Chemtrails Part 3 - Geoengineering Our Sky


     To conclude this three-part chemtrail blog series, I would like to address geoengineering. Of the various issues raised by chemtrail proponents that I've heard, this is the only one that actually has some factual basis. Yet, people still run a bit too wild with it. While I don’t support the geoengineering of our sky, the idea is nothing new, and typically refers to one of two things. It can refer to the spraying of aerosols into the troposphere (lower atmosphere) in order to cause the formation of clouds (through condensation). While this could be a means of generating rain, it has most recently been proposed as a means of reflecting sunlight in order to offset the temperature increases from climate change. Geoengineering can also refer to the spraying of sulfate particles (or precursor gases) into the stratosphere (upper atmosphere) in order to reflect light, the purpose again being to cool the planet.
      In the first case, while some small-scale field experiments have probably taken place, for the most part we are talking about proposals, not actual spraying. And if such experiments have taken place, the relative risk to human health of such spraying would be negligible compared to other sources of chemical pollution in the environment, especially considering the altitude of spraying (as described in my last blog). That being said, we’ve all probably seen a condensation trail spread out across the sky and create a thin layer of cloud, or maybe grow into a cloud. This is not due to a special type of contrail (a “chemtrail”). Rather, it is the result of emitting water vapor and pollutants into an atmosphere that is already saturated with water. When an atmosphere is saturated, emitted water vapor will condense and hang around for a while (a visible contrail). When an atmosphere is supersaturated, not only will this vapor condense, but surrounding water vapor will be triggered to condense, spreading into a cloud-like layer. This is precisely the same physics that would make geoengineering possible, should such proposals be adopted. That is, under certain atmospheric conditions the release of particles into the air will facilitate the condensation of surrounding water vapor and in turn create cloud cover.
      In the case of condensation trails, however, such trails do not exist because they were designed to exist. Airplanes could release almost ANY mixture of particles and water vapor and it would cause the formation of trails under the right conditions. Such chemical mixtures, however, need not be special. They are collectively called “air pollution.”  So yes, airplanes do pollutant the skies. But they do so by releasing air pollutants characteristic of any combustion engine. And they sometimes do manipulate the weather, because releasing particle pollution and water vapor all over the atmosphere all day every day is bound to do so. This is unfortunate for those of us who enjoy clear skies, but it is not conspiracy. It is an inevitable byproduct of airplane traffic.
      As for stratospheric geoengineering, exposure to sulfate particles through this type of spraying is not realistic. Not only is the stratosphere over 30,000 feet above ground, but this region of the atmosphere is incredibly stable to vertical mixing. In other words, particles that are released there will stay there for long periods. This is precisely why the stratosphere has been identified as the target for such spraying. In addition, it is important to realize that sulfate pollution is already one of the greatest air pollutants in and around our communities. What is the major source you ask? Fossil fuel combustion! So if our concern is sulfate pollution, why in the world are we worrying about proposed sulfate particles being released 30,000 feet above earth’s surface when there are literally millions of tons of sulfur pollution being poured into our air at ground level by the fossil fuel industry each year? Instead of waving our fingers at the sky, how about we wave them at our utility companies and pressure them to adopt cleaner means of producing electricity? Or better yet, how about we pay slightly more for the green energy options that most electric companies already offer, and in turn shift demand? And what about putting solar panels on our roofs? That’s an option too!
      This third article concludes my blog series on chemtrails. If you still have unanswered questions relating to the topic, I welcome them in the comments sections below where I will do my best to answer them in a timely manner.  

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                                                                                                                     -Shahir Masri, M.S.


Chemtrails Part 2 - Government Conspiracy or Public Chemspiracy?

       Before getting into Part 2 of this chemtrails blog series, I want to remind the reader that I write these articles as a public health advocate and proponent for the environment. There are sadly a number of public health and environmental atrocities that occur each day, and which we should most certainly be concerned about. That said, it is important that we don't get so carried away with pointing our fingers as to identify atrocities that don't really exist. This is a waste of energy that can be usefully directed to important issues. As for chemtrails, lets again dissect some of the claims one at a time, and decide afterwards if this is anything more than mere public conspiracy. Or as I've referred, "chemspiracy."

Chemtrails as a Government Conspiracy

       It is first important to note that chemtrails do not need to be visible to be toxic. In fact, most chemical air pollution is invisible in the environment (i.e. ozone, carbon monoxide, pesticides, CFCs, nitrogen dioxide, VOCs). In other words, if you want to believe that airplanes are intentionally spraying chemical agents into the sky, the presence of a visible trail is entirely unnecessary. 
       Second, it is critical to realize that if the government or industry were trying to target the poor (as I’ve heard) or any other “experimental” populations, that there is no such thing as a “target” from ten-, twenty-, or thirty-thousand feet up. Perhaps bombs can hit targets from these altitudes, but a fine chemical spray cannot. Even at altitudes of one- or two-hundred feet air pollutants do not readily descend to the ground and onto local communities. This is the concept behind smokestacks on factories. They disperse pollutants. And this is why the Environmental Protection Agency’s law some years ago to require even higher factory smokestacks (to reduce local pollution) is recognized by scientists to have increased the regional (as opposed to local) pollution problem in the country. Because the pollutants, while missing local communities, were still carried by winds to other states and regions. Having said that, when it comes to “chemtrails,” particles of such size released at such altitudes would not have a shot in hell of landing on any target community, but rather would enter large-scale jet streams and other winds, spreading homogeneously around the globe and not settling to the earth for weeks to come. This is not a hypothesis. This is particle physics, which is well understood in atmospheric chemistry. So if the government were trying to control the public by mind-altering chemicals or poisonous gases, or otherwise affect the population through chemtrails, it would necessarily be inflicting the same consequences on itself. 
       As to the claim that “chemtrails” are simply a government/industry way to dispose of hazardous waste, I can assure you that there are much more cost effective ways of disposing of such waste than putting it on a jet engine and flying it around the sky. And there are also much more secretive ways of doing so that do not involve advertising it over the public in broad daylight. Finally, when proponents of the chemtrails theory are asked why scientists aren't talking about this, the explanation is usually that they are "in" on the conspiracy. I will try to refrain from mockery, but really?? Thousands of scientists from all over the world are all successfully keeping chemtrails a secret? Watergate leaked in months with only a few people involved, yet thousands of people have kept chemtrails a secret for decades? Something as large as a global chemtrails experiment wouldn't remain secret for a day! And would so many scientists really be willing to accept secrecy and complacency at the expense of their own health and the health of their families and loved ones? These are the very same people who have blown the whistle on government and industry countless times in the past. Need I say more..?

Aluminum in the Soil

       It has been alleged that high aluminum concentrations in surface soils are proof of heavy metal atmospheric spraying. As an air pollution researcher, I can tell you that if you want to learn about chemicals in the air, then you measure the air. Not the soil. That said, there is more than an ample amount of scientific air pollution literature, including a soon-to-be-published study of my own, that documents the types of pollutants we measure in the atmosphere. And true, aluminum is one of them. So is vanadium, nickel, mercury, cadmium, iron, zinc, lead, etc. Metals are all over the atmosphere. They are kicked up from the soil by winds as well as emitted directly into the air by human activity. In fact, I can’t think of a single pollutant in the sky that can’t be traced back to a known human or natural source.
       Pollutants don’t get much more neurotoxic than mercury, nor do they get more carcinogenic than dioxin. Yet, waste incineration and fossil fuel burning are constantly injecting these chemicals into the air we breathe. And NOT at twenty or thirty thousand feet, but at ground level in and around our communities! This brings us to a troubling realization regarding the previous topic; that the government doesn't need to conspire to pollute our air, because our own actions and the actions of industry are already doing it…and not in secret, but in the wide open, and with citizen approval (or lack of protest). That is, the cars we drive, the trash we burn, the types of foods we eat, and the types of industries we support through our purchasing decisions are the real players driving air pollution. My earlier blog (http://shahirmasri.blogspot.com/2011/10/conserving-energy-for-better-health.html) provides some tips on reducing pollution through energy conservation.
       In the 1960’s, a grassroots movement was initiated by Americans who were sick of pollution and environmental destruction. This movement translated to the sweeping environmental laws of the 1970’s and the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As a result, our air and water quality improved dramatically. If today we are sick of the latest chemical threats to our health and environment, then we need to once again mobilize and put pressure on our government and industry. Or at least identify and get involved with groups such as the Sierra Club that are already doing so. It is critical, however, that we focus our passion and energy on issues that are truly threatening our health, of which there are many (i.e. fossil fuel combustion, agricultural pollution, unregulated use of chemicals in cosmetics and other products). NOT “chemtrails.”
       As is hopefully becoming clear, when chemtrail claims are broken down and scrutinized at face value, the theory breaks down as well, becoming little more than unfounded conspiracy. The only claim surrounding chemtrails that I have found to have any merit whatsoever is that related to geoengineering, which I will discuss in my final chemtrails blog next week. Until then, stay green!

If you found this article informative, please support me by joining my blog!  Simply click the “join this site” button at the top right of the page, log in using your Yahoo, Google, or Twitter account, and click “follow publicly.”  Thanks!!

                                                                                                                     -Shahir Masri, M.S.