THE BLOG
12/12/2013 11:46 pm ET Updated Feb 11, 2014

Climate Change This Week: Sudden Surprises, Cheap Wind, and More!

Gradual Climate Shifts Could Have Sudden Impacts says the US National Research Council, reports Brian Kahn at Climate Central. Abrupt shifts in the climate have already begun, with more possible by 2100 notes the new report. Meanwhile, even gradual changes to the climate could lead to more unforeseen, sudden impacts. Like even more catastrophic hurricanes and tornadoes?

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Putting the climate genie back into the lantern isn't an option, but cutting off the smoke fueling it is. Help cut emissions - invest in clean renewable energy today.

China Doubles Pace Of Adding Renwables In 2013 To Cut Pollution reports Bloomberg News, adding 36 Gigawatts of capacity, mostly in the form of hydroelectric power, in the first 10 months, in a bid to cut ever-worsening pollution in its cities. Solar and wind power made up a third of that expansion.

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China's expansion of renewable energy capacity included solar and wind power.

More Extreme Weather: Cold Records May Beat Warm in 2013 for the first time in 20 years, reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central. This variability is to be expected, even as the planet continues to heat up under human driven global warming. More extreme weather - wetter storms, drier droughts, hotter heatwaves and yes, colder blizzards and fronts - is predicted from the resulting climate change. The main idea? Less of the normal weather that has mostly benefited humanity over the past 10,000 years.

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This forecast map is dominated by abnormal temperatures. Note that the US is experiencing both abnormally warm (red-orange) and cold (green to purple) weather simultaneously. Is climate change messing with us? You bet. Credit: WeatherBell.com

Top US Scientists Propose Ambitious Plans To Prevent Devastating Climate Change reports Jeremy Hance at Mongabay. Even limiting temperatures to a 4 F degree rise would be a disastrous and tragic, given that we can prevent it, says ex US senior climate scientist James Hansen and others. How? With a combination of clean renewable energy and a rising price on carbon emissions. Many studies have already shown this to be doable; what is needed is political will.

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For more information, check out Pear Energy and Ethical Electricity.

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Midwest Wind Power Now as Cheap as Gas and Coal says an energy researcher at Morgan Stanley, reports Conway Irwin at GreenTechMedia. More efficient technologies, combined with low costs and strong wind resources, are making wind cost-competitive with some of the cheapest forms of fossil energy in the Midwest. This is true for some projects even when the federal wind subsidy is cut out.

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Credit Mary Ellen Harte

Nearly 60 House Democrats Seek to Halt New Arctic Oil Leasing, Exploration reports Laura Barron-Lopez at The Hill. They cited the drilling mishaps that have already happened there and the growing opposition to further disrupting the Arctic, which is already undergoing dramatic changes induced by burning the very fuels companies seek to exploit and mine.

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Rather than go to the Arctic, why don't these companies invest in US know-how? Several states already have statewide renewable electricity standards that promote clean energy development through creating a market - it's time for this idea to go national, says Senator Ed Markey! Help promote clean energy and a safe climate future - you can sign the petition here, asking Congress to create a National RES.


Climate Change Is Helping Al Qaeda by increasing resource conflicts and displaced, desperate people in the Sahel, say experts, report Tristan McConnell and Nick Loomis at the Global Post. Islamic fundamentalists have been successful in recruiting sch people, and channeling that desperation into anger and violence.

Quote of the Week:

"You knock Nature off balance, and ain't nobody there to catch her."

OO Tom Rasberry, exterminator, on the Tawny Crazy Ants overrunning Texas - but he might as well be talking about what we're doing to the planet by burning fossil fuels.

OO Mandela's Legacy For Climate Activists: "Our Well-Being Is Tied To Our Community's"

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☼☼☼ On the Bright Side ☼☼☼

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(>(>(> PEOPLE SPEAK OUT <)<)<)

OO Scientists Warn Even 2°C Warming Spells Disaster, Must Be Avoided

OO Canada: Largest Private-Sector Union Opposes Northern Gateway Pipeline

OO Green Investors Urge Companies To Clean Up Palm Oil Industry which destroys important carbon storing forests.

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When the magnificent biodiversity of a carbon-storing rainforest is destroyed for growing oil palms, which produce an unhealthy cooking oil, the climate future of our children suffers. Wikimedia commons.

OO 90 Groups Call for US Rules to Curb Methane Emissions by Petrochemical Industry

OO US, China Must Be Climate Action Leaders, Says EPA Chief McCarthy

OO Billionaire Tom Steyer Raising Pressure On Keystone Pipeline

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OO Australia's Wilderness Society Launches Legal Attack On Coal Industry

OO Indigenous Canadian Anti-Fracking Protesters Refuse To Back Down

OO Romania Villagers Brave Police And Cold In Fracking Fight

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Facebook screen capture by Mary Ellen Harte.

OO Day 100: Congressional Climate Heroes Keep Urging Climate Action Daily in the House of Representatives by speaking about it daily; 33 members belong to the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus. - and unfortunately there is not one Republican among them .... Where are our Republican climate heroes? Support these current heroes by liking them on facebook here.

OO California: Governor Heckled By Environmentalists Over Fracking At Events

OO Student Fossil-Fuel Divestment Movement Persists

OO New Jersey: Lawmakers Urge Guv to Stop Stalling on Offshore Wind

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OO Nine US States Call For Obama To Back National Carbon Market

OO Native Americans Defend Sacred Grounds Versus Coal Transport

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Credit Ansgar Walk at wikimedia commons.

OO Polar Bear Researcher Wins Whistleblower Settlement from Feds - $100,000, but is forced to retire at 65; he was the first govt scientist to tell the public about drowning polar bears.

OO Billionaire Tom Steyer: I'm In Oil Sands Fight For The Long Haul

OO Energy Groups Say EU Commission Lacks Climate Ambition

☼☼☼ BRIGHT IDEAS ☼☼☼

OO England: Gym Converts Workout Energy To Power Building

OO New Electric Vehicle Battery Can Help Power Buildings, Too

OO Raising Price of Water Yields $1 Trillion In Benefits: UN

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OO Taking Green-Powered Island Microgrids to Commercial Scale

OO Investors To Bring Clean Energy to World's Poor

OO 'Natural Defenses' Offer Best Protection From Rising Sea Levels - and store carbon, too, as in mangroves.

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Wikipedia commons

OO New Financial Tool Helps Investors Game Out Risks Of The Carbon Bubble

OO This 'Yield Co' Variation Is Yet Another Financial Innovation in Clean Energy

OO 3 Lessons Energy Efficiency Can Borrow From Fracking

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OO Rethinking the Use of DC Power for the Energy-Smart Home

OO Lessons Learned From the Energy Performance of UC Davis' Net-Zero Community

OO Utility Merges Forecasting, Weather and Economics to Handle Renewables

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A pump storage station like this one can act as a giant battery: excess wind energy is used to pump water to a higher elevation, where the water can be used later to gravity drive turbines for when the power is really needed. Credit Jim Barton via wikimedia commons.

OO Giant 'Battery' Ensures Renewable Supply

OO Slime And Poo: Making Energy And Treating Waste

☼☼☼ BRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS ☼☼☼

OO Solar To Be As Cheap As Natural Gas Globally By 2025 - report.

OO Large Companies Prepared To Pay Price On Carbon

OO US Scientists Want Global Monitoring to Warn of Climate Change Impacts

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For more news on green technology, click here.

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OO Where's the Federal Clean Energy Action? The White House

OO Obama to Feds: Boost Renewable Energy Usage to 20% by 2020

OO EPA Regulatory Agenda Emphasizes Climate Change, Chemical Security, Clean Water, Air - I'm glad someone has their priorities straight...

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OO US City Dwellers Giving Up Cars for Subways, Bikes

OO US School Cafeterias Becoming More Sustainable Yet Affordable

OO Households to Play Key Role in Financing Distributed Storage

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OO The US Has 43 Nuclear Power Plants' Worth of Solar in the Pipeline

OO Solar Energy Was America's Sole New Power Source in October

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OO IEA: Wind Power Could Supply 18% of World's Power by 2050

OO Solar to Become Competitive With Natural Gas by 2025

OO EU Nations Approve Pact With China on Solar-Panel Imports

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For more news on clean energy, click here.

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OO SolarCity Launches Energy Storage for Business Using Tesla Battery Packs

OO Solar Dominates New US Generating Capacity

OO Hitachi Unveils Storage for Wind, Solar Energy

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OO Ontario to Offer Financing for Energy-Efficient Home Renovations

OO Renewables Make Up 50% Of China's New Electricity

OO UK Wind Turbines Generate Record Power as Gas-Fed Plants Halt

☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, STATE SIDE ☼☼☼

OO California: Still Smashing Summer's Solar Power Records

OO California Fines Oil Company for Dumping Fracking Discharge for the First Time

OO Connecticut: Pushing Hard to Expand Solar Energy to Homes

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OO Massachusetts: Communities to Boost Solar Through Grassroots Program

OO Michigan: Tighter Fracking Regulations Coming

OO Minnesota: Utility Uses Wind Power ,Wants Backup by Canadian Hydro Power

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For more, click here.

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OO Minnesota: Stimulus Over, But Energy-Saving Program Still Going Strong

OO New York Risks $225M on Early-Stage Solar and Lighting Startups


OO Film maker Jeff Skoll to produce film on "Merchants of Doubt." - chronicling how the pro-tobacco PR people became the climate denial PR team...

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OO Budget Concerns, Membership Decline Plague Fossil-Fuel Supporters at ALEC - an organization devoted to writing and promoting US laws that benefit fossil fuel industries, not people.

☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, WORLDWIDE ☼☼☼

OO Solar Demand Roars Back

OO Six African Countries Win $330 Million To Spur Climate Solutions

OO Chinese Cities Becoming A Minicar Mecca

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OO United States To Help China Crack Down On Vehicle Emissions

OO World's Biggest Palm Oil Company Commits To No Deforestation

OO Company's Borneo Lumber Activities To Be Guided By Forest Conservation Policy - Asian Paper & Pulp, a major company.

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One of the many gifts of carbon-storing forests. Credit Rhett Butler at www.mongabay.com

OO Toshiba Just Became Germany's Newest Solar Utility

OO Germany Expands Renewables Targets, Considers 'Virtual Baseload'

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OO UK Renewables Industry Welcomes Reduced Subsidies For Onshore Windfarms

OO London Aims For Nearly £2 Million Annual Savings With LED Roll-Out

OO Dogged by Slow Uptake, UK Attempts to Streamline Its Home Efficiency Program

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The flag flies, May 21, 2013.

At Moore, OK, the day after a huge tornado demolished it.

Credit Major Jon Quinlan/defenseimagery mil

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***** US Climate Change News *****

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OO Summer Floods, Winter Heat Blamed For Christmas Tree Deaths, Shortages

OO Arctic Blast Puts Half of US In Its Icy Grip

OO US Plains Young Wheat Crop At Risk From Arctic Blast

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OO Diseases In US On The Move Because Of Climate Change

OO Deadly Parasite Moves North As Temperatures Warm

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The "brain eating amoeba", Naegleria fowleri, is moving north, as warmer temperatures allow it to do so. US Center for Disease Control poster.

OO Mining, Fracking, Drilling Have Changed Public Lands From Carbon Sinks To Carbon Polluters

OO Offshore Drilling Industry Takes Aim At Safety Rule

OO Dangerous Tar Sands May Soon Be Traversing US By Barge - and the Coast Guard wants it carefully regulated.

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OO Big Oil And The White House Agree: Carbon Pollution Will Cost Money - but doesn't stop the fossil fuel companies from looking and drilling for more carbon emitting fuels.

OO Voters Ban Fracking in Colorado Towns, But Industry Sues To Stop Them

OO Oil Company Sues Michigan Landowners to OK Oil Spill Cleanup

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OO Smart Power Consumers Becoming 'Worst Nightmare' For Electricity Firms - as they use less power, and pay less.

OO Power Struggle: Green Energy Versus A Grid That's Not Ready

OO Goldman Sachs Advertises On #Sustainability While Pouring Millions Into Coal

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OO California:A New Threat Looms For The San Francisco Bay which is ground zero for a struggle between developers and state agencies over construction on shoreline property, and where climate scientists predict sea-level rises will have dramatic effects.

OO North Carolina: Coal Ash Is Killing Nearly 1 Million Fish Yearly In A Lake - study.

OO Maine: Gulf Shrimp Season Cancelled, A Heavy Blow - warming waters are believed to have contributed to the collapse of the shrimp fishery.

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"Not shrimp, too!!" As if ocean acidification isn't working fast enough, warming waters are being blamed in part for the collapse of the Maine shrimp fishery. Via wikimedia commons.

OO New Jersey: Pine Beetles Are Decimating Pine Barrens - partly due to warmer winters, but the main culprit is probably longer warmer summers, which allow beetles to breed more, Boulder, CO biologist Jeff Mitton has found. Google "Jeff Mitton + bark beetles for more.

OO South Carolina: 1,200 Acres Of Barrier Islands Have Washed Away In Last 25 Years

OO Utah: Salt Lake City Will Dry As Temperatures Rise

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OO Texas: 19 Earthquakes In A Month Make Officials Worry That Fracking Is To Blame

OO West Virginia: Landfills Now Accept Unlimited, Often Radioactive ,Fracking Waste - visit one soon, for a glowing experience....

<><><><> GOPPING IT UP <><><><>

OO Maine: GOP Governor Says Climate Change Will Economically Benefit State

OO Pennsylvania: New Head Of Environmental Protection Thinks Climate Change Is Harmless

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Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte

OO Secretive Right-Wing Group ALEC Continues Its War On Clean Energy - via writing and promoting anti-clean energy legislation - what do you expect from a Koch Bros backed entity?

OO Right-Wing Effort To Weaken Ohio's Clean Energy Law Stalled, Not Dead

OO House Science Chair Holds Hearing About Aliens One Day After Dismissing Actual EPA Science - trick question: which is loonier: the Chair or talking aliens?

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Via the University of East Anglia Climate Change webpage

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<<<< Climate Change Round the World >>>>

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OO Extreme Weather Costs Soared 60% Over 30 Years - And It's Going To Get Worse

OO Why Developing Countries Will Consume 65% of the World's Energy by 2040

OO 90 Firms Responsible For Emitting Two-Thirds Of World's Carbon Emissions Since 1750 - study.

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OO Few Meteorologists Agree With 97 Percent Global Warming Scientific Consensus says a new study, due to a combination of factors: lack of awareness of the expert consensus, political bias, and lack of climate expertise, which differs fundamentally from weather.

OO UN Launches Green Climate Fund With Little In Its Coffers

OO US as Crude Competitor Pushes Canada Need to Reach Asia Markets

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Smog over the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Credit Brian Jeffrey Beggerly via wikimedia commons.

OO Schools Close In Smog-Enshrouded Eastern China

OO As US Refuses A Dirty Fuel, China Only Too Ready To Import It - and then 10 days later, they send it back to us via the westerlies - as pollution.

OO Shanghai Hits Record Pollution Level During Marathon; Lungs Hurt

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OO Australia Records Its Warmest Spring

OO Australia Must Cut Emissions 40% by 2020 to Avoid "Dramatic Climatic Shifts"

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Australia has gotten so hot, they have added a new color to their color heat spectrum: purple. Credit Australia Meteorology Bureau

OO Pacific: Impacts Of Climate Change On Women

OO Last Of Greenpeace Protesters Granted Bail In Russia

OO Oil Spill Coats River, Sea Near ENI Nigeria Facility

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OO Hurricane-Force Winds Wreak Havoc In Britain, Head To Europe

OO Europe Hit With Winds, Massive Storm Surge

OO UK: Thousands Unable To Return Home After Houses Ruined By Floods

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OO UK Govt In Perfect Storm Over Climate Change Gaffe As Floods Render Homes Uninsurable

OO UK: What's Infecting Cows With TB? Is It Badgers - Or Farmers And Climate Change?

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OO Global Warming Could Trim Tree Supply For Lumber Industry - report.

OO Illegal Miners Infest Venezuela's Amazon increasing deforestation.

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Ten Global Warming Indicators. Credit NOAA

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(((((((( Seeking the Science ))))))))

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OO Europe Could Be 9 Degrees Warmer By 2100

OO Europe Already Feeling Climate Change Impacts - report

OO Warm Arctic Waters Emit Carbon, Though Region Is Carbon Sink Overall

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OO Heavy Rains Killing Peregrine Falcon Chicks In Canadian Arctic - I wonder what's happening to other baby chicks up there...

OO Reducing Sunlight 'Will Not Cool Earth'
- and here I thought I finally had found a purpose for this old, gigantic blanket of mine...

OO Acid Oceans Harm More Species

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Many migrations are out of whack this year, and climate change is likely playing a part. Credit Steve Evans from Citizen of the World, via wikimedia commons.

OO Messed Up Migrations, And Climate Change Plays a Part

OO Rise In Ocean Acidity Makes Fish Anxious study finds.

OO Big Predictions Improving, But Local Climate Still Unpredictable

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OO Weakening Winds Could Threaten Pacific Northwest's Mountain Water Supply - climate change could be behind a weekening of the westerly winds over the past 60 years, winds responsible for carrying moisture to the coastal mountains where, as snow, it becomes a stored water supply. Other research indicates that earlier springs might shorten such storage.

OO Colorado: Town Starts Unusual Oil And Gas Air Pollution Study

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@@@ Climate Change in the Media @@@

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@@ LIVING ON EARTH @@ PRI's Environmental News Magazine, covers climate change and other fascinating topics as well. Check it out!

@@ Video: What If We Lost the Amazon?

@@ Video: Calamity Calling: An Investigation into Global Climate Change

@@ Video: How Climate Change is Destroying Cancun

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@@ Video: Himalayan Tsunami: How Climate Change Triggers Alpine Floods


@@ Video: Warming Seas and Superstorms Raze Cradle of Aquatic Life

!!!! Want to Save Energy & Help the Planet? Check out these helpful EPA Climate Change youtubers here! !!!!

@@ At Last, a Green Radio Show to counter the Lush Bimbaugh wasteland. Check out On the Green Front with Betsy Rosenberg at Progressive Radio Network to keep updated on climate change, and other green topics.

@@ Video: America's Dangerous Pipelines - the title says it all; compelling . . .

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by these puya flowers I photographed in Chile recently. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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