Science and Pseudoscience
Several leading spokespersons for people injured by electromagnetic radiation (EMR) have recently begun to publicly lump EMR together with “chemtrails.” This hurts us all.
For over a decade I have ignored the problem, hoping it would go away. But the fable and its message continue to be spread: “Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. Hundreds of thousands of anonymous, faceless people, sworn to silence, are joined in a worldwide conspiracy to rain down chemicals on top of your heads.”
Earth Island Journal, back in 2003, attempted to put this conspiracy theory to rest before it did too much damage to the environmental movement. An article by Jay Reynolds, titled “The Other Side of ‘Chemtrails,’ ” explained how ordinary jet trails form, and why they remain in the sky and spread out under certain weather conditions. A letter to the editor by yours truly (“Unhappy Trails, Part II”) contributed some details.
Basically, all jet exhaust contains carbon dioxide, water vapor, and particulates. If the temperature up there is below the dew point, the water vapor will condense and form cirrus clouds—actually clouds of ice crystals at those temperatures. A crisscross pattern forms for two reasons: (1) jets fly in different directions, and (2) winds may blow in different directions at different altitudes. I have a photograph of natural cirrus clouds in a grid-like formation in a meteorology book from 1934. Such patterns have become vastly more common since the late 1960s, when air traffic exploded. The continuous streams of jet traffic inject enormous amounts of water into the upper layers of the atmosphere, raising the humidity and the dew point and facilitating cloud formation. It is impossible for this not to happen.
Origin of the hoax
The “chemtrail” conspiracy theory originated when white supremacist Larry Wayne Harris offered his services in 1996 to analyze soil samples from agricultural fields supposedly contaminated by fallout from additives in jet fuel. The following year he and his partner, Richard Lew Finke, started a consulting company and Finke sent out an email announcement about “genocide” via “lines in the sky.” Harris, a member of the Aryan Nation and the racist and anti-Semitic sect Christian Identity, was convicted of fraudulent acquisition of bubonic plague bacteria in 1995, and possession of anthrax and impersonation of a CIA agent in 1998. The “chemtrail” hoax that they started went viral on the Internet in 1998, and has continued to do so until today.
Elana Freeland, unfortunately, has just added to the disinformation with her new book, Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth. Freeland returned to Santa Fe recently on a book tour, and some anti-wireless campaigners are promoting the book. To see if I was missing something, I bought the book and read it.
Freeland claims “chemtrails” rain down dust-sized “nanosensors” that you are forced to breathe, that are remotely monitored, and that spy on everything you do. She claims carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas, that it only remains in the atmosphere for five years, and that there is no such thing as global warming. She links every evil under the sun—earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, even Monsanto’s GMOs—to HAARP and “chemtrails.” She says “chemtrails” are full of parasites, deliberately dropped on us from aircraft, that burrow into our skin and cause disease. If you are conspiracy-minded, Freeland’s book is a gold mine.
If, however, you are looking for truth, you will not find it in this book. There are no original sources for any of its “facts.” Instead, you will find third-hand quotations from anonymous sources and conspiracy websites. Quotes from Dr. Robert O. Becker and Dr. Neil Cherry, brilliant researchers whom I knew and who are no longer alive to defend themselves, are misused by Freeland in support of ideas they would never have entertained.
We will, ultimately, prevail. Wireless technology is doing severe damage to our world, so much damage that society will not be able to bury its head in denial forever. But it does not help our cause to join it together in the public’s mind with pseudoscience and paranoid fantasies.
November 10, 2014
— Cellular Phone Task Force info cellphonetaskforce.org