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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Unthreaded weekend

I’ll be back at the desk later today… :-)

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Unthreaded weekend, 8.6 out of 10 based on 19 ratings

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175 comments to Unthreaded weekend

  • #
    Ace

    Can anybody here honestly say they never once in their life wished they had never been born?

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      llew Jones

      Yes. As far as I know (by my own diagnosis I mean)I’ve never once suffered from depression. Maybe that is the reason. I’m still finding there are not enough hours in a day to do the things I want to do. Pretty hard to fulfil that sort of agenda when one is unborn or dead.

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      • #
        Ace

        I didnt ask about depression. There are many circumstances under which people, rarely or often, wish they hadn’t been born. Depression need never come into it.

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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          True, but you did not exclude “Depression” from consideration in your original question, so Llew’s answer was, and is, perfectly valid.

          30

          • #
            Ace

            The phrasing of his response implied a necessary linkage. After all, I never mentioned depression, so why bring it up. You could just as easily say “I was never tortured by the Kempei Tei on Okinawa so have never experienced the wish Id not been born”.

            03

          • #
            Eddie Sharpe

            There’s no need to be touchy about depression. It’s more common than we might think. For some a state of depression might even be considered normal.l

            20

          • #
            Quack

            he did not exclude being shot out of the anus of a large camel either, but that’s probably not on da bucket list.

            20

          • #
            Ace

            No…so why bring up depression?

            Havent you ever walked out of a shite movie before its over?

            Was that because of depression?

            I can see from the passive aggressive silent dislikes my comments are getting that we have the “I love life” armpits with us here.

            Such people are cowards unable to face the reality of other peoples lives and trying to deny it by resorting to the common refrain “depression”.

            They are also, often, living a “life of quiet desperation” but are afraid to face this and resent those of us who have the testes to raise that rejection as an option.

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      • #

        Depression? What’s depression? Obviously I have not had it.

        10

    • #
      Rod Stuart

      Can”t say that I have Ace. I often think that I’ve made some poor choices, but then I’ve made some good ones as well. What’s troubling you son?

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        KK,

        I looked at that quote again. That’s about the way we humans tend to look at things, in terms of a past that may not have been what we wanted instead of in terms of a future that we have every right to mold to the shape we want it.

        I’ve missed some opportunities and grabbed a hold of others; made some goals and missed some too. But as long as I’m here I’m going to keep on working to make life good, not bad. It’s our birthright!

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Hi Roy

          Not sure where Ace is coming from but I think he is in the UK and for us in Australia or the US it is probably hard to understand the negativity associated with living with the Euro zone crushing down on you.

          We have problems with our governments but they have government insanity at another level entirely.

          It must be discouraging.

          The latest stupidity is the wood-chip thing. Importing wood-chips to replace coal.

          The pollution, apart from aspects of efficiency and cost, will be enormous.

          I always wondered what the term biomass referred to, now I know – it’s just insane – no other words to describe it and no wonder Christopher Monckton is so keen to go on the attack rather than continue endless discussions that go nowhere.

          In this environment it”s no wonder people ask questions like that.

          KK

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          • #
            Ace

            KK I was coming froma more Existentialist perspective but regarding what you say:

            “Not sure where Ace is coming from but I think he is in the UK and for us in Australia or the US it is probably hard to understand the negativity associated with living with the Euro zone crushing down on you.

            We have problems with our governments but they have government insanity at another level entirely.”

            …certainly thats true and undoubtedly affects ones accounting of things. I can tell you of things that have happenned to me and others that put biomass in the shade. Britain truly is a madhouse run by insane people imposing mores that would in any other era be regarded as extraordinary. We are an inch away from a kind of inverted form of a Taleban state. You have to watch everytjing you say and do. Every public place is monitored, every activity regulated. Coming into this country is like arriving at an internment camp complete with guards wielding submachine guns and orders barked over tannoys. They even use body-scanners on some people entering at some airports now.

            What I was referring to is irrespective of any of that.

            If you woke up in a room with two doors and were given the choice, left door be the most powerful person on the planet, right door never have been born. Which would you choose?

            For me the answer is unhesitating and cannot be susceptible to circumstance.

            00

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            I see your point now, Ace.

            Only a very few could avoid the left door. I’d like to think I would. But I’ve never been tested. I hope I never am. That kind of power destroys you as fast as you can go about destroying all that you don’t like.

            We have one of those now. God forbid that I should want him overthrown by force.

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    • #

      Ace–The answer is I have never had the wish that I was not born, nor has my husband. Maybe it would have been cooler to be born in a different family or a different time, but never to have been born.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Can anybody here honestly say they never once in their life wished they had never been born?

      Yes, I can say that honestly. Not even in the darkest time I’ve ever been through, when I was depressed and didn’t even realize it, did I ever wish I’d never been born. I wanted out of the situation but I knew the way out was to go through. If you’re familiar with the phrase, “holding on with white knuckles,” that alcoholics talk about, that was me. But I kept going.

      I’ve never contemplated suicide either, in case that becomes the subject.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      I don’t think I was born.

      I certainly have no recollection of being unborn, or even the process of being born, I have always been “here”, and I will continue to be “here”, until I am no longer “here”, but then I probably wont know that I am not “here”, because “I” will have ceased to exist.

      Learning for Today: You should never ask a Buddhist a question like that?

      20

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Nor should you read his answer!

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        As someone who has studied Buddhism for the last eight years or so, and also done a small amount of practice;

        It is probably time for a reversal of emphasis.

        Thanks for the reminder.

        KK :)

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      • #
        Ace

        But that takes us toward the problem Rereke. You cannot ever escape. You cannot know of not being. Therefore you are forever locked in eternity. Suicide would not end that. Nothing can. The only recourse of course is to God. But otherwise, once born, you are sentenced to infinite existence. I cannot think of anything more terrifying than being. As the computer says in that tongue-in-cheek Existentialist movie, Alphaville, the present is terrifying, because it is irrevocable.

        Ive seen it this way for about 40 years now.

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        • #
          Ace

          …of course God and Existentialism are uneasy bedfellows. This space (existence) has been given us as a medium in which to discover God. To reject that I fear may be blasphemous.

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          llew Jones

          It depends on what sort of God one has.

          For example the historic Protestant God leaves no room for human choice. In Calvinism it is God who does the choosing and even enabling to believe. In that case the “two doors” are probably irrelevant at all levels. You are either in or you are out. Now that may be a depressing thought for one prone to pessimism. I guess that means one should choose one’s religion carefully or make one up if there is none to suit one’s genetic and/or nurtured predilections.

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            Ace

            I dont think a religion of choice makes any sense except to someone who is really an atheist. Faith seizes you or it doesnt, there’s no choice in the matter.

            If, however, you mean choice of interpretive scheme (ie doctrine or church) then I have yet to come to such a point.

            One thing I am impressed by about the story of Christ is that a man would allow himself to be betrayed and executed in one of the slowest, most agonising ways known, as a gesture to indicate the truth of his message. This is unlike any other prophet.

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            llew Jones

            “Faith seizes you or it doesn’t, there’s no choice in the matter.”

            You would have Luther’s backing on that one. His famous debate on just that point with Erasmus the “free willer” is recorded in Luther’s “On the Bondage of the Will”

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            Ace

            Thanks for that reference Llew. I will seek that out as a step towards addressing my ignorance of theological matters.

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        Roy Hogue

        Forgive my commenting like this but as I have believed for a long time, life is a lot easier without worrying about philosophy or too much about religion either, whatever it may be. If there’s something to learn about life I try to take advantage of it. If it causes me to reflect and know myself better then all to the good. But to make rules for yourself to follow or let others do so is to imprison yourself. To worry about the meaning of life or existence is even worse. Be curious to be sure; but never worry about a question you can’t answer.

        Life is too short to take on unnecessary burdens.

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          Ace

          Roy…its the other way around: if you loathed life you would be forced to wonder about it.

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            Roy Hogue

            Ace,

            Having never been in that position I have nothing to go on so I don’t know what I would wonder about.

            On the other hand, I do wonder about it. I just don’t let myself get bogged down in something I can’t answer or do anything about. I’m here! I have the capacity to enjoy being here and that’s the foremost thing about life. Learn to enjoy it. Even if it’s something as simple as spending an hour sitting on our patio with my wife on a pleasant Sunday afternoon sipping a glass of wine while we talked about nothing in particular, enjoy it.

            00

    • #
      michael hart

      I’ll answer a different question:
      I can think of no person living or dead who I would rather be.

      But perhaps I’ve never asked the right question to that answer.

      20

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Michael,

        My answer too. I just wanna be me.

        I do not respond at all to the “two door’ question.

        I get a buzz from being part of a functional society; and this might explain why I have been a little introspective the last few years.

        Society has gone nuts.

        KK

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    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      I can best reply to your question thus: There are two kinds of people: Those who think there are two kinds of people and those who don’t.

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    • #
      Robert

      Lets add a slight twist to this for those who contemplate things of this nature:

      I have often asked those, specifically various of my relatives, who feel I or their children owe them something for the “gift of life” etc. how they reason that out when none of us asked to be born it was a choice/decision they made for us.

      Unfortunately with relatives who seem on occasion to be oblivious to their responsibilities for making such a decision the capacity for their offspring to question whether or not they should have been born is to be expected.

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        Ace

        You didn’t ask for socks at Christmas but they’re still a gift.

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          Robert

          So do I owe you for the gift? If so it’s not a gift is it?

          The point is there are many parents who make the choice to have children, the children did not choose to be created the parents made that choice. Now IF the parents have their act together they will raise those children to become capable of stepping out into the world as thinking, independent beings capable of taking care of themselves.

          However many parents appear incapable of or unwilling to do this, yet they feel those lives they chose to create are somehow no longer their responsibility after a certain age, etc. At which point one can easily understand where those now grown children would question whether they should have ever been born. Or in other word whether their parents should have ever been allowed to be parents.

          In many ways while we applaud ourselves for how we’ve risen above animals in truth we really haven’t risen very far or in some cases at all. So I can understand where some might wish they had never been born and not out of depression but out of disgust.

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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Robert,

            As a parent who actually did want children and did make the effort to get it right, I can understand your point about parents and parenting. I have only one child and right now he’s having a difficult time because their business went down the drain along with so many others. I can no longer hold him by the hand or fix anything as I used to do. But I’m still his father and it still hurts to see him hurting and I still want to do something about it. I don’t know what’s in his mind and will never know unless he tells me but even the thought that he might wish he had never been born is like a knife to my heart.

            As for the part about risen above animals, I can only say I think you’re right. It’s a real problem for so many people to come to grips with that thing called responsibility, isn’t it? And that concept is to me the attribute of humans that sets them apart from everything else – that we can recognize complex responsibilities, both to ourselves and to others and then manage to carry them out. Unfortunately this ability is broken or perverted in many people and simply can’t be counted on.

            00

    • #
      wes george

      Can anybody here honestly say they never once in their life wished they had never been born?

      I’ve never wished I wasn’t born!

      Or if I did, I didn’t really mean it.

      Unlike my mate Rereke, I reckon the evidence suggests I was born, although I don’t remember it. Just because you are “here” today, doesn’t mean you weren’t somewhere else yesterday.

      But enough on the thermodynamics of carbon-based fauna…

      I reckon the primary difference between people on the Left of politics and those of us in the center is a sense of existential grievance. The Left believe the world is fundamentally unfair, meaningless and even absurd. We on the centre and the Right of centre, seem to mostly agree that all although things could always be improved upon, life ain’t so bad. The glass is half, maybe 3/4 full…We make our own meaning. Work and play hard. Mind our own business. The absurdity is people who think our success is unfair and so we should pay their way because they never got a handle on life…

      Most Greenies had to wear gridiron helmets as children, because they kept trying to bash their brains out, for good reason too. Most Greenies have wished many, many times that they were never born… Heck, it’s part of their political platform to wish that YOU were never born too…

      But since you were born and the Greens can’t actually delete you (yet) the next best thing is to have fantasies about it…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfnddMpzPsM&feature=player_embedded

      Lest we forget!

      00

  • #
    Frank of Beecroft

    Subject: Fear & Loathing on the way to the Forum.

    A chill wind blew down from the Brindabellum Mountains and over Capittaline Hill as footsteps echoed across the Forum in the pale light of the long-awaited dawn. Wrapping her cloak tightly around her, Julia Caesar shivered. How had it all gone so horribly wrong?

    She gazed up at the statue of her illustrious predecessor, Bennelongus Imperium. Relaxum and Comfortabilis was his motto. How ordinary these words now looked, etched in stone and covered in bird poop. Yet, she now realized, they possibly represented the greatest triumph any leader could achieve.

    Passing the vomitorium, she could hear squeals of delight and faint laughter intermingled with sounds of dry-retching and puking. No doubt, she thought to herself, Slipperius was down there in his black toga regurgitating his cab charges.

    Where on earth, she wondered, did he go on all those long journeys? And what debauchery went on in the back of those chariots that had so depleted the imperial coffers?

    Swiftly walking past the Unionatis Hospitalis, she shuddered at the thought of her favoured son, the handsome Dobellius, taking tithes off the lowly slaves who toiled to clean soiled bed-sheets while he cavorted in the Via Bordello.

    She turned abruptly, certain she could hear someone following her. Treachery and subterfuge swirled around her, clothed in darkness. Her enemies were everywhere, plotting, waiting for the right moment to strike.

    But she knew she could defeat them all, she was certain of that. ” They may have knives”, she thought to herself, “but they are as nothing compared to my formidable political skills, my acute sense of timing, my renowned judgment, my phenomenal ability to communicate with the masses and my mesmerising vocal skills.” Her enemies didn’t stand a chance!*****

    But still, that nagging feeling kept creeping back: where on earth was Kevino Septimus?

    One by one she mentally ticked off her foes. There was Minimus Shortus, the diminutive former slavemaster who had recently taken to mocking her in the Forum. “Whatever the Empress says, I support” he had proclaimed to roars of laughter from the crowds, “even though I have no idea what it is she said.”

    More cunning was Praaetor Smith, with his cash-starved armies outside the city walls in the Fields of Duntroon. For 18 months he had patiently waited for the moment to strike, like an adder in the grass.

    And what of Senator Carcero, the great orator with the booming voice, who as tribune of Nova South Walesium had razed it to the ground with his Punic land tax while entertaining the proletariat with extravagant Games in his specially built colosseum?

    How smart had it been to let him back into the Senate? Had his ambitions been sated? Still on travels to distant lands, imposing Roman law on the Fijians, she was relieved she had sent him far away.

    She turned to look at the foundation stones of the Basilica Juia, where her statue was being built, a magnificent testimony to her legacy, emblazed with her own epithet: Nos sunt nobis: we are us. It would be the largest statue in Rome. After all, wasn’t her most towering achievement, the introduction of the Carbonara Tax, a 23 dinar levy on all pasta production, a triumphant political victory that future generations would honour her for?

    Most dangerous of all, she knew, were those closest to her. Such as Quastor Waynium Swannus, the man she trusted more than any other with the regulation of marketplaces. His day of glory was fast approaching, when he would trick the plebeians by showering them with surplus bread and treasure. She felt an icy chill run down her spine. Somehow, she couldn’t help thinking, whenever a leader was overthrown it was he who was always left standing.

    Or Gregorius Combatus? A soldier of fortune who’d made his name all those years ago, fighting injustice among the patrician galley-owners. He was now chief priest of the goddess Gaia, a powerful position from whence he could scrutinise the entrails. What had they really told him about her future? Even old Creaanus, could she really trust him?*****

    She stopped to listen, certain someone was close by. She froze as she heard the serpentine hiss of steel being drawn from leather. “Julia!” a voice whispered behind her. She spun around and couldn’t believe her eye. “You?” she said. “What on earth are you…? But already it was too late.

    Rowan Dean, who wrote this brilliant piece, is an Australian Financial Review columnist.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Rowan Dean, who wrote this brilliant piece, is an Australian Financial Review columnist.

      It is brilliant. We wait with anticipation to see if it is also prophetic.

      30

    • #
      wes george

      Et tu, Shorte?

      20

    • #
      Radonel

      Wrong and too literal an interpretation of vomitorium: vomitoria were nothing more than the aisles along which spectators left ampitheatres such as the Colosseum after the show.

      00

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  • #
    handjive

    FYI:

    Internet freedom showdown looming: US

    “The fear of losing power and control was evident at a UN gathering in Dubai last December, where 89 countries signed a controversial new global treaty on telecom regulations,” Ross said.

    “Anyone who understands power understands that power is not given up willingly,” he said, adding that the rush to buy surveillance technology appeared to have really taken off after the Iranian election protests in 2009.

    “The clamp-down was coming amid a clear shift of power all over the world from governments and other state hierarchies towards citizens and networks of citizens,” he said.

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  • #

    Britain is unravelling with the introduction of their carbon tax. Drax, their largest power station is being converted from coal to wood-fired; burning trees from North American forests.

    They refer to the fuel as biomass, perhaps in the hope that people won’t recognize that there are trees being cut down to make wood-chips to be eventually pulverized for burning in Drax’s furnaces.

    European forests have barely recovered from the post-war energy crisis, where lack of oil and coal resulted in the people taking everything that’d burn to heat their tiny homes and to cook some food. That’s one reason why Europeans are rather sensitive about their own forests.

    BTW: What are the odds on the same forests being used as carbon offsets as well as being harvested for fuel?

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    • #
      AndyG55

      It really is a ridiculous situation. I assume they are plantation timbers, but even so, this will push up prices for other timber products.

      We SHOULD be liberating more CO2 from burial, by burning coal.

      This would be highly beneficial to the whole Biosphere.

      And as you say, you can almost BET that someone is having a double dip, once from carbon credits and once from selling the wood for burning .

      Its probably even more environmentally stupid than chopping down trees to make way for wind turbines !!

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      • #

        Just on my way to the dump with the last of the timber from Yasi 2 years ago. Recycled some of it, but too much aggravation if I (shock horror) burn the stuff.
        The carbon tax that the local council has to pay apparently includes a charge for wood and wood products that go to landfill. Never quite understood how sequestering CO2 underground is “good” but doing the same with carbon is “bad”.
        Research by one of the timber industry groups (Forest & Wood Products Association I think) indicates that the alleged impact of timber and timber products in landfill is grossly exaggerated, and that out-gassing is less than 1% p.a.
        I alerted the Council to this research, suggesting that maybe they could get together with other Councils through LGAQ and challenge what is being claimed. Never got a reply ….

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          Rod Stuart

          Someone on this site (a troll I think) commented there was no evidence of Agenda 21.
          It’s all around us! ICLEI has infiltrated all of the councils, and has somehow brainwashed these local councils so that they trespass on everyone’s individual rights constantly. This is the insidious nature of the evil that we are dealing with. We are being conquered from within. It is like having a debilitating terminal disease.

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          • #

            Yep – the mob I pay rates to is a member …

            ….they trespass on everyone’s individual rights constantly

            They were always in the habit of doing that …

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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            There is a saying: “The fish does not see the water”.

            10

          • #
            wes george

            “Civilisations die from suicide, not by murder.”

            –Arnold Toynbee, A study of history.

            And who commits us all to cultural suicide? Why, the very same people who wish they had never been born!

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    • #

      Bernd,

      I commented on this at the last Monckton On Tour Thread at this link.

      You’re right when you surmise about the Carbon Offsets.

      In the main, these trees for chipping will be in the Developing World, so they will be eligible for start up grants from the UN, paid for as part of different Countries ETS.

      Individual Companies can also invest in them as part of the CDM, and those Companies will receive tradeable credits to either offset their own emissions or to sell.

      The entity that sets up the forest for chipping will also receive credits in the amount of CO2 offset, and they can then also sell these as well, and then sell the chips themselves.

      It’s a win win win win for them.

      Tony.

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        The Drax Group now plans to construct a new 300MW plant fuelled by Biomass. (the wood chips) This new plant will burn 1.4 million tons of the wood chips each year, and even though this burn process still emits CO2, because that CO2 is classified as renewable, and will lead to a saving in CO2 emissions of 1.85 Million tons of CO2. So while this plant actually emits that much CO2 this is counted as a saving of that amount because it is renewable. Effectively, Drax can use the emissions from this plant to offset emissions at their main coal fired plant.

        So, while we now have this added extra plant at Drax, let’s then have a look at the main existing coal fired plant.

        The huge Drax Power Station has 30 coal bunkers, and each of those can hold 1000 tons of coal. Each bunker feeds 2 pulverisers (hence 60 pulversiers) which convert the coal to a fine powder, done at the rate of 36 tons per hour for each pulveriser. So, at full operation with all 6 generators running, Drax is consuming one ton of coal every 1.6 seconds.

        There are 6 boilers, each fed by 10 of those pulverisers, and that powdered coal is blasted into each boiler and ignited by low Nitrogen Oxide burners.

        Each boiler feeds steam to a turbine set, which consists of a high pressure turbine, a medium pressure turbine and three low pressure turbines. After each turbine, some steam is diverted back to the boiler, and some to the next stage of the turbine. All up, each turbine drives one generator with a capacity of 660MW, so all 6 generators give a Nameplate Capacity total of 3,960MW.

        The image at the following location shows one of those generators at the plant, and I want to show you this image for two reasons. This generator is mid to late 70’s vintage, and for perspective, the top rail of the guard ‘fence’ for the walkway along the side of the generator is around waist height.

        660MW Generator at the Drax Power Station.

        A generator at a new technology USC coal fired power plant will be around the same size as this one. However, as the technology associated with generators has advanced, that new generator will have a capacity of between 1000 and 1200MW. Besides generating considerably more power, the turbine set will be smaller, the boiler more efficient, the feed more efficient, the pulversiers more efficient. It will burn considerably less coal, do that more efficiently as well, and emit millions of tons less CO2.

        The second reason I want to show you this one generator is this.

        That one 660MW generator shown there (not a newer 1000/1200MW generator) has the same Capacity as a Wind Plant with between 220 and 260 huge Wind Towers.

        Running constantly for a year, that one generator shown there will generate the same power as a Wind Plant with between 730 and 870 huge Wind towers.

        Now, before some of you say that these generators do not run all year round, the only time they are not generating their full power is when they are turned off for scheduled maintenance, and in fact one generator at the Stanwell plant near here in Rockhampton ran for almost 3 years straight from turning on. (1,073 days at 100% Capacity)

        Tony.

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      Dave

      .
      Bernd,

      Apparently the effiency of the power generation drops by 25% (Tilbury) on conversion.
      Tilbury dropped from a 1062 MW coal-fired plant opened in 1967 to a 742 MW biomass plant in 2011.

      It consumes about 290 tonnes wood fuel per hour. This fuel comes from different sources and cannot be stored in the open. The cost of chipping, pelletising, drying & shipping is also costly. This is roughly about 10 hectares (generous) of forest per hour and this forest regenerates at roughly once every 15 years – each year Tilbury will eat up over 87,000 hectares.

      For continual supply it will need a plantation of over 1.3 million hectares to allow for regeneration? That’s 1.3 million hectares to supply 742 MW?

      Absolutely stupid GREEN idea.

      This is on par for Tim Flannery Stupid Idea of the Year Award.

      It’s all about the money.

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        Rod Stuart

        Tilbury power station had a wee issue last weekend. Two of the biomass piles were alight. I wonder if someone can explain that if a tree is a carbon sink, and one cuts it down, spends a fortune on processing chipping and shipping, and then recklessly burns it, that this is a good thing? Have people gone completely right round the twist?

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          Rod Stuart

          OMG sorry. That was a year ago!

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          Dave

          .
          Rod,

          You get paid Carbon Credits:

          1. Not to grow crops and regenerate your pasture to native trees areas (carbon sequestration).
          2. To grow trees, cut them down, sell it, then burn it as Biomass (woodchip) Renewable energy fuel.

          You don’t get paid anything:

          1. To grow crops for food.
          2. To grow timber for the construction industry.

          Cut it all down and sell it for burning. And pick up nice CO2 credits to sell to all the dirty CO2 polluters? Plus if you change over to Biomass renewable fuel supply farming – you can apply for to Mr. Combet for a grant to change over. WIN WIN WIN.

          This is worse than the Biofuel scam, the Biomass plantations will destroy forests all over the globe, take up good farming land and food security will be the major cause starvation. This will mainly occur in 3rd world countries.

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      Kevin Lohse

      Bernd, it’s worse than you thought. It is reported that the wood will be coming from the US and be rendered into pellets before being shipped across the Pond. I don’t yet know how it will be transported from the bulk carrier hundreds of miles inland. The total Carbon price should be enormous.

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      From the UK Daily Mail article

      Unlike coal, which is now demonised as a filthy, planet-threatening pollutant, biomass is considered ‘sustainable’, because it supposedly only returns back to the atmosphere the amount of CO2 it drew out of the air while the original tree it came from was growing.

      But for the real alarmists, even if the in the long term wood is “carbon neutral”, this is not satisfactory. It still pumps CO2 into the atmosphere now. It will not prevent us going past the mythical tipping points. For more rounded environmentalists, it creates huge amounts of smoke – real pollutant.
      Also, the wood comes from North American forests, so there is a problem of CO2 emissions – and huge cost – in transportation.

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      Keith L

      I read this earlier and I could not help thinking about the Great Leap Forward in China when Mao decided that steel is what made nations strong. I see eerie parallels.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward#Industrialization

      “With no personal knowledge of metallurgy, Mao encouraged the establishment of small backyard steel furnaces in every commune and in each urban neighborhood. Mao was shown an example of a backyard furnace in Hefei, Anhui in September 1958 by provincial first secretary Zeng Xisheng[citation needed]. The unit was claimed to be manufacturing high quality steel (though in fact the finished steel had probably been manufactured elsewhere).[citation needed]

      Huge efforts on the part of peasants and other workers were made to produce steel out of scrap metal. To fuel the furnaces the local environment was denuded of trees and wood taken from the doors and furniture of peasants’ houses. Pots, pans, and other metal artifacts were requisitioned to supply the “scrap” for the furnaces so that the wildly optimistic production targets could be met. Many of the male agricultural workers were diverted from the harvest to help the iron production as were the workers at many factories, schools and even hospitals. Although the output consisted of low quality lumps of pig iron which was of negligible economic worth, Mao had a deep distrust of intellectuals and faith in the power of the mass mobilization of the peasants.

      Moreover, the experience of the intellectual classes following the Hundred Flowers Campaign silenced those aware of the folly of such a plan. According to his private doctor, Li Zhisui, Mao and his entourage visited traditional steel works in Manchuria in January 1959 where he found out that high quality steel could only be produced in large-scale factories using reliable fuel such as coal. However, he decided not to order a halt to the backyard steel furnaces so as not to dampen the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses. The program was only quietly abandoned much later in that year.”

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      Andrew McRae

      On a totally different topic…
      Bernd, I owe you half an apology since it turned out you were half right*.

      And that is all I have to say on the matter. :-)

      _ _ _ _ _
      * = comment presently stuck in moderation, but hopefully gets out by the time you read this.

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      Backslider

      This is quite remarkable. Here they all are screeeeaming about CO2 in the atmosphere, yet wish to burn something that removes CO2 from the atmosphere?

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  • #
    sillyfilly

    In the realm of historical temperatures, more and more data advances the scientific consensus. The science is there for all to see, but the insipid anti-science propaganda machine will, not doubt, continue to spruik their ignorance.

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    • #
      Sonny

      What a load of bullshit. More paid “consensus” science supporting Agenda 21.

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    • #

      If you can’t “sell” the consensus, then maybe you need better salesmen. Or maybe the science is just so very, very poor that even the high school physics class student can see what a sham it is. Propaganda against science ain’t your problem, sweetie.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Data isn’t the problem. Here is some I cooked up earlier …

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      AndyG55

      You pathetic gullible little donkey.

      That link is to one seriously ugly piece of propaganda non-science, straight from the bottom of the climate trough.

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      cohenite

      I knew our resident beast of burden, silly, would raise the Marcott paper. This paper not only commits every statistical sin Mann has ever committed but extends it further back into the past, lowering EVERY past temperature peak for 100,000 years.

      With EVERY bit of science in tatters the AGW scam is now converting the past big-time to fit the narrative. There are no words to describe how low AGW and its supporters will stoop to. The Marcott paper is a good case and it is notable in arriving just in time to be included in AR5.

      These people have no shame and neither does silly. Shame silly, shame.

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    • #
      Carbon500

      Sheri: your link is to statements based on the usual models and proxies.
      Here are two links to real world temperature measurements.
      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif
      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat
      Where is the evidence for the dangerous man-made global warming we’ve had rammed down our throats for so long? Bear in mind that the IPCC was formed in 1988, when CO2 levels were 349ppm. They’re now 391.
      You need to become a lot more cynical about the alleged science that’s paraded as fact – for example Mann’s laughable hockey stick – the proxies are seemingly able to tell the temperature 1000 years ago to within a fraction of a degree. Do you honestly believe this is plausible?

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      • #
        Carbon500

        Sorry Sheri – my comments re proxies,etc were addressed to ‘Silly filly’.
        I need some coffee…

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  • #
    agwnonsense

    A Very Big Well Done to the Voters of WA.

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    • #
      Bob Massey

      Yes agreed… I bet the Labor Party wish that Anthony Albanese and others in parliament hadn’t uttered the words about the “convoy of incontinence” and at that point I said they would be “dead men walking”. September can’t come soon enough for me I’m afraid.

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      Speedy

      Bob

      The great thing about this WA election was the drop in the green vote – down about 30% on the last election. The federal labor-green alliance has given a people a chance to see behind the rhetoric of the greens and to understand what their policies mean in practice. And they don’t like what they see.

      Bring on September and let’s sweep this scum out of parliament!

      Cheers,

      Speedy

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      inedible hyperbowl

      Whilst the greens primary vote is down 4% they also rely on ALP preferences to score a few upper house seats. It would seem that at this election that there is not enough ALP primary votes for the gangrenes to leech off.

      The other point of interest is that the ALP primary vote in WA is running at 33.6% (1/3) for what is described as a “wipeout”. If the federal marginal polls are correct then federally the ALP primary is less than this at ~30%. This will mean goodbye to lots of federal ministers that I do not like (fingers crossed).

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  • #
    Rick Bradford

    A great video featuring Allan Savory, who has spent his life trying to rehabilitate land and prevent desertification in Africa.

    He admits that he was responsible for the shooting of 40,000 African elephants before he realised that animals can, if managed correctly, improve land rather than degrade it (and help to create a natural carbon sink).

    The lessons for Australia are clear.

    22 mins video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

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    • #
      llew Jones

      Noticed Savory suggests his high concentration grazing method has the potential to restore atmospheric CO2 concentrations to pre IR levels viz 280 ppm.

      There seems to be sufficient evidence to indicate that that concentration is lower than optimal for plant growth and it may be a self defeating factor in a lower CO2 environment, given that it is claimed to be working well at the present level of about 390 ppm.

      I’ve noticed an article or two claiming the present higher atmospheric CO2 levels are already producing some reversal of long standing desertified land.

      One would like to see a little more independent evidence of the claimed massive reversal of desertification by this grazing method. This skeptic is a little dubious of all silver bullets but it may be something for the Coalition to consider along with its reforestation plan if it comes to power later this year

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      • #
        AndyG55

        280ppm was the level it sat at for quite a long time..

        it is therefore reasonable to say that it is the BARE SUBSISTENCE level !

        The Earth, and the biosphere needs MUCH higher levels to really flourish.

        Toward 700ppm, !!! :-)

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          agwnonsense

          Everything starts dying at 110ppm and life will prosper way past 1000ppm and it wont do us much harm either.

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        • #
          Robert

          Hmmm… You two must be getting the thumbs down from someone who has bought into the rubbish science regarding CO2 and is therefore terrified that you even contemplate levels beyond 350. Considering how often people of that bent will yammer on about greenhouse this, greenhouse that, it is readily obvious that they haven’t a clue regarding greenhouses and the fact that the CO2 concentrations intentionally induced in many of them fully support your statements.

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          • #

            Aren’t we well past 350?

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          • #

            Yes Sheri, the CO2 content of the total Atmosphere is now at the humungously monumentally, astronomically high level of 395PPM. (/sarc)

            That’s 0.0395% of that Atmosphere, and that other Greenhouse Gas, Water Vapour, the largest of those GHG, is 49.4 times greater than CO2.

            The next largest GHG is Methane at 1.8PPM, so CO2 is 211 times that of Methane, and Water Vapour is almost 10,500 times that of Methane.

            Now I’m sorry I said that, because I know some greenie somewhere is enviously eyeing off those stacks at coal fired power plants, and thinking to self.

            “Say, those guys are actually making water vapor. Why can’t we can apply the GHG Tax to that.”

            Tony.

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            Robert

            Sheri, as Tony so aptly stated indeed we are past 350, and it is that which terrifies so many who have bought into this nonsense. I chose 350 as that appears to be based on the nitwit McKibben’s 350.org some magical number that he and so many others seems to think will save the planet.

            Personally I prefer growth to “sustainability” as the latter implies stagnation. I can sustain a note on an instrument for some time but that does not move the music forward it just maintains that particular note without progressing any further. As anyone who has operated a greenhouse can confirm, higher levels of CO2 promote growth. Without plants we die, and the ridiculous levels of CO2 some wish we could return to appear to be designed with that outcome in mind even though the proponents of that sort of thinking won’t admit it if they even have the sense to be aware of it.

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          AndyG55

          It has been shown that plants grown in 250ppm have their stomata packed in just about as tight as they can be, while those in higher CO2 concentrations have less dense stomata packing. (same variety of plant)
          This of course affects the loss of water through transpiration. The more stomata the plant needs to get its required food (CO2), the more transpiration.

          Anything below about 250ppm is getting towards struggle time for plant life. They have to open their packed-in stomata for longer periods of time to feed properly, greatly increasing their transpiation, thus reducing their water efficiency, requiring MUCH more water to stay alive.

          As atmospheric CO2 concentration increase the plants are able to breath easier, and lose less water through transpiration, greatly increasing ther water efficiency, and allowing better overall growth.

          250-280 is the “break-even” subsistence point. If it drops much lower than that, plants start to die-off to balance the overall requirements.. a classic predator/prey scenario, and very obvious in the long term historic CO2 records.

          Flourish while you can, little plants, because if the so-called environmentalists have their way, you may soon be back to bare subsistence levels.

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      Ace

      If the guy ballsed it up by his own admission once on such a scale why the hell should anyone value his opinion on anything?

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Because people balls things up all of the time. But they also have brilliant successes.

        It is the ratio of one to the other that is important. If you have more successes than failures, then you are OK in my book.

        What I can’t understand, is the Tall Poppy syndrome, where a brilliantly successful person is totally cut down because of one failure.

        If you don’t allow people to fail occasionally, they will avoid risk, and therefore never succeed at doing anything brilliant either.

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          Ace

          But failures are not all equal…I would say killing 40,000 elephants on a misguided whim must be worthy of disqualifying that person from ever being allowed near a decision again.

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            Rereke Whakaaro

            But failures are not all equal…

            And neither are all successes equal. That is my point.

            Actions (whether ultimately successes or failures) are multi-dimensional beasts. And when taking any action, you can never be sure of the success or failure of the outcome. A success today may have unintended consequences later. Similarly a failure today may have unexpected benefits later (consider penicillin).

            The impact, effect, scope, and time duration are all factors in determining whether something is classed as a success or failure with the benefit of perfect hindsight.

            But if you worry about how future generations will apply their “future” moral compass, to your actions today, you will end up doing nothing. I have assisted actions in the past, for what seemed the best possible reasons at the time (saving life), but which are now condemned by a younger generation.

            They have a concept of “the greater good”, although I have never been able to figure out what that actually means, and anyway, I lack any scales on which to measure moral imperatives.

            So I agree, killing 40,000 elephants was probably not a particularly good idea, with the benefit of hindsight.

            But I doubt it was done, “On a misguided whim”. I suspect that killing the first few was done based on logic and the available data, to achieve a projected outcome. Also, it was probably done at a time when elephants were regularly hunted by the local tribes people because they interfered with the local agriculture, so it may not have been quite the radical solution that we see it as today.

            When the next few turned up, the same logic would have been applied, and then it becomes a “standard practice” to “solve” that particular problem, until we get to the 40,000 figure. Nobody rounded up 40,000 elephants and just shot them.

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            Ace

            but rareke, excuse lack of caps i is smoking a cigar with the shift key hand, 40, 000 dead elephants lies not in the ambit of some future moral judgement but in that of any contemporary ethical compass.

            the example your further points bring to mind is that of the canadian soldier who chose not to shoot corporal hitler. he had him in his sights. ww1 had been declared ended. he did not shoot him. he lived to see what the corporal went on to do and never laid to rest the question over what he had done by doing right.

            more thought provoking yet is to consider how many future hitlers have in similar circumstances been shot dead and what horrors we have been spared.

            kind of takes us back to my original question about being born. is contraception a form of murder. questionmark.

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          • #
            Andrew McRae

            > when taking any action, you can never be sure of the success or failure of the outcome.

            Yes indeedy. But try telling that to the business schmoozer Steven Covey, who dared to assert that one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to keep their Circle of Concern within their Circle of Influence.
            Wait a sec, guru Covey, don’t all our actions echo in eternity? We don’t know what all of the consequences of our actions are, we just decide based the anticipated subset. That means the circle of influence is always infinite. So actually we can’t help but have our circle of concern inside our circle of influence.
            Did he define a “marginal influencibility threshold” for determining what actions could be attributed to one’s self versus what is an acceptable level of causal noise? No he did not.
            Did he define a prognostication budget to constrain the size of the concern circle? No he did not.
            How many grand did this guy make per appearance on the speaking tour circuit?

            The first habit of highly effective people is writing a self-help book that tells people the claptrap they want to hear! :D

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        ColdOldMan

        You need to research how many times the experiments failed before the light bulb became viable.

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

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    • #
      AndyG55

      “The lessons for Australia are clear.”

      “Cell” rotation grazing has been around in Australia for quite a long time.

      Eat one field bare, then let it recover. Sometimes even plough all the poo etc in, and sow some seed for an improved pasture.

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      • #

        Principles of “crop rotation” predates anybody putting a plough into Australian soil. It goes back thousands of years. I learnt that in school; in the early 1970′s.

        It’s been many centuries since it was discovered that soils performed better when certain other crops were planted, instead of allowing areas to fallow. The 3-crop rotation was also a way to increase total productivity because the “alternate crop” was one which supported operation of the farm, providing at least fodder, whereas areas left to fallow could barely serve as pasture for a part of the year.

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        • #
          AndyG55

          And of course if one of those crops in the rotation is a legume, you get lots of lovely nitrogen fixing going on.

          But this is more than just crop rotation. Its about not allowing old grass to decay, make sure it gets eaten and turned into manure. Spread the seed, fertilse the ground.

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          • #
            Dave

            .
            AndyG55

            Agree, in agriculture, but also works in pasture management today, they are even following the cattle up with chickens in mobile trailers after about 3 days and when chooks leave for the next paddock – seed with legumes etc. Also letting pigs graze with the cattle is now popular. Depending on the season they are sometimes in the same paddock twice a year.

            So much new stuff being deleveloped in this area. Some great results coming out of North Queensland grazing properties with this system. The number (or total kilos) of beef stock per hectare is often close to double – with better pastures as a result. Also they have a new product to sell to KFC.

            The cows mow ahead of the chooks.

            More of the Environmental money (CSIRO) should go into this research.

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  • #
    Speedy

    On Philogyny.

    Morning all. I’m starting to wonder if I’m a philogynist. That’s to say I love women. And I do. I do love women. I love women so much that I married one, and I’ve stuck with her, through thick and thin, for twenty-something years. Along the way, we’ve raised a family – girls as well as boys – and we love them all. We’ve fed, clothed and educated them, and hope they grow up to make the right decisions that will make them happy and make a better society.

    Of course, I don’t just love the sort I hitched up to – I love lots of women. Short ones, tall ones, all the ones in between. Old and young, fat or skinny, whatever; I love them all. But not enough to hurt the one who’s waiting for me at home. She’s special.

    In some ways, this reminds me of another bloke I know. Works in Canberra. Good family man, loves his wife, looks after his kids – (all girls), tries to do the right thing by the community. The sort of bloke you’d like have round for a barbie.

    But that’s not what Julia Gillard says. She reckons he’s a misogynist. She reckons he hates women. She reckons he’s got a problem with capable women. But that’s not what I see. On the contrary, he seems to like having capable women around – one’s his deputy, one’s his manager. And if anyone has a problem with capable women, it’s Julia Gillard, because right now they’re the people who are wiping the floor with her.

    So I reckon Julia’s got it wrong. And you know what else? I reckon she owes that guy an apology.

    Cheers,

    Speedy

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    • #
      Rod Stuart

      And the ironic part of it all is………that dumbass speech of hers was written by none other than the bloke John D. McTurd! The one she has here on a 457 visa. That means she couldn’t find a D___head in Australia as ignorant, as self-serving, or as disgusting than the Scot.
      She doesn’t possess the hyperbowl to be able to put two words together herself.
      She owes every one of us an apology, starting with the AbottAbbottAbbott.

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      • #

        Rod, you say here:

        …..starting with the AbottAbbottAbbott.

        Luckily, it is an Unthreaded Post, so I suppose I can justify posting this, and I suppose some of you have even seen this music clip before, and sorry, the link is to one of my own Posts, and if I could post the actual video here, I would, so you’ll just have to do with watching it at the link, and reading some of the background.

        This is the absolutely delightful Debbie Reynolds, aged barely 18 in her first movie role where she got her name in the credits, albeit is a minor supporting role.

        Listen closely, and you’ll hear the definite AbbottAbbottAbbott.

        She sings, she dances, and just look at the expressions she has on her face at times. This is classic, and from 1950.

        Sunday Music – Aba Daba Honeymoon

        Tony.

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        • #
          Rod Stuart

          Those were the days, Tony! All the women were strong, and all the men were good looking, and all the children were above average!
          Having survived a real crisis, people were gleeful, ambitious, and ready to rebuild the world.
          Unfortunately, the demon they destroyed in battle is now among us, in the form of the UN, the Greens, ICLEI, the unions, and people don’t even realise it.

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        Rick Bradford

        I remember wondering, back in the 1980s, why all the really foul-mouthed, aggressive and destructive union leaders in NSW were Scotsmen, with the occasional Serb at Port Kembla.

        Perhaps it’s just that “we’re aall coming oot on strike” sounds more menacing in Caledonian…

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        • #

          “we’re aall coming oot on strike” sounds more menacing in Caledonian…

          Hard act to follow. As a union rep I had to rely on “I cannot confirm we are going on strike … but I cannot deny it either …”

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      Yonniestone

      Speedy, Gillard is the sort of woman that holds back the progress of equality between men and women as she can never let go of that blind hatred’ a result of over exposure to hard feminism led her to become a misandry and therefore cancels out any hope of objective thinking or rationale, so hating 50% of the population on top of hating anyone in a democracy who doesn’t want her socialist view leaves her with?…oh a crushing defeat both politically and personally and any fringe dwelling parasites left that can stand her presence. What a way to live a life, NOT!

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        Speedy

        Hi Yonniestone

        I’m not convinced there’s a whole lot of love in the Gillard person anyway. So even if she treated people equally, to her it would simply mean treating them all badly. She may be a misandry but she doesn’t do the ladies any favours either. (Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Emerson, for example.)

        Or more recently, the former (or soon to be former) Senator Trish Crossin. Not doing a bad job, apparently, but Senator Trish was just unfortunate to have the wrong skin colour for Julia’s political ambitions. In my opinion, Gillard will knife anyone and her only true love is the love of power.

        Cheers,

        Speedy

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          Yonniestone

          Hey Speedy
          That’s about right, any politician who limits their public appeal and then tries to cover it with poorly acted out personas’ will cop it big time when the sheeple wake up to the ruse, I have heard a few women saying Gillard is an absolute disgrace to have her as 1st female PM and while I agree a lot of the past male PM’s haven’t been too good either!

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            Speedy

            Yonniestone

            Sorry, I got sucked into wasting keystrokes on that Drongo Mattb – see reply at 8.1.1.1.

            Einstein could explain relativity to 50,000 monkeys, and they’d still only be monkeys. And I’m surely not Einstein.

            But, I hope, a lot brighter than Mattb.

            Cheers,

            Speedy

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            Mattb

            and yet she’s STILL preferred PM!

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    • #
      Backslider

      The truth is that Gillard is a misandrist.

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  • #
    David

    The timber for the pommy power station is comming from North America, not the third World. Maybe you should read the whole article prior to comment.

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  • #
    Matt J

    Well done and thanks to Jo, David and the good Lord, Christopher Monckton, for all of their hard work during the week. A great week in WA for climate sceptics, followed by an election result which saw the number of elected Greens in both houses drop from 6 to 2 – positive progress.

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    • #
      Speedy

      MattJ

      That’s two too many greens than we need!

      Cheers

      Speedy

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      • #
        Mattb

        Looks like some loopy shooters, fishers and rednecks to balance things for ya speedy

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        • #
          Speedy

          G’day Yonniestone

          The risk is that people will look at the Gillard person and somehow think this is what happens when you elect a female PM – which of course is rubbish. Idiots come in all sizes, shapes and sexes. And anyway, I would regard Julia as a female on a technical basis only.

          In good time, Ms. Bishop would make a great PM, for instance. Certainly better than Malcolm Turnbull.

          Cheers,

          Speedy.

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          Speedy

          G’day Matt

          How’s the hair today? Chris Monckton really missed you last night – what a shame that the climate debate takes very second place to the wooly stuff on the outside of your skull.

          Cheers,

          Speedy

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      • #
        Dave

        .
        The GREENIES in PERTH area went from 19% in 2008 to just over 12% this election.

        Seems that enclave of wind, solar, biomass, environmental vandals and Monckton haters are slowly seeing the light.

        That’s a huge drop for the GREEN AGENDA.

        Yup! Seems it had nothing to Christine Milne or Julia Gillard. :) :)

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  • #
    Dave

    .
    EV cars in Perth – they now have 19 GREEN EV recharge stations in 10 locations across Perth.

    1. They are provided FOC compliments of the UWA through a card provided by the UWA.
    2. There are approx 70 EV cars in Perth today.
    3. Each charge station can recharge a EV vehicle in 3 hours (10 hours at household level).
    4. Each charge station can recharge 2 EV cars at one time.
    5. Each charge station can handle 16 cars per day provided they all come at exact 3 HR slots.
    6. Of the 70 EV cars 40 are via UWA or government – the other 30 are private (but UWA linked).
    7. So 70 EV car drivers are being provided free electricity across Perth.
    8. The average EV car range is 100 km.
    9. For a hundred EV vehicles they need to be located within 30 km of a recharge station.
    10.All the GREEN agenda councils are supporting this madness.
    11.All the above council rate payers are paying for these 70 parasites.

    Next these GREENIE nutcases will be converting their gas and coal power stations to woodchip. Like WA can really afford to cut down any more trees.

    Fools the lot of Christine Milnes and Julia Gillards governments that promote this foolery.

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      inedible hyperbowl

      How about a fraction of the money wasted on green “schemes” put towards a gas/oil pipeline from the gas/oil fields the capitals in state (for domestic consumption). Cheap usable liquid fuels.

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  • #
    Bevan

    For those who have yet to read it, I found the paper by physicist Charles R. Anderson most informative and highly recommend it.
    See
    http://objectivistindividualist.blogspot.com.au/
    18 February 2013 Infrared-Absorbing Gases and the Earth’s Surface Temperature: A Relatively Simple Baseline Evaluation of the Physics by Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D., Physics
    Go to the end of the text on the first page and click on Older Posts.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      A good item Bevan.

      Clear and not too long – the PhD Physics – gives it a bit more authority but just reading it confirms most of what we know and adds some extra punch at spots here and there.

      KK :)

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    On a lighter note:

    Here’s a little tribute to Aussie ingenuity that came into one of my colleagues’ inbox one day. It’s funny and has nothing in particular to with anything in particular. So I thought I’d try my hand at retyping it from the printout he gave me and lighten up the atmosphere around here a bit. The capitalization is from the original.

    A man in Australia calls his son in London the day before Christmas Eve and says, “I hate to ruin your day but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.

    “Dad, what are you talking about?” the son screams.

    “We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the father says. “Were sick of each other and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Leeds and tell her.”

    Frantically, the son calls his sister who explodes on the phone, “Like hell they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this.”

    She calls Australia immediately and screams at her father, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t’ do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing. DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.

    The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife.

    “Done! They’re coming for Christmas — and they’re paying their own way.”

    PS: I know of no copyright on this. It passed around via email for probably a long time. And by that usage is probably fair game. Or is it fair dinkum? I’m not sure. Maybe I’m in over my head on that. But then maybe I’ve always been in that deep. ;-)

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      Roy Hogue

      And if I could proofread I wouldn’t make stupid mistakes all the time. Never trust a spelling and grammar checker. Never!

      If you find my brain running around somewhere give it a good kick toward Southern California, will you? ;-)

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        Speaking of brains, I was thinking there must be some genetic thing that allows people to hold multiple contradictory ideas simultaneously and not have their brains explode. (Or if you watched “Pi”, need to drill a hole in their head to reduce pressure.) People believe that snow storms indicate climate change, that adding new theories to “settled science” (like now it’s the oceans holding the heat), and so forth and seem to do it with no discomfort whatsoever. It would make for great research to search for the “double-think” gene in humans. Maybe it was a latent gene and we somehow turned it back on. Or lack of natural selection kept it from expanding exponentially.

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          Roy Hogue

          Sheri,

          If you’ll pardon the term, I think it’s called the “denial” gene. /sarc off

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            I’m not sure denial would apply. It is denial of some ideas, but it also includes holding mutually exclusive ideas as true, so there is not much denial in that. Maybe denial of reality? I could go with that.

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            Roy Hogue

            I should have been more specific — denial that there’s a conflict between one dearly held belief and another. It was a play on “climate change denier” — a failed one, obviously. :-(

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          Ace

          In the Eighties a Russian guy wrote a book in which he described what he called “Homo Sovieticus”. He maintained that to live in the USSR people had developed exactly that ability to hold contradictory thoughts in their head at the same time. But I think it was mostly a case of saying one thing and believing another. Which is almost where we are in the UK and other parts of Europe.

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        Ace

        Roy…checkers are disastrous. My Works thing kept changing “neurophysiological” to ‘neuropsychological’ until I noticed and dug into the menus to disable it. who the hell writes software, they are fallukin idiots.

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          Ace

          …incidentally, climate change denial?
          No but the Aswan dam did!

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          Roy Hogue

          Yep!

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            Ace

            Roy I believe you are in the US and I am in the UK whilst we exchange in Oztralyer, its about 21.50 here, while it be but early hours there, whats it where you are?

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            Roy Hogue

            Ace,

            Correct!

            Today is the first day of daylight saving time and I’m in the pacific time zone (PDT, California) so we’re UTC – 7 hours until some time in October when we go back to standard time (PST), UTC – 8 hours.

            Does that help?

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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Right Roy,

            So therefore, you are three hours ahead of me, but yesterday. ;-)

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            Roy Hogue

            Rereke,

            Don’t confuse me with facts. It’s hard enough to keep a firm grip on that magical date line where, if I cross it, it suddenly becomes tomorrow or yesterday. And had the Royal Navy not established the first observatory in Greenwich so they could have more reliable navigation data, that date line might be somewhere else and I might be ahead of you. So don’t let it go to your head. ;-)

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            Roy Hogue

            Oops! A day ahead of you, not a day behind.

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          Robert

          who the hell writes software, they are fallukin idiots.

          Heh… While there are definitely cases where that is true there are I believe far more cases where the writers are having their designs dictated to them by those in marketting which one could very easily argue is a far larger group of “fallukin idiots.”

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            Ace

            Thats a good point. So they are dictated that they have to include all manner of gimmicks nobody wants and which clutter up the code plus confuse the interface.

            But there also many cases of simply really not-thought-through features. You must know the kind of thing, where you end up in a dead end at the bottom of a tree of menus with no way back, sort of thing.

            Its 35 years since I studied any programming so I cant pretend I know what its like doing the work. I hear they no longer use punch-cards. I used to.

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            Roy Hogue

            Not very famous quote:

            “You sell more software if you put something in there for everyone and his brother.” — Roy Hogue

            Bill Gates didn’t say that but he should have. ;-)

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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Ace,

            re 15.1.2.3.1

            I hear they no longer use punch-cards. I used to.

            But have you ever done a “random sort” of a thousand-plus card file?

            I have. The whole trolly-full rolled of the balcony and went down the stairs.

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            Andrew McRae

            You’re worried the spec is from marketing?
            Mate, if anyone has gone to the trouble of actually writing a specification down for you as a cohesive document you are in programmer heaven!

            “It doesn’t work!”
            Okay, so what desired functionality have you just remembered is needed? (grr)

            “It’s too slow!”
            Okay, now that you’ve stopped talking about how it doesn’t work presumably we can move on to optimising the correct functionality to meet performance requirements you’ve never stated before. (grr)

            “But it’s not like the old one!”
            Well if you really wanted the old one you wouldn’t have hired me to write the new one. grrr!

            If I can talk to the customer to find out what’s needed, I’m fine, I can do requirements analysis `til the cows come home. If I’m shielded from the customer and can’t talk to them, but nobody else writes down what is required, that’s just mushroom territory and it is no good for anyone involved.

            Ah who am I kidding. It’s the job I always wanted to do.
            Wouldn’t be a lawyer or a doctor for double the money.

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            Roy Hogue

            Rereke,

            Ouch! How did you recover? Or did you?

            I very nearly did the same thing — slipped on something on the floor with a full tray of cards in my hands (a tray nearly a meter long), none of it sequence numbered. That “dance” was the fastest I’ve ever done and I wrenched my back real good in the process rather than drop all those cards. What won’t we do to save the day? Not much.

            Punched cards are something I don’t miss at all.

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            Robert

            Andrew, I’ve been through that hell many times. Trying to get ANYONE to commit to SOME kind of a spec was impossible. But the company (chock full of some very competent engineers) was driven and dictated to by marketting. Most of which was “well competitor B has this feature so we need to have it also” regardless of whether it had any actual use or added any real value to the product…

            Quite often we were adding code for functionality that served no other purpose than being able to include a check box in the brochure for prospective customers to be able to see “oh it does ____.” Even though it didn’t to it well, and the customer more often than not wouldn’t have known how to use it if i did.

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          It’s more effective to add the desired word to the spell checker.

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          Backslider

          who the hell writes software, they are fallukin idiots

          Careful there sonny, some of us may just be software developers……

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            Ace

            I will give you an example (apart from the one earlier, where spellchecker in Works Word processor replaces correctly spelt words that the designer didnt have in his vocabulary with other words entirely):

            In Corel Photo Paint, if you want to see an open image file full screen you click “full screen view” in a drop down menu. But it is in a box next to “maximise work area”. Editing hundreds of images quickly its easy to click the latter by mistake. Then the image fills the entire screen, but whereas in Full Screen View, you simply right click to return to edit display, no right click facility applies here. There are no tool bars, no status bar, nothing whatsoever and no way out of it. To exit maximised work area you have to right click the unoccupied edit field where there is no open file. But if you were editing an open file (the whole point) then you cannot do that.

            The only way to go back is by shutting down the computer using Cntrl Alt Delete and re-starting it.How thought through is that?

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            Roy Hogue

            Ace,

            I’m not familiar with Corel Photo Paint. But it’s been an industry standard for a long time that you can exit the full screen mode with the Esc (escape) key. Have you tried that?

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            Ace

            Tried every key on the board Roy. The first few times it happenned I spent about half an hour trying to find a solution before I gave up. You cannot just do Ctrl Alt Delete and shut the programme either because it reopens in the same condition. The only resolution is to shut down the system.

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            Ace: Try–If you want to return to normal view, click the Maximize work area button on the standard toolbar.

            No promises.

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            Roy Hogue

            Ace,

            In that case I’m glad I can say I had nothing to do with the thing. :-)

            You probably tried tech support too (if they offer it) and found out that those people are usually congenital idiots when it comes to fixing problems that aren’t listed in their cookbook of solutions.

            To be fair, I have found some who know what they’re doing but by and large I’m better able to solve problems than tech support.

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            Backslider

            To minimise the work ar4ea, click the “maximize Work Area” button on the standard toolbar (not the menu).

            Not very intuitive I know. I develop eCommerce systems, so making things idiot proof goes with the job, however with products such as those from Corel, you are expected to RTFM.

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            Backslider–Isn’t that what I said above?

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      Roy Hogue

      Also, please note that it’s we “old guys” who figure out how to do stuff like this. :-)

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    Quack

    Hungover still. from friday!!!

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    Truthseeker

    I loved this comment on Bolt’s blog …

    The day after Gillard’s private dinner with her galpals I posted that Gillard had finally achieved one of her stated aims. She went to Rooty Hill because she wanted to address the fears of local members that they would lose their seats come election time. She succeeding in removing all their fears, replacing that fear with absolute certainty that they will be losing their seats.

    Julia Gillard and Labor, the gift that just keeps on giving.

    The Realist of Qld (Reply)
    Mon 11 Mar 13 (07:59am)

    So true on so many levels …

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    tckev

    Over at suyts place, he (and others) has just posted an excellent post debunking the latest hockey-stick nonsense resurrected by Marcott et al. 2012

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/the-hockey-stick-resurrected-by-marcott-et-al-2012/#comment-55684

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    pat

    11 March: Adelaide Advertiser: Malcolm Holland: Rainforests not at risk of shrinking from climate change, say experts
    DIRE predictions that climate change will devastate the world’s tropical rainforests have been challenged as wildly exaggerated by major new research.
    An international team of computer climate modelling experts found rainforests in Asia, Africa and the Americas would not dramatically shrink, in contrast to warnings, including by Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery, that global warming was a catastrophe for tropical rainforests…

    But the new international research, led by the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, used 22 sophisticated climate modelling computer systems and programs incorporating plant biology to explore the response of tropical forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia to greenhouse-gas-induced climate change.
    “A number of previous analyses have investigated potential vulnerability of tropical forests under climate change. Some … suggest that anthropogenically induced climate change across Amazonia could cause catastrophic losses of forest cover and biomass – die-back,” their peer-reviewed report, published in the respected journal Nature Geoscience, says.
    “We find the possibility of climate-induced damage to tropical rainforests in the period to year 2100 … might be lower than some earlier studies.”…
    The research says rainforests would not be destroyed by 2100 even under computer modelling which factored in a “business as usual” scenario where industry does not cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
    The scientists used the 22 climate modelling systems used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment on global warming
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/rainforests-not-at-risk-of-shrinking-from-climate-change-say-experts/story-fncz7kyc-1226594180256

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    Roy Hogue

    And did you know that the rate of warming since 1900 is 50 times faster than anything in the last 11,000 years.

    Listen to the president of The American Meteorological Society explain that since we were coming out of an ice age 11,000 years ago we should have been cooling (???) and of course, humans did it.

    And here I was thinking that coming out of an ice age we’d be warming. Silly old me.

    And notice that the weather reporter says in so many words that CO2 is a toxic gas. It’s right at the end.

    I guess it takes all kinds but don’t you sometimes want to shake some of these people until they get the message? :-(

    It really is true, you can’t make this stuff up.

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    Linde

    CO2 haters are also tree haters, rainforest haters, montaine cloud forest haters, jungle haters. The Ents should march on their citadels.

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