Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 7, 2014

Business & Politics

Vancouver’s Fortress Paper ‘very disappointed’ with China’s pulp duty decision

Business in Vancouver
April 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Chinese government is sticking by its previous decision to impose a 13% duty on cellulose pulp coming from Canada, the U.S. and Brazil — a move Vancouver-based Fortress Paper says will hurt business. China’s Ministry of Commerce made the final determination April 3 after it had already announced an interim duty of 13% on dissolving pulp imports. Fortress Paper said in a release it’s “very disappointed” with the outcome and is evaluating alternatives for its Global Cellulose Mill in Lebel-sur-Quevillon, Quebec, as the final duty for any unnamed current or future pulp producers would be 23.7%. The government previously set the duty at 50.9%.

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High tech employs more BC workers than mining and forestry combined

Mining.com
April 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are 29% more people employed in BC’s high tech sector than employed in mining, forestry and oil and gas combined, reports BC Stats. According to Profile of the British Columbia High Technology Sector: 2013 Edition, the high technology sector employs 84,100 while mining, forestry and oil and gas combined employs 65,100.High tech is still smaller than overall goods-producing industry. When construction and other manufacturing are added, the goods-producing sector in BC employs 305,600 people compared to high tech’s 84,100.

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Sawmill owner to appeal record $1.01-million fine for fatal explosion

Babine Forest Products says penalty is too severe
Vancouver Sun
April 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Babine Forest Products announced Thursday it plans to appeal a $1.01-million penalty, the highest ever levied by WorkSafeBC, for a fatal explosion and fire at its Burns Lake sawmill. In a statement Thursday, the company said that the fines and administrative penalties against Babine for the dust-fuelled explosion and fire in 2012 that killed two workers and injured 20 others were not fair. The company noted the Crown had earlier determined charges were not warranted because of the company’s “due diligence in managing foreseeable risks.” The Crown also found that WorkSafe failed to perform an appropriate investigation, the statement pointed out.

Owner of sawmill rocked by deadly explosion fined $1M from The Canadian Press

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Weyerhaeuser extends operation sequence

Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune
April 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West


Wayne Roznowski, manager of public affairs for Weyerhaeuser, confirmed the company is making changes to their regularly scheduled shutdowns. What used to be a regular, annual maintenance shutdown will switch to being scheduled for every 18 months. “Basically, it’s a cost saving measure,” Roznowski explained. “A shutdown is an annual maintenance shutdown and is a multi million dollar event… We will have up to a thousand people, contractors, on site. You have lost production… (and) it’s a pretty significant number.”

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West Fraser makes U.S. acquisitions

The Prince George Citizen
April 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A lumber giant already well established in the local region has been growing in recent weeks. Founded in Quesnel, with corporate offices in Vancouver and Tennessee, West Fraser made more U.S. acquisitions this week. The main new investment is the sawmill and lumber manufacturing operations under the title of Bibler Brothers Sawmill in Russellville, Arkansas. It is the second recent acquisition in Arkansas, following the West Fraser purchase of the Tavis Lumber operation in nearby Mansfield in early March… The second West Fraser announcement Thursday was the purchase of the Buchanan Sawmill in High Prairie, Alberta. This mill has an annual capacity of approximately 110 million board feet of lumber.

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NDP Small Business Critic Silenced by Speaker Reid

The Tyee
April 5, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

When the NDP small business critic spoke out April 2 against the imposition of recycling fees by a private, industry-led monopoly, she drew the ire of Speaker Linda Reid. Lana Popham was using an allotted two-minute private members’ statement slot to urge the BC Liberals to delay the Multi-Material B.C. (MMBC) program because of the anticipated job losses for the newspaper industry. She said the industry pioneered the blue box recycling system and recycles 85 per cent of the newsprint that it uses. But MMBC, enabled by government legislation, is slapping new fees on producers of printed paper and packaging. 

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Tolko’s Lakeview mill shutdown continues

Williams Lake Tribune
April 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As a result of planned capital projects, Tolko’s Lakeview mill in Williams Lake has experienced downtime in March and will continue into April, the company said Friday. The sawmill shut down on March 14 and is anticipated to commence operations during the week of April 7. Tolko said the planer has continued to run during this time, however, it will take a two-week shutdown starting April 7 to allow the rough inventory to build up again.

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MDF plant to reopen 3

The Daily Observer
April 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


LAURENTIAN VALLEY TWP. – Start spreading the news; the fibreboard plant is back in business. On Friday, during a press conference held inside the massive facility, located on Fibreboard Drive, off of Whitewater Road, it was announced the newly crowned Pembroke MDF plant – formally ATC Panels – will resume operations this July. If all goes well, the company will be hiring 140 workers, starting with 110 to begin with, then the rest will be hired on as operations ramp up.

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Federal payments to timber counties coming

Mail Tribune
April 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service says payments to timber counties under the last year of the Secure Rural Schools Act will be going out soon, and Oregon’s share totals more than $60 million. The agency announced the payments Friday. Members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation say U.S. Bureau of Land Management payments going out later will raise the total to $107 million, shared by 18 Oregon counties.

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Stand by Our Plan claims Plum Creek has misled public

The Gainesville Sun
April 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East

The debate over Plum Creek timber company’s proposed plan for its Alachua County property won’t be settled anytime soon. Stand By Our Plan, an association with concerns about Plum Creek’s proposal, is going to be part of that conversation. Members of Stand By Our Plan like Tamara Robbins, who is also chair of the Suwannee-St. Johns Group Sierra Club Executive Committee, hope to clear up what they believe is misleading information coming from Plum Creek’s camp….Greg Galpin, senior manager of planning for Plum Creek, said the company asked to meet with the county in 2004 to discuss its concerns and goals regarding its property.

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Log exports cause concern

The Border Watch
April 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

GREEN Triangle forestry union boss Brad Coates has called on the State Government to ensure the conditions of the forward sale contract for ForestrySA plantations are being adequately policed. Mr Coates – who is not accusing OneFortyOne of any contractual breaches – said the community and industry needed some assurance given the substantial number of logs now flowing out of the Port of Portland. He said the sale conditions set by an industry roundtable meant the resource had to be offered to the domestic industry first.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wooden skyscrapers help cool climate

Wooden skyscrapers could tick a number of important boxes, including making a serious contribution to cutting climate impacts.
Eco-business.com
April 6, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

US scientists have a new green solution to urban construction: chop down trees and use the wood for buildings. Good strong timber buildings – and there are plans for 30-storey skyscrapers built of wood – would save on concrete and steel, save on carbon dioxide emissions and cut the use of fossil fuel. The argument may seem counter-intuitive… But Chadwick Oliver, a forester at the University of Yale and colleagues make the case in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry. They argue that if the world stepped up the harvest of the forests and used the wood efficiently then economies could save on fossil fuel, reduce carbon

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Proposed six-storey wood frame limit changes in the works

Almaguin News
April 4, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

ALMAGUIN – Proposed amendments to the Ontario Building Code are making many the opposite of wooden. The Ontario government recently announced it will move forward with proposed changes allowing for wood-framed building structures up to six storeys tall. The current limit is four storeys. Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says he’s pleased by the announcement. “I’m very excited this may actually become law in Ontario this spring,” he says. “It’s a win for everybody.” 

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Blaze destroys iconic Ukrainian Catholic church in Brampton

The Star
April 6, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Pastor Roman Galadza could only watch helplessly as the Brampton church he’s led his parish out of for two decades was reduced to ashes. More than 17 fire trucks responded to a two-alarm blaze that completely destroyed St. Elias the Prophet Ukrainian Catholic Church on Heritage Rd., near Bovaird Dr. W., at about 7 a.m. Saturday… ”The church was built in 1995 out of Douglas Fir heavy timber with three dome-like structures, modeled on western Ukrainian Boyko-style churches. Intricate paintings of religious icons graced the domed ceiling and the wall behind the altar.

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US joins race for tall timber buildings

Timber Trades Journal
April 7, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The US government is to launch a competition for the design of high-rise timber buildings as part of a US$1m initiative to encourage the use of wood as a structural material. The move complements a project to highlight engineered timber’s multi-storey potential launched by the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) industry promotional campaign. The government competition is to demonstrate the architectural and commercial viability of wood in tall buildings, similar to the nine-storey Stadthaus in London and the 10-storey Forte apartment block in Melbourne. …The SLB estimates that widespread take up of such buildings in the US could consume 6 billion board feet of softwood annually.

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The Green Building Initiative Announces Recruitment of Members to Serve on Consensus Body to Assess New Protocol

The Green Building Initiative
Digital Journal
April 7, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

PORTLAND, Ore., — The Green Building Initiative (GBI) announced today that it is seeking applicants to serve as members of its consensus body, which is being formed to formally update its new construction assessment protocol – ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings. The standard was originally completed in 2010 and must be updated every five years according to procedures established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

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Wood for Good Launches Life-Cycle Assessment Sector Database

Wood for Good
April 7, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood for Good, the timber industry promotion and sustainability campaign, has today launched the largest online life-cycle assessment (LCA) database of any UK construction material. The free-to-use database, which was unveiled at London’s Building Centre, has been designed to aid the specification of timber products in construction schemes. It contains environmental performance information on all major timber products from cradle to grave… A key initial finding from the database is that each of the products studied has a carbon negative rating on a cradle-to-site basis. This means that the amount of carbon absorbed and stored in the timber is greater than that emitted from harvesting, processing and transportation.

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Larch makes the grade

Timber Trades Journal
April 5, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Research work could help lead to a new wave of engineered wood products in Scottish larch. Stephen Powney reports. Across the UK the Phytophthora ramorum tree disease has been cutting swathes through the larch population. Forestry Commission efforts to control the outbreak’s spread have led to large numbers of fellings in the affected areas, with some significant volumes of timber now coming onto the market. …Engineered larch applications being looked at include cladding, finger-jointed timber, closed timber frame panels, glulam, cross-laminated timber, a dowel-laminated timber system and open-web joists.

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Forestry

Canadian technology and the ‘Flight of the drones’

The Globe and Mail
April 6, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

When Libyan rebels marched on Tripoli in 2011, a Canadian drone led the way. The unmanned aircraft, a product of a company called Aeryon Labs based in Waterloo, Ont., sliced slowly over the landscape, mapping the terrain and sending valuable tactical information to the soldiers. Six months later, a similar scene played out in perhaps the polar opposite setting, as an Aeryon craft hummed across the Bering Sea, relaying ice conditions ahead of a Russian tanker dispatched to deliver vital fuel to the town of Nome, Alaska, which had been caught off guard by an early winter… Unmanned craft, he notes, can also be used to collect water samples, monitor the impact of greenhouse-gas emissions in the far North and check on the health of the boreal forest.

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Comment: Forest trusts would preserve the public interest

Letter by Andrew Mitchell
Victoria Times Colonist
April 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For thousands of years, residents of B.C. have had the freedom to roam our lands and forests. Public ownership of most of our forests has maintained this freedom. Unlike other countries, we can go on millions of hectares of forest without the barriers of fences, gates and no-trespassing signs. Our pioneers kept our forests and lands in public ownership for economic reasons. They were afraid that private timber interests would misuse the forests, control the timber supply and restrict enterprise in wood manufacture. Public ownership of our forests was seen as a means to ensure sustainable management. Public timber would be available on an open market to encourage a diversified wood products industry.

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Save the caribou, save the boreal forest: ecologists

AFP
April 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Waswanipi – Endangered woodland caribou face increasing encroachment on their Canadian habitat, and foot-dragging by the federal government to try to halt this advance could now doom the species. The cervidae, with its large snout and narrow antlers, called reindeer in Eurasia, has seen colonists, and later forestry, mining and oil and gas exploration companies carve out larger and larger swaths of its vast habitat for human activities. As a result, its numbers in Canada have fallen steadily over the past 150 years. In Quebec province, only pockets of caribou remain, largely in the north.

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Smoke From NJ Forest Fire Spreads 40 Miles to Philly (& video)

NBC News
April 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A forest fire burned more than 1,500 acres of land in the Wharton State Forest Sunday into Monday sending smoke into the air that could be seen and smelled in neighboring states. The location of the fire was 31 Batsto Road. Crews dropped water on the fire from airplanes and used backfires to contain the fire. The fire did not threaten structures or people. NBC10’s SkyForce10 could spot smoke from the fire wafting in the air above Northeast Philly Monday morning — that’s about 40 miles away. There were also reports of reduced visibilities at some area airports.

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Forest Restoration Thinning Underway

Payson Roundup
April 6, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

The Four Forest Restoration Initiative contractor Good Earth Power AZ wants to build a mill to handle millions of tons of small trees in Williams instead of Winslow, the latest wrinkle in a high-stakes forest thinning project on which Rim Country’s future may well depend. The Forest Service has already approved the firm’s request to shift operations to Williams, which is further from the bulk of the land that needs thinning. …Good Earth took over the stalled project from Pioneer Forest Products and initially agreed to follow the same business plan — which included a new mill in Winslow to both turn small trees and brush into energy and produce furniture from the small trees.

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ACES report identifies threats to Roaring Fork Valley forests

The Aspen Times
April 6, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The forest of the Roaring Fork Valley dodged the mountain pine beetle epidemic that turned much of Colorado’s mountain landscape brown, but it’s not out of the woods yet, so to speak. A comprehensive 2014 State of the Forest Report released Wednesday by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies takes a careful inventory of what infestations and diseases are threatening which species of trees in the valley. It’s based on scientific data collected by the U.S. Forest Service and through field observations — not conjecture or hypothetical guesses… “It’s hopefully a wake-up call,” Lane said.

Forest report links forest health and climate change from Aspen Daily News

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Oregon timber bid motivated by lawsuit threat

Statesman Journal
April 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND — An Oregon company says it bid on land in the Elliott State Forest as a challenge to environmental groups who have promised lawsuits to protect a threatened seabird. …In one letter, Cascadia Forest Defenders warned timber companies: “Do not bid on these sales. If you become the owner of the Elliott, you will have activists up your trees and lawsuits on your desk. We will be at your office and in your mills.” Jones said her company would not be intimidated by threats from elitist environmentalists “sent from Washington, D.C.”

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Idaho gets behind forest restoration plan

Idaho gets behind forest restoration plan
Idaho Statesman
April 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

The projects sent to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack have wide support in Idaho and qualify for streamlined approval under the new farm bill, Gov. Butch Otter says. The projects cover 1.7 million acres of national forest land, including parts of the Boise National Forest northwest of Banks and around Bogus Basin. The proposal comes as talks continue on reopening a lumber mill in Emmett, and it might give backers another push to get the mill open. If the Forest Service is able to follow through on … the 50 projects, it “should serve as an example for future designation of additional landscape areas that move toward restoring forest resiliency across the national forest system in Idaho,” Otter said.

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Timber litigation is not a long-term solution

Statesman Journal
April 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Last year, an extreme group made headlines when they rappelled down the state Capitol to protest the sale of state forest parcels that would benefit public education. …Despite representing a small minority of public opinion, extreme groups and attorneys shape nearly every decision affecting public lands due to the constant threat of protests and lawsuits. Unfortunately it’s always Oregon’s rural communities that pay the price. And ironically, forest health also suffers as the lack of active management has made forests more vulnerable to wildfire, insects and disease.

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BLM slowly rolling out timber sales from last summer’s fires

Grants Pass Daily News
April 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On April 24 the first burned timber from last summer’s devastating fires will be put up for auction by the Bureau of Land Management, long awaited by timber bidders. The Stratton-Brimstone salvage, 15 miles northwest of Grants Pass, covers 137 acres classified as matrix Ñ set aside for logging Ñ by the 1994 Northwest Plan. The BLM estimates it will produce 3 million board feet. On April 24 the first burned timber from last summer’s devastating fires will be put up for auction by the Bureau of Land Management, long awaited by timber bidders.

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Boycotts are an essential democratic right

The Ecologist
April 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In a radical departure from it’s ‘pro free speech’ rhetoric, Australia’s ‘Liberal’ government wants to ban environmental boycotts. But as Bill Laurance writes, eco-boycotts are not only an effective tool for reining in corporate excesses – they are also a key democratic right. …But now, the power of boycotts might be on the brink of being reined in, after Australia’s federal government floated the idea of banning organised boycotts of companies on environmental grounds. The move has sparked apoplexy among free-speech advocates, and came as a surprise even to observers whose expectations had already been lowered by the Commonwealth’s plan to devolve environmental powers to the states and territories.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Study touts benefits of using wood pellets for energy using biomass from SE Wis. forests

Greenfield Daily Reporter
April 5, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US West

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin — A new study says using wood pellets for fuel in southwestern Wisconsin could save millions of dollars a year in energy costs, slash carbon dioxide emissions and create more than 100 jobs. A La Crosse Tribune report says the study points to regional forests as a good source of biomass that otherwise decomposes. The study was commissioned by the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission. It was funded by $52,000 in grants from the federal Department of Commerce and the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

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Biomass battle: EPA in crossfire between ‘green’ industry and environmental concerns

Post and Courier South Carolina
April 6, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East

HARLEYVILLE – Wood stoves smoke. Anyone who’s fired one up knows that. So the question isn’t whether the wood-burning power plants pollute. They do. The question is whether they are the lesser of two evils: Is it environmentally more responsible to burn wood, a renewable energy source and carbon absorber, than carbon fuels such as coal? …The controversy is flaring now because the Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled this summer to reconsider toughening restrictions on the wood-burning plants. The second look comes on the heels of the EPA’s controversial proposal to strictly limit how much pollution a household wood stove can emit.

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Environmental group’s report comes under fire after citing Bucksport mill as one of dozens of ‘dirty’ biomass plants

Bangor Daily News
April 6, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

BUCKSPORT, Maine — In the wake of a report publicly released April 2 about biomass-burning power generators, some are criticizing the report and others are defending the use of biofuels as a comparatively “clean” and sustainable technology. …Critics say the report makes false assumptions and, from a wider environmental standpoint, neglects a key issue — namely, the impact of mining and other practices used to obtain nonrenewable fossil fuels used in other power generation facilities. Bill Cohen, spokesman for the Bucksport mill, said Wednesday in a brief statement that “bad data and faulty assumptions” have been used in the PFPI report and others like it.

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World Running Out Of Time To Stop Global Warming, UN Report Says

Huffingtonpost.com
April 6, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

OSLO – World powers are running out of time to slash their use of high-polluting fossil fuels and stay below agreed limits on global warming, a draft U.N. study to be approved this week shows… One option is to let temperatures overshoot the 2C target while developing technology to cool the planet by extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, the draft says. The draft that would add to risks of warming and push up costs. Extracting carbon from nature includes simple measures such as planting more trees, which soak up carbon as they grow, or capturing and burying greenhouse gases from electricity-generating plants that burn wood or other plant matter.

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Wood: The fuel of the future

The Economist
April 6, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

WHICH source of renewable energy is most important to the European Union? Solar power, perhaps? Or wind? The answer is neither. By far the largest so-called renewable fuel used in Europe is wood. …Tim Searchinger of Princeton University calculates that if whole trees are used to produce energy,…they increase carbon emissions compared with coal (the dirtiest fuel) by 79% over 20 years and 49% over 40 years; there is no carbon reduction until 100 years have passed, when the replacement trees have grown up. But as the European Climate Foundation points out, “we’re trying to cut carbon now; not in 100 years’ time.”

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