“Plane nuts” (Chemtrail report)


World Net Daily first gained prominence by being the most fervent and dogged defender of birtherism. While it has largely abandoned that pursuit, it regularly attacks ideas that have a strong scientific consensus, such as evolution, the Big Bang, and climate change. Its headlines today included, “U.S. alarm: Unprecedented demonic outpouring.”

So I am pleased to announce that this blind squirrel found an factually-accurate nut this week when it published an exclusive article that dismissed the idea of chemtrails. The article’s primary source was a peer-reviewed report the detailed the findings of atmospheric chemists and geochemists.

Predictably, this earned WND the wrath of its readers. One can envision the bug eyes and hyperventilating as they posted about the naivety of believing what the government said – a non sequitur since the report was issued by scientists, not government officials.

There were also mocking comments about peer review, science, and sheeple. Completely lacking, however, was any scientific evidence for the chemtrail position. The few posters who requested this proof were chided to do their own research, which is a euphemism for, “I’ve got nothing.”

For all the fury they displayed and certainty of their conviction, none of the believers identified which planes are involved or which chemical is being deployed. Nor could they provide a sample from an unleashed chemtrail, nor explain how the toxins would have any potency left after being spread over the thousand miles they would be if dropped from 30,000 feet. Contrasted to the near-unanimity of geochemists as to what contrails are, chemtrailers are split amongst themselves as to what the unleashed poison is doing. Suggestions include altering genes, testing war weapons, mind control, sabotaging the weather, or altering the climate. While the ideas are disparate, they are equally groundless, as none are backed by any science or evidence.

Believers have no answer when quizzed about the chemistry behind chemtrails or about how thousands of pilots would be convinced to poison the population, which includes their loved ones, and would never make any attempt to expose this. Similarly, there is no explanation for how those behind this would make themselves immune from this ubiquitous danger.

As to the article itself, WND reported that the peer-reviewed study verified that chemtrails are actually just contrails. These occur when water vapors freeze around aerosols in aircraft exhaust, causing lingering condensation. Lead researcher Steven Davis reported that, “The experts we surveyed resoundingly rejected contrail photographs and test results as evidence of a large-scale atmospheric conspiracy.”

The team interviewed 77 atmospheric chemists and geochemists, with 76 of them saying they see no evidence of a clandestine, widespread plot to unleash dangerous amounts of aluminum and barium in aerial assaults. The outlier, while not championing the idea of a political-pilot alliance to control our minds, nevertheless said there was no ready explanation for his observation of an instance of “high levels of atmospheric barium in a remote area with standard low soil barium.”

All 77 agreed that four commonly-circulated images touted as chemtrails were merely contrails, and they provided peer-reviewed citations to support their position. The survey results were published last week in Environmental Research Letters and marked the first peer-reviewed journal paper addressing chemtrails.

The researchers acknowledged this won’t change a hard core believer, who will merely consider the researchers to be shills or part of the plot. But they felt it necessary to present the science and let it stand on its merits.

A few chemtrailers have conducted experiments, but arrived at their conclusions based on faulty methods. Mick West at Metabunk reported that some chemtrailers announced they found toxins in soil and water, and that this confirmed the existence of chemtrails. Setting aside the magical thinking this entails, the samples had been placed in jars with metal lids, which contaminated the data.

This was a silly elementary mistake, but seemingly more serious attempts to uncover chemtrail residue have been made utilizing heat. If one takes rock or aluminum and keeps heating it, it will eventually melt, then in turn become a liquid, a gas, and plasma. West describes the latter as, “a cloud of individual atoms stripped of their electrons.” This is crucial because when testing for the presence of elements in this way, there is no way tell if the atoms are in metallic or mineral form.

Aluminum, barium, and strontium all occur naturally in Earth’s crust and will probably be found if tested for. However these are not found in their metallic form in nature. Aluminum needs to be extracted from rock and oxidizes, while barium and strontium both react to air.

So there is an easy answer when chemtrailers ask, “If the metallic forms of aluminum and barium do not occur in nature, why are our tests finding it?” Because the tests used for these metals do not distinguish between the metal and the mineral that contains the metal. It would be almost as mistaken as finding a buried aluminum soda can in a cornfield and using that as evidence.

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