Sunday, December 07, 2008

from Mark Robinowitz
www.oilempire.us
and
www.permatopia.com


re: more about thorium


Digging alpha emitting radioisotopes out of the Earth where geology, or God, or Jesus, or the Great Spirit, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pick one, if you want) put it out of harms way is not a good idea for the long term genetic health of any species.

One of the many decay products of thorium is radium, which becomes radon gas, which can be breathed in very easily where it causes havoc on delicate lung tissue. I recommend reading about the death of Marie Curie (who was poisoned by experimenting with radium and related elements) or perhaps the plight of the Navajo uranium miners to understand what these materials do to biological systems. Alpha particles cannot pass through a sheet of paper or your skin, but if they get into your body they can cause tremendous damage to the cells next to the radioactive materials. Some of the decay products - such as radium - also emit gamma radiation that can go through lots of shielding, although they are less dangerous per unit dose than the alpha emitting isotopes.

All reactors - even thorium powered - create hundreds of new isotopes not found on Earth before the 20th century. There is no such thing as a safe dose of ionizing nuclear radiation. The "background" radiation does has roughly doubled since the nuclear era began, with a nuclear war's worth of radioactive waste still being babysat at reactors and waste storage sites all over the world. There is no way to detoxify nuclear waste to make it harmless, all that can be done is to stabilize it and hope for the best.

If you came home and your bathtub was overflowing, your reaction probably would not be to go to a hardware store to buy another bathtub. The only way to mitigate the nuclear waste problem is to stop making more of it since we have no idea how to cope with what has already been made.

I recommend the writings of:

Dr. John Gofman, Manhattan Project veteran who helped synthesize the first visible quantities of Pu-239. In the 1960s he was made assistant director of the Livermore Labs, and eventually realized that nuclear fission power was a crime against humanity. There's no substantial difference in the fission products of U-235 and Th-233.

Dr. Ernest Sternglass, who worked for Westinghouse until he realized that nuclear reactor pollution was killing people.

Dr. Alice Stewart, first scientist to document the medical effects of x-rays on fetuses. The medical establishment ridiculed her, but years later had to admit she was right (she had done her research properly) and now great care is usually taken to prevent or minimize medical x- rays for pregnant women.

there are many honest scientists others to choose from, but these are a good start.

The nuclear industry has had great motivation to hide the full truth about radiation health impacts, since that would interfere with reactor construction and operation (people might want to shut down their polluting facilities) and also it would expose the lies of a "limited nuclear war" marketed by the Pentagon for decades.

Boiling water with fission to generate electricity is like using a chainsaw to cut butter.

A thorium reactor could still be used to make nuclear weapons material if the reactor core is surrounded by natural uranium (u-238). The neutrons from the fission process could bombard the U-238, starting the transformation into Pu-239. Any government above the complexity level of Zimbabwe is probably capable of weaponizing Pu-239, or perhaps most transnational corporations.

Nuclear reactors require a police state to guard these materials.

The 1975 "Barton Report" from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission admitted that a police state would be needed to safeguard the nuclear materials if "reprocessing" was used to "recycle" nuclear fuels, specifically warning about the use of detention without trial and torture. Nuclear "recycling" is a euphemism for "reprocessing," the most toxic technology ever invented. It involves taking irradiated fuel rods - which are millions of times more radioactive after exposure in a reactor than before use - and dropping them into an acid to chemically separate out the fissionable materials for reuse. The leftover radioactive acids and solvents are the most dangerous materials ever invented. Some of the places unfortunate enough to have hosted this process include Hanford, Washington, Savannah River, South Carolina, La Hague, France, Chelyabinsk, Russia, to cite a few of the most famous (or notorious).

If you like the USA PATRIOT Act you will love the nuclear economy. Welcome to the future.

If we were a planet of peaceful robots nuclear fission might have some more validity, but DNA and ionizing radiation are incompatible and all reactors can give bomb materials to their operators.

As for James Hansen, world renowned climatologist, now supporting nuclear power, that shows the unfortunate situation where experts in one field can show themselves to be painfully limited in their understanding of other issues. Nuclear reactors require enormous fossil fuel inputs to construct, the fuel needs a lot of coal powered electricity to mine, mill, enrich and eventually babysit for centuries or millennia, reactors emit lots of heat that can disrupt local climates, and the "net energy" is negative if all of the externalities are considered. Hansen is right about climate change, but wrong on thinking that fission power to boil water to spin turbines to make electricity will do anything to slow down global warming.

It would be much cheaper to change building code requirements to require passive solar construction, light colored roofs in hot climates, solar panels on roofs and many other efficiency efforts that are well understood yet will take decades or centuries to implement at current rates of adoption.

see www.oilempire.us/nuclear-climate.html

No reactor could operate without being immunized from the impacts on downwinders. Read about the Price Anderson Act, which makes the idea of "free market" nuclear power that would be "too cheap to meter" a cruel hoax.

The only safe nuclear reactor rises in the morning and sets in the evening. It has a 93 million mile evacuation zone.

Ultimately, we will have a society that exists on solar energy, the only question is whether we will have complex technology for turning sunlight and wind and waves into electricity and other uses, or whether we will slide back in our technological simplification to the Bronze or Stone ages, with a global population of garbage pickers as an intermediate step toward "Olduvai Gorge."

There is no way to keep the hyper consumption going forever, oil and coal and uranium are not the only finite resources on our round Earth. Even the mythical "free energy," if real, still can't make soils and forests and fisheries and mineral ores suddenly revive to pre-industrial age levels, we will have to learn to treat the Earth and each other with respect as if we are not planning to be raptured to another planet on either the Star Ship Enterprise or following Jesus at the End of Days. If we can learn to conserve, restore, give back to the Earth, other species and our fellow humans, it might be possible to implement a permaculture type paradigm based on sincere sustainability instead of pretending we are having a planet wide "going out of business" sale. It's certainly worth trying to make this the "central organizing principle of civilization," as Al Gore described it in his 1992 book "Earth in the Balance" (this quote is not an endorsement of Gore's anti-environmental policies while in the White House, it is sad that privately he understands overshoot yet was compelled to promote more overdevelopment while in a position to do something about it).

Admiral Hyman Rickover, the pioneer of the nuclear powered submarine program (which served as a prototype of nuclear power reactors), eventually had second thoughts. He told the Congress in 1982 that

"I think from a long-range standpoint--I'm talking about humanity--the most important thing we could do is start by having an international meeting where we first outlaw nuclear weapons and then we outlaw nuclear reactors, too."Until about two billion years ago it was impossible to have any life on Earth. That is, there was so much radiation on Earth you couldn't have any life … Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet and probably in the entire system became reduced. That made it possible for some form of life to begin and it started in the seas .... when we use nuclear weapons or nuclear power we are creating something which nature has been eliminating. Now that is the philosophical aspect, whether it's nuclear power or using radiation for medical purposes or whatever. Of course, some radiation is not bad because it doesn't last long or has little effect on the surroundings, but every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years. I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it's important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”
from a hearing held in the Joint Economic Committee, January 28, 1982

No degree of prosperity could justify the accumulation of large amounts of highly toxic substances which nobody knows how to make safe and which remain an incalculable danger to the whole of creation for historical or even geological ages. To do such a thing is a transgression against life itself, a transgression infinitely more serious than any crime perpetrated by man. The idea that a civilization could sustain itself on such a transgression is an ethical, spiritual, and metaphysical monstrosity. It means conducting the economical affairs of man as if people did not matter at all.-- E. F. Schumacher “Small is Beautiful”

Dr. Alice Stewart: "single-celled organisms could not exist until background radiation fell to present levels millennia ago. And it requires just as delicate an environment for us to survive. Yet today, in the arrogance of humankind, we are raising the levels of background radiation and setting back the evolutionary clock."

36 comments:

Yordi said...

Hello Mike and JO.

Just wanted to say: THANKS. For all the effort, info and strength.

I am a Mexican "newbie" (in the terms of Oil Peak - Energy Crisis, just 2 years ago I got to know and research about this, and many more well documented things), who lives in Finland since 2.5 years ago.

In this time, my life has changed. As an architect (I'm 28, but finished University 3 years ago and have been working since 1998), perhaps the most important goal in my profession is to develop effective sustainable systems that need to meet the future energy consequences of today's debacle. A hard task :). But (like "Crossing my own Rubicon" -credit to MCR of course-), there is no turnback for me now. People around me start doubting of my integrity as a "coherent" person... I simply continue, following my instincts, and researching more than ever.

Thanks again for the light Mike and Jenna, and ALL the people involved in this movement.

Always optimistic, with your feet on the ground :).

from Helsinki, Finland

Yordi

P.S. Sorry for not posting anything relevant, or an article, etc. I need some more years of research and experience to be at the level of many people in the blog :).

RanD said...

Dear FTW,

"IS THIS SINKING IN WITH ANYBODY [ELSE,YET]?" is a question my mind began regularly asking me well over 30 yrs ago now.

That's when it started becoming jarringly evident that my beloved USA is not the grand and exclusively good & heroic instrument of divine intervention sent from the heavens to save humankind from evil, but is in fact an altogether more complex, regularly even insidious instrument of geo-socio-psychological influence.

I also soon learned that such realization was not something I was able to readily relate to anyone I knew (or even knew of) back then; and find that that is commonly, but no longer still exclusively, the case today. In fact I'm just now seeing my 30 plus yrs siege of variously imposed silence finally being progressively lifted in direct correlation with the rate of advance of the USA's and the human condition's progressively disintegrating global status quo.

I expect FTW regulars to understand from the above -- particularly if considered in conjunction with the few comments that I've made on this blog previously, along with the few letters I've written and sent to FTW via snail mail some time way back when --that I'm fully up to pace with what's taking place across our planet -- and in addition to that, also possess and/or am able to freely access information which is far in advance of anything that I've yet seen coming forth from any other source anywhere.

From the above I will cut directly to the chase.

What's happening right now via the human condition's now long-running status quo NEEDS to happen. If it were not happening our human species then would by inevitable default only be able to continue semi-consciously plodding along on the only path it knows toward eventual and utter self and potentially planet-wide biospheric destruction.

Although it's now become indisputably evident that the human condition's current status quo of actually many-thousands-of-years running would evolve itself into the global-wide state which we find it in today, my wife and I, for two, have no interest whatsoever in seeing our planet Earth -- and the human species that Earth's utterly unique and in fact singularly special biosphere is capable of producing -- being eliminated from the Universe simply because humankind miserably and absolutely failed to prerequisitely raise its consciousness in order to thereby allow itself to be lifted up to its potentials by the only means possible.

We are spirits, not bodies. Our organismic, physical material bodies --which are appropriately sophisticated devices essential to our spirit selves' intimately experiencing our current Universe's physical medium -- naturally wear out, fall off real high cliffs, get bitten by deadly poisonous organisms, indulge far too rapidly in way too much of whatever, and by all those many other various means die. On the other hand, our spirit selves NEVER die.

Moreover, however, human bodies with spirits whose 'minds' don't 'know' what's being stated here -- with 'knowledge' being but a synonym for 'mind', and 'mind' being that which is both keenly aware of and thus capable of becoming completely knowledgeable of its true, ultimately pure spirit self -- are but human embodied spirits whose minds have not risen to their potentials within the context of their purpose for existing. Thus, with respect for this information being given here, be assured, such minds as will not rise to their potentials for gaining 'complete consciousness' -- i.e., 'knowledge' -- of their purpose for and means of existing -- will soon be utterly eliminated from the entire field of existence, which certainly includes being eliminated from planet Earth, the human condition and therefore from the human species.

* * * * *

More specifics of this genre from this same source -- which specifics will be given where and when they are meant to be given, as they have just now been given exclusively here -- are forthcoming.

As for those who read and assimilate this information,consider yourselves anointed(with no need of smearing oil on yourselves, of course).

Love to all.

RanD

Don Hynes said...

This post on nuclear fission and emission is vital. We're not only missing the forest for the trees but the Earth in which the forest grows.

Our evolution requires RELATIONSHIP with the Earth. Science is both destroying us and helping us but as we "advance" we have the elders of cultures long diminished who tell us that the Earth is sentient, conscious, and in need of our loving kindness.

The same could be said or ourselves and our fellow humans but without consciousness of he Earth humanity tends to act in very destructive ways like some weird episode of Star Trek.

Perhaps poetry doesn't fit this site but what is it that will take us the next step if not the music we carry within us?

The Living Dark

Elk tracks cross the beach
to the water at low tide
and back to the black hole
of forest slicing down to the ocean;

beyond the spoil of illumination
waits a living dark
where boughs grow down
to a matted under-story
of water sound and insect

a fertile darkness
pulsing with imagination
exiled by our devotion
to brightness

by our fear of all
we refuse to know
but will know one day

when the fecund hollow
reaches up into our shallow glimmer
pulling us down
to the uncertainty
to the darkness
to life.

greenjean said...

Thanks for this detailed explanation about what's wrong with nuclear power. I've been hoping that the cost alone would keep it from happening, but this article helps.

Now, I've seen the movie (Fuel), and I'm intrigued by the presentation on algae biodiesel. Is it as good as they say?

Mike, your "use it freely while it's available" attitude toward gasoline and electricity is ok by me from an end of cheap oil standpoint, but not from a global warming standpoint. I feel ethically constrained to make my carbon footprint as small as possible. Save the Arctic sea ice!

fusion_is_fundemental said...

Hello Mark Robinowitz. I will try to address your concerns as best I can, and better if and when I have more time.

Contrary to what people believe about nuclear energy harming the environment it can actually protect the environment because so much fewer fuel is necessary than with other forms of energy. Even solar and wind energy require vast amounts of land.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"Digging alpha emitting radioisotopes out of the Earth where geology, or God, or Jesus, or the Great Spirit, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pick one, if you want) put it out of harms way is not a good idea for the long term genetic health of any species."

The radioisotopes were not "put there out of harms way" there but are the result geological processes. If you don't like radioisotopes you may want to move to another planet as the earth's internal heat which is sometimes used in geothermal energy production is in part the result of those radioisotopes.
Anyway, those radioisotopes don't have to be "digged" out of the ground as they have already been dug out of the ground for the past 60 years and are waiting to be used. See Dr. Jim Hansen's breifing to President-elect Obama titled "Tell Barack Obama the Truth – The Whole Truth". The relevant quote is page 7, paragraph 3, "In addition to solving the nuclear waste problem, they can operate for several centuries using only uranium and thorium that has already been mined."

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"One of the many decay products of thorium is radium, which becomes radon gas, which can be breathed in very easily where it causes havoc on delicate lung tissue."

Thorium is a slightly radioactive metal in the actinide in the periodic table.
The half-life of thorium is 15 billion-years and doesn't decay often we don't have to worry about radium. Besides the LFTR nuclear reactors use the thorium fuel cycle; thorium-232 absorbs a neutron to become 233Th. The thorium-233 normally emits an electron and an anti-neutrino by beta− decay to become protactinium-233 (233Pa). Protactinium-233 then emits another electron and anti-neutrino by a second beta− decay to become 233U. Uranium-233 in turn is used as fuel. The irradiated fuel can then be unloaded from the reactor, the 233U separated from the thorium and fed back into another reactor as part of a closed nuclear fuel cycle.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"There is no way to detoxify nuclear waste to make it harmless, all that can be done is to stabilize it and hope for the best."

That's not correct. From Dr. Jim Hansen's breifing to President-elect Obama titled "Tell Barack Obama the Truth – The Whole Truth" bottom of page 6,
"Integral Fast Reactors (IFR) can burn existing nuclear waste, making electrical power in the process."

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"Dr. John Gofman ... and eventually realized that nuclear fission power was a crime against humanity."
"Dr. Ernest Sternglass, who worked for Westinghouse until he realized that nuclear reactor pollution was killing people."

All these scientists and other you mention are in regards to conventional nuclear power plants and technology. This has nothing to do with LFTR nuclear reactors. LFTR nuclear reactors are not your fathers nuclear power plants.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"A thorium reactor could still be used to make nuclear weapons material if the reactor core is surrounded by natural uranium (u-238). The neutrons from the fission process could bombard the U-238, starting the transformation into Pu-239. Any government above the complexity level of Zimbabwe is probably capable of weaponizing Pu-239, or perhaps most transnational corporations."

That is totally off-base as that is not the way LFTR's are designed or work.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"Nuclear reactors require a police state to guard these materials.
The 1975 "Barton Report" from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission admitted that a police state would be needed to safeguard the nuclear materials if "reprocessing" was used to "recycle" nuclear fuels, specifically warning about the use of detention without trial and torture. Nuclear "recycling" is a euphemism for "reprocessing," the most toxic technology ever invented. It involves taking irradiated fuel rods - which are millions of times more radioactive after exposure in a reactor than before use - and dropping them into an acid to chemically separate out the fissionable materials for reuse. The leftover radioactive acids and solvents are the most dangerous materials ever invented."

That is totally off-base. Again you are thinking in terms of conventional nuclear reactors. It's understandable that people misunderstand cause that's the only thing they know about nuclear reactors. Again that is not the way LFTR's are designed or work. There are "no fuel rods". There are "radioactive acids and solvents". There is no terrorist danger. The reactors cannot explode because they don't work that way. There is no three-mile island or Chernobyl type of scenarios. I could go on but I think I made my point. LFTR are different than what you and other knowledgeable people think of when they think of nuclear reactors which is understandable cause they have nothing to compare them to that they have seen before.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"As for James Hansen, world renowned climatologist, now supporting nuclear power, that shows the unfortunate situation where experts in one field can show themselves to be painfully limited in their understanding of other issues."

Dr. James Hansen is not the expert on these nuclear reactors. He hosted a conference with the actual experts and that is why he is speaking out to people and the new administration.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"Nuclear reactors require enormous fossil fuel inputs to construct, the fuel needs a lot of coal powered electricity to mine, mill, enrich and eventually babysit for centuries or millennia, reactors emit lots of heat that can disrupt local climates, and the "net energy" is negative if all of the externalities are considered. Hansen is right about climate change, but wrong on thinking that fission power to boil water to spin turbines to make electricity will do anything to slow down global warming."

No fossil fuel is required since we already have to thorium to power these reactors for at least a few centuries. as stated above. These reactors can and will provide the energy required for any future mining totally without any new fossil fuel since they create more energy than will be consumed.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"It would be much cheaper to change building code requirements to require passive solar construction, light colored roofs in hot climates, solar panels on roofs and many other efficiency efforts that are well understood yet will take decades or centuries to implement at current rates of adoption.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"No reactor could operate without being immunized from the impacts on downwinders."

That's irrelevant as I said this is not conventional nuclear technology which you are thinking of. There is no meltdown scenarios. They don't work that way.

Mark Robinowitz wrote:
"There is no way to keep the hyper consumption going forever, oil and coal and uranium are not the only finite resources on our round Earth. Even the mythical "free energy," if real, still can't make soils and forests and fisheries and mineral ores suddenly revive to pre-industrial age levels, we will have to learn to treat the Earth and each other with respect as if we are not planning to be raptured to another planet on either the Star Ship Enterprise or following Jesus at the End of Days. If we can learn to conserve, restore, give back to the Earth, other species and our fellow humans, it might be possible to implement a permaculture type paradigm based on sincere sustainability instead of pretending we are having a planet wide "going out of business" sale. It's certainly worth trying to make this the "central organizing principle of civilization," as Al Gore described it in his 1992 book "Earth in the Balance" (this quote is not an endorsement of Gore's anti-environmental policies while in the White House, it is sad that privately he understands overshoot yet was compelled to promote more overdevelopment while in a position to do something about it).


I think I made my point. Otherwise yours and other peoples thinking is that 6 billion people will have to die cause the remaining 500 million people don't want to build safe nuclear reactors that could enable all 6.5 billion people to live for at least the next 1,000 years. I'd like to see people explain it to those 6 billion people and convince them.

Michael said...

Hello to Mike Ruppert, and good to see you resurfacing again!

Some thoughts occurred to me while reading about Obama's proposed monster infrastructure program, with references to Eisenhower's Interstate Highway project form the 50's, which was originally intended to be a military highway, in conjunction with this post on nuclear power, and your own observations on what the decisions made in Obama's first 100 days.

First, it's a given that it will require massive energy inputs to keep operating. Second, it seems like it may well be an excuse to develop some, er, interesting things, like the NAFTA North-South superhighway, to name the first thing that pops into my mind.

Because of the massive energy requirements needed to be a functioning program, it will necessitate more appropriation of the world's energy resources, thereby meaning more military presence worldwide, as well as unhindered access to sensitive domestic areas in search of crap like oil shale, tar sands, and the like.

I think the population of the U.S. will think of nothing but the jobs---that seems to be the M.O. of Capital towards the people since, in our case, the Civil War, and perhaps it has been since the Magna Carta was signed in 1215.

Obama has a lot of the rank-and-file population of the U.S. behind him now, with major expectations. I think we need to look at the sales pitch that he and the rest of his yet-to-be named crew are going to foist on us in those first 100 days. The Cheney-Bush regime obviously couldn't manage the project with their crude bludgeon approach, so now the realpolitik crew has the helm. We need to look for the limitations that will be imposed on us, through the fog of "we can do it" sloganeering.

I don't have great expectations of Obama....

Peter J. Nickitas said...

Comments?

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Saturday/NewsBreak/20081206162348/Article/index_html

FTW had a discussion on this in 2005.

Peak Oil, plus a conflict between an unsustainable, debt-based, unpayable interest, fractional banking reserve system, adhered to with religious tenacity, and a civilization whose organizing, spiritual beliefs prohibit the taking or paying of interest, describe the central challenges that humanity faces today.

Both roads lead to human depopulation. One leads to drastic depopulation, catastrophic collateral damage to thousands of other species, and spiritual perdition. The other leads to depopulation openly addressed and morally attained, with mitigated damage to other species, and spiritual elevation.

Given this, what does one do? Do not fear, do not lose heart, keep your eyes and mind open, make friends amongst neighbors, grow food nearby, help neighbors grow their food, get out of debt as much and as quickly as possible, get water, save water, get physical gold and silver, reduce grid reliance, barter, help the neighborhood stay safe (with eyes, weapons, or anything available), and stay connected to FTW.

catalyst said...

G'day Australia calling...

This global Stock Market SMACK DOWN indeed appears a planned strategy from Feb. 2007.

However, dots point to a future correction and correlation of the Oil:Gold price ratio(s) market as planned.

Let me explain....

GOLD PRICE FIXING -- THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN

Simply put, how bad do you want it and; how much influence can you have ?

MAP 2007.
(Behind the Curtain)

Feb 10 ~ Exit stage left; G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, meet in Essen, to evaluate the global economic outlook. http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/finance/fm070210.htm
Jun, July, Aug ~ Enter stage right; Subprime crisis, discovered to be global.

Sept-Oct - $US hits 26 yr low, Intl. gold demand ramps up significantly, price rises almost $150 per oz, Oil futures hit $80 on renewed tensions between the U.S and Iran, commodities post their biggest monthly gain in 32 yrs, G7 tacticly approves further dollar weakness and finally Russian central bank takes domestic gold production off market.

Nov, Dec - U.S national debt crosses $9 trillion, Wall Street in turmoil. Merrill Lynch, CitiGroup CEO’s resign under credit crisis cloud, China threatens partial shift of massive dollar reserves to euro and other currencies, Record 30% annual increase in gold demand reported, Goldman Sachs projects subprime loss at $2 trillion, Inflation fears grip financial markets and GOLD finishes 2007 with largest yearly rise in three decades.

After blanket global media coverage of Peak Oil being prolific for 15 mths, culminating with Oil at $147.27 a barrel, July ~ Mar. 2008 Gold $1035 oz.

----
Note: back then, every dollar increase/decrease $US per barrel oil, gold markets appeared to move accordingly *(sync), fixed in, if it were, at about $7 either way or so (ie: 1:7)
----

MAP 2008.

Jan-Feb - Gold opens year setting new record price, exceeds $900 for first time, Oil trades over $100 per barrel for first time in history, Morgan Stanley predicts gold demand should rise 50% in 2008, G7 meets in Tokyo, February 9, 2008 and on Feb 25. announces possibility of IMF gold sales.

http://g8live.org/2008/02/25/tsy-mccormick-us-supports-imf-gold-sale-plan/

Mar-April - IMF says potential gold sales will be within confines of Central Bank Gold Agreement, Dollar plummets to all-time lows against euroand Swiss franc, Gold exceeds $1000 mark for the first time, OPEC warns oil could hit $200.

May-June - Inflation, fueled by record oil, ramps up globally, G8 meets in Tokoyo
http://www.summit2008osaka.jp/english/index.html
http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/finance/

Enter stage right; Plunge Protection Team (PPT) working the $USdollar, Wall Street and Comex gold futures.

Oct 10-11 - G7 Finance Ministers meet Washington, DC and gold goes weeeeeeee... and still hasn’t recovered ! But... the cat is out of the bag because CitiGroup says gold could rise above $2000 next year as world unravels. The UK Telegraph posted the and it’s been one of their top viewed story’s on it’s front page from Nov 27, along with many other gold related articles for months.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/3526645/Citigroup-says-gold-could-rise-above-2000-next-year-as-world-unravels.html

now.... “Let’s just assume for a minute that Global Bankers decide to Up the Ante” of GOLD. Instead of being 1:7 ramp it up to say 1:100 (ie: Gold moves $100 for every $1 p/barrel of oil).

Meanwhile.. as we’re starting to connect the dots WALL STREET continues playing eggs on trampolines, how many and how high they bounce before.. splatt ?

TPTB make vast sums on the way down. Every man and his dog has bet that gold would go the other direction over the last 2 mths, something fishy here. Short selling on the markets by the likes JPM, Govt. Sachs, IMF, World Bank etc (insider Trader Knowledge) - otherwise.. why the counter intuative short covering on Gold the banks have done since Oct 2008 ??

Now there going to make $$trillions on the way UP. As witnessed, OIL to $40 per barrel. Gold to $750.

This jossling about of the global financial markets of recent appear to be a settling out period to create correlated Oil/Gold price ratios at the percentages to make the most profit IMO.

So here we are freefalling out of 2008 and hitting 2009 with a thud. Predicable blanket global media coverage of Peak Oil, will again be in the headlights very soon indeed now that the as they planned

Is this a quasi-strategy GAME to bring confidence back to markets ? Me thinks so..

Are we going to see GLOBAL TRADERS confident of these ratio movements becoming stable ?

... well maybe

Tom.

gaelicgirl said...

Here is a wonderful article on the current economic crisis, combining a very practical analysis of why is occurred, and why it is inevitable, and a spiritual dimension, including an answer to that question we see so often on this blog: what can I do? The answer is very unexpected, and perfect:

http://www.realitysandwich.com/money_and_crisis_civilization

marketTrader2 said...

60 Minutes tonight visits the Saudi Oil Fields. Leslie Stahl will show us all the new supply the Kindom is bringing online. Also, MSNBC has had an expert on saying we could see $1 gasoline.

It appears they don't want anybody rushing out to buy gasoline and they will ease the concern about Peak Oil.
...Everything is fine, the media's timing is impeccable. They want money flowing into financial stocks, not energy.

Rice Farmer said...

Remember when nuclear power proponents were telling us that nuclear power would generate electricity that would be "too cheap to meter"?

http://www.cns-snc.ca/media/toocheap/toocheap.html

whistling grizzlybear said...

A question for fusion_is_fundemental.

Depleted Uranium.

Google Image Search for DU -
http://images.google.com/images?q=depleted%20uranium

The United States has spread several hundred tons of toxic nuclear waste around Iraq, Afghanistan. DU was also used in the "peace-making" expedition to the Balkans during Clinton's tenure.

It looks to me like the United States has proven absolutely, that is it unable to manage the effluents associated with nuclear technology.

Thinking about all the storage f*ck-ups such as Hanford, and considering the way that DU has been used in the mid-East, it's enough to make you sick & and it has made a lot of people sick & killed many more.

The United States has proven that it is not capable of handling nuclear materials safely.

In different hands, the technology might be safe, viable, and workable. Maybe Finland has a better record when it comes to storage of nuclear waste products.

Therefore, believing what you are saying about alternatives to LWR such as the liquid thorium reactor, do you think the United States is mature enough to handle this nuclear technology, given its record with other nuclear technologies ?

I observe that some countries have the ability to handle nuclear materials, but the US is not one of them. Just as you would take away the keys from an American teenager who has run over a few hundred thousand pedestrians ...

agape wins said...

fusion_is_fundamental, just does not get it, the author is assuming that we have the time to build these LFTR reactors, the non radioactive resources to build them, the MONEY to finance them; all while our World is coming down around our ears! We can't produce enough food (even if no plants were used to produce Meat),clean potable Water, land suitable for habitation, in a livable climate, for the present population. We are losing the ability to transport our output,
economically,& safely, he/they are looking at the TREE of Power, not the Forest of other issues, chief of which is living together without Killing each other!

In my 63 Y's. of sane reason, I have never found Anything, which works as planned, or is as SAFE, as I was assured. This is to say nothing of the built in faults of our Human nature,
EGO/GREED/SELFISHNESS.

There are many good books, "Collapse", "Homer's" books, "The Old Testament", German, Russian, Chinese, & Japanese works, which speak about the rise and FALL of Species, Nations, & Powers; there are many reasons given, but it always comes down to the above Trinity! HUMANITY!

In North America we had a Peaceful Society (some think it survived almost 2000 yrs), http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200203/mann

You can question it's lifespan, but it to ended with millions dead, shortly before the Europeans arrived. They just overextended themselves (I think).
Read some Myth/folklore:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Peacemaker

Back to LFTR as our Savior, sounds like I've heard that before!

http://www.cns-snc.ca/media/toocheap/toocheap.html

fusion_is_fundemental said...

A correction to one sentence:
where I wrote
There are "radioactive acids and solvents".

It should say:
There are NO "radioactive acids and solvents".

v said...

Why credit cards matter so much:

http://sharonastyk.com/2008/12/02/780/

Nobel economics prize winner Paul Krugman said Sunday that the beleaguered U.S. auto industry will likely disappear:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iTDu0_1uS4AJHEN10aFE75hDSZFQD94TS8KO4

The Mumbai attacks, more than meets the eye:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21380.htm

Is Pakistan to blame?

http://www.counterpunch.org/khan12022008.html

Militants torch Afghan NATO supplies:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7769758.stm

grtz V

tim said...

NB Patton:
Did you investigate Adam Trombly or Peter Lindemann? Energy does not come from a magical machine-I never said that-wake up. Trombly discusses many of the reasons for supression as well. But I will repeat: thorium generators, zero-point energy, etc are all useless if we continue to take merciless advantage of each other!

sunrnr said...

Jenna or MCR,

Could you comment on this news story about the 5 9/11 defendants now wanting to confess?

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE4B73SF20081208

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE4B743720081208

The first one is the original and the second the "corrected" version.

No need to post (without e-mail address below) on blog unless it's relevant.

my e-mail is mike.penttila@gmail.com

mrs p said...

Hey did anyone hear Leslie Stahl last night on 60 minutes? I cannot quote her exactly but I did hear something like these words coming out of her mouth..."hasn't oil reached it's peak"...to her interviewee, one of the top Saudi Oil shakey shakes. (sp) I just about fell off the bar stool I was perched on.

The CBS 60 minutes segment was more about the desparateness of OPEC and how Saudi is going to great lenths, spending billions to get every last drop of oil, (yes they said every last drop), out of the dessert. The Saudi mantra was almost ghoolish and cartoon like in my mind.

On the subject of Nuke power plants, or Nuke anything, I have no credentials in this field but my "bones" tell me this has never been a good thing and it never will be. If it was so damn good we wouldn't have all these really messed up problems with it. New Zealand will not let Nuclear subs into their territorial waters. Bravo NZ! The mad scientists are just that. Nuclear strikes me as being purely about greed and control, IMHO. Peace, Love and Green Banana Pancakes, mrsp

fusion_is_fundemental said...

whistling grizzlybear said
" The United States has spread several hundred tons of toxic nuclear waste around Iraq, Afghanistan. DU was also used in the "peace-making" expedition to the Balkans during Clinton's tenure.

It looks to me like the United States has proven absolutely, that is it unable to manage the effluents associated with nuclear technology."

Hello whistling grizzlybear. When you say the "United States" I assume you actually mean the demented people in the ruling class that have to power and the motive to commit those war crimes. Those are war crimes and those people should be put on trial maybe in the Hague.

whistling grizzlybear said
"The United States has proven that it is not capable of handling nuclear materials safely."

How have you come to that conclusion? The United States is not a person yet you are attributing to it charecteristics of a person. If you mean the people responsible then they should be prosecuted for those war crimes.

whistling grizzlybear said
"In different hands, the technology might be safe, viable, and workable. Maybe Finland has a better record when it comes to storage of nuclear waste products.

Therefore, believing what you are saying about alternatives to LWR such as the liquid thorium reactor, do you think the United States is mature enough to handle this nuclear technology, given its record with other nuclear technologies ?
I observe that some countries have the ability to handle nuclear materials, but the US is not one of them. Just as you would take away the keys from an American teenager who has run over a few hundred thousand pedestrians ..."

Again there is very little storage required with LFTRs and because they burn 97% of the fuel. Asking again what do you mean by talking about the United States as a person? Do you mean the system as the way people in government do things?

fusion_is_fundemental said...

I don't understand some people's thinking here. Do people want 6 billion people to die rather than so that the remaining 500 million can have what's left of the world?
I know about the arguments of the supposedly population due to hydrocarbons and related hydrocarbon energy.

Here is a question I have:
Suppose you see someone committing murder and you're watching it as it happens. You don't intervene even though you have a weapon that will stop the murder. Maybe you think that what's left of the victims possessions will be yours and those watching with you.

Are you guilty of a crime by not intervening and helping the victim? Do you want to live in a society that did nothing to help the victims and what kind of people will your neighbors be who chose not to help their fellow human beings all 6 billion of them?

You have a choice. Build LFTR clean nuclear reactors and save 6.5 billion people that will enable them to live for 5,000 years or let them die cause you think the world is not big enough for you and them.

One more thing just where did people get the idea that solar and wind is the way to go to save the planet? (I already know but just wanted to hear people's opinions.)

And another thing. If after the 6 billion die and only 500 million people are left. What happens when the population increases and people want to build energy generators to support the increasing population?
Is this future society going to kill some people so that the population is kept constant? (Logan's Run type of scenario).
Will the arrogant rulers of this future society unleash a bio-plague to eliminate most of the people cause? (12 Monkeys scenario)

FTW admin said...

sunmr

in case mike's too tired with these matters to address your question:

as you probably suspect, it looks like a way to further seal the lid on truth, the most pointed quote in the article being:

"Ultimately it would undermine the ability of the United States to obtain legitimate justice for the 9/11 attacks in our ordinary criminal courts," she said....

exactly. that's the point.

FTW admin said...

from mark robinowitx

Re: comments from the anonymous poster named "fusion is fundamental"

Yes, I read Mr. Hansen's letter to President Elect Obama. Part of
his letter was good, part was ridiculous.

Fission products are incompatible with creatures using DNA.

Now, last month I had a medical x-ray for my teeth, but that was
voluntary, I was the only one exposed, there was a benefit to go along
with the risk, and once the x-ray machine was turned off there was no
lingering isotope waste. It is possible in twenty years the x-ray
could lead to a fatal cancer (some medical x-rays do kill people) but
it was a risk I was willing to take. Building reactors to split
uranium or thorium (or even Pu) into fission products that are
dangerous for centuries poses ultrahazardous risks to future
generations who will not have all of this lovely electricity to enjoy.

You missed my point about radioactivity and human health -- leaving it
in the ground is a smarter approach to public health than increasing
our involuntary radiation dose. Leaving the oil and coal in the
ground instead of putting it into the atmosphere would be wise, too.
Biology (or spirtuality, if you are so inclined) trumps the need of
the electric grid. Decentralized solar electricity is more likely to
have a positive role in a future electric supply over centralized
toxic radioactive electricity generation.

Meltdowns are not the real danger of reactors, although they can be
catastrophic. All reactors, from baby sized to 1,000 megawatts, make
new isotopes not present on Earth before the nuclear age. These new
isotopes are toxic to life, some more than others, but none are safe.
A few have very short half lives, but most are dangerous for years,
decades, centuries, in some cases longer than that. It is arrogance
beyond language to assume we will be able to be good nuclear baby
sitters for centuries and millennia - we are no closer to
accomplishing this goal now in 2008 than we were in 1938 when nuclear
fission's potential was realized. Even if every reactor of every
design is operated perfectly for its entire life cycle, that still
leaves future generations with enormous amounts of ultrahazardous
nuclear wastes to cope with.

Radium's half life is 1600 years, it is one of the many so-called
"daughter products" of thorium.

A technophilia approach that ignores the impacts of radioactivity upon
DNA is just more of the same destructive paradigm that caused the
crisis. The decentralized, low impact, non toxic approach is the
solution. You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that
created it.

Claiming that a new form of a reactor could render radioactive waste
harmless is a nice marketing campaign, but no type of reactor, not
even the kind that Mr. Hansen is promoting, can make fission products
and transuranics and activation products non-radioactive. Irradiating
cesium-137 or strontium-90 or cobalt-60 or carbon-14 or radium or any
other radioisotope with neutrons in a reactor is not going to
magically transform all of this material into non-radioactive
isotopes. It would be nice if this was true.

mrs p said...

P.S. Why should we create anything that has a dangerous by-product needing storage? Why not completely eliminate any chance of it being here at all? These bad actor things we create to perform one duty but cause multiple problems as a result, negate their existance in the first place. We never should have gone there to begin with. It just shows the complete stupidity of detached carelessness and greed.

BTW, the pancakes are green not the bananas. mrsp

fusion_is_fundemental said...

Mark Robinowitz said
"Fission products are incompatible with creatures using DNA."

Fission products are in many places. It's called backround radiation. In some places it higher than in others.

Mark Robinowitz said
"Building reactors to split uranium or thorium (or even Pu) into fission products that are dangerous for centuries poses ultrahazardous risks to future generations who will not have all of this lovely electricity to enjoy."

Like I said many times before these LFTRs burn 97% of the fuel leaving very little waste products.

Mark Robinowitz said
"You missed my point about radioactivity and human health -- leaving it in the ground is a smarter approach to public health than increasing our involuntary radiation dose. Leaving the oil and coal in the ground instead of putting it into the atmosphere would be wise, too."

Leaving it in the ground condems 6 billion people to death. You have a choice. Is that what you would choose?

Mark Robinowitz said
"Biology (or spirtuality, if you are so inclined) trumps the need of the electric grid. Decentralized solar electricity is more likely to have a positive role in a future electric supply over centralized toxic radioactive electricity generation."

I'm not sure where you and others got your information of solar technology (although I have some idea) but you have been given false or misleading information. Solar technology is much more expensive than nuclear.

Mark Robinowitz said
"Meltdowns are not the real danger of reactors, although they can be catastrophic. All reactors, from baby sized to 1,000 megawatts, make new isotopes not present on Earth before the nuclear age."

Radioisotopes are undergoing fission all the time. That where part of the heat from the earth comes from.

Mark Robinowitz said
"Even if every reactor of every design is operated perfectly for its entire life cycle, that still leaves future generations with enormous amounts of ultrahazardous nuclear wastes to cope with."

In current designs the little waste products left need to be stored for 300 years.

Mark Robinowitz said
"Claiming that a new form of a reactor could render radioactive waste harmless is a nice marketing campaign, but no type of reactor, not even the kind that Mr. Hansen is promoting, can make fission products and transuranics and activation products non-radioactive."

You are wrong about that. They can burn the current radioactive waste making electricity in the process.

fusion_is_fundemental said...

mrs p said
"P.S. Why should we create anything that has a dangerous by-product needing storage? Why not completely eliminate any chance of it being here at all?"

Mrs P. because you are given a choice of whether to save 6 billion people or condemn them to death so you have to ask is the life you will have worth the lives of 6 billion people.

By the way, if this die off that everyone expects does occur it will be a Mad Max type of world where lawlessness is the way of life like the wild west was. Or it will be a totalitarian type of world where a ruling elite dictate to you what you are allowed to use or do or the life you are allowed to live since they will control most of the resources and the technology that they already control today. There will be no infrastructure to repair anything since. How are you going to decide who lives and who dies with the skills necessary to do repairs and build required technology like doctors, hospitals, communications, transportation, etc.

Do people plan to choose people with technical skills and separate them from the rest of the population so they will not be the ones in the die off? If so then this has all been done before with the rise of societies. Those tech people will be highly valued and they will be the high priests of that society. You can guess how the rest of society will evolve.

Isaac L said...

Fusion is Fundamental:

I've enjoyed your posts. Keep up the good work. I too would like to have replied to the OP but I lack the knowledge and eloquence.

To the uninitiated, here is a link were you can read about natural fission reactions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

People somehow have the conception that radioactivity is a man made phenomenon. It is not.

We all have radioactive carbon 14 in our bodies. This radioactivity is what enables radiocarbon dating.

mrs p said...

Whaaaa?

"Mrs P. because you are given a choice of whether to save 6 billion people or condemn them to death so you have to ask is the life you will have worth the lives of 6 billion people."

Okay, please come on now. Let's get real. No one is giving anyone a choice to "save 6 billion people" in the first place. You can chocolate cover the cat's poop and wrap it in gold--it will still be poop. Sorry for the poopy analogy but I'm worn out over all the previous embellishments. Respectfully, mrsp

mrs p said...

"where lawlessness is the way of life like the wild west was."

I see plenty examples of this everyday (small and large) here and now. Just turn on your TV. mrsp

Hawkesy said...

Right I disagree with Fusion is Fundamental that nuclear reactors of any kind are a good way forward for the same reasons many posters have pointed out already.

But for arguments sake lets assume they do get built and that there are enough fossil fuels to allow there construction and maintenance over the coming decades allowing enough power to keep the lights on and I assume power electric transportation of some kind.

FiF your still missing the point that oil provides much more than this. What is going to happen when there is not enough oil to produce the medicines, fertilisers and plastics which the world depends?

I would suggest even with nuclear reactors we will still get a Malthusian die-off fairly soon anyway.

Also as to FiF suggestion that the arrogant rulers of future society unleash some sort of 12 Monkeys scenario - I would be much more worried that the current arrogant rulers of our society decide the time is ripe to unleash the 12 Monkeys scenario. Though you would think TPTB are more likely to unleash something to which they have a vaccine/cure and can then choose who lives and who dies.....

MCR & JO please keep up the good work. I am currently rereading CTR for the first time in a few years and its a big wake up call....

Richard, Edinburgh

Rice Farmer said...

Dear Fusion -- you have yet to explain how generating a lot of electricity is going to save billions of people.

BTW, you are obviously new here. You insult our community by suggesting that we want billions to die. Anyone who has been around for a while knows it has always been FTW's mission to alert people and save as many lives as possible.

agape wins said...

This started out as an E mail to Zachery because he asked for
advice, but it has evolved into a post; bear with me

fusion_is_fundamental still does not get the point; he dances around
the fact that we are an hour late and a Dollar short! There are
thousands starving right now, if/when the end comes the first to go
will be those in power, Read "Blood in the Streets", & those who
are educated, it will be worse than Lawless! We are near or at the
point of no return. THE EARTH CANNOT SUPPORT 6 Billion
people, I will be one of those who expires, you want to determine
who survives by where you put your reactors, will you choose Africa?
Zachery,
You have a good foundation, but you are also looking at a tree!
You must read "Collapse", Diamond writes about Farms in Montana,
& native peoples failures, here & abroad. North Africa was once
lush cropland, What we as people affects the weather on the other
side of our Planet, Selfishness on My part, cutting trees, building
dams, putting down pavement, & abusing Carbon all have an affect
on someone else's weather. wasteland is not normal, why is there so
much land we can't use?
Do you remember the garden of EDEN?
The Old Testament has been around for Eons so we could understand
(as no other generation has), what "Eating from the Tree of Knowledge
implies, we are still indulging on our knowledge, thereby enforcing our
self imposed exile, we have reached a level of intelligence where we can
see how our self indulgence effects the entire ecosystem.
The big question is, HAVE WE,as a collective consciousness matured
enough to prevent the total Collapse which has happened before, &
been foretold, again, & again! At least we are no longer killing the
Prophets, we just ignore them!
Books to trust: " Crossing the Rubicon", "Collapse", Guns, Germs & Steel",
"Hurtling toward Infinity", "Lies My Teacher Told Me", & Mike's new book.
I know this list is going nowhere, because there is not enough time, &
besides they are just Fingers pointing the way back to Eden!
The future can be found in "AMAE, The Anatomy of Dependency", its
not a light book, from a Savage (a untrue western sentiment) people, the
Japanese, who since WWII have evolved into the most advanced Humans.
it's about psychology, our Human nature, it's distortions, & how we can
come together, overcome our Selfishness, think about, and feel the emotions
of those around us, to better use them for everyone's betterment; not just to
Kiss them off as we are prone to do!
Forget the Church, any/all of them ( the larger the more so), distort, more
than enlighten, they have just insured that we can see the future reflected
in the past.
A movie to watch is "Our Daily Bread", please ignore the politics, & black
& white format, it is not intended to entertain, there are no slick sets,
costumes, or modern lighting, just 1934 to 1940 film. The part about
irrigation was, & still is illegal, make sure you have all the permits before you
try it or "Uncle" will come down hard on you! Grapes of Wrath, &
Bound for Glory, also express a point of view, which is more pointed,
in the slick Hollywood manner. Think about everything you read or see,
does it make sense, what is the point, what can I take away which is positive,
and what should I ignore or toss away?

NB Patton said...

Tim,
You posted this at 0822 on Nov 26.

"There is only one belief you have that I disagree with. You believe energy is finite. Oil, gas and coal certainly are. They say a perpetual motion machine is impossible; that it violates the laws of thermodynamics. Consider that we live on a small, blue planet circiling a star with 200 billion other stars that rotate in the Milky Way. That reality is perpetual motion, or infinite energy. How to tap into that is the trick. My entire point to posting on this blog is to let you all know that technology exists that makes money and oil obsolete. Really. We must get beyond 3-dimesional Newtonian physics and understand multi-dimensional quantum phisics on a phisical level and mature on a spiritual level to get beyond this crisis."

Then in your most recent post you said:

"Energy does not come from a magical machine-I never said that-wake up."

I must be misunderstanding something. So infinite energy can't come from a "magical machine", but it CAN come from a real life "multi-dimensional quantum physics" energy capture device? And this technology exists today, here on Earth...

...And I need to wake up, right?

Chris Shaw, Australia said...

There is the little matter of the depleted uranium hexafluoride (dUF6) still stored in thick steel containers in enormous parking lots on DoE property. The containers hold over 700,000 metric tonnes of this highly toxic, reactive filth, which dates all the way back to 1946.

The containers must be constantly inspected and re-painted. What a legacy to leave for the grandkids!

Why is it still there? Because the cost and energy required to turn this excrement into something more benign makes a joke of the Nuclear Industry's claims to be sufficiently energy positive. A classic case of externalising costs.

Here in Australia, there is pressure for us to value-add our yellowcake production by producing enriched uranium locally. The fools don't realise that for every tonne of enriched UF6 produced, our kids will be saddled with 9 tonnes of waste dUF6, which they will have to care for in perpetuity.

I can't see the investors and bankers re-painting the cylinders on their long weekends - can you?

This is the DoE storage website:
http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/mgmtuses/storage/index.cfm

Isaac L said...

I think a lot of us are missing the point.

If such reactors do not get built, it won't be because of technology hurdles or lack of fossil fuels. If we hit peak, then that means there is still half the oil left in the ground.

A free market economy might not invest in nuclear because the "returns are uncertain". That's true but that's what governments are for.

We all need to pull together. Energy diversification, economic contraction, and conservation are our best bet.

John said...

From Sanders Research, on the prospects of nuclear power:

http://www.sandersresearch.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1385

La naissance ou l'avortement
By John Busby
Dec/09/2008

fusion_is_fundamental said...

John said
"From Sanders Research, on the prospects of nuclear power:
http://www.sandersresearch.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1385
La naissance ou l'avortement
By John Busby
"

John that report is irrelevant to LFTR reactors. LFTRs are non-proliferating and can actually destroy existing nuclear waste.