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Unprecedented Greenland Ice Melt Stuns NASA Scientists


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#181 Sharpshooter

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:36 PM

Stay on topic please?


Keep trolling please?
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#182 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:43 PM

Would Global Warming really make this planet Venus like?
I'd like to see some scientific theories on that - I'm speculating that the reason Venus is the way it is has more to do with the proximity to the Sun....


Again hypothetical...Maybe not this level of global warming we're experiencing now, but there is evidence that Venus's atmosphere is the result of a Greenhouse Effect-like situation run amok.Plus it is mostly Carbon Dioxide....which stands to reason since there is no vegetation that can produce oxygen by taking in the carbon dioxide. The remaining 3.5% is nitrogen. So, if we were to hypothetically replace 60% of the CO2 in Venus's atmosphere with oxygen, it would likely be at least breathable, possibly inhabitable.
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#183 ronthecivil

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:54 PM

If it is entirely dictated by ENSO, why is the trend monotonic over the past decade despite alternating episodes of El Nino and La Nina?


Who knows? I know this though. One season of extreme weather in one location means nothing.

For all we know changes to the climate made this especially warm greenlandic summer less warm than it would have been otherwise. The models for these things aren't THAT accurate, ergo the suprise!
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#184 Sharpshooter

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:02 PM

Given that the last event occurred in 1889 I think the only record of it will be from ice core, and my guess is that it would be impossible to say anything beyond the fact that there was a melt layer. I find one paper mentioning the 1889 melt, but can't find anything prior to that.

In any case, as long as the surface gets reasonable warm you can get massive melt events like these. It is of course entirely possible to have such events due to natural variability alone. The real question is given the recent warming over Greenland, will these events happen more frequently? Unfortunately we don't have the statistics to say.

Finally, when interpreting such an event in the grand scheme of things, one should keep in mind that mass over Greenland has nose dived over the past decade.

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I assume if they have a core sample from that previous period, they could deduce the length of time that melting took place, no?

If they could, then perhaps they could back even further to the previous melting events, and see if there are any similarities between those duration of melts, and this last one.

I suspect that those one may have been more gradual perhaps. If it can be shown that this particular melt is the anomalous one out of the preceding however many cyclical melt events, then wouldn't there be at least some justification at looking at external causes other than the normalcy of such events?
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#185 Vlas=d

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:37 PM

Mother Nature is distressed but she's not worried, she'll win in the end. She's dealt with bigger pests than us in 4.5 billion years.


The earth will recover no doubt but mankind will not. Everything that "mother nature" does to help preserve life is slowly being destroyed by mankind; the result will be mass extinction for millions of years.
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#186 nucklehead

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:58 PM

^ BINGO! Guess what, it won't be the first time either...or the second.
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#187 MadMonk

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:33 PM

Im totally not dude.

But I am also not convnced its all man made. And then there is the real question.

What do we do about it. Say its 50 ecological and 50 human. I dont know if we can control the human part with the emerging China India and Russian markets for the dirty coal.

So I would be more interested in preparing for the end game of what we can do about it to prepare.

If anyone has any better ideas, I am certainly all ears.




No one is really arguing for a return to preindustrial conditions, the goal is simply to stabilise the temperature at an acceptable level. in fact it is not difficult, we can deplete known reserves of oil and gas and we can still manage to stabilise below 2 degrees. Key is to stop using Coal, oil sand and methane hydrate.

As I mention in an earlier post, the technology required to transition out of a fossil fuel based economy is not far behind. There are already places where solar power is the cheapest option, and it will only get cheaper as technology further matures. On top of that you can increase efficiency, you can use government policy to change consumer behaviour.

People in China do recognise that global warming poses a severe threat, and signs seem that they are actually willing to deal with the problem. I was there in December, and was pleasantly surprised to find that that "low carbon foot print" is a selling point for a lot of products. I read their financial newspaper, and they have a few pages devoted to a weekly report on low carbon economy. At the past climate conference they also announced that they will agree to a cap by 2020. They aggressively pursue renewable energy.

We are not as powerless as you think. Question is whether there is a will to do it.
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#188 MadMonk

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:40 PM

I assume if they have a core sample from that previous period, they could deduce the length of time that melting took place, no?

If they could, then perhaps they could back even further to the previous melting events, and see if there are any similarities between those duration of melts, and this last one.

I suspect that those one may have been more gradual perhaps. If it can be shown that this particular melt is the anomalous one out of the preceding however many cyclical melt events, then wouldn't there be at least some justification at looking at external causes other than the normalcy of such events?




The centre of the ice sheet is in fact several kilometres up, which is usually below freezing. Any melting will have to be during the summer months, and unlikely that it would've last more than a few days (like the current episode). As far as I know the resolution for ice core is not that high (at most year by year), so I am afraid the details of the event will remain unknown.
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#189 Sharpshooter

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:44 PM

The centre of the ice sheet is in fact several kilometres up, which is usually below freezing. Any melting will have to be during the summer months, and unlikely that it would've last more than a few days (like the current episode). As far as I know the resolution for ice core is not that high (at most year by year), so I am afraid the details of the event will remain unknown.


So then one of the only ways to see if this is part of the natural cycle of normal events is to wait to see if it melts just as quickly or moreso next year, and if the melting is more widespread?
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#190 Heretic

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:16 AM

So then one of the only ways to see if this is part of the natural cycle of normal events is to wait to see if it melts just as quickly or moreso next year, and if the melting is more widespread?


Also, if it doesn't come back - then we know we are in big trouble.
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#191 ronthecivil

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:28 AM

No one is really arguing for a return to preindustrial conditions, the goal is simply to stabilise the temperature at an acceptable level. in fact it is not difficult, we can deplete known reserves of oil and gas and we can still manage to stabilise below 2 degrees. Key is to stop using Coal, oil sand and methane hydrate.

As I mention in an earlier post, the technology required to transition out of a fossil fuel based economy is not far behind. There are already places where solar power is the cheapest option, and it will only get cheaper as technology further matures. On top of that you can increase efficiency, you can use government policy to change consumer behaviour.

People in China do recognise that global warming poses a severe threat, and signs seem that they are actually willing to deal with the problem. I was there in December, and was pleasantly surprised to find that that "low carbon foot print" is a selling point for a lot of products. I read their financial newspaper, and they have a few pages devoted to a weekly report on low carbon economy. At the past climate conference they also announced that they will agree to a cap by 2020. They aggressively pursue renewable energy.

We are not as powerless as you think. Question is whether there is a will to do it.


You are aware that the elimination of coal mining and oil sands industries would represent a tremendous economic hit to a country that is already teetering at the brink right?

I hope you are willing to accept the much higher taxes and much lower levels of government service that would come part and parcel with such a decision.
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#192 Hobble

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:15 AM

You are aware that the elimination of coal mining and oil sands industries would represent a tremendous economic hit to a country that is already teetering at the brink right?

I hope you are willing to accept the much higher taxes and much lower levels of government service that would come part and parcel with such a decision.


Well why can't Canada shift our economy slowly to more greener options, like solar power? Why don't we actually become a leader in innovation rather than just waiting for everyone else to do something.
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#193 stawns

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:26 AM

He's right actually, you just can't accept it. Save the planet??? You got to be freakin kidding me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

Mother Nature is distressed but she's not worried, she'll win in the end. She's dealt with bigger pests than us in 4.5 billion years.


AMEN!

The earth doesn't care much about us..........we're a blip on the geologic timeline of this planet and one that will have minimal impact when the fat lady sings on our species.......should we be respectful to this rock that we call home? of course, but let's not pretend that this fad of "save our planet" is anything more than "save our species"
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#194 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

You are aware that the elimination of coal mining and oil sands industries would represent a tremendous economic hit to a country that is already teetering at the brink right?

I hope you are willing to accept the much higher taxes and much lower levels of government service that would come part and parcel with such a decision.


You are aware that fossil fuels are finite resources, and reluctance and refusal to move away from a resource based economy today is simply kicking the can down the road right? Our economy is teetering at the brink, yet for some reason we should give up economic control to the global market?

I'm sorry, are you saying countries without natural resources all have high taxes and low government services? Or is that what Canada would be faced with because of our current situation created by reliance on said resources?

Edited by Scorpio Ego, 26 July 2012 - 08:47 AM.

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#195 ronthecivil

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:10 AM

Well why can't Canada shift our economy slowly to more greener options, like solar power? Why don't we actually become a leader in innovation rather than just waiting for everyone else to do something


Canada has severly companies pursuing alternate energry, like solar power (in fact a friend of mine is an engineer at just such a company). As the costs of fossil fuels and energy in general goes up while technology in other sources of power improves they will naturally replace those industry like digital media replaced the record player.
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#196 Heretic

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:15 AM

Canada has severly companies pursuing alternate energry, like solar power (in fact a friend of mine is an engineer at just such a company). As the costs of fossil fuels and energy in general goes up while technology in other sources of power improves they will naturally replace those industry like digital media replaced the record player.


Suncor is investing a lot into Wind Power:

http://www.suncor.co.../about/217.aspx
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#197 ronthecivil

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:20 AM

You are aware that fossil fuels are finite resources, and reluctance and refusal to move away from a resource based economy today is simply kicking the can down the road right? Our economy is teetering at the brink, yet for some reason we should give up economic control to the global market?

I'm sorry, are you saying countries without natural resources all have high taxes and low government services? Or is that what Canada would be faced with because of our current situation created by reliance on said resources?


Of course I am aware they are finite and clearly we need to economically think of how we want the economy to work when they are gone. Unfortunately the foresight of government is horrific at this moment. I gleefully cheer your support for the massive surplus budgets that would give us a nest egg for the future.

I have no idea what you're talking about giving up economic control.

As for your suggestion that the Canadian economy might more resemble say the Greek economy were it not for the massive revenue generated being the 8th biggest exporter of oil, the second biggest exporter of natural gas, and 15th largest producer of coal DING DING DING we have a winner!!!!
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#198 MadMonk

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:20 AM

You are aware that the elimination of coal mining and oil sands industries would represent a tremendous economic hit to a country that is already teetering at the brink right?

I hope you are willing to accept the much higher taxes and much lower levels of government service that would come part and parcel with such a decision.


Progress always bring about changes, but a job is lost somewhere, another is created else where. Entire industries closed after the industrial revolution and the digital revolution, was there widespread hunger and chaos?



The world moves on, and when renewables become cheap enough coal and tar sand industry will go whether you like it or not. If we decide to get with the rest of the world and start working on transitioning out, the Canadian economy will be fine. But if we continue to be obstinate and pump billions into tar sand, we will truly be royally screwed when renewables breaks parity.
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#199 ronthecivil

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:42 AM

Progress always bring about changes, but a job is lost somewhere, another is created else where. Entire industries closed after the industrial revolution and the digital revolution, was there widespread hunger and chaos?

The world moves on, and when renewables become cheap enough coal and tar sand industry will go whether you like it or not. If we decide to get with the rest of the world and start working on transitioning out, the Canadian economy will be fine. But if we continue to be obstinate and pump billions into tar sand, we will truly be royally screwed when renewables breaks parity.


We are pursuing renewables. There are many companies implementing those very things. I would suggest they make a good investment if your willing to go long on them!

Though as we just saw in BC even when government subsidises renewables to encourage their developement you still have enviromental opponants, opposition of funds given to private industry, and higher costs/taxes to the public as a result.
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#200 Heretic

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:46 AM

Progress always bring about changes, but a job is lost somewhere, another is created else where. Entire industries closed after the industrial revolution and the digital revolution, was there widespread hunger and chaos?



The world moves on, and when renewables become cheap enough coal and tar sand industry will go whether you like it or not. If we decide to get with the rest of the world and start working on transitioning out, the Canadian economy will be fine. But if we continue to be obstinate and pump billions into tar sand, we will truly be royally screwed when renewables breaks parity.


Well - there's a little thing called supply and demand - as long as there's a demand, the Oil companies will keep getting oil.

As far as the billions going into Oil Sands, well, a big chunk of that is going in for environmental reasons...things like better equipment that produces less GHG (50% less today compared to the machines used in 1990), equipment that uses less water and recycling used water and using it again...
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#201 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:48 AM

They'll keep getting oil...AND they'll keep gouging anyone who fills up at the pump. Only two other things more certain...death and taxes.
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#202 MadMonk

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:04 AM

So then one of the only ways to see if this is part of the natural cycle of normal events is to wait to see if it melts just as quickly or moreso next year, and if the melting is more widespread?



The immediate cause for such a widespread melt is high temperatures, and for extreme weather events there are usually a return period (e.g. one in a hundred year storm). The way it is described in the news I think they are referring to a return period of 150 years.

This is different from saying that there is a cycle of 150 years.

Natural cycle seems to be tossed around as a catch-all explanation to everything, but a true natural cycle such as El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), have real physical causes, and as a result the time scale depends on these processes. Unless either a clear 150 year cycle can be identified from data, and a clear physical mechanism for it, the event should not be described as a cycle.
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#203 taxi

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:14 AM

They'll keep getting oil...AND they'll keep gouging anyone who fills up at the pump. Only two other things more certain...death and taxes.


Look at what percentage of what you pay at the pump is going to the government. Taxes. You get taxed. The people who produce the oil get taxed. The peope who sell the oil get taxed. That all gets passed to the consumer.

33% of what you pay is taxes directly from you. Now factor in the income tax the people who produce, transport, supply, etc... the gas have to pay.

Edited by taxi, 26 July 2012 - 10:15 AM.

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#204 Sharpshooter

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:22 AM

The immediate cause for such a widespread melt is high temperatures, and for extreme weather events there are usually a return period (e.g. one in a hundred year storm). The way it is described in the news I think they are referring to a return period of 150 years.

This is different from saying that there is a cycle of 150 years.

Natural cycle seems to be tossed around as a catch-all explanation to everything, but a true natural cycle such as El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), have real physical causes, and as a result the time scale depends on these processes. Unless either a clear 150 year cycle can be identified from data, and a clear physical mechanism for it, the event should not be described as a cycle.



If 'weather cycle' is a catch-all, then what does that make 'weather event'?

And I don't know if you've noticed, but the U.S has been seemingly having '1 in a 100 year storms' for the last few years, and they know the real physical causes of them each time.

Like I said, weather patterns are related to climate trends, and in this case there isn't evidence to firmly say whether the weather was part of a natural cycle of melting that occurs every 150 years, or part of a short term extreme melt event related to a known global warming trend that is most extreme at higher lattitudes. We'll have to wait and see if this occurs again, or doesn't to see if it's a one-off and part of a cycle cause by yet unknown real physical causes that occur every 150 years or a new extreme weather event pattern that will occur yearly with similar or worse melt rates.

There isn't and hasn't been enough data collected and understood just yet, from what i've read, to close the book on this, either way.
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#205 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:22 AM

Look at what percentage of what you pay at the pump is going to the government. Taxes. You get taxed. The people who produce the oil get taxed. The peope who sell the oil get taxed. That all gets passed to the consumer.

33% of what you pay is taxes directly from you. Now factor in the income tax the people who produce, transport, supply, etc... the gas have to pay.


Just so I'm clear here...are you talking about Canadian taxes? I live in the US, so I think it may be a bit different down here, but I'm not sure.
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#206 RUPERTKBD

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:38 AM

Just curious: I know this board is chock full of Liberal government haters, so with climate change in mind, how does everyone feel about the carbon tax?

Is that not doing something?
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#207 gurn

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

Essentially the question is "Would you rather human existence end in fire or ice?" My answer would be...if extinction was truly imminent...would it really MATTER which killed us? No.


I vote for ice as I am just no good in the heat.Sunstroke can do that to you. :(
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#208 ronthecivil

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:57 AM

Just curious: I know this board is chock full of Liberal government haters, so with climate change in mind, how does everyone feel about the carbon tax?

Is that not doing something?


Liberal policy should have been a godsend to global warming crusaders. From pushing wind farms and run of river energy sources to instituting an escalating carbon tax to closing Burrard thermal we should be a bastion of ecozelotry delights!

However, as it turns out, those programs weren't exactly warmly embraced by the population nor have we seen any sort of noticible change in people behaviour (other than being extra pissed off every time they buy gas). And one only need to ask the federal liberals (what's left of them) what a good idea it is to campaign on the idea of a federal carbon tax! Bon idee pour le opposition!
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#209 Sharpshooter

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:14 AM

Liberal policy should have been a godsend to global warming crusaders. From pushing wind farms and run of river energy sources to instituting an escalating carbon tax to closing Burrard thermal we should be a bastion of ecozelotry delights!

However, as it turns out, those programs weren't exactly warmly embraced by the population nor have we seen any sort of noticible change in people behaviour (other than being extra pissed off every time they buy gas). And one only need to ask the federal liberals (what's left of them) what a good idea it is to campaign on the idea of a federal carbon tax! Bon idee pour le opposition!



They were in comparison to the Conservatives.

I am not a Liberal supporter either. Never have been.
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#210 MadMonk

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:36 AM

We are pursuing renewables. There are many companies implementing those very things. I would suggest they make a good investment if your willing to go long on them!


Though as we just saw in BC even when government subsidises renewables to encourage their developement you still have enviromental opponants, opposition of funds given to private industry, and higher costs/taxes to the public as a result.


I am planning to as soon as I start earning a real salary!

Ultimately, whether people oppose or support a particular policy depends on whether they see value in it, and yes when you make a decision there is always going to be winners and losers.

It always comes back down to whether people are willing to look at the facts about global warming and make the hard decision. Many are avoiding this by creating red herrings:

- "but but but jobs!"
- "Environmentalist are all nut jobs. "
- "Environmentalism is a religion."
- "Science is uncertain."

When is last time any decision is made with absolute certainty? Science is always uncertain, and if the uncertainty were between warming or cooling than there is a point of inaction. When the uncertainty is between bad but manageable, bad or catastrophic, failure to make a decision is being spineless, not keeping an open mind.
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