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3 November 2017

Twitter is Chem-trail Central

We’ve reached a sad state when this explanation needs to be written at the beginning of a scientific paper: Introduction The story goes like this: tens of thousands of commercial airliners a day are deliberately spraying some kind of mixture of toxic chemicals—either across the United States or possibly globally—in what would amount to one of the largest covert operations ever. The scheme has been going on for years, perhaps …


5 April 2015

We Must Defend Science if We Want a Prosperous Future

Originally published on The Conversation. It definitely applies as much (and likely more) to America as Australia. Barry Jones, University of Melbourne Today’s Australians are, by far, the best educated cohort in our history –- on paper, anyway -– but this is not reflected in the quality of our political discourse. We appear to be lacking in courage, judgement, capacity to analyse and even simple curiosity, except about immediate personal …


21 January 2015

Contrails and Distrails

Florida meteorologist Chris Smith received the picture above from viewer Joseph Mandeville today wanting to know what caused this. It’s a DISTRAIL. The cloud was made up of liquid cloud droplets that were well below freezing (supercooled water is common in the atmosphere), and when an aircraft flies through it the tiny soot particles can act as condensation nuclei and cause the liquid water to freeze. The ice crystals fall …


15 January 2015

Georgia 4th District Congressional Candidate Involved In Chemtrail Picket of The Weather Channel

A sitting U.S. Congressman former candidate for the 4th district of Georgia is apparently involved in a demonstration against the The Weather Channel in Atlanta. (I have corrected an earlier version that incorrectly id’s him as a congressman). Why? Because we meteorologists are hiding the truth about those white lines you see behind planes. It seems they are not just frozen water vapor produced by combustion of jet fuel, but instead are …


3 December 2014

I Could Have told The NWS in Indiana That Posting that Was a BIG Mistake

  Any broadcast meteorologist would know that posting this would set off the chemtrail loonies, and indeed it did. I suspect the NWS forecasters knew what they were getting into , but should we let a bunch of silly conspiracy believers keep us from posting something interesting about science? No, of course not, but it does scare me that these folks get to vote. For my fellow mets- get the …


29 September 2014

The Thin Line Between A Nobel Prize and a Straight-Jacket

I’ve written frequently here about conspiracy theories, and it’s something that has long fascinated me (and many meteorologists as well, thanks to the chemtrail folks). I spotted a great piece on the subject today by Katy Waldman in Slate. I must say, that having conversed with these folks in person, and via email for 3 decades, it made a lot of sense to me. So, if you have relative or …


25 June 2014

Chem-Trail Folks Crash AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology

We came back from lunch for our final session to find that every seat in the room had a DVD, and the same glossy brochure claiming that the government is giving you all kinds of disease from their secret spraying program. For those that may not have heard yet, these people believe that those white lines you see in the sky behind high-flying jet aircraft are actually mind/weather control chemicals. …


19 May 2014

Ohio Teacher Caught Telling Students That Alaska Research Project is Controlling The Weather

Toledo, Ohio Meteorologist Ross Ellet got a real shock while talking to students at Star Academy Charter School last week. He’d been asked to talk to the students about weather and science, but he got a question that left him totally stunned.  One of the students asked him “what kind of job will you get when HAARP is controlling the weather, and you’re no longer needed?”. Now, Ross knew what …


13 August 2013

Why Arguing With A Wing-Nut Is Actually More Than Just A Waste of Time

You almost certainly know that it’s a waste of time to argue with wing-nuts. If not, you’ll soon learn, but there is actually solid scientific evidence that not only does it not do any good, it actually makes the conspiracy lover even more certain of their belief. It’s called the “back-fire” effect. I am reading an excellent book You Are Now Less Dumb by David McRaney. He goes deeply into …