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Funded Arrogance June 30, 2009

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Funded Arrogance

Via Jo Nova, June 30, 2009

The debate that Senator Steve Fielding started continues, this time between heavyweights in Australian climate science. Yet again, the side with the funding, the power, and the large claims is unable to answer basic polite science questions. The pompous arrogance is evident. Why not just answer the question?

Professor Matthew England’s research teams have received nearly $2.5 million in funding from the Australian government, much of it for studying oceans and climate change. So when we need good answers on the topic, he would be the man. If a school student asked for help, we might expect only a two line reply passing on a link. But when the question comes from one of the most informed climate scientists in the country, with 12 years as head of Australia’s National Climate Centre, and it’s about a graph at the centre of legislative negotiations, it’s inexcusable that the reply was vague, poorly reasoned and didn’t answer the question. All this, in a conversation that England himself started.

If indeed “a Nobel Prize is there for many of the ideas the skeptics champion if only they were true” as England claims, then opportunity is knocking, and England is not answering the door. Instead of pursuing the query with logical analysis, he dismisses it out of hand, with a patronizing appeal to authority. Effectively he says “it can’t be right because the IPCC, or one of my post-docs, would have noticed”.

How could a consensus ever be proven wrong if the main funded analysts start with the assumption that “the consensus must be right”? The only thing England proves is that Australian science is in need of a shake-out.

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Answers on climate change June 29, 2009

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Answers on climate change

Quadrant Online
June 29, 2009

Assessment of Minister Wong’s “Written Reply

to Senator Fielding’s Three Questions on Climate Change”

by

Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks and William Kininmonth

Background

Emissions trading legislation, such as the “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” (CPRS) bills that are currently before Parliament, rest upon the assumption that human greenhouse emissions, especially carbon dioxide, (i) are pollutants, and (ii) are causing dangerous global warming. Neither of these assumptions are supported by empirical evidence, and both have been under scientific challenge for many years by a large body of qualified and independent scientists.

Cognisant of these facts, Senator Steve Fielding has posed three direct questions to the Minister for Climate Change, Senator Penny Wong, in order to clarify whether or not evidence exists that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming, as alleged by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Minister Wong agreed to address these questions, first, through discussion at a meeting held between the Senators, ourselves and ministerial science advisors Professor Penny Sackett (Chief Scientist) and Professor Will Steffen (Director, ANU Climate Change Institute); at this meeting, an 11-page background presentation was made by Drs. Sackett and Steffen. And, second, by form of written reply, which was provided to Senator Fielding on June 18th.

We provide in this paper an assessment of Minister Wong’s written reply to each of Senator Fielding’s three questions. A more exhaustive paper covering these questions, and other issues arising from the meetings between Senator Fielding and Minister Wong, is covered in the paper titled “Minister Wong’s Reply to Senator Fielding’s Three Questions on Climate Change – A Commentary”.

QUESTION 1

Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5% since 1998 whilst global temperature cooled over the same period (see Fig. 1)?

If so, why did the temperature not increase; and how can human emissions be to blame for dangerous levels of warming?

The government's response to this question queried whether global average temperature is an appropriate indicator of global climate, and listed circumstantial evidence for regional planetary warming.

1. What is the most appropriate measure of planetary climate?

1.1. The government’s reply says “When climate change scientists talk about global warming they mean warming of the climate system as a whole, which includes the atmosphere, the oceans, and the cryosphere”, and then adds “in terms of a single indicator of global warming, change in ocean heat content is most appropriate”.

1.2. We agree that in an ideal academic discussion, and were accurate historical data available, ocean heat content might be a better criterion by which to judge global warming than would be atmospheric temperature. Use of this indicator was first pressed strongly by Pielke (2007, 2009) as a test of the dangerous warming hypothesis, but it has not been widely publicized by the IPCC.

1.3. In any case, however, Senator Fielding’s question was predicated upon the history of IPCC’s public advice, which has consistently used the UK Hadley Centre near-surface air temperature record since 1850 as a measure of global warming. This near-surface air temperature record is the one that dominates in IPCC and government policy papers and discussion, and is the criterion of judgement that both politicians and the public are familiar with.

1. 4. As illustrated in Fielding (June 15, Fig. 1), the Hadley temperature record does not exhibit warming after 1998.

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Why Barack Obama is bad for Canada June 29, 2009

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Why Barack Obama is bad for Canada

Via ICECAP

When Barack Obama met with Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Feb. 19, his message on the oil sands sounded like it could have been written in Calgary. He talked about the need for government investment in new technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and he wanted to work together to achieve it. “I love this country and think that we could not have a better friend and ally,” Obama said. “And so I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that our relationship is strengthened.” He added: “We are very grateful for the relationship that we have with Canada, Canada being our largest energy supplier.” Tom Corcoran, a former Republican congressman from Illinois and head of a Washington lobbying outfit for the oil sands and other “unconventional” fuels, remembers the day: “It was encouraging and made us feel good.”

But it turns out that Obama has a knack for making people feel good when perhaps they ought to be watching their back. “Then the realities begin to take root when you look at what is taking place here in Washington,” says Corcoran. The reality is that Obama is leading an aggressive effort to remake American energy policy with potentially severe consequences for the oil sands, and by extension, the Canadian economy.

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THE TRIUMPH OF DOUBLESPEAK – HOW UNIPCC FOOLS MOST OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME June 28, 2009

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THE TRIUMPH OF DOUBLESPEAK – HOW UNIPCC FOOLS MOST OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME

Dr Vincent Gray

Dr Vincent Gray

NZ Climate Science, 26 June 2009

Dr Vincent Gray has been an expert reviewer of all four Assessment Reports issued by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In his latest Envirotruth No 212, Dr Gray explains the origins of the term “climate change”, how it came to exclude natural causes, and how the IPCC manipulates language to mislead the unwary into accepting as fact scenarios that are derived from computer models that are unable to reproduce the realities of Nature.

Read it here

Scientist hits out at emissions bill June 26, 2009

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Scientist hits out at emissions bill

WRONG TERM: Bob Carter says carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

The Bendigo Advertiser, June 24, 2009

A LEADING academic says the Carbon Pollution Reduction bill before Parliament is the single worst piece of legislation to be foisted on the Australian public.

Professor Bob Carter was in Bendigo last night to address a climate science meeting.

He said Australians were being conned, as the bill was aimed at carbon dioxide rather than carbon, and carbon dioxide was not a pollutant.

Professor Carter said the public should have access to balanced views on climate change.

Twenty years of intensive research and great expenditure had produced no compelling evidence that humans have had a significant effect on climate.

“I have been described as a sceptic. I am not a sceptic, I am a scientist, and all good scientists should be sceptical.

“I would rather be described as a climate agnostic.’’

Professor Carter is adjunct professorial fellow at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, Townsville.

He said the legislation would be fine if it meant positive outcomes.

However, it did not, and it was the underprivileged people who would be hit hardest.

“Everywhere else in the world similar legislation is called emission trading bills.’’

He said the use of the term “carbon dioxide’’ to indicate a pollutant was not correct in language, logic or science.

And “climate change’’ was a tautology, as the climate changed continually.

“If the bill is implemented, carbon dioxide emission will be reduced but the cost will be $3000 a head each year in taxes for every Australian.

“And the temperature change will be 0.001C by the year 2100.

“That is the science.’’

Could Australia Blow Apart the Great Global Warming Scare? June 25, 2009

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Could Australia Blow Apart the Great Global Warming Scare?

Real Clear Politics, June 24, 2009

By Robert Tracinski and Tom Minchin

As the US Congress considers the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, the Australian Senate is on the verge of rejecting its own version of cap-and-trade. The story of this legislation’s collapse offers advance notice for what might happen to similar legislation in the US—and to the whole global warming hysteria.

Since the Australian government first introduced its Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation—the Australian version of cap-and-trade energy rationing—there has been a sharp shift in public opinion and political momentum against the global warming crusade. This is a story that offers hope to defenders of industrial civilization—and a warning to American environmentalists that the climate change they should be afraid of just might be a shift in the intellectual climate.

An April 29 article in The Australian described the general trend—and its leading cause.

There is rising recognition that introduction of a carbon tax under the guise of “cap and trade” will be personally costly, economically disruptive to society and tend to shift classes of jobs offshore. Moreover, despite rising carbon dioxide concentrations, global warming seems to have taken a holiday….

With public perceptions changing so dramatically and quickly it is little wonder Ian Plimer’s latest book, Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science, has been received with such enthusiasm and is into its third print run in as many weeks. [It's now up to the fifth printing.]

The public is receptive to an exposé of the many mythologies and false claims associated with anthropogenic global warming and are welcoming an authoritative description of planet Earth and its ever-changing climate in readable language.

One of the most remarkable changes occurred on April 13, when leading global warming hysteric Paul Sheehan—who writes for the main Sydney newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, which has done as much to hype the threat of global warming as any Australian newspaper—reviewed Plimer’s book and admitted he was taken aback. He describes Plimer, correctly, as “one of Australia’s foremost Earth scientists,” and praised the book as “brilliantly argued” and “the product of 40 years’ research and breadth of scholarship.”

What does Plimer’s book say? Here is Sheehan’s summary:

Much of what we have read about climate change, [Plimer] argues, is rubbish, especially the computer modeling on which much current scientific opinion is based, which he describes as “primitive.”…

The Earth’s climate is driven by the receipt and redistribution of solar energy. Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate. Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth’s climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.

To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable—human-induced CO2—is not science. To try to predict the future based on just one variable (CO2) in extraordinarily complex natural systems is folly.

In response, this is Sheehan’s conclusion: “Heaven and Earth is an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.” This cannot be interpreted as anything but a capitulation. It cedes to the global warming rejectionists the high ground of being “evidence-based,” and it accepts the characterization of the global warming promoters as dogmatic conformists.

The political impact has been manifested in a series of climb-downs as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s government has been forced to delay its plans for cap-and-trade controls. On May 4, the government announced it would postpone the onset of the scheme until mid-2011, a year later than originally planned.

On June 4, this delayed emission trading scheme passed the House of Representatives despite a vote against it by the opposition. But it now faces almost certain defeat in the Australian Senate. Whereas the Labor government controls 32 votes in the Senate, the opposition Liberal-National coalition controls 37 and is committed to vote against it if the Rudd government will not grant more time to consider the outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference in December and US Senate deliberations. This itself is a compromise position, because many of the coalition parliamentarians now want to vote unconditionally against an ETS in any form.

There are 7 other votes in the Senate: five Greens who say the scheme doesn’t go far enough but who could be induced to go along; one independent, Nick Xenophon, who has pledged to vote against the bill unless the government waits till after Copenhagen; and one other, Senator Steve Fielding of the Family First Party, who has decided to investigate the whole thing first hand. Fielding could turn out to be the single deciding vote.

His story is particularly interesting. Andrew Bolt, who has been leading the charge against the global warming hysteria for years, notes that Fielding’s investigation “could blow apart the great global warming scare.”

Fielding went to the US to assess the American evidence for global warming at close quarters. As Melbourne’s Age reported on June 4:

Senator Fielding said he was impressed by some of the data presented at the [US Heartland Institute's] climate change skeptics’ conference: namely that, although carbon emissions had increased in the last 10 years, global temperature had not.

He said scientists at the conference had advanced other explanations, such as the relationship between solar activity and solar energy hitting the Earth to explain climate change.

Fielding has issued a challenge to the Obama White House to rebut the data. It will be a novel experience for them, as Fielding is an engineer and has an Australian’s disregard for self-important government officials. Here is how The Age described his challenge:

Senator Fielding emailed graphs that claim the globe had not warmed for a decade to Joseph Aldy, US President Barack Obama’s special assistant on energy and the environment, after a meeting on Thursday…. Senator Fielding said he found that Dr. Aldy and other Obama administration officials were not interested in discussing the legitimacy of climate science.

Telling an Australian you’re not interested in the legitimacy of your position is a red rag to a bull. So here is what Fielding concluded:

Until recently I, like most Australians, simply accepted without question the notion that global warming was a result of increased carbon emissions. However, after speaking to a cross-section of noted scientists, including Ian Plimer, a professor at the University of Adelaide and author of Heaven and Earth, I quickly began to understand that the science on this issue was by no means conclusive….

As a federal senator, I would be derelict in my duty to the Australian people if I did not even consider whether or not the scientific assumptions underpinning this debate were in fact correct.

What Fielding’s questioning represents is just the tip of the kangaroo’s tail. He speaks for a growing number of Australians who will no longer take green propaganda on trust.

And that’s what makes Plimer so influential—not just his credibility as a scientist, but the righteous certainty with which he dismisses man-made global warming as an unscientific dogma. He writes: “The Emissions Trading Scheme legislation poises Australia to make the biggest economic decision in its history”—Australia generates 80% of its electricity from coal, which would essentially be outlawed—”yet there has been no scientific due diligence. There has never been a climate change debate in Australia. Only dogma.”

Plimer is not a “skeptic,” a term which would imply that he merely has a few doubts about the global warming claims. Instead, he rejects the whole myth outright, and this seems to have emboldened and liberated a great many Australians who were already chafing under global warming conformity. As Plimer puts it:

[T]here are a large number of punters [Australian for "customers" or "gamblers"—in this case, skeptical customers who may or may not buy what the government's selling] who object to being treated dismissively as stupid, who do not like being told what to think, who value independence, who resile from personal attacks and have life experiences very different from the urban environmental atheists attempting to impose a new fundamentalist religion. Green politics have taken the place of failed socialism and Western Christianity and impose fear, guilt, penance, and indulgences onto a society with little scientific literacy.

Australia is not that different from America. If a shift in public opinion against the global warming dogma can happen on one side of the earth, it can happen on the other—especially when the US edition of Plimer’s book, scheduled for July 1, hits the stands.

His role, Plimer says, is to show “that the emperor has no clothes.” After three decades of relentless global warming propaganda, it’s about time.

Source

“…arctic temperature is still not above 32F–the latest date in fifty years of record keeping…” June 25, 2009

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“…arctic temperature is still not above 32F–the latest date in fifty years of record keeping…”

Via ICECAP
By Joseph D’Aleo
Jun 24, 2009

The average arctic temperature is still not above 32F–this the latest date in fifty years of record keeping that this has happened. Usually it is beginning to level off now and if it does so, it will stay near freezing on average in the arctic leading to still less melting than last summer which saw a 9% increase in arctic ice than in 2007. H/T FredM and MarcM

image
See larger image here. Compare with charts in other years here.

The AMSR-E shows the ice situation on June 23rd:

image
See where we stand relative to recent years in terms of total extent here. We are using JAXA-IJIS AMSR-E data to track ice as NSIDC is using older satellites and the new director Mark Serreze has proven untrustworthy. The next two months will be interesting. Temperatures usually begin flatlining in late June which would suggest less ice loss, although the water temperature beneath plays a key role and all of the warm water that entered the Arctic when the Atlantic was very warm in the middle 2000s (now is nearer normal) may not have circulated out yet.

The other question is what effect the early spring Mt. Redoubt eruptions may be having. Are the sulfate aerosols trapped in the arctic stratosphere reflecting back some of what sunlight reaches the high latitudes?
image

Along the edge of the arctic, Ross Hays who worked for CNN and then NASA who last year posted from Antartica sent this note to me “They have me working in arctic Sweden until mid July. One of the Esrange staff members told me that so far Kiruna had had the coldest June in 150 years!”

See PDF here.

Emissions trading blow: Fielding rejects climate change June 24, 2009

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Emissions trading blow: Fielding rejects climate change

Via NEWS.com.au
June 24, 2009

FAMILY First senator Steve Fielding has made up his mind on global warming – there’s not enough evidence that it’s real.

After talks with the government and top scientists, Senator Fielding, whose vote could be crucial in passing the Federal Government’s plan to put a price on carbon emissions, has released a document setting out his position.

“Global temperature isn’t rising,” it says.

Senator Fielding says he would not risk job losses on “unconvincing green science” to set up a carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The ETS has sparked raucous debate today in Parliament, with ministers breaking off from attacking Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull over the infamous utegate email to mock Coalition MPs who reject climate change science.

Not happening

Senator Fielding’s document was prepared with the help of some of the country’s most prominent climate-sceptic scientists.

It says it is a “fact” that the evidence does not support the notion that greenhouse gas emissions are causing dangerous global warming.

The Senate is due to debate emissions trading legislation this week. The Government is struggling to muster enough votes to pass the legislation ahead of a vote scheduled for tomorrow.

Senator Fielding’s stance appears to torpedo the chance of the scheme passing as the Government would need his support, as well as that of the Greens and independent Nick Xenophon.

The support of the Greens is not assured. The party is concerned that the Government’s model for emissions trading lets big polluters off too lightly and has an emissions reduction target which is too weak to do any good.

Senator Xenophon has asked for the vote to be delayed until August to allow senators to consider other models. Postponing the vote could technically give the Government a possible trigger for a double dissolution election, because it could be seen as a failure to pass.

The independent had previously said the scheme was deeply flawed and failed to address crucial environmental issues. He had said the Government would need to negotiate with him and other senators to get the legislation passed.

If all cross-bench senators reject the ETS, the Government would need the support of the Opposition to pass the scheme.

They’ve discovered gold in hell… or how the lie of global warming became the most powerful political force in human history June 23, 2009

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They’ve discovered gold in hell… or how the lie of global warming became the most powerful political force in human history

By Tom DeWeese
web posted June 15, 2009

Not long ago a very talented salesman died and found himself approaching the Pearly Gates. As he drew closer he noticed there was a very long line of people waiting to enter and it wasn’t moving.

Impatient by nature, the salesman pushed his way to the front of the line and confronted a very harried St. Peter. “What’s the hold up,” asked the salesman. “There’s a strike at the pedestal factory and no one may enter Heaven without one,” explained St. Peter. “So, you’ll just have to wait until the strike is settled and they start manufacturing more pedestals.”

That didn’t satisfy the salesman. Always looking to make a deal, he said to St. Peter, “listen, I’m a pretty fair salesman. Let me make you this deal. Let me come into Heaven for just one hour. If I don’t have my own pedestal by that time, I’ll come out and stand in line like everyone else.” St. Peter, happy to get just one person to stop yelling at him, agreed.

So, through the Pearly Gates went the salesman. He saw rows and rows of serene folks standing on their pedestals, happy and content. The salesman walked among the rows until finally he stopped and looked up at one occupant. “Pssst, hey you,” he said. The pedestal occupant looked down and said, “What?” Whispered the salesman, “Don’t tell anyone, but they’ve discovered gold in Hell. No one else knows and it can be yours for the taking.” “Really,” said the occupant. “Sure, go get it,” said the salesman. With that, the occupant jumped off his pedestal and ran down the street. “Well, that was easy,” said the salesman, as he climbed up on the abandoned pedestal.

And there he stood, content and serene, until he began to hear a commotion. Shouting grew louder. The startled salesman looked around, noticing people jumping off their pedestals and running down the streets of Heaven. As they passed the salesman they shouted, “They’ve discovered gold in Hell…they’ve discovered gold in hell!” The shouts grew louder. The excitement grew as more and more took to the streets, heading toward the Pearly Gates.

Finally, several people tugged at the Salesman’s leg and shouted, “come on… they’ve discovered gold in Hell.” “Really,” said the salesman. “Yes, come on,” they shouted. And the salesman jumped off his pedestal and started running down the street with the rest of them.

As he ran through the Pearly Gates, St. Peter grabbed his arm and said, “Where are you going?” The now near-crazed salesman shouted, “They’ve discovered gold in Hell!”

“Wait a minute,” said St. Peter, “You started that rumor.” “I know I did,” said the salesman, “But… All these people can’t be wrong!”

And that’s the way the lie of global warming became the most powerful political force in human history


Why is it so difficult to answer three simple climate questions? June 22, 2009

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Why is it so difficult to answer three simple climate questions?

By Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth.
22 June 2009

Senator Steve Fielding recently undertook a well-publicised fact-seeking trip to a climate change conference in Washington.

Listening to the papers presented, the Senator became puzzled that the scientific analyses that they provided directly contradicted the reasons that the Australian government has been giving as the justification for their emissions trading legislation.
At the Washington meeting, Fielding heard leading atmospheric physicist, Professor Dick Lindzen of MIT, describe evidence that the warming effect of carbon dioxide is much overestimated by current computer climate models, and then remark tellingly: “What we see, then, is that the very foundation of the issue of global warming is wrong. In a normal field, these results would pretty much wrap things up, but global warming/climate change has developed so much momentum that it has a life of its own – quite removed from science”. Indeed.
And another scientist, astrophysicist Dr Willie Soon from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, commented that “A ‘magical’ CO2 knob for controlling weather and climate simply does not exist”. Think about that for a moment with respect to our government’s current climate policy.

Quite reasonably, therefore, on his return to Canberra Senator Fielding asked Climate Minister Penny Wong to answer three simple questions about the relationship between human carbon dioxide emissions and alleged dangerous global warming.

Fielding was seeking evidence, as opposed to unvalidated computer model projections, that human carbon dioxide emissions actually are driving dangerous global warming, to help him and the public at large better assess whether cutting emissions will actually be a cost-effective environmental measure.

After all, the passed-down cost to Australian taxpayers of the planned emissions trading bill is of the order of $4,000 per family per year for a carbon dioxide tax level of $30 per tonne. And the estimated “benefit” of such a large tax increase is that it may perhaps prevent an unmeasurable one-ten-thousandth of a degree of global warming from occurring. Next year? No, by 2100.

It was our privilege to have attended the meeting between Senators Wong and Fielding at which these three questions were discussed between ourselves and the Minister’s scientific advisors, Chief Scientist Penny Wong and Director of ANU climate research centre Will Steffen.

The three simple questions that were posed were:

1. Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5 per cent since 1998 whilst global temperature cooled over the same period? If so, why did the temperature not increase; and how can human emissions be to blame for dangerous levels of warming?

2. Is it the case that the rate and magnitude of warming between 1979 and 1998 (the late 20th century phase of global warming) were not unusual as compared with warmings that have occurred earlier in the Earth’s history? If the warming was not unusual, why is it perceived to have been caused by human CO2 emissions; and, in any event, why is warming a problem if the Earth has experienced similar warmings in the past?

3. Is it the case that all GCM computer models projected a steady increase in temperature for the period 1990-2008, whereas in fact there were only eight years of warming were followed by ten years of stasis and cooling?

Read the rest here

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