Don’t Drill The Delaware!

January 19, 2017

An Urgent Call to Action from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network 

Please sign the letter,”Tell DRBC: Permanent ban on fracking now!” Once again, shale gas development threatens the Delaware River Basin, a national treasure, and the drinking water source for 17 million people.

“There seems to be new interest on the part of DRBC staff to rekindle the development of gas development regulations, which would lift the current moratorium.  We must tell the DRBC that NOW IS THE TIME to enact a permanent ban on all gas development, including drilling and fracking, in the Delaware River Watershed.” – Delaware Riverkeeper Network

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Photo: Susan Phillips, NPR

TAKE ACTION:

Support the call for the Delaware River Basin Commission to adopt a ban on gas and oil development in the Delaware River Watershed. Sign on to the letter to the Governors of the four states that flow to the Delaware River and tributary streams – Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware – and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative, to immediately adopt a ban on all oil and gas development in the Delaware River Watershed.

Tell DRBC: Enact a Permanent Ban on Fracking NOW!

If you are a member of an organization who would like to sign on to the effort to ban fracking in the Delaware River Watershed, please sign here.

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Don’t Frack The Gap!  Photo: National Parks Conservation

Keep Watershed Science Safe

January 17, 2017

How Will Ambient Delaware River Water Quality Assessment Data Fare Under Trump’s Tiny Thumb?

‘What we’re seeing is environmental McCarthyism,’ said Patricia Kim, a graduate fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, of the incoming administration. She was commenting at a ‘guerrilla archiving eventat the University of Toronto in December, 2016, which was aimed at informing climate scientists how best to preserve climate data ahead of the Trump presidency.

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There’s No Replacin’ A River Basin

The Delaware River Basin Commission reports regularly on water quality issues pertaining to the watershed. Published data sets are posted online here:  http://www.nj.gov/drbc/quality/datum/

Keeping the database is part of the DRBC’s responsibility, according to law, passed by congress in 1961. Nevertheless, now would be a great time to acknowledge this essential and invaluable public service, and to assure the DRBC of our support for the protection of their data along with our drinking water supply.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dredging Up The Past

January 11, 2017

The Delaware River Basin didn’t suffer terribly during the Obama administration, but it didn’t exactly thrive, either. Thanks, Obama?

President Barrack Obama always seemed to understand that water is life, yet freshwater protection has not always been the divining rod in his decisions. If that were so, he would have banned fracking in the Delaware River Basin when he had the chance.

Donald Trump is a threat to every last watershed in the country, as he and his shale-happy appointees have promised to extract every last penny from an expensive and grossly overestimated supply. They honestly don’t care if you can set your water on fire. And if the result should be more costly access to a diminishing supply of safe, clean drinking water, then they’ll probably try to profit off that, too.

So, while the mainstream media is having its long overdue existential crisis, ordinary bloggers are left to chronicle Obama’s legacy and its impact on our drinking water supply, and to find new ways to help protect our precious fresh water. Me, I like lists.

Seven Things Obama Did – And Didn’t Do – For The Delaware River Basin …

# 7   He Left It At Moratorium

Obama could have banned fracking in the Delaware River Basin in 2011, but he didn’t.

Read the rest of this entry »

Merry Christmas, Beloved Delaware

December 24, 2016

When George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware on Christmas Eve in 1776, the nearly frozen river was jammed with ice. Three boats made the attempt, but only one made it across. Fierce winds drove frozen rain down in needles and chunks of ice clung to the hulls, dragging them downstream. The men were too busy hacking at the ice with their oars to row effectively. It was a crazy-dangerous endeavor, and the odds were not in their favor. That’s why it worked.

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George Washington and his men. Illustration by Mary Mapes Dodge

All American bravery in the face of extreme adversity, Washington and his men pressed on! This is who we are.

In Solidarity!

Is Rick Perry High Energy, Or Just High?

December 17, 2016

Trump’s Pick for Energy Secretary Should Just Say No

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry didn’t simply fail to recall the name of the Department of Energy in a past presidential debate, he failed Science.

According to his Texas A&M University transcripts, as reported by Joe DePaolo in Trump’s Energy Secretary Choice Rick Perry Flunked A Chemistry Course In College, MediaITE, December 14, 2016, “In the spring of 1970, he flunked Organic Chemistry II. He also got a C in physics, and a number of other C’s and D’s.”

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Photo: Twitchy.com

Perry may be light on facts, but he’s also light on his feet. Suffice it to say, this sparkle-suited climate denier did better on Dancing with The Stars than he did in college. But how will he fare when faced with a determined, increasingly vocal scientific community? Based on Perry’s academic record, it looks like an experiment that’s bound to fail. Of course, academics are not always a true measure. Other factors in life might contribute to a person’s success or failure in performing a particular job.   Read the rest of this entry »

Saving Science

December 17, 2016

Suddenly, it’s a thing.

Perhaps climate science advocates are operating under an abundance of caution, but they’re willing to take that chance. Their goal is to protect painstakingly collected data and safeguard their work as they prepare to operate under an administration that is demonstrably hostile towards climate research.

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Cartoon by Sidney Harris

“It’s truly remarkable the quick attention that it’s received and the number of people that are volunteering to help,” says meteorologist Eric Holthaus, host of the @ourwarmregards podcast, in a December 14 interview with Audie Cornish on NPR.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Trump’s Generals Are Playing Russian Roulette, Too

December 17, 2016

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and a few career climate change deniers are attempting to profit at the planet’s peril.

While Donald Trump and his crew have been busy waging war on science and screwing over Mother Earth for Mother Russia, the U.S. military has been, for years, openly shoring up our defenses against the effects of climate change, such as super-storms, droughts, and mass population displacement. They even put out a press release about it in 2014.

DoD Releases Report on Security Implications of Climate Change,  July 29, 2015.  

Fast forward to today. The first season of The Appointee Apprentice is nearly a wrap, and The Donald is still delivering an endless raft of distractions. Hey, this shitshow makes great TV! Trump’s palace intrigue, however, only serves to distract us from the fact that the characters he has appointed – Tillerson, Pruitt, Perry and Zinke – are all willfully intent on cooking the planet for the private gain of a few corporations. Their only interest, it seems, is to make a yuge buck, or ruble, as the case may be.

Let’s not forget what climate disruption means to Vladimir Putin.   Read the rest of this entry »

Philly Just Got Greener

December 7, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Food and Water Watch Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA — The Green Justice Philly coalition applauds the announcement that Governor Tom Wolf and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) will dedicate $300 million to developing shipping capacity at the Port of Philadelphia and making green improvements to existing infrastructure at Southport, which represents a firm rejection of fossil fuel projects at the site.

Read the rest of this entry »

Donald Trump Is Like Rock Snot

December 1, 2016

He’s slimy, offensive and a threat to the ecology.

Like rock snot, Trump’s proposed policies would be devastating to Pennsylvania’s watersheds. Like rock snot, a Trump administration may be a danger to the drinking water of 17 million people in the Delaware River Watershed. Like rock snot, Trump jeopardizes the integrity of our state’s tourist economy. Plus, he’s just gross.

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Didymo, often referred to as rock snot, kind of looks like Donald Trump’s hair.
Didymosphenia geminata, or Didymo, is a single celled, invasive algae. “Thick mats of Didymo can crowd out or smother more biologically valuable algae growing on the riverbed. Didymo is easily spread, and the chance of it hitchhiking its way into nearby streams or rivers that currently lack this unwanted invader is cause for alarm.”

According to Reince Priebus, Trump’s White House chief of staff, climate denial is the president-elect’s official default position. While the rest of the world scoffs, Trump has repeatedly promised to boost gas and coal. He is currently, albeit quietly, appointing frackers and climate change deniers to top cabinet posts. The current frontrunners in The Appointee Apprentice are Myron Ebell for EPA Chief, and fracking billionaire, Harold Hamm, for Secretary of Energy, swamp-dwelling industry insiders both. Hamm is, by way of his adultery, the current record holder for most expensive divorce of all time.

Rock snot sticks to your shoes and spreads easily, so you need to check very closely. With similar vigilance, Pennsylvanians need to pay special attention to these fossil fools because they plan to expand fracking in the Marcellus Shale, big time.

Read the rest of this entry »

World Of Thanks

November 24, 2016

It’s not easy being green! I’m grateful for all the fractivists in the world, and to everyone who’s fighting to protect our planet and prevent climate disruption.

Future generations will be thankful, too. Peace and smiles!

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Cartoon by Dan Wasserman, The Boston Globe

182092_600Monte Wolverton, The Cagle Post

Read the rest of this entry »

Physicians Warning: Fracking Is Harmful To Your Health

November 21, 2016

World class climate hoaxter, Donald Trump, may see Pennsylvania as just another pretty piece of shale, his for the grabbing, but a growing number of physicians and scientists are calling on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf [D] to enact a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

In October, the archly conservative Pennsylvania Medical Society was unanimous in its resolution calling for a moratorium on new shale gas drilling permits, voicing the need to create a statewide health impact registry. Their advice grows urgent as more peer-reviewed studies are published, and the data chronicling the human harm becomes more widely available.

“The medical society’s call for a moratorium came just a day before the release of a new study by the Yale School of Public Health that found numerous carcinogens used in fracking have the potential to contaminate the air and water of nearby communities and increase the risk of childhood leukemia,” reports Don Hopey in Doctors call for state ban on drilling and frackingPittsburgh Post Gazette, October 31, 2016.   Read the rest of this entry »

Trump Wins Presidency But Climate Keeps The Mandate

November 16, 2016

The Unlikely Path To Less Carbon …

Last week, The Donald won the election but not the popular vote. Days later, membership in the Sierra Club exploded faster than any time in its 124 year history. The country’s oldest and most iconic environmental preservation group is now more than 2.5 million members strong with considerably greater reach. 

Maybe it was because most sane people, and even some Trump voters, know that science has no agenda. They listen to climatologists, not lobbyists. Maybe it’s because they love the great outdoors, or they want to preserve our biosphere for future generations. Or maybe it’s because Mother Nature is the original nasty woman, and whether you accept the reality of climate change or not, she always bats last.

Sadly, the inmates have taken over the asylum. Trump is looking to run the country from his gilded New York City penthouse, sending his proxy to Washington via Mike Pence, who has already begun to seize executive power Dick Cheney-style (only his war is against women and he’s a much bigger dick.) Trump will also look to white supremacist, Steve Bannon, as senior policy whisperer. And because, in Trumplandia, conflicts of interest only apply to everyone else, our new Commander-In-Chief will be relying on fracking billionaire – and yuge campaign contributor, Harold Hammto head the Department of Energy transition team. He’s also considering Sarah “I can see Russia!” Palin for Secretary of the Interior. No joke. But, in perhaps what is the most egregious pick of all, Trump has named chief climate denier, old King Coal himself, Myron Ebell, to dismantle the EPA and overturn Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Windmills, Not Windbags

Thankfully, the world does not revolve around Trump Tower. The next four years will be rough, regardless of how many evil clowns Trump sends to Washington. No amount of dark money poured into GOP coffers, no degree of economic protectionism, will insulate his administration from global market forces. Trump will be compelled to follow the money. It won’t serve him to sit on his tiny hands and bet the entire U.S. energy future on extreme fossil fuel extraction while the rest of the world laps us in the development of sustainable energy.

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This is what Climate Policy Change looks like. Marrakech, November 2016

Should the Trump administration shun the Paris Agreement, should they renege on U.S. commitments, and ramp up fracking and Arctic Drilling, his government will be sued, and then there’s every possibility that the invisible hand of the free market will give him the finger. Trump may want to believe there’s a growing taste for coal, fracked gas and more carbon, but better, cheaper, more efficient alternatives already exist. The rest of the world’s markets are reshaping and retooling, surging forward on renewable energy, decoupling their economies from a rapidly diminishing supply of fossil fuels, and they recognize the clear danger of Trump’s ideas about energy.

The Donald has promised a lot of people a lot of jobs, and I can’t help but wonder, where does he think the best-paying, most secure and desirable incomes will come from? The clean energy sector has grown despite all the Republican efforts to squelch it. That says a lot about the strength, resiliency and sustainability of the clean energy market. To borrow that over-employed phrase, it seems like it’s already baked in.

UN Secretary-General BanKiMoon said he is “optimistic” that Donald Trump can be “made to see reason.” (I know, LOL, right?) Nevertheless, he asserts, “I believe that he understands that there are market forces already at work on this issue. And we need to harness these forces for good of the planet and all the species in this planet.”

Environmental activists are now striving to take the longview, and to not be discouraged – or worse – distracted by the present sideshow that is American politics. My only hope is that we can rely on the rule of law. Ours is a great Republic, and citizens should be able to look to the law to provide reasonable checks and balances for the powers that be. In the fight to conserve our natural resources, the courts have often served as the last bastion of protection for environmental human rights.

Still, I feel sick when I see what the orange menace is plotting. I’m repulsed by the small-mindedness under which he operates, and by how he and his crew of deplorables want to devalue important, vaunted U.S. institutions like the EPA. Sure, I know the fight for climate is a long one, longer and more complex than any one U.S. presidency. Plus, I refuse to be cowed by bullies. I also know I’m not alone. Think about Sierra. 

Think Global, Act Fast

Maybe you will Stand With Standing Rock and the Sioux Nation’s right to protect sacred water. Perhaps you side with Senator Sanders and the Climate Revolution? No matter how you contribute to the climate movement, we need to work smarter and faster, and we need good quality information. Not all news is created equal and some actions are more powerful than others. Here are a bunch of trusted resources. I share them in the hopes that they might help you in your efforts — solidarity!

For Climate, Fight Fracking

PA AgainstFracking:  Broad, statewide coalition of groups and individual members across Pennsylvania who are in support of stopping fracking through a statewide moratorium.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network:  Non-profit, membership organization dedicated to addressing “the issues, actions, regulations, legislation, policies, programs and decisions that impact the health of our Delaware River Watershed waterways and our ability to protect and restore them for the benefit of all.”

Food and Water Watch:  National group led by Winonah Hauter, leading public interest advocates and author of Frackopoly. FWW champions healthy food and clean water for all. Join FWW’s Clean Energy Revolution or help Ban Fracking Everywhere. Busy local chapters such as Food Water Watch in Philadelphia, Pa. love to hear from volunteers, will gladly put you to work!

Sierra Club:  Longtime conscientious objector to fossil fools, this group simply wants to #LeaveItInTheGround.

Friends of the Earth:  Global network of more than two million activists in 75 different countries. Several U.S. offices advocate in the halls of Congress, in state capitals, and with community groups around the country. Online petitions.

Earth Justice:  Because the Earth obviously needs a good lawyer.

NextGen Climate:  Founder, Tom Steyer, believes Climate Change is the most pressing issue of our time. Nextgen actively seeks to engage voters. 

News & Information:

StateImpactPA / NPR:  https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/

EcoWatch:  http://www.ecowatch.com/

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Don Hopey:  http://www.post-gazette.com

PA Against Fracking Newsroom:  http://www.paagainstfracking.org/newsroom/

ClimateWire by EENews:  http://www.eenews.net/cw

Democracy Now, Amy Goodman:  http://www.democracynow.org/

DeSmog Blog:  http://www.desmogblog.com/

PA Environmental Digest: Environmental news and headlines:  http://www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter/

The Berks Gas Truth: Regularly updated links to headlines across Pennsylvania covering the great  fracking divide:  http://paper.li/BerksGasTruth/1369451548#!all

Delaware Riverkeeper’s BlogMaya van Rossum is an environmental champion, attorney and organizer: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/blog/

Laura Legere, freelance journalist:  https://twitter.com/LauraLegere

Oil Change International:  http://priceofoil.org/

ClimateChangeNews:  http://www.climatechangenews.com/

Follow Sierra’s Executive Director, Michael Brune, on facebook and feel like a climate  insider:  https://www.facebook.com/michael.brune.9

Protecting Our Waters: Northeastern U.S. water advocates:  https://protectingourwaters.wordpress.com/ 

Raging Chicken PressRefreshingly left, entirely raw truth spoken here:  http://ragingchickenpress.org/

@fractivista, all the #fracking headlines I can find, and why you should read on:  https://twitter.com/Fractivista

The Onion, because sometimes you just have to laugh:  http://www.theonion.com/

List by no means comprehensive, please feel free share your favorite resources and organizations in the Comments.

Toxic Textbooks: Governor Wolf Attempts To Fund Education With A Frack Tax

February 12, 2015

The Tax `n Frack era is upon us.

On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced to a classroom full of Thorndale elementary students that he plans to tax shale gas drillers to pay for things like textbooks, and the laminated weather map hanging ironically on the wall behind him.

Tying education funding to a single, cyclical, heavy industry, and one with a wildly variable price at that, is bad business for the state. Wolf should know that no tax will ever begin to cover their true tab, or replace what they are presently destroying.

While he’s at it, Wolf might ask gas drillers to print up some new textbooks, too. Otherwise, Pennsylvania school children might learn about the legacy of toxic pollution that they and our legislators are leaving behind.

Remember Talisman Terry, the friendly Fracosaurus? He was featured in a propa-ganza enriched coloring book published for Pennsylvania school children, and hilariously immortalized by Stephen Colbert in 2011.

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Pennsylvanians Against Fracking and Delaware Riverkeeper have issued a joint press release, clearly stating that the severance tax is “an unsustainable quick fix.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Will Governor Wolf listen to the science about fracking?

January 20, 2015

Dear Governor Wolf,

Montgomery and Bucks are the only counties in Pennsylvania where there’s a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. We don’t see rigs from our front porches, or continuous flares. We don’t get headaches from strange odors, or drive on crumbling roads clogged by endless truck traffic. In the Philadelphia suburbs, it’s easy to ignore the health and environmental impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling.

When the shale gas industry arrived nearly a decade ago, it was still somewhat plausible to insist that there’s “no proof” gas drilling has ever polluted water supplies. Today, there’s plenty of proof. In 2014, The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported 248 cases of water supply contamination since 2007. Nationwide, there are more. Read the rest of this entry »

The Year Of The Ban – 2014

December 28, 2014

Fracking Bans Sweep Across North America, And That Was Just The Month Of December

A steady uptick in citizen activism, and a broadening awareness of hydraulic fracturing’s negative impact on everything from climate to wildlife to water, resulted in successful anti-fracking measures on ballots across North America in 2014. Then, in mid-December, the state of New York banned it. They’re not the first, Vermont holds that distinction, yet they are the first state with significant shale gas reserves to do so. People are pumped.

Naturally, the issue is emotionally charged. Shale gas development not only damages land, air and water, it destroys people’s lives. Fracking promises to be a factor in the upcoming 2016 Presidential race. Let’s make of sure of it.

Despite customarily downplaying the successes of the anti-fracking movement in the media, activists across the county have racked up a handful of amazing, longshot victories. Fracking bans were won, far and wide, and they can be found in the unlikeliest places.

Read the rest of this entry »

Merry X-Mess!

December 25, 2014

All through the year…

This share extraordinaire is via fellow fractivista, Kim Triolo Feil, a self-described “Detective for Loopholes in our Gas Drilling Ordinance” and Arlington TX Shale Blogger. Thanks, Kim! Follow Feil on Twitter: @kimfeil

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Frack Mess

Video by Defend Community Rights, posted on December 24, 2014.

Maile Bush commented on the Facebook share: “Christmas in a frack mess. Yes, my neighborhood is featured in this lovely song.”  

       

                   Keep On Keepin On, Fractivists and Fractivistas                  

                          Warmest Wishes for a Clean, Green 2015!

 

 

New York State Of Mind – Now Available In Frack-Free

December 21, 2014

New York will ban fracking — huzzah!

Despite the media’s subdued coverage, fractivists will always remember where they were when they first heard the news. I was sitting at my desk, reading emails.

Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State, by Thomas Kaplan, New York Times, December 17, 2014.

New York State Prohibits Fracking Delaware Riverkeeper Network Applauds New York’s Assessment and Conclusion, Press Release, The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, December 17, 2014. 

Cuomo’s announcement was not only momentous, it was a surprise gift, and it was met with gratitude, tears of joy, and dancing in the streets. A spontaneous gathering thanked Cuomo, who merrily took one of the activist’s signs with him to commemorate the historic occasion. This very festive video was posted on Facebook by Sabrina Artel.

On msnbc, however, Alex Wagner characterized Cuomo decision like that of a reluctant, job-killing environmental anti-hero who was shying away from the limelight for the sake of appearing politic. I think she sells Cuomo short. I get the sense that the governor simply preferred to let science have its day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pennies From Heaven, Pollution From Hell

November 19, 2014

Recently, my son wrote an essay about hidden costs. He discussed the heavy toll that certain industries, like factory farming and clothing manufacture, take on humanity and our environment when they externalize their true costs. Naturally, it got me thinking about the external costs of fracking.

One of the biggest hidden costs of Marcellus shale gas development will be a significant reduction in the number of clean, fresh drinking water supplies for future generations.

PA watersheds have endured a history of environmental degradation from a variety of sources such as logging, agricultural run-off and acid mine drainage, to name just a few. But while it’s true that many threats to our water supplies are long-standing, we can’t ignore the fact that they now face a much more serious, imminent threat.

The instances of fresh water contamination in Pennsylvania have increased dramatically since hydraulic fracturing began.

As fracking booms, waste spills rise — and so do arsenic levels in groundwaterReporter: Reid Frazier, Writer: Adam Wernic, Living on Earth, Public Radio International, November 18, 2014.

How can we not worry? The business of shale gas is predicated on taking public risks for the purpose of private gain. All it requires, apparently, is a pricey ad campaign and couple of slick publicity stunts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Exercise Your Franchise!

October 28, 2014

Voting Is Good For You images-1

Politically, Pennsylvania is in a race to the bottom.

On one hand, we have incumbent Governor Tom Corbett [R], the devious idiot who has been giving away the farm, both literally and figuratively, to Marcellus shale drilling special interests, to whom he is totally beholden.

Corbett is not only the most reviled governor in the nation, he’s also the highest paid. And that’s on top of all that gas funding. Little wonder democratic challenger Tom Wolf is trouncing “One Term Tommy” in the polls, yet it’s been decades since anyone has unseated an incumbent Republican governor in Pennsylvania, and no one is willing to call this race just yet. In the end, it could all come down to voter turnout. Read the rest of this entry »

Fossil Free USA

August 14, 2014

“He Don’t Own The Sun”

Some of Ohio’s most talented musicians came together on Earth Day, 2014 to record this bluesy, planet-loving song, written by Jenny Morgan of “You Can’t Drink Money” fame. I love that it echoes a strong current among fractivists. Fighting fracking is not simply about stopping the boom/bust cycle of shale gas development, it’s about getting real, and actively moving toward a healthier, more sustainable fossil-free future.

Play it loud.

He can make his billions, but he don’t own the sun.” Video share by Carolyn Harding, radioactivewastealert.org and Cinublue Productions in Columbus, Ohio. Thank you!