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Apr 13 2012

I avoid chemtrails

So many kooks, so little time. I’m glad some else is covering the chemtrails beat — that combination of quackery, pseudoscience, gullibility, and conspiracy theorist is exhausting.

59 comments

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  1. 1
    anuran

    Chemtrails – the most tedious, boring conspiracy theory. There’s Icke and his vampire lizard queens. If you’re from the South you can get abducted and anal-probed by aliens. Even the herp-a-derps can manage Birtherism.

    But if you’re a sad sack you end up obsessing over chemtrails

  2. 2
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

    Golly gee, think of the rainbows! Don’t those chem trails cause double rainbows?
    Who was it proposed turning the 911 truthers and the chem trail kooks at each other for a kook fight? Now there’s a good idea!

  3. 3
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Chemtrails ?

    That’s still around ?

    I thought they were busy obsessing about how water fluoridation and vaccines are government plots to make us dumb/obedient/godless liberals or something these days.

  4. 4
    Malkyrian

    Who was it proposed turning the 911 truthers and the chem trail kooks at each other for a kook fight? Now there’s a good idea!

    That would be xkcd.

  5. 5
    piranhaintheguppytank

    I believe some skeptic once asked: if there really were a conspiracy to release strange chemicals into the atmosphere then why wouldn’t they do it at night when no one could see it?

  6. 6
    Sili

    If there are no chemtrails, then how do you explain rainbows?!

    Checkmate!, Atheists!

  7. 7
    reasonbeing

    I haven’t heard about chemtrails for a while….are those people seriously still banging away at that nonsense? It really is stunning to see what the credulous will believe. I might start a second blog and just make shit up. I bet I get more followers than I expect…so sad.

  8. 8
    vernonbalbert

    If you haven’t heard of chemtrails in a while, you haven’t been listening to Coast to Coast AM, the world magnet of nuttery. It’s one of my guilty secrets.

  9. 9
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    I wasn’t even aware of this conspiracy theory. Then again, I’m not high on recreational pharmaceuticals either.

  10. 10
    'Tis Himself

    Coast to Coast AM, the world magnet of nuttery

    The home of pseudoscience, the occult, and ufology.

  11. 11
    Ace of Sevens

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory

    Look at the Wikipedia comments section. A few people are quite upset that Wikipedia’s ban on original research and reliable source requirement are hiding The Truth.

  12. 12
    Trebuchet

    Bookmarked, just for the LOL’s when the true believers start showing up.

  13. 13
    littlejohn

    “Exhausting.” You made a funny.

  14. 14
    feralboy12

    A few people are quite upset that Wikipedia’s ban on original research and reliable source requirement are hiding The Truth.

    Resulting in a situation where if you want the real truth behind this top-secret conspiracy, you have to google it.

  15. 15
    Amphiox

    Chemtrails ?

    That’s still around ?

    Of course they’re still around.

    They’re nonbiodegradable!

  16. 16
    CaptTu

    I’ve made the mistake of trying to engage a few chem-trail whack jobs a time or two… it boggles my mind how wrong a human being can be in understanding the basics of contrails, avation, and just basic physics.

    The latest seems to be folks clearing out chem-trails with a spray bottle filled with vinegar… from their yard. YouTube for details.

    The stupid it burns.

  17. 17
    timberwoof

    Vinegar as an antidote to chemtrails is a conspiracy by the Big Vinegar Lobby to get more people to buy the stuff. What’s not clear is whether to use Red Wine Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar or the cheap white stuff from Safeway.

  18. 18
    sc_03f46cfd654710da425f69d711107372

    Mick West has the subject pretty well covered at http://contrailscience.com/ and http://metabunk.org/

  19. 19
    piranhaintheguppytank

    Who’s the brain-trust responsible for this alleged “conspiracy”? Let’s see, the plan involves releasing huge quantities of weird chemicals into the atmosphere at high altitudes, in broad daylight, and over populated areas where it would be visible to hundreds of thousands of witnesses (conservatively speaking).

    If the chemtrail conspirators had been in charge of the Manhattan Project, they probably would’ve assembled the first atomic bomb in the lobby of Grand Central Station.

  20. 20
    robro

    piranhaintheguppytank

    why wouldn’t they do it at night when no one could see it?

    Oh, that’s easy. Sun light. The chemicals need sunlight to start reactions so they can do their dirty deed.

    I had an awkward moment with a colleague over chemtrails once. She started talking about all the criss-crossing vapor trails, government conspiracies, etc, etc. I had recently read an article debunking the whole business (Shermer in his SciAm column perhaps), and thinking I was talking to a rational person, I pointed out some of the counter arguments. Whoa! It was quit a lesson in what can happen when you step on somebody’s belief system.

  21. 21
    piranhaintheguppytank

    PZ Myers: I’m glad some else is covering the chemtrails beat — that combination of quackery, pseudoscience, gullibility, and conspiracy theorist is exhausting.

    That’s understandable. PZ spends enough time dealing with that other combination of quackery, pseudoscience, gullibility, and conspiracy theorizing: Creationism.

  22. 22
    a3kr0n

    Sili
    13 April 2012 at 6:31 pm

    If there are no chemtrails, then how do you explain rainbows?!

    They’re Unicorn farts.

  23. 23
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

    Malkyrian@4,

    That’s IT!

    Thanks, just couldn’t remember or find it by searching (my google-fu is weak).

  24. 24
    jmckaskle

    Chemtrails. Pft. Big deal. Squirt some vinegar and they’re gone.

  25. 25
    Glen Davidson

    I avoid chemtrails too.

    You just end up at an ant hill when you follow them. Not bad when you’re an aardvark, not good when you don’t share the tastes of same.

    Glen Davidson

  26. 26
    DLC

    I recall reading an article about chemtrails back in 98 or so, and seeing someone say that they saw a chemtrail, took pictures of it, and then swabbed the side of a building they believe was under it. They then sent the swab for chemical testing, and Gasp! they found bird droppings (ammonium oxalate, nitrates and salts)
    and aluminum particles. The article showed what purported to be a picture of the home. it had aluminum siding. so.. they found bird shit and aluminum particles, on the side of a building in an open area with aluminum siding. When I stopped laughing I closed the page.

  27. 27
    andyo

    If there are no chemtrails, then how do you explain rainbows?!

    From the thing that’s oozing out of our ground.

  28. 28
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    As if their yards didn’t get enough acid rain! Acidifying the soil makes it harder for plants to pull in nutrients. If their plants die, will they blame Strange Chemicals?*

    *rock band name?

  29. 29
    hypatiasdaughter

    Did you know that the gubmint is also using chemtrails to hide Planet X? They cover the area in the sky where Planet X is so we can’t see it.
    And I know that it’s true because I saw it on YouTube.

  30. 30
    ikesolem

    Your best grand mal conspiracy theories include some factual element, and this one is no different. In this case, aerosol dispersal studies were done by the U.S. government in the 1950s and 1960s for reasons ranging from biological warfare testing to weather control, for example:

    During the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. Army conducted atmospheric dispersion tests in many American cities using fluorescent particles of zinc cadmium sulfide (ZnCdS) to develop and verify meteorological models to estimate the dispersal of aerosols.

    Yes, this is from a reliable source: National Academy Press 1997

    In other tests, supposedly non-pathogenic bacteria were sprayed over large regions (Serratia marcescens) as a model for biological weapons attacks by either side in the Cold War, and were also released on New York subways and in other cities. (Serratia was chosen because of its characteristic red growth, making it easy to identify on exposed culture plates – and yes, the U.S. had a large and active offensive biological warfare program from 1943 – 1969, with lots of well-documented field trials and tests of both harmless and pathogenic bacteria and viruses).

    That’s about the extent of it. Just as sightings of experimental spy planes formed the basis of the UFO religion, there is some basis, but the disconnect from reality is very large.

    Nevertheless, the big organized religions are still the ultimate conspiracy theories – the Supreme Being’s Black Helicopter can go anywhere, and the invisible spy cameras are everywhere.

  31. 31
    jmckaskle

    @30

    NASA launched five rockets in Virginia on May 27th releasing chemicals to study the high altitude jet stream

    Here is the chemtrail conspiracy take on it.

  32. 32
    Khantron, the alien that only loves

    I second the recommendation of contrailscience.com. Mick West/Uncinus does his research and has an enormous amount of patience.

  33. 33
    Khantron, the alien that only loves

    I’d also like to say that chemtrails are one of a few conspiracy theories I’ve heard real life people espouse.

  34. 34
    Christoph Burschka

    They then sent the swab for chemical testing, and Gasp! they found bird droppings (ammonium oxalate, nitrates and salts)
    and aluminum particles. The article showed what purported to be a picture of the home. it had aluminum siding. so.. they found bird shit and aluminum particles, on the side of a building in an open area with aluminum siding.

    OMG the birds are in on it!!

  35. 35
    Grumps

    ..and they’re putting dihydro monoxide into our food.

    http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

    Oh, wait… I’ve just been told by a homeopath friend of mine that it can actually be quite good for us… relax folks.

  36. 36
    Grumps

    real life people

    ..see that’s another conspiracy right there…. it’s the Matrix, I tell ya!

  37. 37
    kevinhoulihan

    Mick West has the subject pretty well covered at http://contrailscience.com/ and http://metabunkorg/

    Two thumbs up for this guy. Most amusing are the hundred of comments from hordes of enraged chemtrailers, and how he calmly refutes every single point or highlights their absolute absurdity. Very satisfying to watch.

  38. 38
    petzl20

    I only heard about chemtrails 2-3 years ago, waaay after I heard about 9-11 truthers, and was picking my jaw off the ground at the truthers’ abject idiocy. But apparently chemtrail conspiracies existed before 9-11 and they were simply below the radar(?)

  39. 39
    robinjohnson

    I used to be on the fringes of a local lefty-hippy crowd that was infested with this kind of crankery. It was as if they had all opened their eyes just long enough to realise that the powerful are constantly lying to them, and then taken that notion as far as they could until they lived in a bizarre fantasy world. Chemtrails were one of their favourite subjects. To show their scientific literacy and reliability, a bunch of them once came back to the flat claiming to have found the end of a rainbow in the park and been dancing round it. As far as I could tell, they weren’t even on drugs that day.

  40. 40
    rogerfirth

    I haven’t heard about chemtrails for a while….are those people seriously still banging away at that nonsense? It really is stunning to see what the credulous will believe. I might start a second blog and just make shit up. I bet I get more followers than I expect…so sad.

    You’d be surprised.

    I used to be pretty active on various message boards debunking perpetual motion machines. After butting heads with some Tesla turbine nuts with their claims of overunity turbines, I created a website on a freesite host purporting the development of a 400 hp Tesla turbine that operated with an efficiency of 110%. I was doing real turbine research at the time. I had pictures of my real rig, control panels, instrumentation, data acquisition system, etc. I massaged a bunch of my real data and created performance maps that supported my claims of 110% efficiency. I made sure my “measured” pressures, temperatures, flows, torques, and speeds, supported my power outputs and efficiencies >100%. (I have pride, you know.) Looking back, I don’t know why. It’s not like any of those nuts understood what efficiency is, anyway. I have to say, the site looked pretty good.

    Breathless references to my laboratory and research were all over the free energy websites. I answered a bunch of emails in the most roundabout way possible, leading people on without leading them on. Everybody wanted to know when I was going to go commercial. Out of several dozen enthusiastic emails, I only received *one* where somebody tried to correct me on my faulty thermodynamics (even *he* didn’t catch that my “measurements” actually supported my claims). I was appalled at how easy it was to inject a lie into the online community and have it propagate as the truth.

    I let the website and email account lapse because it was too much work. There were still references to my “work” for several years after my website disappeared, but it looks like they’ve all disappeared. Quite a fun exercise at the time. A lot of work, but *way* too easy. :-)

  41. 41
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Yeah, conspiracy theories pretty much are a cult/religion. They share the same self-reinforcing rationalizing. I think my favorite part though is when they say that the fact that there’s no evidence for their pet theories means they’re true because there’s a coverup. That’s faith in a nutshell.

  42. 42
    erikthebassist

    Rogerfirth,

    Really? wtf, so you pretended to create a free energy machine for the lols but never fessed up that you were a fraud? Is trolling people’s paranoid delusions a hobby or what?

    I can understand the prank with a reveal later on, to show them how gullible they are. That might serve some purpose, but all you did was feed the fire. Way to go.

  43. 43
    carbonbasedlifeform

    So the government is spreading harmful chemicals. What fascinates me is that none of the thousands of people who must be involved in the conspiracy have ever blown the whistle on it. The conspirators are saying, essentially, “I am doing something which harms me and all the people I love, and not only am I not going warn anyone, I’m going to keep on doing it!”

  44. 44
    rogerfirth

    Is trolling people’s paranoid delusions a hobby or what?

    Yes. But it’s a lot of work. Fessing up would have been even more work, but I just didn’t have the energy.

    Way to go.

    Thank you.

  45. 45
    Anthony K

    So the government is spreading harmful chemicals. What fascinates me is that none of the thousands of people who must be involved in the conspiracy have ever blown the whistle on it. The conspirators are saying, essentially, “I am doing something which harms me and all the people I love, and not only am I not going warn anyone, I’m going to keep on doing it!”

    I’m one of them. I’m complicit in the cover up of the cure for cancer just so I can keep my job, or so I’ve been told. To my face.

    It’s like the Christians who will ask why, if you don’t believe in God, you’re not raping and murdering. I always wonder about the wisdom of casually telling people you believe to be amoral monsters than you’re on to them, or that they have no reason to rob and kill you. Seems like playing with fire, unless you haven’t really thought things through and are just saying something you heard someone else say.

  46. 46
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    When I was in high school down in Maryland, we had some really bad droughts. Some of the farmers (with the help of a right-wing radio talking head) decided that the counties further to the west were seeding the clouds and making the rain fall on the higher mountains. The newspaper was filled with editorials, including an ‘eyewitness account’ that was repeated again and again but with different details so that soon there were ‘hundreds’ of accounts. All of them variations of: “I saw some thunderheads over Allegheny County and then a jet liner flew over dumping chemicals to seed the clouds and then the rain fell hard over Savage Mountain (or Sideling Hill, or any of the other higher elevations in western Maryland) and the cloud was gone by the time it got to Washington County.”

    It reached the point that the state legislature actually considered a bill making cloud seeding, or any other artificial rain-making, other than prayer, illegal.

    That may have been my first contact with cranks.

    It has gotten more complicated since the 1980s, though.

    And people say the internet isn’t useful!

  47. 47
    Stardrake

    And do you know who’s in CHARGE of the chemtrail project?

    PAUL McCARTNEY!

    Yeah, you were all gullible enough to think the Beatles replaced him because he died! He just went underground to run this project!

    I mean, who in their “right mind” would ever suspect HIM!?!?!?!

    Now, fact to working on my orgone/vinegar ChemCloudBuster™ cannon, cleverly disguised as a tinfoil cone…………….

  48. 48
    Stardrake

    Uh, that’s “Now, BACK to working….”

    See the lengths They will go to to make the TRUTH® seem silly!

    (Typing this shit made me stupider–i first typed “links” instead of “lengths” in the above sentence! Conspiracy thinking bad for brain!)

  49. 49
    Hurin

    On the one hand we have a bunch of conspiracy theorists who believe the government is spreading generic “toxins” from aircraft, and on the other hand we have new agers with arsenals full of specially attuned crystals and homeopathy water who just KNOW that this stuff is highly effective on nonspecific “toxins”.

    Is bullshit cancellation a thing?

    Maybe all we need to do is make some introductions, and this will work itself out.

  50. 50
    timgueguen

    The thing is there’s always an overlap between crankisms. Some New Agers will also be conspiracy theorists, especially the ones into so called alternative medicine. Altmed seems to be a magnet of fringisms.

    Large scale conspiracy theories like chemtrails require the existence of “perfect” minions. These minions never talk to the wrong people because they’re bigmouths or get chatty when smashed. They never have an attack of conscience and go to the authorities, or better yet the mainstream press. They never get caught doing some other crime and blab in an effort to get out of trouble. They never get pissed off at the bosses of the conspiracy and talk to get revenge.

    Conspiracy theorists will talk about things like compartmentalisation and “need to know” to argue the minions don’t know they’re part of the conspiracy. As if the guys who supposedly planted the thermite in the WTC wouldn’t quickly figure out what conspiracy it was a part of. Or they claim that the minions know they’ll be killed if they talk, as if that will always discourage blabbers. Or they’ll bring up programs like the Manhattan Project, as if helping build a bomb to defeat America’s enemies is the same as killing innocent Americans for some power grabbing scheme.

    Of course if you could find such perfect minions, why bother with goofy conspiracies? Just put them into positions of power and influence so they can do your bidding directly.

  51. 51
    Sili

    andyo

    From the thing that’s oozing out of our ground.

    And just how did they get into the ground in the first place, idiot?

  52. 52
    erikthebassist

    did you look at the link Andyo posted Silly? err I mean sili…

  53. 53
    rogerfirth

    Of course if you could find such perfect minions, why bother with goofy conspiracies? Just put them into positions of power and influence so they can do your bidding directly.

    The Pope recently tried this with a nutbag from Pennsylvania. Luckily people caught on before it was too late.

  54. 54
    Crissa

    There’s a bunch of that anti-cloud seeding stuff in the Central Valley of California. There’s a ton of windmills in the high valleys between them and the sea, and so… They take stats of like .2″ average less rainfall and windspeed to mean the windmills are stealing their rain.

    And there’s a kernel of truth; the windmills do steal a bit of the kinetic energy of the winds.

    Of course, there’s no pattern to this ‘lost’ rain; the counties to the west of these windmills also have had less rain. California as a whole is drier in the latter 50 years than the former. And it’s done this in the past. So… No proof positive.

  55. 55
    Lehooo

    There’s a brilliant take on chemtrails by the YouTube user CollegeBinary (the guy behind those “Three Minute Philosophy” videos) here.

  56. 56
    Jerry

    What do chemtrails, creationism, new-age-ism, tea baggers, birthers, death panels, fundamentalism, and 911 conspiracists all have in common? They all have some version of “Don’t trust The Man.” They all accept magical thinking over math and science. They are all threatened by the thought of facing facts. I think this is why a part of the far right’s attack includes a war on science and especially a war on teachers. “Starve the beast” almost always contains cuts to education. People who are capable of thinking critically can be brought around by facts, by reality over fantasy, and are more likely to see through the B.S. I’m not saying everyone has to be a hard scientist, but everyone should have a basic education that is based upon the real over the unreal. Go on to arts or business or car repair or sales or whatever you love, but start with some method of sifting the truth out of the wishful thinking.

  57. 57
    backtoindia

    Is this a forum for nazi ideologists with no IQ at all?or is it simply evil?perhaps an illuminati or new world order blogue??i thought I had seen it all, but this page beats everything at the absolute level of how disgusting it is.it is worse than eating poo.
    while the worldpopulation is being slaughtered from the air by heavy metals poisoning, virusses,nano particles, all kinds of cancerous agents, barium, aluminium etc. etc….and people having asthma attacks, bleading noses or damn well die from the stuff, you all are having a little fun over it?ah well, in old germany people also laughed when 5 a couple of millions where gassed…. cheers.

  58. 58
    vaiyt

    @backtoindia

    Newsflash: THE COUNTRIES/CITIES WITH THE MOST AIRPLANES FLYING OVER THEM (that are not Pakistan, I guess) ALSO HAVE THE BEST HEALTH.

    People like you make me sick. Asthma, you say? Fucking idiot. You wouldn’t know genocide if it stepped on your toes. Real people are being slaughtered for real today, or dying by the thousands from real epidemics like AIDS and malaria, and instead you think that a statistically small bunch of people dying of cancer in yout Thor damn privileged 1st world country is “population culling”.

    Fuck you sideways.

  59. 59

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