Branson outlines world powered by wind, solar power

September 25, 2015
Sir Richard Branson has called for an end to subsidies for dirty fuels and oil drilling in the Arctic, and for a cap on coal and
Sir Richard Branson has called for an end to subsidies for dirty fuels and oil drilling in the Arctic, and for a cap on coal and a carbon tax

Entrepreneur Richard Branson outlined a vision of the world powered by renewable energy and said it would be "pretty dreadful" if a forthcoming UN climate summit is not a success.

"It would be, I think, pretty dreadful if we don't have a big success in Paris," the billionaire British founder of Virgin Group told a gathering of business leaders in New York.

The Paris conference will gather together heads of state and government from November 30 in a bid to crown a six-year effort by 195 nations with a post-2020 pact on curbing greenhouse gases.

He called for an end to subsidies for dirty fuels and oil drilling in the Arctic, and for a cap on coal and a , saying that he was prepared to shoulder the short-term cost.

"Obviously I've got three airlines, it won't be great news in the short term, but it definitely needs to see a global carbon tax," the businessman said.

He urged governments and businesses to come up with big innovations to counter climate change. Money from taxing "dirty industries," he said, should "go into a big innovation pot."

"The end result by 2050," said Branson "will be a world where we're powered by sun, we're powered by wind... we're powered by other innovations."

It would be a world, he said, where fuel would be cheaper than today to benefit hospitals and schools.

"Countries that are big oil producers, coal producers are going to have to adapt but the vast majority of the world will benefit. It will pull everyone out of poverty and it will be a really exciting world to aim for."

Branson is one of Britain's most high-profile businessmen, whom Forbes estimates to be worth $4.9 billion.

He is also co-founder of The B Team, a coalition of global business leaders working to advance the wellbeing of the planet.

Branson spoke on a panel of as the UN General Assembly in New York prepares to adopt Sustainable Development Goals, a new 15-year agenda to eliminate poverty.

Explore further: Space tourism won't hurt environment, Branson says

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Eikka
3.1 / 5 (10) Sep 25, 2015
He called for an end to subsidies for dirty fuels


Good luck with that, since the biggest fossil subsidizers are countries like Iran, China, and Russia. There's very little subsidies for fossil fuels going on in the west.

And the irony is that all the wind and solar power Branson wants is being made using dirty fuels in the countries that subsidize them. Nearly every single solar panel is made using Chinese coal, and if China stops subsidizing and starts taxing their domestic coal industry, the price of solar power shoots up.

The problem still is that renewable power is itself too expensive to be used to build more renewable power. It takes too many extra steps and it's too inefficient to go from say wind power to making a wind turbine, so the system would never pay itself back.

Instead, fossil fuels are used to construct and install and maintain the turbines, and so any wind energy subsidy is in reality a fossil fuel subsidy as well.
billpress11
3.5 / 5 (8) Sep 25, 2015
Eikka, I really do not understand your argument. Sure one has to use dirty coal and oil to make the first solar panel. But after you make the first one it can can produce enough energy make many more without the need of dirty energy sources. Multiply this often enough over decades we can completely eliminate the need for dirty energy sources.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
The reason we have Silicon Valley here and not in Europe is folk like Eikka.

How would you like to be developing something with him around?
WillieWard
2.1 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
Branson is outlining world powered by bird choppers, landscape destroyers. Luckless mother earth.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (12) Sep 25, 2015
Branson is outlining world powered by bird choppers, landscape destroyers.

Yeah, because oil spills, fracking, coal mines, nuclear waste dumps, smokestacks, etc. ... are oh soooo much better and healthier for birds (and humans), and make landscapes just soooo much prettier, right? (/sarcasm)

How can you even type this stuff? How much do people have to pay you to spread this tripe?
WillieWard
2.5 / 5 (8) Sep 25, 2015
How can you even type this stuff?
gskam and his mates detest the truth.
denglish
3.3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Everyone wants a clean planet.

Any decision to go to cleaner power sources must be tempered by the idea that humanity, and nature, have benefited from the use of fossil fuels.

I believe this study must be understood by all of us:
http://object.cat...a715.pdf

Until we have energy sources that can sustain us, and protect the earth, we must continue on the path we are on; if we aim to maintain our prosperity. The irony of attacking these "filthy fuels" is that they are powering us toward the alternatives that will one day truly render them obsolete.
billpress11
3.3 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
How can you even type this stuff?
gskam and his mates detest the truth.


How can you even type this stuff?
gskam and his mates detest the truth.

What do you know about the truth WillieWard? Renewables will replace dirty coal and oil whether you and the Koch brothers like it or not. I know the Koch's have taken it on the chin with the low coal and oil prices lately but well that's what happens to people that spend their money trying to impede progress toward a cleaner more healthy world.

If we listen to the likes of you and the Koch brothers we would still be using manual labor, our hands to dig up potatoes.
gkam
2.6 / 5 (10) Sep 25, 2015
I noticed the folk who deny Climate Change are the same folk who needed to kill 200,000 Iraqi civilians who had done nothing to us, because they got SCARED. They bought the lie, and now assume we are ALL liars to get what we want.

They had no problem of squandering 4,000 Americans and $4,000,000,000,000 on the Republican Wars of Mass Killing and Mass Profit, but cannot spare a dime to save the Earth!

billpress11
3.9 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
Quote denglish: "The irony of attacking these "filthy fuels" is that they are powering us toward the alternatives that will one day truly render them obsolete."

I like that and there is a lot of truth in that statement. But there is an equal irony in that the ones attacking renewables and insisting we stay with the "filthy fuels" are increasing the need to get away from using them.
denglish
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
But there is an equal irony in that the ones attacking renewables and insisting we stay with the "filthy fuels" are increasing the need to get away from using them.

Here's the rub Bill: current energy alternatives cannot maintain the level of prosperity humans (and the earth) enjoy.

So, if we drastically reduce carbon output, there will be a very serious risk involved.

Check out that paper. It makes a very convincing case for fossil fuels benefiting both humans and the earth. I think we need to stick with what we got until we get something better.

the folk who deny Climate Change

I don't think I've seen one person on this site that denies climate change. The argument is what the change really is, and whether or not policy makers are wise making decisions based on incomplete input.

are the same folk

George, we talked about this yesterday. If you act like an ass, you'll be treated like one.

WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2015
Renewables will replace dirty coal and oil
Wind/solar needs to be backed by "dirty coal and oil" to compensate intermittency/out-of-phase with demand, that is the truth, Ironic.
Also wind/solar needs fossil fuels for mining and transporting.
"To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.
The fossil fuels used to transport that waste, experts say, is not typically considered in calculating solar's carbon footprint, giving scientists and consumers who use the measurement to gauge a product's impact on global warming the impression that solar is cleaner than it is."
"The greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting this waste is not insignificant," Mulvaney said.
http://business.f...24b-104b
progress toward a cleaner more healthy world
billpress11
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Quote denglish: "Here's the rub Bill: current energy alternatives cannot maintain the level of prosperity humans (and the earth) enjoy.

So, if we drastically reduce carbon output, there will be a very serious risk involved."

There are serious risk if we don't also. No one is talking about overnight, and speaking for myself I favor tax subsidies for renewables and I am willing to have a lower level of prosperity to be able to live a healthier longer and more enjoyable life.

I would like to point out also the countries that get into the forefront of renewables should also be the countries that will get an economic boost from renewables. I believe Denmark already is getting an economic boost from their windmill technology.

Another example of this is in high speed trains, China won the contract to be the lead contractor in California's high speed train.

billpress11
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
Quote WillieWard: "Wind/solar needs to be backed by "dirty coal and oil" to compensate intermittency/out-of-phase with demand, that is the truth, Ironic.
Also wind/solar needs fossil fuels for mining and transporting."

Wind and solar energies can also be backed up by hydro, compressed air and ever improving battery technology, coal and oil will not be needed in any major way. Transportation can be power by electricity and or hydrogen easily enough. Besides nobody is talking only about carbon gases, there are plenty of others.

Get aboard the train or get run over!
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Willie already recognizes dirty fuels are now relegated to backups. Soon, we will not need even them.
jim_xanara
2.1 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
Richard Branson is actually Jewish (the Jewishtribalreview). The JTR is an excellent web for information about The Conspiracy. Anyone that is familiar with its methods and actors will see the same bootprints all over AGW.

Denglish is right. It's about impoverishing the average person for the sake of the kleptocratic elite. Do you realize who directed "Inconvenient Truth". And those liars ALWAYS say, "really. I'm not lying". It's called being a sociopath. Anyone that condones AGW pap is anti-social.
denglish
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
There are serious risk if we don't also.

That is far from proven, but it is a good idea to get cleaner.

I am willing to have a lower level of prosperity to be able to live a healthier longer and more enjoyable life

If fossil fuel use is cut to a significant degree, your level of prosperity will be much lower, you won't be healthier, you won't live longer, and your life will not be as enjoyable. In order to make up for the lack of benefits afforded by fossil fuels, nature will be raped by needy humans.

Denmark already is getting an economic boost

What do you mean by economic boost?

Denmark is getting 28% of its power from wind. That's pretty good! I did some figuring (please check my math), and that would be energy for .44% of the US population (less than one half of one percent of the US).

So, wind is not even close to being able to sustain major economies.

Trains cannot bring goods to the point of use.
gkam
2.1 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
Here is an interesting article showing us how we can do it, if we give up selfishness:

http://america.al...ies.html

"Among the bills awaiting the governor's signature are Assembly Bill 1071, which would create a policy to return a portion of fines levied against polluters to the communities they polluted."
denglish
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
dirty fuels are now relegated to backups. Soon, we will not need even them.

Nonsense.

Here is an interesting article

Al Jazeera. You really are an idiot.
WillieWard
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
dirty fuels are now relegated to backups. Soon, we will not need even them.
Have you already installed those solar panels, or windmills, on the rooftop of your car? If so, tell us how powerful your car has become; is it in horsepower or Unicorn Power?
billpress11
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
dirty fuels are now relegated to backups. Soon, we will not need even them.
Have you already installed those solar panels, or windmills, on the rooftop of your car? If so, tell us how powerful your car has become; is it in horsepower or Unicorn Power?

Just do a little reading up on the Tesla, it will run rings around any gasoline power car. Oh, and yes it can be charged in some parts of the country with solar and wind generated electricity. So keep on driving your "Unicorn Power" gas car.
billpress11
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
dirty fuels are now relegated to backups. Soon, we will not need even them.

Nonsense.


Nonsense? I don't think so, even with today's technology it is possible, granted it would cost more.

As for Denmark, they are presently getting about 39% of their electricity from renewables. But the "boost" is coming from the investments they have made in wind and turbine technology, they are now able, and have sold this to some other countries, thereby creating jobs in their own country.

The serious risk you are trying to perpetuate is not just from carbon, it is also from mercury from burning coal that is added to the atmosphere. From radioactive coal ash as well as waste from nuclear power plants and from meltdowns that have already happen.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
From radioactive coal ash as well as waste
Renewables use rare-earth metals that contain traces of radioactive uranium and thorium.
"They found thorium, a radioactive metal often contained in rare-earth deposits." "..are found in wind turbines"
http://www.newyor...-coaster
billpress11
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
From radioactive coal ash as well as waste
Renewables use rare-earth metals that contain traces of radioactive uranium and thorium.
"They found thorium, a radioactive metal often contained in rare-earth deposits." "..are found in wind turbines"
http://www.newyor...-coaster

Tit for tat: http://phys.org/n...ash.html
WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
Oh, and yes it can be charged in some parts of the country with solar and wind generated electricity.
How many acres in wildlife's habitats, birds and bats, natural landscapes, are needed to be destroyed?
denglish
3 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
even with today's technology it is possible

Please share your logic, accounting for transportation of people and goods as well as other energy needs.

granted it would cost more

How much more? What will the impact to nature be?

presently getting about 39% of their electricity

Still less than one half of one percent of the US electricity requirement. Renewables cannot sustain a major economy.

The serious risk you are trying to perpetuate is not just from carbon

I invite you to read the study I posted. I am saying that the reduction of fossil fuel use will negatively impact humanity and the earth.

it is also from

Speculation won't get you very far with me.
antigoracle
3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Yep, exactly what those windmills and GloBULL warming need. Another blowhard expelling hot air.
philstacy9
2.7 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
The environment limb of science having become infected with ideology is now necrotic with gangrene and should be amputated to fester in its own separate and ignored website to save the rest of science.
billpress11
3.9 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
Oh, and yes it can be charged in some parts of the country with solar and wind generated electricity.
How many acres in wildlife's habitats, birds and bats, natural landscapes, are needed to be destroyed?

I don't know, figure out the lost acreage actually square miles around the meltdowns in Russia and Japan??
Oh, don't forget the land beneath wind turbines can be farmed and is not lost acreage. In fact any birds killed would just fertilizer the soil.
billpress11
3.9 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
Denglis, Denmark is doing it the US could be doing it also. Check out this link,
fhttp://phys.org/n....htmlact
Notice the country on the list and the one missing?
Isn't that strange the one generating 39% of its electricity has a higher standard of living than the one you claim is only getting 1% of its from renewables!
denglish
2.3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Isn't that strange the one generating 39% of its electricity has a higher standard of living than the one you claim is only getting 1% of its from renewables!

Your link is broken, but it doesn't matter; I've learned that phys.org articles must be independently verified. You'd do better to link to actual studies.

Please re-read what I posted. I said that 39% of Denmark's power coming from renewables does not satisfy one-half of one-percent of the United States' power needs. This does not include transportation of people and goods; something that Denmark does not feel the need for as acutely as the US does. Thus, major economies cannot be supported (right now) with renewables.

Do a small math exercise. Find out how much land is needed to satisfy Denmark's 39%. Extrapolate the amount of land needed to support 39% of the US' need. Assume 1 to 1 returns re: land use in Denmark and the US.

billpress11
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
denglish, I pasted in the wrong link, this one should work.
http://www.mapsof...map.html

The land beneath wind farms turbines is usable. A 1 to 1 land use in Denmark compared to the US would give us BIG advantage.

What I cannot understand is how they can do it and increase their standard of living, I thought it was supposed to lower it? I must be missing something!
denglish
2.3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
What I cannot understand is how they can do it and increase their standard of living

Your HDI source is out of date. Try this one:
https://en.wikipe...nt_Index

The land beneath wind farms turbines is usable.

Source?

I must be missing something!

You're missing a lot, but that's OK.

Let's start simpler: How many acres of land and water does Denmark's renewables use? Approximate is fine.
denglish
3 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
Yikes, I just did a bit of research.

Denmark in 2006, used 36,392 GWh. It was said in the wiki source that a 3% increase per year is reasonable.

In 2011, the US used 4,127 TWh.

The figuring above I used was just comparing populations. The notion that the US could follow Denmark's example and still maintain status quo (speaking of electrical consumption only) get's really far out there.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
In fact any birds killed would just fertilizer the soil.
Eco-friendly fertilizer.
Oh, don't forget the land beneath wind turbines can be farmed and is not lost acreage.
Another advantage is that after forests being cut down to give place for wind turbines and pastures, the trees stop emissions of carbon dioxide into atmosphere, pretty much ecologically friendly.
billpress11
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
denglish, it makes little difference how many acres of land and water are used in wind farms because the land under can still be farmed and the water under can still be fished.

The really smart farmers will do both.

"..wind in agriculture are compatible land uses. Farmers who use sections of their crop land for wind development can continue working the soil right up under the installations and earn extra revenue for farming expenses."

http://www.agricu...QylbzNac
billpress11
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Denglish. not only can the land be used under the windmills the windmill could also be built on top of buildings. So for all practical purposes Denmark has lost no land to wind farms, neither would the US have to lose land to wind farming.

Take a look at Canada, they are pulling right ahead of the US.

Canada generates a significant majority of its electricity from hydroelectric dams (59% in 2006).Wind power is growing quickly with Canada in 2011 being the 6th largest producer of wind power in the world.[1] Canada has built a number of photovoltaic power plants, mainly in Ontario, with one in Sarnia being the largest in the world at the time of construction. A 15 megawatt tidal plant sits atAnnapolis, Nova Scotia, and uses the daily tides of the Bay of Fundy. Politicians have expressed interest in increasing the percentage of Canada's electricity generated by renewable methods.
https://en.wikipe...n_Canada

billpress11
3.5 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Canada is pulling right ahead of the US - -

2014 was a record year for wind energy development in Canada with new installed capacity from 37 wind energy projects totalling 1,871 MW. Canada finished 2014 with nearly 9,700 MW of total installed capacity – supplying approximately 4 per cent of Canada's electricity demand with enough power to meet the needs of over 2 million Canadian homes.

http://canwea.ca/...apacity/
billpress11
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
denglish, when the "standard of living" comparisons are created a lot depends on what is included.
The HDI index is one way there are others. I think the happiness index is a sum of all of them.

3 Denmark 7.527 0.303

14 Mexico 7.144 0.410
15 United States 7.143 0.633

https://en.wikipe...s_Report
howhot2
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
Branson is right on. Science rules and global free atmospheric CO2 release will eventually become outlawed. He recognizes that and smart investors know where to put there money. It's not fossil fuels! (as much as the denier goon squad would like to argue differently).

If you look at what is needed to convert from fossil fuel energy sources to a Solar/Wind sources, Obviously you need carbon based fuels to power the system why you build the replacement system. However, it's only by transitioning that there will be relief from intense global warming effects of CO2 expected future (if it already isn't to late). The fuel used right now was going to be used anyway so it's splitting hairs to argue about the fuel used to create solar and wind systems. Well if you don't agree, just google "Carbon Foot Print" and see where a 25 year solar panel fits into reduction of CO2. You have to start somewhere and it really needs to happen 20 years ago.





greenonions
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Wind farms can share the land. They typically use about 3% of farm land for access roads, and turbine pad - http://phys.org/n...lar.html
Wind turbines can offer farmers a stable revenue stream from their land - a definite win/win/win.http://www.ucsusa...TYfTLrAE
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 26, 2015
@dung wrote
I've learned that phys.org articles must be independently verified. You'd do better to link to actual studies.
I don't know if he was attempting hyperbole, sarcasm, being ironic or what!

to date:
there have been more than 100 studies (validated studies!) linked to dung, which she refused to read, ignored or simply said must be wrong because dr roy or someone else said they were (sans evidence, of course)

she ignored validated content as well as science, proof and empirical evidence

Couple that with the lessons on statistics, math and sample size that furlong and others gave her...

and then to make the above statement?

I really don't know if I should laugh or what!
Speculation won't get you very far with me
well, neither will facts, empirical evidence, science, validated studies or reality, apparently
Wullum
2.7 / 5 (7) Sep 26, 2015
Interesting how billionaires have no problem promoting new taxes with impunity toward those who have to work for a living.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 27, 2015
We had better continue to transform our power system, or we will wind up like this:

http://www.abc.ne.../6297718

Fortunately, we can see almost daily progress toward renewable technologies right here in these fora.
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 27, 2015
..will wind up like this:
http://www.abc.ne.../6297718]http://www.abc.ne.../6297718[/url]
Fear-monger and sensationalist mass media have induced more deaths than radiation.
"The Fukushima government has recorded more than 1,800 stress-related deaths to the March 11 disaster of 2011."
"A lot of people are depressed, they feel isolated."
http://www.abc.ne.../6297718]http://www.abc.ne.../6297718[/url]
"Fukushima disaster" "No one has been killed or sickened by the radiation"
http://www.nytime...isk.html
Fortunately, we can see almost daily progress toward renewable technologies right here in these fora.
Unfortunately, renewable technologies disturb wildlife's habitats, destroy natural landscapes, and butcher millions birds and bats. Nothing than ecologically hypocritical means of energy production. Nuclear is our best option.

docile
Sep 27, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
tekram
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 27, 2015
Interesting how billionaires have no problem promoting new taxes with impunity toward those who have to work for a living.

You missed the part about him owning three airlines? He is raising tax on himself.
tekram
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 27, 2015
As http://www.nature...993.html point outs clearly, a shift to renewable energy will just replace one non-renewable resource (fossil fuel) with another (metals and minerals)...
Your characterization of that paper is absolute nonsense. It clearly stated that resources for renewable infrastructure is recyclable and the demand can be met.
"More mining is unavoidable, but increased recycling, substitution and careful design of new high-tech devices will help meet the growing demand."
tekram
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 28, 2015
Fear-monger and sensationalist mass media have induced more deaths than radiation.
"The Fukushima government has recorded more than 1,800 stress-related deaths to the March 11 disaster of 2011."

This is another misdirection, propaganda and blaming the victims by the nuclear industry, similar to something the tobacco industry used to say. This is like the tobacco companies blaming their smoker's cancer deaths on the smokers inhaling too deeply. The mass media didn't cause the mandatory evacuation, Tepco's action was the cause. The mandatory evacuation of Fukushima was needed to reduce radiation exposure of their residents to less than 100 mSv, without which their exposure would have been similar to the 450 mSv received by the 600,000 civilians near Chernobyl. The result of the Chernobyl exposure was 4000 extra civilian cancer deaths, a low and conservative number as predicted by the WHO.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 28, 2015
..blaming the victims..
The renewable industry blames the house cats for millions birds and bats slaughtered.
http://www.usatod...5683843/
Cats do not kill eagles, but wind turbines kill eagles and other protected birds.
https://savetheea...ictures/
http://abcbirds.o...strikes/

In a similar way, next time they will blame the eagles and other endangered birds for flying in natural habitats.
denglish
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 28, 2015
denglish, it makes little difference how many acres of land and water are used in wind farms because the land under can still be farmed and the water under can still be fished.

You're speculating Bill. I maintain that the land needed to power major economies would prohibit the institution of wind power as a sole source.

That said, the real impact will be on transportation of goods and people; locally and globally. Electricity is one thing. The ability to get things to people had better have a real good replacement if we don't want to impact society.

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