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While the U.S. has pledged binding emissions cuts, China, the world's largest emitter refuses to do so.  (Source: Daily Mail)

China's wild plan claims it will make even bigger cuts in the U.S. -- only it will wait a few years before cutting emissions at all. Its plan is also entirely on a "voluntary" basis.  (Source: CE Journal)
China refuses U.S. request to set definite targets, should U.S. stick to its own plan?

While it is unknown definitively whether manmade greenhouse gases are playing a role in climate change, or exactly what that role may be, many scientists and politicians support early studies which suggest a link between carbon dioxide emissions and a global warming trend.  They want the international community to band together to make drastic cuts to the global CO2budget.  The only problem is that those cuts are far from cheap; rather they may cost trillions of dollars.

The U.S. has already committed to rather stringent emissions cuts.  President Obama has pledged that the U.S. will cut cut 17 percent of its emissions by 2020 (with regards to 2005 levels), 30 percent reduction by 2025, 42 percent by 2030, and 83 percent by 2050.  

Those cuts will have a major impact on the world emissions picture, as the U.S. is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases.  However, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China, has been reticent to commit to a solid goal of any kind, saying that it prefers to make "voluntary" commitments.

At Tsinghua University in the Chinese national capitol in Beijing on Wednesday the top U.S. climate negotiator, Todd Stern, was in talks with high level Chinese officials about adopting more binding targets.  

Stern, fresh off an grueling run at Copenhagen, spoke to reporters, stating, "With respect to the issue of transparency, I think it's hugely important and we do put a lot of emphasis on it.  Countries need to be able to see what track the world is on generally, where we are going.  The only way we can do that is if there are clear and transparent measures with respect to the inventories of greenhouse gases, what measures are being put in place by countries and so forth."

The greenhouse gas talks with China are part of a longer series of talks concerning economic cooperation and strategic cooperation, particularly on touchy issues like the recent attack by North Korean on a South Korean vessel.  When it comes to climate the U.S., for all its efforts, may be unable to convince China to adopt a binding resolution.

Beijing's emission plan is rather bizarre, and according to some, impossible.  The nation plans to allow emissions to climb for several more years before dramatically turning the corner, and by 2020 reducing emissions 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels.  So in other words, Beijing thinks it can accomplish what the U.S. is doing 
and far more in a far shorter time frame, on a voluntary basis.

Of course, what the U.S. worries about is that China won't even match the U.S. pledge by the time 2020 rolls around, because there's no binding commitment.  If China misses its target, it's no big deal -- it was voluntary in the first place.  And China has already argued in the past that it should get its chance to grow rampantly and pursue the cheapest path to expansion -- regardless of emissions -- because Western nations already had the chance to do so.  This long-standing rhetoric clashes with the nation's promises, and makes their voluntary nature all the more suspect.

Still, China and the U.S. hope to be closer to seeing eye-to-eye on the climate issue by November, when the next round of UN climate talks are held in Cancun, Mexico.  In the meantime, the U.S. has to consider its own emissions goals and how it plans to meet them.  While the issue of China is concerning to U.S. officials, surely a bigger concern is how to effectively cut the U.S.'s carbon output without doing billions in damage to the nation's economy in the process.



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Not surprising
By 3minence on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By corduroygt on 5/27/2010 9:43:26 AM , Rating: 5
Guess which economy is booming...
Categorizing CO2 emissions as harmful and trying to limit them will only result in a stagnating economy, less jobs and more taxes.


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By corduroygt on 5/27/2010 11:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, I'm all for reducing ACTUAL pollutants, because that will improve the quality of life for all of us. It's just that CO2 doesn't seem to be one of them, considering that the best scientists of the world are divided over the issue.


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprising
By corduroygt on 5/27/2010 12:44:45 PM , Rating: 3
CO2 reductions are a bad idea, period. Enacting them to set a precedent for other pollutants is like throwing out the baby to save the bath water. CO2 reduction is cap and trade, which means worse economy, more taxes and less jobs. I hope it'll never pass.


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprising
By knutjb on 5/27/2010 8:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have that backwards, there are Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide reduction technologies that might reduce CO2. Those came long before thoughts of CO2.

That is, I misunderstood you and you really meant the liberal technology of shutting down all industries that produce any CO2. If you stop CO2 output will that also stop soda pop consumption too?

quote:
Do we want to wait until the 40 year debate of whether (hypothetically) people are growing third arms because of improper nanotech disposal is over, to even begin thinking of taking action on a global scale?
What chemicals have you been playing with?


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By knutjb on 5/28/2010 3:14:02 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Also, it should be noted that 'artificially' driving the price up on dirty technologies rewards adoption of new cleaner technologies and other stuff that just wasn't on the table before because of expense, taboo, etc.
How we encourage companies to upgrade is very important. Under Clinton the EPA required power producers to replace the entire system, i.e. boiler, turbines, generators, etc as a unit. That was prohibitively expensive for most companies so they repaired rather than replace. Under Bush they were allowed to replace one part at a time in smaller, lower cost, pieces. Politicians aside which is really the better method?

So depending on how the carrot and stick are applied you have the same stated outcome, cleaner air, but significantly different outcomes. When "artificially driving up the price on dirty technologies" the end user, you and me, are slammed with egregious price increases that are not necessary.

The real question is who receives all that money? Not the power companies because they/you are paying more in fines and fees and possibly carbon trading credits too. Nope, it vanishes in to that great bureaucratic ether of the Federal Government's general fund. Use your imagination on where it would go. Wouldn't it be better to put a smaller amount directly towards a long term plan that is viable.

When we allow politicians to believe that they have carte blanche to think for us, bad things happen. Politicians who artificially force prices up is one such bad thing. Particularly when the science they are using is terribly flawed but they still use it and proclaim the discussion is over and we must act without further question. If we lived with the GW mindset we would still believe we are the center of the universe. The are few solid facts in science but far too many theories that are treated as if fact.


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/28/2010 11:26:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How we encourage companies to upgrade is very important. Under Clinton the EPA required power producers to replace the entire system, i.e. boiler, turbines, generators, etc as a unit. That was prohibitively expensive for most companies so they repaired rather than replace. Under Bush they were allowed to replace one part at a time in smaller, lower cost, pieces. Politicians aside which is really the better method?


Agreed on this point, I think that level granular detail in a mandate can be unfair, even if it is well intentioned.

quote:
When "artificially driving up the price on dirty technologies" the end user, you and me, are slammed with egregious price increases that are not necessary.

Yeah, but the way the market exists now, customers are getting slammed anyways. Fossil fuel speculation, etc.. Even in deregulated areas power company's with diverse sources of power generation (nuclear, alternative) will jack up rates based on fossil fuel speculation prices. And that money goes straight in their pocket rather than a general fund.

quote:
Wouldn't it be better to put a smaller amount directly towards a long term plan that is viable.

How could one disagree with that, but how? Corporations are entities often entities without conscience and liability that individual human entities have, asking them to voluntarily modernize and make capital investments that will not necessarily show returns, to them, seems absurd, I think.
A good example is American Electric AEP. In around 2001 (I'm not naming any names...) federal pollution guidelines were relaxed and left to the states to decide. (I believe in local governance but this is what happens when EVERYTHING gets politicized). AEP has plants inland in Kentucky, West Virgina, Ohio and maybe a couple of other states. These plants were producing massive amounts of particulate air pollution, which of course generally was heading east towards... the north eastern seaboard, who had much stricter pollution guidelines in place. They were doing this and making really healthy profit margins of like 8%. So a bunch of states including New York, Mass., Maryland, Virginia, couple of others had to sue the company to get them to retrofit their plants. It was a $4.6 billion dollar settlement but it hardly put a dent in their profit margin. My point being that generally a company is not going to voluntarily slow down the gravy train to 'do the right thing'.

quote:
When we allow politicians to believe that they have carte blanche to think for us, bad things happen. Politicians who artificially force prices up is one such bad thing. Particularly when the science they are using is terribly flawed but they still use it and proclaim the discussion is over and we must act without further question.


Oversight and standards are necessary, government is, the idea,of representative authority on behalf of the people's will, so the onus is on them to do it, in my opinion. Also, the remaining option is extending carte blanche to corporations who generally have equal or lower moral standing but almost no accountability. Which is why we have the situation like with AEP.

quote:
The are few solid facts in science but far too many theories that are treated as if fact.


You're absolutely right, but command decisions have to be made. In this particular case, both arguments I think have some merit. But proponents state that action will provide ancillary benefits even if they are wrong, whereas inaction may incur massive liabilities beyond our ability to manage. And the argument is 'act now because it may already be too late'. So I don't think its wrong to take a stand on a divisive issue and take action if required. One can rarely please everyone... unless your wilt chamberlain, i guess.

quote:
Particularly when the science they are using is terribly flawed but they still use it and proclaim the discussion is over and we must act without further question.


But I do agree with you that politicians (of all kinds) almost always seem to f#(k this up somehow. Its like a weakness for a politician to change his mind nowadays. And supporters on both sides follow suit, so there is no real discourse and therefore no iterative development of 'the plan' as new data is discovered, whatever that might be. I think smart or educated people understand this but that generally isn't who the politicians are targeting. They want the fervent zealots who are just as ignorant and inflexible as they, the politicians, appear to us.

What is GW mindset?... like GWU... greater washington... i totally missed that one.


RE: Not surprising
By tastyratz on 5/27/2010 2:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
Want c02 reductions? plant a damn tree.
China spews far more emissions that do actual damage and endanger their own people as well as others. THOSE should be targeted and cause for alarm, not some gray area emission that just looks good on a pie chart. I also hope it doesn't pass so the funding can be spent on something that's more important and less of a publicity stunt.


RE: Not surprising
By Reclaimer77 on 5/27/2010 4:15:30 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I respectfully disagree although I see your point view.


I respectfully think you're an idiot. No offense.

There is a reason why the heaviest polluting countries are among the poorest on Earth. India anyone? It's because being "green" costs LOTS and LOTS of money. And it's money that, essentially, falls into a big black hole of nothingness. Because most "green" mandates are Government driven. Sure, like you said, some jobs will be created. But NOTHING compared to the job losses that a stagnating economy causes.

China knows it cannot afford to go "green". Unfortunately our President thinks ideals beat out reality any day. But make no mistake, you cannot have a roaring and thriving economy, and also have Kyoto style super restrictive national emissions regulating policies. It's never worked anywhere in the world.

Also, last time I checked, we didn't have a huge dome over every country. If one industrialized country goes along with this, but nobody else does, then what's the point? We're all sharing the same air more or less. It's "global climate change" isn't it? Not regional.


RE: Not surprising
By armagedon on 5/27/2010 9:40:14 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I respectfully disagree although I see your point view.

Hum it started so nicely, polite and civilized. Then the real idiot came along:

quote:
I respectfully think you're an idiot. No offense.

Another guy who thinks he own the absolute truth and every one else is wrong. Who do you think should we pay attention too ?


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By MeesterNid on 5/27/2010 10:44:29 AM , Rating: 1
Right, or how very capitalist of them. While we're wringing our hands over how to best implement carbon credit (wow, just typing that makes we want to throw up) trading and shoot ourselves in the proverbial rear economically, they are growing their economy.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be good stuarts of our land, but honestly the shrill envirotards remove all desire for me to really care that much. Plus anytime I hear "going green" or "being green" immediately pops up a mental image of idiot tax in my mind.


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprising
By AnnihilatorX on 5/27/2010 12:24:48 PM , Rating: 1
Mind you America is a first world country, whereas China is a second. The reason America is miles ahead in economy was because of the industrial revolution, and peopple were polluting like there's no tomorrow.

Pollution was, and still is a fast track and a stepping stone to a clean high tech economy for less developed countries. The reason China and many other similarly developing countries are reluctant because all first world countries had their go at pollution and reaped all the benefits.


RE: Not surprising
By theArchMichael on 5/27/2010 12:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
There's two additional factors to consider here though.
-> If it's an eye for an eye then let's come up with a quantitative number for the amount of pollution that was actually generated and offset that number with a grading for level of pollution intesity (under the assumption that dumping mercury into a river is not the same as dumping the same amount of dioxins).
In 1900 the United States had about 80 million people. China now has more than 1 billion, with much resources used and good produced at much faster rates.
My point being, if China wants the leeway of being able to pollute as much as US did, I think they'll run through that pretty fast, if they have not already exceeded it.

-> China has a strong manufacturing base, tons of money (they buy our debt), a CRAZY political situation where they are allowed to manipulate their currency, a space program and access to a wealth of technologies. They are a "second world" country because of their draconian methods of controlling and exploiting their population and also their lack of oversight of the "free market" as it exists there.


RE: Not surprising
By jhb116 on 5/27/2010 6:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
Except that the went through the industrial revolution over a hundred years ago. We have learned alot since then. It wouldn't be hard for China to invest heavily in nuclear plant for power requirements and implement other measures to at least curtail growth of pollution. It will cost them far more money to say we don't care for the moment and then suddenly turn a corner. Turning that corner will cost huge $.

Your argument only makes sense for small poor 3rd world countries. China is not poor - they are a large "investor" of American debt. Although most won't admit it, China is easily in the same league as the US and EU. China is a superpower by almost all measures...


RE: Not surprising
By leuNam on 5/31/2010 12:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
your peopple looks like pineapple to me..mwhahaha


RE: Not surprising
By Pythias on 5/27/2010 5:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've never really understood how the whole "carbon credits" thing works.
You pay someone who "lives green" to "live green" so you can continue polluting?

Uh...

I'm not seeing any net gain for the earth here.


RE: Not surprising
By knutjb on 5/27/2010 8:52:03 PM , Rating: 4
Carbon credits are not about making the world a "greener" place it's about money. Al Gore and his green cronies have invested millions in to the Chicago Carbon Exchange CCX. Um Obama procured the CCX start up money from the Joyce Foundation, Goldman Sachs has invested in it among other like minded individuals.

The CCX, if the economic killing machine law gets passed by the Dems, will be getting a cut of every transaction in a market estimated to be worth well over a Trillion dollars, I have heard possibly as high as 10 Trillion.

In summary, greenies will feel good about themselves at your expense. Al Gore will then have more than enough money to add on to his $8 million California BEACH estate because your utility and gas bills will likely have tripled because of the Progressive CCX.

And no net gain for the environment. But the greenies will feel better about themselves and isn't that worth your standard of living equaling those hard working people in China and India? It's all about Social and Environmental Justice...


Ha ha Cancun really?
By Connoisseur on 5/27/2010 9:10:24 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
when the next round of UN climate talks are held in Cancun, Mexico


is that really the most appropriate place to have serious global talks? Amongst drunk college students?




RE: Ha ha Cancun really?
By Pneumothorax on 5/27/2010 9:22:23 AM , Rating: 2
Or amongst the mexican main political party - the cartels. Besides maybe a few diplomats might want to be able to kill their wife and get away with it.


RE: Ha ha Cancun really?
By mattclary on 5/27/2010 9:32:06 AM , Rating: 5
They are probably tired of the bad press when they get snowed in at other locations.


RE: Ha ha Cancun really?
By Shatbot on 5/27/2010 9:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
While it is unknown definitively whether manmade greenhouse gases are playing a role in climate change, or exactly what that role may be, many scientists and politicians support early studies which suggest a link between carbon dioxide emissions and a global warming trend.


How early are we talking here? Research done in the 70's or are we talking about recent ~6 month studies? "Early" in this context puts you back into an opinion piece.

I hate global warming - it's such a boring topic. I think the best evidence that its real comes from the fact that the United Nations can't do anything about it.

Rwanda
East Timor
Somalia
Israel- Palestine
Global Warming


Jason..
By Anoxanmore on 5/27/2010 9:46:58 AM , Rating: 1
You know I love you, but umm... "irregardless" is not a word.

Just remove the 'ir' :)




RE: Jason..
By Anoxanmore on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Jason..
By Anoxanmore on 5/27/2010 10:29:47 AM , Rating: 1
Thank you Jason. :)


RE: Jason..
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/27/2010 11:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
I see your thread is not well liked.:)

Though it seems to be a non standard word, it does have a listing in the on-line dictionary.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/irregardles...

ir·re·gard·less [ir-i-gahrd-lis] Show IPA
–adverbNonstandard.
regardless.

Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

Origin:
1910–15; ir-2 (prob. after irrespective) + regardless

—Can be confused: irregardless, regardless (see usage note at this entry).

—Usage note
Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements ir- and -less. It was probably formed on the analogy of such words as irrespective, irrelevant, and irreparable. Those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may do so from a desire to add emphasis. Irregardless first appeared in the early 20th century and was perhaps popularized by its use in a comic radio program of the 1930s.

Well I learn my new thing for the day. Thanks Anoxanmore.


RE: Jason..
By Anoxanmore on 5/27/2010 12:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, my English degree has to pay off somewhere right? Might as well be on a DT forum. ;)


RE: Jason..
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/27/2010 2:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
Four years of study for 1 moment in time, on the internet. Are you enjoying your moment of crowning glory? :P


RE: Jason..
By Anoxanmore on 5/27/2010 3:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
More than you can possibly imagine. (pssst it was 2 yrs) ;)


GO CHINA!
By Dorkyman on 5/27/2010 11:55:50 AM , Rating: 2
I am in complete agreement with the American bureaucrats to hold ourselves to strict limits and wither away while China and other nations continue to grow.

We've had our run at the top of the food chain for over 50 years. Now it's China's turn to become the dominant world power. It's like Messiah, our youthful and inexperienced leader in the White House says, in so many words: We're no better than anyone else in the world.




RE: GO CHINA!
By theArchMichael on 5/27/2010 12:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah!
I guess now's the time leave America and emigrate to China! WooHoo a new gravy train is coming to town! Everybody on board!
You go first buddy! I'm right behind you...


No surprise
By amanojaku on 5/27/2010 9:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
China's argument amounts to "You did bad stuff and became successful. We should be allowed to do the same, regardless of how bad it is."

I still don't think the evidence points to a man-made global warming trend, but I will say this much: chemicals are toxic to humans and other forms of life. What HAS been proven is that health problems are on the rise across the world, in particular damage to the respiratory system. Smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise are self-inflicted causes, but vehicle exhaust, ozone and other chemicals are equally to blame.

If saving the environment sounds silly, then consider saving yourself. Of course, members of the Chinese government and big businesses don't live in the most polluted areas, and they certainly don't care about the poor farmers. Same goes for India and other countries without strict regulations.




Let the market decide...
By blakhama on 5/27/2010 11:50:41 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm... what about the market creating natural demand for "clean" energy. Also, the science has been highly refuted, what about, geographers,geologists and meteorologist weighing in?

If the government passes a false "energy" bill like the current cap and trade bill, they will create another unnatural demand for alternative energies. The government will favor industries over others, making prices skyrocket yet again, fudging up what's left of the pseudo-free market. Look how poor the cap and trade is in Europe, a big f#cking ponzy scheme, a financial system that has been gamed and made many parties involved extremely wealthy at the expense of the "peasants". The US bill will be worse. look at those that are heavily invested, Al Gore, Goldman Sachs (largest share holder in the CCX exchange). This will make Al Gore an instant billionaire overnight. He will easily be able to pay his $100k yearly electricity bill for his mansion no problems, fund his private jets, etc, what about you? Subsidize my b@llz, only for the lazy.

Are these alternative energies cleaner (highly debatable, any long term studies)? What about the rare earth metals and extremely toxic batteries in hybrids (much more toxic than oil)?

What is the problem? Humans; environmentalists that live in the house and drive hybrids, hypocrites. Only solution, no humans. Live off the land? Then you are impacting all living things. Eat vegetable? plant hater, plant killer. Eat animals? PETA hater, animal killer!

The gov't DOES NOT know best, but I feel there is no way of stopping the machine. Let the market decide. It's not about politics either, but power at yours and my expense! ...suckers!




If you fly into Beijing airport
By masamasa on 5/27/2010 1:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
The first thing you think after deplaning is "Wow....look at all the fog at ground level", only to discover it isn't fog, but heavy, heavy smog. There is no such thing as blue sky or sun as it is masked by the thick smog that makes LA look it has none.

Sad to see they are willing to put their own people at risk with such a high level of pollution, but then again I'm not surprised after seeing the environmental damage that goes on in China.

In the future it will be their citizens who end up paying for it.




Not going to happen...
By The0ne on 5/27/2010 6:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
When these restrictions are part of what your country is using to grow and get richer nothing is going to stop you. Even if you try, citizens might revolt :)




By MasterBlaster7 on 5/27/2010 7:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
OK guys, your pissing me off. You need to do some of your own research into these issues before you start to blather on. This is a technical publication act a little bit technical.

The main reason, I am not worried about china and their contribution to global warming, is their efforts in 4th generation nuclear research and application. Basically, they are done with the research (on pebble-bed nuclear reactors) and they are in the process of building their first 6 reactors. Should be about 30 of em in 2020. And, probably 300 plus in 2030. So, between say 2030 and 2050 after they have ramped up production they could go nuclear french style (France gets 80% of its power from nuclear--zero emissions)

Why is 4th gen nuclar so great? (ie pebble bed nuclear reactors and prismatic reactors). Two reason...

1) they are melt down proof: you could expose the reactor core Chernobal style for a whole month without doing anything about it and you wont get so much as a radioactive mouse fart out of the core.

2) it runs super hot for hydrogen cracking: It uses helium as a moderator at 1000 degrees Celsius. Much hotter than a standard reactor. That heat can be used directly to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen. And, just like that the hydrogen economy is invented. So you fix auto pollution too.

So where is the US in 4th gen nuclear? about 10 years away from our first prismatic test reactor and probably about another 10 years away from working reactors. That puts us 15-20 years behind where china is right now...getting it done. And, im not even counting all the red tape we are going to have to chew through to get back online with new nuclear power.




Interesting...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/27/2010 9:39:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
TextU.S. Committed to Greenhouse Gas Cuts, China Prefers "Voluntary" Effort


So let us see if I understand correctly. The suppose to be free choice country USA is really forcing it's citizens to change while the Communist China is hope it's citizen volunteer to make the change.
Living Green and Clean for the most part makes perfect sense for many reason (person health, clean environment, using resource more efficiently, and so on). In the past the US was know for giving and volunteering, is this a sign that in the future that's what China will be known to do?




RE: Interesting...
By mcnabney on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs














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