The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned

The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned


good morning John so I’ve seen a bunch of tweets for the last few days I’m pretty angry which you know makes it exactly like every other few days in the last few years but in this specific case it was tweets like these the Amazon rainforest is seeing a record number of wildfires large swaths of the Amazon rainforest are burning fires are raging the Amazon region is burning now mostly this comes down to like a problem I have with reality which is that there’s just too much of it and thus it is very hard to be aware of all of it and so we end up with things that are incomplete making their way into our brains but if there’s anything we should be aware of it’s this cuz you know future of the planet at stake and stuff like that so why do I not like these tweets well because here in America where I live usually if there’s a wildfire it was an accident and sometimes fires are okay because fires are a normal part of our ecosystems in America and sometimes they were done on purpose by like criminals who the government wants to arrest so when you read these headlines as an American you think oh no a fire happened I hope someone’s trying to put it out but in the Amazon fire is not a natural part of the ecosystem and because of that many trees in the rain forest can’t survive what we would in the u.s. consider a trivial burn these fires are not natural they are intentional this isn’t intentional like it’s arson it’s intentional like this land is more economically productive when we graze cattle on it than when it’s the rain forest so the headline here shouldn’t be large swaths of the Amazon are burning it should be large swaths of the Amazon are being burned now sometimes in the dry season which we’re in right now there are natural wildfires in the Amazon and in fact the number of natural wildfires appears to be increasing because here’s a thing about the Amazon and other rainforests with plenty of water and plenty of sunlight the ecosystem is really good at using everything that comes its way that means that most of the water that falls is immediately released back into the atmosphere by this tremendous amount of vegetation photosynthesis gets done when water evaporates out of plants a single tree can evaporate more than 50 thousand gallons of water per year and once that water is back in the atmosphere it falls again rainforests don’t just thrive on rain they make rain so when there’s less rainforest there’s less rain and more fires that’s not the real reason there’s so many more fires this year it’s not hotter than normal it’s not drier than normal the thing that changed in Brazil is who the President did the moment he was elected I air Belson ro rolled back environmental protections in Brazil earlier this month he fired the head of Brazil’s national space and Research Institute after he defended data showing that deforestation had grown 40 percent in the last year Bolson ro says that figure is wrong and the deforestation is down that’s a lie when asked why there are so many fires this year bull Sonora said that maybe environmental organizations are setting them to make him look bad that is also a lie but this isn’t just like pure malice and like love of destruction there’s an ideology here there’s the economic part of it which is just that there’s a lot of value in the rainforest and no one’s making any money off of it if it’s just being rainforests and then there’s sort of an ideological thing of like the civilizing interest of man we must bring our superior way of life to this wild jungle racist manifest destiny kind of stuff so to make the money you encourage legal logging and farming you reduce inspections reduce regulations and you ignore illegal land grabs where forest is slashed and burned and then seeded with grass and sold the ranchers there’s also another piece of the ideology here that I think is really interesting reality is that most of the good that the Amazon does is for everyone it produces oxygen for everyone it traps co2 for everyone it preserves biodiversity for the whole world but Brazil isn’t getting paid for any of that stuff far-right perspectives ultra nationalist perspectives don’t really allow for stuff that helps everyone it goes against this ideology that the nation is for the nation only and here’s where this gets super wild the fact that the rest of the world cares so much about the Amazon rainforest isn’t perceived as a reason to protect it it’s perceived by these people as a threat it’s like a claim on their sovereignty it’s it’s thought of as internationalisation after all like legitimately what right do i as an American I have to tell Brazil what to do with its rainforests in America we have DeForest did everything we can so our interest in protecting it actually becomes a reason for some people to want to destroy if you live in a world where everything is a zero-sum game why should anyone else benefit from our property and then there’s the reality that the Amazon is not as we sometimes imagine it empty there are many indigenous people other people who live and work in the forest and who rely on the forest for their livelihoods but those people are often not seen as real Brazilians by these nationalists nationalism is an inherently exclusionary ideology and that’s why fascism nationalism and racism so often walk together here’s the thing of course if the if the Amazon rainforest was a hundred percent pasture land and soybeans that would not just be a disaster for the whole world it would be even more of a disaster for Brazil itself see how hot it is in northern Africa that’s actually farther away from the equator than Brazil is Brazil receives more solar energy than Saudi Arabia but because of the rain forest it is much more cool this is the effect of that evapotranspiration the rain forest makes rain if there is less of it it is clear that it would be hotter and drier and these man-made fires or even the natural ones will spread on their own leading to a feedback loop that could end the Amazon and 70% of the GDP of South America is made in places where Amazon rainforest rain falls even here in America again internationalization for you much of the rain that falls here is a vapo transpired in the Amazon rainforest and an important note when I talk about rain falling really what I’m talking about is agriculture I’m talking about food we eat that rain there’s a lot of talk about tipping points and I think it’s important to note that there are always many tipping points along the path to something being completely destroyed but yes there is a time when less and less water falls in the rain forests and fires happen more and more often and there is a time where we lose most if not all of the Amazon that’s a terrifying prospect considering that it produces 20% of the oxygen that we breathe and it’s why we have science to warn us about stuff like this so that we can take action and it’s why we have human rights to protect people whose land is their land whose life is their light but it is all too easy to deny stuff like this when you have more of an allegiance to your ideology than you do to the truth and that is something that I like to try and say to myself constant it’s why we need to call a lie a lie no matter who says it it’s why we need to say that the rainforest is not burning it is being burned John I’ll see you on Tuesday obviously this is a big and complicated thing and this is a short video so I’ve linked to a bunch of other resources the article in the intercept from a few months ago that basically predicted all of this was my favorite resource for this but there are lots of other smart people talking about it and it seems like people are having a better idea of what exactly is going on and why it’s happening so and I guess thanks for caring about this because because that’s a big deal and it is the only way we have slowed this in the past

100 thoughts on “The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned

  1. CORRECTIONS (Because of course)
    1. I just said the widely-shared fact that the Amazon produces 20% of the world's oxygen without checking. This is not correct, and I should have checked it. The question of where the oxygen comes from is a complicated and interesting one and, frankly, I'd like to make a whole video about it. A good estimate is that the Amazon produces about 6% of the world's oxygen. Which still seems like an important amount.

    2. The cat I show in the video is a jaguarundi, that's not a correction…just something lot of people asked about.

    3. There's a lack of clarity in statistics right now, this isn't because scientists are bad, it's because the dry season is on-going and there are more fires every day and existing fires grow. So when we say "there are 88% more fires than last year* that doesn't necessarily mean "88% more land has been burned" nor is that number set in stone. Figuring out exact numbers from this year's fire season will take a long time because, like, the Amazon is very big and humans have to draw shapes on satellite maps.

  2. Hey Hank, heres an idea? Why don't you campaign to conquer Brazil? If the problem is nationalists pulling a hissy fit over the fact that the world wants to protect the rainforests? Then we simply don't give them a nation to care about.

    Let them know what it means to defy a Hegemon.

  3. I would highly recommend watching Tim Pool's video on this. It's nice to see someone else challenging the prevailing narrative.

  4. That's nice and all. I 100% agree that the amazon should be protected and as part of the Brazilian far left, I've been mobilizing against Bolsonaro for quite a few years now. That being said, it bothers me quite a bit that you absolutely did not touch upon how much European (in the past) and now American imperialism are responsible for this. Brazil is a dependent economy and has been forcefully kept as such by imperial powers so that commodities could be bought at very low prices.

  5. If you people are so worried about trees and your air why aren't you planting trees in your own countries!???? We only have 7.5% of our land cleared so in other words we are an example to the rest of the world were like in Europe they all are over 50%!!! All you want is all the gold and good stuff that's there… We have very strict laws on clearance of land here when in the United States there really isn't none.

  6. Thanks for covering this topic….this is crucial for our earths survival and everyone should be concerned about Amazon

  7. Your comment at 3:45 is gold. Yes, it's abhorrent that the Brazilian government is destroying such a precious place, but the benefits of the Amazon (as long as it stays a rain forest) are reaped by the world. It would make sense if the world paid Brazil to keep it that way. Let's hope Brazil doesn't go down a similar road as Easter Island where short-term gains result in ultimate irreversible doom.

  8. I’m going to share this video again and again. I will also try to figure out some practical ways I can help, but raising awareness is a good start.

  9. NO TREES< PLANTS NO BREATHING Loss of biodiversity: Plants and animals will lose their food and shelter. Floods: Bald hills and mountains can no longer hold back sudden flows of water, which cause floods. Increase in carbon dioxide: Depletion of forests results in increase in carbon dioxide

  10. According to satellite imagery, fires are mostly situated within already agricultural land, and that the year on year average isn't nearly as high as previous years (source NYT)…why are we sensationalising this as if this has never happended before?

  11. Hi. I'm Brazilian.

    I'd like to think my perspective has value, so I'll share it.

    Yes, Bolsonaro is indeed reducing environmental laws that could "protect" the amazon rain forest. However, it is a HUGE forest and we could never protect it from people seeking to explore it for economic reasons.

    1- We are a third world country. Undeveloped. Our people is suffering from unemployment. I, myself, am unemployed even though I'm educated. It's easy for a north american say "Hey! You should not cut the trees to produce food! You should starve to death!". It's not that we don't like trees. We just DON'T HAVE OTHER MEANS TO MAKE A LIVING.

    Yes, Jair Bolsonaro is a nationalist. I hate that he won the election. But he is not a fascist. Pardon me to be sincere but that's a far left point of view.

    We get angry when you say OUR forest is burning. The forest is not yours, and we need to not starve to death.

    2- The deforestation is BEING MADE WITH HELP OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.

    You think they're "good inocent people" but most of them drive trucks and uses apple watches while claiming they live in a hut. (Yes, there is a photo on somewhere on twitter of a reporter interviewing a "Cacique" with a apple watch on his wrist)

    3- Previous governments did worst (not sure if worse or worst) than Jair Bolsonaro. Of course that's not the point, but why the hell you people out there cares just now? Where were you in 2003-2004 calling Luis Inácio Lula da Silva a fascist?

    Maybe you're just doing it because far left ideology around the world are pushing for this topic. Even though I agree with you on the forest preservation, the focus is on blaming the president and not solving the real problem that is poverty and production of goods in Brazil.

    Wanna help? Start a business in Brazil. Help us feed the people. Stop being a classic liberal blaming São Paulo's rain on the president like the cavemen before us blamed Thor for the thunder.

    The problem is not the president. The problem exists since the 90s, way before the present government existed. I'm actually glad you're angry with the government. I am, too. But all of them, not just with my ideological adversary.

    Now I'll leave with a meme: WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
    Bye o/

  12. I'm a Brazilian my self, thank you for spreading the info.. but the thought of developed countries coming here to explore the rain forrest and its biodiversity is a thing, I believe our current polticians are working to destroy our nature becase they are told to by these big companies they represent, I believe these worldwide companies are the only ones getting anything good from it.

  13. At the 4 minute mark and waiting for the video to mention the indigenous populations that are directly targeted by Brazil’s current government. Not as just a fotenote, as a driving factor for why the current administration wants to destroy the rainforest.

  14. “Little did they know, only after it was destroyed did they realize that the Amazon was a gift 🎁🌳🥀”

  15. And all the spiecies that are killed and will die out… 😢😢😢 And don't forget Bolivia and other countries who have rainforests too…

  16. As a Brazillian I'm super grateful for this video, Bolsonaro is actively trying to destroy the rainforest in order to boost the economy, he pretty much made it explicit that he does not grasp the concept of ecology at all. He will only stop if other countries start to do some economic sanctions, unfortunately he only understands money and "progress".

  17. The only thing that can save the rainforrest is nationalsim.. not lefties who do not understand a fucking thing about humans or human nature..

  18. who cares honestly
    you act like your so concerned only to promote yourself on social media
    global warming it don`t matter anymore
    it could be a matter of life and death and people still gonna sell their ego to you including you man

  19. something that’s also worth mentioning is that bolsonaro is basically the USA’s puppet. bannon, the chief strategist in trump’s campaign was also the person that got bolsonaro elected in brazil and since then he has shown himself more and more willing to cooperate with north american politicians agenda than giving any consideration to what’s best for the brazilian and world populations.

  20. Hilarious American leftist perspective:

    – Hey, we use all our resources to became a development country, but you CAN'T because I told so!

    I'm sick and tired of this hypocrisy, your audience waste 7:31 minutes of their and you even touch in the major interest point of the amazon. who is the issue of illegal mining.

    Majority of the food production of Brazil is concentrated in the south region of Brazil, very far of the amazon. Especially because the amazon region doesn’t have a good soil to production.

    The development countries only use this topic for damage Brazil image in the environmental issue, but, who is the country who most preserve the environment? Brazil!

    This very strange since Brazil take this very seriously, we have the biggest conservation area on planet earth because we preserve!

    Of course they constantly use this topic for embargo Brazilian products around the world and made our live much more difficult.

    If they countries really care about the environment in the first place, why they don’t try to preserve 65% of the territory with native plants like… Brazil?

    That’s shit is just outrageous for Brazilian like me who have to listening this ridiculous rhetoric and absolutely no action on environment.

  21. What is your answer? Fewer people, or poorer people? The west tried fewer people, limiting breeding for generations, only to be rewarded with hordes of hostile invaders, some of whom deliberately overbreed in population jihad.
    Poorer people? How many of you would actually live below the poverty line to be greener? Do you really have a right to insist that others do so?

  22. I am Brazilian, i live in Espirito Santo a state on the Southeastern coast tho my husband came from Manaus, the State where the Amazon is most predominant.

    I have been in anguish since Jair Bolsonaro was elected and have spent the last whole week trying not to cry with all the news about the Amazon`s fire. The green of our flag is being burned because of a fascist and ignorant person who rose to power through the support of big selfish businessman and religious charlatans.

    I thank you a lot for making this video and helping spread awareness.

  23. Fascism was born of socialism, if only we could destroy all socialism this world would be a better place.

  24. That damn Bolsonaro is stealing air to make it into money, just like how king Mida did with food and gold, he’s just a fool at the power.

  25. I'm all for people's sovereignty and cultural dignity, but when it gets to the point where you're messing with the ENTIRE PLANET that's where I draw the line and hope that command of the necessary governmental bodies is seized by people who care about this issue. Like, even me, a HUGE unabashed conspiracy theorist would support a one world government if they would protect the planet

  26. I get tired of solutions that don`t do anything
    lets maybe not be political
    I don`t like this political scene man
    I have ideas for a society that you cannot put a political label on just Rome

  27. Don’t get political man, you’re better than this. Specially when it comes to Brazilian politics. “Brazil is not for beginners”

  28. Detached western vlog/ president of Brazil said both indigenous protests and criminals have been starting fires .

    You call people liars with zero evidence and then you issued retractions. Empty head empty frames empty video for fucking clicks . Burn more of the rainforest it means less oxygen for you to tell lies for money .

  29. people wanna label everything with a political system
    yet you don`t need that to have a government or a senate
    in the Rome of tomorrow it will be as though we never left and there is nothing political you can call that
    simply put if you got some news get out in the open forum and say what you gotta say none of this political party shit

  30. I don`t need an internet forum I need an open forum
    in an open forum we are all together instead of those pussies with 30 thousands posts who wanna be praised for their lack of initiative
    these edge lords bottom feeding lurking on image boards they like reporting everything
    those internet forums are cesspools with a lack of culture you understand

  31. Fake news, there are burnings every year and this year is not even a particularly bad one. Pls take care of your forests and look away from ours. Thanks.

  32. I don`t know what far right is
    I don`t know what far left is
    I know what an empire is
    stop talking the political words it ruins any hope of a greater society

  33. More than Iran i feel Brazil needs to be put under sanction for intentionally burning the lungs of our planet until they depose such sick administration

  34. There is no reason why nationalism should be linked to racism… notice how "international", "cosmopolitan" and "worldly" have come to also imply "rich", "European", "Western", "Educated" and rich and white frankly…
    So don't diss nationalism respectful of other nations thinking you are safe not being a patriot. As you say, it's not at all a zero-sum game.
    What is happening is new and we need new vocabulary to describe it and new solutions.. I reckon

  35. Thank you for pointing this out, I was wondering how it was a possible problem to have "wildfires" in the "rain" forest.

  36. We aren't destroying this earth. We are only destroying our ability to live on it. Us humans like to think of ourselves that we are so very mighty, that we can 'destroy' a planet. But we can't. We aren't 'mighty' enough for that (yet). Of course we can reduce/increase the chances for our species (and some animal species) to survive on this particular planet. It is a matter of adaptation. Either we adapt or we don't (with the help of science, we may increase our survival chances). The planet doesn't care. I believe, it will somehow exist with or without us. The planet earth doesn't really care about which species is inhabiting it at a certain period. So no, we aren't destroying the earth, we are destroying us. Thank you for reading.

  37. you can have government without being political
    actually you can why did you delete that
    you have a hard time with that
    merely understand what survival is and you cannot put a label on that

  38. Thank you for this video!!! I'm Brazilian, we need to spread this information! I've never seen something like this before!

  39. Yes, tis being burned. By people that want to disrupt the actual government. And honestly? The fires are actually smaller- than in the previous years. The current administration is the reason people are making such a fuss about it, because people want, at all costs, to tag the blame for the fires on the current Brazilian administration.

  40. Thank you for this video. Considering how I have a day job and can't always fully research these topics, this was very helpful.

  41. You did not look at the facts, and like many others, bought into the internet hysteria. As a Brazilian, I am disappointed to see the world pointing fingers at us as if we were not taking care of our part of the rain forest. There are 20 million Brazilians living in the Amazon. It is our best interest not to have it catching on fire!!! We love and are proud of the jungle. Amazon is our home, and we live in it. There are 80% more fires happening in BRAZIL (the entire country) in 2019, that there was in 2018. There is more fire spreading in the Amazon this year, because this is a dry year. However, this does not mean that there is more fire now than it has ever had. In fact, much more fires happened 10 years ago then it happens now in the Amazon. As a science person, you should look into data trends before going on the internet spreading news that creates confusion. Our country has strict laws against deforestation, and illegal acts have been severely punished in the past years. I’m not saying we are perfect, because we definitely need to improve the way we protect our home, and hopefully better than other powerful countries did to their own forests. Other powerful countries started trends of colonialist speech since they found out through social media that the Amazon had a big fire. Celebrities started posting pictures to call for action, but those were not even pictures of Brazil. Sympathy for our problem is very little discussed. But now leaders of developed, powerful and deforested countries have been discussing ways to take the Amazon from Brazil and turn it into an international property. This is politically outrageous!

    PS: The Amazon produces 20% of the oxygen of the world and takes 15% back to itself. Let’s start taking action all around the world to preserve nature and reforest everywhere.

  42. I work as a cashier and was first introduced to the truth about the Amazon fires by a native Brazilian who was here in America. Although there was a slight language barrier because he had to think of specific words to fit the conversation and I had to piece together some stuff he was more or less telling me that the fires weren't an accident. They weren't emergencies. People had started them to, as he said, make food. He was saying food was cheaper or more accessible in America because we had areas to grow it and raise animals. He said Macron was being bad by saying we need to help stop the fires when they were making fires to help feed themselves. Or at least that's what I could gather from the conversation.

  43. It sounds like you drive on sometimes towards ideology…

    The rain forest isn’t being burned either it’s more complex than how you mention it you do establish the understanding that it is being cut down by companies but I must remind you on government leadership and nations status economically why this isn’t exactly America’s fault but the countries that are doing this to their own people’s faults. Just like how Some African countries have sold to Europe their charcoal and driven their own forests to nothing because they kept doing it without establishing a way to control the growth vs that which they chop down… either way it wasn’t Europe’s fault that the economic businesses of those African countries decided to make profit by that means of their recourses which they didn’t know how agricultural farming methods work and paid the price which was the destruction of their own land. To blame Europe or America for these people’s choices is a self guilt trip making excuses for others failures. It was either their own governments fault or the economic owners of those industries faults for their decisions they have made. Either way the reality is that yes you can blame economic means for the faults of destructions of nature but is it really distraction if they plant as many trees as they cut down? I mean you do understand how plotted agriculture works considering it’s a science within itself and you don’t have to really get into the understanding of chemical modification of plants or anything. The reality is that there is a million different ways to look at this problem and yes unaccounted and reckless industrial removal of trees and deforestation is a bad thing for the ecosystem but like all ecosystems who are we to make any kind of accusations what is morally right or wrong or even mentally right or wrong in the matter. You can claim superiority by saying it’s science all you want but when you do that your not promoting or using real science your only making political statements. Just like climate change you people abuse and manipulate the terminology of it and fearmonger about it all the time without even trying to understand the deeper information regarding the raw data that’s behind it. Most ecobased concerns we see today have been heavily politicized by political leaders and manipulated out of proportions.

    For example the Fukushima nuclear reactor that leaked for nearly half a decade and how media and politicians claimed that we are being effected by the nuclear radiation being released when an actual nuclear physicist who worked nearly 30 years of his life on nuclear technology and science has debunked this stating that the radiation dissipates so rapidly that the radiation levels is so low that it wouldn’t have the slightest effect unless your exposed to it directly for a total of 50 years. Even than you would need nearly 2x that amount in order to have a cancerous growth develop.

    Another example that the same scientist presented was about a nuclear submarine from the Soviet Union that was sunk and abandoned in the Arctic ocean still leaking radioactive material and how the media and the politicians claim that its killing the fish habitat when reality is that he did the number crunching and still he produced the same result that the nuclear power plant had

  44. YEAR 2051

    Humans have successfully transformed the world's biggest rain-forest into a warehouse of the world's biggest shopping site.

    Both share the same name, yet different purposes,

    and different consequences.

  45. We are not killing the earth 🌍 the earth will kill us with our self inflicted damage we are causing. The earth will rebound once we’re gone!!

  46. If this is such a big deal why doesn’t someone just take over Brazil and protect the rain forest or even better let them have the developed parts of Brazil and just take over the Amazon you gonna tell me any country with interest in the Amazon could stop a super power from protecting it

  47. You CAN justify telling Brazil what to do with their forests. You showed a map from of deforestation in the U.S. from 1926. Otherwise, the US has since protected its forests and have more protected forests than in many countries. Also, rainforests are less resilient than North American forests since the soil horizon that supports the rainforest is quite thin relative to that of the an average North American forest. Deforestation has graver consequences for Brazil today then it had, almost a hundred years ago, for the United States.

  48. Make the natives have officially documented ownership rights to large areas of land of which they inhabit. Also people who like to conserve rainforest should own such land to protect it.

    Give out proportionate fines to people who illegally trespass and exploit land that does not belong to them with a police force that has the right tools to deal with people who break such restrictions and laws.

    Possible difficulties:

    Brazilian government won't care…

    Natives unfamiliar to private ownership might not understand to use the law and their rights to their advantage. They might not be educated enough to be able to act in their own best interest so they may possibly be fooled to sell off their land for very little to as good as nothing.

    Opportunistic people seeking profit might act in thuggish ways and threaten those who does not let them have their way.

    Apart from this I believe private ownership is the best way forward to preserve much of the rainforest.

  49. Trump suspends contribution to green climate fund,withdraw frm international climate control agreements,see only the numbers in a mutual trade,thinks America first…i say trump is burning the amazon😉…i dont see why brazilians cant do it,'IF' that land created frm burning the firest,doesnt benefit only the ppl in power and the rich bt is distributed among the landless brazilians..

  50. There up to something cause he’s in a much more higher position than all of us and if it worried him he’d been putting it out

  51. Why Everything They Say About The Amazon, Including That It's The 'Lungs Of The World,' Is Wrong: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/08/26/why-everything-they-say-about-the-amazon-including-that-its-the-lungs-of-the-world-is-wrong/?fbclid=IwAR2FnO2I1yHRaxTypKNEpBjXfSnsaZ3caZ68bIhkxtAw-15NS8ipLallmPk#43bde4c35bde

  52. shame on Brazil Government or whoever is responsible for this man made disaster .. It is nothing but a murder

  53. The Amazon Rainforest Was Profoundly Changed by Ancient Humans: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/its-now-clear-that-ancient-humans-helped-enrich-the-amazon/518439/

  54. You know you’ve watched a crash course or two when YouTube suggests this video to you and i didn’t even know he had his own channel

  55. International agreement that each country has to have a ratio of their total land space as forest (to some degree… obviously it's easier in some regions than others) – it would make the world a better place in any case.

  56. Corpo “news” hide the truth. Thanks for telling the truth, only Bernie would initiate a criminal court for eco destroyers and their facist colluders like Balsenero. These are absolute crimes against humanity! We need the green new deal yesterday…

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