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Why Weather Control Conspiracy Theories Are Scientifically Ludicrous

Soulskill posted 1 year,17 days | from the mad-scientist-union-still-on-strike dept.

Science 251

barlevg writes "The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang breaks down two popular conspiracy theories: that HAARP is responsible for severe weather and that contrails from commercial airliners are actually 'chemtrails' sprayed for nefarious purposes. The article shows why each is preposterous to anyone with even an elementary knowledge of meteorology or an iota of common sense. The author readily acknowledges that his analysis will do nothing to convince the tinfoil-hat-wearing, vinegar-spraying members of the populace."

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Stupid article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587033)

Why do they care?

Frack Off (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587049)

This is ground-shaking stuff.

Re: Stupid article (3, Funny)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587547)

They don't actually address HAARP, just a straw man of what the author imagines the conspiracy to be, which is much easier to do by someone with a lay educational background than the real conspiracy.

The actual conspiracy is that HAARP doesn't use lots of energy, but instead, uses resonance to cause the ionosphere to dump energy (somehow, dunno what energy is expected to be there) into the lower layers of the atmosphere, thereby causing small effects to become magnified (rainstorms into hurricanes, etc).

Re: Stupid article (5, Funny)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587729)

So the conspiracy is even more stupid than the straw man version? That's quite an accomplishment.

Re: Stupid article (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587953)

If you cant provide a mechanism that ether, does not violate physics as we know it, or can be used to make a test that will show it to work independently, then it is just evidence free rampant paranoia. Given the scale of the effects from such small causes and the relative simplicity of the equipment it should not be too hard to make up a test that will consistently show smaller scale effects from cheep equipment, large enough to measure at least. It would not have to use the atmosphere itself or anything like that to be convincing get it working in a bell jar is fine. No one has yet.

Even the richest most profitable of the conspiracy theory websites don't even try, they just make up more plausible sounding reasons without trying to substantiate them, every time you knock one down they have another 2 and each takes 10 times longer to refute than to asspull or rote recite. It is a strategy related to the Gish gallop, argue by having so many assertions in such a short space that your opponent can not refute them all. It does not make all assertions at once (like the Gish), instead relying on making multiple fresh assertions for each single assertion refuted. Thus it works better in casual debate by giving the impression that you opponent is struggling because the arguments against his position are constantly multiplying. It might be best called the Hydra assertions strategy, effective at persuading and without any relevance on reality.

Don't believe anything until... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587103)

...is being officially denied.

Re:Don't believe anything until... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587531)

...is being officially denied.

A very good quote I heard somewhere, and though I can't get it verbatim, I'll try to at least do it justice:

"There are people who will immediately dismiss out of hand the opinions of well educated experts in the field, but without a moment's hesitation take for word of fact the writings of someone they have never met and know nothing about.

All the WaPo writers are doing is further cementing the opinions of conspiracy theorists (as if any actually would deign to read the WaPo) that there really is at least one secret weather control program.

Politically Motivated (0)

AlleyTrotte (1842702) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587107)

The Washington Post has no credibility, but I guess they are right this time.

Re:Politically Motivated (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587327)

It would be nice if the author touched on sending signals at 2.5Hz (and its other multiples - 5.0 and 7.5 Hz) by reflecting them off the chemtrails and how that may seemingly make it work as a Tesla weapon.

Re:Politically Motivated (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587453)

It would be nice if the author touched on sending signals at 2.5Hz (and its other multiples - 5.0 and 7.5 Hz) by reflecting them off the chemtrails and how that may seemingly make it work as a Tesla weapon.

You have it wrong, that is just a decoy. The real story is how they forced the 5GHz band free because it works so well for mind control. Now most home routers are ready for it..

Re:Politically Motivated (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587611)

The difference in Hz and GHz is enoromous. ;)

Re:Politically Motivated (1)

Panaflex (13191) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588215)

And we just crossed the line from science to sex...

Re:Politically Motivated (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588235)

So, is this feasible?

Re:Politically Motivated (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587455)

The Washington Post has no credibility, but I guess they are right this time.

You're confusing Washington Post with Washington Times, which is some kind of right wing scandal rag (suitable city to have one, though, never a shortage of scandals, just be kinda nice if they were to report equally on the idiocy of either side of the aisle, but I guess the WaPo is for reporting on the Right Side of the aisle).

Seriously though, Weather Control Conspiracy is the domain of Weekly World News if you're going to discuss print media.

As a paid up member of the Illuminati (2)

baldass_newbie (136609) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587225)

I have to state unequivocally that the author is correct - there is nothing to worry about.

Ewige Blumenkraft

Contrails do control weather (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587245)

They may not be nefarious, but they do add particulates that had a demonstrative effect on atmospheric temps during the 9/11 airspace shutdown.

And Jesse Walker has a new book on the United States of Paranoia that traces the bipartisan conspiracies since our founding and before.

I'll check that out before some condescending post article

Re:Contrails do control weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587385)

Contrails do control weather (Score:1) by Anonymous Coward on 2013-08-16 15:08 (#44587245) They may not be nefarious, but they do add particulates that had a demonstrative effect on atmospheric temps during the 9/11 airspace shutdown.

Control and effect are not the same words. Contrails do not control weather. No one is using contrails to control weather. They effect weather, but that's a side effect. Words matter.

Re:Contrails do control weather (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587485)

They affect weather. Words matter.

Re:Contrails do control weather (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587487)

Affect*, ftfy. Effect is a noun, affect is the verb.

Re:Contrails do control weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588173)

except when you're talking about faces. then affect is noun.

Re:Contrails do control weather (1)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587473)

Nice - Poe's law in full effect: I simply cannot tell if the AC is trolling, and ultimate it doesn't matter. People really do think this way. However, as self deluded people go they're harmless: they neither tell me who I can sleep with nor what kind of car I can drive, so I'll take em over the more familiar left and right nutjobs.

Wanted to find the video (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587263)

From the text the last link pointed to since it seemed to be gone and I think it is this one.
This is really funny.
http://youtu.be/YsdeAF_Prfo

TO: Weather Gang. FROM: J. Bezos (4, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587275)

TO: WeatherGang
FROM: J. Bezos
SUBJECT: Weather Conspiracy Theories


Guys,
I know you're not that great at the whole internet thing and all, being a newspaper and such. But one of my other companies is actually pretty good at it. So take my advice. Don't feed the trolls.

Regards,
Jeff

lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587329)

Re:lolwut? (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587527)

There's a difference between being a troll and being funny. This is just another thing that Jeff Bezos understands that most Slashmods don't.

Craziness brings us all together (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587279)

The summary links to both a guy who writes on DailyKos and a guy who writes on Free Republic, and they agree with each other. Apparently vinegar-spraying chemtrail nuts are, in fact, the key to world peace. Or at least 1990s nostalgia.

Re:Craziness brings us all together (4, Interesting)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587923)

...Or at least 1990s nostalgia.

The problem with 1990's nostalgia is that it spent time pining for the 1970's... which in turn was bemoaning the 50's. So it doesn't matter which nostalgia you pick - it isn't as good as it used to be.

What is this? (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587285)

The 1960s? Are we going to start seeing new stories about the government seeding the clouds?

AVOID THE BROWN ACID, MAN!

Re:What is this? (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587367)

The internet has precipitated a rise of self-congratulation and echo chambers that magnify and enhance conspiracy theories in the minds of the sufficiently credulous. This has allowed thought diseases like vaccine paranoia, chemtrails, and reptoids to spread rapidly among the at-risk populations.

My proposed cure is that everyone be forced to have a 5 minute debate with a random individual they disagree with about their core beliefs. This should allow the spread of the "mental antibodies" that help resist this kind of infection*.

*this method is pending clinical trial, and people who take my ideas seriously enough to schedule a clinical trial.

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587781)

The internet has precipitated a rise of self-congratulation and echo chambers that magnify and enhance conspiracy theories in the minds of the sufficiently credulous.

Crazy that something like that is being said with a straight face on a website like Slashdot. The groupthink is so thick here you couldn't cut it with a chainsaw.

Re:What is this? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587955)

Oh yes, there's no way I'm engaging with people who post disagreeing with me. (Self fulfilling posts are best posts).

Re:What is this? (2)

Laxori666 (748529) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588001)

Actually they did a study, something along these lines: they'd pick a divisive topic, and then show people arguments for and against either side of the topic. The people would also rate the effectiveness of the argument. They also marked down how strongly they believed in their position before and after reading the arguments.

When people read arguments for the side they already agreed with, they would end up agreeing even more strongly - no surprise there. Yet it turned out that when people read arguments against the side they agreed with, they would *still* end up agreeing even more strongly with their own position. In fact, the more well-rated an argument was by people who agreed with that side, the more it would cause someone who already disagreed to disagree even further.

Unfortunately that was a bit laboured and I have no links handy, but I'm pretty sure that's how it went. The net take-away is, you can't convince anybody via textual arguments if they already strongly agree with something. The internet's archives are ample proof of this.

Re:What is this? (3, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588461)

Actually they did a study, something along these lines: they'd pick a divisive topic, and then show people arguments for and against either side of the topic. The people would also rate the effectiveness of the argument. They also marked down how strongly they believed in their position before and after reading the arguments.

When people read arguments for the side they already agreed with, they would end up agreeing even more strongly - no surprise there. Yet it turned out that when people read arguments against the side they agreed with, they would *still* end up agreeing even more strongly with their own position. In fact, the more well-rated an argument was by people who agreed with that side, the more it would cause someone who already disagreed to disagree even further.

Unfortunately that was a bit laboured and I have no links handy, but I'm pretty sure that's how it went. The net take-away is, you can't convince anybody via textual arguments if they already strongly agree with something. The internet's archives are ample proof of this.

I remember that study but I don't think it shows what most people think it does.

Basically they asked someone how they felt about a topic, showed them an argument that disagreed with them, then asked again and found they were even more convinced of their original position.

But if you think about it in practical terms that's neither surprising nor particularly irrational.

For instance I believe AGW is real. I admit there's some degree of uncertainty, and papers that are wrong, and even researchers or journals not being as unbiased as they should be. But on the balance of evidence I think the evidence for AGW is overwhelming.*

But a true believer who thinks AGW is a mistake or a fraud is going to come to the table with very refined arguments. They'll quote studies, incidents, effects, mistakes, all sorts of things I'll have no answer for. For me to simply switch sides in the face of those arguments would frankly be irrational, since all I'd have to do was wait until I ran into a well educated advocate for the other side and I'd switch back!

Instead I reinforce my opposition to their position and argue back. Push their arguments trying to look for holes or misrepresented facts. This is what I think the study detects, the defensive response when people enter an argument.

What they don't look at is what happens later. When you keep thinking about the good arguments and doing research and the other side still holds up. Eventually if people keep seeing the good arguments they start to reevaluate their position, but it doesn't happen over the course of a single argument where people are trying to defend themselves.

I actually had this happen with regards to nutrition, I'd heard some extended interviews with Gary Taubes explaining how nutrition science had gotten it wrong and carbs and insulin were the true cause of obesity and I was a believer for a time. But then a friend argued with me, presenting some good points, so I dug in and defended Taubes hypothesis. But later I went back, did my own research, and eventually came to the conclusion that Taubes was wrong.**

If that episode was in that study I'd probably been just as sure as before of Taubes in the immediate aftermath of that conversation. But that conversation eventually led me to reverse my position entirely.

* This is just an example, I'm not trying to cause an AGW debate.
** Or a Taubes debate, I've already got one going [slashdot.org]

Just a coincidence, I'm sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587293)

Previous 3 years in Southwest there were temperatures in August that broke all time records for not the highest temps, but also how many consecutive days of 100+ heat, with the forecast that 2013 would be more of the same. HAARP, though, goes offline in May and what do you know, it's been the mildest, wettest, summer the South and Southwest have seen in over century.

Yeah right (2)

Guest316 (3014867) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587313)

Just like those "Gummint is watching everything you do!" tinfoilers were wrong. I'M ONTO YOU!

Re:Yeah right (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587437)

That's just hogwash. Everybody knows nobody can track your movements, or eliminate you if you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, or correlate your movements to those of known adversaries.

It's unpossible! Unheard of!

Recent events (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587343)

I think that in light of recent events, you have to give the tinfoil-hat crowd the benefit of the doubt, no matter how insane they seem.

Re:Recent events (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587409)

Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Re:Recent events (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588057)

Here's the proof that the conspiracy is real: Most of the people who try to make tinfoil hats screw up and actually make their hats out of aluminum foil instead!

The sad thing about conspiracy theories (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587347)

The sad thing about conspiracy theories and the internet age is that no matter how far out or whackjob the theory may be, you can find a dozen videos documenting "proof" of the theory and entire forums full of people who believe in the lunacy and who circle-jerk each other in a frenzy of panic.

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (4, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587387)

Isn't that the "History Channel"?

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587857)

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (1)

Deflagro (187160) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587971)

Thanks for that. I laughed out loud in a very quiet office. Hilarious :P

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (2)

baldass_newbie (136609) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587415)

The sad thing about conspiracy theories and the internet age is that no matter how far out or whackjob the theory may be, you can find a dozen videos documenting "proof" of the theory and entire forums full of people who believe in the lunacy and who circle-jerk each other in a frenzy of panic.

Because there were no whack jobs and conspiracy nuts before the 'internet age'?
Son, sit right down and let me tell you about Lyndon LaRouche [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (1)

Salafrance Underhill (2947653) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587555)

My neighbour, although a really nice man with a pet tractor, thinks that David Icke is a splendid fellow with much to recommend his thinking.

We really are doomed.

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587565)

The sad thing about conspiracy theories and the internet age is that no matter how far out or whackjob the theory may be, you can find a dozen videos documenting "proof" of the theory and entire forums full of people who believe in the lunacy and who circle-jerk each other in a frenzy of panic.

The other side of that double-edged sword is that it's now trivial for trolls and misinformation agents to convince the masses that an actual, legitimate conspiracy is "bunk" merely by publicly and regularly lambasting anyone who brings it up. For example, every person who claimed the NSA was spying on Americans, prior to Ed Snowden's recent disclosure.

Not saying that's the case here, just pointing out the flip side.

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587959)

The weather control program is run out of New Mexico, not Alaska.

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (3, Insightful)

cusco (717999) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588151)

That technique is called "poisoning the well" and has been a psyops technique for decades. The rise of the Internet has made the operation orders of magnitude cheaper and easier, and it's no longer just the realm of government either. Corporations have jumped on it in a big way, stuffing online polls, flooding online forums with fake posts, and creating false product recommendations on buying sites. The weird thing to me is that people refuse to believe that it's going on, even when presented with the confessions of people who had been paid to do it.

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588413)

One good term deserves another:

The weird thing to me is that people refuse to believe that it's going on, even when presented with the confessions of people who had been paid to do it.

That, my friend, is called cognitive dissonance, [wikipedia.org] better known around these parts as doublethink or mental gymnastics - the active denial of reality, when reality counters a strongly held belief.

And I concur, it is quite mindblowing to see in action.

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588013)

As much as I agree that people who believe in the nefarious HAARP and these ridiculous "chemtrails" are looney, the article itself does a very bad job at debunking anything. It merely reports these people exist. I know that. They know that. I went into the article hoping I'd find something in it to convince them with facts why their kooky theories would not work and what would actually happen (or more precisely why nothing would happen). This article was a bit light on that.

So I ask you, slashdot, how would you convince someone you don't want to give up on that:
1) If chemicals were added to burning fuel, then what could/couldn't happen and why?
I've tried explaining that even if it did do something, it a ridiculously complex and random rube-goldberg like device to accomplish something very simple in a very difficult way. I tried explaining the cost of the rare earth minerals. Is there a way to get through to these people?
How do I disprove HAARP does not control weather? I know it's ridiculous, but do I really need to study these kooky theories myself to point out where their "science" differs from real science?

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (5, Interesting)

Sasayaki (1096761) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588065)

A key component of nearly all, or in fact all, conspiracy theories is a vast group of dedicated individuals with almost infinite resources who, in ways grand and mundane, affect reality to hide some truth or collection of truths. The problem with that theory is that any evidence to the contrary, no matter how convincing, is in fact seen as evidence *for* the theory.

An example. There are two ninjas outside your window right now.

Go on, take a look.

See any ninjas?

No, of course you didn't, because they're invisible. Ninjas are badarse pros who would never be seen by an amateur. They're there, though. I was reading on Black Helicopter-o-pedia about the ninja training program in 1967 that produced hundreds of thousands of these trained, stealthy killers and they watch "persons of interest" constantly. Go read a book, sheeple!

More seriously, though, the root cause of conspiracy theories is usually ego. The kind of people who believe in them are typically those who have a very high opinion of themselves, often to the point of believing that they're amongst a small group of people (as small as 1 person) who are somehow smart enough, or cunning enough, or brave enough, or in some way "special" enough to avoid some great trick or ailment that affects the "mundanes". The idea, though, that they are infact deficient in some manner, such as being batshit insane, can't cross their minds because they've convinced themselves that they're better than everyone.

That's not to say that mainstream ideas are always correct, or that the most popular opinion is the best one; but any theory that relies, in some part, on you being intrinsically better than everyone, including academics and those with decades of experience and know-how in certain areas who have no incentive to cover up vast scandals, or that relies on a global, infinitely resourced, powerful, invisible cabal to work is probably bullshit.

Plus, you know, these things do have a tendency to come out. The NSA got busted doing a huge amount of domestic spying lately. They ARE an organisation that is essentially global, essentially infinitely resourced, powerful, invisible... and they managed to conceal this fact for what? Ten years, only?

Re:The sad thing about conspiracy theories (2)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588351)

After getting a long lecture from one of my conspiracy theory believing friends about how some particular conspiracy was real, I summed up her explanation as, "The complete lack of evidence of the conspiracy is proof that the conspiracy is real." She liked her explanation better.

Cheers,
Dave

Not the best debunking ever. (3)

catfood (40112) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587401)

This article is a pretty weak debunking. If the government really wanted to spray chemicals from commercial jets, they wouldn't let a little thing like weight limits stop them. Make shorter flights that require less fuel. Leave a lot of empty seats to provide more slack weight. Spray in really small quantities. Whatever.

Seriously, Occam's Razor debunks better than this. Simply: what the hell makes you think that chemicals are being routinely sprayed out of commercial jets for nefarious purposes? On what basis is the ordinary scientific explanation about vapor condensation not a good enough explanation for the trails? And if the government can spray chemicals in the air on that scale, why can't they make them invisible too?

It's got nothing to do with weight limits and everything to do with unnecessary complexity.

As long as I'm at it, wouldn't you think that if chemtrails were a real thing, Manning and Snowden would have found out and blabbed?

Re:Not the best debunking ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587451)

>what the hell makes you think that chemicals are being routinely sprayed out of commercial jets for nefarious purposes?

It's even simpler than that. The "chemtrails" are right there. You could easily charter your own flight to fly through the trail and collect samples for analysis. If you want to be cheap about it, use a weather balloon.

Re:Not the best debunking ever. (1)

catfood (40112) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587661)

Excellent point. It's not like you can't go up there and check. Sure, it costs money, and the airlanes are regulated so there's the little matter of getting the legal authority to go to the specific places where the "chemtrails" are, but... yeah.

Re:Not the best debunking ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587621)

Indeed. And why don't they go after all the chlorine and/or fluor that many countries in the water. That seems like a easy choice for a even higher level of crazy.

Re:Not the best debunking ever. (1)

timholman (71886) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587631)

Seriously, Occam's Razor debunks better than this. Simply: what the hell makes you think that chemicals are being routinely sprayed out of commercial jets for nefarious purposes? On what basis is the ordinary scientific explanation about vapor condensation not a good enough explanation for the trails? And if the government can spray chemicals in the air on that scale, why can't they make them invisible too?

This reminds me of a guy I spoke to recently who was convinced (by an Internet video) that cameras and microphones are being placed in all cable TV boxes so that they can watch us in our living rooms.

I pointed out to him that his cell phone and his laptop computer already have microphones and cameras built in. On top of that, he carries his cell phone with him everywhere. So why in the world would anyone need to hide anything in a cable TV box, when they could just spy on us using our personal electronics?

And yet ... he wasn't convinced. The conspiracy theory had taken root in his mind like a religious belief, and he could not let go of it. And that's why it's a waste of time arguing with a conspiracy theorist, because it's like trying to convince a religious man to reject his beliefs.

Better explanations please (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587439)

The article shows why each is preposterous to anyone with even an elementary knowledge of meteorology or an iota of common sense

Actually, it doesn't. The closest I saw was this:

HAARP does not and cannot control the weather. While the frequencies are high powered, it doesn’t have nearly enough energy to do anything over the Lower 48, let alone specifically target communities for destruction like one would see in a science fiction movie. Both common sense and a basic understanding of meteorology debunk the conspiracy theory surrounding HAARP’s alleged ability to control the weather.

So the question is, how do we know how much energy is being pumped into the ionosphere? The whole article seems mostly of ridicule. "Well, of course it doesn't, you'd have to be crazy to believe otherwise, but we're not going to provide any evidence."

Don't get me wrong, I don't think HAARP is part of an evil shadowy conspiracy to create tornados and tsunamis or whatever. But I'm also not a meteorologist... so a breakdown of the physics required to perform such a feat compared to what we know would be pretty useful. I remember a Weekly World News article claiming hackers can turn your computer into a bomb... and as a computer professional, I know exactly why that's impossible and might even giggle at the thought. But I can't expect the general public to explicitly know that there's no real-life equivalent to the HCF instruction.

Kind of like What If at xkcd [xkcd.com] ... putting things to scale such as a hair dryer [xkcd.com] that just happens to draw 11 petawatts of power can really hit the understanding home.

Re:Better explanations please (3, Funny)

HappyHead (11389) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587825)

Wait... you linked to xkcd in a thread about conspiracy theorists and things like chemtrails, and didn't include the comic about that? [xkcd.com]

Silly person!

Re:Better explanations please (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587839)

These debunking articles are always completely scientific garbage.
Weather is chaos theory. Theoretically you do not need much power at all, just incredibly precise and detailed knowledge.

And of course they could spray chemicals into the contrails of aircraft, if they wanted to.

Re:Better explanations please (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588219)

So the question is, how do we know how much energy is being pumped into the ionosphere?

No, the question is, "How much energy would need to be pumped into the ionosphere to do anything remotely interesting?"

And the answer to that is, "Such a massive fucking amount that there would be no way that we wouldn't be seeing the impacts of that energy dump in many other areas first." We already did this with nuclear bombs in the 50s and 60s, and yes, the impacts of that level of energy input were definitely visible in many different areas. And no, it didn't do half of what the crazy-ass conspiracy theories think is happening now.

...I'm also not a meteorologist...

And that would have what to do with this? The branch of science you want is Atmospheric Science. Meteorologists generally get to TV with a BS in Meteorology and some communications courses and interpret maps. Find an atmospheric scientist with a MS or PhD and you'll get a much more rigorous answer than what you're incorrectly rambling on about. Or they'll flame you as an AC.

Re:Better explanations please (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588345)

The conspiracy theorists won't listen to science anyway, so why not just ridicule them. They're going to need to get used to it if they insist on holding such stupid beliefs.

WWII chemical warfare? (1)

wcrowe (94389) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587505)

I guess all that WWII wartime footage of allied bombers leaving contrails is evidence of them spraying chemicals on the Nazis, as well as dropping bombs.

US Patent No. 4,686,605 (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587509)

Inventors: Eastlund; Bernard J. (Spring, TX)
Assignee: APTI, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA)
Family ID: 24772054
Appl. No.: 06/690,333
Filed: January 10, 1985

From his Wikipedia: "Bernard Eastlund authored three patents (US Patents #4,686,605, #4,712,155, and #5,038,664) that, it is claimed, led to the development of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).[1]"

A method and apparatus for altering at least one selected region which normally exists above the earth's surface. The region is excited by electron cyclotron resonance heating to thereby increase its charged particle density. In one embodiment, circularly polarized electromagnetic radiation is transmitted upward in a direction substantially parallel to and along a field line which extends through the region of plasma to be altered. The radiation is transmitted at a frequency which excites electron cyclotron resonance to heat and accelerate the charged particles. This increase in energy can cause ionization of neutral particles which are then absorbed as part of the region thereby increasing the charged particle density of the region.

...

This invention has a phenomenal variety of possible ramifications and potential future developments. As alluded to earlier, missile or aircraft destruction, deflection, or confusion could result, particularly when relativistic particles are employed. Also, large regions of the atmosphere could be lifted to an unexpectedly high altitude so that missiles encounter unexpected and unplanned drag forces with resultant destruction or deflection of same. Weather modification is possible by, for example, altering upper atmosphere wind patterns or altering solar absorption patterns by constructing one or more plumes of atmospheric particles which will act as a lens or focusing device. Also as alluded to earlier, molecular modifications of the atmosphere can take place so that positive environmental effects can be achieved. Besides actually changing the molecular composition of an atmospheric region, a particular molecule or molecules can be chosen for increased presence. For example, ozone, nitrogen, etc. concentrations in the atmosphere could be artificially increased. Similarly, environmental enhancement could be achieved by causing the breakup of various chemical entities such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and the like.

Whether HAARP worked or not is unknown (or rather, classified), but weather modification was certainly a goal of the research and military application.

Trollage (1)

Salafrance Underhill (2947653) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587517)

It's tempting to troll them by inventing a more plausible scenario involving weather control satellite network utilising Hall Thrusters for position keeping plus gyroscopic attitude control to allow accurate positioning of mylar solar reflectors. The orbits would be a bit of a nightmare, but not beyond the ken of Corona project types. Of course, it could rebound badly if someone with purchasing power within the dark and massive outlines of the military industrial complex sees this post and decides to try to implement it.

It would be the ultimate water monopoly empire.

We're doomed.

come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587533)

Not News for Nerds.
its News for Idiots

slashdot

Here we go. (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587545)

Anyone with half a brain should realize the mass of the atmosphere is quite huge. In order for these so-called chemtrails to be able to saturate the atmosphere to the point where everyone would get a good dose of mind control agents (or whatever), the amount needed would be staggering. Probably more than is feasible both economically and industrially. Then add to that the upper atmospheric air is warmer and thus will not fall to the surface bringing any poisons with it. Nevermind that there is different wind flows above the surface (jetstream, etc.). And I am not a weather expert or enthusiast.

I'm not even going to bother with HAARP because there is no theory to even ponder. HAARP simply can not manipulate the weather.

secret chem trail organization excels at security (3, Funny)

bertd (53884) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587579)

The NSA should hire the SCTO (secret chem trail organization) to handle their security. No more leaks to worry about. Show the NSA how to control information right.

It is clear that the SCTO maintains a global fleet of thousands of specially modified tanker aircraft for 24/7 operations. There is a small army of technicians, mechanics and pilots. They skillfully manage extreme logistical challenges to safely manufacture, store, and distribute all the millions of tons of chemicals. All in secret. Not one whistle-blower. Not one crash or chemical spill. Not one photo or chemical sample has leaked.

Re:secret chem trail organization excels at securi (1)

Oidhche (1244906) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588061)

What do you expect? They work daily in near proximity to concentrated mind-control agents, how could they whistle-blow? Same goes for anyone who would get close to a crash or spill site.

Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (4, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587581)

This article reeks of poisoning the well. China has modified the weather publicly. Russia has modified the weather publicly. To claim that it's impossible is pretty damn idiotic! If you are not suspicious as to why the most allegedly advanced society in the world claims it can't do it you really should get off the medication.

The fact that the plans for chemtrails and weather modification are not given does not make science study disappear. We know things are happening and we can measure them. Aluminum and Barium in the atmosphere has been shown to be true by numerous scientific studies. Those metals are measurable in plants and soil which has also been measured. The underlying "why" is not seen because it's all "top-secret" but that does not make the metals disappear.

This idiot thinks that their "why" is better than someone else' "why". While everything is buried in "top-secret" files nobody knows. How about petitioning the Government to open up instead of claiming it's all for the greater good without any evidence? If we don't open things up, that speculation that it's all for the greater good has identical credibility to the guy who believes it's for nefarious purposes.

Then we get to the outright lies in this article. "HAARP does not and cannot control the weather. " Wait a minute there non-scientist! If the stated goals of exciting and heating particles and atoms in the ionosphere, and we know that they can do that, how does that not give someone the ability to control weather? What happens to air that is heated and cooled? Water that's heated and cooled? Come now, someone has to have had junior high level physics and chemistry and can see how outrageous that claim is. If their argument is based on a lie, the rest of the summaries are worth nothing.

Re:Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (2)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587829)

Well points for not posting anonymous, but do you realise that your post is a frothing mix of wide-eyed lunacy?

Re:Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (1)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587933)

Oh please enlightened one, show me where I have provided any wide-eyed lunacy.

Re:Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588071)

It's just that it's hard for anyone reading your post to see the connection between the various things you mentioned (unless they are already familiar with that particular conspiracy theory, I guess).

Re:Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (1)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588123)

You mean the mentions of the two items in the subject of the article and the article itself? Wholly Shit! If you are lost that easily you have some serious mental issues. I don't expect that people actually read articles mind you, but I commented on the 2 things mentioned in the subject.

Re:Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (2)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588165)

I thought you didn't reply to ACs?

Re:Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588101)

Your whole post, basically. If you can't see why it's laughable then you're beyond help. I'll give you a clue though - what's the total amount of thermal energy in the atmosphere compared to the amount that HAARP can put out?

Re:Oh, the ole "Poison the Well" gag! (2)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588335)

So there is nothing in my statements you can pinpoint as you claimed "wide-eyed lunacy", you just "think" it's all wrong?

I'll give you a clue though - what's the total amount of thermal energy in the atmosphere compared to the amount that HAARP can put out?

The energy of HAARP is enough to create a false Aurora Borealis, which you can find on HAARPs own home page. That is quite a bit of energy. Now if you take that same energy and heat up the front end of a storm system what happens to the storm system?

Personally, I find it laughable that people deny facts in order to support the delusion. I don't assume that lucifarians are manipulating the weather, I don't assume the US Government is doing it to starve people in Cambodia, or anything else you wish to invent about my thoughts. I point out the reality that it is possible to use something like HAARP to manipulate weather. Hell, it does not even take HAARP to manipulate weather. We have used simple chemicals to extreme effect. If cloud seeding works without HAARP, what can it do when those chemicals are excited and heated? It should only take Junior High level physics and chemistry knowledge to begin to ask that question.

Soulskill will be fired tomorrow (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587589)

I see Soulskill just posted his first - and invariably last - story that dares to suggest Paullowers (of which slashdot of course has many) are not the true chosen ones. This type of opinion cannot stand here and must be punished for being presented. If he's lucky he will only lose his job over this.... Soulskill, I'm sorry that you tried to suggest anything other than The Official Gospel here, now you have to pay. I'd say you could get a job working for a liberal news organization but I can't think of any that are left in the US.

And yeah, Paullowers I know I just pissed you off. Go ahead and mod me down. My karma and I can take it.

get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587613)

some nutters in our community still believe temperatures here on earth are affected by carbon emissions!! LMAO

Haven't you all seen star trek? (1)

wizkid (13692) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587683)

They'll have weather controlling satillites soon. Then the only worry will be when Q comes to town....

Chemtrail debunking the wrong theory? (1)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587751)

I thought the Chemtrails were supposed to be a mystery additive to jet fuel that does whatever the government feels like that day. So you wouldn't have tanks and plumbing and stuff in the aircraft, it would be a shadowy something or the other at the refinery. Or maybe added in transport or something. Maybe I made that up because the real conspiracy makes no sense at all. Even then you're talking about something that has to survive being burnt up in a jet engine and quite a bit of time up in the stratosphere (in sunlight) before finally filtering down to the ground. People near airports would also receive a massively higher dose, so it couldn't be too obvious or people would notice. It's hard to make this conspiracy work even theoretically, and that's before you even start talking about the properties of the mysterious fluid and what it is supposed to do.

As someone who aspires to be a critical thinker.. (2)

LittleIron (3021987) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587757)

I am more put off by people who mock and lampoon those with differing belief systems, than I am by those with whom I simply disagree.

Obligatory XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587805)

So, if chemtrails are debunked, 9/11 really was an inside job? [xkcd.com]

DC Weather Guys="Duh FUD-Guys" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587835)

Doesn't everyone know the "DC Weather Guys" are Capitol-Hell-paid FUD-Merchants? They can't come right out and claim that aliens and contrails are causing the excessive air warming and massive increase in turbulance, the gale and hurrican-force blows increasingly blasting the land and all the rest going nutty in our weather, because all of us who know we are sane would write them off as additional kooks.
So, instead, they sow seeds. They salt the airwaves and the electron-sea cyberspace depends on with nuggets e can laugh at, just as contrails salt the upper atmosphere with hydro-carbon combustion chemical byproducts and particulates.
Their purpose? To mist and drizzle their propaganda into us, to soak us with the seep of the ideas they want us to remember, that they are selling by pretending to not be selling.
Their object? To prepare us to think "well, it could maybe be aliens and contrails after all..." and to ask each other, "Do you suppose those vinegar-sprayers _were_ onto something after all?" when hotter and harder blowing and turbulence become undeniably noticable.
Why? Do you need to ask? These guys are paid to shift our attentions away from Washington, D.C. as the source, aren't they?
As long as we don't tumble to the fact that the real cause of the increasingly hot and violent blowing and blasting is coming from their District of Columbia, is coming, specifically, in fact, from Capitol Hill, well, they will be earning the grift they get from Congress to do just that, won't they?

Way To Distort The Truth, OP! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587851)

My hat is off to OP, who managed to cite a conspiracy theory in his little diatribe about conspiracy theory.

News: while I agree that vinegar-sprayers may belong to the tinfoil hat clan, there are no more of them, in proportion to total number of people, in Ron Paul supporters than there are in any other group.

Re:Way To Distort The Truth, OP! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587877)

Correction:

I meant "managed to SUPPORT a conspiracy theory himself, in his little diatribe about conspiracy theory."

There. Fixed that for me.

I guess I've been doing it wrong (2)

pelirojatica (533396) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587883)

All this time, I've been spraying vinegar to clean the kitchen floor. Silly me. I'm not doing anything to stop the... um what was it again... oh yeah! chem trails. At least the floor is clean.

I want a vinegar spray (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,17 days | (#44587925)

Vinegar is a nice and very cheap chemical product, specifically white vinegar which is kind of the pure form (dissolved in water). It cleans and disinfect stuff. I even cleaned red wine on a shirt with 25% vinegar, 25% alcohol and 50% cool water, it just all went away and I wore it without washing it further.

I've been wanting it in a spray but did not find empty spray bottles yet, I didn't look for it much either, in supermarkets they just sell them but full of some crap I don't need. Though, I stumbled upon a wine vinegar spray but don't want to pay 2 euros for it.
I want to spray some in an old pair of sneakers with a horrible smell to see if that kills the life that's in it.

Re:I want a vinegar spray (2)

Valdrax (32670) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588075)

I even cleaned red wine on a shirt with 25% vinegar, 25% alcohol and 50% cool water, it just all went away and I wore it without washing it further.

Everyone in the office must have loved you.

Fact. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44587963)

I've seen it where a contrail has gone from an itty bitty thing in the sky to something miles long and hundreds of meters wide that lasts tens of minutes or longer. I can agree, temperature, time of day, and relative humidity can affect the characteristics of contrails. However, I have seen planes over Chicago that seem to spray something into the atmosphere, in a grid pattern no less and I've seen that pattern last 6 or more hours. Ask around, you will find people who've seen the exact same thing.

I know China and Russia have publicly announced weather modification programs.

I know HAARP has probably nothing to do with the ordeal but it is certainly suspicious.

Additionally I've seen some blogs that have claimed scientific findings where they collected and tested soil and foilage samples in a lab and determined spraying of silver iodine was occurring.

One cannot rule out, based upon the evidence presented, that spraying is occurring and that in some areas weather modification is occurring. Who and why and what are they spraying is another set of questions entirely.

Every second scientists have to waste on this shit (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588085)

Is a second not spent curing cancer and inventing cool stuff.

And it's not like it'll do any good anyway. The creationist/altmed/antivax/birther/truther/moon-hoax crowd is invested into their beliefs in a fashion that does not permit rational refutation.

Hardly Scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588155)

Unless they do all the deep math, physics and whatever it is to wash off all the theories, this article is useless.

Cool Story Steve! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588157)

The Rothschild controlled Steve Bezo's new newspaper/media outlet is doing exactly what I predicted he would do right off the bat - Push the pro slavery propaganda agenda.

Let me be crystal clear - Steve Bezo's has a huge vested interested in keeping the populace fucking retarded. If he can convince you through his newspaper that the 'science' behind such things are 'impossible' then you deserve to die in a fucking gas chamber you uncritical thinking sheep fuck - leave the internet right now. Actually go hang yourself right now for being such a fucking sheep believing steve fucking bezos about anything.

Do you know what newspapers do the best? Spout Dis-information or Mis-Information. Let me tell you what ole Steve really wanted. He wanted a mouthpiece to push his pro-government/coporate/socialist/slavery agenda.

Facts:
1. Chemtrails are real - Whistle-blowers from the US government (specifically air force), and many many many other scientists would disagree with Steve's paid talking mouthpiece. A simple duckduckgo search will reveal this. No use in believing the washingtonpost (a sub par shitty newspaper) for your science. Real scientists study data.

2. There are literally dozens of patents about weather modification - which proves modifying the weather is possible in the ways described in the article. Now imagine all the nasty, covert, black ops stuff that is gotten away with by people who do not answer to congress , or the US government - A breakaway technocracy civilization that has supreme reign over our skies. Yes this is what is taking place. Look up the Georgia Guidestones, then research the dozens of underground Secret US breakaway civilization bases (I dont say military, these people pay no allegiance to the USA).

At least people are waking up and believe less and less of steve bezo's, and the rest of the mainstream media's horse shit.

Re:Cool Story Steve! (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588179)

Are you trying to be clever or do you not know it's actually Jeff Bezos? "There are literally dozens of patents about weather modification" - there's patents for perpetual motion machines too, and yet I still have to pay the power bill. It's all a conspiracy by Big Utility.

Conspiracy or not, weather modding is attempted (2)

AlienSexist (686923) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588249)

A number of patents have been issued for various methodologies for weather modification (which I suppose doesn't prove they work). But don't also forget that China openly brags [google.com] about doing weather modification such as clearing smog for the Beijing Olympics or around other cities.

I wouldn't suspect they are the only ones.

Feeling snubbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588283)

I'm white, Texan, tall, male, ivy-league educated, engineer, military brat.
I've consulted for the Fed, worked for a Swiss Bank, and been inside a vault for meetings at the Dept of Defense in Ft. Meade.
I even know 2 billionaires, one in tech, and one in finance. ...and I've never once been invited in to a secret society or conspiracy theory. I don't even know anyone that has. Geez, if not me, then who? And how are they so good at keeping secrets?

Already debunked (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | 1 year,17 days | (#44588377)

this has already been thoroughly debunked. It is well known that man cannot affect the weather. Just look up "Global Warming" or "Climate Change", and you will see that they specifically state than "man has no influence on the weather". Anyone who states otherwise is decried as a "denier", and thoroughly mocked.
Why would the United States spend Billions on this research, with significant tax increases, if it was true?

No subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44588399)

Laugh as much as you want, but it is a fact that our government has not only been interested in weather control but has been successful in it. Of course, not anything on the level of what conspiracy nuts make claim to; that would be silly. However, the US had used this during the Vietnam War:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Popeye

As for the article, it does completely glance over HAARP. You can't say you've successfully debunked using HAARP for weather modification by simply stating, "I don't think it would be powerful enough to significantly change weather patterns except for over Alaska and surrounding area." Instead, wouldn't it be a bit more reasonable to give some numbers and show how little of an impact it has? Maybe even describe how HAARP works vs. what conspiracy theorists claim? Anything.

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