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_Keith

Climate Change - The Other Direction

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_Keith

I am a little more pragmatic. Dependence on fossil fuels won't end till they end. Use up the other guy's first, save yours for last. Good strategic advantage in that.

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amazondk

Dean,

I watched as video on youtube about the current problem in Hawaii with being able to get authorization to put a grid tie system operational. It seems that the power company is having what they say are stability with all the power currently being injected into the grid. Since Hawaii is the state with the highest percentage of roof top solar this will be a growing problem as the use spreads. Musk thinks that as batteries go up in efficiency and down in price the tendency will be to unplug from the grid. Now there should be some opposition from utilities to this as it will disrupt their business. As to pollution from solar panels, batteries, etc that would be a factor. But, since the main components of the panels are glass and aluminum, both easily recyclable that part should not be a problem. In fact it would be a business opportunity. As to the silicon waffers and other components they should be able to be recyclable as well. As to the batteries lithium is recyclable. But, currently not to economic. But, with a lot more demand I would think this part should be solved.

I do not think that hydrocarbons will just go away. And, there certainly will be a lot of pressure from those elements that have to gain from their continued use. Solar still has a lot of room to evolve. The entry of organic solar will change things a lot. This is still a few years away. But, it will come. It should greatly increase the usable applications, as it can go on anything. And, it should drive the cost down.

As to floating plastic that is a big problem. And, something needs to be done to solve that one.

dk

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Funkthulhu

I love the new Tesla Home Battery system. It should help reduce the problems of "stability" claimed by the power companies (over old and under-maintained wires).

Putting one of those pods in your garage or basement will make anybody with Solar more independent of the system because they can store their own power and use it at night!

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_Keith

I love the new Tesla Home Battery system. It should help reduce the problems of "stability" claimed by the power companies (over old and under-maintained wires).

Putting one of those pods in your garage or basement will make anybody with Solar more independent of the system because they can store their own power and use it at night!

I wasn't aware that these were on the market and with a track record behind them.

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Dypsisdean

Dean,

I watched as video on youtube about the current problem in Hawaii with being able to get authorization to put a grid tie system operational. It seems that the power company is having what they say are stability with all the power currently being injected into the grid. Since Hawaii is the state with the highest percentage of roof top solar this will be a growing problem as the use spreads. Musk thinks that as batteries go up in efficiency and down in price the tendency will be to unplug from the grid. Now there should be some opposition from utilities to this as it will disrupt their business. As to pollution from solar panels, batteries, etc that would be a factor. But, since the main components of the panels are glass and aluminum, both easily recyclable that part should not be a problem. In fact it would be a business opportunity. As to the silicon waffers and other components they should be able to be recyclable as well. As to the batteries lithium is recyclable. But, currently not to economic. But, with a lot more demand I would think this part should be solved.

I do not think that hydrocarbons will just go away. And, there certainly will be a lot of pressure from those elements that have to gain from their continued use. Solar still has a lot of room to evolve. The entry of organic solar will change things a lot. This is still a few years away. But, it will come. It should greatly increase the usable applications, as it can go on anything. And, it should drive the cost down.

As to floating plastic that is a big problem. And, something needs to be done to solve that one.

dk

Thanks for the info Don - and you don't know half the problem with the getting solar off the ground here in Hawaii - due in large part to government interference - again, with the audacity of thinking they can manage things better than the free market and that they have all the answers.

Since they have such a cozy relationship with the power company, and because the power company has such a cozy relationship with the unions - instead of promoting and facilitating solar use, they have hindered it for the long run.

1) They had the bright idea (in order to encourage renewalables) to guarantee any large producers of renewable energy (wind, solar, and geothermal) that they would be paid the going price for comparabe energy produced by our "oil" based generating plants. Therefore as the price of oil goes up, so does what we pay for the energy that any of these sources provide to the grid. Result - no benefit to the consumer.

2) As you mentioned - there is a lot of "hidden" push back from the utility company regarding roof top solar - excuses and added costs are a dime a dozen. It is an effecient source of energy here. But, no company wants to see their revenues drop. And because it was always assumed the gravy train for the power companies and their unions would never end - they are righfully worried. How will they pay for all the promised pensions and jobs they assumed would always be there.

On the one hand the Fed Gov is trying to push these systems via subsidies, etc. - while if successful, it will crush the way many State an Local providers have decided to run their "businesses."

And regarding the recycling --- I will predict that the value of recycling the batteries and panels will not prove to be a financially viable business - like aluminum cans and plastic bottles - and deposits will need to be charged at the time of purchase. Which will not be redeemable for many years - thus effectively adding additional costs to the total cost of solar installations.

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Alicehunter2000

Use up the other guy's first, save yours for last. Good strategic advantage in that.

Good point, just too bad it's such a bloody proposition.

Dean, good thing you like palm's and the lifestyle there.....makes the bureaucratic part less painful.

Funky....would be nice to go off the grid...hope Tesla can make it work economically.

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amazondk

Thanks for the feedback Dean. It will be interesting to see what FPLs purchase of Hawaiian Electric, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/consumer/fl-nextera-hawaii-deal-20150102-story.htm

I think that Elon Musk makes a lot of sense with his focus on energy storage. It will disrupt the status quo, He says it is like what cell phones have done to fixed line operators.

you can find this article here - http://www.macsolarindex.com/solar-scale-elon-musk-epa-supports-solar-power-plant-emission-cut-plan-solars-threat-utility-industry-gains-recognition/

Solar’s threat to the utility industry gains recognition

Barclays in late May downgraded the entire U.S. electric utility high-grade bond sector to “underweight” due to the challenge to electric utilities from solar energy. Barclay’s credit strategy teams said that over the next few years, “we believe that a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar PV power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo. Based on our analysis, the cost of “solar+storage” for residential consumers of electricity is already competitive with the price of utility grid power in Hawaii. Of the other major markets, California could follow in 2017, New York and Arizona in 2018, and many other states soon after.”

Commenting on the threat to the utility model, Barclays added, “In the 100+ year history of the electric utility industry, there has never before been a truly cost-competitive substitute available for grid power. We believe that solar+storage could reconfigure the organization and regulation of the electric power business over the coming decade.”

I have been looking into organic solar as I mentioned. It is not on the market yet. But, when it arrives has the potential to change things a lot. It is forecast to reduce cost and increase applications. The are flexible and be used in many applications were glass panels can not be.

Organic-Solar-FIlm-300x223.jpg?608198

Flexible_Solar_Panel-2.jpg?608198

From what I have read the technology is starting to approach efficiency of silicon based solar cells. A few years ago I visited a Georgia based solar cell manufacturer. It was a real experience to see a bare silicon wafer turn into a solar cell.

This is a good article on the Utility Death Spiral caused by Solar - http://cleanenergyaction.org/2014/12/12/decoupling-distributed-energy/

dk

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amazondk

Here in Brazil where I live the country has a major role in green house gas production due to 1. deforestation, 2. large cattle herd. 3. traditional burning of farm land including sugar cane plantations. 4. Large urban centers with a lot of cars and industry. And, the impact that the standing forest reserve has on world climate. Amazonia is a weather engine for South America. But, the role that hydro power has on energy generation has been a positive as it does not release pollutants into the air. That is aside from rotting organic matter in reservoirs. Now this model is in real trouble as it is not easy to expand. Expensive to expand. And, since most of the expansion can only be in environmentally sensitive areas of Amazonia. And, in addition due to the drought in the southern part of the country the generation capacity has been greatly compromised.

This is the current energy production mix in Brazil.

images_zpsimdsobah.jpg

Blue being Hydro, and less than one percent solar. Petroleum is green and Gas is red.

Many of the same factors that impact utilities in the States impact the utilities here. But, due to the centralized political system here this whole scenario could change soon. The country is in a real predicament as the diesel generators are running at max. The use of natural gas can not be expanded easily due t o lack of distribution capabilities and supply. I have no idea where all of this will go. Especially in a country where what the politicians put in their pocket is one of the key factors in what gets done.

dk

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Dypsisdean

Don,

Let me make another prediction - at least for the U.S.

Just like the Gov felt it their place to save GM and the union jobs, and to save the Big Banks, there will be cries to save/help the Utility Companies. Nevermind that they will make only token attempts to change their business model until the bleep hits the fan, and it becomes an emergency situation.

They either have to drastically cut costs and lay off workers, raise rates, or just continue as is because they know the Gov will eventually bail 'em out with our tax money. So we will pay regardless of whether we:

1) produce our own energy - with the local attempts/regulations to slow it down and making it more expensive than it should be

2) buy more expensive energy from the grid - with the increased revenues used to pay the utility's obligations

3) just accept that your taxes will stay high (or go higher) to save/bail out these quasi-government run "businesses."

But I guess the silver lining is that the environment will be better for it - hopefully.

My point earlier about the recycling was my realization many years ago that there is no free lunch. In other words, there is no form of energy that doesn't create problems and pollution. That is why we need to use all of them equally, so we don't create an over abundence of one type of problem or pollution.

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_Keith

Compelling arguments, all. But nature will rectify the situation when it, not us, is ready. We are truly lucky to live in the period we live in. We live in a golden age of this planets evolution. But that will change and there is no denying of that fact.

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amazondk

Dean,

That makes sense to me. I do think that a big change is coming or in the process of happening. Another area is street lights. I am directly involved with this here. The conversion of the status quo to LED represents a drop in over 60 percent in energy consumption. There are some big examples in the USA,, Los Angeles, Boston, and a few more. But, this is not something the utilities really like. Their revenues get hit big time. When a large city goes LED the 60 percent drop in energy consumption hits the utilities directly.

dk

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amazondk

Compelling arguments, all. But nature will rectify the situation when it, not us, is ready. We are truly lucky to live in the period we live in. We live in a golden age of this planets evolution. But that will change and there is no denying of that fact.

Keith, You started the thread. Thanks. I hope that some good thoughts have come forward. I think the important thing is what we can do. What ever that may be.

dk

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DALION

Don,

Let me make another prediction - at least for the U.S.

Just like the Gov felt it their place to save GM and the union jobs, and to save the Big Banks, there will be cries to save/help the Utility Companies. Nevermind that they will make only token attempts to change their business model until the bleep hits the fan, and it becomes an emergency situation.

They either have to drastically cut costs and lay off workers, raise rates, or just continue as is because they know the Gov will eventually bail 'em out with our tax money. So we will pay regardless of whether we:

1) produce our own energy - with the local attempts/regulations to slow it down and making it more expensive than it should be

2) buy more expensive energy from the grid - with the increased revenues used to pay the utility's obligations

3) just accept that your taxes will stay high (or go higher) to save/bail out these quasi-government run "businesses."

But I guess the silver lining is that the environment will be better for it - hopefully.

My point earlier about the recycling was my realization many years ago that there is no free lunch. In other words, there is no form of energy that doesn't create problems and pollution. That is why we need to use all of them equally, so we don't create an over abundence of one type of problem or pollution.

And for those haven't heard, the government suffers from unintended consequences. California gas prices are usually at the highest in the country so many people drive hybrid vehicles. That's a good thing, right? NO! The state wants to tax people per mile driven since less money is going to them from gas taxes.

So if you doubt that going solar will cost you more...

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Hammer

Don,

Let me make another prediction - at least for the U.S.

Just like the Gov felt it their place to save GM and the union jobs, and to save the Big Banks, there will be cries to save/help the Utility Companies. Nevermind that they will make only token attempts to change their business model until the bleep hits the fan, and it becomes an emergency situation.

They either have to drastically cut costs and lay off workers, raise rates, or just continue as is because they know the Gov will eventually bail 'em out with our tax money. So we will pay regardless of whether we:

1) produce our own energy - with the local attempts/regulations to slow it down and making it more expensive than it should be

2) buy more expensive energy from the grid - with the increased revenues used to pay the utility's obligations

3) just accept that your taxes will stay high (or go higher) to save/bail out these quasi-government run "businesses."

But I guess the silver lining is that the environment will be better for it - hopefully.

My point earlier about the recycling was my realization many years ago that there is no free lunch. In other words, there is no form of energy that doesn't create problems and pollution. That is why we need to use all of them equally, so we don't create an over abundence of one type of problem or pollution.

And for those haven't heard, the government suffers from unintended consequences. California gas prices are usually at the highest in the country so many people drive hybrid vehicles. That's a good thing, right? NO! The state wants to tax people per mile driven since less money is going to them from gas taxes.

So if you doubt that going solar will cost you more...

No good deed goes unpunished.

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amazondk

I agree about the unintended consequences. You have a good point as to the tax revenues going down with a switch to electric vehicles for example. A dramatic drop in gasoline sales would have an impact for sure. An example I recently thought of here is the consequences of a switch from conventional street lighting to LED street lighting. In Brazil most larger cities will be funding this with a long term contract to a private operating company under what is called a PPP (Public, Private, Partnership). Under this the major funding will be from the source of the public lighting fee charged on consumers electric bills. Sao Paulo is now in the process of doing this. There will be 790,000 street lights converted. Los Angeles did 140,000 street lights in their program. The terms of these contracts are from 20 to 30 years. With an average cost per light of around 300 USD this transition is a lot of money. The energy reduction is around 60 percent with today's generation of LED chips. And, the maintenance drops drastically as the products should last from 10 to 20 years. This is all well and good. But, what if there is a major switch in technology and electric consumers start either generating a lot of their own energy injecting it into the grid through distributed power grid tie. Or, with cost reductions in batteries and improvements in technology start going off the grid. This coupled in reduction in consumption with technologies like led lighting, more efficient appliances, and AC units, etc. Where will the money come from to finance this. This tax is a percentage of the power bill. With less energy consumed less money to operate and pay for the system. No one knows what will happen in this case. Nor to what extent the energy generation mix will change. But, I think it is safe to assume that it will transform with time. The same would be true if the car fleet transformed to electric. Which it likely will with time. Technology will transform a lot of things. Over Xmas I was talking to my cousins husband who is an insurance agent in Montana. He said their company is now looking at the impact that auto pilot or driver-less vehicles will have on insurance rates will has as the accident frequency would likely drop drastically as the robots take over transportation of people.

dk

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Funkthulhu

I think it is possible for many homes and small businesses to convert to (at least partially) solar power. In that way we will become a more energy independent country and, thankfully, the lines will be less taxed by use.

However, there are a lot of businesses that quite literally do not have the land-area they would need to produce enough solar power to function. They also operate in areas where wind is nil or turbines are not allowed. (and nobody has their own reactor...) For this sort of power consumption there will always need to be a functional grid and power generation of some sort. Even if that generation is a solar farm that gets wired into the city.

What I am concerned about is the state of the infrastructure in general. If these big power companies do go belly up, I'm sure we'll all end up "owning" them through nationalization. Then, yeah, the taxes will go up. Unless, the government keeps up the status quo of not raising taxes because they want reelected and generally ignoring infrastructure anyway. (but that leads to a whole different catastrophy...)

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Funkthulhu

Also, can I just say this has been a good thread?

Nobody has been a jerk yet, we're all staying sane with healthy discussion.

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Moose

I think it is possible for many homes and small businesses to convert to (at least partially) solar power. In that way we will become a more energy independent country and, thankfully, the lines will be less taxed by use.

However, there are a lot of businesses that quite literally do not have the land-area they would need to produce enough solar power to function. They also operate in areas where wind is nil or turbines are not allowed. (and nobody has their own reactor...) For this sort of power consumption there will always need to be a functional grid and power generation of some sort. Even if that generation is a solar farm that gets wired into the city.

What I am concerned about is the state of the infrastructure in general. If these big power companies do go belly up, I'm sure we'll all end up "owning" them through nationalization. Then, yeah, the taxes will go up. Unless, the government keeps up the status quo of not raising taxes because they want reelected and generally ignoring infrastructure anyway. (but that leads to a whole different catastrophy...)

Germany seems to be way ahead of the rest of the world capturing energy from the sun. Only plants do it better.

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amazondk

Also, can I just say this has been a good thread?

Nobody has been a jerk yet, we're all staying sane with healthy discussion.

I agree. It is very good to focus on what we can do to live in a better world. Like everything there are always obstacles in the way.

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Dypsisdean

Germany seems to be way ahead of the rest of the world capturing energy from the sun. Only plants do it better.

Don't know about that Moose --- even if so, I have read Germany has been increasing their dependence on, and has plans for, many new coal fired plants - hands down the "dirtiest" form of energy production. (Google 'Germany Coal Fired Plants') The fact remains that nuclear is the only real replacement for fossil fuels in the foreseeable future, but nobody is willing to face this fact.

This from an article two days ago:

Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and France together burned 16% more coal in 2013 than 2009 and are planning to further increase construction of coal-fired power stations. Only the US and Canada of the G7 countries meeting on Monday in Berlin have reduced coal consumption

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/08/five-g7-nations-increased-their-coal-use-over-a-five-year-period-research-shows

And from another article:

Between 2011 and 2015 Germany will open 10.7 GW of new coal fired power stations. This is more new coal capacity than was constructed in the entire two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

post-11-0-76614400-1433905890_thumb.png

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Dypsisdean

Just think how different the world would be if clean energy was dirt cheap.

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amazondk

Just think how different the world would be if clean energy was dirt cheap.

Dean,

I was just pondering this question. I guess you could say that when fusion become viable and we can use the mechanism of the sun to produce cheap, basically limitless, clean energy from fusion it will be a new revolution. I guess you could say that energy is the gold of our times. Wars and conflict have a root in energy in one form or another, Even religious wars have a root in energy. I guess you could say that this would be tapping into the energy system that drives the universe. Stars are the engines that drive our universe , creating life and all it represents. With an energy base like this containing green house gases would be automatic. Economically it would not make sense to generate them. I would venture to say that with a fraction of the money that is being budgeted and the government leaders would love to budget spent on making fusion power a reality. I would happen quickly.

These folks seem to focusing well on the subject - http://www.generalfusion.com/

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_Keith

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/31/sun-quiet-again-as-colder-than-normal-winter-approaches/

Sun quiet again as colder than normal winter approaches

sdolatest_512_hmiic-103116

Solar image today, from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

The sun has been completely spotless on 21 days in 2016 and it is currently featuring just one lonely sunspot region.

In fact, on June 4th of this year, the sun went completely spotless for the first time since 2011 and that quiet spell lasted for about four days.  Sunspot regions then reappeared for the next few weeks on a sporadic basis, but that was followed by several more completely spotless days on the surface of the sun.

The increasingly frequent blank sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an even greater number of spotless days over the next few years.  At first, the blankness will stretch for just a few days at a time, then it’ll continue for weeks at a time, and finally it should last for months at a time when the sunspot cycle reaches its nadir.  The next solar minimum phase is expected to take place around 2019 or 2020. The current solar cycle is the 24th since 1755 when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began and is the weakest in more than a century with the fewest sunspots since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906.

One other note, the weak solar cycle and the expectation for continued low solar activity this upcoming winter is an important factor in this year’s colder-than-normal Winter Outlook for the Mid-Atlantic region.

more at Vencore Weather

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Funkthulhu

Sun goes quiet again (HUGE COMMA) Colder than normal winter approaches.  

These two things are coincident, but the sun's minor fluctuation in solar output is not the cause of the cooler seasonal forecast.  However, that being said, if the sun were to overshoot this minimum and go into a Grand Minimum (lasting decades) it could have some small effect on the overall warming of the planet.  We're looking at another 1 to 5 C by 2100, but a Grand minimum could knock upwards of half a degree off of that over then next 84 years. Anything that would mitigate that rise would be welcome.

I liked wearing shorts all though October; but really, this is just getting ridiculous.

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DCA_Palm_Fan
On 6/1/2015, 4:08:46, Funkthulhu said:

 

I won't deny that our species teetered on the brink for a bit after Toba popped, or that a similar event happening today would be devastating on a world wide scale.

 

However, the eruption of a super-volcano lays pretty firmly in unforeseen territory. (at least until our technology gets better) Normal volcanoes are erupting every day and their average input to the global climate equation is foreseeable and more or less predictable over time.

 

On a slightly different note, I am perplexed by the psychology that allows us as a species think we're so powerful that we can go to the moon and do any other amazing thing we put our will towards, but we suddenly become the meek, the small, and the powerless when it comes to our effect on our own planet's climate. Seven billion people pumping CO2 into an atmosphere and not expecting anything to change because it's so big or that we're so insignificant is just weird.

 

We can not both stride like giants over the world and then pretend we can baby-step around the things we don't want to take responsibility for.

 

Blah blah blah soapbox soapbox :beat_deadhorse::beat_deadhorse::beat_deadhorse:

* Applause.  100%. 

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DCA_Palm_Fan
On 11/4/2016, 9:59:37, Funkthulhu said:

Sun goes quiet again (HUGE COMMA) Colder than normal winter approaches.  

These two things are coincident, but the sun's minor fluctuation in solar output is not the cause of the cooler seasonal forecast.  However, that being said, if the sun were to overshoot this minimum and go into a Grand Minimum (lasting decades) it could have some small effect on the overall warming of the planet.  We're looking at another 1 to 5 C by 2100, but a Grand minimum could knock upwards of half a degree off of that over then next 84 years. Anything that would mitigate that rise would be welcome.

I liked wearing shorts all though October; but really, this is just getting ridiculous.

It is.  

 

It it seems like Vencore, which is a DOD contractor that my partner works for incidentally , disagrees with NOAA.   I'm not sure why that article would even be written.   It seems fallabe to me on so many levels not the least of which that this will be the apparent cause of this supposed colder winter.   It takes no other factor into account other than the sun.  To correlate just that with our weather seems very disingenuous and even dangerous to me.  No one denies that it has many direct impacts.  But to frame it out like it is the determining factor is extremely misleading.    

Here is what NOAA thinks.  

IMG_1414.JPG 

That doesn't look nor sound to me like a colder than normal winter is expected.   In fact most projections I've seen point to a floridly normal if not warmer than average winter for far more places than not  

 
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_Keith

This is not new, but an article I had not seen before.   This is always an interesting (without politics) conversation.

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