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Archive for the ‘war’ Category

Thought for the Day: VLS Food Production

Posted by edro on September 5, 2008

VLS Accelerated Food Production Amid Environmental Chaos

The most highly sought after technology in the next 12 – 24 months could be VLS accelerated hydroponics. That is the know-how to produce large amounts of food in confined (or semi-confined) environments within a short time cycle and without the need for soil.

VLS: Very Large Scale

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A Snapshot of World “Disasters” this Week

Posted by edro on September 5, 2008

Haiti


Haiti’s second city, Gonaives, was deluged by Hurricane Hanna. Image: Matthew Marek/American Red Cross. Source:BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Haiti – Two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, struck the Caribbean’s poorest nation in little over 4 days, just two weeks after tropical storm Fay had already drenched the country. the hurricanes left at least 200 people dead. The death toll could still climb substantially as thousands of people who escaped to rooftops to avoid rising floodwaters continue to starve. See: Hungry Haitian Flood Victims Stranded on Rooftops.

In 2004, after Hurricane Jeanne struck the city of Gonaïves causing widespread floods and mudslides, more than than 3000 people died.

Nepal


People seek refuge from flood waters in east Nepal August 24, 2008. Twenty-four bodies have been discovered washed away by Koshi River at the Nepal-India border according to local media. More than 20,000 thousand people have been displaced due to a flooding after a dam burst. REUTERS/Nepal Army 11 Brigade/Handout (NEPAL). FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

Nepal – An appeal for assistance for Koshi flood affected people in eastern Nepal has been made by: WFP, FAO, UNICEF, WHO, OCHA, and OXFAM for a total of US$10,102,485.

  • WFP has asked for $5,000,000 to provide: Short to medium-term food needs and recovery support to flood affected persons
  • FAO requires $1,819,000 for: Support to provide fodder, treat sick draught animals/livestock and carcass disposal activities in support of the flood affected farming families
  • UNICEF asked for $1,795,065 to provide: Shelter, safe water, sanitation facilities, hygiene kits, school and student kits, emergency health messages and psychosocial support for flood affected families
  • WHO needs $853,150 to: Procure essential emergency/outbreak response medicines for Saptari and Sunsari districts, buffer stocks for Kathmandu and pre- positioning of international emergency health kits in all the regions
  • OCHA has asked for $600,000 to Capitalize Emergency Response Fund to allocate grants for emergency flood response
  • OXFAM requested a mere $35,270 to provide Support for shelter items, fuel wood, and to cover transportation costs of both IDPs and shelter kits in Saptari

[Note: The more experienced agencies never publish the required aid money in figures that are rounded to nearest thousands—,000.]

India

India – The flooding in the Bihar state of India has affected an estimated three million people. Without clean water, food, medicines and shelter many of them will perish.


A flood-affected man takes a nap outside a flood relief camp in Jankinagar village of Purniya district in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri. Image may be subject to copyright.

Cuba


People walk past a destroyed car as Hurricane Gustav passes in Los Palacios, 100 km (62 miles) west of Havana August 30, 2008. The Category 4 storm swept across Cuba in a matter of hours and now poses a threat to Gulf oil fields on a projected path that could take it ashore near New Orleans, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)

Cuba – Hurricane Gustav destroyed or damaged about 100,000 homes in Cuba. Pinar del Río province was the hardest hit with its share of 70,000, and a total of about 500 damaged schools. In the municipality of Isla de la Juventud about half of the houses were damaged. In the municipality of Los Palacios 80 percent of the 13,000 homes were damaged, some 6,000 were completely destroyed.

Chile


A man rows a boat in a flooded street of Puerto Saavedra town in southern Chile September 3, 2008. Hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes during the storms that hit parts of Chile, according to local media.  REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Caballero. Image may be subject to copyright.

Chile – About 100,000 people have been affected by torrential rains in Chile, the worst in living memory; four people drowned.

In Araucania region, 700 km south of Santiago, rain has damaged about 10,000 homes, flooded rivers and canals, blocked roadways, destroyed bridges and inundated more than 200,000 hectares of farmland.

President Michelle Bachelet designated the region as a “catastrophe zone” on Wednesday.

Two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, struck the Caribbean’s poorest nation in little over 4 days, about two weeks after tropical storm Fay had already drenched the country.

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Remember this Image!

Posted by edro on September 4, 2008

Coming to a City Near You!


No Food, No Freshwater, No Shelter!
[A flooded road outside Gonaives, Haiti, September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer. Image may be subject to copyright.]

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An Effective System of Mass Extinction

Posted by edro on August 21, 2008

The Exponential Growth Economy is Committing Life to Extinction

Yet, our top scientists want to preserve the economic system, instead of sustaining life on Earth!

Instead of urging an immediate end to the exponential growth economy and demanding a zero-growth, low carbon, waste-free oikonomia for managing the environment, welfare of humans and other living species, and a system of ‘housekeeping’ for the planet’s natural resources to sustain life on Earth, the country’s top scientists are looking for ways of serving the economic Titanic.

Read Original Entry: Protect Economy from Climate??!

The Environmental Cost of US Economy (carbon footprint only!)

  • US GDP (2007 PPP) : $13.8 trillion [World Bank]
  • US CO2 Emissions (2007) : 6,825.733 MMT [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]
  • Virtual CO2 content of US dollar (2007) : 494 g (The average amount of CO2 produced each time a dollar was paid or received in 2007. SEE: How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?)

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Good Bye, Tuvalu!

Posted by edro on August 13, 2008

Original Entry:

Global Warming Tolls the Death Knell for Tuvalu

‘I want to leave this country. When the spring tide comes and the gale winds blow, it will be over for us. We realize that disaster is all too certain to strike us.’

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How Much CO2 Are You Producing?

Posted by edro on August 8, 2008

Original Entry: World CO2 Emissions

World Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Consumption (including Flaring) Cement Production and Tropical Deforestation

CO2 This Year ( From 1-1-2008 to 8-8-2008 )
23,803.61 MMT CO2

CO2 Total 2007
38,058.66 MMT CO2

Anthropogenic CO2 Total (1750 – Today)
1,358,931.31 MMT CO2

Total atmospheric CO2

3,008,879.36 MMT [3,008.88GT]

How much CO2 are YOU producing?

Each dollar you earn or spend produces 584 g of CO2. [See Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar]

How much CO2 was there before?

Measurements of CO2 levels in Ice cores collected in Antarctica and Greenland indicate that the preindustrial carbon dioxide level was 278 ppm. Between 1000 and 1800 A.D. that level varied by no more than 7 ppm.

What about human activities?

The CO2 levels have now reached 386 ppm, which means human activities have increased the concentration of atmospheric CO2 by 109 ppm or 39 percent.

Notes:
MMT: Million Metric Tons
GT: Gigatons (billion tons)
Sources: CASF/MSRB; CDIAC; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; Earth Systems Research Laboratory; Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data.

The following data were used to calculate the total mass of atmospheric CO2 :
1. Mass of dry air: 5.1352 × 1018 kg
2. The mean molar mass of air: 28.9625 g/mol.
3. Molar mass of CO2: 44.0095 g/mol.
4. Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data: 385.60ppmv

[Note: On various websites reporting the carbon dioxide emissions since 1750 the cumulative amount varies from about 1.3 – 1.8 trillion tons. On one website the amount is published once as 1.36 trillion tons and again as 1.71 trillion tons of CO2 on separate pages. Understandably, no sources are quoted. ]

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Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar

Posted by edro on August 5, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member

How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?

Definitions

GDP is gross domestic product at purchaser prices. It is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. (Source: World bank)

GDP = consumption + gross investment + government spending + net exports

United States one dollar bill (obverse).

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[Important: for 3/4 & 1-1/2 U.S. Secret Service money illustration rules click here! See also Copyright rules.]

.

GNI (gross national income) is gross domestic product (GDP) plus net receipts of primary income (employee compensation and investment income) from abroad. GDP is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output. (World Bank)

GNI per capita is gross national income divided by midyear population. PPP GNI is gross national income converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GNI as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. (World Bank)

World Population and GDP figures

World population 2007 (World Bank) : 6.61billion
GNI per capita 2007 (PPP) : 9,816 (International Dollars)
World GNI : 64.9 trillion (International Dollars)
World GDP: 65.17 trillion (International Dollars)

[PPP is purchasing power parity; an international dollar has the same purchasing power over GNI or GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States.]


CO2 and Other Exhaust gases spewing out of an industrial plant.

Energy and GDP

To create the above economic figures [GNI and GDP,] the world economies consumed about 531 exajoules [503 quads] of energy in 2007. [Sources: CASF and MSRB]

To produce a GDP of 65.17 trillion (International Dollars), the world economies emitted about 10.38 billion metric tons of carbon [~38.06 billion tons of CO2.] That is, for every dollar paid (or received) each time in 2007 an average of about 160 grams of carbon, or 584 g of CO2 were released to the environment! [Sources: CASF and MSRB]

Notes:
1. 1kg (1,000g) is about 2.21lb [1 lb ~ 453.6g]
2. The above figure of 584g of CO2/GDP dollar is a global average. In the US the pollution figure is 578g of CO2/GDP dollar. In China the CO2 amount per GDP dollar of economic activity rises to 1,282g – about 2.2 times the global average of CO2/GDP dollar. [Updated Sept. 2008 ]

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Cyprus Collapse May Be Imminent!

Posted by edro on July 19, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member

Cyprus’ extreme environmental stress may lead to early collapse!

Ex-govt official: “We are going through a visual process of desertification.”

Main Causes of Collapse

Climate Change
– Persistent Droughts
– Disruption in climatic patterns
– Low Precipitation
– Higher than normal temperatures
– Heatwaves
– Wildfires and other natural phenomena [disasters] exacerbated by warming

Land
– Urbanization
– Land use and land cover change
– Loss of topsoil
– Soil degradation, especially salination
– Soil erosion caused by high temperatures, low precipitation and hot dry winds

Water
– Extreme water shortages throughout the island worsened by additional [including unforeseen] factors

Tourism
– Causing additional environmental stress
– Creating excessive waste and pollution
– Weakening the Island’s natural defense mechanisms

Main Effects

– Reduced ability to produce food
– Crop failure
– Continued water scarcity (compounded by economic/monetary issues)
– Breakdown of sewage, water and sanitation systems
– Spread of disease pandemics
– Overshoot of Carrying Capacity: The Island may have already passed the tipping point
– Resumption of the Cypriot civil war between the north and south enclaves reignited by the specter of ecological collapse
– Collapse of local ecosystems
– Desertification
– Land abandonment
– Population displacement/climate refugees

Possible Timeline

2011- 2013

Country Data

Estimated Population: 793,000 (July 2008 Estimate)
Area:
Total: 9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
Land: 9,240 sq km
Water: 10 sq km

No. of Tourists: About 3,000,000

Land use:
Arable land: 10.81%
Permanent crops: 4.32%
Other: 84.87% (2005)

Irrigated land: 400 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
: 0.4 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.21 cu km/yr (27%/1%/71%)
Per capita: 250 cu m/yr (2000)

Primary Energy Consumption year 2007: 0.13 Quad BTU [CASF estimate based on EIA data]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 20.8 percent

Fossil Fuel consumption (excluding aviation fuel) year 2007: 2,431,399 tonnes of oil [source]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 18.4 percent

CO2 Emissions From Consumption of Fossil Fuels year 2007 : 9.65 MMT [CASF estimate for 2007]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 22.5 percent

Natural hazards: moderate earthquake activity; droughts

Environment – current issues:
water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island’s largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization.

Human Rights Issues
Cyprus [like New Zealand] is primarily a destination country for a large number of women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of sexual exploitation; traffickers continued to fraudulently recruit victims for work as dancers in cabarets and nightclubs on short-term “artiste” visas, for work in pubs and bars on employment visas, or for illegal work on tourist or student visas. (Source CIA Factbook, Wikipedia, others)

Population density: It is estimated that at peak tourist season, the effective population density of [Southern] Cyprus exceeds that of the Netherlands (ranked world’s 25th most densely populated).


Location map: Cyprus (dark green) / European Union (light green) / Europe (dark grey). Credit: User 3meandEr, via Wikimedia Commons

Water Facts

  • After little winter rainfall, the drought in Cyprus is now in its fifth year.
  • Cypriot water reserves are at their lowest for 100 years; however, the effective population of Cyprus (citizens and tourists) have multiplied by about 150 folds.
  • “As long as the population remained [as] low [as] in the pre-industrial period, the water was sufficient for supplying cities which received water either from the mountains through the aqueducts or through the groundwater supply.” Said Chris Schabel, medieval historian at the University of Cyprus.
  • The entire island including both the Turkish Cypriot north and the Greek Cypriot south divisions are drought stricken.
  • The Island has an annual requirement of about 210 million cubic meters of water.
  • As of July 16, 2008 the water reservoirs were only about 6.5 percent full. Down one percent in the last three weeks (33 percent of the level 12 months ago).
  • Southern Cyprus’ 17 main reservoirs currently contain a paltry 17,733 cubic meters of water, some of which may be unsuitable for drinking.
  • Emergency measures have limited the supply of running water to homes to only twice weekly.
  • Most of the municipal wells have been shut down to avoid the risk of seawater contamination.
  • “The British policy of drilling boreholes throughout the island resulted in a serious depletion, due to excessive pumping of the groundwater reserves, in the main water bearing areas of Famagusta, Morphou and Akrotiri. It was calculated a few years ago that groundwater resources of Cyprus are over-pumped every year by 40 per cent over the allowable safe yield.” (Source)
  • Cyprus is buying from Greece 8 million cubic meters (2.1 billion gallons) of water to be delivered by November 2008 at a cost of €40 million (US$64 million). The water will only be distributed in the Greek Cypriot south.
  • The first ship carrying water from Greece arrived June 30 at Limassol (Cyprus’ main port). The officials then realized they could not pump the water from tanker because their makeshift pipeline was 10 feet short. Because of the delay, the water turned “odorous” and was deemed unsafe for drinking. The entire tanker load of 40,000 cubic meters was subsequently pumped into the ground, instead of the city’s water network due to contamination fears!
  • Under the initial agreement, two water-laden tankers were scheduled to leave Elefsina near Athens bound for Cyprus every day for six months (6 tankers delivering 200 shipments) between June and November 2008.
  • The Turkish Cypriot north is negotiating a separate arrangement with Turkey for their water needs.
  • The Greek Cypriot south plans to build a third desalination plant.

Agriculture, Wildfires, Desertification

“Extremely hot and dry weather conditions in Cyprus, combined with strong winds led to a disastrous upsurge of forest fires and wildfires in the Troodos Montain area on 29 June 2007. … Small villages had to be evacuated. Some houses were destroyed. Cyprus reported severe material damages in the area. Moreover, two forest fires hit Cyprus on 16 July 2007 in touristic areas of the Island. The first hit the vicinity of the Kalavasos village area … The other was close to Kornos village, which is located 20 km south of Nicosia [capital city]. The total burnt area … in Cyprus measured from satellite imagery on 31 July 2007 was 12 286 hectares.” European Civil Protection.

Climate change is pointing at us “like a loaded gun,” warned the EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel at a conference on water policy last week.

“Global warming is happening,” she said. “It’s taken thousands of years for global temperatures to rise by just one degree. In this century we expect to see an increase in global temperatures of between two and six degrees Celsius.”

“Climate change has arrived. Drought has arrived. We need to take out insurance now. Good business sense demands better use of water. For those farmers caught unprepared, climate change could be a sledge hammer,” said Boel. “Maybe there are areas that will benefit from this, like in the north, but we expect climate change to leave a wave of destruction. We expect more heat waves, drought, floods and crop failures.”

We are going through a visual process of desertification. Krasochorio near Limassol, has lost its environment [Ecosystems have collapsed]. Around 85 per cent of the population has left. In Lania, 30 villas are surrounded by burnt land after the fires. What can the villagers do with them now?” Said the former Cypriot Agriculture Ministry official, Antonis Constantinou.

“What Cyprus is not good at is holding water, avoiding erosion, adapting to water shortage, and not giving incentives which can’t guarantee a better future for the island. We are also not so good at keeping greenery, avoiding fires, fighting fires, giving incentives to people to manage land, even non-agricultural land owners,” he added. (Source)

Recent History

Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey, north of Egypt, and east-southeast of Greece, It is the third-largest Mediterranean island and a busy tourist destination, attracting about 3 million tourists each year.

A former British colony, it gained independence from the UK in 1960 claiming sovereignty over 97% of the island and surrounding waters, with the United Kingdom controlling the remaining three percent. It became a member of the European Union May 1, 2004.

In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup d’état aimed at annexing the island to Greece and sponsored by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. Cyprus is thus divided to:

  • The area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island
  • The Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey)
  • The United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two
  • Two “Sovereign Base Areas” or military bases Akrotiri and Dhekelia, where United Kingdom is the sovereign despite Cypriot independence. (Source: Wikimedia)


Map of Cyprus: WSBA and ESBA (British military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia) are in pink, UN buffer zone dividing the northern (Turkish) and southern (Greek) administrations is shown in gray. The map is adapted from the CIA World Factbook map. (Source).

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Posted in climate change, health, politics, pollution, soil erosion, topsoil, Tourism, Travel, war | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Land Erosion Rates Accelarate

Posted by edro on July 2, 2008

Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


“A goat walks along the sun-baked bed of Cyprus’s largest reservoir at Kouris, March 20, 2008. Cyprus announced on Monday emergency water cuts to deal with a crippling drought.” REUTERS/Stringer [Image may be subject to copyright. See EDRO  Fair Use Notice!]

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The Exponential Growth Economy Elephant in the Room

Posted by edro on July 2, 2008

Original Entry: Blind “experts” examining the elephant

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Nature’s Defense Mechanisms

Posted by edro on June 27, 2008

How Do Natural Events Form Nature’s Defense Mechanisms?

1. Extremity. They exceed the normal parameters creating significant differences in the events outcome.
2. Selective Targeting. This phenomenon could probably be explained as reflex action.
3. Change of Rhythms. Changes in the established cyles, patterns, tempo and behavioral modes of natural events may offset positive feedback systems.
4. Other Mechanisms.

Are Extreme Precipitation Events Nature’s Defense Mechanisms?

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Is 350 ppm CO2 Safe?

Posted by edro on June 24, 2008

Original Entry: 350 ppm Safe? Hell, NO!

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Ice on Mars

Posted by edro on June 22, 2008

Does it really make any sense looking for ice on Mars as life becomes extinct down here on Earth?

Wouldn’t it be more sensible if NASA’s budget for discovering life on Mars
was reallocated to securing life on Earth?

Original Entry:
Our world is a few extreme events away from total catastrophe

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Nature and You

Posted by edro on June 15, 2008

A Place in the Cosmos

The time has come for humanity, you, to consider a fundamental issue about your place within the cosmos. Can you answer the following questions?

  • How important is your role to the cosmos?
  • Do you have a role to play?
  • Can nature do without you?
  • How do you make your role indispensable?

Violent death of an old sun-like star!


Dusty Eye of the Helix Nebula [NGC 7293] Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su (Univ. of Ariz.)

An infrared image of the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet known for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. The nebula, located about 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae—the carcasses of deceased sun-like stars.

When sun-like stars die, they blow out their outer gaseous layers. The layers are heated by the hot core of the dead star, called a white dwarf, and shine with infrared and visible colors. (Source: Spitzer Space Telescope )

NEW Stars Are Born!


N90 is one of the star-forming regions in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The rich populations of infant stars found here are formed in an environment that is very different from the Milky Way Galaxy. Image taken buy the Hubble Space Telescope. (ESA/NASA)

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California ‘Mojavefied’ by 2011?

Posted by edro on June 13, 2008

Water Emergency in Calif

As most of the croplands in the Central U.S. is submerged under floodwater, the heart of California’s farming area is feeling the heat. Gov. Schwarzenegger who proclaimed last week a drought in California, declared yesterday a state of emergency in nine counties in Central Valley.


Coyote Dry Lake, Mojave Desert. Image: AnimAlu via Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Coyote Dry Lake is a dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert located about 24 km northeast of Barstow, and north of Interstate 15 in southern California. The lake measures about 10 km long and about 6 km wide at its widest section.

Main Entry:

Schwarzenegger Proclaims Water Emergency in Nine Counties

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