Saturday, February 24, 2007

Green Answers - 2

One thing Harper's bizarre accusations against the Liberals this week did do was take the environment out of the headlines. But with Al Gore poised to pick up an Oscar tomorrow, I figured it might be a good time to talk a bit about the environment. Last month, I asked a few questions related to the environment. I already looked at why it's an issue...this post will take a look at just how big an issue it really is.


2. Do Canadians really care, or are they only telling pollsters it's a big issue because they feel they should?

Some Answers:

-Most (90%) of those who say they care do, but willingness to make sacrifices varies.

-I think the complete lack of action on the above options [driving less and making environmental decisions] makes it pretty clear that it's the latter.

-The level of concern over the environment is soft because each day , hundreds of thousands of Canadians would rather drive to work and do an hour of gridlock rather than take the bus. They'd rather wait in a big line up of cars and trucks to buy a double double and a chocolate dip doughnut rather than make the coffee at home, slap it in a travel mug, walk two blocks to the bus stop and take the bus to work each day.

-A bit of both. I think a lot or people feel concerned but they're not ready to change their habits until someone tells/forces them to, while others are already looking for more environmentally friendly ways to do things.

-Canadians don't care. Canadians know that on some level the media is being cynical on the issue so they can't get worked up about it in a positive way.

-I think polls like this demonstrate the public reacting to issues, not leading issues, and this is the flavour of the month. Or, if we analogize with health care, flavour of the next 5 years or so.

-Let me tell you in no uncertain terms, that Canadians care. So long as Canada wins the global lottery and gets a trillion dollars (US) and can afford to fix health care, lower taxes, buy more chocolate, and stop greenhouse gas emissions, Canada will be there, and Canadians will be on board!!!

-I won't question people's sincerity without cause, so I'll accept that people are genuinely concerned. Whether that concern will last, or will be swept aside by the next political issue or scandal, is a different question.

-it's soft support at best and most people don't truly understand the ramifications of meeting our Kyoto targets.

-Something I heard at the time, which I've heard now, is that the enviro is one of those issues that moves towards the top of the list of important items when other issues are not as pressing.


My Take:

I do think people care. Even before the global warming burst onto the scene as the hip issue, people talked about the environment in one form or another - recycling, acid rain, pesticides...it's always been something people were aware of. Captain Planet aired over a decade ago and the environment did score as a major issue in the late 80s. Obviously the poll numbers are echoing increased media hype around it, but I don't doubt that Canadians genuinely care about the environment, simply because they always have.

But Canadians care about a lot of things. They care about starving children in Africa, but there hasn't exactly been a groundswell of support to do something about that. The real question is how much they care. And, here, I suspect most Canadians are a lot more concerned about whether or not their favourite team will make the playoffs than about the long range temperature projections scientists come out with. So this brings us to question 5:


How much are Canadians actually willing to pay?

Answers:

-Most would probably support a greater cost increase resulting from emissions standards on industries than they would on something more visible such as a gas tax.

-Also, note how soft that support for environmental policy is. Sure, they'll tell pollsters how, theoretically, they'd sacrifice for the environment. But when the question gets to gas prices, a real expense they can calculate, they start to shy away. If any government actually enacted serious, carbon-cutting, economy-slowing policy, how long would people really put up with it?

-It depends on the penalties and the incentives. If there was suddenly a tax imposed on gas gussling vehicles like SUV's people would be using fule efficient cars in no time. At the same time people would be more willing to spend more on an energy efficient appliance if they see themselves getting money back on it through a tax credit.

-I have a question for you, why would I buy a Honda Civic hybrid when a new "normal" Civic costs considerably less, holds more, is cheaper to maintain, has a longer life span and is good on gas?

- They're not. Christ, vinegar and baking soda are two superb cleaning agents that don't contain any chemical by-products, and they're a third of the cost of cleaning products that you should not drink - people keep buying the fancy stuff, though.

-The capitalist in me says that the more political (read: government dependant) this issue becomes, the less willing people will be to take responsibility for their personal actions. I agree with you. People won't be cutting their driving by half anytime soon.

-If our economy tanks in the next year (and I think we are long overdue for an recession, but that's just me) I believe that Canadians might be more interested in finding their next job rather than finding out which political party has the greenest platform.


My Take:

Canadians care...until people start talking about a fifty cent gas tax. The mere fact that 61% of people surveyed said they would cut their driving in half to help the environment illustrates the problem. NOTHING IS STOPPING THEM FROM CUTTING THEIR DRIVING IN HALF! They don't need the government to force them to take public transit - all that question says is that people know they can help, they're aware that they could cut back, they say they'd like to, but they don't.

Now, that's a great argument for why the government needs to do something (since people won't on their own), but it also shows that people will only help so long as their lifestyle isn't dramatically altered. I think most Canadians would support some tax restructuring to encourage green choices and I think most would support regulations on industry. And, despite what I said above, I think most would support policy which would hurt them financially...so long as it's a very minimal cost. I simply don't think we're at a point where changes which drastically hurt the national economy or (more importantly) the personal economy of Canadians would be acceptable.

That's not to say Kyoto targets can't be met without hurting the economy. But it does mean that if Harper says "we can't meet Kyoto without hurting the economy", it's a message Canadians might listen to.

Labels:

65 Comments:

  • Diane Francis wrote in her Friday column that if Kyoto becomes law in Canada, every business in Canada will be open to lawsuits from activist groups in any country who want to harass any carbon emitting or environmentally harmful business.
    From dairy farmers to private woodlot owners to oil companies and auto makers, all businesses would be targets.
    This needs more discussion because if it's true Canada will be devastated.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 1:51 PM  

  • Calgary Grit:

    Good analysis and I agree with your conclusions. (Nice to see my comments in your analysis - not that I am a green guru, I am just skeptical of Canadians commitment IMHO)

    I think we can tie this issue to a yet to be called election and also to the big Kyoto Bill kerfuffle last week: it was a bad political move for the Liberals to support that bill. Harper now has free reign to submit a plan that will scare the living crap out of voters. Might even scare them enough to give him a majority. (You know, assuming he doesn't self immolate like he did this week)

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 2:06 PM  

  • Crap - sorry to post again but I think that Canadians will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into making personal changes and supporting SERIOUS legislation from the federal government and it will occur, likely out of necessity. Like more cataclysmic weather, the Halifax waterfront actually being under water, etc.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 2:09 PM  

  • Canadians care, but not REALLY care. A very simple example.

    Set the highway speed limit to 55mph. No fancy expensive hybrid cars or fancy hydrogen fuels needed, no selective tax breaks for hybrids that get worse fuel economy than a Yaris, just a very simple act that ALL drivers can comply with.

    Just a simple law that would save about 20% of fuel burned.

    How many caring Canadians would comply, big smile on their face & all ??

    Even better, all the do-gooders out there in enviro-socialism land could just slap a bumper sticker on their car . . "Doing 55 for the Planet" and be real leaders without a law being passed.

    But honestly, how many caring Canadians would do it ??

    Maybe Dr. Fruit Fly, instead of taking money from evil capitalist oil companies, should start a grass roots 55mph movement instead of hectoring 8 year olds in schools.


    We care, but not really care . . . .

    By Blogger Fred :), at 2:11 PM  

  • Dion and the Rodriguez Bill C-288 have let Harper back in the environmental game.

    Harper can quote Eddie Goldenberg, who gave a speech this week in London, ON, saying the Liberals knew all along that the Kyoto targets could not be met.

    He can quote Marc Jaccard, the SFU professor who ideas formed the basis of Michael Ignatieff's climate change platform.

    And Bill C-288 lost Dion credibility in the mainstream media (Coyne, Hebert, Ibbitson, Simpson, etc) on the environmental issue, and gave Harper the strategic advantage on the issue.

    Dion has committed himself to the fairytale world of Kyoto, and demolished his own rhetoric of the three pillars, rather than a real plan with reasonable targets and reason deadlines.

    So Harper gets a second chance to present that reasonable plan, while Dion is stuck with the NDP, the Green Party, and BQ on Kyoto by 2012 or bust, which any reasonably informed voter or pundit knows is impossible.

    Last year, Harper was the denier of reality. With Bill C-288, Dion is now the denier of reality.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 2:30 PM  

  • I think the element everybody is missing is: generational change.
    Who grew up watching Captain Planet (and who is starting to become eligible to vote)? Who stands to benefit most from a green economy (because they aren't going to be dead in 20 years)? Look for a poll on the environment that gives an age distribution and you'll see my point.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 3:01 PM  

  • Yeah, ex-Bart, I agree. The short take is :
    1. Canadians "care", but are motivated on only a few critical issues that affect them.

    2. Libs blew their load on Kyoto, and Suzuki's beginning to be perceived as a liar and vested-interest. the UN is about to be massively discredited on it's "global warming" lie, and that will have a huge backlash.

    3. Using common-sense, Canadians want something "done" on the environment, but are confused as to smart and viable solutions. If Harper can get the right message line on his joint effort with Jack, we will be headed in the right direction and folks will feel better ... issue off the table.

    BTW, Stern has "left" his civil service job, Lord Monckton's crafting up another devastating missile, and Canada's scientific advisors to Harper are still telling him the planet is in a slight cooling trend, not a warming trend.

    I also believe that Harper had it right the first time, but didn't have enough concrete talking points to turn the issue into "solved and implementing" status.

    4. The "job" will never be done. Harper's government has a tough and continuing battle to rein in the auto, oil sands, consumer, provincial (like OPG) segments of the problems and solutions. And will lose some skin along the way.

    FWIW.

    By Blogger Erik Sorenson, at 3:19 PM  

  • Suzuki is losing it.

    Dr. Fruit Fly is quickly becoming Dr. Fruit Cake.

    By Blogger Fred :), at 4:00 PM  

  • Your take...

    "But Canadians care about a lot of things. They care about starving children in Africa, but there hasn't exactly been a groundswell of support to do something about that. The real question is how much they care. And, here, I suspect most Canadians are a lot more concerned about whether or not their favourite team will make the playoffs than about the long range temperature projections scientists come out with."

    ...is so accurate.

    Yes, this was a big issue during the brown, Christmas holidays, and will be again if we have a drought or reach a record number of humidex days. But NOW, there is snow on the ground, spring is around the corner, and people are more concerned with their own lives.

    With the majority of Canadians living from paycheque to paycheque, money issues will always/again play supreme. And guess who is supposedly fighting for the little guy against the banks. It's not the party that you would expect. I believe Flaherty is grandstanding, but until someone takes him up to task for the grandstanding, it's darn smart politics.

    Real. Liberal. Change. never happened in December. I consider MHF cross-country tour a start, but too little of an effort to communicate with and understand grassroots Canadians.

    If an election is called this spring, each of us knows a few Liberals who will be parking their vote with the Greens. And guess who is pushing to give the Greens an inexpensive opportunity (debates) to slam the Liberals for failing to act adequately on Kyoto while in power?

    MississaugaPeter

    By Blogger Peter, at 4:32 PM  

  • Alarming news for Liberals.

    Worthy of emergency cover-up

    http://www.taxpayer.com/main/news.php?news_id=2499

    H.T to Biff via

    SmallDeadAnimals.com

    = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 5:05 PM  

  • Regarding those 'bizarre accusations', you might want to read this.

    By Blogger Joanne (True Blue), at 5:56 PM  

  • One of the segments talks about buying a Civic hybrid as the "green" answer. But a Civic gets the same gas mileage as my ancient Metro. The Civic, even the hybrid one, is a MID-SIZE car. Driving a mid-size car is not the green solution.

    Honda made a small hybrid car. They stopped making it at about the same time that I decided I wanted it, and the very few people who bought one aren't interested in giving it up.

    But the Insight died because Canadians didn't want a car that got 85 miles per gallon. Buying a hybrid Civic at 50 miles per gallon is good "enough" and they can still feel green.

    By Blogger Greg, at 7:34 PM  

  • Diane Francis wrote in her Friday column that if Kyoto becomes law in Canada, every business in Canada will be open to lawsuits from activist groups in any country who want to harass any carbon emitting or environmentally harmful business.

    I really don't see any way you could sue an individual business. Just because there's a national target, it doesn't mean every business would need to cut their emmisions by X.

    Now, if the government set targets and then they refused to meet them, then yeah, that would be something, but everything else sounds like fear mongering to me.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 8:30 PM  

  • What about Canada*s business in the house?

    Placing a backdrop for a televised conference / interview is routine.

    Why do we Canadians never penalize any party for wasting $Thousands on fabricated stunts?

    Why was *greenie Dion* never critisized for spending $14,000 [Montreal Hotel] and $5,550 [Limo]on Montreal Kyoto talks when his own house and bed are in Montreal?

    http://www.taxpayer.com/main/news.php?news_id=2499

    When are the Liberals going to start being constructive for Canadians and stop wasting thousands of our tax dollars on fraudulent deceptions? = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 9:30 PM  

  • The fact that Canadians would be willing to do something to help the environment but haven't is not both a sign that the government should step in AND a sign that they're not going to be willing to do much.

    It's a sign that the government should step in because even at 61% support, those 61% are unmotivated to start doing something knowing that their efforts would be frustrated by the other 39%.

    We can't know how much they'd be willing to put up with until we start asking something of them. There is absolutely no reason yet to believe that the threshold is low.

    And for the love of pete, somebody in the Liberal Party needs to stand up and say "Yes. This is going to cost you more money, to achieve this. We think it's worth it. If you ask us why, we'll tell you. If you still disagree, vote for someone else. But don't assume that because it's expensive that it's not absolutely necessary."

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 11:32 PM  

  • Nicole Martel has some interesting information up on her site.

    We certainly can't develop the tar sands at any cost, but that is exactly what is happening and it is going to get worse.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 10:43 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 10:44 AM  

  • "It's a sign that the government should step in because even at 61% support, those 61% are unmotivated to start doing something knowing that their efforts would be frustrated by the other 39%.

    And that is why a carbon tax, followed by a green tax shift, (www.carbontax.org) is simply the best, most efficient solution to force the change of consumer and corporate behavior without overly complicating things

    By Blogger In_The_Centre, at 1:55 PM  

  • The(Kyoto) commitments are not enforceable by anyone, but if legislation is passed binding Ottawa to this silliness, then environmental activists here and abroad can sue Canadian taxpayers for non-compliance and Canada's industries out of existence.

    This is the Diane Francis quote. I take it to mean Dion is signing Canada up for some sort of politically-correct global enforcement.Allowing trees to be cut on crown or private land, cattle farming, oil pumping, auto-making, they could all lead to lawsuits

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 5:26 PM  

  • Sigh! So many nay-sayers from Alberta!

    My opinion is that the Rodriguez Bill is a good move by Dion. Here’s why

    https://www2.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6901354&postID=261596639540232175

    IMHO, I am not cynical about Canadians. At this early stage, Canadians are being cautious. They are waiting to be told about how systemic changes (urban planning, public transport, economic policy etc) will have a net positive effect on their lives.

    The problem is that Dion may be the worst communicator in Canada. I’m waiting for him to get his act together and face the Canadian public.

    At any rate, harper won’t get a majority at the next election if he should win. The progressive parties will still put pressure on him. Climate change isn’t going to go away. The Americans are falling into line. The EU is threatening another 20% cut in CO2.

    The question is whether Canadians (that means you) are going to start paying the price now. Or, make the next generations pay the price of climate change. Remember! It costs a lot more to fix a problem than to prevent it.

    "Politically correct silliness"? Hah!

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:35 PM  

  • Diane Francis is nuts.

    The laws, as they are, clearly aren't stringent enough.

    It's one thing to to claim that compliance is expensive.

    It's quite another to deliberately plan to do even worse and expect no consequences.

    In fact, that is unforgivable.

    And our existing environmental laws are toothless and useless.

    These companies exploiting the tar sands, for example, should be in court defending what they are doing.

    They have had a free ride for long enough and the damage to the environment already incurred is going to take billions to clean up.

    There is a huge liability being created with plans to expand existing operations and output.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 6:08 PM  

  • jimtan:

    Supporting Rodriguez bill was a blunder for a number of reasons that have been talked to death. Moreover, it was sheer parliamentary theatrics and an attempt to embarrass Harper. IMHO the Liberals have set themselves up because Harper can and probably will submit an apocalyptic plan to bring our emissions 5% below 1990 levels and the Liberals who clearly know this is an impossible target and who aren't in possession of a pain free way to achieve this goal are going to have to support Harper's doom plan or bring down the government. Canadians aren't stupid. As Calgary Grit has alluded, voters will not support legislation or public policy that is going to impact either their lifestyles or their livelihoods - anyone who believes they will needs to change their meds.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 6:13 PM  

  • Rats - I hate it when there's another comment posted whilst I am typing mine. Oh well.

    Look, Diane Francis might be nuts but she raises some excellent points in her column. The pollsters are asking vague questions that don't address the real ramifications of climate change legislation. It's all fine and good for voters to say they agree with cutting back on GHG's but show me a poll where people are being asked if they would support higher gas prices, luxury taxes on SUV's and minivans, limits on square feet for new home development, losing their job in a polluting industry in the name of saving the environment, you will get a resounding "#$ck that!"

    Our existing environmental legislation may be insufficient, but any new legislation cannot and must not target corporate polluters with exclusivity. The last time I looked, individual Canadians personal habits contribute greatly to climate change and frankly, the mainstream media has done an abysmal job of discussing how climate change legislation should be targetting the average household in Canada. David Suzuki can come to Alberta and complain about the oil sands, but I'd give my eye teeth to see him go after Joe and Suzy Citizen with the same vitriolic rhetoric.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 6:23 PM  

  • Sean cummins said

    "IMHO the Liberals have set themselves up because Harper can and probably will submit an apocalyptic plan to bring our emissions 5% below 1990 levels and the Liberals who clearly know this is an impossible target and who aren't in possession of a pain free way to achieve this goal are going to have to support Harper's doom plan or bring down the government."

    This is illogical. harper will never agree to such a a plan because he will be doing the dirty work for the progressives.

    He will fight Dion tooth and nail. The stage will be set for a clash of civilizations. Both Dion and harper are looking for a majority.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:22 AM  

  • Amazing how people can so quickly condemn the Oil patch, yet they are the very same people who use the product.

    Are you going to stop heating your home? You know that tupperware you use, the saran wrap. Garbage bags, The plastic that houses your TV set or computer? You going to give up tires for your car, the new paint you want to put on your walls, gasoline, cleaning products... The list of products that use petroleum is endless, and its everywhere you look right down the coat that you put on your back, the shoes on your feet, the fabric used to make your underwear.

    Dumbass', it's not that simple to simply say "we should crack down on the Oil patch". Cracking down on them is cracking down on you.

    Remember that when you wrap your kids ass in a pair of Pampers, or sterilize the rubber nipple on the bottle your about to feed them, or the car seat your about to put them in.

    Remember that the Oil patch exists because of YOUR appetite for manufactured goods. They wouldn't be a problem, if you weren't a problem.

    Fucking hypocrites.

    By Blogger WC aka Joe Calgary, at 1:31 AM  

  • It will be interesting to see how willing the Press is to talk about how the leftwingnuts in The Academy (AMPAS) were committed to giving Al Gore an Oscar over a Woman or a Black - or more importantly, a Black Woman.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 1:38 AM  

  • jimtan wrote:

    >>He will fight Dion tooth and nail. The stage will be set for a clash of civilizations. Both Dion and harper are looking for a majority.<<

    You're forgetting that when Rodriguez private member's bill becomes the law, Harper has to submit a plan within sixty days. It makes political sense for him to submit a terrifying vision of things to come in the form of an action plan and then allow the Liberals to do the high speed wobble on whether to support his plan or force an election. Remember, Harper is painting Dion as a guy with no leadership abilities. If he submits a doom and gloom plan, it puts the screws to Dion and forces him into a corner. It allows Harper to convince Canadians that fear of economic collapse is more immediate than environmental collapse, it demonizes the one issue that Dion was supposed to represent and it nullifies the environment as a ballot box issue.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 6:17 AM  

  • Or the Liberals can cherry pick the plan.

    Pick out any redeeming elements and table amendments as alternatives to drconian measures that Harper proposes.

    That would expose Harper as not really being committed to addressing environmental issues.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 9:26 AM  

  • Here’s the view from BC.

    http://thetyee.ca/News/2007/02/26/EmissionsCuts/

    Gordon Campbell’s government (elected since 2001) is a right-wing government. Nonetheless, he appears to be doing a U-turn, and he has made big promises. Though we have yet to see concrete details.

    His plan’s target is 2016. That’s only 4 years past the Kyoto Accord’s target of 2012. Note that he has no plans for emissions trading.

    So, it appears to be possible to meet the Kyoto target (more or less) by 2012 without a recession. The change in paradigm requires investments that will pay for themselves. Everyone must be involved. There will be some transfer of income and wealth in order to spread the pain.

    What we need is to see the grand strategy. That will be the beginning of the political process of consultation, compromise and buy-in.

    So, quit the belly-aching and get cracking!

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:29 PM  

  • Surely, the science of "climate change" is not, by any means, in any sense, settled?

    Why should we risk financial recession, promote the further inflation of government, raise taxes etc., based on what could yet turn out to be myth and hysteria?

    "..like more cataclysmic weather .."

    Er, what cataclysmic weather?

    Sorry, I just don't see it. I do see a hysterical over-reaction however to a modest increase in earth temperature, which may or may not have something to do with human activity, and which may or may not be a good or a bad thing, which we may or may not be able to do anything about.

    Actually , according to Bjorn Lomberg, Danish Lefty climate change sceptic [whom Al Gore withdrew from debating at the last minute without explanation on his recent European tour], there is very little that we CAN do about it. Any significant impact on the human component of CO2 would require the virtual cessation of industry on the planet ... and even then, we don't know what effect, if any, it would have on climate change, er sorry, I mean, climate stability.

    Remember, the sceptics are the ones that believe in climate change ... climate is always changing.

    It's the climate alarmists who deny climate change on the premise that climate has been relatively stable and temperate and is only now beginning to change.

    Here are some vital MP3 podcasts for you to listen to:

    Chris Horner

    Bjorn Lomberg

    Dennis Avery & Fred Singer

    Dennis Avery

    Earth Warms every 1500 Years

    More Global Warming Hysteria

    By Blogger Geraint, at 3:31 PM  

  • Or the Liberals can cherry pick the plan.

    Pick out any redeeming elements and table amendments as alternatives to drconian measures that Harper proposes.

    Then they'd have two things to explain to Canadians: (1) Why that wouldn't significantly affect our ability to meet Kyoto's targets; & (2) Why they didn't come out with this plan when they were in power (in other words, to quote Michael Ignatieff, why they "didn't get it done").

    By Blogger Brian in Calgary, at 4:04 PM  

  • I don't think the Liberals will have anything to worry about when debating the Conservatives on this issue if the snippets of information about the forthcoming Conservative plan are true.

    Allowing tar sands emissions to increase dramtically is rediculous and irresponsible.

    Building it into the plan is sheer stupidity and bad leadership.

    Some in Alberta may believe that this is credible but only diehard partisans will believe that is a credible plan.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 6:19 PM  

  • For Geraint,

    We must be living in different universes. In my universe, there is overwhelming evidence that the climate is warming at an unprecedented rate. The consensus in the scientific community is that this is the result of human activity.

    Eminent scientists and august scientific organizations endorse this scientific finding. Of course, there remains dissenters with a minority opinion. Most of them are not climate specialists. Some are not even scientists.

    I’m not prepared to entrust the future of my descendents to the minority position.

    You live in Alberta. Do you see coastal flooding? These days, they sandbag White Rock beachfront homes during a storm.

    At Jericho Beach in Vancouver, the sea almost comes up to the level of the jetty in a 15+ feet tide.

    We don’t know how much higher the sea will rise. A rise of just one-meter is manageable. We will only need to rebuilt the jetty and build some sea walls.

    A rise of two meters will mean a major retreat from the coast. A rise of three meters will destroy great coastal cities and agricultural plains.

    The name of the game is damage control. We don’t know how bad it is going to be. Our job is to act now to defend our great grandchildren. That is how long the lead-time is.

    You may not see climate change occurring in Alberta. However, a summer rise of just 5 degrees in the interior will make Southern Alberta a vastly different place.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:23 PM  

  • For what it's worth, I did some rough calcs to find out what kind of a tax would have to be put on gasoline before the cost of owning/operating a reasonably fuel efficient car would equal the cost of owning/operating a HEV.

    $4.00/litre.

    Political suicide for anyone to do that. But until the price of gas goes to $5.00/litre, or the price of HEV's (or other high mileage vehicles) comes down substantially, there is almost no incentive to switch.

    (For someone who puts many miles on a vehicle, the breakeven point would come down a fair bit, but I did the comparison on someone who drives twice as much as I do.)

    By Blogger mecheng, at 2:46 PM  

  • "Canadians care about a lot of things."

    True. They're also easily distracted. Especially when it comes to complicated subjects like emissions trading.

    This may or may not be exactly on point, but the fight for Kyoto or Kyoto Lite or Post-Kyoto-Kyoto is pointless unless a coalition of Liberals and other green progressives are able to join with the pro-market greens to mount a spirited defense of the clean air credit mechanisms contained in Kyoto. The case has to be clearly made as to how they can work, and how Canadian industry can benefit - through wind, solar, hydro, hydrogen, and - yes - nuclear technology exports. Canada can do as much to fight climate change abroad through investing in GHG-friendly technologies as we can at home. But that can't happen until we embrace the rules system that would govern it.

    And that means the next Liberal to use the phrade "hot air credit" (Hi, Iggy) oughtta be spanked.

    By Blogger d. andy jette, at 8:09 PM  

  • Guys, that's the way! Let's take a positive attitude. How are we going to make it work?

    There has to be market mechanisms (plural) and voluntary contributions. We cannot merely depend on prohibitions and punitive measures.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:37 AM  

  • JimTan wrote:

    "... We must be living in different universes. In my universe, there is overwhelming evidence that the climate is warming at an unprecedented rate. The consensus in the scientific community is that this is the result of human activity. ..."

    Hmm.

    Are JimTan's de-bait-ing tactics more representative of the Left, or of the Right?

    Left ... Right?

    Because I don't happen to agree with JimTan, then I must not be human .. I belong to a different space-time continuum.

    Now, I do not hold a reciprocal view of JimTan as an extra-terrestial [see your fellow lefty Paul Hellyer for that].

    But I do think he is wrong.

    For that matter, even the recently released UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers thinks he is wrong!

    The summary postulates sea level rise of between 28-43 cm by the end of the century.

    Compared to JimTan's figure of 2 meters.

    Compared to Al Bore's figure of 20 ft!!

    But, even then, it's guesswork based on computer games.

    So, no, the alarmists have not done enough to prove their point and earn the right to put us into economic slowdown, to feed more power and growth hormone to already inflated government, and to increase our personal tax burden which is way too heavy as it is.

    Then secondly, I challenge JimTan on his assertion regarding scientific consensus.

    There may be a 'consensus' among UN guys ... 2500 of the finest, self-selecting UN scientists from Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, etc ... but not necessarily among the entire scientific community, where there is all kinds of dissent from enforced orthodoxy.

    "There is no list of scientists who agree with catastrophism", writes Christopher Horner, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming.

    However, there IS a list of scientists sceptical of Climate Change Alarmism.

    Check it out for yourself at Petition Project

    There are around 17,8000 independently verified scientists on there!

    Can you match that with your 'consensus'? Is your consensus bigger than my consensus?

    In any event, shouldn't we all be embarrassed by the appeal to "consensus" as the arbiter of scientific truth?

    Look, I appeal to all to listen to the podcasts I linked to last time, particularly Avery, Singer and Horner. If you can refute all their scientific data and understanding on this topic, then fine, stick with it ... but please, give them a hearing.

    And then, maybe we'll recover a sense of perspective and priority.

    Look at yesterday's Commons' Vote which rejected the extension of the anti-terrorism measures.

    A "controversial Conservative proposal" the leftist CBC called it .. even though the measures were brought in by Liberals.

    Does the CBC call 'climate change' controversial?

    Not that I've noticed.

    Not at all.

    To the left wing media and political machinery, there's nothing at all controversial about signing us all up for gazillions of $$ of conjecture, hysteria and speculation, threatening our prosperity, mortgaging our future, ensuring our eternal dependency as wards of state ... all for a potential phantom.

    On the other hand, to want to take action against the most explicit, extant, tangible, visible, hostile, known threat on the planet ... Islamist-inspired terrorism ... is considered by the good ol' CBC, and Monsoon Dion, as being highly controversial!!

    All of which demonstrates that the world is now officially upside down.

    [So which movies represent more of an illusion anyway: The Day After Tomorrow and Inconvenient Truth or United 93 and World Trade Center?]

    And, for all you Al Adore fans, here's a special extra treat just for you .. listen here to Al at his melodramatic best.

    As someone said, "an inconvenient truth" is really just "a Gore-y Story".

    By Blogger Geraint, at 4:27 AM  

  • For Geraint,

    Such a lengthy reply. So little substance. So much conspiracy theory. So much irrelevance.

    BTW, here's a titbit reported by the Vancouver Sun (hardly a left wing rag).

    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=9df0be63-ab18-4914-b140-0f2982af776c&k=59624

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:23 AM  

  • The readers deserve a better reply than sarcasm.

    There will always be deniers. There were tobacco, pesticide and lead poisoning deniers. Often, the most stubborn deniers end up on the payroll of the industry being regulated.

    There is a scientific consensus that global warning is underway, and man is the active agency. What is the problem here?

    The scientific approach is too conservative because it depends on empirical evidence. The scientists are very much behind the curve because of the long lead times involved in climate change.

    Therefore, their current estimates are already obsolete. Can we be too alarmist?

    We can’t know at this time because of the scale and complexity of the earth’s ecology. Observers have been alarmed at the speed that ice is melting in the mountains and in the north. The observers are providing anecdotal evidence at the edge of climate warming.

    This is happening with just a one-degree average rise in global temperature in the last century. What will be the consequences as warming accelerates? The earth is not a big machine. Inertia and entropy brake machines. Ecologies operates in cycles. That is, changes accelerate and run their course.

    What do we need to do now? Different approaches will have different targets. The most crucial change must be a change in paradigm. The consumer society presumes that we can consume in greater amounts indefinitely. This is obviously wrong.

    I hate to admit it. But, the environmentalists have been correct. The bounty of the planet earth is limited. And, our possession of this world is a stewardship, not the rights from a conquest.

    We need to develop a society based on a sustainable economy. We need to long forward beyond the next upgrade to our TV set. We need to embrace our environment as crucial to our welfare.

    I hope that this brief overview has been helpful. I can’t help you if you don’t help yourself.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:04 PM  

  • Kal Tire is a B.C. based auto tire retailer and service firm.

    My front right tire was a bit worn on the right edge due to a routine of too many left U-turns.

    They found a slow leak, [phillips head screw in the tread], and fixed it.

    They rotated the front tires to the back and put the fresh rears on the front.

    When I went to pay, they said *no charge*. I said, * how about $30?*

    They said , * nope, it*s a free-bee.*

    The total would normally have been $50. I always liked the extra work they threw in when I bought a set of tires. This sure came as a surprise though.

    Kal Tire is a very good bunch of guys. The attitude is priceless.

    The least I can do is say thank - you. This has been an excellent week. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 8:28 PM  

  • China and India use thousands of coal fired generator plants.

    Clean coal technology applied to these plants would make a vast difference for the better.

    Clean coal tech is about to come online here in Canada in one or two locations by next year.

    Google for links. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 8:34 PM  

  • Dear Jitman,

    I refuted your claim regarding "scientific consensus", by turning it completely on its head.

    I provided a link to a website endorsed by over 17,800 independently verified scientists, all of whom distance themselves from global warming extremism and alarmism.

    I pointed out that NO comparably-sized list of scientists occurs on the other side.

    And so, how did you respond to that, and deal with the data presented?

    You came back with the following:

    "... There is a scientific consensus that global warning is underway, and man is the active agency. What is the problem here? ..."

    In other words:

    'nya nya nya nya nya .. there IS a consensus on my side ... I don't care WHAT you say ... I can't hear you ..'

    And you call this debate?

    If you can look the data in the eye, as if it didn't exist; if you can ignore the weight of scientific evidence against you, pretending you didn't hear it, and then ask "duh, what's the problem".

    All I dare answer is:

    "Nothing, absolutely nothing is the matter, Jitman dear. I'll just tippy toe on out of the room, and turn the light off, so you can get back to sleep."

    By Blogger Geraint, at 2:15 AM  

  • For Geraint,

    I rather doubt that you have downloaded and read the 18 page IPCC summary report.

    Here’s a summary from the Washington Post that describes the temperature change.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/02/AR2007020200192.html

    “While the summary did not produce any groundbreaking observations -- it reflects a massive distillation of the peer-reviewed literature through the middle of 2006 -- it represents the definitive international scientific and political consensus on climate science. It provides much more definitive conclusions than the panel's previous report in 2001, which said only that it was "likely" -- meaning between 66 and 90 percent probability on a scale the panel adopted -- that human activity accounted for the warming recorded over the past 50 years.”

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:41 AM  

  • For Geraint,

    17,000 “verified” scientists? I rather doubt that they are published. Anyone with a PHD (or not) can have an opinion. Are they published in a peer review forum? That is, have they actually done any work worth presenting?

    You should stop reading the trashy stuff. Here’s a report about the denial industry:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1875760,00.html

    “For years, a network of fake citizens' groups and bogus scientific bodies has been claiming that science of global warming is inconclusive. They set back action on climate change by a decade. But who funded them? Exxon's involvement is well known, but not the strange role of Big Tobacco.”

    “Among the organisations that have been funded by Exxon are such well-known websites and lobby groups as TechCentralStation, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Some of those on the list have names that make them look like grassroots citizens' organisations or academic bodies: the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, for example. One or two of them, such as the Congress of Racial Equality, are citizens' organisations or academic bodies, but the line they take on climate change is very much like that of the other sponsored groups. While all these groups are based in America, their publications are read and cited, and their staff are interviewed and quoted, all over the world.
    By funding a large number of organisations, Exxon helps to create the impression that doubt about climate change is widespread. For those who do not understand that scientific findings cannot be trusted if they have not appeared in peer-reviewed journals, the names of these institutes help to suggest that serious researchers are challenging the consensus.”

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:42 AM  

  • Here a look at this site and a quote:

    http://www.ipccfacts.org/myths.html

    “One of the strengths of the IPCC is that it tends to be very conservative and cautious in its predictions. Nevertheless, the report’s prediction that by 2100 the sea level will rise anywhere between 7 and 23 inches is hardly good news, especially in that sea level will keep rising for centuries more. Such a rise will mean serious economic, health and environmental damage to coastal areas.
    IPCC’s projections of sea level rise are based on (1) the expansion of ocean waters as they warm, (2) the melting of mountain glaciers and ice caps, and (3) the accumulation and melting of snow on the surfaces of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. However, because it is so hard to estimate, the IPCC’s projection specifically excludes the potential for large changes in the flow of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. To account for this omission, the IPCC report instead includes a proviso that sea level rise could be significantly greater (and so more damaging) if the deterioration of the big ice sheets accelerates.
    And there are some early indications that this may be starting to happen. In 2002, Antarctica’s 1,255-square-mile Larsen B ice shelf broke off and disappeared in just 35 days and in 2006 an entire shelf also vanished in about a month because of global warming. Both events are illustrations that change which is much more rapid that can be accounted for in present models. As another indicate that the pace of melting, NASA satellite data indicate that Greenland is losing 53 cubic miles of ice each year—twice the rate it was losing in 1996.
    These and other recent findings have led climate experts around the world to predict that this century’s rise in sea level is likely to be, as NASA’s James Hansen has said, “measured in feet not inches.” And Hansen is not alone in his concern; in a recent issue of SCIENCE, Stefan Rahmstorf, a physics and oceanography professor from Potsdam University in Germany and a climate panel lead author extrapolated from recent trends, and projected that sea level would rise by 20 inches to 55 inches by 2100.”

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:44 AM  

  • For Geraint,

    I don’t suppose that you are the analytical type. Anyway, here’s a report from Science Magazine on the peer material.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

    “IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members' expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements. For example, the National Academy of Sciences report, Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, begins: "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise" [p. 1 in (5)]. The report explicitly asks whether the IPCC assessment is a fair summary of professional scientific thinking, and answers yes: "The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue" [p. 3 in (5)].
    Others agree. The American Meteorological Society (6), the American Geophysical Union (7), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling (8).”

    I hope that you don’t need more of this stuff. I find it quite boring.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:10 AM  

  • Geraint said

    “I pointed out that NO comparably-sized list of scientists occurs on the other side.”

    Hah!

    Here’s a description of the National Academy of Sciences from wikipedia

    “The National Academy of Sciences as of spring 2003 includes about 1,922 members, 93 members emeritus, 341 foreign associates, and employs about 1,100 staff. The current members annually elect new members for life. Election to membership is one of the highest honors that can be accorded to a scientist and recognizes scientists who have made distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. There are more than 170 members who have won a Nobel Prize.”

    How many of your 17,000 “verified” scientists belong to the National Academy of Sciences?

    BTW, this is the last of 5 posts made tonite Make sure that you read all of them starting from the top.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:33 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Scott, at 2:10 PM  

  • Stick to facts and leave emotion out of it...

    A prospectus for big government

    David Suzuki vs. Michael Crichton

    By Blogger Scott, at 2:17 PM  

  • Jitman resorts to ad hominem insults, such as:

    "I don’t suppose that you are the analytical type."

    and:

    I rather doubt that you have downloaded and read the 18 page IPCC summary report."

    Even though his opponent was quoting from the report!

    Also of interest is his rubbishing of all those scientists, like their opinion counts for nothing.

    But Jitman's opinion clearly counts for everything!

    Do his own credentials come anyways close to those of the scientists he has written off?

    Great articles posted by Scott.

    Here are some questions for Jitman, cut straight from one of them:

    - Why was climatologist James Hansen, the father of global warming, off by 200% in his prediction that temperatures would increase by 0.35 degrees Celsius by 2008 (the actual increase has been .11 degrees); and why did he (and colleagues) say in 2001 that "the longterm prediction of future climate states is not possible"?

    - Of the world's 160,000 glaciers, some are shrinking. But many --in Iceland, for example --have "surged" in the last few years, while most of Antarctica is getting colder; if warming is "global," why?

    - Why haven't sea levels risen to the extent predicted? Why have the waters off the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean not only experienced no rise over several centuries, but an actual fall in the last 20 years?

    - Where is the predicted "extreme weather?" There has been no global increase, and in many cases a decrease, of extreme weather patterns.

    - From 1940-70, carbon dioxide levels went way up, but temperatures went down so abruptly that a new Ice Age was the prevailing fear; wherefore this disparity?

    - The Sahara Desert is shrinking--purportedly due to the greening effects caused by man-made global warming; but isn't the greening of the desert a good thing?

    By Blogger Hywros, at 4:09 PM  

  • Hywros said

    “ From 1940-70, carbon dioxide levels went way up, but temperatures went down so abruptly that a new Ice Age was the prevailing fear; wherefore this disparity?”

    You are describing one short-term phenomenon. The IPCC reviewed the available peer-reviewed research done on the climate and covering a long period of time. Their conclusion drawn from the research (based on hypothesis testing of factor correlation) was that climate change was … etc.

    You have to compare apples with apples, and not oranges.

    BTW, I don’t remember the temperature falling abruptly. Did the scientific community forecast an ice age? I think that we have to be careful of the Big Lie used by deniers.

    For example, the Turks deny that there was an Armenian genocide. Jew-haters deny that there was an Holocaust. George Bush denies that his government carries out torture. I suppose that it depends on how you define it.

    “The Sahara Desert is shrinking--purportedly due to the greening effects caused by man-made global warming; but isn't the greening of the desert a good thing?”

    As I understand it, the Sahara desert is expanding vigorously into sub-Sahara Africa. The problem is that climate change disrupts traditional patterns of habitation. In some areas, warmer temperature is associated with less rain. It has something to do with air currents.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahara_Pump_Theory

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:43 PM  

  • For Scott,

    Mr. Gunter of the National Post raises some interesting points. However, the writers of the summary (whoever they may be) are merely collating the work of 2,500 researchers.

    Is there a chance that the final drafts will disagree with the summary? Personally, I doubt it. So, it’s not a case where the financial figures are announced before the audit.

    BTW, companies do announce their results before the external auditors are finished. However, the external auditors will have signed off by the time that the Annual Report is published.

    Why is the IPCC publishing a summary so far in advance of the detailed report? It is likely that the reason is the large number of people involved. The coordinators will want to give everyone a chance to have an input into the final report..

    Will there be any major surprises? We’ll have to see.

    Nonetheless, the summary has given its assumptions, facts and figures. For example, there is this critique (see above)

    “IPCC’s projections of sea level rise are based on (1) the expansion of ocean waters as they warm, (2) the melting of mountain glaciers and ice caps, and (3) the accumulation and melting of snow on the surfaces of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. However, because it is so hard to estimate, the IPCC’s projection specifically excludes the potential for large changes in the flow of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. To account for this omission, the IPCC report instead includes a proviso that sea level rise could be significantly greater (and so more damaging) if the deterioration of the big ice sheets accelerates.
    And there are some early indications that this may be starting to happen. In 2002, Antarctica’s 1,255-square-mile Larsen B ice shelf broke off and disappeared in just 35 days and in 2006 an entire shelf also vanished in about a month because of global warming. Both events are illustrations that change which is much more rapid that can be accounted for in present models. As another indicate that the pace of melting, NASA satellite data indicate that Greenland is losing 53 cubic miles of ice each year—twice the rate it was losing in 1996.”

    Mr Gunter needs to have more faith in the IPCC process. Many scientific bodies have reviewed the sameresearch. Science Magazine said,

    ““IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members' expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements. For example, the National Academy of Sciences report, Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, begins: "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise" [p. 1 in (5)]. The report explicitly asks whether the IPCC assessment is a fair summary of professional scientific thinking, and answers yes: "The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue" [p. 3 in (5)].
    Others agree. The American Meteorological Society (6), the American Geophysical Union (7), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling (8).”

    I’m not a scientist. I’m sure that Dr. Suzuki can explain it better than I can.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:08 PM  

  • Evidence for Global Warming

    Jitman said: "George Bush denies that his government carries out torture."

    Whoa, where did that one come from?

    Straight out of LEFT field!

    For those open to truth and facts [thanks Scott], it may interest you to know that Jitman even has this wrong.

    Not that it's part of the climate debate, apart from the fact that, as all good Jitgirls know, 'Dubyah' is ultimately responsible for everything bad in life.

    Here's the straight skinny on US interrogation from one of America's top professional interrogators, who trains the others:

    Army Colonel Stuart Herrington

    Sorry Gitman, there's no torture at Gitmo.

    Listen to the expert in the field ... he isn't so much denying it as saying that it is an incredibly poor technique which yields inferior results, and that he has always rejected it and teaches others to do the same.

    But, in Jitters "universe", not being a scientist is not enough to stop him writing off 20,000 people who are, but who disagree with him.

    So, presumably, not being a professional interrogator working in the US military will not stop him from telling the Colonel that he's wrong.

    By Blogger Hywros, at 2:58 PM  

  • For Hywros

    That was a strong reaction!

    I remind you that you did post a number of untruths. I refuted them quite politely. I mentioned the Big Lie. You must take the cautionary as it deserves to be.

    The internet is an anonymous place. However, each one of us must take responsibility for what we say. The WWW is a wonderful place. We will surely meet someone who knows more than we do. Our choice is to either argue the details, or learn something new.

    Science is not a democracy. Science is fact-based, not wish-based. That is why we respect the impartiality of science. You are welcome to act on your wishes in the political sphere. But, you mustn’t confuse the two things.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:27 AM  

  • "That was a strong reaction!"

    Strong poison requires strong medicine.

    I remind you that you did post a number of untruths."

    Er, like what "untruths" exactly?

    May I remind YOU that I repeated a bunch of questions in a magazine article.

    In a Jim-nastic mind, that's equivalent to "untruth" is it?

    JimTan, I say that your data is wrong, false, spurious.

    But I do NOT suggest for one moment that you are sub-human ["different universe"], or a bearer of false witness, or a member of the Alarmist Conspiracy ["Denial Industry"], or a sympathiser of torture ... all of which have somehow found their way into your left wing screed.

    So go on .. have the last word if you must .. I know you can't resist it.

    Lefties never can!

    By Blogger Hywros, at 1:26 AM  

  • Hywros said

    “May I remind YOU that I repeated a bunch of questions in a magazine article.”

    You obviously believed in the propositions imbedded in the questions. E.g. that the Sahara desert is shrinking because of global warming. I refuted the relevance and accuracy of those questions.

    Actually, I’m rather surprised that you repeated the questions. To me, those questions were obvious fakes intended to confuse the issue.


    “JimTan, I say that your data is wrong, false, spurious.”

    What a minute, it’s not my data. I am merely repeating what’s been said about the research done by 2,500 climate scientists. The data comes from the projects of these scientists.

    I do support the conclusions from the reviews done by the IPCC etc.

    Do you disagree with the data? I suggest that you argue with the 2,500 researchers. Do you disagree with the conclusions? You can argue with the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Take your pick!

    So, I’ll leave the last word to you. Try to make it short.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:54 AM  

  • YOU are giving ME the LAST WORD, JamNut?

    Gee, thanks .. I'll take it.

    But somehow I doubt that you'll be able to keep your promise!

    At long last, some Media organisations appear to be about ready to blow the whistle on the Left wing, Big Government, Hysteria Promoting, Gazillion $$ Climate Change Industry.

    Check out the UK Channel 4 programme, to be screened on Thursday, March 8, entitled:
    The Great Global Warming Swindle


    And then take in this salutary look at the dangers of government sponsored alarmism by Michael Crichton in:
    Why Politicised Science is Dangerous

    [In which the current hyper-alarmist climate theories are analysed in the light of another pseudo-science which was used to inflame and manipulate the thinking of the masses: eugenics.



    [Original Story and links from LittleGreenFootballs]

    By Blogger Hywros, at 6:42 PM  

  • Take a look at this presentation...

    The man may not be the best public speaker, but there are some interesting items in his discussion.

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