George Monbiot in the Guardian on "Chemtrails" & Look-up.org.uk

Ray Von Geezer

Senior Member
Environmental activist George Monbiot has weighed in on "Chemtrails", claiming that the conspiracy theory is diverting from genuine environmental concerns about the aircraft industry. He holds up Look-Up/Ian Simpson as an example.

The contrails conspiracy is not just garbage, it's letting aviation off the hook

*apologies if this topic is more suited to somewhere like chitchat/discussion*

Ray Von
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
interesting you have posted this today Ray Von

there is a thread regarding the "reach" of the chemtrail theory on the forum at the moment

I was going to comment on that thread something along the lines of "this particular CT has not got much traction in the UK"

to the point where I would be embarrassed to bring it up in any form of conversation with friend or work colleagues

although happy to concede this is based purely on my anecdotal evidence (Ian Simpson aside)

Monbiot does suggest otherwise

and interstestingly his article links to a UK government fact sheet on Contrails to dispel some common myths

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/454040/contrails-faqs.pdf

so maybe it will become more mainstream in the UK (which is a bit depressing)
 

Ray Von Geezer

Senior Member
interesting you have posted this today Ray Von

there is a thread regarding the "reach" of the chemtrail theory on the forum at the moment

I was going to comment on that thread something along the lines of "this particular CT has not got much traction in the UK"

to the point where I would be embarrassed to bring it up in any form of conversation with friend or work colleagues

although happy to concede this is based purely on my anecdotal evidence (Ian Simpson aside)

Monbiot does suggest otherwise

and interstestingly his article links to a UK government fact sheet on Contrails to dispel some common myths

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/454040/contrails-faqs.pdf

so maybe it will become more mainstream in the UK (which is a bit depressing)
I still think you're right about limited traction. I think people like Monbiot are bound to run across it more than the general population, not least because so many Chemtrail conspiracy believers are vocal climate change deniers.

Something like a chemtrail petition is probably a more realistic benchmark, that one has been stalled at around 1600 signatures for a while, and IIRC the first one got to about 2000 when it expired.

Ray Von
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think people like Monbiot are bound to run across it more than the general population, not least because so many Chemtrail conspiracy believers are vocal climate change deniers.
It's partly because of where he lives, which is somewhere near Ian Simpson and his graffiti.
This type of thing:

(The colorful figures are artwork put up on a temporary construction siding, defaced by the graffiti).
 

Ray Von Geezer

Senior Member
It's partly because of where he lives, which is somewhere near Ian Simpson and his graffiti.
This type of thing:

(The colorful figures are artwork put up on a temporary construction siding, defaced by the graffiti).
Ah, I wondered if Monbiot and Ian lived around the same area.

I saw Ian posted a "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" picture recently, again a construction barrier that "someone" had coincidentally defaced at the same time he was there doing an "awareness day".

Ray Von
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
It's partly because of where he lives, which is somewhere near Ian Simpson and his graffiti.
This type of thing:

(The colorful figures are artwork put up on a temporary construction siding, defaced by the graffiti).
Yes, I have seen several of Ian's slogans near my office in central London (including the one pictured above). Ian also posted a couple of examples that miraculously appeared during his visit in Brighton (in matching handwriting, too!)

http://www.look-up.org.uk/campaigning/


upload_2015-12-4_15-7-33.png

upload_2015-12-4_15-7-48.png

upload_2015-12-4_15-8-47.png

Whoever could it have been? :rolleyes:
 

David Fraser

Senior Member
I saw a piece of graffiti in my area in Manchester. It simply said "Chemtrails" with an arrow pointing upwards. It is saying something when a believer can't be arsed to even tell us to look up.
 

Ray Von Geezer

Senior Member
Yes, I have seen several of Ian's slogans near my office in central London (including the one pictured above). Ian also posted a couple of examples that miraculously appeared during his visit in Brighton (in matching handwriting, too!)

http://www.look-up.org.uk/campaigning/


View attachment 16547

View attachment 16548

View attachment 16550

Whoever could it have been? :rolleyes:
Aye, that's the one, "nudge-nudge". I'm pretty sure I remember him saying the same thing about some graffiti that appeared on a bridge in another an area he was visiting.

Ray Von
 

David Fraser

Senior Member
Monbiot does raise an interesting point that the belief does detract from real issues. I have tried to get believers to contact organisations like Plane Stupid or Airport Watch so as to share their concerns. Both organistions are slightly militant in their actions and if there were something sinister they would know about it.
 

Marin B

Active Member
Environmental activist George Monbiot has weighed in on "Chemtrails", claiming that the conspiracy theory is diverting from genuine environmental concerns about the aircraft industry. He holds up Look-Up/Ian Simpson as an example.

The contrails conspiracy is not just garbage, it's letting aviation off the hook
That article is really well-written. I would pass it along to my CT-believer, but she would probably consider it mildly insulting rather than enlightening.
 

Marin B

Active Member
That article is really well-written. I would pass it along to my CT-believer, but she would probably consider it mildly insulting rather than enlightening.
OK... doesn't change my mind that it's a well-written article, but I'm for sure not going to pass along that article seeing that Monbiot has written "Manifesto for a New World Order", it won't score me any points with my CT believer!
 

JDubyah

Member
I would propose a conspiracy counter-punch: That the Chemtrail Conspiracy is itself a conspiracy promoted by the oil and airline companies to disguise the legitimate issue of emissions from aircraft, both commercial and military. By promoting a fringe 'chemtrail' theory from one side, and then ridiculing and refuting it from another angle, 'they' are both distracting from the real issue of airline emissions, and making any real investigation into such topics seem ridiculous because all the calls-to-action are from these radical 'chemmies' whose beliefs are outlandish. So the airplanes keep polluting unscathed.

I'm joking, of course. But without the joke, that's the danger the author seems to be concerned with. It just gets easy to make up CTs after reading enough of this stuff.
 

skephu

Senior Member
Do airline emissions contribute a lot to global warming? I thought it was at most a few percents, even including the radiative forcing from contrail cirrus.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Do airline emissions contribute a lot to global warming? I thought it was at most a few percents, even including the radiative forcing from contrail cirrus.
Monboit has written about it before, its a pet topic of his.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2006/sep/21/travelsenvironmentalimpact.ethicalliving (2006)
More recent studies suggest that the effect of radiative forcing from contrails is greater than the effect of aviation CO2 emissions. There is much uncertainty.
 

Marin B

Active Member
Do airline emissions contribute a lot to global warming? I thought it was at most a few percents, even including the radiative forcing from contrail cirrus.
If I did my math right (9% of 34%), based on these charts (from http://www.c2es.org) air traffic accounts for about 3% of green house gas emissions in the US. Would be nice to see what it is WW.


But, to Mick's point above, the effect of the cirrus doesn't seem very well understood. There is not a lot published that I could find. For example if you search Nature Climate Change for cirrus + contrail, there are only five hits, and the most recent is from March of 2011, Global radiative forcing from contrail cirrus, which pretty much concludes that the topic needs to be studied more.

 
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Marin B

Active Member
Do airline emissions contribute a lot to global warming? I thought it was at most a few percents, even including the radiative forcing from contrail cirrus.
That same 2011 issue of Nature Climate Change I referred to above has another article, Atmospheric science: Seeing through contrails. If global warming is the same as "anthropogenic climate forcing" (is it?), then according to this article, aviation contributes to an estimated 2-14%.

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
For example if you search Nature Climate Change for cirrus + contrail, there are only five hits, and the most recent is from March of 2011, Global radiative forcing from contrail cirrus, which pretty much concludes that the topic needs to be studied more.
But they say:
Which was the thing reported in the press at the time. Contrails (according to this study) are worse than the CO2 emissions from aviation. With lots of uncertainty.
 

Jeremy

Active Member
George [Monboit]'s done the chemtrailers one better here, actually: he bashes air travel in general, and this hasn't been the first time he's done it (as if traveling by car or by ship more would help the environment).
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
That same 2011 issue of Nature Climate Change I referred to above has another article, Atmospheric science: Seeing through contrails. If global warming is the same as "anthropogenic climate forcing" (is it?), then according to this article, aviation contributes to an estimated 2-14%.

"2 to 14 percent" is a pretty huge margin of error in anyone's book!
 

Dan Page

Active Member
"2 to 14 percent" is a pretty huge margin of error in anyone's book!
Yes, and for good reason, weather is complicated. There are so many variables, if aircraft never left a contrail, but still emitted CO2 & H2O, then the factor would be much easier to calculate. It's the expanding contrails that makes the calculated effect on global warming soooo much more difficult to answer. Just a guess, but if the sea surface temps are rising, then there will be more moisture in the air, and thus more contrails, and more spreading contrails. But does that mean a higher albedo from the resulting cirrus clouds and a net negative effect on sun warming the earth, or does that mean the nights stay warmer due to the blanket effect of the cirrus, and the day starts warmer. Of course, both things happen. Really, the only way to tell for sure would be to ground all jet travel for at least one year and see what happens, but of course that would never happen. What may happen in the future though is aircraft that are powered by high efficiency electric motors in place of the turbofans now in use. That requires some pretty sophisticated battery technology that is probably 30-50 years away. Then there would be no contrails! No CO2 & H2O.
I wonder what the chemtrail movement will be like in 30 years?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
if aircraft never left a contrail, but still emitted CO2 & H2O, then the factor would be much easier to calculate.
Minor point, but I don't think the emitted H2O is a factor if it does not leave a contrail. The atmosphere has billiions of tons of water vapor in in already in a constant cycle.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
Yes, and for good reason, weather is complicated. There are so many variables, if aircraft never left a contrail, but still emitted CO2 & H2O, then the factor would be much easier to calculate. It's the expanding contrails that makes the calculated effect on global warming soooo much more difficult to answer. Just a guess, but if the sea surface temps are rising, then there will be more moisture in the air, and thus more contrails, and more spreading contrails. But does that mean a higher albedo from the resulting cirrus clouds and a net negative effect on sun warming the earth, or does that mean the nights stay warmer due to the blanket effect of the cirrus, and the day starts warmer. Of course, both things happen. Really, the only way to tell for sure would be to ground all jet travel for at least one year and see what happens, but of course that would never happen. What may happen in the future though is aircraft that are powered by high efficiency electric motors in place of the turbofans now in use. That requires some pretty sophisticated battery technology that is probably 30-50 years away. Then there would be no contrails! No CO2 & H2O.
I wonder what the chemtrail movement will be like in 30 years?
I think climate scientist did some calculations in the aftermath of 911 when the U.S. was largely contrail free

And (from memory) there was a small positve feedback when they measured surface temperatures

But the result were negligible either way

What is certain is the role of clouds need much more study

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_feedback
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
What may happen in the future though is aircraft that are powered by high efficiency electric motors in place of the turbofans now in use. That requires some pretty sophisticated battery technology that is probably 30-50 years away. Then there would be no contrails! No CO2 & H2O.
I wonder what the chemtrail movement will be like in 30 years?
You'd still get aerodynamic contrails, wouldn't you? Both from the wing surfaces and from the engines, if they had rotating blades.

Russ Tanner at the age of 95: "Battery-powered electric engines can't create contrails!!!" :)
 

smithcorp

New Member
The comments following that Monbiot article (warning, there's a lot of them) are very entertaining. The Brits (and some Aussies there) manage a much higher proportion of gentle mockery of the chemmies who are posting the usual 'look up' nonsense, than you see in US comments sections.
 

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