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BS: Oil will run out

Peace 04 Feb 04 - 10:41 AM
Teribus 04 Feb 04 - 10:58 AM
Steve Parkes 04 Feb 04 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,petr 04 Feb 04 - 12:19 PM
CarolC 04 Feb 04 - 06:52 PM
Peace 04 Feb 04 - 07:06 PM
CarolC 04 Feb 04 - 07:20 PM
Barry Finn 04 Feb 04 - 07:26 PM
Bill D 04 Feb 04 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 04 Feb 04 - 07:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Feb 04 - 08:00 PM
CarolC 04 Feb 04 - 08:06 PM
Amos 04 Feb 04 - 09:19 PM
Midchuck 04 Feb 04 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,BreastMan 04 Feb 04 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,Boab 05 Feb 04 - 01:06 AM
Teribus 05 Feb 04 - 10:13 AM
Wolfgang 05 Feb 04 - 10:34 AM
Wolfgang 05 Feb 04 - 10:49 AM
Cruiser 05 Feb 04 - 11:05 AM
Cobble 05 Feb 04 - 11:09 AM
CarolC 05 Feb 04 - 11:22 AM
mooman 05 Feb 04 - 12:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Feb 04 - 12:26 PM
pdq 05 Feb 04 - 02:37 PM
pdq 05 Feb 04 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,petr 05 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM
BanjoRay 05 Feb 04 - 06:38 PM
dianavan 05 Feb 04 - 09:08 PM
mg 05 Feb 04 - 09:36 PM
Neighmond 06 Feb 04 - 12:59 AM
Midchuck 06 Feb 04 - 12:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 04 - 01:19 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 06 Feb 04 - 04:24 PM
CarolC 06 Feb 04 - 07:30 PM
Wolfgang 09 Feb 04 - 12:07 PM
Wolfgang 09 Feb 04 - 12:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Feb 04 - 12:53 PM
Chief Chaos 09 Feb 04 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,McCanick 10 Feb 04 - 06:42 AM
saulgoldie 10 Feb 04 - 09:36 AM
Teribus 10 Feb 04 - 10:48 AM
Pied Piper 10 Feb 04 - 11:14 AM
Wolfgang 10 Feb 04 - 12:11 PM
CarolC 10 Feb 04 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,chief chaos 10 Feb 04 - 12:59 PM
Chief Chaos 10 Feb 04 - 01:20 PM
Grab 10 Feb 04 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,petr 10 Feb 04 - 05:03 PM
Chief Chaos 10 Feb 04 - 09:39 PM

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Subject: BS: Oil will run out
From: Peace
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 10:41 AM

This was sent to me by a good friend. What's new. Didn't have a link with it; sorry to print it all here. (What do you tell the bear when you have no more cookies?)

Sunday, February 1, 2004 The Halifax Herald Limited

Sooner or later, the oil will run out

By Richard Gwyn

IN SOME YEAR ahead - and by no means one necessarily that far ahead - we'll go through another bout of winter weather like this one, but with one critical distinction that will make all the difference, even though it will have nothing to do with the weather.
Assume that we experience the same prolonged, extreme cold and high winds and succession of snowstorms, right across the country.
But assume, as well, that in that year the fuel with which we heat our houses, offices, factories and stores, and by which we power our cars, trucks, airplanes, trains and buses, is having to be rationed.
Rationing doesn't here mean actual physical rationing, with householders and car drivers limited to so many litres a month.
It means, instead, rationing by price. As oil supplies dwindle, not in themselves (or not for a long time) but in relation to demand, so will the price at first escalate, and then soar.
That's bound to happen. It will happen because the demand for oil is bound to outstrip the supply of oil, and of natural gas and coal and of other hydrocarbons.
The U.S. Energy Department reckons that this "tilting point" won't happen until 2037. Its calculation is widely criticized, with its forecasts for increases in demand dismissed as far too conservative.
One well-known petroleum geologist, Colin Campbell, has put the tilting point at 2010, or little more than a half-decade away. Another, Kenneth Deffeys, forecasts that it will occur this year.
The basic facts are these: The entire world now both produces and consumes some 75 million barrels of oil a day.
By 2015, or a decade away, demand is expected to increase by more than two-thirds, or by another 60 million barrels a day.
This extra demand simply cannot be met. We would have to find and develop the equivalent of 10 new North Sea oilfields in just a decade. Even if Iraq's oilfields are fully developed, with almost unlimited new investment and new technology, it could only produce an extra six million barrels, or a mere one-tenth of the amount needed.
Certainly, new supplies are being found in places such as Siberia, the Central Asian Republics and West Africa. But these are not net additions to the total output. At the same time, production from all existing super-giant and giant fields is contracting by four to five per cent a year.

Additional supplies could be generated from tar sands and oil shale in Western Canada and in Venezuela's Orinoco belt.
But more than half as much energy is used extracting this oil as the energy value of the oil produced.

Other potential supplies, such as polar oil and liquid natural gas, are horrendously expensive.
The real problem isn't supply, though. It's demand. Last year, one element of the demand equation clicked into place. In 2003, China overtook Japan to become the world's second-largest consumer of oil. The International Energy Agency describes China as "the major driver of global demand growth."
The U.S. remains the world's gas guzzler. It consumes about one-seventh of global production. Canada, relatively, is as liberal and as wasteful in its consumption.
A bit surprisingly, President George W. Bush, himself an oil man, has actually expressed some concern about the issue. He's said, "It's becoming very clear that demand is outstripping supply."
In fact, a lot could be done. Tax loopholes could be closed, like the one that makes SUVs artificially attractive.
Regulations could mandate higher fuel-efficiency standards.
Tax incentives could motivate householders to improve their heating efficiency.
Other remedies could range from minimizing urban sprawl to developing alternatives to hydrocarbons, such as hydrogen cells.
Energy economist Philip Verleger reckons that the U.S.'s oil imports, of some 11 million barrels a day, could be cut by half.
Bush, though, has done nothing about the problem other than to mutter that it does exist, and no Democratic presidential candidate has dared to mention the subject.
The reason is obvious: The last politician to talk seriously about conservation, Jimmy Carter in 1977, was trounced in the next presidential election.
Nothing is going to happen until the crisis of oil demand outstripping oil supply is clear, unmistakable and urgent.
And by then it may be too late.

Too late, that is, to avoid what former British energy minister Michael Meacher forecasts will be "the sharpest and perhaps the most violent dislocation (of society) in recent history."

So enjoy today's weather.

Richard Gwyn is a columnist for The Toronto Star.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 10:58 AM

"Sooner or later, the oil will run out"

Yes it will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 11:09 AM

According to New Scientist magazine, production will peak in (i.e. will fall off after) around 2010-2015. What this means is the price of oil will start increasing and will never come down again. (OK: "increasing more".) So all you US-folks who marvel that we pay over 5 pounds a gallon for our juice over here will find your selves doing it. Then you'll know why we drive such small cars!

It doesn't help to realise that at least half the oil will never come out of the ground, because there's just no way to get it out. Thefirst little bit may come out under its own pressure, then they have to pump hot water down the bores to soften it and force it out; but eventually there comes a point where it just won't budge.

Well, that will be good for the environment. It looks like some green alternatives aren't so green: hydrogen may be bad for the atmosphere in large amounts, wave- and wind-powered generators may be bad for wildlife habitats ... it might be nuke or nothing! (Ifwe can find a way of powering all those trucks and diggers they use to mine uranium ...)

Wake me up when it's all over!
Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:19 PM

actually Oil will never run out.

because at some point when it becomes prohibitively expensive
to extract, other technologies will come on the market - what those
other technologies are is not easy to predict, but probably fuel cells using hydrogen,

other options are hybrid cars (mix of electric, and gas powered)which
are being sold now, and consume maybe half the gasoline of regular cards.
plus a host of other options, eg. ethanol, or blends, (heck you can turn just about plant into alcohol, even garbage)

even cheaper, more efficient solar panels, Imagine making roofing shingles out of that and converting the extra energy into hydrogen which can be stored for future use. etc.

the fact is as far as energy is concerned the amount of solar energy that hits the earth something like 20% is reflected, a large part goes into warming the soil, and a large part goes into water evaporation - but the amount that sustains all life on earth is negligible, less than 1%. (and oil is solar energy from the past)


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 06:52 PM

If you're worried, get yourself a diesel car. You can use recycled deep-fryer oil from fast food restaurants in a diesel car. There's lots of ways to heat a house without using petroleum products.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Peace
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 07:06 PM

True, but unless we re-gear industry to other fuels, and produce electricity other ways, we're screwed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 07:20 PM

True, but unless we re-gear industry to other fuels, and produce electricity other ways, we're screwed.

Yes indeedy. Your guys are doing a lot to help speed up that process. Canada is way ahead of the US in that respect. As are several European countries.

Don't expect the US to do anything until it becomes clear to enough corporate executives here that they are going to get left behind in the new, non-fossil fuel economy if they don't get on board.

Steve Parkes, I don't think nuclear energy is going to be the answer. It's too expensive, and they still haven't found a way to dispose of the spent rods that doesn't involve bombing people with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 07:26 PM

The use of fossil fuels should have become & could've become obsolete
decades ago. The enegy producing companies would had to have killed their golden goose & that just ain't gonna happen until they can corner the alternative fuel sources. Hard to make a buck off of windpower & water power. Solar energy put to use in the construction industry (even passive) would amount to a huge reduction in fossil fuels. The glass & the mass of heat storing building materials & the proper use of solar panels & harnessing the wind on roof tops in a city full of high rises is no small savings. Getting the maximun benifits from insulation & ventilation systems piggy-backed with other alternative sources is only one of the many areas that would decrease dependence even more. Air, land, & water pollution, acid rain, global warming & destruction of wild life habits would all be
affected in a positive way. The less we use fossil fuels for an energy source the less we'll depend/need power plants which is a gaint source itself for pollution. The land could be put aside as protected areas for the growing of plant life which helps again. I'm far from knowing much about the energy industries & their choice of sources but I do know at our current rate the power brokers will not go for a safer & cheaper source & give up the huge profits their raking in as long as they can rape us over the barrel. Son of a bitches will demand a thank you, a pound of flesh & a bucket of blood from us for their troubles.

Bush has been giving lip service to this all the while giving away our natural resources & allowing the industries to possess the keys to
both the front & back doors.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 07:49 PM

prediction: There will a few years of panic and re-adjustment when the crisis hits, as those whose business is invested in oil will not 'get out' until the last moment...reducing both demand per capita and "capita" (world population) could ease the transition, but mark my words, put your money in communications technology, 'cause ease of travel in big countries in places like the US will get worse, and will not let you to fly to Grammaw's house every Xmas..


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 07:59 PM

Hmmmm. While there are (or at least may be) viable alternatives to oil as a major fuel source, what we tend to forget is that oil is also the principal source for the plastics we use. If you think we don't use or need that much plastic, take a look around the average home and look for all the synthetics that just plain wouldn't or couldn't be there without it. Then think about the entire infrastructure of our civilisation that has come to depend on plastic.

While most products first used plastics as cheaper or attractive alternatives to conventional materials (metals, fabrics, wood, rubber and glass) plastics have taken over entirely in many areas because it can make goods cheaper to buy, and a whole lot easier and more cost effective to make. There is also (perhaps somewhat paradoxically) arguably impact less on the environment than conventional materials. Think how many trees would have been cut down to make wooden alternatives to plastic items, or how much extra power would be needed for the whole process involved in making metal goods.

While we continue to throw away plastics when we've finished with them we are discarding a valauable resource as well as damaging our fragile eco-system. If we re-cycle more plastics now, we could at least partially reduce the impact of future oil shortage on our industry and our lifes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 08:00 PM

Hydrogen isn't an energy source, it's really a way of making electrically generated power more portable (you get the hydrogen by splitting water, into hydrogen and oxygen, then you get the power by recombining them so you end up with water vapour in the atmosphere).

And the electricity to split the water in the first place could come from anywhere, but preferably solar/wind/tide driven generators.

What with that and biomass there shouldn't be a real problem, in replacing the oil and other fossil fuels. If we didn't have oil money in the driving seat.

Nuclear fission is just crazy, because of the radioactive waste problem. Nuclear fusion we haven't got yet, outside of H-Bombs, and maybe we never will. Apart from that wonderful nuclear fusion facility we've got shining down on us every day, at a safe distance, our Sun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 08:06 PM

Plastics is a non-issue. We can make plastic from soy beans or from hemp seed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Amos
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 09:19 PM

Please look over this interesting article in Reason about past scientific predictions and how they erred.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Midchuck
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 11:19 PM

At one point this afternoon, on the Forum main page, this thread was listed directly underneath "Janet Jackson's Breast."

I couldn't help but think that that would solve all kinds of problems.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,BreastMan
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 11:52 PM

Midchuck,

Good observation.

However, wouldn't that be silicone running out instead of oil?

I prefer the REAL natural ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 01:06 AM

Barry Finn has spoken truly!


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 10:13 AM

I am surprised that as an alternative and inexhaustable energy source nobody has mentioned geothermal power stations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 10:34 AM

Instructive link, Amos.

When science mixes with political opinion, then science is bound to lose. What has always bothered me and still bothers me in scientists making these predictions is that they nearly never make a balanced argument but only bring arguments supporting one particular point of view.

When in the 70s the worlds was bound to cool down to a new ice age, one of the threats was that the amount of arable land goes down and therefore we'll die from hunger.

When in the 90s the world was bound to warm up one of the threats was/is that germs will be on the increase and we will suffer from more diseases in future.

I still wait to read an article (a book) from the 70s saying that one good thing in cooling is the lessend threat by germs, and one from the 90s telling that one good thing from warming is the increase in arable land.

Now, I don't know what will be true in future, but I know that I do not trust scientists who do not name and weigh the arguments, even if they are against their opinion, but selectively only present those for a certain case. They behave like advocates and not like scientists.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 10:49 AM

Let me predict one thing:

When the hydrogen based energy production will be the dominant energy source on the earth, environmentalists will point out soon that water vapour is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.

And this now is not a prediction, but it is happening already: Our environmentalists start to oppose wind power (lot of grassroot activities against it) for the damage it does to nature. You can make a lot of money with wind power in Germany, and so we have many rotors already with all the well known disadvantages.

There is no energy without disadvantages. Even better insulation of houses has led to the first deaths and illnesses in Germany (less draft, therefore more germs and fungus).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Cruiser
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 11:05 AM

All sources and uses of energy are paradoxical, for every positive aspect there is a negative result. This is just one of the many great conundrums in our lives on this planet.

I use solar power because it is less polluting than other energy sources. The sun is going to supply free energy for another 5 billion years plus, since it is about in midlife (barring any midlife crisis).

Entrophy will win in the end.

Crusier


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Cobble
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 11:09 AM

Nobody has mentioned what the disadvantages of wind power are please tell in more detail???

             Cobble


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 11:22 AM

There is no energy without disadvantages. Even better insulation of houses has led to the first deaths and illnesses in Germany (less draft, therefore more germs and fungus).


And many "disadvantages" are really just a need to make adjustments. Superinsulated, and tight homes need air exchangers. And that solves that problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: mooman
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 12:08 PM

The latest generation of solar panels can already offer energy conversion to heat in the 40% area (rising) and conversion to electrical energy at a lower level (between 25% and 35% in the latest designs - and rising also).

The only problem here is a mindset one and convincing governments to change. The more change there is the lower the currently high unit cost will fall. The more investment there is in the technology, the higher the efficiency will rise.

From my perspective renewable sources such as solar, wind and wave derived energy are the sensible way forward.

Of course, there is always the lobby from the current energy giants to put the spanner in the works.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 12:26 PM

I can't see how the hydrogen based energy production would actually mean more water vapour in the atmosphere, provided the hydrogen came from water in the first place. That's not to dismiss the suggestion, but can Wolfgang point me to a scientific paper indicating this possibility?


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: pdq
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 02:37 PM

Cobble...here is an article...I found several by Google search: "Wind Power, Altamont"



Bird deaths create turbulence for Californian wind farm

By Rone Tempest in Altamont Pass, California
December 20, 2003

When the giant Altamont wind farm sprouted 20 years ago, the main objections were aesthetic. Locals did not appreciate the forest of 7000 ungainly wind towers cluttering their view.

No one, apparently, thought about the birds.

Since the phalanx of giant windmills began churning the air above the Altamont Pass east of San Francisco Bay, an estimated tens of thousands of birds have died, including hundreds of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, kestrels and other raptors, after flying into the spinning blades of the wind turbines.

Now, some environmental groups that routinely supported wind power as a clean source of electric power are opposing the renewal of permits for the wind farm, the largest in the world in number of turbines, until steps are taken to reduce bird deaths.

"Renewing these permits without addressing the cumulative impacts of wind energy on migratory birds, especially raptor species, will give a black eye to wind power," said Michael Boyd, president of Californians for Renewable Energy. Joining in the effort is the Centre for Biological Diversity, a national non-profit group known for its litigious approach to wildlife protection.
  
The two organisations have asked the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to reverse a recent decision by a local zoning board granting permit renewals to some of the wind power operators.

Quoting from recent research for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the California Energy Commission, they estimate that over the past 20 years 22,000 birds have died in the Altamont windmills, including 400 to 800 golden eagles.

The open country surrounding Altamont Pass is believed to contain one of the largest populations of breeding pairs of golden eagles in the world. The large raptors, as well as thousands of the more common red-tailed hawks, use the pass as a route to their winter homes in California's Central Valley.

There are 16 other big wind farms in the United States, but none comes close to Altamont in the number of bird kills. In part, this is because of the abundance of birds.

The wind power industry, which is anxious to expand, describes the Altamont situation as an anomaly that has provided valuable lessons for other wind farm.

For example, the new Foote Creek Rim wind farm near Arlington, Wyoming, is also in an area with heavy concentrations of golden eagles. Using data about eagle flight patterns collected from Altamont, planners there were able to space rows of turbines in a way that has avoided high numbers of deaths.

A 2001 report commissioned by the National Wind Co-ordinating Committee, an industry-funded advocacy group, says that the continued controversy over bird kills, particularly at Altamont, has "delayed and even significantly contributed to blocking the development of some wind plants in the US".

The report says many more birds are killed annually in collisions with vehicles (60 million), window panes (98 million) and communications towers (4 million) than die nationwide in wind turbines (10,000 to 40,000).

Even the common household cat, wind power industry advocates argue, is responsible for more bird deaths than turbines.

Los Angeles Times


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: pdq
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 02:44 PM

Here is another...it suggests that market manipulation by various levels of government were needed to make the wind farms in Altamont Pass a reality:




Wind Power May Receive a Breath of Fresh Air


BY Yuriko Nagano

Date: 07-31-98

The everyday miracle of electricity comes at a cost not always revealed by the monthly utility bill -- costs involving dammed rivers, smog, the risks of nuclear power. Wind power seems to offer a way to avoid these costs, but it has run into difficulties on its own. Now new technology may revive hopes for this "clean" energy source. PNS correspondent Yuriko Nagano is a Japanese journalist studying at U.C. Berkeley.

SAN FRANCISCO -- From a distance, the ridgeline of the grassy Altamont hills east of here looks as if it is studded with thousands of pinwheels.

A closer look reveals enormous windmills -- and an even closer look shows many of them are rusting and out of commission.

Altamont is the second largest wind power site in the world. It produces about a billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity each year, enough to power about a third of the homes in San Francisco.

It is also a monument to an ambitious idea -- producing electricity without burning fossil fuel, damming rivers, or turning to atomic energy -- that ran into trouble. Now that idea may take on new life under a plan to replace nearly 1,300 of the 5,400 working turbines with 200 larger units. Total energy output would not change as the new machines produce about seven times as much power as the existing ones.

The new machines look like the old ones, with a tubular tower and three blades, but represent "the latest technologies from Europe and Japan," according to Steven Buckley, a senior planner with Alameda County. Three different developers -- Green Ridge Power, MNR Energy and SeaWest -- propose to spend more than $100 million on the new equipment.

California's new rules, which let consumers choose where to buy their energy, do not affect the project, as the region's major utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has agreed to buy all the energy the developers produce for at least the next decade.

The developers do face a deadline -- a federal tax credit of 1.7 cents/kwh ends in June 1999. But the project cannot begin until the two counties affected finish an environmental study.

One major concern is the fact that the turbines now kill many birds, including an average of 49 golden eagles each year, according to the Golden Gate Audubon Society. Developers claim the new turbines, with more space between blades and turning at a much slower rate, will be safer for birds, and some have met with environmentalists to explain this.

"We'd like to see a clean energy source," says Arthur Feinstein, executive director of the Society. "But wind power is not clean if it's dripping in blood. We really hope that their new approach is successful."

Other environmental concerns include noise generated by the rotation of the blades and frequent grass fires caused by electric sparks from the cables on the machines.

Landowners -- many of whom lease their land for grazing -- are somewhat wary about the project. For example, Anthony Castello, 59, is a rancher with 500 wind turbines on his property. SeaWest owns 65 of these, and is proposing to replace them.

"SeaWest has been paying rent, " Castello says. "But I'm not collecting rent from the rest." He is referring to the more than 400 windmills on his land owned by the Arcadian Renewable Power Corp., which went bankrupt and abandoned the machines two years ago.

Investors were drawn to wind power in the early 1980s by generous federal tax credits. To ensure the new industry's survival, the State of California's Public Utilities Commission required PG&E to write 20-30 year contracts agreeing to pay above-market rates for electricity produced at Altamont, in some cases ten times market rates, for the first ten years.

"We were forced to buy that wind energy," PG&E spokesman Jon Tremayne says, "so California could have a diverse mix of energy in the future."

As various contracts pass the ten year mark, however, the amount PG&E pays for wind-power has dropped. Today, about half the producers receive 11 cents/kwh, the rest an average of 3.5 cents/kwh. PG&E claims a fair market price is 1-2 cents/kwh but the American Wind Energy Assn. says the cost of production is 3.5 to 5 cents/kwh, about 80% less than it was 20 years ago.

Abandoned windmills still share Castello's land with his 400 cows. A British company has asked permission to build 45 to 50 new turbines, but Castello says , "I'd like to know more about how good these (new) windmills are because I don't want any more bad machines."

If the new machines prove less troublesome than the old ones, the spirits of those involved with the Altamont project will surely revive.

"The Altamont was traditionally the largest wind farm in the United States and actually in the world," planner Buckley says. "It has shrunk a little bit, but the repowering is basically the means to keep on operating the large wind farm in the next 20 years or so. They are going to give the Altamont a new lease on life."


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM

some interesting points - it is true that hydrogen is not an energy resource - rather a way of storing energy - there not many ways to store electricity- (one is batteries - which have their disadvantages - heavy, toxic materials etc, and water in hydro reservoirs)
but imagine if your car or roof is covered with cheap & efficient solar panels - your car could be storing energy sitting in a parking lot.
the other point about hydrogen - is that current production of hydrogen - from methanol? actually creates green house gases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: BanjoRay
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 06:38 PM

All hydrogen creates is water, of which the world has a huge excess already, so no problem, unless the production of hydrogen, from sources other than solar, releases other gases like CO2. When my master plan is executed and the oil producing countries cover their deserts with solar cells, they will use the power to split the seawater they always have next to them. They will export the hydrogen and oxygen by sea, and thus maintain their incredible standard of living when the oil runs out - or much preferably before the oil runs out, so the oil can be used as raw material for manufacture. This hydrogen production will produce no global warming, or pollution of any sort.
Ther you are - problem solved. Just pay me lots of money, please.
Ray


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: dianavan
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 09:08 PM

I'm guessing that the most underdeveloped source of energy is created by the oceans' tides.

Lets face it, the reason alternatives haven't been developed is that the profits are not as good as they are with oil production. I can think of at least one oil-rich family that has probably done all they can to insure that their revenue is not hurt by alternate sources of energy.

...but no matter what alternate sources are developed, it must be coupled with an effort by individuals to curb consumption. As the biggest consumers, N. America must lead the way - otherwise we have no right to deny developing countries the right to squander and pollute.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: mg
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 09:36 PM

any semi-educated person who builds a house or commercial building without some thought to solar etc. is to stupid to be even given a permit. Even 20 years ago the high school drafting classes in a Maine high school I worked at couldn't turn in a non-solar project....Anyone capable financially of some retrofitting who doesn't is just irresponsible, especially as they wail about the oil companies. The oil companies undoubtedly will ride this monster as long as they can, but of course they have plans for all kinds of alternative energies..ready to roll out at a moment's notice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Neighmond
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 12:59 AM

They will, because they can.

Chaz


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Midchuck
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 12:41 PM

Even the common household cat, wind power industry advocates argue, is responsible for more bird deaths than turbines.

True on its face, but...large raptors? I suspect more house cats are killed by eagles than eagles are killed by house cats.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 01:19 PM

The answer could be re-rigging the wind turbines so they worked more like windmills, larger sails but moving more slowly. So far as I know there was never much trouble with traditional windmills and bird collisions. Or even if they coloured them in such as way as to make them show up better, and stuck some lights on for night fliers it might help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 04:24 PM

This may be old sombrero, but I seem to recall an organisation called the Club of Rome which back in the sixties produced a report called "The Limits to Growth". Ring any bells?

For the record : an economist is someone who believes he can reverse the laws of thermodynamics...

KYBTTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 07:30 PM

I'm pretty sure there is a new wind technology that has a much smaller impact on birdlife. I'm trying to remember where I read or heard about it. I'll post something if I find it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 12:07 PM

I can't see how the hydrogen based energy production would actually mean more water vapour in the atmosphere, provided the hydrogen came from water in the first place. (McGrath)

(1) the cheapest way to produce hydrogen at the moment is not from water (but also from a nonrenewable source, namely natural gas).
(2) Even if all hydrogen would come from water in the first place, turning water into water vapour in the end increases the amount of greenhouse gas. We have loads of CO2 in the world. None of them worries us, except that small amount acting as a greenhouse gas. Water isn't problematic here, but water vapour could be.
(3) What makes water vapour less problematic than CO2 is that it eventually (and usually rather quickly) comes down. We call it rain. Therefore a human decision to stop adding water vapour to our atmosphere would have success within weeks. A decision to reduce CO2 (or other gases) would have success with a lag of decades. Water vapour, which actually is the largest contributor to the greenhouse effect, is therefore seen as less problematic.
(4) However, a grand scale water vapour addition to our atmosphere could have locally drastic climatic effects and globally perhaps too, for the amount of water vapour at any given time will increase, even if it all comes down fairly quickly. My guess is that high flying hydrogene powered planes will be the worst problem here.
(5) My point is not that this would not be an improvement, I actually guess it will be. I only want to warn against those thinking that everything will be unproblematic if only the oil profiteers will be replaced by environment loving people. Any energy production is dangerous and has some disadvantages.

I could find some articles, but I think this should make clearer my previous post.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 12:39 PM

The German ecological movement is quite split on wind power:

(1) The really economically competitive projects would be offshore in a very sensible area of the flat tidal ocean.
(2) Direct killings of birds is not seen as a urgent problem, but
(3) Many species of birds avoid breeding and feeding close to these rotors (imagine you get a big fright every other second from a big shadow)
(4) People living there complain about the low frequency noise and about the intermittent shadow (intermittent shadow can in principle trigger an epileptic fit). The complaint are about headache, sleeplessness etc. Those people of course could be ecochonders (you will guess what this new word means), but who can be sure?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 12:53 PM

I'd hope that hydrogen from natural gas would be a temporary phenomenon - my impression is that the gas is quite likely to run out sooner than the oil anyway.

No doubt someone has done the sums on the water vapour issue, and clearly they should. My guess is that the figures would be fairly reassuring about the possible impact, but guesses like that aren't worth much.

Agreed, it's not a good idea to assume that any technical fix will make it possible to keep on racing ahead and using more and more energy. There are definitely limiting factors. And there are potential drawbacks to pretty well all alternative energy sources that need to be taken heed of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 04:18 PM

There are a couple of other sources for energy which are often overlooked. Recycled paper (not yet used) can be compressed and used as fuel in electric plants. I believe it is time to end the reliance on paper medium in most part anyway. How much of the evening/morning/weekend news do you actually read? I believe a high resolution notebook style reader would be better in the long run. They can be recharged with solar energy. No more need for huge printing presses or the energy they demand. No tons of misprint papers that can't be sold. No more inks needed, no more bleaching paper to make it white, etc. Get your news downloaded every day with a subscription. The only difference between that day and this is that they print the word instead of sending it digitally.

There are millions of tons of old used tires which can be shredded, and burned to create steam which turns the turbines and is also then used to clean the emissions. The burning process yields usable oil as well.

And what's with all the steam coming from the electrical plants anyway? I would think that you would spend a few bucks to condense it, run it back down through additional turbines and either back through the system or filtered for drinking water.

Down here in Louisiana they have burn-off stacks all over the place (they call them flares) that burn 24-7-365. I understand that these are undesiragle flammable gases but they couold be routed to boilers to make steam to power turbines. Instead they just burn away merrily.

Attic turbines that spin with the wind or from heat rising through the louvres could be outfitted with lightweight magnets and wire to be small generators (every watt counts!)

I could go on and on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,McCanick
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 06:42 AM

In my experience oil only runs out if there's a hole in the can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: saulgoldie
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 09:36 AM

Each new source of energy has its drawbacks and limitations. The underlying issue is sustainability. We are using up everything faster than it can be replenished. There are just plain too many people on the earth and we--not each of us, but all of us together--have too great an appetite for resources for our Mother to support us in harmonious perpetuity. Until we achieve aggressive negative population growth and dramatically reduce our appetites we are only postponing the inevitable by relying on alternative energy and material sources to "save" us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Teribus
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 10:48 AM

Some facts about the USA and Geothermal Power Plants and Electricity Production

Geothermal energy provides more than 2700 megawatts (MW) of electric power — comparable to 60 million barrels of oil per year, enough for 3.5 million homes. This is only a small fraction of the potential value of geothermal energy in the U.S.

Geothermal electricity is clean — no fossil fuels are burned. Geothermal electricity produced in the U.S. displaces the emission of 22 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.

Geothermal electricity is reliable — plants have average system availabilities of 95% or higher, compared to 60-70% for coal and nuclear plants.

Geothermal electricity is cost-effective — today's cost of geothermal electricity ranges from $0.05 to $0.08 per kilowatt-hour, and technology improvements are steadily lowering that range. Also, the average geothermal power plant requires only 400 square meters of land to produce a gigawatt of power over 30 years. Compare that with the enormous amount of land needed for coal and nuclear plants and all the open-pit and other mining required to fuel them.

Geothermal electricity is homegrown — it reduces the need to import oil, reduces the trade deficit, and adds jobs to the U.S. economy.

Three power plant technologies are being used to convert hydrothermal fluids to electricity. The type of conversion used depends on the state of the fluid (whether steam or water) and its temperature:

Dry Steam Power Plants:
Steam plants use hydrothermal fluids that are primarily steam. The steam goes directly to a turbine, which drives a generator that produces electricity. The steam eliminates the need to burn fossil fuels to run the turbine. (Also eliminating the need to transport and store fuels) The oldest type of geothermal power plant. It was first used at Lardarello in Italy in 1904, and is still very effective. Steam technology is used today at The Geysers in northern California, the world's largest single source of geothermal power. These plants emit only excess steam and very minor amounts of gases.

Flash Steam Power Plants:
Hydrothermal fluids above 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) can be used in flash plants to make electricity. Fluid is sprayed into a tank held at a much lower pressure than the fluid, causing some of the fluid to rapidly vaporize, or "flash," to steam. The steam then drives a turbine, which drives a generator. If any liquid remains in the tank, it can be flashed again in a second tank to extract even more energy. Only excess steam and trace gases are emitted.

Binary-Cycle Power Plants:
Most geothermal areas contain moderate-temperature water (below 400 degrees F). Energy is extracted from these fluids in binary-cycle power plants. Hot geothermal fluid and a secondary (hence, "binary") fluid with a much lower boiling point than water pass through a heat exchanger. Heat from the geothermal fluid causes the secondary fluid to flash to steam, which then drives the turbines. Because this is a closed-loop system, virtually nothing is emitted to the atmosphere. Moderate-temperature water is by far the more common geothermal resource, and most geothermal power plants in the future will be binary-cycle plants.

The Future of Geothermal Electricity

Steam and hot water reservoirs are just a small part of the geothermal resource. The Earth's magma and hot dry rock will provide cheap, clean, and almost unlimited energy as soon as the technology to use them is developed. In the meantime, because they're so abundant, moderate-temperature sites running binary-cycle power plants will be the most common electricity producers.

Before geothermal electricity can be considered a key element of the U.S. energy infrastructure, it must become cost-competitive with traditional forms of energy. The U.S. Department of Energy is working with the geothermal industry to achieve $0.03 per kilowatt-hour. It is believed that the result will be about 15,000 megawatts of new capacity within the next decade.

The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors millions of dollars in research and development at national laboratories and universities. Investigators are working on issues in exploration, geochemistry, drilling, resource usage, and equipment operation.

The hot dry rock system once perfected could be used anywhere in the world. The system would be a closed system with the water captured after passing through the turbine blades injected back down to the reservoir to be converted into superheated steam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Pied Piper
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 11:14 AM

Buning hydrogen produces water vapour true.
Burning fossil fuels produces CO2 AND water vapour.

CH4+ 202 > CO2+2H20

The above reaction (Methane another greenhouse gas)) yields 50.5Kj/mole.

2H2+O2 > 2H2O yields 97.4Kj/mole, both produce the same amount of water but burning Hydrogen produces twice as much energy.

Of cause if the H2 is oxidised in a Fuel sell the water output is liquid.

QED
PP


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 12:11 PM

The hydrogen economy blasts off

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 12:40 PM

This site has information about how an Illinois company is addressing the problems people have brought up in this thread associated with wind energy. I'm still looking for the info on the new kind of wind generator I heard about recently.

Illinois Wind Energy


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,chief chaos
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 12:59 PM

hey chief, you raised a number of points I (being a printer) would dispute. First of all we recycle our paper - that is paper that is 'misprinted', we use & reuse when setting up a job so that we dont waste the good paper. Any offcuts from trimming, diecutting and other waste gets picked up by the recycler every 2 weeks.
(plus we do have a blue box recycling program in Vancouver to keep paper out of the landfill - and cardboard is not allowed in the landfill at all) There is a de-inking paper recycling plant around here and its not likely there will be ever enough recycled paper for it to run to capacity.

But most of the paper that is available today has some recycled content, and there are a few that are 100% post consumer.

most of the inks used today are vegetable based and as far as bleaching paper - the paper mills have switched from chlorine bleaching to oxygen bleaching which is much more environmentally sound. Your proposal to burn paper pellets only adds to the greenhouse problem.

I personally do not want to read books or magazines from electronic
readers and Im sure a lot of people would agree with me. I dont read the daily paper (other than scanning it at the coffee shop) but I do like to read magazines nyorker etc.

Printing makes up a significant part of the manufacturing sector and has been affected by technological change, as well as the downturn in the economy but oddly enough paper mills are making more paper than ever - while certain specialty papers (coloured or different finishes) have been dropped much more copy paper and laser inkjet paper is being produced for the small computer printer market.

and web presses that print newprint, and supermarket flyers are busier than ever - as I see everytime I open up my local rag.
Btw - I dont get a regular paper anyway I just scan the copies at the local coffee shop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 01:20 PM

Didn't mean to offend, I wasn't aware of all the new technology being used. Sounds like you folk have got your act together! Congrats! Glad to know our northern cousins don't have their head up their ass like us!
I know alot of people would not like to read from an e-reader but then alot of people didn't want to ride in cars or airplanes when they were first introduced. I just see it as mass distribution without alot of overhead cost. No delivery vans (which in my day of delivering papers weren't very well kept. No hauling of raw materials to the printer, Not as much electricity needed to put out the product. No paper to be put in a landfill (not all American cities or for that matter not all countries recycle).

The idea of burning the paper put out for recycling that has never been used came from news shows that were lamenting the high price of recycling programs and showed out of business recycling centers with tons and tons of paper just sitting in the recycling yard. I did not mean it as a "clean" source of energy. But I would argue that it is probably cleaner than coal burning plants and much better than strip mining which the present administration seems to be close to allowing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Grab
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 02:06 PM

The problem with oil alternatives is that petroleum is damn near the perfect fuel source for vehicles, energy-wise. There really isn't much else that stores the same amount of energy in the same amount of space under simple and safe storage conditions.

- Batteries can't do it, nor will they ever unless there's some radical new invention that's utterly different from any battery we know.

- The main problem with hydrogen (and LPG) is storing enough of the stuff to get the required energy density per storage volume - these gases have to be stored at immense pressures, which requires seriously strong pressure tanks to store them. And unlike a leaky petrol tank which can be patched with chewing gum in an emergency, I wouldn't like to be anywhere within a block of one of these things getting a crack in the tank, or to be in a hydrogen/LPG car that gets rear-ended (the word would be "shrapnel" when umpty-tum atmospheres of gas blows the tank to pieces, and then there's the flammable gas to deal with as well).

- And diesel is all very well, but the particulates from that aren't good news for the environment.

Of course, the prediction of a 75% increase in oil usage assumes that consumers will still use it at the same rate. Once OPEC start running dry, the price is going to go way high, and demand will crumble. US consumers will get the idea when their 4-litre SUV starts hitting them in the pocket, and SUVs will become as much of an anachronism as all the other gas-guzzling American cars to date.

On the subject of solar panels, I assume we're talking about solar panels heating water? Photovoltaic solar panels producing electricity are a losing proposition - a recent Which? article reckoned they won't pay back their cost for 20 years. They use some really nasty chemicals in their manufacture as well.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 05:03 PM

no offense taken, I just wanted to clarify some points.
and I really meant to put my name down

I still like the feel of reading a newyorker in bed, coffee in hand,
and wouldnt want to do it from a screen - I know that RR Donnelly (one of the largest printers - has a lot invested in e-paper but Im not convinced - I much prefer the feel of a book in my hand)
petr


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Subject: RE: BS: Oil will run out
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 09:39 PM

Okay,
Professor Chaos takes the stage,

Alot of the drawbacks pointed out with other technologies are present in the production (drilling and extracting) and development (cracking and other methods) of petroleum resources.
On top of what is used "down hole" to lubricate the drill pipe and drill bit what comes back up is not always "good" for the environment or anything else for that matter. Low grade radioactives, know as normally occuring radioactive material or NORM comes up hole. Sour crude is loaded with nasty materials, of which Hydrogen Sulfide gas comes to mind. Smells like rotten eggs. You smell it and it seems to go away because it desensitizes your olfactory receivers. You can stand in a cloud of it thinking your perfectly fine, until you drop dead.
It's bad enough that the facilities storing and transporting crude and refined petroleum products have discharges all the time, but the oil platforms in and around the gulf area are always having small discharges as well.

It's the cautionary tales of the other processes that keep them from being researched and developed. It makes them sound worse than what is going on now. I can also tell you that there are lots of problems with the dangers of the platforms themselves, the offshore supply vessels that run back and forth to the different platforms and the helicopters that transport crews in and out. When it's all added together it's a wonder that petroleum is such a lucrative item. Its only because the oil comes out in thousands of barrels per day (by the way its 42 U.S. gallons to a barrel, not 55) that they make money on it.

P.S. When you control the supply you control the demand. All of the so called Oil Crises have been put ons by the petroleum industry. I have talked with tankerman who have told me that during the two previous oil crises that they sat offshore until the owner got the price he wanted for the oil in the tanker.


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