Quantifying Expert Consensus Against Covert Geoengineering / Chemtrails

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In a paper publish in Environmental Research letters, August 2016, 77 scientists with expertise in atmospheric science and geochemistry were asked to give their expert opinions regarding the most common claims of evidence put forward by proponents of the "chemtrail" or "covert geoengineering" theory (referred to in the paper as a "secret large-scale atmospheric program (SLAP)". The evidence being photos of trails left by planes, and chemical analyses of air, soil, and water. The scientists overwhelming rejected the idea that the photos and tests were evidence of a secret spraying program. All of the atmospheric scientists and all but one of the geochemists saw nothing suspicious about the proffered evidence. The photos were all identified as contrails, and the chemical analyses were generally identified as expected results due to normal variation and poor testing methodology.

Quantifying expert consensus against the existence of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program
The paper (of which I am a co-author) came about partly as a response to problems scientists were having with harassment from chemtrail believers. The science of geoengineering is largely theoretical, however researchers in this field have been subject to threats, and disruptions at their conferences and during public talks.

Chemtrail believers frequently show the same kinds of evidence over and over. Because of the fringe nature of this belief many scientists simply ignore the issue and the claims of evidence are likewise ignored. Since the claims are often only refuted by online lay skeptics the believers in the theory think they may have more validity than they actually do. So by having a large number of actual experts examine the evidence and give their professional opinion, a more accurate assessment of the evidence can be given to the believers.

And it is a large number of experts, have a look at the list of atmospheric scientists polled:
  • Andrew Carleton, Penn State University
  • Andrew Heidinger, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Andrew Heymsfield, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Andrew J Weinheimer, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Brian A Ridley, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Bruce Anderson, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Bryan Baum, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Charles A Brock, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Charles E Kolb, Aerodyne Research
  • Christine Fichter, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Christos Zerefos, University of Athens
  • Cynthia Twohy, NorthWest Research Associates
  • Darrel Baumgardner, Droplet Measurement Technologies
  • David Doelling, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • David Kratz, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • David Lee, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • David Lewellen, West Virginia University
  • David J Travis, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Donald P Garber, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Eleftheratos Konstantinos, University of Athens
  • Gaby Radel, University of Reading
  • Guy Febvre, Observatory of Atmospheric Physics at Clermont-Ferrand
  • Hartmut Grassl, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
  • Jack Dibb, University of New Hampshire
  • Karen Rosenlof, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Klaus Gierens, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Larry Miloshevich, Milo Scientific
  • Markus Garhammer, Ludwig-Maximilians-University
  • Matthias Tesche, Stockholm University
  • Michael Ponater, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Michael Prather, University of California, Irvine
  • Otto Klemm, University of Muenster
  • Patrick Minnis, National Aeronautics & Space Administration
  • Piers Forster, University of Leeds
  • R Paul Lawson, Stratton Park Engineering Company
  • Rabi Palikonda ,National Aeronautics & Space Administration
  • Reinhold Busen, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Robert Sausen, Institute of Atmospheric Physics
  • Robert Talbot, University of Houston
  • Ru-Shan Gao, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Sonia M Kreidenweis, Colorado State University
  • Stephan Bakan, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
  • Tatiana Khokhlova, University of Washington
  • Thilo Stilp European, Aviation Group for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Tove Svenby Norwegian, Institute for Air Research
  • Ulrich Schumann Institute, of Atmospheric Physics
  • Ulrike Burkhardt, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Volker Grewe, Institute of Atmospheric Physics
  • William L Smith, National Aeronautics and Space
Every single one of these scientists rejected the hypothesis that the four photos shown were evidence of a secret large-scale atmospheric spraying program (SLAP). They all identified the trails as contrails, and gave scientific explanations for the effects seen in each photo.

The photos were chosen to illustrate the most common type of photographic evidence presented by chemtrail believers:

a) Planes leaving long trails where seemingly adjacent planes leave no trails
b) Trails from planes that leave gaps
c) Trails that seem to come from the whole wing surface, and exhibit a spectrum of colors
d) Multiple persistent trails curving and criss-crossing the sky.​

(unfortunately since Environmental Research Letters is a UK publication, they were not able to display all the photos due to the more restrictive UK copyright laws. I have reproduced them all in the copy of the figure above).

As well as simply giving a yes/no answer on if they thought the photos were evidence of covert geoengineering, the scientists were asked to explain what they thought was going on in the photo. For example the photo (b) with the gap in the trail (credit: Forest M. Mims III)


The atmospheric scientists were all asked a simple question:
"What is the most likely reason there is a gap in this trail?"

A variety of answers were given, for example:
  • "A local area of the upper troposphere where the temperature or the humidity (or both) are below the threshold values needed for a persisting contrail (e.g., due to locally sinking air at that altitude, which warms up and dries out the air)."
  • "A dry spot."
  • "Water vapor fields are not homogeneous or uniform. Part of the contrail is in a region where the relative humidity is less than 100% with respect to ice and the crystals are evaporating"
  • "Aircraft passing through local turbulence condition (strong upwinds?) leading to a rapid break-up of the vortex in the area. Likely to accelerate also the break up of the vortex."
  • "Atmospheric variability: In that area the air is probably not moist enough, not a ice supersaturated region ."

These various answers were manually grouped into the four most common variants, along with an "other" category, and the results were graphed:
20160811-090344-lcili.jpg


The results were similar for the other three photos, as seen in the top image.

The scientists were also asked "Could you provide a citation to a publication describing the mechanisms that most likely account for the phenomena shown in the photo?", and a wide variety of scientific papers were cited with the most common reference for photo (b) being Schumann’s ‘On conditions for contrail formation from aircraft exhausts’ (1996) and Schumann’s ‘Formation, properties, and climate effects of contrails’ (2005), both cited by 6% of experts.

The geochemists survey was slightly less clear cut, which probably reflects the more ambiguous nature of the data, and lack of information regarding collection procedures. Three chemical analyses were presented, all of which we picked because they have been continually cited by chemtrail believers for several years, and are still in use as of today. Unfortunately they were not reproduced in the paper, so I will reproduce them here.

Analysis a, pond sediment
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Analysis b, airborne particulates:
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Analysis c, Snow Surface
20160811-092329-pn3ow.jpg

With the results:

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The question with the most consesus is the pond sample, which was featured in the film "What In The World Are They Spraying?" in 2010. The scientists were asked:
"Do you think the most parsimonious explanation of these results involve the existence of a secret large-scale atmospheric spraying program?

If yes, why? If not, how would you interpret these results?"​

As with the contrail photos the answer was generally "no" and there were a variety of interpretations which were grouped as seen above. Some sample responses:
  • "It looks like about 5 grams of average soil or desert dust in a liter of sludge, quite reasonable."
  • "I would compare the concentration of Al, Ba and Sr to that in local sources (e.g., local streams, rocks/sediments/soil, discharges from local facilities)."
  • "The elemental concentrations are consistent with silicate mineral dissolution. The Al concentration could be due to colloidal Al. Nothing unusual here, No red flags from this data. More really needs to be known; i.e what is the pH and O2 status of the pond, also what is the DOC. Hard to say much from 3 concentration numbers"
  • "Most likely anthropogenic pollution (industrial or municipal); any more detailed interpretation would require knowledge of the environmental context"
  • "All three of these elements are major constituents of crustal material. The concentrations reported for the three elements are much less than what is present in average upper continental crust. The results report an aluminum concentration of 375000ppb which is less than 0.04%. Average continental crust is 7.96% aluminum (Wedepohl, 1995). All three elements are reported at values two-three orders of magnitude less than crustal values."
Interestingly in the other two samples, there was one scientist who actually did think the results were evidence of secret spraying program. This seems to be due to him interpreting the results without sufficient context about what actually was being tested, and what the expected results should be for that test. They also claimed 'high levels of atm[ospheric] barium in a remote area with standard 'low' soil barium'. It's not clear what they mean by "high" here, or what tests they are actually referring to. This one person is very much an outlier result.

The confusion about what the test actually represented was shared by other scientists, some of whom took the comparison against the MCL levels at face value, but others correctly identified the problems, like with the second sample:

  • "As in the last example, the units reported are not directly interpretable. Are the results reported as concentration in air, or as concentration in a lab prepared solution? There are many possible sources of these metals as airborne particulates, especially in an urban environment."
  • "The concentrations per unit mass look like average soil or desert dust. The MCL values are not relevant, and look to be based on drinking water standards"
  • "Presence of particles from aeolian [wind] erosion?"
  • "Firstly, all three elements are common constituents of crustal material. This figure does not provide adequate information regarding collection methods, location, analytical methods, etc for one to make any judgement regarding their validity whatsoever. Further, the MCL values quoted are for contaminants in water not air."
  • "Probably from mineral particles."

In addition the scientists were asked to give their assessment of the water testing procedure that geoengineringwatch.org used at the time for analysis (a).

The results were largely critical (emphasis mine):
Atmospheric scientists were also asked if contrails were persisting more now than they were before, about half of them said yes, for a variety of reasons.
Participating in this study was a very interesting experience for me. It actually started over two years ago, in July 2014, when I was approached by Christine Shearer who was in the very early stages of working on the study with Steve Davis and Ken Caldeira. My contributions were largely based on my experience of what claims of evidence the chemtrail community commonly used, and we spend some time debating which photos and tests would be most representative, and how to phrase the survey questions.

Progress seemed very slow, as the main authors had other projects to work on. With chemtrails being a bit of a fringe subject it seemed difficult for some people in the academic community to take it seriously, and there were occasional reports of people being highly surprised at the very idea of such a study, including some of the experts who were surveyed (or who were asked, but declined).

The surveying was completed early 2015, but again other commitments kept the main authors from working much on the project until later in the year. I contributed a little to the wording and proof reading, but the vast bulk of the work collating the results, writing the paper, and creating figures was done by Christine and Steve. The paper was completed in early 2016, and published on August 10th 2016.

The big question of course is: will it help? Time will tell. There's some debate regarding fringe subjects as to whether they should be addressed at all. If you take conspiracy theories seriously enough to write a peer reviewed paper rebutting them, then does it actually make the theory more plausible for some people? Will media coverage of the paper actually just lead to more people being exposed to the chemtrail theory? These are genuine concerns.

My hope is that our attempt to ask neutral questions about the photos, and the honest responses of the experts, will act as a reality check. Is it really possible that these 49 listed atmospheric scientists, from all over the world, scientists who are leading experts in the field of clouds and contrails, is it possible they are all wrong? And if not (and surely nobody would argue they are all simply mistaken) then is it possible that all of them are in the employ of whoever is doing the "covert geoengineering"? And these are a representative sample of thousands of similar experts. Are they all wrong too?

Ultimately there's no convincing some people, and this study may well backfire for the hardcore conspiracist. But for people on the fence, who have not yet fallen down the rabbit hole, I think it will help them. I think this help will outweigh any harm. But time will tell.





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Here are the original sources of the photos and test results:

Plane Trails

Photo 1 - Longer and Shorter Trails
Source: http://globalskywatch.com/chemtrails/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showgallery&Number=8579#.VmW6r-MrKEI
Photographer: "Bornfree" (anonymous forum poster)
Captioned: "Two Contrail planes alongside one Chemtrail plane. These pictures were taken in Tucson Arizona in 2011."

Photo 2 - Trail with gap in between
Current Source: http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/the-government-coordinated-chemtrail-conspiracy-continues-unabated/
Previously: http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues/2004-05-28/news2/index.html
Photographer: Forrest M. Mims III
Caption: "The break in this contrail indicates drier air than the air in which the contrail is visible."
Published in 2004

Photo 3 - Trails with color spectrum in between
Current Source: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/plane-flying-over-sea-of-clouds-leaving-high-res-stock-photography/71083312
(Previously: http://www.airliners.net/photo/KLM-Cargo/Boeing-747-206BM(SF-SUD)/0239080/L/ )
Photographer Josef P. Willems
Caption: "KLM Flight 9165 from Amsterdam to Dubai, cruising at FL350, seen from 1000 ft above. Maybe the largest trails I've ever seen..."
Photo taken May 21, 2002

Photo 4 - Swirling Trails
Source: http://war.163.com/07/1225/08/40I0FABE00011MTO.html (http://archive.today/ojnZc)
Caption: "战机大规模演习后空中流下的尾迹。" (Contrails behind fighter jets in the large scale exercise)
Photographer unknown, possible an official Chinese government photo.

Deposition

Sample 1 - Pond Sediment
Source video: "What in the World Are They Spraying",
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEfJO0-cTis
Time: 30:10
Sample taken 04/29/2007, Dane Wigington

Sample 2 - Air particulates
Source: http://arizonaskywatch.com/az-tests/our charts/phx_particulates_2008.htm (Crop of third image)
Sample take 05/01/2008, Air through Hepa Filter, by "Arizona Skywatch"

Sample 3 - Snow Surface
Source video: "What in the World Are They Spraying"
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEfJO0-cTis
Time 25:03
Sample taken 07/08/2008, Rose Taylor

Geoengineeringwatch Water Testing Procedure:
http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/html/watertesting.html (http://archive.is/tskGA)
 
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Comments

Dane Wigington has reacted to the study: Ken Caldeira, David Keith, And Carnegie “Science”, The Face Of The Criminal Climate Engineering Cover-up
It's a long article with a long list of "criticisms". The main point he makes is:
etc. etc.
 
ane Wigington has reacted to the study: Ken Caldeira, David Keith, And Carnegie “Science”, The Face Of The Criminal Climate Engineering Cover-up
It's a long article with a long list of "criticisms". The main point he makes is:
Interesting that he shows a video of an aerodynamic contrail. I should have put a more distinctive one of those in the test.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK9nVR9H34g

Still, if that's his counter evidence, it's straightforward enough to refute.

EDIT: Rebuttal here: https://www.metabunk.org/debunked-irrefutable-film-footage-of-climate-engineering-aerosol-spraying-aerodynamic-contrails.t7856/
 
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Ken Caldeira, David Keith, And Carnegie “Science”, The Face Of The Criminal Climate Engineering Cover-up
...a last ditch desperate attempt to hide the ongoing geoengineering planetary omnicide till the last possible moment. ... The effort to bring the climate engineering insanity to light is gaining ground rapidly...[/ex]
etc. etc.
The most interesting (and maybe satisfying) part about Dane's reaction, to me, is that he resorts to calling the paper
"...a last ditch desperate attempt" when he must realize that his movement's terminal inability to "wake up"
the masses, or get anyone with power to take them seriously (and all the protests, with stagnating attendance)
may well mean his days of "importance" are numbered: This paper is getting so much attention, that it's going to be harder
than ever to convince marginal potential converts to board the sinking "chemtrail" dinghy.
in other words, Dane may realize that "last ditch desperate attempt" may really be a better fit for
him and his lot...as their plan to convince the masses dies hard...slowly...painfully...but inevitably...




p.s. Gotta love Dane's reference to Colbert...does Dane not understand that the whole premise of the
Colbert Report was that the title character was an idiot, who pretty much got everything wrong...? :p



Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 7.32.47 PM.png
 
Dane seems to confuse Carnegie Institution for Science (Ken Caldeira's employer) with Carnegie Mellon University:
The page linked by Dane is about government-sponsored software research and development (mainly for cybersecurity) at Carnegie Mellon University. This has nothing to do with Carnegie Institution for Science except that both were founded by Andrew Carnegie around 1900.

Dane is very sloppy with facts, as always.
 
And it's the video he has stolen from Douglas Huang.
It's a great shame that Mr Huang has deleted his original video. He (unsuccessfully) tried to get YouTube to take down the geoengineeringwatch version, but now he seems to have given up and taken his own original one down, thus removing part of the evidence of what it really shows.
 
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1789/20140161

:D
Damn, beat me to it.. :)
 
Contrails have been tested. Chemtrail believers will just shrug and say "Well, those were contrails. We're talking about chemtrails." So the only way it is going to happen to their satisfaction is if THEY identify a "definite chemtrail" and sample it themselves. So why haven't they?
They will tell you they lack funds and that the government is not keen in embarrassing itself by funding them
 
The figure is the Total Exposure Limit as prescribed by OSHA.


That figure for barium is in mg/m3, not ppm, as claimed.

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/convert.html

 
I think you'll find that the majority of people in the world remember almost nothing of any physics and chemistry the learned in school. Try asking a few people what the difference is between a molecule and an atom.
I learned practically nothing about physics or chemistry in school, and I'm quite positive many other people also did not.
 
The most interesting (and maybe satisfying) part about Dane's reaction, to me, is that he resorts to calling the paper
"...a last ditch desperate attempt" when he must realize that his movement's terminal inability to "wake up"
the masses, or get anyone with power to take them seriously (and all the protests, with stagnating attendance)
may well mean his days of "importance" are numbered: This paper is getting so much attention, that it's going to be harder
than ever to convince marginal potential converts to board the sinking "chemtrail" dinghy.
in other words, Dane may realize that "last ditch desperate attempt" may really be a better fit for
him and his lot...as their plan to convince the masses dies hard...slowly...painfully...but inevitably...
All of his terminology is hysterical: The power structure's propaganda machine, last ditch, desperate, omnicide, global controllers, pathetic piece of propaganda.......... anything but a calm objective rebuttal, and that's just one paragraph!
 
In short, the more they type, the less plausible I find their claims.
That's because SO MANY of their claims are based out outright lies like the "FedEx" video. How often do they repeat such ridiculously false and thoroughly debunked claims? Daily, it seems.
 
Truth be told, though, the more "chemtrailers" have talked about what they claim is happening,
the more they've pushed me to see it as illogical and unworkable...such that I find it harder and
harder to imagine evidence that could make "chemtrails" seem likely to me.
In short, the more they type, the less plausible I find their claims.
And aside from me...I think the fad is slowly dying.
Ironically, with the inception of chemtrails approaching it's 20th anniversary next year (Sept 17th, 2017),
the believers have always hoped for their cause to reach "critical mass" when they expected a general consensus would grow until virtually everyone would agree with them. Critical mass has finally come, but as it has happened, their consensus has become turned around 180 degrees against them.

The importance of this paper is how it hoists them on their own petard, they are completely blown up. Years ago when I approached scientists and tried to explain what chemtrail believers were saying, many weren't interested. Now, as NoParty has seen, enough has been said and likewise rejected that his experience is shared by orders of magnitude more people. The believers always said they sought the truth, and now they have it.
 
Dane Wigington talks about the study at length in his latest radio program. From about 31:58 to 44:30.
Looks like he plans to publish more articles attempting to discredit Ken Caldeira next week.
At about 40:42, he talks about an email sent to Caldeira claiming that air traffic in the US is down, and Caldeira apparently accepted it.
 
That actually isn't the point. 4 pictures and 2 studies as evidence were used to categorically deny ANY and ALL existsnce of a geoengineering/SRM program.
No, not at all. What the study did was take a small number of examples of "evidence" that is commonly used as "proof of chemtrails" and ask for expert opinion on whether they actually do constitute evidence. The overwhelming consensus was that no, they do not. The study wasn't about open-ended, hypothetical "what ifs".
 
J. Marvin Herndon, serial author of discredited chemtrail papers, has weighed in with an open letter in response to the paper we were originally discussing:

http://beforeitsnews.com/new-world-order/2016/08/intent-of-expert-consensus-letter-denying-secret-chemical-spraying-program-is-to-deceive-the-public-6536.html

 
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J. Marvin Herndon, serial author of discredited chemtrail papers, has weighed in with an open letter in response:


I can't copy the text of it from my phone.
heres the fun parts. the rest is just typical Herndon [...]. "exhibit D" just links to the home page.

i bolded the hypocritical parts i especially like. and the lie about Mick contacting Krzyzanowski. (and the lie about Krzyzanowski, because i do not believe she lied to Herndon and said Mick contacted her.)
 
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Also, exhibit D was not posted on Metabunk.

This letter will just be ignored by the universities.
Is this quote from Krzyzanowski just a complete fabrication?

What was the resolution of the "null hypothesis" question?
 
Is this quote from Krzyzanowski just a complete fabrication?

What was the resolution of the "null hypothesis" question?
I did not contact her. She contacted me.

I was using "null hypothesis" in the sense of "there's nothing going on, it's just dirt". She was using it in a strict statistical sense of there being no relationship between the test results and coal fly ash.

But of course there IS a loose relationship, as coal fly ash is very similar to dirt. Her objection seems to miss the point.
 
What about this woman who says she witnessed it and lost her job over it by way of threat.. [video violation removed]
Kristen Meghan was a member of Metabunk. She explained that her "whistleblowing" was nothing to do with chemtrails, it was to do with exposure to chemicals at air bases. She has since become involved in the chemtrail theory, but her talking points are the usual debunked ones from the internet, not based on any personal experience.

See the thread here, in which Kristen Meghan participated: https://www.metabunk.org/kristen-meghan-former-us-air-force-whistle-blower.t1066/
 
I've challenged "Richie from Boston" to a phone debate..on the issue of chemtrails and his comments on the study, and the remainder of his video, and what else he states in this video...

 
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I've challenged "Richie from Boston" to a phone debate..on the issue of chemtrails and his comments on the study, and the remainder of his video, and what else he states in this video...

I'm not sure how much point there would be in debating someone who thinks nimbostratus and stratus are new cloud types o_O
 
I'm not sure how much point there would be in debating someone who thinks nimbostratus and stratus are new cloud types o_O
I don't know - having an old book on hand that provides a clear debunking of that claim is a lot better than nebulous arguing over things that cannot be proved. It's a hard claim of evidence, so it can be easily refuted.
 
I don't know - having an old book on hand that provides a clear debunking of that claim is a lot better than nebulous arguing over things that cannot be proved. It's a hard claim of evidence, so it can be easily refuted.
Didn't you know all the old books are faked?
 
I've never seen 4-bread before.

That's what happened, right? Jesus got some four dimensional bread and just tore it at right angles to reality to appear to make one loaf into two?

That's what I'd do.
 
Nice company: Dawkins, Randi & Co. Congrats.

But before CTs begin questioning whether you're a "replacement West"
or something, what's the backstory on the dueling (flipped) pic?

Dueling Micks....png
 
Nice company: Dawkins, Randi & Co. Congrats.

But before CTs begin questioning whether you're a "replacement West"
or something, what's the backstory on the dueling (flipped) pic?

View attachment 22191
I can't remember exactly. Maybe it looked a bit too much like Jim Lee's Avatar.

(i.e. my avatar here is flipped, good job I have a symmetrical haircut)
 
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I can't remember exactly. Maybe it looked a bit too much like Jim Lee's Avatar.

(i.e. my avatar here is flipped, good job I have a symmetrical haircut)
If it's the avatar pic that's flipped, I assumed it's just so that you are "looking into" the page. That's a basic design rule, that people's faces should be looking towards the centre of the page where possible. @Jay Reynolds and @deirdre get it right, but @Leifer doesn't ;)
 
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