Day: January 11, 2018

How to Get Kicked Off YouTube


Not to worry, all you lovers of racial venom.  YouTube still has plenty of material to satisfy even your most vitriolic yearnings.

Want to use the world’s largest video platform to watch a Nobel Peace Prize-winner sing about killing white people?  No, it’s not Barack Obama, but Nelson Mandela, leading a group of black people in a solemn vow to kill the whiteys.  You can find it here on YouTube.

Ditto for Oprah telling us old white people have to die before white racism disappears.

Or how about step-by-step instruction on how black people can rob Asian people in their homes?  (First you ring the doorbell to see if they are home, and make sure you choose the right fellas, who, if things go south, are ready to “do what it do.”)  That’s easy to find too on YouTube, too, or, better still, on my new channel at minds.com.

These and thousands of other videos make YouTube a favorite place to spread black hostility, hate, and violence – you know, the same kind that is easy to find every day on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, and whatever else we are calling the conglomeration of reporters and public officials hopelessly devoted to spreading the greatest lie of our generation: the hoax of black victimization.

But what YouTube will not be spreading around anymore are videos that apparently are way worse than that.  Videos by me, good ol’ Colin, refuting that lie.

I do not know why Nelson Mandela and lots and lots of rappers preaching black-on-white racial violence have such a hard time getting kicked off YouTube.  It’s easy.  I’ve done it four times for way less.

The first time YouTube sent me a one-way ticket to ride was right after I saw a video in Pittsburgh of a large group of large “teenagers” surrounding and beating a smaller “teenager.”  But everything was blurred out – faces and voices.

I called the victim’s mom in Pittsburgh and asked if I could get a copy of the original video, unblurred.  Soon I was watching a totally different, far more sinister scene: a large group of black people were surrounding a smaller white kid, harassing, threatening, taunting, and ultimately beating him. 

That’s what I do in my books, articles, videos, and podcasts: I expose the enormous level of black violence and how reporters and public officials are in denial, deceit, and delusion about it.  This was just another example, one of many thousands that we document, wildly out of proportion.

Soon after the video went up, good ol’ Colin was going down: YouTube said the video encouraged violence against children.  I told YouTube I was exposing violence against children.  People who removed that video were complicit in that violence.

YouTube did not care, and off I went.

The next time was about a year ago.  A high school teacher was telling her school board in Green Bay how classrooms had degenerated into one constant episode of mayhem, violence, and chaos – including students roaming the hallways, simulating sex activity.

Other parents and teachers said that was a black thing.

When I reproduced the teacher’s comments, YouTube took down good ol’ Colin once again, this time for encouraging sexuality among children.

But my favorite was the final time just a few days ago.  The venerable Atlantic magazine published a story about white people moving into black neighborhoods in New York and how that was somehow causing black people to commit more crime.

White people were criminalizing black people by the former’s mere presence.

The magazine quoted the usual con men, saying the unusual things that are now very usual.  It cited Paul Butler, a professor of law at Georgetown University.  He’s just one of the black teachers and lawyers around the country who say black juries should not vote to convict black defendants because of white racism.  That is what he wrote in the Washington Post on several occasions.

The Atlantic article was funded by the MacArthur Foundation – you know, the group that gives out “genius grants” to people who write fairy tales about how black people are relentless victims of relentless white racism, all the time, everywhere, and how that explains everything.  People like Ta-Nehisi Coates.

So I posted a video on YouTube calling BS on every word in the story – including “if,” “and,” and “but.”

As with all my videos, there is no racism, no rancor, no apologies.  Neither is there obscenity or vulgarity of any kind.  No matter: that video came down.  And, once again, YouTube dropped me like a pile of hot rocks.

Over the last few years, my videos have become “a thing,” garnering more than 100 million views, mostly from people who are as skeptical as you and me.  No one has time to watch videos that are not true.

And if they are not true, it should be the easiest thing in the world to show.  Instead, the dominant reaction from the trolls is 1) that is not happening; 2) white people do it, too; 3) white people deserve it; and 4) let’s hammer YouTube until Colin is removed.

Not for lying.  But for telling the truth.

YouTube might be the biggest game in town, but it is not the only place to put videos.  Good ol’ Colin found a new home at minds.com, where my videos are now easy to find.  And still impossible to refute.

Colin Flaherty is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry, which would be banned if it were on YouTube.  He’s easy to find over at https://www.minds.com/ColinFlaherty.

Not to worry, all you lovers of racial venom.  YouTube still has plenty of material to satisfy even your most vitriolic yearnings.

Want to use the world’s largest video platform to watch a Nobel Peace Prize-winner sing about killing white people?  No, it’s not Barack Obama, but Nelson Mandela, leading a group of black people in a solemn vow to kill the whiteys.  You can find it here on YouTube.

Ditto for Oprah telling us old white people have to die before white racism disappears.

Or how about step-by-step instruction on how black people can rob Asian people in their homes?  (First you ring the doorbell to see if they are home, and make sure you choose the right fellas, who, if things go south, are ready to “do what it do.”)  That’s easy to find too on YouTube, too, or, better still, on my new channel at minds.com.

These and thousands of other videos make YouTube a favorite place to spread black hostility, hate, and violence – you know, the same kind that is easy to find every day on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, and whatever else we are calling the conglomeration of reporters and public officials hopelessly devoted to spreading the greatest lie of our generation: the hoax of black victimization.

But what YouTube will not be spreading around anymore are videos that apparently are way worse than that.  Videos by me, good ol’ Colin, refuting that lie.

I do not know why Nelson Mandela and lots and lots of rappers preaching black-on-white racial violence have such a hard time getting kicked off YouTube.  It’s easy.  I’ve done it four times for way less.

The first time YouTube sent me a one-way ticket to ride was right after I saw a video in Pittsburgh of a large group of large “teenagers” surrounding and beating a smaller “teenager.”  But everything was blurred out – faces and voices.

I called the victim’s mom in Pittsburgh and asked if I could get a copy of the original video, unblurred.  Soon I was watching a totally different, far more sinister scene: a large group of black people were surrounding a smaller white kid, harassing, threatening, taunting, and ultimately beating him. 

That’s what I do in my books, articles, videos, and podcasts: I expose the enormous level of black violence and how reporters and public officials are in denial, deceit, and delusion about it.  This was just another example, one of many thousands that we document, wildly out of proportion.

Soon after the video went up, good ol’ Colin was going down: YouTube said the video encouraged violence against children.  I told YouTube I was exposing violence against children.  People who removed that video were complicit in that violence.

YouTube did not care, and off I went.

The next time was about a year ago.  A high school teacher was telling her school board in Green Bay how classrooms had degenerated into one constant episode of mayhem, violence, and chaos – including students roaming the hallways, simulating sex activity.

Other parents and teachers said that was a black thing.

When I reproduced the teacher’s comments, YouTube took down good ol’ Colin once again, this time for encouraging sexuality among children.

But my favorite was the final time just a few days ago.  The venerable Atlantic magazine published a story about white people moving into black neighborhoods in New York and how that was somehow causing black people to commit more crime.

White people were criminalizing black people by the former’s mere presence.

The magazine quoted the usual con men, saying the unusual things that are now very usual.  It cited Paul Butler, a professor of law at Georgetown University.  He’s just one of the black teachers and lawyers around the country who say black juries should not vote to convict black defendants because of white racism.  That is what he wrote in the Washington Post on several occasions.

The Atlantic article was funded by the MacArthur Foundation – you know, the group that gives out “genius grants” to people who write fairy tales about how black people are relentless victims of relentless white racism, all the time, everywhere, and how that explains everything.  People like Ta-Nehisi Coates.

So I posted a video on YouTube calling BS on every word in the story – including “if,” “and,” and “but.”

As with all my videos, there is no racism, no rancor, no apologies.  Neither is there obscenity or vulgarity of any kind.  No matter: that video came down.  And, once again, YouTube dropped me like a pile of hot rocks.

Over the last few years, my videos have become “a thing,” garnering more than 100 million views, mostly from people who are as skeptical as you and me.  No one has time to watch videos that are not true.

And if they are not true, it should be the easiest thing in the world to show.  Instead, the dominant reaction from the trolls is 1) that is not happening; 2) white people do it, too; 3) white people deserve it; and 4) let’s hammer YouTube until Colin is removed.

Not for lying.  But for telling the truth.

YouTube might be the biggest game in town, but it is not the only place to put videos.  Good ol’ Colin found a new home at minds.com, where my videos are now easy to find.  And still impossible to refute.

Colin Flaherty is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry, which would be banned if it were on YouTube.  He’s easy to find over at https://www.minds.com/ColinFlaherty.



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Cancel the Iran Nuclear Deal Now


President Trump has until January 12 to decide whether to terminate or “fix” the Iran nuclear deal (aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA).  Iran has proven to be eminently untrustworthy and unfaithful to the expectations of this deal.  Canceling the JCPOA would mitigate serious risks to the future national security of the USA and the international community, while “fixing” it allows Iran to clandestinely move forward with research and development on its nuclear weapons program with the extra funds it enjoys free of sanctions.  It is essential for President Trump to cancel this disastrous deal, effective immediately.

Influential voices in the White House, including secretary of state Rex Tillerson, defense secretary James Mattis, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, have recommended that President Trump “fix” the Iran nuclear deal rather than cancel it.  However, one option to “fix” the deal “is removing the requirement that Trump certify Iranian compliance” or, alternatively, “changing the law so certification occurs far less often.”  This is meant as a “face-saving fix” for President Trump, who “loathes having to give a thumbs-up to Iran every three months.”

Tillerson told the AP that “the president said he is either going to fix it or cancel it,” adding, “[W]e are in the process of trying to deliver on the promise he made to fix it.”  According to the AP, “while the talks involving the White House, the State Department[,] and Congress wouldn’t increase restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity, as Trump also wants, they could strengthen the way the U.S. enforces the agreement, perhaps persuading Trump that it’s worthwhile for the U.S. to stay in it.”  In effect, the touted “fix” is a misnomer that does nothing practical to change JCPOA substantively, but simply limits President Trump’s authority to review the deal and so far offers no specifics on how to strengthen enforcement.

In his speech on October 13, 2017, President Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, saying, “[I]n the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”  A true fix to the Iran nuclear deal cannot be achieved due to serious Iranian violations.  The Iranian regime is inherently and consistently untrustworthy, as proven from the history of work on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, blocking access to all military sites suspected of being part of the program, and far-reaching and enduring support of terrorism.

In addition to Iran’s support for terrorism and advancement of its ballistic missile program, much evidence exists that Iran is using the JCPOA as a cover for its nuclear weapons program rather than its supposed purpose as a hindrance to nuclear weapons capability.

The following constitute some of Iran’s nuclear related violations and probable violations.

Iranian military nuclear sites free of inspection

On June 24, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei stated that “no inspection of military sites can ever be done.”  Reaffirming this sentiment in August 2017, Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht stated that “Iran’s military sites are off limits,” noting that “all information about these sites [is] classified.  Iran will never allow such visits.”

Notwithstanding serious concerns about nuclear weapons work done at a number of Iranian military sites, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sees no need to visit Iranian military sites.  According to a report in Haaretz, Israeli officials stated that the IAEA was provided intelligence from a Western entity “regarding sites the Islamic republic did not report as part of its nuclear program and where, according to suspicions, forbidden nuclear military research and development activity was being conducted.”  The officials noted that close to none of the suspected nuclear sites have been visited by the IAEA.

In September 2017, the IAEA admitted that it doesn’t have oversight over Section T of the JCPOA.  Section T is titled “Activities Which Could Contribute to the Design and Development of a Nuclear Explosive Device.”  The IAEA therefore could not verify that Iran was “fully implementing the agreement.”

In addition, according to an October 2017 report released by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), there is a high degree of confidence that four new military sites “involved in various aspects of the nuclear weapons program” along with two headquarters are operating in Iran free of inspection.  These six sites operate in violation of the JCPOA and remain off-limits to IAEA inspection.

Illegal nuclear procurement

In 2016, Iran made at least 32 attempts to procure illegal nuclear technology in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, according to a German intelligence report.  According to the report, the attempted procurements “definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation program.”  This follows a previous report alleging Iran’s “clandestine” efforts to seek equipment and technology, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology” from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”  The report adds that “it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

The implementation of the JCPOA does not seem to have affected this pursuit.  According to Hamburg’s intelligence agency, “there is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic policies in 2016.”  And an intelligence report from Germany’s southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg notes that Iran sought “products and scientific knowhow for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well as missile technology.”

Iran never committed to the JCPOA

The Iranian government never accepted the same nuclear deal that the P5+1 accepted in the JCPOA.

Iran may already have nuclear weapons

In a 2015 article, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, an expert in national security matters, provides evidence from an IAEA report that strongly indicates that Iran already has nuclear weapons.

Iran procured equipment necessary for nuclear weapon development[;] … conducted hydrodynamic experiments that, according to the IAEA report[,] “are strong indicators of possible weapon development[;]” … cast and shaped uranium metal into hemispheres for a nuclear implosion device (a sophisticated nuclear weapon design)[;] … [and] verified the design of a nuclear weapon with non-fissile explosive testing in a containment chamber[.] … During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 16 months from the bomb[.] … Iran developed and tested exploding bridgewire detonators, necessary to an implosion nuclear weapon.  During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 6 months from the bomb[.] … Iran manufactured neutron initiators which are used to start a fission chain-reaction in a nuclear weapon[.] … Iran drafted 14 different workable designs for a nuclear weapon to fit inside the re-entry vehicle for the high-explosive [H.E.] warhead of Iran’s Shahab-3 medium-range missile[.] … Iran developed fusing systems for a nuclear missile warhead to perform a ground-burst or high-altitude burst above 3,000 meters.

The Iran nuclear deal cannot be rehabilitated.  The Iranian regime has repeatedly proven itself untrustworthy and consistently seeks to use subterfuge to bypass the nuclear deal while moving forward on its dangerous nuclear weapons program.  Illegal procurement of components for the nuclear program, nuclear sites that are off-limits, lack of commitment to the JCPOA, and substantial advancements in the nuclear program all demonstrate that the Iran nuclear deal provides sanctions relief and much needed capital and cover for Iran’s nuclear advances.

The so-called “fix” appears to be mainly an attempt to lull President Trump out of his inclination, and even authority, to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.  The deal must be scrapped – the sooner, the better.

President Trump has until January 12 to decide whether to terminate or “fix” the Iran nuclear deal (aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA).  Iran has proven to be eminently untrustworthy and unfaithful to the expectations of this deal.  Canceling the JCPOA would mitigate serious risks to the future national security of the USA and the international community, while “fixing” it allows Iran to clandestinely move forward with research and development on its nuclear weapons program with the extra funds it enjoys free of sanctions.  It is essential for President Trump to cancel this disastrous deal, effective immediately.

Influential voices in the White House, including secretary of state Rex Tillerson, defense secretary James Mattis, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, have recommended that President Trump “fix” the Iran nuclear deal rather than cancel it.  However, one option to “fix” the deal “is removing the requirement that Trump certify Iranian compliance” or, alternatively, “changing the law so certification occurs far less often.”  This is meant as a “face-saving fix” for President Trump, who “loathes having to give a thumbs-up to Iran every three months.”

Tillerson told the AP that “the president said he is either going to fix it or cancel it,” adding, “[W]e are in the process of trying to deliver on the promise he made to fix it.”  According to the AP, “while the talks involving the White House, the State Department[,] and Congress wouldn’t increase restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity, as Trump also wants, they could strengthen the way the U.S. enforces the agreement, perhaps persuading Trump that it’s worthwhile for the U.S. to stay in it.”  In effect, the touted “fix” is a misnomer that does nothing practical to change JCPOA substantively, but simply limits President Trump’s authority to review the deal and so far offers no specifics on how to strengthen enforcement.

In his speech on October 13, 2017, President Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, saying, “[I]n the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”  A true fix to the Iran nuclear deal cannot be achieved due to serious Iranian violations.  The Iranian regime is inherently and consistently untrustworthy, as proven from the history of work on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, blocking access to all military sites suspected of being part of the program, and far-reaching and enduring support of terrorism.

In addition to Iran’s support for terrorism and advancement of its ballistic missile program, much evidence exists that Iran is using the JCPOA as a cover for its nuclear weapons program rather than its supposed purpose as a hindrance to nuclear weapons capability.

The following constitute some of Iran’s nuclear related violations and probable violations.

Iranian military nuclear sites free of inspection

On June 24, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei stated that “no inspection of military sites can ever be done.”  Reaffirming this sentiment in August 2017, Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht stated that “Iran’s military sites are off limits,” noting that “all information about these sites [is] classified.  Iran will never allow such visits.”

Notwithstanding serious concerns about nuclear weapons work done at a number of Iranian military sites, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sees no need to visit Iranian military sites.  According to a report in Haaretz, Israeli officials stated that the IAEA was provided intelligence from a Western entity “regarding sites the Islamic republic did not report as part of its nuclear program and where, according to suspicions, forbidden nuclear military research and development activity was being conducted.”  The officials noted that close to none of the suspected nuclear sites have been visited by the IAEA.

In September 2017, the IAEA admitted that it doesn’t have oversight over Section T of the JCPOA.  Section T is titled “Activities Which Could Contribute to the Design and Development of a Nuclear Explosive Device.”  The IAEA therefore could not verify that Iran was “fully implementing the agreement.”

In addition, according to an October 2017 report released by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), there is a high degree of confidence that four new military sites “involved in various aspects of the nuclear weapons program” along with two headquarters are operating in Iran free of inspection.  These six sites operate in violation of the JCPOA and remain off-limits to IAEA inspection.

Illegal nuclear procurement

In 2016, Iran made at least 32 attempts to procure illegal nuclear technology in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, according to a German intelligence report.  According to the report, the attempted procurements “definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation program.”  This follows a previous report alleging Iran’s “clandestine” efforts to seek equipment and technology, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology” from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”  The report adds that “it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

The implementation of the JCPOA does not seem to have affected this pursuit.  According to Hamburg’s intelligence agency, “there is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic policies in 2016.”  And an intelligence report from Germany’s southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg notes that Iran sought “products and scientific knowhow for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well as missile technology.”

Iran never committed to the JCPOA

The Iranian government never accepted the same nuclear deal that the P5+1 accepted in the JCPOA.

Iran may already have nuclear weapons

In a 2015 article, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, an expert in national security matters, provides evidence from an IAEA report that strongly indicates that Iran already has nuclear weapons.

Iran procured equipment necessary for nuclear weapon development[;] … conducted hydrodynamic experiments that, according to the IAEA report[,] “are strong indicators of possible weapon development[;]” … cast and shaped uranium metal into hemispheres for a nuclear implosion device (a sophisticated nuclear weapon design)[;] … [and] verified the design of a nuclear weapon with non-fissile explosive testing in a containment chamber[.] … During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 16 months from the bomb[.] … Iran developed and tested exploding bridgewire detonators, necessary to an implosion nuclear weapon.  During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 6 months from the bomb[.] … Iran manufactured neutron initiators which are used to start a fission chain-reaction in a nuclear weapon[.] … Iran drafted 14 different workable designs for a nuclear weapon to fit inside the re-entry vehicle for the high-explosive [H.E.] warhead of Iran’s Shahab-3 medium-range missile[.] … Iran developed fusing systems for a nuclear missile warhead to perform a ground-burst or high-altitude burst above 3,000 meters.

The Iran nuclear deal cannot be rehabilitated.  The Iranian regime has repeatedly proven itself untrustworthy and consistently seeks to use subterfuge to bypass the nuclear deal while moving forward on its dangerous nuclear weapons program.  Illegal procurement of components for the nuclear program, nuclear sites that are off-limits, lack of commitment to the JCPOA, and substantial advancements in the nuclear program all demonstrate that the Iran nuclear deal provides sanctions relief and much needed capital and cover for Iran’s nuclear advances.

The so-called “fix” appears to be mainly an attempt to lull President Trump out of his inclination, and even authority, to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.  The deal must be scrapped – the sooner, the better.



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Groomed for Paradise or WWIII? The Race for the Red Sea


While many consider Jerusalem the center of the world, the Red Sea might easily claim the title for second place, as countries from around the world are stumbling over each other to gain (or regain) a foothold on the historic waterway.  As we look at recent developments, the question becomes, “are the super-rich going to have one hell of a time partying up and down the sun-baked Red Sea coastline and bathing in the turquoise sea, or will they instead have a front row seat to a treacherous waterway that seems to be bubbling and building up enough pressure to facilitate WWIII?”

Let us review the players in this play – a play whose ending has yet to be written.

The United States has increased its presence there after an onslaught of attacks on U.S. warships in October 2016.  Coming from the Yemeni coastline, the attacks on the warships as well as other shipping vessels in the Bab el-Mandeb strait (which connects the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea as part of the strategic Suez Canal shipping route) exposed a need for greater security in the area.

Earlier in 2016, both Saudi Arabia and China cut deals with the Republic of Djibouti to establish military bases in that region, Djibouti being strategic to controlling access to both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir recently met with Russian president Putin to discuss Russia setting up a military base on the Red Sea and supplying Sudan with military weapons.  Further, Bashir “appealed to Putin” for “protection from aggressive U.S. actions” and offered to make Sudan “Russia’s key to Africa” in developing ties on the continent.

Iran’s presence in the Red Sea country of Yemen has been a little harder to piece together – at least from the mangled weaponry they’re leaving behind.  In an unprecedented act, the Pentagon put parts of recovered weaponry on display last month as part of President Trump’s “harder line toward[] Tehran.”  Iran has apparently been supplying weapons to the Houthi militia in Yemen, violating U.N. resolutions.  (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were responsible for retrieving the pieces of weaponry, which included “an Iranian-made short-range ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Nov. 4 at King Khaled International Airport outside Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.”)

And although the words “Saudi Arabia” and “Crack Down” appeared in numerous headlines throughout 2017 (They reportedly “cracked down” on expats working jobs reserved for nationals, the crown prince’s perceived opponents, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated clerics, religious hate speech, and corruption) – it’s frolicking, sunshine, and tourist dollars the Saudis seek on the Red Sea.

Billionaire Richard Branson toured Saudi attractions last September and told the Saudis they could count on him for investment in the kingdom’s largest Red Sea tourism project to date.  Reportedly, “The Red Sea project consists of 100 miles of sandy coastline and a lagoon with 50 islands[.]”  Only time will tell if pandemonium or paradise will greet the moneyed traveler.

Perhaps the most important Red Sea development comes from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey – who’s staking his claim in the Red Sea tourism industry with a bloodless recapture of Suakin.  He wants to brush the dust off its crumbled relics and make it habitable once again as the old Umrah – or pilgrimage route – for Turkish citizens.  (Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca that does not coincide with the Hajj.)  Al-Monitor reports that Turks will be able to “fly to Sudan to visit historical sites and then go to Jeddah by boat, thus reanimating an Ottoman base and the ancient Umrah route.”

Of course, there’s the larger implication that Erdoğan is reclaiming Suakin, the old Ottoman outpost, as a military base…though Erdoğan initially denied those reports.

While many people in the world were feasting on holiday meals and unwrapping Christmas presents, President Erdoğan was giving a defiant speech at Khartoum University in Sudan, where he railed against Western countries turning Suakin into a “ghost island” and ranting that they had “razed it to the ground” because it’s “in their nature.”  His vow to rebuild it included a metaphor about “reincarnation” and an analogy to a shaved beard growing back more abundantly.  All in all, the Sudanese “gate to Africa” seemed to stir Erdoğan’s passions deeply.

According to some, the word Suakin – meaning “dwellers,” “stillness,” or “inhabited land” – refers to the islands’ spiritual inhabitants.  It is widely considered a haunted island, where any roaming cat might embody the jinn banished there by King Solomon centuries ago.

In reality, it was flesh-and-blood Sudanese slaves who often passed through Suakin, as they provided financial gain to the Ottomans and Egyptians.

Most notably, Americans first heard of Suakin in 1888, when glaring newspaper headlines read “Battle at Suakin / Arabs Utterly Routed by the Anglo-Egyptian Forces / The Insurgent Dervishes Retreat Leaving Over 400 Dead.”  This was a complicated tale involving a man who had proclaimed himself the Mahdi in Sudan – Muhammad Ahmad – in an open revolt against the Egyptians and a slave trader named Osman Digna, who eventually became his devout follower.  It’s a story best recounted by a British army officer who participated in the “Mahdi War” – Winston Churchill.  His work, The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan (1899), is online.

It’s a history that may seem lost to the rest of the world, but it certainly is not lost in the mind of the current Turkish president.  At the same time he was crafting the Sudanese Suakin deal, Erdoğan was sending more soldiers to his country’s military base in Qatar.  Not long before that, he’d orchestrated the opening of a $50-million military training base in Somalia.

Egyptian journalist Imadeddin Adib summed up the regions concerns best when he wrote:

Bashir [al-Assad] is playing with fire in return for dollars.  Sudan – with its Turkey madness, with Iranian plots and the Ethiopian scheme to deny water to Egypt, and Qatar’s financial gimmicks – is violating geographic and historic realities against Egypt.  Sudan is offering its ports and borders for dispatching of guns and terrorists to Egypt and serving the goals of the Qatar-Turkey alliance to restore the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

Meanwhile, Israel is accusing Turkey of “developing a military and intelligence infrastructure on the Red Sea” as it worries about a “Russian-Turkish-Iranian alliance.”

In other words, the situation is a mess.

The Red Sea is mentioned a few times in the Bible.  Both Jews and Christians believe that God literally parted the Red Sea to save the Israelites from mass slaughter by the Egyptian pharaoh and his army.  The book of Isaiah asks:

Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? (Isaiah 51:10)

Only the most hardened atheists could deny the irony that after thousands of years, the Red Sea still manages to hold the attention of the world.  The affairs of men and nations, even the climate, could have made its importance obsolete by now.  Instead, as in ancient times, there seems to be a race on to reach its trampled shores.  Whether there is any divine providence in that I leave up to the reader.

While many consider Jerusalem the center of the world, the Red Sea might easily claim the title for second place, as countries from around the world are stumbling over each other to gain (or regain) a foothold on the historic waterway.  As we look at recent developments, the question becomes, “are the super-rich going to have one hell of a time partying up and down the sun-baked Red Sea coastline and bathing in the turquoise sea, or will they instead have a front row seat to a treacherous waterway that seems to be bubbling and building up enough pressure to facilitate WWIII?”

Let us review the players in this play – a play whose ending has yet to be written.

The United States has increased its presence there after an onslaught of attacks on U.S. warships in October 2016.  Coming from the Yemeni coastline, the attacks on the warships as well as other shipping vessels in the Bab el-Mandeb strait (which connects the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea as part of the strategic Suez Canal shipping route) exposed a need for greater security in the area.

Earlier in 2016, both Saudi Arabia and China cut deals with the Republic of Djibouti to establish military bases in that region, Djibouti being strategic to controlling access to both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir recently met with Russian president Putin to discuss Russia setting up a military base on the Red Sea and supplying Sudan with military weapons.  Further, Bashir “appealed to Putin” for “protection from aggressive U.S. actions” and offered to make Sudan “Russia’s key to Africa” in developing ties on the continent.

Iran’s presence in the Red Sea country of Yemen has been a little harder to piece together – at least from the mangled weaponry they’re leaving behind.  In an unprecedented act, the Pentagon put parts of recovered weaponry on display last month as part of President Trump’s “harder line toward[] Tehran.”  Iran has apparently been supplying weapons to the Houthi militia in Yemen, violating U.N. resolutions.  (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were responsible for retrieving the pieces of weaponry, which included “an Iranian-made short-range ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Nov. 4 at King Khaled International Airport outside Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.”)

And although the words “Saudi Arabia” and “Crack Down” appeared in numerous headlines throughout 2017 (They reportedly “cracked down” on expats working jobs reserved for nationals, the crown prince’s perceived opponents, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated clerics, religious hate speech, and corruption) – it’s frolicking, sunshine, and tourist dollars the Saudis seek on the Red Sea.

Billionaire Richard Branson toured Saudi attractions last September and told the Saudis they could count on him for investment in the kingdom’s largest Red Sea tourism project to date.  Reportedly, “The Red Sea project consists of 100 miles of sandy coastline and a lagoon with 50 islands[.]”  Only time will tell if pandemonium or paradise will greet the moneyed traveler.

Perhaps the most important Red Sea development comes from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey – who’s staking his claim in the Red Sea tourism industry with a bloodless recapture of Suakin.  He wants to brush the dust off its crumbled relics and make it habitable once again as the old Umrah – or pilgrimage route – for Turkish citizens.  (Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca that does not coincide with the Hajj.)  Al-Monitor reports that Turks will be able to “fly to Sudan to visit historical sites and then go to Jeddah by boat, thus reanimating an Ottoman base and the ancient Umrah route.”

Of course, there’s the larger implication that Erdoğan is reclaiming Suakin, the old Ottoman outpost, as a military base…though Erdoğan initially denied those reports.

While many people in the world were feasting on holiday meals and unwrapping Christmas presents, President Erdoğan was giving a defiant speech at Khartoum University in Sudan, where he railed against Western countries turning Suakin into a “ghost island” and ranting that they had “razed it to the ground” because it’s “in their nature.”  His vow to rebuild it included a metaphor about “reincarnation” and an analogy to a shaved beard growing back more abundantly.  All in all, the Sudanese “gate to Africa” seemed to stir Erdoğan’s passions deeply.

According to some, the word Suakin – meaning “dwellers,” “stillness,” or “inhabited land” – refers to the islands’ spiritual inhabitants.  It is widely considered a haunted island, where any roaming cat might embody the jinn banished there by King Solomon centuries ago.

In reality, it was flesh-and-blood Sudanese slaves who often passed through Suakin, as they provided financial gain to the Ottomans and Egyptians.

Most notably, Americans first heard of Suakin in 1888, when glaring newspaper headlines read “Battle at Suakin / Arabs Utterly Routed by the Anglo-Egyptian Forces / The Insurgent Dervishes Retreat Leaving Over 400 Dead.”  This was a complicated tale involving a man who had proclaimed himself the Mahdi in Sudan – Muhammad Ahmad – in an open revolt against the Egyptians and a slave trader named Osman Digna, who eventually became his devout follower.  It’s a story best recounted by a British army officer who participated in the “Mahdi War” – Winston Churchill.  His work, The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan (1899), is online.

It’s a history that may seem lost to the rest of the world, but it certainly is not lost in the mind of the current Turkish president.  At the same time he was crafting the Sudanese Suakin deal, Erdoğan was sending more soldiers to his country’s military base in Qatar.  Not long before that, he’d orchestrated the opening of a $50-million military training base in Somalia.

Egyptian journalist Imadeddin Adib summed up the regions concerns best when he wrote:

Bashir [al-Assad] is playing with fire in return for dollars.  Sudan – with its Turkey madness, with Iranian plots and the Ethiopian scheme to deny water to Egypt, and Qatar’s financial gimmicks – is violating geographic and historic realities against Egypt.  Sudan is offering its ports and borders for dispatching of guns and terrorists to Egypt and serving the goals of the Qatar-Turkey alliance to restore the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

Meanwhile, Israel is accusing Turkey of “developing a military and intelligence infrastructure on the Red Sea” as it worries about a “Russian-Turkish-Iranian alliance.”

In other words, the situation is a mess.

The Red Sea is mentioned a few times in the Bible.  Both Jews and Christians believe that God literally parted the Red Sea to save the Israelites from mass slaughter by the Egyptian pharaoh and his army.  The book of Isaiah asks:

Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? (Isaiah 51:10)

Only the most hardened atheists could deny the irony that after thousands of years, the Red Sea still manages to hold the attention of the world.  The affairs of men and nations, even the climate, could have made its importance obsolete by now.  Instead, as in ancient times, there seems to be a race on to reach its trampled shores.  Whether there is any divine providence in that I leave up to the reader.



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Killing Trump Is Deep State's 'Plan C,' Warns Adviser Roger Stone


It’s a shocking claim made by a political insider: the Deep State is so opposed to draining the swamp that it will, if necessary, kill President Trump to prevent it.

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser and confidant, certainly knows his way around Washington, having worked as a senior campaign aide to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Senator Bob Dole as well as held many other political positions.  This proximity to the Deep State is what makes his claim, expressed in a recent wide-ranging interview with The New American magazine’s Alex Newman, that much more eyebrow-raising.  Stone outlined three plans the Deep State has for eliminating the president, as Newman relates:

The Deep State’s “Plan A,” Stone said, is the imploding “investigation” into alleged “Russian collusion” by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  If and when that fails, which Stone suggested was likely, the establishment would move to “Plan B.”  In essence, that plot would involve trying to get a majority of Trump’s [C]abinet to declare him unfit for office.  This would allow Trump to be removed under the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment – another scheme Stone said would probably flop.  Last but not least, though, if all else fails, Stone warned of “Plan C”: [k]illing the president.   

Interesting here is that Newman’s piece was published January 1, just before talk of President Trump’s alleged mental instability became the month’s big news story.  In fact, released just four days later was journalist Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, which makes the case that Trump is psychologically unfit to hold office.  Note, too, that Wolff has boasted that his book will bring down the president.

This bold claim will more likely just bring up book sales.  It’s not only that Wolff has said he can’t be sure everything in his book is true; that it contains factual errors; and that he is, as ex-Trump strategist Sebastian Gorka put it, “a partisan self-promoter with credibility issues[.]”  It’s that removing a president for inability to discharge his duties isn’t easy.

Per the 25th Amendment’s Section IV, Vice President Mike Pence would have to declare Trump unfit, 13 of the 24 Cabinet members would have to agree, and then two thirds of both houses of Congress would ultimately have to vote to uphold the decision. Unless Trump starts fainting right and left and throwing behind-the-scenes temper fits like Hillary Clinton, Stone is correct in saying this is unlikely.

This leaves the alleged “Plan C.” But is such a Deep State course of action really in the cards? Calling Trump “a shock to the system,” Stone explained his thinking to The New American: “It’s easy to forget that the shocking upset that Donald Trump pulled off has never been forgotten or acknowledged by the globalist cabal that has really infected both of our major parties.”  And with the economy flourishing and public confidence up, “it’s easy to misread the deep enmity and hatred that the globalists and the [i]nsiders have for this president, and to underestimate their resolve to remove him.”

“If all else fails,” writes Newman, “Stone believes [that] the Deep State would, in fact, attempt to murder the president.”

Stone emphasized that if “Mueller should fail in his illegitimate coup d’état to take down the president,” he thinks “you will see an uptick in the ‘Trump-is-crazy’ talk,” reported Newman.  Again, we’ve already witnessed this.

Newman further relates:

Stone warned that even some of Trump’s most senior officials would throw him under the bus if given the opportunity.  “I can tell you, there are members of Trump’s [C]abinet that would stick a dagger in his heart,[“] he warned, echoing other warnings that he has offered publicly in recent weeks.  [“]There are globalist insiders who, for one reason or another[,] got into this [C]abinet, who do not share the president’s vision of reform, and are not loyal to him as I am and so many Americans are.”

Explaining the presence of these dangerous establishment figures within the administration, Stone said, “Unfortunately, I think that the president misunderstood early in the process that personnel is policy.”  Stone also believes that Trump’s lawyers are doing him a disservice, saying they’re currently “walking him into the blades.”

Stone, a colorful political operative known among other things as a “dirty trickster,” further explained the Deep State’s enmity for Trump.  As Newman reports, “‘Trump is a real American, a patriot, he’s a real believer in Americana, and also in American superiority – American exceptionalism, if you will – and a believer in American sovereignty,’ Stone said.  ‘He’s always been deeply suspicious of the international types that he was happy to sell condominiums to at inflated prices, but he never shared their politics.'”  Stone also emphasized that, unbeknownst to most, Trump comes from “a long line of anti-communists.”

Moreover, because of Trump’s wealth, Stone says he’s “unbought and unbossed[.] … Anybody who has tried to boss Donald Trump around knows that that won’t work.  He’s very much his own man.”

So a patriot and a believer in Americana, sovereignty, and American exceptionalism who can’t be bought or bullied – that certainly is the Deep State’s worst nightmare.  The question is: Would it resort to murder to end it?  Is Stone’s warning risible or realistic?

All I can say is that it’s a striking claim, and it certainly warrants more media exposure than a questionable book written by an attention-seeking journalist

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter, or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

It’s a shocking claim made by a political insider: the Deep State is so opposed to draining the swamp that it will, if necessary, kill President Trump to prevent it.

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser and confidant, certainly knows his way around Washington, having worked as a senior campaign aide to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Senator Bob Dole as well as held many other political positions.  This proximity to the Deep State is what makes his claim, expressed in a recent wide-ranging interview with The New American magazine’s Alex Newman, that much more eyebrow-raising.  Stone outlined three plans the Deep State has for eliminating the president, as Newman relates:

The Deep State’s “Plan A,” Stone said, is the imploding “investigation” into alleged “Russian collusion” by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  If and when that fails, which Stone suggested was likely, the establishment would move to “Plan B.”  In essence, that plot would involve trying to get a majority of Trump’s [C]abinet to declare him unfit for office.  This would allow Trump to be removed under the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment – another scheme Stone said would probably flop.  Last but not least, though, if all else fails, Stone warned of “Plan C”: [k]illing the president.   

Interesting here is that Newman’s piece was published January 1, just before talk of President Trump’s alleged mental instability became the month’s big news story.  In fact, released just four days later was journalist Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, which makes the case that Trump is psychologically unfit to hold office.  Note, too, that Wolff has boasted that his book will bring down the president.

This bold claim will more likely just bring up book sales.  It’s not only that Wolff has said he can’t be sure everything in his book is true; that it contains factual errors; and that he is, as ex-Trump strategist Sebastian Gorka put it, “a partisan self-promoter with credibility issues[.]”  It’s that removing a president for inability to discharge his duties isn’t easy.

Per the 25th Amendment’s Section IV, Vice President Mike Pence would have to declare Trump unfit, 13 of the 24 Cabinet members would have to agree, and then two thirds of both houses of Congress would ultimately have to vote to uphold the decision. Unless Trump starts fainting right and left and throwing behind-the-scenes temper fits like Hillary Clinton, Stone is correct in saying this is unlikely.

This leaves the alleged “Plan C.” But is such a Deep State course of action really in the cards? Calling Trump “a shock to the system,” Stone explained his thinking to The New American: “It’s easy to forget that the shocking upset that Donald Trump pulled off has never been forgotten or acknowledged by the globalist cabal that has really infected both of our major parties.”  And with the economy flourishing and public confidence up, “it’s easy to misread the deep enmity and hatred that the globalists and the [i]nsiders have for this president, and to underestimate their resolve to remove him.”

“If all else fails,” writes Newman, “Stone believes [that] the Deep State would, in fact, attempt to murder the president.”

Stone emphasized that if “Mueller should fail in his illegitimate coup d’état to take down the president,” he thinks “you will see an uptick in the ‘Trump-is-crazy’ talk,” reported Newman.  Again, we’ve already witnessed this.

Newman further relates:

Stone warned that even some of Trump’s most senior officials would throw him under the bus if given the opportunity.  “I can tell you, there are members of Trump’s [C]abinet that would stick a dagger in his heart,[“] he warned, echoing other warnings that he has offered publicly in recent weeks.  [“]There are globalist insiders who, for one reason or another[,] got into this [C]abinet, who do not share the president’s vision of reform, and are not loyal to him as I am and so many Americans are.”

Explaining the presence of these dangerous establishment figures within the administration, Stone said, “Unfortunately, I think that the president misunderstood early in the process that personnel is policy.”  Stone also believes that Trump’s lawyers are doing him a disservice, saying they’re currently “walking him into the blades.”

Stone, a colorful political operative known among other things as a “dirty trickster,” further explained the Deep State’s enmity for Trump.  As Newman reports, “‘Trump is a real American, a patriot, he’s a real believer in Americana, and also in American superiority – American exceptionalism, if you will – and a believer in American sovereignty,’ Stone said.  ‘He’s always been deeply suspicious of the international types that he was happy to sell condominiums to at inflated prices, but he never shared their politics.'”  Stone also emphasized that, unbeknownst to most, Trump comes from “a long line of anti-communists.”

Moreover, because of Trump’s wealth, Stone says he’s “unbought and unbossed[.] … Anybody who has tried to boss Donald Trump around knows that that won’t work.  He’s very much his own man.”

So a patriot and a believer in Americana, sovereignty, and American exceptionalism who can’t be bought or bullied – that certainly is the Deep State’s worst nightmare.  The question is: Would it resort to murder to end it?  Is Stone’s warning risible or realistic?

All I can say is that it’s a striking claim, and it certainly warrants more media exposure than a questionable book written by an attention-seeking journalist

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter, or log on to SelwynDuke.com.



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How to Deceive with Statistics: Distortions Due to Diminutive Denominators


There are several indices being cited these days that get people’s attention because of the big numbers displayed. But the reality is that those particular big numbers come entirely from having very small denominators when calculating a ratio. Three prominent examples of this mathematical artifact are the feedback effect in global warming models, the “Global Warming Potential,” and the “Happy Planet Index.” Each of these is afflicted by the enormous distortion that results when a denominator is small.           

 The Happy Planet Index

The “Happy Planet Index” is the easiest to explain. It is used to compare different countries and is formed by the combination of 

(a x b x c) / d. 

In this equation,

a = well-being – “how satisfied the residents of each country feel with life overall” (based on a Gallup poll)

b = life expectancy

c = inequalities of outcomes (“the inequalities between people within a country in terms of how long they live, and how happy they feel, based on the distribution in each country’s life expectancy and well-being data”) 

d =  ecological footprint (“the average impact that each resident of a country places on the environment, based on data prepared by the Global Footprint Network”)

How do the assorted countries come out? Using this index, Costa Rica with a score of 44.7 is number 1; Mexico with a score of 40.7 is number 2; Bangladesh with a score of 38.4 is number 8; Venezuela with a score of 33.6 is 29; and the USA with a score of 20.7 is number 108 – out of 140 countries considered.

Beyond such obvious questions as “Why are so many people from Mexico coming to the USA while almost none are going the other way?,” it is instructive to look at the role of the denominator (factor d) in arriving at those numerical index values.

Any country with a very low level of economic activity will have a low value of “ecological footprint.” Uninhabited jungle or barren desert scores very low in that category. With a very small number for factor (d), it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference what the numbers for (a), (b), and (c) are; the tiny denominator guarantees that the quotient will be large. Hence the large index reported for some truly squalid places.

The underlying reason why the “Happy Planet Index” is so misleading is because it includes division by a number that for some countries gets pretty close to zero.

Global Warming Potential

The second example of this effect is the parameter “Global Warming Potential,” which is used to compare the relative strength of assorted greenhouse gases. The misuse of numbers here has led to all sorts of dreadful predictions about the need to do away with trace gases like methane (CH4), N2O, and others.

“Global Warming Potential” was first introduced in the IPCC’s second assessment report and later formalized by the IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report of 2007 (AR-4). It is described in section 2.10.2 of the text by Working Group 1. To grasp what it means, it is first necessary to understand how molecules absorb and re-emit radiation.

Every gas absorbs radiation in certain spectral bands. The more of a gas is present, the more it absorbs. Nitrogen (N2), 77% of the atmosphere, absorbs in the near-UV part of the spectrum, but not in the visible or infrared range. Water vapor (H2O) is a sufficiently strong absorber in the infrared that it causes the greenhouse effect and warms the Earth by over 30˚C, making our planet much more habitable. In places where little water vapor is present, there is less absorption, less greenhouse effect, and it soon gets cold (think of nighttime in the desert).

Once a molecule absorbs a photon, it gains energy and goes into an excited state. Until that energy is lost (via re-radiation or collisions), that molecule won’t absorb another photon. A consequence of this is that the total absorption by any gas gradually saturates as the amount of that gas increases. A tiny amount of a gas absorbs very effectively, but if the amount is doubled, the total absorption will be less than twice as much as at first and similarly if doubled again and again. We say the absorption has logarithmic dependence on the concentration of the particular gas. The curve of how total absorption falls off varies according to the exponential function, exp (-X/A), where X is the amount of a gas present (typically expressed in parts per million, ppm), and A is a constant related to the physics of the molecule. Each gas will have a different value, denoted B, C, D, etc. Getting these numbers within ±15% is considered pretty good.

There is so much water vapor in the atmosphere (variable, above 10,000 ppm, or 1% in concentration) that its absorption is completely saturated, so there’s not much to discuss. By contrast, the gas CO2 is a steady value of about 400 ppm, and its absorption is about 98% saturated. That coincides with the coefficient A being roughly equivalent to 100 ppm.

This excursion into the physics of absorption pays off when we look at the mathematics that goes into calculating the “Global Warming Potential” (GWP) of a trace gas. GWP is defined in terms of the ratio of the slopes of the absorption curves for two gases: specifically, the slope for the gas of interest divided by the slope for carbon dioxide. The slope of any curve is the first derivative of that curve. Economists speak of the “marginal” change in a function. For a change of 1 ppm in the concentration, what is the change in the radiative efficiency?

At this point, it is crucial to observe that every other gas is compared to CO2 to determine its GWP value. In other words, whatever GWP value is determined for CO2, that value is reset equal to 1 so that the calculation of GWP for a gas produces a number compared to CO2. The slope of the absorption curve for CO2 becomes the denominator of the calculation to find the GWP of every other gas.

Now let’s calculate that denominator. When the absorption function is exp (-X/A), it is a mathematical fact that the first derivative = [-1/A][exp(-X/A)]. In the case of CO2 concentration being 400 ppm, when A = 100 ppm, that slope is [-1/100][exp (-4)] = – 0.000183. That is one mighty flat curve, with an extremely gentle slope that is slightly negative.

Next, examine the gas that’s to be compared with CO2, and calculate the numerator.

It bears mentioning that the calculation of GWP also contains a factor related to the atmospheric lifetime of each gas; that is discussed in the appendix. Here we’ll concentrate on the change in absorption due to a small change in concentration. The slope of the absorption curve will be comparatively steep, because that molecule is at low concentration, able to catch all the photons that come its way.

To be numerically specific, consider methane (CH4), with an atmospheric concentration of about Y = 1.7 ppm, or N2O, at concentration Z = 0.3 ppm. Perhaps their numerical coefficients are B ~ 50 or C ~ 150; they won’t be terribly far from the value of A for CO2. Taking the first derivative gives [-1/B][exp{-Y/B)]. Look at this closely: with Y or Z so close to zero, the exponential factor will be approximately 1, so the derivative is just 1/B (or 1/C, etc.). Maybe that number is 1/50 or 1/150 – but it won’t be as small as 0.000183, the CO2 slope that appears in the denominator.

In fact, the denominator (the slope of the CO2 curve as it nears saturation) is guaranteed to be a factor of about [exp (-4)] smaller than the numerator 7 – for the very simple reason that there is ~ 400 times as much CO2 present, and its job of absorbing photons is nearly all done.

When a normal-sized numerator is divided by a tiny denominator, the quotient blows up. The GWP for assorted gases come out to very large numbers, like 25 for CH4 and 300 for N2O. The atmospheric lifetime factor swings some of these numbers around still farther: some of the hydrofluorocarbons (trade name Freon) have gigantic GWPs. HFC-134a, used in most auto air conditioners, winds up with GWP above 1,300. The IPCC suggests an error bracket of ±35% on these estimates. However, the reality is that every one of the GWPs calculated is enormously inflated due to division by the extremely small denominator associated with the slope of the CO2 absorption curve.

The calculation of GWP is not so much a warning about other gases, but rather an indictment of CO2, which (at 400 ppm) would not change its absorption perceptibly if CO2 concentration increased or decreased by 1 ppm.

The Feedback Effect of Global Warming

The third example comes from the estimates of the “feedback effect” in computational models of global warming. The term “Climate Sensitivity” expresses how much the temperature will rise if the greenhouse gas CO2 doubles in concentration. A relevant parameter in the calculation is “radiative forcing,” which can be treated either with or without feedback effects associated with water vapor in the atmosphere. Setting aside a lot of details, the “no feedback” case involves a factor l that characterizes the strength of the warming effect of CO2. But with feedback, that factor changes to [ l /(1 – bl)], where b is the sum of assorted feedback terms, such as reflection of radiation from clouds and other physical mechanisms. Each of those is assigned a numerical quantity. The value of l tends to be around 0.3. The collected sum of the feedback terms is widely variable and hotly debated, but in the computational models used by the IPCC in prior years, the value of b tended to be about 2.8.

Notice that as l is at 1/3 and b is at 3, the denominator is at zero. For the particular case of l = 0.3 and b = 2.8, the denominator is 0.16, and the “feedback factor” becomes 6.25. It was that small denominator and consequent exaggerated feedback factor that increased the estimate of “Climate Sensitivity” from under 1˚C in the no-feedback case to alarmingly large estimates of temperature change. Some newspapers spoke of “11˚F increases in global temperatures.” Nobody paid attention to the numerical details.

In more recent years, the study of various positive and negative contributions to feedback improved, and the value of the sum b dropped to about 1, reducing the feedback factor to about 1.4. The value of the “Climate Sensitivity” estimated 30 years ago in the “Charney Report” was 3˚C ± 1.5˚C. Today, the IPCC gingerly speaks of projected Climate Sensitivity being “near the lower end of the range.” That sobering revision can be traced to the change from a tiny denominator to a normal denominator.

The take-home lesson in all of this is to beware of tiny denominators. Any numerical factor that is cranked out is increasingly meaningless as the denominator shrinks.

When some parameter (such as “Climate Sensitivity” or “Global Warming Potential” or “Happy Planet Index”) has built into it a small denominator, don’t believe it. Such parameters have no meaning or purpose other than generating alarm and headlines.

We all learned in elementary school that “you can’t divide by zero.” But what happens when you divide by a number very close to zero, a small fraction? The quotient shoots way up to a very large value.

Pick any number. If you divide 27 by 1, you get 27. If you divide 27 by 0.1, you get 270. Divide 27 by 0.001, and you get 27,000. And so on. Any such division exercise blows up to a huge result as the denominator gets closer and closer to zero. 

There are several indices being cited these days that get people’s attention because of the big numbers displayed. But the reality is that those particular big numbers come entirely from having very small denominators when calculating a ratio. Three prominent examples of this mathematical artifact are the feedback effect in global warming models, the “Global Warming Potential,” and the “Happy Planet Index.” Each of these is afflicted by the enormous distortion that results when a denominator is small.           

 The Happy Planet Index

The “Happy Planet Index” is the easiest to explain. It is used to compare different countries and is formed by the combination of 

(a x b x c) / d. 

In this equation,

a = well-being – “how satisfied the residents of each country feel with life overall” (based on a Gallup poll)

b = life expectancy

c = inequalities of outcomes (“the inequalities between people within a country in terms of how long they live, and how happy they feel, based on the distribution in each country’s life expectancy and well-being data”) 

d =  ecological footprint (“the average impact that each resident of a country places on the environment, based on data prepared by the Global Footprint Network”)

How do the assorted countries come out? Using this index, Costa Rica with a score of 44.7 is number 1; Mexico with a score of 40.7 is number 2; Bangladesh with a score of 38.4 is number 8; Venezuela with a score of 33.6 is 29; and the USA with a score of 20.7 is number 108 – out of 140 countries considered.

Beyond such obvious questions as “Why are so many people from Mexico coming to the USA while almost none are going the other way?,” it is instructive to look at the role of the denominator (factor d) in arriving at those numerical index values.

Any country with a very low level of economic activity will have a low value of “ecological footprint.” Uninhabited jungle or barren desert scores very low in that category. With a very small number for factor (d), it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference what the numbers for (a), (b), and (c) are; the tiny denominator guarantees that the quotient will be large. Hence the large index reported for some truly squalid places.

The underlying reason why the “Happy Planet Index” is so misleading is because it includes division by a number that for some countries gets pretty close to zero.

Global Warming Potential

The second example of this effect is the parameter “Global Warming Potential,” which is used to compare the relative strength of assorted greenhouse gases. The misuse of numbers here has led to all sorts of dreadful predictions about the need to do away with trace gases like methane (CH4), N2O, and others.

“Global Warming Potential” was first introduced in the IPCC’s second assessment report and later formalized by the IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report of 2007 (AR-4). It is described in section 2.10.2 of the text by Working Group 1. To grasp what it means, it is first necessary to understand how molecules absorb and re-emit radiation.

Every gas absorbs radiation in certain spectral bands. The more of a gas is present, the more it absorbs. Nitrogen (N2), 77% of the atmosphere, absorbs in the near-UV part of the spectrum, but not in the visible or infrared range. Water vapor (H2O) is a sufficiently strong absorber in the infrared that it causes the greenhouse effect and warms the Earth by over 30˚C, making our planet much more habitable. In places where little water vapor is present, there is less absorption, less greenhouse effect, and it soon gets cold (think of nighttime in the desert).

Once a molecule absorbs a photon, it gains energy and goes into an excited state. Until that energy is lost (via re-radiation or collisions), that molecule won’t absorb another photon. A consequence of this is that the total absorption by any gas gradually saturates as the amount of that gas increases. A tiny amount of a gas absorbs very effectively, but if the amount is doubled, the total absorption will be less than twice as much as at first and similarly if doubled again and again. We say the absorption has logarithmic dependence on the concentration of the particular gas. The curve of how total absorption falls off varies according to the exponential function, exp (-X/A), where X is the amount of a gas present (typically expressed in parts per million, ppm), and A is a constant related to the physics of the molecule. Each gas will have a different value, denoted B, C, D, etc. Getting these numbers within ±15% is considered pretty good.

There is so much water vapor in the atmosphere (variable, above 10,000 ppm, or 1% in concentration) that its absorption is completely saturated, so there’s not much to discuss. By contrast, the gas CO2 is a steady value of about 400 ppm, and its absorption is about 98% saturated. That coincides with the coefficient A being roughly equivalent to 100 ppm.

This excursion into the physics of absorption pays off when we look at the mathematics that goes into calculating the “Global Warming Potential” (GWP) of a trace gas. GWP is defined in terms of the ratio of the slopes of the absorption curves for two gases: specifically, the slope for the gas of interest divided by the slope for carbon dioxide. The slope of any curve is the first derivative of that curve. Economists speak of the “marginal” change in a function. For a change of 1 ppm in the concentration, what is the change in the radiative efficiency?

At this point, it is crucial to observe that every other gas is compared to CO2 to determine its GWP value. In other words, whatever GWP value is determined for CO2, that value is reset equal to 1 so that the calculation of GWP for a gas produces a number compared to CO2. The slope of the absorption curve for CO2 becomes the denominator of the calculation to find the GWP of every other gas.

Now let’s calculate that denominator. When the absorption function is exp (-X/A), it is a mathematical fact that the first derivative = [-1/A][exp(-X/A)]. In the case of CO2 concentration being 400 ppm, when A = 100 ppm, that slope is [-1/100][exp (-4)] = – 0.000183. That is one mighty flat curve, with an extremely gentle slope that is slightly negative.

Next, examine the gas that’s to be compared with CO2, and calculate the numerator.

It bears mentioning that the calculation of GWP also contains a factor related to the atmospheric lifetime of each gas; that is discussed in the appendix. Here we’ll concentrate on the change in absorption due to a small change in concentration. The slope of the absorption curve will be comparatively steep, because that molecule is at low concentration, able to catch all the photons that come its way.

To be numerically specific, consider methane (CH4), with an atmospheric concentration of about Y = 1.7 ppm, or N2O, at concentration Z = 0.3 ppm. Perhaps their numerical coefficients are B ~ 50 or C ~ 150; they won’t be terribly far from the value of A for CO2. Taking the first derivative gives [-1/B][exp{-Y/B)]. Look at this closely: with Y or Z so close to zero, the exponential factor will be approximately 1, so the derivative is just 1/B (or 1/C, etc.). Maybe that number is 1/50 or 1/150 – but it won’t be as small as 0.000183, the CO2 slope that appears in the denominator.

In fact, the denominator (the slope of the CO2 curve as it nears saturation) is guaranteed to be a factor of about [exp (-4)] smaller than the numerator 7 – for the very simple reason that there is ~ 400 times as much CO2 present, and its job of absorbing photons is nearly all done.

When a normal-sized numerator is divided by a tiny denominator, the quotient blows up. The GWP for assorted gases come out to very large numbers, like 25 for CH4 and 300 for N2O. The atmospheric lifetime factor swings some of these numbers around still farther: some of the hydrofluorocarbons (trade name Freon) have gigantic GWPs. HFC-134a, used in most auto air conditioners, winds up with GWP above 1,300. The IPCC suggests an error bracket of ±35% on these estimates. However, the reality is that every one of the GWPs calculated is enormously inflated due to division by the extremely small denominator associated with the slope of the CO2 absorption curve.

The calculation of GWP is not so much a warning about other gases, but rather an indictment of CO2, which (at 400 ppm) would not change its absorption perceptibly if CO2 concentration increased or decreased by 1 ppm.

The Feedback Effect of Global Warming

The third example comes from the estimates of the “feedback effect” in computational models of global warming. The term “Climate Sensitivity” expresses how much the temperature will rise if the greenhouse gas CO2 doubles in concentration. A relevant parameter in the calculation is “radiative forcing,” which can be treated either with or without feedback effects associated with water vapor in the atmosphere. Setting aside a lot of details, the “no feedback” case involves a factor l that characterizes the strength of the warming effect of CO2. But with feedback, that factor changes to [ l /(1 – bl)], where b is the sum of assorted feedback terms, such as reflection of radiation from clouds and other physical mechanisms. Each of those is assigned a numerical quantity. The value of l tends to be around 0.3. The collected sum of the feedback terms is widely variable and hotly debated, but in the computational models used by the IPCC in prior years, the value of b tended to be about 2.8.

Notice that as l is at 1/3 and b is at 3, the denominator is at zero. For the particular case of l = 0.3 and b = 2.8, the denominator is 0.16, and the “feedback factor” becomes 6.25. It was that small denominator and consequent exaggerated feedback factor that increased the estimate of “Climate Sensitivity” from under 1˚C in the no-feedback case to alarmingly large estimates of temperature change. Some newspapers spoke of “11˚F increases in global temperatures.” Nobody paid attention to the numerical details.

In more recent years, the study of various positive and negative contributions to feedback improved, and the value of the sum b dropped to about 1, reducing the feedback factor to about 1.4. The value of the “Climate Sensitivity” estimated 30 years ago in the “Charney Report” was 3˚C ± 1.5˚C. Today, the IPCC gingerly speaks of projected Climate Sensitivity being “near the lower end of the range.” That sobering revision can be traced to the change from a tiny denominator to a normal denominator.

The take-home lesson in all of this is to beware of tiny denominators. Any numerical factor that is cranked out is increasingly meaningless as the denominator shrinks.

When some parameter (such as “Climate Sensitivity” or “Global Warming Potential” or “Happy Planet Index”) has built into it a small denominator, don’t believe it. Such parameters have no meaning or purpose other than generating alarm and headlines.



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