Which part of “economic” does the World Economic Forum not understand?

Guest “Rhetorical question” by David Middleton

If you can’t see why this is hilarious, you probably flunked economics (and basic arithmetic)…

Wind and solar now employ as many workers as the oil sector.

World Economic Forum on LinkedIn

The LinkedIn post is accompanied by a cute YouTube video:

The World Economic Forum, apparently thinks that this is something to brag about. If you can’t see why this is hilarious, you probably flunked economics (and basic arithmetic)…

Global primary energy consumption in 2021 (BP Statistical Review of World Energy)

By the logic of the World Economic Forum, it is a “good thing” that it takes more people to produce and deliver 7% of the world’s primary energy needs, than it takes to produce and deliver 55% (oil & gas).

It’s actually possible that, in 2021, it took twice as many people to deliver than 40 EJ of “green” energy than it took to deliver 330 EJ of “oil sector” energy.

Renewable energy jobs hit 12.7 million globally
New report confirms growth in renewable jobs despite multiple crises and calls for targeted industrial strategies to create stable supply chains and decent jobs.

Press release | 22 September 2022

GENEVA (ILO News) – Worldwide employment in renewable energy reached 12.7 million last year, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in one year, despite the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the growing energy crisis, according to a new report.

Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2022  identifies domestic market size as a major factor influencing employment generation in renewables, along with labour and other costs. Solar energy was found to be the fastest-growing sector. In 2021 it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global workforce in renewable energy.


International Labour Organization

Oil and gas production

The ILO estimates that nearly 6 million people are directly employed by the petroleum industry and over ten times that number of jobs are indirectly created by the industry. Employment opportunities for women in the petroleum industry are increasing, but from a very low base. This may be because of harsh working conditions in the industry: long hours work, especially in oil production; increasing amounts of work round the clock, in difficult, remote areas ; scheduling of shifts particularly offshore when rotation patterns are constrained by transport schedules and limits on accommodation. The petroleum industry faces the shortage of skilled workers.

International Labour Organization
“Now that’s funny right there I don’t care who you are. That there is funny.”

Renewables require 300,000 more employees per exajoule of output than the oil & gas industry does. Whenever I see these “triumphant” articles about renewable energy employing more people than fossil fuels, I’m always reminded of the photos of dozens of workers sweeping snow off the streets of Beijing during President Nixon’s historic visit to Red China in 1972.

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September 27, 2022 6:10 pm

How can they not see how ridiculous their report was? How do these people keep their jobs?

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Bob
September 27, 2022 9:30 pm

Progressives think the only reason businesses exist is to employ people. If they make a useful product as well then that’s a bonus. If.

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
October 1, 2022 5:17 pm

Primary reason = pay taxes
Second = employ
Third = amusement, maybe people getting together

Joao Martins
Reply to  Bob
September 28, 2022 4:22 am

They cannot see how ridiculous they are because they are ignorant. Ignorant to the point of not understanding the ridiculous.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bob
September 28, 2022 7:37 am

It’s a joke: how many people does it take to change a green, energy efficient lightbulb?

Reply to  Richard Page
September 28, 2022 7:53 am

850 employees according to the rooftop solar association and lobbyists and another 5,500 of slave labor (inmates) making polysilicon in western China behind very high fences with guard towers. Plus, another 1,500 at the coal-fired power plant and 4,000 at the Chinese coal mine. Work well and live as they say in the gulag.

Tom Halla
September 27, 2022 6:12 pm

I am reminded of the “why not teaspoons” comment by Milton Friedman. Thinking inefficiency is a good thing is perverse.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 27, 2022 9:29 pm

Humans had to move beyond hunter-gather before societies could support developing technology for other purposes. Once mechanized farming is destroyed, there will have to be some hard choices between activities that produce and supply power and those that produce and supply food. There may well not be enough people left to do both.

Reply to  AndyHce
September 28, 2022 9:10 am

As recently as the 1700’s, 90% of the population lived on farms.

Reply to  MarkW
September 28, 2022 12:15 pm

That was before large corporations owned most of the land.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 27, 2022 6:28 pm

Me too, imagine how many people could be employed using these.

Last edited 4 months ago by Chris Hanley
Paul C
Reply to  Chris Hanley
September 28, 2022 5:18 am

Yes, the modern version of the treadmill. Presumably shift-workers/slaves are required, so that the elite may have continuous power.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 1, 2022 5:19 pm

French rising star Sandrine Rousseau says we need an anti productivity shock.
“We need less productivity and more people working in agriculture.”


Also, Rousseau before her election was teaching economy at a univ.

(Also, univ student unions have Rousseau teaching on Amber alert because she was not teaching.)

Last edited 4 months ago by niceguy
September 27, 2022 6:16 pm

Current wind and solar technology, universally applied, condemns the entire human race to trying to extract energy from the wind and sun. The task will gobble up the entire human output in fruitless employment.

The developed countries are able to sustain the illusion by total reliance on China for all of the elements to even start the journey to NutZero. And it only works while China is able to resource the insanity with it currently abundant coal resources with a little help of a few other resource suppliers.

Last edited 4 months ago by RickWill
H. D. Hoese
Reply to  RickWill
September 27, 2022 10:43 pm

Speaking of employment before the Anthroposin there was a prediction that there would be much smaller numbers of needed producers, others had to find new enterprises. This was due to fossil fuels. You might say that they brought it on themselves except it required other sins.

September 27, 2022 6:17 pm

If you’re good at what you do, why shouldn’t you brag?

Parasites boasting about their success at parasitism might be considered foolish …if they weren’t so obviously succeeding at it.

September 27, 2022 6:21 pm

Wonder if this is even true
How many of these jobs are the door knockers and phone callers trying to convince the gullible to put solar on their roofs or similar bs jobs

Chris Hanley
Reply to  H B
September 27, 2022 6:39 pm

I’m plagued by cold-callers too, anything worth having doesn’t need to be flogged so incessantly usually the reverse in my long experience.

Last edited 4 months ago by Chris Hanley
Ron Long
September 27, 2022 6:23 pm

Good report, David, and another Reality Check. However, the clueless CAGW crowd will read the World Economic Forum report/watch the infomercial and, being True Believers, continue to make their snarky comments. When it gets cold this winter and the energy isn’t there, maybe a few will wake up. Keep beating the infidels about the head and shoulders with these Reality Checks.

Reply to  Ron Long
September 27, 2022 9:33 pm

Biden threaten that if Russia didn’t obey, there would be no nord stream 2. ‘We” will see to that. Now there is no nord stream 2. Who will be liable for the many European deaths this coming winter?

Reply to  AndyHce
September 28, 2022 9:18 am

Can you document where Biden made this statement? Or is just something else that Putin told you to believe.
According to Germany, the CIA warned them several weeks ago about threats to Nordstream.

David K
Reply to  MarkW
September 28, 2022 10:53 am
Reply to  MarkW
September 28, 2022 12:22 pm

See Biden video in this article

What is the overriding mission of the CIA? (hint: disinformtion, by their own admission)

Richard Page
Reply to  AndyHce
September 28, 2022 1:23 pm

As to who did it, we need to find out who benefits from accusations of sabotage?
Also bearing in mind that the Swedes searched (in vain) for a secret Russian submarine running up to their coast only to find a guy in a small motorboat. I guess if you knew the location, an explosive device thrown overboard from a small fishing boat would do the job just as well as a stealth submarine!

Steve Case
September 27, 2022 6:43 pm

Classic misinformation / misdirection

So ~7.8 million Solar/Wind workers produce 7% of our energy.

And 7.8 million fossil fuel workers produce 82% of our energy.

In other words it takes nearly 12 solar/wind workers to produce
what just one fossil fuel worker produces.

Just think what those extra 11 workers could produce if they
weren’t working solar panels and wind farms? Why they could
be put to work digging holes and filling them up again.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 27, 2022 8:08 pm

And the 11 worker’s paychecks are enabled by government subsidies while the 1 worker’s salary is not.

John I Reistroffer
Reply to  Steve Case
September 27, 2022 9:48 pm

“They could be put to work digging holes and filling them up again.”

Sounds Like “Cool Hand Luke”!

Steve Case
Reply to  John I Reistroffer
September 28, 2022 12:27 am

Yes “Cool Hand Luke” is where I got that mental image from.

September 27, 2022 6:55 pm

Much as I like comparisons, that 300k more per exajoule is totally meaningless to most people, and a typical tactic of alarmists to MAKE THAT NUMBER ALL BIG AND SHOUTY!!!! reminds me of the “1340000000000000000000 micrograms of ice lost in Antarctica each decade!” type of claims.

Is an exajoule a lot? I’d guess nearly all people have no idea.

Simpler, and far more meaningful to anyone you talk to, just to say each oil and gas employee produces about 57 times as much energy as a renewables employee.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 27, 2022 8:23 pm

And maybe that’s why everyday people have no idea of the problems.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 27, 2022 10:36 pm

Enough energy to light all of Los Angeles for 10,000 nights, dusk til dawn?

Reply to  David Middleton
September 28, 2022 7:00 am

Has to be something easily relatable / experienced by the masses.

As seen in numerous popular movies.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 27, 2022 10:59 pm

How many Hiroshimas is it?

Reply to  David Middleton
September 28, 2022 2:52 pm

1 exajoule equals ~278 TWh or the equivalent of 164 million barrels of oil or if you prefer, 447719 bopd which is equivalent to…… Wait for it…. WAIT for it… WAIT FOR IT:

0.021 seconds of sunshine on the disc diameter area of planet earth, a disc diameter which is facing the sun and being bombarded by sunshine on that area on a 60/60/24/7/365.25 basis.

(1 kWh/m2 and hour hitting planet earth every hour times 12756200m*12756200m*pi()/4/1700 kWh/boe per hour divided by 60min/hour and 60sec/min.

Peta got it right?


Peta of Newark
Reply to  Dean
September 28, 2022 1:35 am

Its easy:
300EJ is what Old El Sol produces every 700 nanoseconds.

Near as makes no odds, call that “per microsecond”

Strangely, the energy density (as in Watts per cubic metre) in your average garden compost-heap is greater than that of Sol

funny things ain’t they, sols, composts and numbers.

<wonders why the word ‘sol’ is so similar to ‘soil’>

Richard Page
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 28, 2022 7:43 am

Or ‘soul’, ‘sole’, ‘shoal’ or a dozen different words.

John the Econ
September 27, 2022 7:04 pm

They’re either complete idiots, or honestly wish to send us back to the early 19th century. Really doesn’t matter which of those possibilities might be worse. The results will be equally dismal.

Reply to  John the Econ
September 27, 2022 9:36 pm

The early 19 century is likely to be a fond, nostalgic memory compared to what may well be coming.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  AndyHce
September 28, 2022 7:12 am

Yes – at least early 19th Century humans were acclimated to living like…early 19th Century humans.

Try that lifestyle on when you’re a “cell phone generation” kid, and things will get ugly really fast.

John the Econ
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 28, 2022 12:15 pm

The only upside of this agenda is that it will drastically thin the population and gene pool of those who have chosen to be economically useless.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 28, 2022 12:24 pm

They had centuries to adopt to it. Today most people have no useful experience.

Reply to  John the Econ
September 28, 2022 6:27 am

It is the plan – destroy Western civilization. They are not idiots.,

September 27, 2022 7:14 pm

The WEF understands currency, stock, and military-political manipulation quite well, thank you, all as instruments of personal gain.

Kit P
September 27, 2022 7:48 pm

There are jobs and then there are good jobs. The jobs I had at nuke plants were good jobs. In northern climates I heated with wood because I enjoyed it. I figured than the ratio of homes I could heat as part of the team at the nuke plant to cutting and delivering firewood was a 1000 to 1.

I would also suspect that the majority of renewable job is gathering wood or cow pies.

It is like this. After being married many year I was surprised when my wife commented that she did not know I liked doing home improvement projects. I replied that where we use to live I had a sail boat. I would rather be sailing.

I liked working in the nuclear industry and thought I would work until I dropped. Then my wife was hospitalized in Hong Kong. Then I decided I would rather be traveling with my wife full time.

Reply to  Kit P
September 27, 2022 11:42 pm

There are jobs and then there are good jobs.

And then there are nut jobs

(not you, I hasten to add)

Old Cocky
Reply to  Kit P
September 28, 2022 12:30 am

Some things lead us to major re-evaluations of our priorities.

Chris Hanley
September 27, 2022 7:55 pm

A world run entirely on solar power would be a perfect circular economy as the energy returned on the energy invested ratio is barely 2 so the entire population could be occupied in the mining of materials production installation servicing and disposing of solar panels. Hooray!

Last edited 4 months ago by Chris Hanley
Reply to  Chris Hanley
September 27, 2022 11:09 pm

as the energy returned on the energy invested ratio is barely 2 

This number for solar excludes any storage or system overbuild. Once those numbers are accounted for, solar panels would need to last 160 years to return their energy.

The term “renewable” is false advertising. There will only be one shot at NutZero and it will be a blank.

EU are already questioning their policy on wind and solar and they have less than 4% of their primary energy coming from wind and solar despite spending hundreds of billions on that stuff.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  RickWill
September 28, 2022 7:17 am

That last sentence should tell anyone capable of reason everything they need to know about the mirage of “clean energy,” which is not only complete fiction (as in nothing “clean” about it when considered in its entirety), but simply WILL NOT EVER WORK, PERIOD.

September 27, 2022 8:06 pm

WEF is an arm of the octopus of organisations extended from the UN globalists operations headquarters.

Jim G.
September 27, 2022 8:11 pm

David, I do enjoy your articles.
Not defending the green movement by any stretch, but I don’t believe that you’re comparing apples to apples.

The article does not say if the people were employed in delivery of the energy or in the construction phase of building wind and solar sites.

As the number of sites approaches the perceived required number, construction jobs will taper off.

Albeit, by the time they get close to that elusive number, the early sites will need to be replaced.

Reply to  Jim G.
September 27, 2022 9:38 pm

Just wait for those supply lines

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Jim G.
September 28, 2022 7:20 am

But there’s the rub -constant need to replace the worse-than-useless wind mills and solar panels, because they don’t last very long.

Kind of like construction ‘jobs’ being “created” to dig holes and then fill them. Nothing useful is being done, but if you can find suckers to pay for those ‘jobs’…

Jim G.
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
September 28, 2022 7:45 am

The digging holes reminded me of all the water ponds the CCC built that were something like 3-5ft deep.

Despite that, they did do some amazing projects.
Such as Hell’s Backbone Bridge in Utah.
Only 109 ft long, but with a 1500 ft drop on either side.

John Hultquist
September 27, 2022 8:16 pm

A crew installed solar panels for a neighbor on a metal structure 40 feet from the house. No one thought to ask where the sewage line went to the drain field. They had to replace a section.
The crew leader looked to be 25 and the other three were younger. They had to know how to operate a wrench and drive to the worksite.
Someone else brought and ran the backhoe.

Reply to  John Hultquist
September 28, 2022 11:48 am

Compared to most of our college edujamakated youths, they are HIGHLY skilled.

September 27, 2022 8:30 pm

Looks like one other interesting claim was omitted: renewables are suppose to be cheaper than fossil fuels. That’s a clever trick to pull off if you need far more employees to deliver the same amount of product. If they are claiming it is cheaper over the lifecycle, there is only one way to accomplish it; massive layoffs once everything is in place.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Jtom
September 28, 2022 7:22 am

OR, salaries for those ’employees’ that are too small to live on.

Gary Pearse
September 27, 2022 9:02 pm

Worldwide employment in renewable energy reached 12.7 million last year,

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 27, 2022 9:19 pm

Since they are paid by taxpayers (subsidies, feed in tariffs, payment when renewables are ‘off sick’, payment to not produce), this represents a 12million addition to the civil service. Moreover, fossil fuels are the sources of huge tax income for all levels of government which is a ‘subsidy’ to the individual taxpayer (reduces taxes otherwise paid by the individual). Renewables don’t pay taxes in the aggregate.

The real question of what ‘all-in’ renewables cost should be worked out using all these factors.

September 27, 2022 10:04 pm

Forget the economics, which suck, as Eric has had fun pointing out in the post.

Heck! Solar and wind could be produced twice as efficiently as oil and gas and coal, but at the end of the day, the result will still be unreliable energy.

Energy. When you need it, ya gotta have it.

Matt Kiro
September 27, 2022 11:21 pm

Did they count the children mining cobalt as skilled or not?

Reply to  Matt Kiro
September 27, 2022 11:44 pm

Did they count the children mining cobalt as skilled or not?

Skilled or killed?

Reply to  Matt Kiro
September 28, 2022 9:44 am

Did they count them as green workers ?

September 27, 2022 11:40 pm

Renewable energy jobs hit 12.7 million globally

Well done “renewable” energy, however:

Oil and gas supports the 6,900 million* globally

(* yes, I know, but you get the point)

September 28, 2022 1:04 am

This reminds me of that Pub song: “Ten men went to mow. Went to mow a meadow, Nine men went to mow, ——etc, to One man and his DOG(aka GAS?) went to mow. Went to mow a meadow”, only sung backwards as the gas ran out🤭.😂🤣

Peta of Newark
September 28, 2022 1:57 am

La Truss is struggling economics also:

There have been plenty rants/raves about Biden’s IRA plan which, as best I can tell, works out at about $2,000 per US citizen

It appears, although changing daily, that Truss and Kwarteng will be subsiding each UK household, for 12 months at least, by that much,

UK industry have been presented with an open book of signed blank cheques to cover their energy costs. I **think** that Industrial Electricity will be capped at 21pence (Retail punters/consumers looking at 28 pence now and 33pence starting this Saturday

This will be on top of the £7,000 that Boris blew (printed money = stole from the kids) per UK resident, trying to buy his way out of Covid ##

Biden’s IRA simply pales into nothingness, never mind ‘dodging bullets’, you guys dodged a blizzard of Tomahawk cruisers

## When a simple supplement tablet containing Vitamin B, C, D and Zinc, over 2 years for every UK resident, would have cost less than £5 Billion.
In toto, that little exercise in Paranoid Politics cost over a trillion

Peeps, when we hear about kids going on ‘school strikes’ and becoming suicidal and depressed ‘about the climate’ – somebody is talking Total BS

Yes the kids are scared, but what’s detailed above is actually what’s scaring them – the hideous mental mess of our current crop of leaders, scientists, parents & teachers

Last edited 4 months ago by Peta of Newark
September 28, 2022 2:10 am

The WEF video states that “clean energy” jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs. Then it says that low carbon generation – mainly solar and wind – employs 7.8 million people globally. It does not give a figure but it says that that is on a par with oil supply. Does that mean that the number of people working in coal and natural gas is negative?

September 28, 2022 2:47 am

Yep, and they are really highly skilled jobs too, like bolting together solar panels!

I could do that – Gis a job!

September 28, 2022 2:51 am

And every dollar subsidized by taxpayers. Working for the government is just as non-productive.

September 28, 2022 3:43 am

Today wind is supplying the UK with 14% of its electricity. For about a day last week it was around 40%, but less than 20% is more normal. CCGT is, alone, around 53%.

To reach 40% today would presumably require three times the wind turbines we currently have. That might mean approaching 100% electricity for one windy day occasionally, but for the rest of the time we would have less that half the electricity the country needs.

To reach 100% today would mean more than 7 times the number of wind turbines we currently have.

According to the BBC “There are now more than 11,000 wind turbines on and offshore” https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-60945298 so we will presumably need more than 77,000 wind turbines to power the UK on a fairly normal day.

The land/sea area required for that is mind boggling.

Matt Ridley illustrated this nicely in a 2017 article but he appears to be using nameplate values: “If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum.” which, I think I have illustrated, is not representative of the actual performance (my understanding of this isn’t as it might be so I stand to be corrected) in which case we can multiply his numbers by seven, as if it’s not bad enough as it is.


It has taken the UK some 20 years to reach the numbers we have. Being that China can only produce so many turbines a year and we are not the only country demanding them, does that mean we will have to wait another 120 years before the country is fully provisioned with wind turbines? None of this, of course, allows for replacement of turbines at the end of their 20 year life.

And as Matt points out, this is only electricity which is a fraction of a country’s energy requirements.

Corrections to my assumptions/calculations gratefully received.

Last edited 4 months ago by HotScot
Right-Handed Shark
September 28, 2022 3:46 am

Noticeable by their absence from this thread are the usual trolls that claim renewables are our saviour. Dare we hope they are starting to realise that it’s all a scam?

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
September 28, 2022 5:51 am

Maybe the trolls are trying to not draw attention to the report by ignoring it. A similar tactic used by the media when something does not jive with their line of BS. The report does not fit the scam, especially if one looks at the pie chart divisions. Sheesh.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
September 28, 2022 9:21 am

Even if they do, they’ll never admit it!

John Garrett
September 28, 2022 4:42 am

The Mountain Valley Pipeline remains in obstructionist legal limbo after Manchin falls for bait and switch scheme and then gets stabbed in the back:


Manchin ends pipeline push, easing path for spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has abandoned, for now, his push to speed up the permitting process for energy projects, easing the Senate’s path toward passing a stopgap spending bill that would keep the federal government running when the fiscal year ends at midnight Friday.

A procedural vote Tuesday advancing the funding bill succeeded easily, 72-23, after Democrats announced that the West Virginia senator’s proposal would be stripped from the final legislation…

…“I am disappointed that unrelated permitting reform was attached to this bill. This is a controversial matter that should be debated on its own merits,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “However, with four days left in the fiscal year, we cannot risk a government shutdown; we must work to advance this bill.”

Language in Manchin’s proposal was tied to the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would run through West Virginia and Virginia for more than 300 miles. The bill would have effectively approved the pipeline and steered legal challenges to a different federal court.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., was poised to vote against taking up the funding package if it included the pipeline language, another sign that lawmakers didn’t have the 60 votes needed to proceed.

“We should pass a continuing resolution that is free of the unprecedented and dangerous” pipeline deal, Kaine said.

Environmental groups celebrated the hard-earned victory.

“Good riddance to Manchin’s dirty backroom deal and the bottom-of-the-barrel politics that it represented,” said Jean Su, energy justice director at the Center for Biological Diversity…

John Garrett
Reply to  David Middleton
September 28, 2022 7:37 am

I hope New England (particularly Bernie Sanders’ Vermont, Sheldon Whitehouse’s Rhode Island and Pocahontas+Malarkey’s Taxachusetts) freezes in the dark.

They’ve earned it and deserve it.

Last edited 4 months ago by John Garrett
Michael in Dublin
September 28, 2022 6:12 am

Woke wizardry,
sleight hand of a magician,
tricking by illusions.
All done to scam the gullible.

CD in Wisconsin
September 28, 2022 7:28 am

Big Brother is a master deceiver, liar and propagandist. The WEF is one of the numerous real-world components of Orwellian Big Brother today on a global level.

WEF video is a present-day iteration of Orwell’s Two Minute Hate sessions…

September 28, 2022 8:27 am

Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad would probably say, “Arithmetic, bitches!”

September 28, 2022 9:08 am

Biden is still trying to convince the country that taxing the rich and using a portion of that money to buy votes, is going to solve all of our economic problems.

September 28, 2022 7:26 pm

C’mon! Everyone knows that the more people required to produce the same amount of output increases productivity dramatically! /sarc

September 29, 2022 3:53 am

Perhaps the mantra should change to:- “It’s not about the economy stupid”.

Ulick Stafford
October 3, 2022 4:13 am

I call them WTF (hat tup to Robert Kiyosaki). Better describes them and they know jack about economics.

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