JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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WA State Labor leader has it both ways: Carbon Tax bad but trading good. No. No. No.

Mark McGowan , the West Australian Labor leader hoping to win the election in March and become Premier of WA, announced that he doesn’t like the Carbon Tax. But apparently he does like emissions trading, showing that he’s as keen as anyone to help large financial institutions reap nice profits for little risk, and no benefit.

It’s an industry which deals in paper sales of an atmospheric nullity and thus, by design, prone to fraud. (See the $7b VAT tax fraud where 90% of trades in some markets were criminal). The EU emissions price is collapsing, and the scheme has made no difference to emissions in the EU. The US reduced CO2 more than the EU without a tax or a national trading scheme. In the unlikely event the scheme overcame the fraud and inefficiencies and actually reduced carbon dioxide, stopping the entire output of Australian industry and commerce would make 0.0154 degrees to global temperatures, at best, and that’s assuming the IPCC assumptions turned out to be correct despite all the evidence suggesting they are wrong.

“It’s no coincidence that the only people who argue for a free market solution are those who profit from it, or those who don’t know what a free market is.Jo Nova Sept 2010

McGowan is trying to have it both ways but failing to make sense to either group: a kind of fence-sitting yoga. How do you pretend you care about West Australian voters, many of whom deeply distrust the Federal government and the carbon tax, but pretend at the same time that you care about the carbon monster, so you can appease the Greens and avoid the “denier” tag?

Western Australia’s Labor leader Mark McGowan has distanced himself from Prime Minister Julia Gillard by saying he opposes the carbon tax ahead of next month’s state election.

But Mr McGowan says he does support an emissions trading scheme.

Newspoll has pointed to a landslide election win for the WA Liberals on March 9, putting it ahead of Labor 57 to 43 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese defended Mr McGowan’s stance.

“I notice that he also said that he supported an emissions trading scheme,” he told Sky News.

“Of course what we have is a fixed price on carbon evolving into an emissions trading scheme.”

Read more WA Today.

Not a healthy relationship then?

This says all you need to know about Western Australia’s relationship with the national government:

Though he (Mark McGowan) has been standoffish to the Prime Minister – even going on holidays when she visited Western Australia- Mr McGowan said that if elected he would not be vicious towards other states or the commonwealth as he believed Mr Barnett had been.

“Just because we are richer than them it doesn’t mean we have to be rude,” he said.

The Australian

If there was a problem with carbon, an ETS would not be the way to solve it.

From a past post of mine:

An Emissions trading scheme is an artificial market that draws money out of the real economy and diverts a whole class of people from doing other useful productive work. There is no money “produced” by this money-go-round to return to the public. It’s just a very complicated incentive scheme that favours some citizens over others, (see “patronage”) and creates a class of people who will fight to keep the gravy flowing.

I am a big fan of free markets, but only where there is a real good or service to be traded. A 2 trillion dollar market based on government certificates is the most expensive Create-a-parasite-scheme the world has ever seen.

Other Reading:

 

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WA State Labor leader has it both ways: Carbon Tax bad but trading good. No. No. No., 9.4 out of 10 based on 47 ratings

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54 comments to WA State Labor leader has it both ways: Carbon Tax bad but trading good. No. No. No.

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    Bulldust

    If only the Carbon Tax had been as well negotiated and designed as the MRRT :D There was a classic line on the MRRT from Henry Ergas this morning:

    IF you believe the allegations being reported daily, Eddie Obeid may have earned twice as much out of the resource bonanza as the MRRT. It’s comforting that at least one part of Labor takes seriously Wayne Swan’s mantra of “spreading the benefits of the mining boom”.

    See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/simply-no-sense-in-labor-super-strategy/story-fn7078da-1226574891956


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    McGowan makes it look like he does not understand the Constitutional relationship and actual political between the States and the Commonwealth (federal) government.

    The States as sovereign entities created the Commonwealth in order to unify the governance of certain things across the continent; to pool resources for certain things and to give the (outward) appearance of an independent nation.

    The Federal government doesn’t rule over the States other than in the very specific powers contracted via the Constitution. Those who drafted the Constitution were clever people for their day. They recognized inevitable corruption tried to incorporate means to limit its impact. But they still worked within the traditional model of hierarchies (levels) of government and therefore gave the federal government powers to legislate, to regulate and to take money from people according to the laws devised by that same government.

    In trying to balance the effect of self-interest of the States in the federation, they diminished the democratic power of the State. The Senate is ostensibly the only direct role that the States have in federal government; but party politics mean that in reality; parties rule the Senate just as much as the House of Representatives. Especially parties such as the ALP whose members have little option but to vote along lines designated by their politburo.

    Therein lies the indirect influence that the States have on federal politics. Which is as plain as day: Voters in elections send messages to the other levels of government in every election.

    If the ALP is on the nose nationally; then it’s on the nose at State level. The common element; the electorate are the same people. The electorate has instinctively tried to balance State against Federal, putting the “other side” into office so as to try to curb the excesses of the other government. It doesn’t always work… we’re living the mess.


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    Ian

    Politicians aren’t scientists (well perhaps a vanishingly small number are), don’t understand science, don’t like science, don’t like scientists who stand between them and a bucketful of money, don’t know the EU ETS is going south rapidly, don’t know about the US CO2 reductions due to increased use of natural gas etc etc. What they do know is the ETS provides a stack of cash to be spent by the government on a variety of schemes to garner more votes and keep them in power for longer. Perhaps someone will asK McGowan what his views are what effect Australia’s CO2 tax has had on global emissions. Perhaps someone will ask McGowan why Australia has approached the EU to join their ETS. Perhaps someone will ask McGowan why the CO2 price per tonne in Australia is $23 while in the EU it is down around $8.00 per tonne. Perhaps someone will ask McGowan if he thinks the EU ETS has long term viability So many questions that will never be answered by any politician. Interesting that Stern and Garnaut are economists and Flannery a palaeontologist, none of them with credentials in climate science are listened to by governments but governments won’t listen to sceptics even though their qualifications to speak on climate change are far more relevant. Something definitely is rotten in the state of Denmark (a quote from Hamlet not an attack on the country or the town in SW WA) and refers to the fact that all is not well with the political hierarchy


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    sophocles

    It’s not a market. Real goods and services are traded in a market. This trades a fiction, so it’s a casino.


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    Sophocles, its not even a casino – that has to obey Physics at the very least.. Carbon Markets are devoid of any ‘restrictions’ from reality – except that of emotion and greed.

    The sooner this all collapses in on itself the better.

    As regards this politician and his revolving door opinion – par for the course. Luckily enough he is soon to experience being thrown out of that other revolving door… I sense most Australians are utterly sick to the back teeth with the pathetic behavior of our so called representatives. Most of them just appear to represent themselves as they chase opportunities for personal financial gain.

    Boot them out loud and clear, and send the politicians a message they will remember for years, on both sides of the house. We need a better class of representation.


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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Well clueless is a word that comes to mind. Every carbon trading system has collapsed in price. That goes for EU credits, UN CER’s, New Zealand emission credits and the CCX exchange.

    As Einstein said, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity.


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    Tim

    One of the people Al Gore relied on to create this scheme was Ken Lay, late of ENRON, aka the Crooked “E”. Al Gore plans to use Carbon Dioxide to do to the world what Ken Lay did to California using electricity; loot the people!


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    Paul-82

    A question, almost off-topic: NSW has ‘reduced’ emissions – presumably CO2 – but how much of this is due to the closure of the Kurri aluminium smelter?


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  • #
    warcroft

    In the news today. . . a big fat *sigh*

    Us skeptics are not doing enough! (according to this article):

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/hostility-over-climate-change-cools-off/story-e6frfku9-1226575731951


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    • #

      Does the actual activity of skeptics have anything to do with this? Why can’t the news just make this up and hope everyone believes climate change is being accepted? I didn’t realize genuine skeptic behaviour was required for such claims.


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      Greg Cavanagh

      That article was complete psychobabble. Shame it was from
      Professor Will Steffen, science adviser to the Department of Climate Change.

      I don’t think sceptics can be held accountable for this piece of mash. There is nothing we could have done to prevent this piece hitting the senate (fan?).


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      observa

      Us skeptics are not doing enough! (according to this article):

      No doubt warcroft because we are winning the debate out there in voterland, whether or not the punters really understand the science. One thing the punters do understand with these Big Climate watermelons is, for all their consensus science, they can’t organise a pissup in a brewery as far as real outcomes are concerned. Or to put it another way- How do you overcome the arguments of watermelons? Put them in charge and wait!


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      Backslider

      The head of the Bureau of Meteorology Rob Vertessy echoed these warnings, saying average temperatures could be six degrees hotter by the end of the century if action isn’t taken.

      Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/hostility-over-climate-change-cools-off/story-e6frfku9-1226575731951#ixzz2KoVKlVm4

      This guy is not qualified to make these statements, he is a hydrologist, not a climate scientist. Being head of BOM does not give you the privilege of scare mongering about things you are not qualified to comment on. If he wants to present some evidence from other scientists to back up what he says, then well and good, but making blanket statements like this off the cuff to a Senate committee is deplorable.

      This is a typical case of “You should believe me, I am a Doctor”.


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    janama

    OT _ facebook is down


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  • #
    janama

    or is it just Dubai?


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      Len

      Had trouble replying to you, Janama. Facebook blocked up Firefos so I had to press Red delete button. It jammed again just recently trying to send a previous reply to you.


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    janama

    It’s back again Len


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    Mattb

    Oh lookie here:
    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/premier-colin-barnett-speaks-up-for-turnbull-and-ets/story-e6frg14c-1225806462962
    “WA Premier Colin Barnett says Australia should have an emissions trading scheme and is disappointed Malcolm Turnbull lost the Liberal leadership.”

    “”Let’s have a simple one that is widely understood and is likely to be effective.”

    So who’s fence-sitting? That took me a 30 second google to smell the hypocrisy here.


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    • #
      Backslider

      December 03, 2009

      I’m pretty sure we are talking about what is happening today…. Besides, there is nothing in that story at all that implies “fence sitting”.

      Desperation Mattb, at least we know who you will be voting for LMAO! Dumb and dumber.


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      Bruce of Newcastle

      Recall that date is just after Copenhagen, which is pretty much the high point of the CAGW meme. Climategate occurred only a few weeks earlier and had yet to make it out to a wider audience.

      In the time since then a lot of people have been taking a much closer look at the CAGW proponents claims and they don’t add up (except in those peoples’ bank accounts).


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      AndyG55

      Like any sensible person, he has changed his mind due to overwhelming evidence that the CO2 issue is a crock !!

      I bet he would now also be very glad that Abbott is at the reins of the Libs, and not Turnbull. If Turnbull was installed now, the Lib vote would drop dramatically. Not one of the ALP sympathisers who want Turnbull as leader would switch to vote Liberal, and many Lib voters would just rip up their ballot paper.


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  • #
    KinkyKeith

    The item by Jo is about Politics and Perception and how votes can be swung.

    A little off topic but right in line with the perception issue is a statement I read this morning.

    It is self explanatory and comes from a renewables Energy Finance Group who have done some “Economic” modelling. True.

    —————————
    “After extensive research modelling the cost of generating electricity in Australia, Bloomberg New Energy Finace’s Sydney team has concluded that unsubsidised renewable energy is cheaper to produce than coal or gas energy in Australia — one of the world’s largest coal producers.

    In a statement released 7 February, BNEF revealed that electricity from a wind farm can be produced at a cost of AU$80 per megawatt hour — compared to AU$143/MWh for a new coal plant and AU$116/MWh for a new gas plant — 44 per cent and 31 per cent less, respectively.

    That calculation includes carbon pricing; however, even when you take carbon pricing away, wind energy is still cheaper than coal by 14 per cent and gas by 18 per cent. These figures also account for the cost of building new stations.

    Michael Liebreich, chief executive of BNEF, said:”

    ———————————————–

    Somebody has been working hard.

    Either the windfarms have been making enormous efficiency strides in the last few months

    OR

    someone is trying to SELL something to the unsuspecting.

    Which is it?

    KK


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    • #
      AndyG55

      Easy then .. just drop the wind turbine subsidies !!

      Save us all heaps of money.


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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        I was astounded when I read that.

        If that is in their Investment Advice Documentation then I think that there is an appropriate body to examine the claim before anybody puts investment funds to work with this crew.

        If that is in their prospectus they should be investigated by ASIC.

        KK


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      Bulldust

      Maybe a lot of birds and bats have been hitting the turbine blades in such a way as to increase their rotational speed and increase power generation…


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      Bruce of Newcastle

      A value of 14c/kWh for coal based electricity is rubbish. I’ve been using wholesale 4c/kWh for most of my career, and at worst it might be 6c/kWh now, with higher construction costs and Gillard’s stupid tax.

      I have all the data to do a like vs like comparison but frankly I’m not going to spend 3 days doing relative NPV sensitivity analyses when I’m not being paid for it and in face of such a stupid pack of numbers.

      If anyone disagrees with this synopsis, send me a spreadsheet.


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      ianl8888

      @KK

      You are right about something “fishy” in this

      Sigh …. yet again, Bloomberg have made absolutely heroic assumptions about future rises in the retail price of coal, gas and oil

      see http://bishophill.squarespace.com/ Feb 11

      BH takes it all apart yet again. This set of Bloomberg self-serving lies is so repetitive that I’ve given up taking any notice. No fact will shame them, no critique is too hard-hitting for them to ignore. All sounds very familiar, doesn’t it ?


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        KinkyKeith

        Thanks Ian

        So that’s how they did it.

        Bring the future into the present.

        And presumably they are going to market this with the unsuspecting public being offered share in false economic analysis or projection.

        KK :)


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      Streetcred

      I read that they inflated the price of natural gas by some whopping amount to get this meme to work out. You can’t believe anything that they write, you just have to look on the back of each page for their calculations / sources. Are they that dim that they don’t realise we know their modus operandi ?


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      tanner

      And where is the electricity coming from when the wind isn’t blowing ;) mmmmm!!


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    pat

    last week i posted Leo Hickman in the Guardian about this, and now BBC has backed down:

    11 Feb: Daily Mail: BBC backs down on climate change: Forced to delete David Attenborough’s ‘alarmist’ warming claims from final show of Africa series
    Broadcaster removed assertions that ‘some parts of the continent have become 3.5C hotter in the past 20 years’ in repeat shown last night
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2276888/BBC-climbdown-climate-change-claims-David-Attenboroughs-Africa.html#axzz2KZM6azYu


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  • #

    Here’s a largely O/T political question. The mods may wish to delete, but this seems a reasonable spot to put it.

    Most people assume that government by spin and stunt, such as we are seeing to an outrageous degree here in Oz, is effective, though damaging. The idea of a stunt every few days, regardless of cost or rationality, depends on having a supine leftist press and busy fanboy organisations like GetUp to do the boosting and cloak the absurdity in faux earnestness.

    It’s clear enormous damage is done to the country by such things as the idiotic misogyny speech, the futile NZ refugee arrangement, the ludicrous posturing about corruption in sport etc etc. Pick your day, pick your stunt.

    Here’s what I want to know. We assume that this is in some way effective, therefore justified at least in partisan ways. In fact, if you look at the man at the centre of it all, John McTernan, he presides over failure. He is brought in by people whose power is failing…and he just fails some more.

    Is McTernan a failure on all levels, respected for a bully-boy toughness that has never actually worked? Will even Labor have to pick up the bill for a guy who has never done anything but damage? I grew up in a Labor family, and I know that guys like Martin Ferguson are adults who would see through this manipulative trash in minutes.

    There are plenty of Labor loyalists who are responsible adults. They must be starting to see that the culture of Spin and Stunt is only impressing a small elite of two-bob intellectuals.

    The assumption that McTernan plays with a very hard ball but is effective seems false when you look at man’s background. He wrecks, he costs, he charges…then he fails. That’s all you get.


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    I understand that this is off topic, but I wonder really what was meant here. This was just on the 11AM news just gone, and I wanted to get it down before I forgot what was said, and I had to actually check my ears to make sure I heard it correctly.

    In the Queensland Parliament, they are back at work this morning, and hey, don’t those guys have a really demanding schedule eh!

    This morning, they have set aside time to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the recent flood event here in Queensland.

    The Leader of the Opposition Annastacia Palaszczuk (pronounced palashay) paid tribute to those who lost their lives and those who have been wiped out.

    Then she added something very cryptic, when she said, “we need to be aware of the high price we pay to cool Queensland homes.”

    Think about it. It can’t be that they are up on stumps to catch the breeze, because that would effectively raise them above those flood waters, probably one of the original reasons they were put on stumps in the first place.

    I wonder how easy it is to contact someone like this and ask what was meant.

    At least I’ll hopefully have Hansard in a day or so to check to see what she said.

    Tony.


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    • #
      Bruce of Newcastle

      As I understand it nowadays most Qld houses since Cyclone Tracy are built like blast bunkers. Mine was when I lived in Townsville a decade or so ago. I don’t think you’d be allowed to build a classic “Queenslander” on stilts nowadays because of the cyclone risk.

      Unfortunately they haven’t connected the dots that if you build low to the ground blockhouses they suffer more from flooding.


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    • #

      I know, I know, there’ll be those who label me as paranoid after this.

      It seems what she said was a little more innocent than what I heard. Maybe it was the way it was said, or maybe I’m just an old guy whose hearing is slowly going on the fritz, you know, 9 years of being in two Fighter Squadrons with Mirages.

      What Annastacia really said was the following, and it’s my bold here for the word I misheard:

      We were once again reminded of the high price we must all too frequently pay for calling Queensland home.

      and I mistook this for cooling Queensland homes.

      However, what I am impressed with is how quickly Hansard was published, considering this only happened four and a half hours ago.

      The transcript starts at page 15 of the following link, and she spoke after Premier Newman.

      Queensland State Hansard 12Feb2013

      So, I apologise for making something out of nothing really.

      Tony.


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    Tony, in the 90s, when Bob Carr would visit the inevitable storm damage you’d get around his own Randwick-Maroubra area, he’d make similar comments, right on the very spot. He’d hint that we needed to get used to “this sort of event” because of you-know-what.

    Climate alarmists use the same line as Jehovah’s Witnesses when they initiate a conversation. (In the bush, the JWs are neighbours and we have to be nice.) The pitch always starts with “all these things that have been happening lately”, in reference to wars, weather etc. That’s why the alarmists have been shrewd to move their theme to “extreme weather”. Extreme weather is a constant. You just have to bank on people being too dumb or too polite not to observe that “all these things that have been happening lately” were happening last century…and the century before that.


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    • #
      Bruce of Newcastle

      Its easy to blow away the ‘extremes’ argument. Just mention Mike Lockwood’s work at the Uni of Reading, on jet stream blocking which occurs more commonly when the Sun is less active. As it is now, deepest solar minimum for a couple centuries. Jet stream blocking was the reason for the Moscow heat wave in 2010 and also most probably the US heatwave more recently. They run away screaming when you mention this since Prof Lockwood is one of their guys and CAGW people flee the Sun like vampires.


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    Streetcred

    You must understand that this bloke is from the Liebor Party and like most of them they are clueless egotists. Being a representative of the Liebor Party bestows gifts of extreme stupidity on the member. One day this bloke may ascend to the heavenly environment of Feral Politics where all is for free and “I’ve done nothing wrong” is explanation for all maladies.


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  • #

    So basically, on one side or the other (or both), he’s lying to some degree. I can’t see either side liking that.


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    Truthseeker

    I have just received this piece of political spam email from Greg Combet (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency)

    Have you had the chance to catch up on President Obama’s State of the Union Address today? Here’s what he had to say on climate change.

    President Obama called on Congress to put in place a market-based mechanism to deal with carbon emissions.

    That means President Obama is calling for a price on carbon. Just like we have here in Australia thanks to this Labor Government.

    From our experience, we know it won’t be easy and that the President will meet tough opposition.

    For years climate sceptics have argued the United States is not acting, so nor should Australia. Can you share this video and show them that’s not true?

    The President also pointed out that China is going full steam ahead on moving to renewable energy sources and the United States has to do the same.

    These shifts on the international stage make it more important than ever that Australia continues to act on climate change. We must not go backwards.

    You can check out some handy facts on China’s action on climate change by clicking here.

    Greg

    PS. Can you help us defend the carbon price from Tony Abbott by chipping in $10? We can’t afford to fall behind the rest of the world on this issue.

    I have got sooo many ideas for my reply, but suggestions are most welcome …


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