Biden’s Climate Fixation.

Joe Biden, or whoever writes his stuff, announced that “Climate Change” will be the #1 issue for his administration. What does this mean and portend? There are a number of articles in “Asia Times” that discuss this. I ran across this series at an Australian blog I read ever day, Catallexy Files

In his January 27 “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” US President Joseph Biden declares that his administration aims at “putting the climate crisis at the center of United States foreign policy and National Security.”

Taken literally, this statement – as I think any sober observer of today’s situation in the US and internationally will agree – is a piece of insanity. Joe, please tell us you don’t mean it.

Whatever one might believe about an oncoming climate apocalypse, the urgent domestic and international problems the Biden administration will face in the immediate months ahead have little or nothing to do with the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. They include the likelihood of crises that might decide between war and peace on a short time-horizon.

I am reading the articles, there are 6 so far. I think they are worth a read. The author is a PhD in Math at age 22 from UC Berkeley

The first article

The second

The third.

BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest investment management company with about 8 trillion dollars of managed assets, plays a singular role in US President Joe Biden’s climate policy. Indeed, it looks like BlackRock and the Biden administration are married to each other.

The marriage was consumated, one might say, with the appointments and nominations of prominent BlackRock executives to high posts in the administration. All of them are typical of the “revolving door” phenomenon of leading personnel shifting back and forth between government and big finance.

The fourth.

Most importantly: Given sufficient support for research and development in the context of large-scale infrastructure investment worldwide, ending the era of dependence on fossil fuels could be accomplished without austerity and with a minimum of coercive measures by governments. The major drivers would be higher efficiency, lower costs, competitive advantages.

This would be a natural process if guided by rationality rather than quasi-religious belief in a coming “climate apocalypse.”

Wind and Solar, the fifth.

The only available alternative to large-scale nuclear power would be to scale up wind and solar energy to cover 80% or more of total electricity generation. Other sources, such as hydroelectric power, geothermal, biomass (with replanting), could hardly be expected to cover more than about 20% of total US consumption.

A vast infrastructure would be needed to support such a heavy reliance upon wind and solar, which are intermittent, land- and resource-intensive energy sources. That includes restructuring the whole US electricity grid and creating gigantic amounts of electricity storage capacity.

If the magnitude of financial and physical resources that would need to be invested are taken into account, it is clear that this scenario will never be carried through to the end.

The fifth and final article so far.

California is supposed to be showcase of the Democratic Party’s environmental policies. The state has been solidly in Democratic hands since the election of environmentalist Governor Jerry Brown in 2011. Vice President Kamala Harris and powerful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are leading California Democrats. California also has vast financial and economic resources. If California were a country, it would be one of the six richest nations in the world, with a nominal GDP of $2.6 trillion.

SO why is this state not able to provide its citizens with reliable and affordable electric power? Throughout October last year, millions of Californians suffered from a constant series of “rolling blackouts” in which electricity supply was cut off to various regions of the state on a rotating basis.

The rolling blackouts were provoked by a severe heat and dry spell, but were made possible by the desolate state of the state’s ancient electric power grid. Sparking from its overland power lines had long been a main trigger of California’s frequent forest fires.

The series is worth reading and, I hope, is a forecast that will not come to be.

36 thoughts on “Biden’s Climate Fixation.”

  1. The whole ClimateScam nonsense makes a lot of sense from the perspective of the Chinese Communist Party.

    First, China is excluded from all the stupidity of international CO2 output targets for the foreseeable future, but benefits from Western countries having to offshore their industries to China in order to meet their own arbitrary targets.

    Second, China produces much of the equipment required for Big Wind and Big Sun. When Pretender Biden* talks about good union jobs from his Green plans, the CCP smiles because they know those good jobs will be in China.

    Third, the huge malinvestments in bird whackers etc will drive the US over the financial cliff even sooner, rendering the US unable to thwart whatever the CCP wants to do around the world.

    All in all, the CCP is getting a great return for the effort & money they invested in dumbing down the US Ruling Class and putting their puppet in the White House.

  2. If these “Carbon Bubble” types were supporting nuclear power, I would give more credence to them.

    It is a little ironic in my mind that the big supporter of Biden’s fixation on all this is “Black Rock” investments when the villain of the Jason Bourn novels and movies was “Blackstone.”

    I still think it is a myth but myths can be very destructive, especially if given the cover of a religion. This thing feels like religion to me.

  3. China is pushing nuclear power and is third in the world for NP online. It is also producing some quite advanced reactors, including a small modular HTR-PM. which it will deploy widely. The high temperature gas cooled pebble bed reactors are pretty safe, so it makes a lot of sense to replace dirty power with them, wherever they can

    China has pollution problems still, and is sensitive to climate change as well.

  4. The price of a gallon of gasoline is built into the price of everything you buy – goods must be transported during and after manufacture. Same with the price of electricity, as Germany and Ontario found out as their electricity costs skyrocketed and brought tears, and ulcers, to cost accountants in industry.

    Green electricity in America is a source of inflation and will lead to electricity-intensive industrial operations to seek “greener pastures.”

  5. There is little doubt that the only way to seriously reduce greenhouse gas production, is to develop nuclear power extensively. We are technically sophisticated enough to pull this off. I say this because although wind, solar and especially water, as hydro, are very useful in the places they are appropriate, they are no answer to our problems. If you have rivers through mountainous terrain, hydro will be a very good way to make electricity. If you have steady strong winds through most of a year, that place could use wind power. As Mike has pointed out Arizona, and of course other similar places, have a capacity to generate solar power, that is again very useful.

    But for powering our world, those happy accidents of place, are not sufficient. As well wind is variable from year to year, as is solar. Hydro is more a durable source of power, but there are only so many suitable places and as we have seen in the Nile, there are consequences for damming rivers.

    As we mature as a world, nuclear and hopefully fusion, will become the main sources of our power. There is no way around this, and those who wring their hands over the reality of what we have to do, will just have to suck it up. Its a dangerous universe and we need to get off the planet ASAP, or my plans could be ruined. ;)

  6. I knew some people originally from Eastern Europe who were saying 20 years ago that “climate change” was a communist plot to take over the world economy. Sometimes the paranoid crazies are just seeing things before the rest of us…
    LEDs, solar panels, etc.–all 100% made in China. One wonders what future economic historians will make of late 20th/early 21st century America. Of course, this time period will probably just be skipped over as The Time Before the great catastrophes to come…

  7. PenGun: “There is little doubt that the only way to seriously reduce greenhouse gas production, is to develop nuclear power extensively.”

    Wow! You are right. Please keep it up.

  8. One wonders what future economic historians will make of late 20th/early 21st century America.

    That it was the norm rather than the aberration when our entire history is looked at and that our ills are not unique to us and are seen in all nations in all periods of history.

    Profit and class loyalty almost always comes before patriotism and nationalist solidarity. Slaves were imported to boost profitability of farming operations, never mind what their presence did to the social fabric. Present day illegal invaders are hired in order to boost profitability of operations, never mind the effect on culture, governance and taxation. Off-shoring of industry and creating ghost towns is done to boost profitability, screw the consequences. The cold civil war in America between “good Whites” and the “bad Whites” is nothing new, ruling classes seem to almost always hate the plebes and also not new is the turn to “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” so the “good Whites” using minorities as “allies” is not going to turn out well, (see how Rep. Omar unseated her “good White” predecessor, much to the “good White” lady’s surprise.

    What’s going on today is not the anomalous period, the odd man out periods are the Revolution and the 1920-1965 period of immigration restriction when the industrialists actually supported an immigration restriction which cut off their supply of cheap labor from immigration, they supported that policy even during the 40s,50s and early 60s and that was the period of peak nationalist feeling, that stifling conformity that leftists bitch about was actually a sign of cultural cohesion. Sure, the ruling class took their position because they were scared to their core by what happened in Russia and so they didn’t want to import socialists, communists and anarchists and tolerated an increasing share of GDP going towards labor costs, at least they got to keep their fortunes and skins, but by the mid-60s the boogey-man of violent revolution against the ruling class had diminished and so the siren call of cheaper labor costs beckoned and boom, out the window went patriotism and national cohesion and in came the old maxim – “give your enemy a new enemy to fight and he will forget about you” and so multiculturalism and the sexual revolution took increasing mindshare away from class conflict.

    A House Divided Will Always Fall. The trouble is that the ruling class seems to always find some temporary advantage to be gained from dividing the house.

  9. I kind of agree with Tangoman above but the 60s were different because of the VN War and because the children of those “ruling class” parents came to hate their own. Bill Ayres’ father was CEO of Commonwealth Edison. He was another radical rich kid, like his wife and co-criminal, Bernadine Dohrn. She was even more vicious and criminal than he was.

    Their friends in the weathermen tended to be other rich kids, like Diana Oughton, grand daughter of a patent medicine maker and daughter of a banker. For years after she was blown up in the bomb factory in Greenwich Village, her father ran a family restaurant on the family estate, We used to eat there on trips to the area. He was a nice man and did not deserve what his daughter did to him.

    Maybe the Baby Boomers were at fault or maybe LBJ. Probably both.

  10. And now the next generation of weathermen are doing stuff like destroying San Francisco from the DAs office, and I predict next the mayor’s office and then who knows what. I’ve never heard anything about if Ayers and Dohrn have spawn.

    I say the fault lies with the Boomers’ parents. They decided to let their kids destroy America in exchange for letting them have a nice peaceful retirement, being too exhausted by the Depression and WWII to try to preserve anything.

    Of course one must remember that Nixon won twice, and there were more Hard Hat Rioters than Kent State Hippies. It was long, long, long road to ruin.

  11. Ran across this 2020 PDF the other day:

    ELECTRIFYING THE UK and the want of engineering

    …Moreover, as anyone who owns a mobile phone knows, batteries are a frustrating technology. When electronics first became portable in the early 1970s, zinc-carbon batteries were common. All the research over the fifty years since then has given us the lithium-ion battery, which has six times the electrical energy stored per unit volume. But this is still more than forty times less energy dense than petrol. This has important ramifications. It is often pointed out that electric motors are more efficient than internal combustion engines, and this is true; there is a factor of three involved. But the low energy density of batteries means that much of this advantage is lost in having to carry around a heavy battery. The power pack for a Tesla weighs half a tonne and occupies much of the floor pan of the car: for the same 600-km range in a petrol car, you would need 48 litres of petrol, weighing just 36 kg.

    And the size of the battery means that they require huge quantities of materials in their manufacture. If we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs, and assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials:

    • 207,900 tonnes of cobalt – just under twice the annual global production;
    • 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate – three quarters of the world’s production;
    • at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium –nearly the entire world production of neodymium;
    • 2,362,500 tonnes of copper – more than half the world’s production in 2018.

    And this is just for the UK.

    About the author
    Michael Kelly is the Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge. He was a Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department for Communities and Local Government. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.</blockquote

  12. And now the next generation of weathermen are doing stuff like destroying San Francisco from the DAs office

    The transition period between the Old Order and the New Order is always a confusing time. The people who come to hold some power in this transition phase inevitably cut the throats of their own children.

    Those folks in the SF DA’s office are pushing radical leftist politics because they believe that this order, the order they grew up in, is going to be the order going forward. Meanwhile, many on the Leftist side were surprised that another old White man was the candidate for President. Younger White dudes, even some White women, are plainly seeing the writing on the wall – if you have political ambitions then the best you can do with the Democrats is to be some operator behind the scenes, you won’t have a constituency electing you to national office if you’re a White person in the Democratic Party.

    So all of these Useful Idiots blathering on about White Supremacy and White Privilege are aiming for the “bad Whites” thinking that they, the “Good Whites” will always be in charge of their faction. The Leftist politics that they’re advancing is the old order, the new order is going to be racial solidarity – no room for White politicians in the Democrats, only the dead-enders will remain.

    Bill Ayres is clearly of the old-order, he’s driven by ideology. If he had children and grandchildren, he’s not going to like how they have become whipping boys in the new-order where Whites are classed as a toxic influence on minorities.

  13. ELECTRIFYING THE UK and the want of engineering

    His points could be expanded even further. Ore concentrations. How much EVIL mining must be done to get that gram of lithium or cobolt, how much energy must be expended to refine it.

    There was a similar study done on silicon wafer manufacturing, thousands of gallons of fresh water are needed per one square meter of silicon substrate – at a time when there is water rationing for lawns, vast quantities of water are used in electronics manufacturing, same with energy to grow the silicon boules which are cut down to the wafers. This was relevant to PV cells, the basic models, and I wonder what a similar study would find for the newer technologies used in solar.

    Iron Mines = bad
    Lithium Mines = good.

    The key determinant is the end-use of the ore. Seems kind of irrational to me, but hey, I’m not hip to woke logic.

  14. Tango…

    “Iron Mines = bad
    Lithium Mines = good”

    Only as long as the Lithium mines are not in the US, I suspect. It’s out-of-sight-out-of-mind, just as in the case of low-paid employees working in near-slavery conditions to make consumer products.

  15. the new order is going to be racial solidarity – no room for White politicians in the Democrats, only the dead-enders will remain.

    Yes and blacks are so successful at running things. Zimbabwe anyone ? South Africa anyone? You don’t have to go that far. Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit?

    San Francisco is still token white but the crazy left, as in LA, still got rid of a black DA because her husband pulled a gun on BLM rioters attacking their home.

    One of many reasons cities, big cities, are dying. Black leadership.

  16. All of these ‘renewable’ systems are capital-intensive. According to an analysis done by Sargent & Lundy for the EIA, a modern gas-fired plant will run you about $958 per kilowatt capacity. Onshore wind is about $1265 per nameplate kilowatt…and, you don’t have to buy any fuel, so, superficially, seems pretty good.

    BUT the wind plant will, on the average, only generate 35% of its nameplate capacity, compared with 57% for the gas plant. That puts the comparable cost at $3614, versus $1681 for the gas plant.

    It gets worse. Not only does the wind plant not generate power for as high a % of time as does the gas plant, it also doesn’t necessarily generate the power when you want it. To be a good grid citizen and avoid too much harm to reliability, I’ll assume that the wind plant needs 4 hours of energy storage, in the form of batteries.

    That puts the wind capital cost at $7043/normalized capacity, versus the gas plant’s $1681.

    Nuclear, too, is capital-intensive; the analysis puts it at $6041/kw…but offers high capacity factors at 93%. This puts the comparable capacity-adjusted number at $6496…but, unlike wind & solar, you can get the power when you want it. And much of the capital cost, I’d suspect, could be reduced with more standardization and a less-panicky regulatory environment.

    The economics of all this are highly dependent on two numbers that pull in opposite directions: fuel costs and interest rates.

    The S&L analysis is very interesting:

    Seems to me likely that a massive move in the wind/solar direction…even in the nuclear direction…would require so much capex as to itself have a material upward influence on interest rates.

  17. Not sure what the point is of pretending that “renewable energy” has anything to do economics. It’s all about control, and of course corruption.

  18. Brian…if you’re an investor, or a utility company exec, or a significant energy user, it has plenty to do with economics.

    It’s pretty clear that Western countries…not just the US, but also Western Europe…are going down the road on ‘renewables’ pretty hard…this is indeed motivated largely by political power-seeking, pseudo-relligious beliefs, genuine scientific beliefs in *some* cases, and, increasingly, given the momentum that exists, profit-seeking. This is going to likely continued, until (a) supply-chain problems limit the development, or (b) much-higher costs costs lead to a public reaction, and/ or (c) there is public pushback due to the unpleasant scenic and noise characteristics of certain modes. (wind)

    Important to understand how far this is likely to go and the realistic implications for, say, oil and natural gas consumption and US & European industrial competitiveness.

  19. Its a dangerous universe and we need to get off the planet ASAP, or my plans could be ruined.

    Exactly. Which is why I’m not too negative about the ultimate crony capitalist Elon Musk. It seems as if he’s the only human on the planet capable of making humans an interplanetary species.

  20. “Important to understand how far this is likely to go and the realistic implications for, say, oil and natural gas consumption and US & European industrial competitiveness.”
    Well, I don’t have any intention of buying an electric car. I suppose many of us need to start looking to Cuba for advice on how to keep old cars running for decades. Though if They shut down gas stations that won’t be too helpful. And living in upstate NY I don’t really look forward to the winter day in a few years when there is no heat in January because the grid is hopelessly inadequate, and unlike in Texas where the temperatures were in the 30s for a few days, they’re in the teens for weeks. And I’ve saved a pretty good chunk of money, though of course with coming inflation it will get cut down pretty severely, and the government will come for it well before I’m gone anyway…

  21. While the media and political class is fixated on this nonsense, I’m curious what they’re going to say and do when Russia invades Ukraine to give them a land connection to Crimea, as it looks quite likely like they’re about to do. Are they going to tell us how Chernenko Joe is so sooper tough that Putin will back down in terror?

  22. Putin just had a visit from Macron and Merkle. He told them that if the Ukrainians attack the Donbass, that as one of the countries who signed the Minsk agreement he would stop any attack. Good thing too, as the reason the Minsk agreement was made, was to stop the forces of the Donbass breaking out and overrunning the country. They were at the time led by Russian Special Forces and just sliced and diced the forces opposing them.

    He _has_ a bridge to Crimea and has been moving forces there as the Ukrainians have threatened Crimea as well. He is tired of all the BS and was completely uncompromising with Merkle and Macron.

    He has decided that the west will not stop its stupid accusations, and endless attempts to form colour revolutions to enact regime change, so he has stopped negotiating with Europe and America, except as needed. He will go with China and they will build a base on the moon fairly soon. That will change everything.

  23. “He will go with China and they will build a base on the moon fairly soon. That will change everything.”
    LOL. Looks like the amazing Canadian healthcare system has upped their allowable dosages of hallucinogenic drugs.

  24. LOL. I used to eat acid like candy. I like my mushrooms in doses around 250 and I know more about psychedelics than most people. “Yea though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil, for I am the meanest SOB in the valley”. ;)

    Yes the Russians and the Chinese have plans to build a base on the moon. If you don’t think that will change everything, perhaps you have an actual response?

  25. No, Pengun. The Russians & Chinese building a moon base will not change everything. What would change a lot would be if Elon Musk’s team can sort out the problems with Starship and reduce the costs of going into space by a few orders of magnitude.

    While we can have no respect for Beijing Biden* — emplaced in the White House by voter fraud on a massive scale — we don’t have to like Putin or Xi to respect them. They are leaders of their nations, with the best interests (as they see it) of their citizens at heart. Contrast that with more or less any of the current “leaders” of the West.

    Not so many decades ago, Chinese and Russian forces were facing off against each other on the Siberian border. Dumb Democrats in the US made such a fuss about fairy tales over Russian involvement in US elections that they drove Russia into the arms of China. China has now installed their puppet in the White House and is mopping up what is left of US manufacturing capacity under the cover of “Greenery”. Once the US has been forced off the world stage, Russia will be next on China’s hit list. President Putin knows this, and will not be so easily corrupted as the Biden clan and the US Political Class.

  26. More mind reading by the expert on Canadian superiority.

    The USA is now in the hands of the same cult that neutered Canada. I suspect we will see an economic collapse and, hopefully, a radical change in political power one day soon. China has a serious demographic problem plus they have copied much of their technology from us through treason and espionage. Russia has a worse demographic problem.

    We had an attempt to right the ship with Trump but all the “Tax Eaters,” as my sister calls them, united with the crony capitalists to resist and ultimately to steal the election. If they were competent, it would be a problem but they are incompetent. People like Gates and Zuckerberg think they are polymaths equipped to run everything. We have an economy that has financialized everything and thinks food comes from a supermarket and electricity comes from a wall plug.

  27. “No, Pengun. The Russians & Chinese building a moon base will not change everything.”

    I disagree. It will delineate the point where the US loses its hegemony. As well, the high ground is always useful. ;)

  28. “The USA is now in the hands of the same cult that neutered Canada. I suspect we will see an economic collapse and, hopefully, a radical change in political power one day soon. China has a serious demographic problem plus they have copied much of their technology from us through treason and espionage. Russia has a worse demographic problem.”

    Absolutely delusional. The real reason the US is in such bad shape, its the crazy!

  29. “Once the US has been forced off the world stage, Russia will be next on China’s hit list.”
    LOL. Russia is poorer than Italy, in absolute GDP terms. In per capita terms, they’re below the likes of Romania.

  30. Pengun: “I disagree. It will delineate the point where the US loses its hegemony.”

    Feel free to disagree, Pengun. My assessment is that the US lost its hegemony when it offshored its productive manufacturing to China and turned its once-mighty educational system into dumb pandering to embittered racists and the guilty white daughters of privilege. The US lost its hegemony when it had to buy computer chips for its Air Force jets from China and guidance kits for its bombs from Switzerland. The only people who do not know US hegemony has gone are Beijing Biden*’s band of sob sisters.

    Brian — of course Russia, like the US, does not have much of a productive economy any more. However, Russia does have two things which China would like. First, it has technology. Second, it has vast natural resources (and lots of room) in Siberia. From Chairman XI’s perspective, Russia being poorer than Italy makes it an attractive target. But Putin is a realist. A betting guy would put money on the proposition that, after the dust settles, China has all of Russia east of the Urals, and Russia has all of Europe from the Urals west to the Atlantic.

  31. I’m not interested in silly future scenarios. Russia couldn’t even provide their client Assad with a clear victory in Syria, they’re certainly not going to take over Europe.
    But they can take over another chunk of Ukraine, and all signs are that they’re about to do so, because Putin clearly holds Chernenko Joe in the same complete contempt he held Obama, with justification, of course. It will be amusing to see how the administration and their bootlickers in the media try to spin it–my guess is they’ll say that Trump allowed Putin free rein for 4 years and so poor Joe just hasn’t had the time to rebuild our alliances to show Russia that America Is Back, Man.

  32. “But they can take over another chunk of Ukraine” They can just sit back and let the Donbass forces off the chain. They will not do that. They will punish anyone who attacks the eastern enclave though. If it comes to that, it will be a devastating lesson.

    Russia can still pound the US flat. In Syria they have played a very fine game, and largely because they are not like the US. They solve problems, you just bomb the place. Both Mosul and Raqqa are war crimes because all you did was flatten the place. Aleppo is largely OK because the Russians took such care with that problem, and solved it really. At some point they will take back Idlib and the world will howl with rage. So it goes.

  33. well the base of the anti assad resistance is sunni, that’s about 50% of the population, the syrians mostly copied the eradicateur model from algeria, which is why bashir chuckles when brahimi lectures them, this is the russia zachista (search and destroy) taught at frunze, Russians aren’t giving up crimea (see history back to the first russo turkish war to know why) so what was the question again,

  34. Brian: “I’m not interested in silly future scenarios.”

    Maybe it is time we all started thinking about silly scenarios — or at least started recognizing that things which seem silly today can become accomplished fact in the not-too-distant future.

    A couple of years ago, if someone had suggested that the entire Western world was going to kneecap itself by shutting down their economies on account of an infection broadly comparable to the annual flu — an infection with negligible impacts on working age and school age people — I for one would have laughed. Simply “too silly”, in the words of the old Monty Python skit.

    A couple of years ago, if someone had suggested that Democrats would put a senile old sniffer and an unelectable woman in the White House through a level of electoral fraud that would have made Saddam Hussein blush, and got the Republicans and the Supreme Court to sign off on it — I would have smiled. Don’t be “silly”; it would never happen, not in the USA.

    A couple of years ago, if someone had suggested that the US would be printing money like Zimbabwe, I would have said that was silly. Foolish me.

    Things that “free traders” tell us are silly and would never happen are already happening. Look at China bringing Australia to heel by the simple expedient of stopping purchasing a range of commodities from them. Look at China slapping down “woker-than-thou” Western businesses over slave labor allegations. What happens when China flexes it trade muscles in another direction and embargoes exports to the import-dependent West?

    The times they are a’changing. And they may indeed be getting “silly”.

  35. He will go with China and they will build a base on the moon fairly soon. That will change everything.

    1) “They” in this case is China. The base will be a Chinese base, and the Russians will ride there as passengers on Chinese vehicles. The Russians have nothing left to offer the Chinese that the Chinese don’t already have. 2) “Fairly soon” is ten years from now, and by that time an American base with European and Japanese participation will likely already be established.

    There are serious implications if the Chinese and the Americans both start reaching for the same lunar resources. But I don’t think that’s what you meant.

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