Mankind using Earth's resources at alarming rate

November 24, 2009
A NASA image shows Planet Earth in one of the most up-to-date images of the world to date. Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans, according to a report issued Tuesday.

Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans, according to a report issued Tuesday.

As it is, humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet its needs, said the report by Global Footprint Network, an international think tank.

"We are demanding nature's services -- using resources and creating -- at a rate 44 percent faster than what nature can regenerate and reabsorb," the document said.

"That means it takes the Earth just under 18 months to produce the ecological services humanity needs in one year," it said.

And if humankind continues to use natural resources and produce waste at the current rate, "we will require the resources of two planets to meet our demands by the early 2030s," a gluttonous level of ecological spending that may cause major ecosystem collapse, the report said.

Global Footprint Network calculated the -- the amount of land and sea needed to produce the resources a population consumes and absorb its -- of more than 100 countries and of the entire globe.

The think-tank worked out how many resources the planet has, how much humans use, and who is using what.

Back in 1961, the entire planet used just over slightly more than half of Earth's biocapacity.

Today, 80 percent of countries use more biocapacity than is available within their borders. They import resources from abroad, deplete their own stocks and fill "waste sinks," such as the and ocean, with carbon dioxide.

The average American has an ecological footprint of nine global hectares (23 acres), or the equivalent of 17 US football fields.

The average European's footprint is half that size, but still too big to be sustainable in the long term.

At the other end of the scale are impoverished countries like Malawi, Haiti, Nepal or Bangladesh, where the footprints are around half a global hectare, or 1.25 acres -- often not even enough to provide for basic food, shelter and sanitation, the report said.

But there are relatively easy measures that can be taken to slow the rot.

"In most high-income, industrialized countries like the US and European countries, the biggest part of the ecological footprint is the carbon footprint," Nicole Freeling, a spokeswoman for the Global Footprint Network, told AFP.

"One of the biggest things such a country can do to reduce its ecological footprint is to manage energy more efficiently and effectively -- for example, by investing in renewable energy and clean tech on the one hand, and resource-efficient infrastructure and compact urban development on the other," she said.

Changing consumption habits can also reduce the global footprint.

"While people living at or below subsistence levels may need to increase their consumption to move out of poverty, more affluent people can reduce consumption and still improve their quality of life," Freeling said.

(c) 2009 AFP

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sender
1 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2009
in a billion years the earth will have lost all it's water, 2030 is no different a scenario
nuge
3.9 / 5 (11) Nov 24, 2009
There are TOO MANY PEOPLE, and it's only getting worse. One of three things can happen:

- We can find ways to use much less resources to support all of those people.
- We can try to control population growth so that there are less people.
- Do nothing (and people will die anyway).
NotAsleep
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 24, 2009
I think what the article left out was that the panel was made up exclusively from the Monty Python cast.

So far, no one here has said it is ridiculous and overkill to say we're using "resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet (our) needs".
Mesafina
4.6 / 5 (10) Nov 24, 2009
We can't just grow our population forever. Eventually we will reach a point when there simply is not enough land to grow food for everyone, when natural freshwater sources are depleted faster then they can recover, forcing us to use even more energy on desalination processes. And then throw in the fact that our energy as a civilization comes from unrenewable sources at the moment, and I think you'd have to be stupid or willfully ignorant to not be able to understand how we could in the future be consuming more then the earth can sustain. The earth is not infinite, therefor there is a certain amount of life it can sustain in a given period of time. We don't know exactly what that number is yet, but beware of those who say it doesn't exist. That's like saying a cup can hold infinite water... only a madman would propose such.
CarolinaScotsman
3 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2009
"As it is, humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet its needs,"

Where are we getting the other half an Earth every year? You can't use more Earth than exists. Exaggeration does not help your case.

Husky
3 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2009
5 earths with current utilisation levels,
I bet there is a missing 4 earths out there in unutilized energy in wind/solar/hydro/thermal pervading the surface of the earth every minute, speaking of surface, we barely scratched it with deep drills 3000-5000 mtrs for commercial exploitation, surely there is much more deep down down if the price is right. But first, it needs to go worse (hitting population walls, resource wars) before it gets better.
nuge
5 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2009
Why not unshackle the ingenuity of the human race by promoting free markets and entrepreneurship around the world?


Because all that you seem to get out of that are mobile phones, ipods and weapons.

Solutions to all the problems you worry about exist. Are you willing to sacrifice government control to obtain solutions?


Yes, and I listed them in my post. I preferred the first one, which was pretty much what you said in response to my comment anyway. As for government control, yes, well the government aren't doing anything about these problems.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2009
Why not unshackle the ingenuity of the human race by promoting free markets and entrepreneurship around the world?

Apply your ingenuity to simple math: an exponential function grows without bound. The surface of the Earth is finite in area. If human population continues to grow exponentially (as it has been), eventually the entire landmass of the Earth will be covered by people standing shoulder-to-shoulder. Long before then, famine and war will replace "free markets" and "entrepreneurship"...
peteone1
3 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2009
Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming...

http://www.zerohe...ed-fraud
peteone1
1 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2009
How are there *TOO MANY PEOPLE* on the planet?

"If you gave each of us 6,000,000,000 people an acre, we could all fit into the United States, Brazil and Australia ... and still have room for 235,359,362 more people."
http://www.wnd.co...geId=816

Please do some research before buying into the twin myths of AGW and overpopulation.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2009
Why not unshackle the ingenuity of the human race by promoting free markets and entrepreneurship around the world?
Most of the countries with real money HAVE free markets. Except of course for the cases where the markets have been tied up by monopolies and trusts.
Solutions to all the problems you worry about exist.
Indeed. Its called BIRTH CONTROL.
Are you willing to sacrifice government control to obtain solutions?
Are you willing to allow governments to stop corporations from colluding?

Ethelred
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2009
Has anyone besides me noticed that most, if not all, of those that are against birth control are the same ones that are promoting creationism of some kind?

Ethelred
Tachyon8491
1 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2009
Those who believe that even in an extended projection of resource utilisation there is no possibility of "resource extinction" are reliant on two fundamental conflations: 1) a misunderstanding of the dynamics of natural biocycles in the ecosphere and the resource recycling times involved - this with the accent on fossil fuels. 2) in a future Pareto Optimum phase where potentially all demand is met by correlating supply, an unrestrained numerical species growth will force the emergence of hugely complex paths of energy exchange but also vastly reduced ecological integrity and quality of life. Of course the focus on fossil fuels is also due to a sociocultural phase; so-called "renewables" are seasonally, geographically and diurnally sensitive and have never contributed more than a few percent to national needs. Although there is easy proof of copious free energy (any college student can perform the Bohren experiment with a huge overunity factor) this is presently viciously suppressed...
Tachyon8491
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2009
A more progressive view is gestaltic: it takes into account that our present sociocultural stance is enormously materialistic and based on non-equitable, dissonant energy exchanges. Also, the planet is our birth-cradle, we are not supposed to stay there in a progressive technological and psychospiritual maturing of the species. By not aiming for the stars we will over-exploit and soil our birthplace in space. Of course, there are those who are completely satisfied with a myopic view of the status quo...
GrayMouser
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2009
A more progressive view is gestaltic: it takes into account that our present sociocultural stance is enormously materialistic and based on non-equitable, dissonant energy exchanges. Also, the planet is our birth-cradle, we are not supposed to stay there in a progressive technological and psychospiritual maturing of the species. By not aiming for the stars we will over-exploit and soil our birthplace in space. Of course, there are those who are completely satisfied with a myopic view of the status quo...

Would you care to repeat that in sensible english instead of psychobabble?
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2009
Are you willing to limit the power of the governments to prevent them from favoring one company over another?
Evading the question I see. Allowing monopolies IS favoring one company over another.
GE and BP and Eron
GE sold RCA to the French, so screw them. BP is Britain's problem. Enron devastated my state. Let them rot in jail.
Just as Gore has done.
Lets see. Gore saw that there might be a problem with the amount of CO2 being released and invested in companies that would benefit from stopping what he saw as a problem. Looks like a potentially wise, if risky, investment. It is STUPID the way so many pretend that there is something nefarious about that. By that standard you should be raking Bill Gates over the COALs for investing in software.
If government had limited power,
My government's power IS limited.
corporations must compete amongst themselves
Or collude and avoid competition. As is often the case.

Continued

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2009
and consumers would have the power
Some people are totally ignorant about reality. You seem to be one of them. Go study the Robber Barons and Teddy Roosevelt's war against those thieving monopolists.
But it is easier to bribe a few Congressman and use coercion.
Or even to go overseas and bribe THOSE politicians thus avoiding US laws.
BTW, monopolies cannot exist without protection from the government.
Ever hear of J. P. Morgan? How about the Hunt Brothers unregulated attempt to corner the silver market? Standard Oil? ATT? The Sugar Trusts? United Fruit Company? Any of these monopolies that came into existence without government's help.

Continued

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2009
Has anyone besides me noticed that those 'smart' people who believe in AGW
Evasion. And you are again painting me as someone else.
and the Club of Rome doomsday
What is next from you? Lizards from outer space?

And would you mind NOT putting words in my mouth? You do it a lot with you all but calling me a Commie Running Dog for not agreeing to the sort of Mad Dog Capitalism that even Adam Smith pointed out would be disastrous.

Please note that I ASKED you if you could even be agree to anti-trust, something the Adam Smith thought was necessary and YOU brought him up as a prophet of Capitalism.

Men will collude. It doesn't matter if it is in politics or business or finance. There is nothing magic about industry. Or for that matter state and local government. All of them must be watched and individuals can't do it. And with journalism OWNED by big business like Murdock it is hard to get help from the Fourth Estate these days.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2009
Would you care to repeat that in sensible english instead of psychobabble?


Some of it made sense. However it did look too much like a paper for Science. And it needed some whitespace.

It also made at least one VERY dubious statement. Which after checking it out made it clear that it was even more dubious than I thought.

Although there is easy proof of copious free energy (any college student can perform the Bohren experiment with a huge overunity factor)


ANY STUDENT? What college did you go to?

Then there is the little problem that YOU aren't making money from free energy. Anyone could do it if it worked. You could pretend that you had solar power and were selling the excess.

I found a lot of people claiming that this is easy. Not a one claiming to have produced actual usable power. None.

Its Cranking.

Now the suspiciously dense style of the post makes more sense. Its a Crank attempting to take on the color of science.

Energy ain't free. TANSTAAFL.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2009
Yes, you should study how TR started socialism in the USA
Hard to study something that exists only in your head.
Myth of the Robber Barons explodes the misperception that the great competitors of the 19th century made their gains unjustly
Who said anything about unjustly, though certainly some did. A monopoly can use its money and control to destroy competition simply by running at a loss where ever the competitor exists. This is why we need anti-trust. For instance competing against MS has little to do with who has the better product. It has lots to do with who has the deepest pockets.

I don't see anything in that link that even mentions Teddy.
They failed did they not?
They damaged the silver market in the process.
A few years ago there was only ONE phone company, by law.
False. There NEVER was only one, they just didn't compete. Nor was there such a law. Heck even the FEW years is false. Its been longer since ATT gave up in the anti-trust case.

Cont.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2009
The ONLY way a monopoly can exist is with the protection of the government.
Funny how you carefully ignored Standard Oil. Which did EXACTLY what you claim can't happen.
In a free market NO monopoly can last long as competitors find ways to gain market share.
Tell that to the competitors of Standard Oil. And for long can be a LOOONNG time even when the government hasn't intervened.
The government's power is limited by what?
The Constitution. Try reading it. Note the clauses about interstate commerce in particular.
They buy GM and Chrysler and..
When a company asks for help from US the People why shouldn't we get at least partial ownership? As long as the stock is put back on the market later.
The market entrepreneurs, such as Hill, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller, succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price.
And using deep pockets plus collusion to suppress competition.

Continued

Ethelred
peteone1
1 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2009
((Has anyone besides me noticed that most, if not all, of those that are against birth control are the same ones that are promoting creationism of some kind?))
Um by procreation we perpetuate the species, which via the laws of nature help to ensure a viable and healthy species in terms of adequate numbers. Those who favor unbridled birth control and abortion hate the Natural Order, which is built on the foundation of the family. Furthermore, most Americans not only believe in God (~90%) but as logic would dictate, also believe that God had something to do with the creation process. Now that's where things become a bit sticky since most of those believe in the biblical account of creation as taught in Genesis, including an earth that's less than 10 K yrs old. Then there are those of us who accept the existing scientific evidence which points to an ancient earth (4.6 billion yrs old) and the evolution of life from lower forms with the caveat of that process having been initiated by God.
peteone1
1 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2009
Greenazis seek to destroy capitalism and to impose some new way to practice totalitarian communism under the guise of *saving the planet*...
"Bolivian President Evo Morales has told a UN forum that capitalism should be scrapped if the planet is to be saved from the effects of climate change. 'If we want to save our planet earth, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system...If we want to save our planet earth, to save life, to save mankind, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system.'"
http://michellema...italism/

All the more reason to oppose ANY climate change control treaty. For the real reason to oppose such draconian Leftwing propositions is to preserve our constitutional freedoms and free market system of government.

Husky
5 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2009
neither an unlimited government nor an unlimited market seems to favour the average joe. I think a free market with safety valves should be the way forward, what I would call a responsible free market, not a market that lends billions to build a bubble in Dubai because of bankers getting commissions.Free should not mean freedom to loot the cookiejar of the company that employs you.
beegee
not rated yet Nov 29, 2009
More propaganda to push cap and trade through, what a joke! I wonder how much commission the brokers/bankers will make off of this AND if the FED will control it?

Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2009
Couldn't connect

The market entrepreneurs helped lead to the rise of the U. S. as a major economic power.
So did those railroads that the US government helped get going.
(and Carnegie)
Who was not the only Robber Baron that used the government and the Pinks to suppress and often to even KILL people in the labor movement.
The political entrepreneurs, by contrast, were a drain on the taxpayers and a thorn
Funny how he tells that fairy story with a straight face while calling the RAILROADS were part of the free market.

If he makes such a clear fabrication as claiming the rails were a free market he likely made others. Yet you believe him. Go study the Robber Barons again. And the Railroads.
All 'solutions' demanded by AGW disciples are political at the expense of the economic.
Still painting away I see. However you might notice that even people in business are aware that the publicly owned companies find it difficult to make long term efforts.

Continued

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2009
Adam Smith was no fan of unlimited government
I didn't claim he was. Especially since England still wasn't democratic. It STILL doesn't have a Constitution. I just said he wasn't for allowing the sort of mad dog capitalism you are for.

From the same site
Monopoly...is a great enemy to good management
The price of monopoly is upon every occasion the highest which can be got.
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is im-possible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and jus-tice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.
That was long before big business and at the beginning of finance.

Yet more

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2009
An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes the act of the majority binding upon the whole.
And there he seems to be against ALL the people you are supporting. They are ALL incorporated.

And how about something that looks REMARKABLY like socialist thinking.
What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.


So are you still going to pretend that it is possible to have a free economy without SOMETHING to stop the Robber Barons from gaining control at the expense of the rest of humanity?

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2009
"The clearest definition of monopoly is one seller, with the law prohibiting competitors from entering the market. service in a certain locale — and competition is prohibited by the local governing body. "
That is a fantasy, not a surprising thing considering the source. When a company controls the market to the extent that it can charge what it wants and still destroy its competitors that is a monopoly. And a monopoly is not a Trust which is when competitors agree not to compete and to destroy those that do.
So much for the myth of the Standard Oil "monopoly."
Carefully ignoring ALL that preceded.
Some business organizations spend years, even decades, earning consumer support
Indeed. That is why the monopolies are not inherently illegal in the US. Campbell's Soup being an obvious case. Microsoft being the opposite case when they engaged in anti-competitive contracts with OEMs. Which is why Bill lost his first monopoly case and was told to cease and desist.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2009
Competitors and left-wing university professors are prone to call such firms "monopolies."
They are. He can lie about it all he wants but they are still monopolies and under US law are restricted from the sort of actions that MS engaged in.
Ah, but won't firms that have earned high market share use their "power" to restrict output thereby raising prices? They might attempt to do that.
Not only might but sometimes do.
But that sort of behavior will quickly attract competitors from both within and without the industry.
Lie. There is no inside when someone already owns it all.
But can't firms collude and fix prices in free markets? The answer again is — they are free to try.
In his world. Fortunately not in the US or Europe.
But most credible college professors will inform their students that historically such attempts have been abject failures.
He has an interesting definition of credible. More like delusional.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2009
But we must understand the true source and causes of monopolies — governmental barriers to free and open competition.
Ideological thinking. The true source is human beings. Funny how he thinks people are different in business than in government.

From what I can see that rather than explicitly admit you are against anti-trust you have engaged in a lot of ideological fantasy about human beings and finance. Every bit as fantastical as Karl Marx. Both fantasies are dependent on something that is not a human being.

As a result, by 1940 the Bell System effectively owned most telephone service in the United States,


Totally ignoring the fact that it did that BEFORE 1934 as well.

ATT was a monopoly, protected by the state, but I am being redundant.


ATT was a monopoly that the state decided to regulate rather than break up. You are being duplicitous not redundant.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2009
http://www.fff.or...411e.asp


Oh goody the same Ideological fantasist as before. Such a neutral source. Well a source of fantasy anyway.

The editorial was reacting to a platform of Teddy Roosevelt that included an income tax, a central bank, and curbs on competition.


Lets see. A central bank. The thing that made England wealthy instead of poverty stricken. An income tax so that those the gained the most from the government paid the most, gosh that is so awful. Curbs on MONOPOLIES increase competition, only a fantasist could claim otherwise.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2009
Um by procreation we perpetuate the species
Really. I had no idea.
Those who favor unbridled birth control and abortion hate the Natural Order
Good, though abortion is not birth control, it is the result of NO birth control. The Natural OrderTM is dependent on a great deal of death and suffering.
Furthermore, most Americans not only believe in God (~90%)
85% may be closer.
but as logic would dictate, also believe that God had something to do with the creation process.
False. In two different ways. There is NO logic involved in that, except that based on dubious premises. Second YOUR god is that same Jehovah.
Now that's where things become a bit sticky since most of those believe in the biblical account of creation as taught in Genesis
Which shows how reliable the US majority is as a source of truth.
(4.6 billion yrs old)
Which is not the World of Jehovah.
having been initiated by God.
No god is needed to explain the Universe we live in.

Ethelred
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2009
How does that square with 'progressive' taxation? Taxes are voluntary?


They were passed into law by a majority of a representative democracy. The law can be revoked if the majority should choose to do so. Of course, "tyranny of majority" would be the standard response, to which the usual retort would be: find a country where the majority's will is more to your liking... In other words, if you aren't the one howling, then someone else always will be anyway.

I challenge anyone to give me an example of what they call a monopoly whose market is not protected by the state.


This can no longer happen in the developed world, because every single developed nation has antitrust laws. In third world nations, the monopolistic industry is frequently THE government (i.e. the two are one and the same entity): the industry (which accumulates all the money and power) ends up either buying or otherwise controlling the legislation. Look up the etymology of "banana republic".
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 30, 2009
Ideological thinking. The true source is human beings. Funny how he thinks people are different in business than in government.


A very common fallacy, indeed. Though I presume the argument might be that individual businesses are free to fail due to misfeasance, whereas governments always manage to survive by forcing the governed to bear the price. In that sense government is the ultimate monopoly (it truly has no competition to its power.)

However, all the gospel about true freedom and personal responsibility, doesn't stand up to a basic smell test: most people are NOT business gurus, are NOT smart investors, are NOT good money managers, and are NOT instinctual capitalists or entrepreneurs. In a true laissez faire environment, therefore, MOST people are the natural marks for clever con men: it is a prescription for a pyramidal society where all the wealth is permanently concentrated at the pinnacle of the pyramid ("trickle down" is nothing but crude toilet humor.)
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
This is supposed to be a science based bbs. Where the science supporting your assertions?


The evidence is literally all around you: the escalating collusion and commingling between Wall Street and Washington, and all that brings forth. You start with accumulation of money and power by the wealthiest 1%, at the expense of the other 99% of the population (look up "Income Inequality" and "Wealth Condensation" on Wikipedia.) Once enough power is accumulated by the oligarchy, the oligarchy effectively takes over and becomes the government (e.g. the "military-industrial complex" of Eisenhower's nightmares.) In the end, you have your "national socialism", or "corporate fascism" -- the one and only, assured and inevitable outcome of laissez faire ideology. It's not just U.S. In Russia, this literally happened within a single decade: they went from totalitarianism, to laissez faire mafia economy under Yeltsin, and from that dove right into nationalist corporate fascism under Putin.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
What does this have to do with free market capitalism?

The solution is not more government power but less.


It is the inevitable evolution and the inescapable conclusion of "free market capitalism", in every bit analogous to how totalitarian dictatorship is the inevitable outcome of "communist revolution."

Both pure capitalism, and pure communism, are unstable dynamically and tend to devolve into a more stable and natural state of affairs -- which is usually anathema to the respective zealots. But c'est la vie. The governing force is the rank and ugly human nature, and given enough time, it wins every time.

What I'm trying to tell you, is that your ideology is disastrously utopian, utterly unrealistic, doomed to failure, dead on arrival, or whatever other cliche might make it simple as pie to you.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
...von Mises, Hayek, Thomas Sowell, and dozens of PhD economists around the world.


Every bit analogous to the prophets of communism. And worse yet: they are both right! The communists are quite right: we shouldn't be working ourselves to death in exchange for money and material goods, climbing career and social ladders by stepping on the necks of our lessers -- we should be trying to enjoy life, and when we do work, it should be because we like it, and we should love each other and care for each other, and ask nothing in return (ask any Christian: they'll agree!) The free market ideologues are quite correct: we should all be responsible, and independent, and vibrantly individualistic, and energetic, and always hungry for success, and diligent, and law-abiding, and so on.

Problem is, aside from the ideologues (at least some of whom are also hypocrites), humanity in general is none of those things, and NEVER WILL BE. Denial of this reality always leads only to disaster.

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