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Old 11-20-2009, 06:34 PM   #136
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Some damaging (if they are real) emails have been hacked out of the hadley centre (proponents of AGW).

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’? – Telegraph Blogs

The actual emails are at thepiratebay of all places.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:38 PM   #137
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Here's the responses from RealClimate.

RealClimate: The CRU hack

The comments below have responses from Gavin Schmidt on whether the emails are taken out of context or not. This is a good lesson for those of us to think before pressing "send" on emails. The guy wanting to "beat up" Pat Michaels is pretty funny coming from scientists. Sounds like typical office environments.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:51 PM   #138
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Where do all these scientist meet? Do they have a secret lair underneath the Hadley Centre where they have annual worldly conspiracy meetings? I mean if they are lying and emailing about they ALL have to be...

Time to put your tin foil hats on...
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:20 PM   #139
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It's pretty hilarious. It appears that they are legitimate emails but there are lots of people trying to see if any of the emails are manipulated. So far Gavin Schmidt hasn't outright said it is but Steve McIntyre (Canadian who disproved the hockey stick graph) has said that his emails that have been circulating are true.

You can see the feedback here:

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7806

Quote:
Steve McIntyre (Comment#23773)

November 19th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I’m having trouble getting into CA right now.

I made up a pdf of the emails to help browse through them and it’s over 2000 pages. Every email that I’ve examined so far looks genuine. There are a few emails of mine that are 100% genuine.

It is really quite breathtaking.
It'll be interesting to see what is being said tomorrow. Michael Mann hasn't denied it and he wants to prosecute fully (that's understandable) the person involved. It's either an elaborate hoax or a whistleblower.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:35 PM   #140
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So Oscar let me ask you this(and I'm sure I'll regret it) do you think these emails prove some worldwide scientist conspiracy?
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:48 PM   #141
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The emails don't amount to a hill of beans.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:24 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
So Oscar let me ask you this(and I'm sure I'll regret it) do you think these emails prove some worldwide scientist conspiracy?
We have to establish that they are 100% real. I know that some journalists say that if it's real there will still be scientists (not in the emails) that will continue to blame man in the same vein. If they are real then what is being found is a problem to say the least:

The global warming conspiracy: how it massaged its data | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog

Steve McIntyre is the important one because he recognizes his emails in there and he will likely understand the context better than bloggers.

We don't know who did it (hacker, whistleblower) and such that's why the news media is naturally being very cautious at the moment. That's why it's "alledged" so far. It's striking that the people in the emails haven't said it was a hoax and are focussing on the breach.

This is where Steve's at:

Quote:
Re: Steve McIntyre (#123),

Perfect. Until verified or falsified, as the case may be.
Until the perpetrator is identified it will take a long time to peruse the hundreds of emails looking for connections, though the blogosphere is doing it pretty fast. Stay tuned.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #143
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As many of you will be aware, a large number of emails from the University of East Anglia webmail server were hacked recently (Despite some confusion generated by Anthony Watts, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Hadley Centre which is a completely separate institution). As people are also no doubt aware the breaking into of computers and releasing private information is illegal, and regardless of how they were obtained, posting private correspondence without permission is unethical. We therefore aren’t going to post any of the emails here. We were made aware of the existence of this archive last Tuesday morning when the hackers attempted to upload it to RealClimate, and we notified CRU of their possible security breach later that day.

Nonetheless, these emails (a presumably careful selection of (possibly edited?) correspondence dating back to 1996 and as recently as Nov 12) are being widely circulated, and therefore require some comment. Some of them involve people here (and the archive includes the first RealClimate email we ever sent out to colleagues) and include discussions we’ve had with the CRU folk on topics related to the surface temperature record and some paleo-related issues, mainly to ensure that posting were accurate.

Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

Instead, there is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. People working constructively to improve joint publications; scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions; Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.

It’s obvious that the noise-generating components of the blogosphere will generate a lot of noise about this. but it’s important to remember that science doesn’t work because people are polite at all times. Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person. QED isn’t powerful because Feynman was respectful of other people around him. Science works because different groups go about trying to find the best approximations of the truth, and are generally very competitive about that. That the same scientists can still all agree on the wording of an IPCC chapter for instance is thus even more remarkable.

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

The timing of this particular episode is probably not coincidental. But if cherry-picked out-of-context phrases from stolen personal emails is the only response to the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change, then there probably isn’t much to it.

There are of course lessons to be learned. Clearly no-one would have gone to this trouble if the academic object of study was the mating habits of European butterflies. That community’s internal discussions are probably safe from the public eye. But it is important to remember that emails do seem to exist forever, and that there is always a chance that they will be inadvertently released. Most people do not act as if this is true, but they probably should.

It is tempting to point fingers and declare that people should not have been so open with their thoughts, but who amongst us would really be happy to have all of their email made public?

Let he who is without PIN cast the the first stone.
RealClimate: The CRU hack
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:47 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
We have to establish that they are 100% real. I know that some journalists say that if it's real there will still be scientists (not in the emails) that will continue to blame man in the same vein. If they are real then what is being found is a problem to say the least:

The global warming conspiracy: how it massaged its data | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog

Steve McIntyre is the important one because he recognizes his emails in there and he will likely understand the context better than bloggers.

We don't know who did it (hacker, whistleblower) and such that's why the news media is naturally being very cautious at the moment. That's why it's "alledged" so far. It's striking that the people in the emails haven't said it was a hoax and are focussing on the breach.

This is where Steve's at:



Until the perpetrator is identified it will take a long time to peruse the hundreds of emails looking for connections, though the blogosphere is doing it pretty fast. Stay tuned.
In general your approach to the issue seems to be heavily influenced by non-scientists such as Bjorn Lomberg and Christopher Monckton.

The Financial Times has a good piece today featuring the views of ten scientists who, though not always in agreement, are actually qualified to speak about the issue.

FT.com / Reportage - Top climate scientists share their outlook
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:08 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
The most important thing is to notice that no one has mentioned that this is a hoax because if some of these daming emails are correct there is no amount of "out of context" and "unfortunate words" arguments that can answer everything. Steve McIntyre will be the one that will continue to ask for information using the Freedom of Information Act and continue to disprove the hockey graphs in their various forms whether these emails are real or not. (Apparently many have already been proven correct with those contacting from outside via their own emails).

BTW Real Climate is run by the people who are in those emails. If nothing was tampered I wouldn't sleep easy if I was Michael Mann.

Tim Ball is assuming nothing was tampered and he's pissed:

YouTube - Climate Change Bombshell: Dr. Tim Ball on the hacked CRU emails

Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
The Financial Times has a good piece today featuring the views of ten scientists who, though not always in agreement, are actually qualified to speak about the issue.
I don't care who's "qualified" because (if these emails are not tampered) it shows the peer review process has been broken. Science doesn't care who's qualified. If Steve McIntyre is not "qualified" but he PROVED the hockey stick graph was manipulated no amount of waving PhDs in people's faces will impress them. I actually hope this is a hoax because if there are real environmental problems people may become overly skeptical because of past alarmist claims. In Lomborg's situation he was accused of being unscientific because he was a statistian but he never claimed to be anything other. He just simply looked at the statistics and claims scientists and NGO's made and proved them wrong.

Even if these emails are wrong or never leaked you have usual suspects creeping in that libertarian a like you should be wary of:

Maurice Strong's authoritarian saviour - The Globe and Mail

Quote:
More so than most people who assert that The End Is Near, however, Mr. Strong gives humanity a provisional way out. Reform democracy, he says, by - more or less - getting rid of it. Although he doesn't say this as candidly as he could have, his exact words leave little doubt: "Our concepts of ballot-box democracy may need to be modified to produce strong governments capable of making difficult decisions." This is not a new argument. In one historic usage, it was deployed to celebrate fascism - because ballot-box democracy couldn't make trains run on time.

What precisely can our ballot-box democracies not deliver now? Essentially, Mr. Strong says, they can not deliver zero carbon emissions - which he defines as a prerequisite for human survival. Developed countries, he says, must reduce their emissions - measured against 1990 levels - by 95 per cent by 2050, an objective that Mr. Strong himself describes as "daunting." This goal, he says, can be achieved only by "put[ting] aside national considerations." This curious stipulation makes the rescue of the human race impossible. Ballot box or no ballot box, no government can put aside "national considerations" and survive.
When the UK funds idiots like futerra to make crappy advertising like this:

http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/NewRules:NewGame.pdf

It shouldn't be a surprise that people start using the words communist and 1984. There's enough without the emails to make me very skeptical. I'm so glad that cap and trade is being delayed in the U.S. until the election year. I want some of these complacent conservatives to stand up and push the lefties out. The public is not going to stand for economic suicide and that includes all you believers out there. Try reducing your emissions 10% let alone 95%. Riding a bike from the suburbs to your job downtown everyday is not an option for most people and turning off the lights and eating vegetarian is not going to meet Copenhagen or Kyoto goals. Maurice Strong is a psychopath.
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:51 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Some damaging (if they are real) emails have been hacked out of the hadley centre (proponents of AGW).

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’? – Telegraph Blogs

The actual emails are at thepiratebay of all places.
Assuming these are the 'highlights' of over a 1000 e-mails and documents, this is hardly groundbreaking evidence for a global conspiracy.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:27 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
I don't care who's "qualified"
This about sums up your approach to science.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:16 AM   #148
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This about sums up your approach to science.
I knew you couldn't resist. All that matters is whether the science is good or not. Having a Ph D. in Climatology doesn't automatically mean the data is perfect and irrefutable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTeeth View Post
Assuming these are the 'highlights' of over a 1000 e-mails and documents, this is hardly groundbreaking evidence for a global conspiracy.
That's an early article. You can find a collection of articles and analysis of emails here:

Climategate latest | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/bl...ttings-33.html

Here is a more balanced view of the email hack from Steve McIntyre's website:

Quote:
Curry: On the credibility of climate research
by Steve McIntyre on November 22nd, 2009
Judy Curry writes in as follows: (please comment here)


Having been riveted for the last few days by posts in the blogosphere on the HADCRU hack and the increasing attention being given to this by the mainstream media, I would like to provide an “external but insider” assessment and perspective. My perspective is as a climate researcher that is not involved directly in any of the controversies and issues in the purloined HADCRU emails, but as one that is familiar with this research, the surrounding controversies, and many of the individuals who sent these emails. While the blogosphere has identified many emails that allegedly indicate malfeasance, clarifications especially from Gavin Schmidt have been very helpful in providing explanations and the appropriate context for these emails. However, even if the hacked emails from HADCRU end up to be much ado about nothing in the context of any actual misfeasance that impacts the climate data records, the damage to the public credibility of climate research is likely to be significant. In my opinion, there are two broader issues raised by these emails that are impeding the public credibility of climate research: lack of transparency in climate data, and “tribalism” in some segments of the climate research community that is impeding peer review and the assessment process.

1. Transparency. Climate data needs to be publicly available and well documented. This includes metadata that explains how the data were treated and manipulated, what assumptions were made in assembling the data sets, and what data was omitted and why. This would seem to be an obvious and simple requirement, but the need for such transparency has only been voiced recently as the policy relevance of climate data has increased. The HADCRU surface climate dataset and the paleoclimate dataset that has gone into the various “hockeystick” analyses stand out as lacking such transparency. Much of the paleoclimate data and metadata has become available only because of continued public pressure from Steve McIntyre. Datasets that were processed and developed decades ago and that are now regarded as essential elements of the climate data record often contain elements whose raw data or metadata were not preserved (this appears to be the case with HADCRUT). The HADCRU surface climate dataset needs public documentation that details the time period and location of individual station measurements used in the data set, statistical adjustments to the data, how the data were analyzed to produce the climatology, and what measurements were omitted and why. If these data and metadata are unavailable, I would argue that the data set needs to be reprocessed (presumably the original raw data is available from the original sources). Climate data sets should be regularly reprocessed as new data becomes available and analysis methods improve. There are a number of aspects of the surface climate record that need to be understood better. For example, the surface temperature bump ca. 1940 needs to be sorted out, and I am personally lacking confidence in how this period is being treated in the HADCRUT analysis. In summary, given the growing policy relevance of climate data, increasingly higher standards must be applied to the transparency and availability of climate data and metadata. These standards should be clarified, applied and enforced by the relevant national funding agencies and professional societies that publish scientific journals.

2. Climate tribalism. Tribalism is defined here as a strong identity that separates one’s group from members of another group, characterized by strong in-group loyalty and regarding other groups differing from the tribe’s defining characteristics as inferior. In the context of scientific research, tribes differ from groups of colleagues that collaborate and otherwise associate with each other professionally. As a result of the politicization of climate science, climate tribes (consisting of a small number of climate researchers) were established in response to the politically motivated climate disinformation machine that was associated with e.g. ExxonMobil, CEI, Inhofe/Morano etc. The reaction of the climate tribes to the political assault has been to circle the wagons and point the guns outward in an attempt to discredit misinformation from politicized advocacy groups. The motivation of scientists in the pro AGW tribes appears to be less about politics and more about professional ego and scientific integrity as their research was under assault for nonscientific reasons (I’m sure there are individual exceptions, but this is my overall perception). I became adopted into a “tribe” during Autumn 2005 after publication of the Webster et al. hurricane and global warming paper. I and my colleagues were totally bewildered and overwhelmed by the assault we found ourselves under, and associating with a tribe where others were more experienced and savvy about how to deal with this was a relief and very helpful at the time.

After becoming more knowledgeable about the politics of climate change (both the external politics and the internal politics within the climate field), I became concerned about some of the tribes pointing their guns inward at other climate researchers who question their research or don’t pass various loyalty tests. I even started spending time at climateaudit, and my public congratulations to Steve McIntyre when climateaudit won the “best science blog award” was greeted with a rather unpleasant email from one of the tribal members. While the “hurricane wars” fizzled out in less than a year as the scientists recovered from the external assault and got back to business as usual in terms of arguing science with their colleagues, the “hockey wars” have continued apparently unabated. With the publication of the IPCC 4th Assessment report, the Nobel Peace Prize, and energy legislation near the top of the national legislative agenda, the “denialists” were becoming increasingly irrelevant (the Heartland Conference and NIPCC are not exactly household words). Hence it is difficult to understand the continued circling of the wagons by some climate researchers with guns pointed at skeptical researchers by apparently trying to withhold data and other information of relevance to published research, thwart the peer review process, and keep papers out of assessment reports. Scientists are of course human, and short-term emotional responses to attacks and adversity are to be expected, but I am particularly concerned by this apparent systematic and continuing behavior from scientists that hold editorial positions, serve on important boards and committees and participate in the major assessment reports. It is these issues revealed in the HADCRU emails that concern me the most, and it seems difficult to spin many of the emails related to FOIA, peer review, and the assessment process. I sincerely hope that these emails do not in actuality reflect what they appear to, and I encourage Gavin Schmidt et al. to continue explaining the individual emails and the broader issues of concern.

In summary, the problem seems to be that the circling of the wagons strategy developed by small groups of climate researchers in response to the politically motivated attacks against climate science are now being used against other climate researchers and the more technical blogs (e.g. Climateaudit, Lucia, etc). Particularly on a topic of such great public relevance, scientists need to consider carefully skeptical arguments and either rebut them or learn from them. Trying to suppress them or discredit the skeptical researcher or blogger is not an ethical strategy and one that will backfire in the long run. I have some sympathy for Phil Jones’ concern of not wanting to lose control of his personal research agenda by having to take the time to respond to all the queries and requests regarding his dataset, but the receipt of large amounts of public funding pretty much obligates CRU to respond to these requests. The number of such requests would be drastically diminished if all relevant and available data and metadata were made publicly accessible, and if requests from Steve McIntyre were honored (I assume that many spurious requests have been made to support Steve McIntyre’s request, and these would all disappear).

The HADCRU hack has substantially increased the relevance of Climateaudit, WUWT, etc. The quickest way for HADCRU et al. to put Climateaudit and the rest of this tribe out of business is make all climate data and metadata public and make every effort to improve the datasets based on all feedback that you receive. Do this and they will quickly run out of steam and become irrelevant ☺. Gavin Schmidt’s current efforts at realclimate are a good step in the right direction of increasing transparency.

But the broader issue is the need to increase the public credibility of climate science. This requires publicly available data and metadata, a rigorous peer review process, and responding to arguments raised by skeptics. The integrity of individual scientists that are in positions of responsibility (e.g. administrators at major research institutions, editorial boards, major committees, and assessments) is particularly important for the public credibility of climate science. The need for public credibility and transparency has dramatically increased in recent years as the policy relevance of climate research has increased. The climate research enterprise has not yet adapted to this need, and our institutions need to strategize to respond to this need.

November 22nd, 2009 | Category: General | Subscribe to comments | Comments are currently closed | Trackback URL

108 Responses to “Curry: On the credibility of climate research”
1
reply and
paste linkSteve McIntyre:
November 22nd, 2009 at 5:21 pm
Judith, obviously I agree with the sentiment here. As I've observed on many occasions, journal peer review is not due diligence as understood in other walks of life. Yes, science is "self-correcting" in the long run, but so are markets. The purpose of regulations requiring full true and plain disclosur for offerings of securities is to protect investors and to make markets work more effectively. If climate scientists want to fast track from articles in journals to policy with substantive implications, then they should expect and welcome due diligence wherever it arises.

If data and code is organized properly at the time of submission to a journal, then this simply isn't an issue. And once done, it isn't a problem.

FOI has been a last resort only because authors have refused reasonable requests. In most cases, multiple FOI requests have arisen only because of obstruction and untrue excuses. John Mitchell claimed that he acted as an IPCC Review Editor in a "personal" capacity and thus was not obliged to provide review comments. thus, a request for whether his expenses to IPCC meetings were paid by Hadley Center and so on. A straightforward initial handling of these matters, as you realize, would have avoided all of this.
Hopefully this will speed up the request for information to audit which is the most important thing.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:06 AM   #149
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Here's Lindzen's take:

Media Pop Up Player

He feels it's about the gravy train.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:30 AM   #150
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I like this point...

Quote:
on a topic of such great public relevance, scientists need to consider carefully skeptical arguments and either rebut them or learn from them. Trying to suppress them or discredit the skeptical researcher or blogger is not an ethical strategy and one that will backfire in the long run.
I think that the best scientists are ones that do not have a predetermined "conclusion" already implanted in their minds...

However, even if man-made climate change is proven to be a myth - that doesn't mean we should abandon the pursuit of alternative energy and a clean environment. We are at a point in history as important as the Industrial Revolution. I would personally like to be a part of the generation that "turned the tide" on the old ways of energy and production. In the end, I think we find it is not only more profitable, but also sustainable.
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