
    March 31, 2014

    It is not devices to run ubuntu yet BBD it is getting a working install sorted on CD. I am out of USB sticks, my daughter has kinda borrowed all mine over recent months, except for those too small for this job, must order some up though now.

    I would order a CD disc but they are out of stock from the ubuntu dealer right now. I was only thinking of trying ubuntu to see how it flew. A few years back I had a SUSE 9.1 live and full distro set sent to me by some chap kind enough to offer whilst exchanging views on USNET, I tried the Live at the time – cracking brick-out game but then had cardiac arrests and didn’t follow up with the full monty. I had intended to build a PC from scratch. I don’t think Suse is the right one for ordinary desktop users now though.

    I still have O’Reilly ‘Running Linx 3rd Edition’, I had a later one, I think my son has that now. It was my library that got him started in IT.

  52. #53 chek
    March 31, 2014

    Lionel, you could try Imgburn to burn your DVD. It’s not so fussy about the disc type as long as the capacity is large enough to accommodate the ISO file.

  53. #54 jerryg
    March 31, 2014

    I like Linux Mint (@ Based on debian and ubuntu.

  54. #55 BBD
    March 31, 2014

    Eh, OS geeks. Almost as bad as tone-chasers.


  55. #56 Lionel A
    March 31, 2014

    Thanks chek I’ll check that one out and jerryg Linux Mint was on my short-list of distro’s.

    OS geeks, don’t get me started on how superior RISC OS was to Windows back in the days when I was trying to teach Aldus Pagemaker on a run-time version of Windows 2 on Epson 8086 processor computers. – Painful.

    I used to run multiple DOS sessions inside a Windows window on RISC OS (because that was my bread a butter work) whilst working teaching courses for Lotus 1-2-3, DBase IV, Wordstar. I used Win 3.1 and 3.11 on top of RISC OS using a special second processor. I had seven SCSI devices, one of which would be one from five hot swapable external hard drive, on one Risc PC with flat bed and film-scanner.

  56. #57 jerryg
    March 31, 2014
  57. #58 adelady
    April 1, 2014

    Tol doesn’t appear to understand farmers’ mentality: what do they do when their normal crop fails one year? They generally plant it again. It may take a number of years before they match their crops to new conditions (if that’s possible).

    Too right. I remember my father’s farming uncles (11 of them) and cousins wisely pontificating about the 7 years good, 7 years bad, presumption when growing wheat in the mid-north of South Australia. Most of the time they were talking about regions that were near – or on the wrong side of – the Goyder line.'s_Line

    At the time, in my teens, I heard these conversations – or reports of what one of the uncles/grandfathers said – it was a hundred years since Goyder had clearly shown that cropping in these areas was unsustainable. What did I see when driving to and from a town in this area when my husband was teaching there? Wheat being planted. And then being turned in when it had failed to reach more than ankle height among the sparse successful seedlings. That must have been one of those “bad” years.

    It takes more than a couple of years, or even a couple of generations, of bad crops for farmers to realise they need to change something. Every occasional, partial, intermittent success gives hope and support for the idea that continuing to do it is a good idea.

  58. #59 bill
    April 1, 2014

    It’s because economists have been raised on the fantasy of ‘rational actors’. Anyone who thinks investors are rational hasn’t spent any time on HotCopper…

    Oh, and they’re latte-sipping urbanites, by and large, hence the insouciant ‘oh, they’ll just grow something else!’ Because if you couldn’t grow wheat out back of Wudinna anymore you’d just plant pumpkins, right?…

  59. #60 bill
    April 1, 2014

    ‘Let them eat cake!’

  60. #61 Jeff Harvey
    April 1, 2014

    Meatball and gormless.

    What a pair of cranks. Bishops Hill and Climate Depot and this is their interpretation of reasoned debate?

    Cretins both.

  61. #62 adelady
    city of wine and roses
    April 1, 2014

    Funnily enough, I hadn’t looked at the Goyder’s line details much before. I notice that Orroroo is at the edge of the arable area. Buuut, Orroroo has always had access to Pekina Creek. Without the creek and the dam, they’d not be able to grow anything much, let alone the dairy pastures they used to water 100+ years ago. It’d be saltbush/sandalwood country just like that around Peterborough. We can reseed the saltbush, but I suspect the sandalwood’s gone forever.

  62. #63 bill
    April 1, 2014

    The dairy that’s always got me is the ‘Dairy Farm Road’ that runs between the Wilpena and Leigh Creek Roads just north of Hawker. They cannot have been serious?

    My understanding is the last dairy herd left the Flinders – it was based considerably further south in the relatively rich country near Laura – a couple of years ago, meaning Golden North (Australia’s Premier Ice-cream maker, he said controversially) has to import its milk from Victoria (where the dairy industry has its own problems…)

  63. #64 Bernard J.
    April 1, 2014

    David Duff will be interested to know that we’ve had the hottest April day since 1880, breaking the record by 0.3°C.

    I guess by his own logic global warming has recommenced.

  64. #65 cRR Kampen
    April 1, 2014

    Another date record yesterday added to the handful. #3 warmest March since at least 1706, record amount of 20+ days, record number of sunshine hours (was 198h in 2003).
    This after an extremely mild winter (#3 since at least 1706).

    This is our red flag: .

  65. #66 bill
    April 1, 2014

    36.6C here in Adelaide!

    In fact, the subheadline in the local rag for the article ‘PM unmoved by climate warning’ is ‘Today’s forecast scorcher of 36C is no April Fools’ joke’.

    Of course, our beloved PM, like the numpties here, reckons he knows better than the CSIRO, the BoM, NIWA, NOAA, NASA, the Met Office, all-those-people-who-actually-studied-and-don’t-just pull-numbers-out-of-their-butts etc….

  66. #67 Bernard J.
    April 1, 2014

    I’m sure that David Duff’s concession has been held up in moderation.

  67. #69 BBD
    April 1, 2014


    It’s just talk. The DM and the Telegraph will continue to peddle the “low S and low impacts” lies generated by Tol, Lomborg, GWPF and the FF industry while claiming loudly to “accept the science”.

    In a pig’s eye.

  68. #70 BBD
    April 1, 2014

    In fact “no worries we’ll adapt” is the new-season’s look for Denial.

    It’s still fucking denial though.

  69. #71 chek
    April 1, 2014

    We’ll know when cretinous creeps like Olap inform us that deniers have always accepted the science, but not the eco-Nazi solutions.

  70. #72 cRR Kampen
    April 1, 2014

    #70, then I’ll have the Niño do some prosecuting.
    Still, Delingpole is quarantined.

  71. #73 cRR Kampen
    April 1, 2014

    When certain people talk about ‘adapting’ I always wonder who they want to remake into what this time.

  72. #74 BBD
    April 1, 2014


    Hardly quarantined – he’s still spewing out climate misinformation on the internet, although fewer people (in the UK, at least) will know what is, so hopefully his viewing numbers will take a big dive.

    I wish I could get definitive inside info about what happened with Delingpole and the Telegraph blog – was he pushed or did he jump?

  73. #75 cRR Kampen
    April 1, 2014

    #74, pushed, I think, though not for climate revisionism as such.

    Meantime the source of the new denial meme: .
    Clap for El Niño, whose start is topping 1997.

  74. #76 BBD
    April 1, 2014

    Let’s see where we end up by Christmas with EN. It may be big without being a true monster (2010 was a big EN, but who talks about it now?). Even if it is huge, the climate liars will concede nothing. We will hear lots of Tisdalean rhetoric about EN driving warming and nothing about the conservation of energy (or lack thereof in Tisdale’s alternative physical climatology). We will see a new start point for the next decade’s worth of cherry-picked “no warming since […]” bollocks. And then there’ll most likely be a couple of solid LNs and we’ll be hearing about “cooling” and falling sea levels again…

  75. #77 cRR Kampen
    April 1, 2014

    #76, that is the boring part of it. But the meteorological deal is going to be the richest tombola ever. Looking forward to that…

  76. #78 Lionel A
    April 1, 2014

    Let us get one thing straight, I am not looking forward to any extreme weather events that may come our way EN or LN.

    What we can be sure of is the ride is going to get so interesting that even those currently believing the crap that comes from the denier blogs will be changing their tune. A sea change bringing a sea change in attitudes for one.

  77. #79 Lionel A
    April 1, 2014

    OS Geeks are yesterday’s people, today we have Typeface geeks. Here is something I wondered about but never had the patience to investigate:

    Which typefaces use the least ink?

    As it happens I tend to use Garamond often in design stuff it being more aesthetically pleasing IMHO, Eric for sans.

    Once upon a time I had the software to create my own typefaces with proper scaffolding and it was a shock when I moved to Windows and started trying to play with MS typefaces that I discovered they were not created correctly and thus behaved oddly when altered to graphic objects in vector oriented software.

  78. #80 Stu
    April 1, 2014

    OP I am too fucking busy trying to get alternatives to Win XP now Microsoft (I have another name for that gang of what some would consider are protection racketeers) have pulled the plug.

    Are you farking serious? You’re complaining about them stopping support after THIRTEEN YEARS? It is an absolute, complete and ridiculous ANOMALY how long XP has been supported. Compare OS X. Compare Linux (Ubuntu, Red Hat, pick any). Compare Android. Compare Firefox. Compare Chrome. Show me another mainstream OS version that has received free updates for thirteen years, I dare you.

  79. #81 Stu
    April 1, 2014

    Costs for monthly support:

    Worst-case (bought full Pro license retail in 2006 — and if you did, wow): $2.91 a month.

    Best-case (XP came with your machine in 2001): $0.51 a month.

    Both sunk costs anyway, knowing full well only five years of support is guaranteed to begin with.

  80. #82 Lionel A
    April 1, 2014

    Are you farking serious?


    I had to purchase a new PC at the time Vista had been introduced and because I had, expensive and important, devices and I had to replace one XP box with another, so XP was not thirteen years old and an install on a laptop, for similar reasons, was younger as was the install on my wife’s PC. So nothing I am running is thirteen years old.

    Now call me old fashioned if you like but what is wrong with if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and if it were built right in the first place it wouldn’t be broke?

    Consider the carbon foot print of all these suddenly no f******g good devices being ditched although perfectly OK otherwise. You may consider that foot print negligible but that isn’t the point.

    Besides I am no longer in the best of health, and other family members have big issues in that respect, some youngsters, and all this extra agro right now I could do without. The shifting around of all this kit in the next few weeks and the hassle and expense, I am not particularly wealthy, of purchasing lots of new kit and apps just to get where I am now is a f*****g disgrace. There stick that where you like and draw on it. Just because it seems trivial to you – well that is how Roger Pielke Jr. sees adaptation – don’t make it so for others.

  81. #83 cRR Kampen
    April 1, 2014

    #76, 2010 was also the Russian Inferno and some other wild phenomena. Something has to happen if this EN materializes. I realize this is mere belief.

  82. #84 cRR Kampen
    April 1, 2014

    #78 – I’m badly split up. I like wild weather and look forward to meteorological events. Therefore, Haiyan was Kaiserin.
    Otoh, well, it is not my policy at present to describe what is on the other side of this medal, let Haiyan’s victims speak for me.

  83. #85 Lionel A
    April 1, 2014

    I like wild weather and look forward to meteorological events.

    Oddly enough I quite liked a bit of ‘roughers’, as we used to say, whilst serving in the RN. You would not believe how much even a ship as big as old Ark Royal IV (with cats and traps) could move, even sometimes pretending to be a submarine with green water coming down the for’ard aircraft lift well.

    I think chek has seen some of my evidence for that.

    Eight foot plumes of water coming out of the twenty or so junior rates traps (bogs, khazis whatever) in the flat down for’ard on 4 deck. Bidets, who needs ’em.

  84. #86 chek
    April 1, 2014

    Indeed Lionel. My own worst case was the last SeaCat from Belfast to Cairnryan (bits of Ark still visible IIRC) all subsequent sailings having been cancelled, one December about fifteen or so years ago.

    A half hour into the voyage, looking up at the black waves towering over us, all I could think was there’s no ship or helo on Earth could do a damn thing to help if the waves swamped us, at least until the seas subsided – if they ever did.

    Needless to say, the trip was uneventful and we arrived a little late with no harm done except to a few glasses in the bar.

    Getting back to your PC issue, I think BBD’s suggestion is a good one – mainly because that’s what I’ve done with my old XP box. Use a newer secure OS for internet access, then network them together. I think there was one free network app from MS was all that was needed.
    I too had some old video and graphic apps (and Outlook Express) that wouldn’t run on Win7 even in compatibility mode, plus the old machine has a floppy reader – even though it’s not been required for years. Except the once for changing a splash screen on a friends Dell.
    Unfortunately the built in network chip has just packed in after 12 years sterling service, so I’ll have to liberate a card from an old junk machine somewhere, but in the meantime on the rare occasions I want to use it, USB drives have all the capacity to transfer files you’d ever need.

  85. #87 Stu
    April 1, 2014

    So nothing I am running is thirteen years old.

    Yes it is, and pretending otherwise especially for anything you bought after 2006 is intentionally disingenuous. If you buy a five year old car off the lot, is it new?

    Now call me old fashioned if you like but what is wrong with if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and if it were built right in the first place it wouldn’t be broke?

    Well now this is interesting. Are you complaining about your car this way? Your fridge? Your oven? My 3 year old oven broke last year and I couldn’t get parts.

    Now let’s be very clear about the difference here.

    Oven: make parts. Put parts in warehouse. Done.

    OS updates: monitor vulnerabilities. Maintain a team of very, very highly paid programmers (why highly paid? because they don’t get to work on interesting new things, so you’d better pay them or they’re gone, that’s why). Maintain a team of testers. Maintain a farm of test machines. Maintain a release management cycle.

    None of this is free. This has been provided for 13 years. You are pretty much demanding LIFETIME WARRANTY on a volatile product. Do you even begin to grasp how clinically insane that is?

    Consider the carbon foot print of all these suddenly no f******g good devices being ditched although perfectly OK otherwise.

    Yes, if anyone was actually was saying you should ditch them, which nobody is actually saying. Whew, such nice heat from that strawman burning.

    What is being said is that you should not expect continuing free security research and updates for a product 8 years after its warranty period. Call me crazy, but that does not seem unreasonable.

    You may consider that foot print negligible but that isn’t the point.

    No it is not the fucking point. It is you demanding something for nothing.

    As for this being an unexpected expense, sorry, but that’s just silly. Who made you think a PC was like a fridge rather than, say, a car, or a cell phone? Who made you think there would be no expense 8 years after the expected end of life?

    I know *all* about PC replacement coming at a bad time, but pretending it is unexpected is right up there with being surprised an 8 year old car needs maintenance. And seriously Lionel… a Windows 7 OEM license is $80. I’m willing to bet that’s less than one month of your wireless bill.

  86. #88 BBD
    April 1, 2014


    Save the powder for the enemy.

  87. #89 Stu
    April 1, 2014

    By the way, Lionel, I could probably help you with that. I have a bunch of spare licenses, actually. Let me know if you’re interested.

  88. #90 Stu
    April 1, 2014

    @BBD: no, not really. It’s the entire point of being able to claim intellectual honesty. I’ll burn down anyone being full of it, and I expect all of you to do the same in return. “Save the powder”? Are you fucking serious? That’s the entire “stick together” “hivemind” claptrap we spend quite a bit of time disabusing, and I’m frankly very, very insulted and disappointed in you that you would suggest it.


  89. #91 BBD
    April 1, 2014

    I see your point, but you miss mine. We are not Lionel. So perhaps we should cut him some slack.

  90. #92 Stu
    April 2, 2014

    I am willing to cut him oodles of slack for his situation. I have several licenses I can am willing to let him have, as a matter of fact.

    I am not willing to cut him slack on wackadoodle opinions.

  91. #93 Stu
    April 2, 2014

    “can am”? Sheesh. Time for bed.

  92. #94 Lotharsson
    April 2, 2014

    Stu’s interaction style may be putting Lionel and others off, but if we can see past that his point is valid.

    In the software world the length of time that WinXP has been freely supported is extraordinary, and the warnings about the ending of that support have been out for a long time.

    The idea that “it ain’t broke, so leave it alone” is not applicable here. Any OS, even any significant application, that is not maintained to deal with new security threats is “broke”, and becomes even more “broke” over time. And keeping it “unbroke” requires a lot of investment.

    Furthermore, the idea that “if it were built right in the first place it wouldn’t be broke” is a fundamental misconception when applied to software for which “security” is a desirable attribute (i.e. almost all software). Many future security issues cannot be predicted ahead of time, so on that basis one cannot build it to be invulnerable to them.

    A similar concept applies to add-on hardware devices. They have a finite functional lifetime that cannot be predicted in advance for an individual device, but more importantly one must assume that backwards compatibility provided by (say) motherboard and computer designers for add-on hardware has a finite time limit (even though you might not be able to predict how long that is). After enough time has passed you simply won’t be able to buy new motherboards/computers that support the old hardware so you must plan to migrate.

    It’s a right royal PITA having to deal with migrating to another OS or hardware platform, so Lionel has my sympathies on that front.

  93. #95 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2014

    Now I know that David Duff’s first acknowledgement of the continued warming of the planet is still held up in moderation, but perhaps he’ll consider another response to the temperatures my area experienced after yesterday’s record high*.

    See, officially we had the highest overnight April minimum temperature in 25 years, at 18.1°C (my thermometer read 18.4) and at 6:00am we had the highest ever official April temperature for that time of day… 25.5°C (although my thermometer said it was ‘only’ 24.6°C).

    Waking up in a swaet at six in the morning to a positively balmy temperature that was typical of a summer mid-day maximum for the area was bizarre, especially as it was still pitch dark. It definitely does not bode well for future decades if this trend in new records continues, let alone increases as this long-in-the-tooth La Niña dissipates. The problem isn’t so much when such records occur in the temperate mid-autumn time of year, but when they come along in mid summer, on top of a drought, and when Australia’s been crispified by a roaring El Niño

    *Oh, and my bad – yesterday’s record April maximum broke the old record by 0.4°C.

  94. #96 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2014

    More and more people are coming to the realisation that humans aren’t as a species System II thinkers, but System I responders:

    When humans as a species are so incapable of making significant life decisions on the basis of rational analysis that the fate of the planet has to be relegated to marketers, then it’s really a case of can the last person to leave make sure that the lights are out – after all, we don’t want to waste electricity…

  95. #97 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2014

    Further to my mention of the record temperatures here last night, I followed up on the radio discussion about the records and it transpires that last night’s official minimum temperature was 18.7°C, not 18.1°C, which pips the previous record of 18.6°C from 1959.

    As I said, by David Duff’s own logic global warming is proceeding as the science suggests.

  96. #98 Lotharsson
    April 2, 2014

    From this perspective it looks like Frontiers folded in the face of unjustified legal threats, which won’t help their reputation.

    Cue more shrieking from the usual suspects…

  97. #99 Lotharsson
    April 2, 2014

    Also note that according to one commenter who wrote to Frontiers, they attempted to dispute that portrayal without actually getting around to disputing anything specific:

    “Our decision on the retraction of this article was taken on the basis of a number of factors. I assure you that this decision had nothing to do with caving in to pressure and was driven by our own analysis of various factors and advice received. Frontiers is not engaged in the climate science debate, but is clearly engaged in favor of solid science, and that it is of regret that the weight of the different factors involved led us to the conclusion that we had to retract the article.”

  98. #100 Lionel A
    April 2, 2014


    I know *all* about PC replacement coming at a bad time, but pretending it is unexpected is right up there with being surprised an 8 year old car needs maintenance. And seriously Lionel… a Windows 7 OEM license is $80. I’m willing to bet that’s less than one month of your wireless bill.

    A Windows OEM license may well be only $80 but the cost of replacing other kit that will no longer work is considerably more than that. I had made that clear.

    Now when MS launch an OS then they must factor in the costs of support over a given period of time and this will (or should) include contingencies for security updates as holes are found.

    XP may well have been around for an extraordinarily long time but if MS had not made such a dog’s breakfast of Vista and the upgrade path adequately supported existing peripherals then I would be unjustified in complaining. But that was not the case and I never had confidence in anything new coming from Redmond at that time.

    To be sure the type of devices on which an interface can now be displayed are numerous and have different requirements, which has driven Win development. However, for somebody like myself who uses a computer for image processing, printing and design then a fancy touch interface is of little value, and indeed gets in the way of document organisation.

    I have patiently created a long list printer paper-colour profiles for an A3+ printer using a continuous ink system, is this likely to transfer across.

    I think it would be difficult to get such functionality out of Linux especially as Photoshop and Lightroom are not worked for that, neither is Xara, there were moves on that a few years back but that has gone to seed.

    Some would say why not use a Mac, well once again cogent reasons for not going in that direction. I did like flying a virtual Sea Vixen in FS to take out the stresses, not possible on a Mac.

    So I’ll do as chek did, for awhile at least and run Linuk for internet.

    As it happens a ubuntu booted OK on my desktop but does not lick my laptop for some reason. I thought the CD burning had failed before I inadvertently left the ubuntu in the desktop’s drive overnight and thus I booted into it by accident.

    BBD mentioned that Win 8 can be configured to work around the touchy-feely but I am opting for a new Win7 box for my wife where demands are more of the every day sort.

    BTW Thinking that the burning had failed I used the laptop to access through the ubuntu site to download a fresh version of Infra Recorder, and being mucho distracted by the mayhem around me must of chosen a different route and now have a HEUR trojan on the laptop.

    I hope all this makes sense being persistently interrupted by events around me ‘phone, door and a wife, GBH, who keeps popping in to say something, goes out and comes back again just as I have got my thoughts together.

    Another thing is I cannot get out and about much due to incapacities of various forms – driving is a no no. This makes the situation somewhat more fraught.

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