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Western Mainstream Media Censor Green Left Pope Francis' “Laudato Si'”
Message For Urgent Action On Climate Change

By Dr Gideon Polya

 20 August, 2015

Mainstream media lie as no better exampled by  the extraordinary  censorship  of the powerful and radicalizing climate change action message of Green Left Pope Francis' Encyclical “Laudato si'” by US, UK and Australian Mainstream media, most notoriously by the UK BBC, the  US CBS, the US Murdoch Media Empire's Fox News and The Australian, and the taxpayer-funded Australian ABC. Censorship, lying by omission and lying by commission will doom the planet.

Green Left Pope Francis' Encyclical “Laudato si'” (“Praise be to you”) with the sub-title “On care for our common home” was officially released on 18 June 2015. It runs to 192 pages including  246 Sections and is  a powerful, science-informed  statement of  the need to  urgently cease the destruction of  the environment and cease pollution of the environment,  particularly  with fossil fuel burning-derived greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are causing global warming [1].

This science-informed Papal Encyclical has greatly upset the anti-science climate change deniers as well as neoliberal  effective climate change deniers who are opposed to urgent action against fossil fuel burning, these anti-science neoliberals notoriously including some right-wing  Catholic politicians, journalists, commentators and even clergy [2-4].   Thus Jeb Bush (a Catholic US presidential candidate) said: "I hope I'm not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don't get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope” [2] and Cardinal George Pell (a conservative Australian cleric close to pro-coal Australian PM Tony Abbott): “It's got many, many interesting elements. There are parts of it which are beautiful… But the church has no particular expertise in science,the church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters. We believe in the autonomy of science” [3].

In contrast,  “Laudato si'” has been greatly praised by scientists and other science-informed,  honest and humane intellectuals [2, 5-7]. Some such views are quoted below:

Professor Robert Manne (a leading Australian intellectual and emeritus professor at Melbourne's La Trobe University): “In our own age we are faced with a crisis of civilisation of equivalent depth but of an altogether different kind – the gradual but apparently inexorable human-caused destruction of the condition of the Earth in which human life has flourished over the past several thousand years, at whose centre is the phenomenon we call either global warming or climate change. During the past decade I have read scores of books and thousands of articles, many outstanding, examining from every conceivable angle and also trying to explain the wreckage we are knowingly inflicting on the Earth. It was however not until last week that I read a work whose tone and scope seemed to me, like Arendt's Origins, fully adequate to its theme. That work was Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home – in my opinion one of the most important documents of our era” [5].

Bill McKibben (founder of 350.org that seeks to return atmospheric CO2 to 350 parts per million, noting that 300.org backed by the latest science wants to return  CO2 to 300 ppm CO2  from the current  dangerous 400 ppm CO2): “Laudato Si' does not disappoint. It does indeed accomplish all the things that the extensive news coverage highlighted: insist that climate change is the fault of man; call for rapid conversion of our economies from coal, oil, and gas to renewable energy; and remind us that the first victims of the environmental crisis are the poor… My own sense, after spending the day reading this remarkable document, was of great relief … This marks the first time that a person of great authority in our global culture has fully recognised the scale and depth of our crisis, and the consequent necessary rethinking of what it means to be fully human” [6].

Professor Michael E, Mann (a leading US climate scientist and a Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University): “Pope Francis brings great moral authority to this matter… Indeed, 'urgency' is a word I have been using in my characterizations of the encyclical (which I have indeed read). There is certainly a tone of urgency, and rightfully so. We have little if any time for delay now if we are going to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change. The message couldn't come at a more important time, as we head towards the UN climate summit later this year in Paris. Many see that as a last-ditch opportunity for an agreement that will prevent dangerous and potentially irreversible changes in our climate” [7].

Despite the importance of the Pope's Encyclical  Western Mainstream media have been quite deficient in their reportage as revealed by the internal Search Engines of major media, namely the UK BBC, Australian ABC, Washington Post, CBS and Fox News and The Australian. In particular, Mainstream media have been  grossly deficient by not reporting just how strong the  Pope's position is on climate change action.

Thus a scientifically-trained, chemically-trained and science-informed Green Left Pope Francis recognizes a looming climate “catastrophe” and “millions of premature deaths” from carbon burning pollutants, demands massive decarbonisation and conversion to renewables starting “without delay” “in the  next few years”, rejects Carbon Trading as a dishonest “ploy”, advocates a “fully borne” Carbon Price (Carbon Tax) on polluters, proposes “boycotts” to bring neoliberal polluters to heel, and suggests “intergenerational solidarity” to address the  worsening intergenerational injustice inherent in climate change inaction [8].

Green Left Pope Francis' demand in his 2015 Encyclical “Laudato si'” for massive urgent action now is precisely that urged by scientists both individually and collectively. Thus the Synthesis Report of the March 2009 Copenhagen Scientific Climate Change Conference concluded that “Inaction is inexcusable” [9] and the 2010 Open Letter by 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, including  11 Nobel Laureates, concluded that “Delay is not an option” [10].

However the Western democracies have become perversions variously described as Plutocracies, Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies, Corporatocracies and Dollarocracies in which Big Money purchases people, parties, policies, presstitutes, public perception of reality and political power. We have a carbon burning-based economy and the 50% of global wealth that is owned by the richest One Percent of Humanity has been acquired through carbon burning. Indeed the One Percenters'  proportion of annual income in Anglosphere countries is remorselessly  increasing [11, 12]. This  extraordinarily disproportionate  One Percenter wealth  is bad for economies (the 99% need to be able to buy goods that they produce) and is bad for democracy because Big Money buys political power.

Green Left Pope Francis' agenda for massive and urgent climate change action includes the proposition that the environmental  and social cost of pollution should be “fully borne” by the polluters (Section 195, [1]) i.e. that a full, damage-related Carbon Price be emplaced on greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution in order to prevent “millions of premature deaths” (noting that  dire estimates are that 10 billion people  may die this century in an already worsening climate genocide if climate change is not requisitely addressed) [13] . Armed with this authoritative  moral advice, the billions of Humanity might save themselves and the Biosphere by demanding that the polluters must pay in full by a Wealth Tax (for historical GHG pollution) and a Carbon Tax (for ongoing GHG pollution) [8, 14] with a consequent radical shift  in wealth, economic power and democratic say that would be anathema to the terracidal One Percenters.

It is accordingly  hardly surprising that One Percenter-controlled Mainstream media  would seek to downplay the hard Green Left position of Pope Francis. As the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, the Pope cannot be ignored and thus it has been generally reported that the Pope has come out in favour of action on climate change. However this general position is uncontroversial since all Western Governments, including  the climate criminal US, Canadian and Australian Governments, are paying lip service to “tackling climate change”. Accordingly the  One Percenter-controlled Mainstream media  needed to be more subtle than a blanket censorship of “Laudato si'” and have adopted an approach of censoring the radical details of the Pope's Green Left climate action message as exampled below.

Fox News. A Search of the Murdoch Empire's Fox News for the term laudato yields 9 articles variously relating to the Pope's Encyclical and of which only 1 (from Associated Press) gets to the heart of the matter but only goes this far: “ He calls for courageous, radical and farsighted policies to transition the world's energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable sources, saying mitigation schemes like the buying and selling of carbon credits won't solve the problem and are just a "ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors" [15]. Of course the Murdoch Empire has an appalling record of explicit climate change denialism  that has grudgingly shifted to effective climate change denialism through  opposition to climate change action.

US CBS News. A Search of the US CBS News for “Laudato si” yields only 3 articles, one dealing with the “leaking” of the Encyclical, another dealing with related comments by his predecessors, and  a third briefly summarizing the Encyclical and negative and positive reactions to it. This is essentially all CBS News had to say about the crux of Pope Francis' climate change action proposals and in doing so follows Fox News in reporting Associated Press: “He calls for courageous, radical and farsighted policies to transition the world's energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable sources, saying mitigation schemes like the buying and selling of carbon credits won't solve the problem and are just a "ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors” [16].

The Australian. A Search of the Murdoch Empire flagship Australian newspaper “The Australian”  for the term “laudato si” yields 14 results and the coverage is overwhelmingly negative and condemnatory as seen from the following 9 headlines (noting that “Green” and “Left” are dirty words for this newspaper's neoliberal readers and that you need to pay to actually read the full text of these anti-environment articles): “The Pope can have his climate say, but”,  “Pope Francis turns left on the environment with encyclical”,  “Papal prescription for flawed economic order”, “Pope talking “drivel”: Catholic economist”, “An abhorrent mix of symbols”, “Pope's climate change encyclical isn't the Gospel for Catholics”, “”Pope's straying too far with climate message: will flock follow?”,   “Green Left Pope Francis  endorses flawed view of progress” and “It is time Pope Francis caught up with the rest of us”. Another way of gauging the position of The Australian is to Search The Australian for key terms used by the Pope in “Laudato si'”, this yielding the following number of results (in brackets) relating to the encyclical: “ecological catastrophe” (0), “millions of premature deaths” (0), “premature deaths of many” (0), “in the next few years the emission” (1), “replaced without delay” (2), “fully borne” (0), “may simply become a ploy” (0), “boycotting certain products” (0), “loss of biodiversity” (1), and “intergenerational solidarity” (0).

UK BBC. A Search of  the UK BBC News for the term “Laudato si” yields only 4 results of which one is a sermon in a religious  broadcast and 3 are articles about the encyclical that spectacularly   avoid mentioning  the key demands of the Pope for massive decarbonisation “without delay” and a “fully borne” Carbon Price. A Search of the BBC  for key terms used by the Pope in “Laudato si'” yields zero (0) results for the terms  “ecological catastrophe, “millions of premature deaths”, “premature deaths of many”, “in the next few years the emission”, “replaced without delay”, “fully borne”, “may simply become a ploy”, “boycotting certain products”, “loss of biodiversity”, and “intergenerational solidarity”.

The BBC, like the serial war criminal and climate criminal English  Establishment it represents,  has an appalling record of censorship [17, 18] but this censorship of Pope Francis  really takes the cake. Brilliant English writer Jane Austen posed a germane series of questions that are directly relevant to this problem of public honesty. In her novel “Northanger Abbey” the heroine, Miss Catherine Morland, affected by the somewhat Gothic atmosphere of the Tilney family home and the romantic horrors of Mrs Radcliffe's Gothic novels, conceives the fantasy that General Tilney (the father of her beloved, Henry Tilney) has done away with the late Mrs Tilney. Henry reproves Catherine as follows: "If I understand you rightly, you have formed a surmise of such horror as I have hardly words to -. Dear Miss Morland, consider the dreadful nature of the suspicions you have entertained. What have you been judging from? Remember the country and the age in which we live. Remember that we are English, that we are Christians. Consult your own understanding, your own sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you. Does our education prepare us for such  atrocities? Do our laws connive at them? Could they be perpetrated without being known, in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing, where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies, and where roads and newspapers lay everything open?”" [19]. The answers to Henry Tilney's questions are surely “Yes! Yes! Yes!” [18].

Australian ABC. The ABC is the taxpayer-funded Australian equivalent of the UK BBC but does much better than the UK BBC in reporting the Pope's encyclical. Thus a Search of the ABC for the term “laudato si” yields 22 results as opposed to the BBC's paltry 4. However the ABC censorship of the Pope's message is exposed when one searches the ABC for the 8 key phrases identified above in the papal encyclical. Searching the ABC for these 8 key  terms yields the following number of results (in brackets) in relation to the papal encyclical:  “ecological catastrophe” (0), “millions of premature deaths” (0), “premature deaths of many” (0), “in the next few years the emission” (0), “replaced without delay” (3), “fully borne” (0), “may simply become a ploy” (1), “boycotting certain products” (2), “loss of biodiversity” (1), and “intergenerational solidarity” (2).

The standout omission by the cowardly ABC is the Pope's demand that the damage-related cost of pollution should be “fully borne” by the polluters i.e. that there  should be a full Carbon Price (Carbon Tax) placed on pollution. This is a political hot potato in coal-rich, gas-rich, iron ore-rich Australia that is a world leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution [13]. In relation to Pope Francis' demand for a “fully borne”  Carbon Price, Dr Chris Hope from 90-Nobel-Laureate University of  Cambridge, UK,  estimates a damage-related Carbon Price of $150-$250 per tonne CO2-equivalent [20] whereas in  coal- and gas-rich Australia the Catholic-lead Labor Opposition proposes a derisory, Emissions  Trading Scheme (ETS)-based  Carbon Price of $7 per tonne CO2-equivalent and the Catholic-lead, “No Carbon Tax” Coalition Government insists on $0 per tonne CO2-equivalent, with both supporting unlimited coal, gas and iron ore exports that will see world-leading per capita GHG polluter Australia exceed the whole World's 2010-2050 Terminal Carbon Budget by a factor of 3 [21]. Applying a Carbon Price of US $200 per tonne CO2-equivalent, the World has an historical Carbon Debt of $540 trillion that is increasing at $20 trillion each year, and Australia has a Carbon Debt of $11 trillion that is increasing at $600 billion per year (increasing at about $60,000 each year per head for under-30 year old Australians) [22]. The cowardly and Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-perverted and subverted Australian ABC, like the UK BBC [17], has an appalling record of censorship and lying by omission [23-25].

The Washington Post. A Search the Washington Post for the term “laudato si” yields 23 results. However a summary of 10 key excerpts  [26]  fails to quote any of  the key points such as the  need for a “fully borne” price on pollution, and starting ”in the next few years emissions ” from carbon burning to be “replaced  without delay”  by renewable energy in order to save “millions of premature deaths” from pollution.   When one searches The Washington Post for the 8 key phrases quoted above from  the papal encyclical one finds the following number of results (in brackets) in relation to the papal encyclical:  “ecological catastrophe” (0), “millions of premature deaths” (0), “premature deaths of many” (0), “in the next few years the emission” (0), “replaced without delay” (2), “fully borne” (1), “may simply become a ploy” (2), “boycotting certain products” (0), “loss of biodiversity” (2), and “intergenerational solidarity” (0). The Washington Post does better than other media surveyed but incorrectly obfuscates the Pope's support for a “fully borne” Carbon Price while condemning carbon trading as a “ploy” [26]. In fact the Pope is quite correct in the opinion of top climate scientists  and climate  economists who say that a Carbon Tax is needed and not fraudulent Carbon Trading   – the damage-related cost of pollution should be “fully borne” [20] and the Cap and Trade, Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) approach has been empirically unsuccessful, is accordingly counterproductive,  currently applies to only 12% of World GHG pollution, and is fraudulent in that it involves rich countries selling licences to pollute the one common atmosphere and ocean of all peoples [27].


The reader can apply the same sort of analysis to his/her local media. The dangerous reality is that Big Money-subverted and perverted Mainstream media routinely obfuscate, censor,  lie by omission or lie by commission [ 17, 23-25, 28-34]. As major American science fiction writer Robert Heinlein put it:  “Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy… censorship” [35].

Decent people are obliged to speak out for Humanity and the Biosphere, whether at the level of individuals or specific  species and ecosystems or  at the global level in relation to “premature deaths” ( avoidable deaths, avoidable mortality, excess deaths, excess mortality, untimely deaths, deaths that should not have happened) from violence or violently-imposed deprivation, or man-made climate change and worsening climate genocide [13]. Telling the truth is the core of science-based rational risk management that is crucial for societal safety and which successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses), and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk [36].  

In his encyclical “Laudato si'” scientifically-trained, chemically –trained and science-informed Green Left Pope Francis has spoken out truthfully and forthrightly  about the worsening climate emergency on behalf of the poor and the planet but his message has been censored  and obfuscated by Big Money-perverted  Mainstream media in the Western democracies that have become  Lobbyocracies and Corporatocracies. What can decent people do? Decent, science-informed people must (a) inform everyone they can , (b)  urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all those climate criminal  people, politicians, parties, companies,   corporations and countries disproportionately complicit in the worsening climate crisis and climate change inaction, and (c) support Green Left politicians who want major action now and in Green Left Pope Francis' words “without delay”.  


[1]. Pope Francis , Encyclical Letter “Laudato si”, 2015: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html .

[2]. “Laudato si'”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laudato_si' .

[3]. “Pell criticizes the “Laudato si'” encyclical”,, Vatican Insider, 20 June 2015: http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/42448/ ,

[4]. Dominic Kelly, “Conservatives' collective tantrum over the pope has been a wonder to behold”, The Guardian, 8 July 2015: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/08/conservatives-collective-tantrum-over-the-pope-has-been-a-wonder-to-behold .

[5]. Robert Manne, “Laudato si': a political reading”, The Monthly, 1 July 2015: https://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/robert-manne/2015/01/2015/1435708320/laudato-si-political-reading .

[6]. Bill Mc Kibben, “The Pope and the Planet”, The New York Review of Books”,  13 August 2015: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/aug/13/pope-and-planet/ .

[7]. Ivey De Jesus, “The pope, the climate scientist and the important document”, Penn Live, 18 June 2015: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/06/pope_francis_climate_change_pe.html .

[8].  Gideon Polya, “Green Left Pope Francis Demands Climate Action “Without Delay” To Prevent Climate “Catastrophe””, Countercurrents, 10 August, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya100815.htm

[9]. Synthesis Report of the March 2009 Copenhagen Scientific Climate Change Conference: http://climatecongress.ku.dk/pdf/synthesisreport .

[10]. 2010 Open Letter by 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, “Open Letter: climate change and the integrity of science”, Guardian, 6 May 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/06/climate-science-open-letter  .

[11]. Thomas Piketty, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” ( Harvard University Press, 2014).  

[12]. Gideon Polya, “Key Book Review: “Capital In The Twenty-First Century” By Thomas Piketty”,  Countercurrents, 1 July, 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya010714.htm .

[13]. “Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/  .

[14]. Gideon Polya, “4 % Annual Global Wealth Tax To Stop The 17 Million Deaths Annually”,  Countercurrents, 27 June, 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya270614.htm .

[15]. Associated Press, “Pope urges “bold cultural revolution” to save planet, fix “perverse” economy that harms poor”, Fox News, 18 June 2015: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/18/pope-urges-bold-cultural-revolution-to-save-planet-fix-perverse-economy-that/ .

[16] “Pope: Earth has turned into “an immense pile of filth”, CBS News, 18 June 2015: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-calls-for-revolution-says-earth-has-turned-into-an-immense-pile-of-filth/ .

[17]. "Censorship by the BBC": https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbythebbc/ .                                                                                                                       

[18]. Gideon Polya (2008), “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2008 edition that is now available for free perusal on the web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/  .

[19]. Jane Austen, “Northanger Abbey”, published posthumously, 1818. 

[20]. Dr Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011: http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/media/assets/wp1109.pdf .

[21]. Gideon Polya, “Australia 's Huge Coal, Gas & Iron Ore Exports Threaten Planet”, Countercurrents, 15 May 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya150512.htm .

[22]. “Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/ .

[23]. “Censorship by ABC Late Night Live”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/ .

[24].  "Censorship by ABC Saturday Extra": https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/censorship-by-abc-sat .

[25]. “ABC fact-checking unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC (Australia's BBC)”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/abc-fact-checking-unit .

[26]. Stephen Stromberg, “What Pope Francis gets wrong about climate change”, The Washington Post, 18 June 2015: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/06/18/what-pope-francis-gets-wrong-about-climate-change/ .

[27]. “Science & economics experts: Carbon Tax needed NOT Carbon Trading”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/sciennce-economics-experts-carbon-tax-needed-not-carbon-trading/ .

[28]. “Boycott Murdoch media”: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottmurdochmedia/ .

[29].  “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by .

[30]. “Mainstream media censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home .

[31]. “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/  .

[32]. “Censorship by The Age”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by-the-age .

[33]. "Censorship by The Guardian UK": https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by-the-guardian-uk .

[34]. "Censorship by The Guardian Australia": https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home/censorship-by-the-guardian-a  .

[35]. Robert A. Heinlein, quoted by Fijileaks: http://www.fijileaks.com/home/october-15th-2014 .

[36]. “Gideon Polya”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home .

Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/


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