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Quantifying expert consensus against the existence of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program

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Abstract and Figures

Nearly 17% of people in an international survey said they believed the existence of a secret large-scale atmospheric program (SLAP) to be true or partly true. SLAP is commonly referred to as 'chemtrails' or 'covert geoengineering', and has led to a number of websites purported to show evidence of widespread chemical spraying linked to negative impacts on human health and the environment. To address these claims, we surveyed two groups of experts—atmospheric chemists with expertize in condensation trails and geochemists working on atmospheric deposition of dust and pollution—to scientifically evaluate for the first time the claims of SLAP theorists. Results show that 76 of the 77 scientists (98.7%) that took part in this study said they had not encountered evidence of a SLAP, and that the data cited as evidence could be explained through other factors, including well-understood physics and chemistry associated with aircraft contrails and atmospheric aerosols. Our goal is not to sway those already convinced that there is a secret, large-scale spraying program—who often reject counter-evidence as further proof of their theories—but rather to establish a source of objective science that can inform public discourse.
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Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)129501 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/12/129501
CORRIGENDUM
Corrigendum: Quantifying expert consensus against the existence of
a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program (2016 Environ.
Res. Lett. 11 084011)
Christine Shearer
1,2
, Mick West
3
, Ken Caldeira
4
and Steven J Davis
1,2
1
Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Croul Hall, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2
Near Zero, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 943053, USA
3
Metabunk.org, Shingle Springs, CA 95682, USA
4
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Corrigendum
Unfortunately there was an error in gure 2.The
number (n)for the pie charts (a)(d)should have read
49the number of respondents to the question of
whether a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying
program was the most parsimonious explanation for the
photos. Additionally, in gure 2(a), two of the blocks in
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ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION
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Original content from this
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Commons Attribution 3.0
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Any further distribution of
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and DOI.
Figure 2.
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
the bar chart had the same label Different combustion
efciency/engine; the block for n=5shouldhave
instead read Different aircraft sizes/types.Figure2with
the correct number and label is above. All other data
remains the same. Original photos can be viewed at
www.ess.uci.edu/~sjdavis/SLAP/.
Introduction
The rst line should have read: In a recent interna-
tional survey of 3105 people,not 3015 people.
Atmospheric deposition
The discussion of the third sample in the section on
atmospheric deposition should have read: Twenty-
three experts (82%)rejected the results as evidence of
SLAP, while four (14%)did not know or were unsure.
The Nguyen et al 1998 reference and citation should
have read:
MinnisP,YoungDF,GarberDP,NguyenL,SmithWLJr
and Palikonda R 1998 Transformation of contrails into
cirrus during SUCCESS Geophys. Res. Lett.25 115760
2
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)129501 C Shearer et al
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084011
LETTER
Quantifying expert consensus against the existence of a secret,
large-scale atmospheric spraying program
Christine Shearer
1,2
, Mick West
3
, Ken Caldeira
4
and Steven J Davis
1,2
1
Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Croul Hall, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2
Near Zero, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 943053, USA
3
Metabunk.org, Shingle Springs, CA 95682, USA
4
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
E-mail: sjdavis@uci.edu
Keywords: contrails, chemtrails, atmospheric deposition, secret large-scale atmospheric spraying program, geoengineering
Abstract
Nearly 17% of people in an international survey said they believed the existence of a secret large-scale
atmospheric program (SLAP)to be true or partly true. SLAP is commonly referred to as chemtrailsor
covert geoengineering, and has led to a number of websites purported to show evidence of
widespread chemical spraying linked to negative impacts on human health and the environment. To
address these claims, we surveyed two groups of expertsatmospheric chemists with expertize in
condensation trails and geochemists working on atmospheric deposition of dust and pollutionto
scientically evaluate for the rst time the claims of SLAP theorists. Results show that 76 of the 77
scientists (98.7%)that took part in this study said they had not encountered evidence of a SLAP, and
that the data cited as evidence could be explained through other factors, including well-understood
physics and chemistry associated with aircraft contrails and atmospheric aerosols. Our goal is not to
sway those already convinced that there is a secret, large-scale spraying programwho often reject
counter-evidence as further proof of their theoriesbut rather to establish a source of objective
science that can inform public discourse.
Introduction
In a recent international survey of 3015 people, 2.6% of
the respondents said it was completely truethat there
is a secret government program that uses airplanes to
put harmful chemicals into the air, and 14% said this is
partly true(Mercer et al 2011). The existence of such a
program, popularly referred to as chemtrails,has
gained a passionate following of people who link
sprayed chemicals to negative impacts on humanhealth
and the environment. As described below, much of the
support for chemtrails-related theories has appeared
on the internet, and not in peer-reviewed contexts.
Social scientists have noted parallels between belief in
claims of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying
program (SLAP)and growing public distrust of elites
and social institutions (Cairns 2014, Cairns and Stir-
ling 2014, Bakalaki 2016).
Individuals who assert the existence of such a SLAP
assume different purposes of the program. Initially, the
most commonly inferred goals were control over popula-
tion, food supply, and/or the weather. However, with the
emergence of research on climate geoengineering in the
early 2000s (Crutzen 2006), SLAP has also been increas-
ingly explained as geoengineering of the Earthsclimate
system (Cairns 2014). SLAP activists can be aggressive,
and academics assessing climate geoengineering using
computer models have been subjected to threats for their
alleged role in a secret spraying program (Keith 2013).
The existence of actual research programs that
involve spraying or dispersing material in the atmos-
phere is seen, by some, as evidence in favor of SLAP
theory. For example, cloud seeding entails spraying
small particles of substances, such as dry ice or silver
iodide, onto clouds in order to increase precipitation.
The technique has been used by some states and coun-
tries, with modest results: the California Department
of Water Resources has estimated a four percent
annual precipitation increase attributable to the com-
bined state seeding projects (Hunter 2007).
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19 April 2016
REVISED
21 June 2016
ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION
18 July 2016
PUBLISHED
10 August 2016
Original content from this
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the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution 3.0
licence.
Any further distribution of
this work must maintain
attribution to the
author(s)and the title of
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and DOI.
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
Despite the prevalence of the SLAP theory, there
here have been few attempts to seriously and scienti-
cally evaluate the claims of its proponents. In 2000, the
US Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Avia-
tion Administration, National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmo-
spheric Administration posted a fact sheet to assure
the public that the government is not operating a
large-scale atmospheric spraying program (EPA, FAA,
NASA and NOAA 2000). There have been no peer-
reviewed studies in the scientic literature addressing
SLAP claims. Meanwhile, a growing number of studies
have shown that quantifying and communicating the
scientic consensus on contested issues such as vac-
cine safety and climate change can help lower public
misperceptions and uncertainty (Myers et al 2015, van
der Linden et al 2015, van der Linden et al 2015).
Here, therefore, we report the results of an expert
survey in which we asked experts on atmospheric
chemistry and atmospheric deposition to scientically
evaluate the claims of SLAP theorists. We nd broad
scientic consensus against the existence of a secret,
large-scale atmospheric spraying program. Our goal is
not to sway those already convinced that there is a
secret, large-scale spraying programwho often
reject counter-evidence as further proof of their the-
oriesbut rather to establish a source of objective,
peer-reviewed science that can inform public dis-
course in the future by seriously addressing the under-
lying concerns of science, governance, and public trust
(Cairns 2014).
Methods
There are multiple websites dedicated to exposing the
existence of SLAP, including Geoengineering Watch
(geoengineeringwatch.org)and Global Sky Watch
(globalskywatch.com). These websites collect and dis-
play data in support of the SLAP theory. This data
most commonly falls into two categories: (1)photo-
graphs of trails left behind by airplanes and (2)
elemental analyses of water, soil, and snow samples.
The websites claim condensation trails, or contrails,
should evaporate right away, and therefore persistent
trails are evidence of chemical spraying. They also post
test results suggesting above normal levels of elements
particularly strontium, barium, and aluminum
which they argue also indicates chemical spraying.
In order to evaluate these data, we developed two
surveys (the complete survey protocols are available at:
http://nearzero.org/elicitation/review/a2592e56-
cb21-4849-baa2-560d456707c8 and http://nearzero.
org/elicitation/review/d172e2d8-89fa-4bcc-a90f-
c28a58bc7cf0)and administered each survey to a dif-
ferent group of experts: (1)atmospheric scientists with
expertize in condensation trails and (2)geochemists
working on atmospheric deposition of dust and pollu-
tion on the Earths surface.
Expert participants were selected by using the ISI
Web of Science to identify the authors of the most-
cited peer-reviewed publications covering these topics
that have been published in the past 20 years
(19942014). In the rst case, we searched for papers
with the topic contrail. For experts on atmospheric
deposition, we used the search terms atmospheric
depositionAND (aluminumOR bariumOR
strontium), which narrowed the results to experts
working on the elements most frequently pointed to as
evidence of spraying by the analyses of SLAP propo-
nents, and excluded other types of deposition events
such as acid rain and nitrogen run-off. For the pur-
poses of this study, we dene contrail expertand
atmospheric deposition expertto be a person who
has co-authored one or more of the 100 most-cited
papers in each search.
Using these criteria, we identied 220 contrail
experts and 255 atmospheric deposition experts. A
survey invitation was sent out: 49 contrail experts and
65 atmospheric deposition experts could not be
reached with our contact information or explicitly dis-
qualied themselves as experts on the survey topic.
This left a total sample population of 171 for contrails
and 190 for atmospheric deposition. Of these, 49
experts completed the contrail survey and 28 com-
pleted the atmospheric deposition surveya response
rate of 29% and 15%, respectively. The lower response
rate for deposition may have in part been due to the
wider breadth of knowledge covered in the survey
leading more people to disqualify themselves as
experts. All invited experts were informed that the sur-
vey would be condential: participant names are lis-
ted, but responses are not attributed to specic
experts. Contrail experts had an average of 26 years
professional experience in their eld (with a median of
26 years), and deposition experts 22 years (with a med-
ian of 20 years).
The surveys asked the two groups of experts to
assess data that have been presented on websites as evi-
dence of SLAP. In both surveys, the rst question
asked was: Have you, in your work or personal life,
ever come across evidence that you think indicates the
existence of a secret large-scale atmospheric spraying
program?Participants could choose either yes or no,
or write in their own response.
Trails behind aircraft
SLAP proponents argue that condensation trails, or
contrails, should evaporate quickly after the passing of
an aircraft, and that more persistent trails are evidence
of chemical spraying. Our contrail survey consisted of
four pictures taken from SLAP websites that have been
cited as evidence of a SLAP. In each case, the experts
were rst asked whether they thought the most
parsimonious (i.e. simplest)explanation involved a
SLAP. They were then asked to explain the photo and
offer a reference to the scientic literature that best
2
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011
described the mechanism(s)that account for the
phenomena shown in the photo. They were also asked
whether trails behind aircraft persist for longer time
periods today than when air travel rst began, and the
factors underlying any change.
Atmospheric deposition
SLAP proponents argue that seemingly abnormal
concentrations of elements such as strontium, barium,
and aluminum in water, soil, and snow samples are the
result of sprayed chemicals. Our survey asked experts
to evaluate photocopies of three different laboratory
analyses of elemental concentrations in samples of
pond sediment, lter media, and snow that were
posted on the SLAP website, Geoengineering Watch.
Additionally, experts were asked to evaluate the
appropriateness of the sampling methods recom-
mended by SLAP websites, and whether they have
observed any secular changes in the environmental
concentrations of strontium, barium, and aluminum
over their careers, and the factors underlying any
change.
Results
In response to the general question of whether they
have ever encountered evidence that indicates the
existence of SLAP, 76 of the total 77 expert respon-
dents (98.7%)answered no (gure 1). Further, when
asked about their degree of condence that they would
have come across such evidence, the average con-
dence levels were 86% and 55% for contrail and
atmospheric deposition experts, respectively. The
one participant who answered yes said the evidence
s/he had come across was high levels of atm[ospheric]
barium in a remote area with standard lowsoil
barium.
Trails behind aircraft
Figure 2shows the four photos assessed by contrail
experts. In each case, 100% of the experts indicated
that the simplest explanation of the trails in the photo
was not a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying
program. To the contrary, the experts often agreed
about the physical mechanisms on display in each
photo, and indicated that none were out of the
ordinary or explained by events outside of normal
contrail formation. There were also many common
citations, suggesting the mechanisms behind the
contrails shown are well documented in the peer-
reviewed literature.
The rst photo showed three trails in the sky, one
thick and long and the other two thinner and shorter
(gure 2(a)). SLAP proponents have argued that con-
densation trails should evaporate quickly, and therefore
persistent trails of varying lengths indicate differences in
how much and/or how long aircraft have been spraying
chemicals. In contrast, 39 (80%)of the contrail experts
stated that the larger trail in the photo was likely in an
area of higher humidity, while 35 experts (71%)indi-
cated that the thicker and longer size of the larger trail
was related to greater altitude. Some experts also sug-
gested that different types of aircraft may have made the
trails and that their fuel efciencies may have differed
(10% and 12%, respectively),eitherofwhichcouldalso
affect the size and density of the condensation trail. The
most common citation was SchumannsOn conditions
for contrail formation from aircraft exhausts(Schu-
mann 1996), cited by nine (18%)of the experts.
The second photo showed a trail broken by a gap
(gure 2(b)). SLAP proponents have argued that such a
gap reects that chemical spraying was turned on, then
off, then on again. Forty (82%)and eight (16%)of the
contrail experts explained the gap as an area of particu-
larly dry or warm air, respectively, which made it more
difcult for the condensation trail to persist. Eleven
experts (22%)also suggested the gap could be due to
subsidence or an upwelling of air. Citations for this
phenomenon were diverse, with the most common
reference being again SchumannsOn conditions
(Schumann 1996)and SchumannsFormation, proper-
ties, and climate effects of contrails(Schumann 2005),
both cited by 6% of experts.
The third photo showed a plane with thick, dense
trails behind each wingtip and spanned by a color
spectrum (gure 2(c)). SLAP proponents have argued
such phenomenathick, persistent contrails and
rainbow colorsare both evidence of heavy chemical
spraying. Thirty contrail experts (61%)instead
explained the dense trails by the presence of moist air
that was supersaturated, with the colors due to light
refracting through ice crystals (19 experts, or 39%)or
diffusion or scattering by small water droplets or ice
crystals (11 experts, or 22%). The most common refer-
ence was Gierens et alsAerodynamic contrails: phe-
nomenology and ow physics(Gierens et al 2009),
cited by 11 (22%)of the experts.
The fourth photo showed a swirling sky of trails,
spanning different densities and lengths (gure 2(d)).
SLAP proponents have argued such a thick patchwork
of trails suggest widespread spraying. Contrails experts
Figure 1. Of 77 experts surveyed, 98.7% (76)said they had not
encountered evidence that indicates the existence of a secret,
large-scale atmospheric spraying program (SLAP), and 1.3%
(1)said they had.
3
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011
suggested the depicted were likely related to military,
research, or acrobatic aircraft (29 experts, 59%), or air-
craft circling in a holding pattern, perhaps near an air-
port (21 experts, 43%). The different trail sizes were
also attributed to wind shear, advection, or high alti-
tude winds (14 experts, 29%). The most common
reference was Transformation of contrails into cirrus
during SUCCESS(Nguyen et al 1998), cited by four
(8%)of respondents.
In response to the question of whether trails behind
aircraft are persisting for longer periods of time now
than they did when plane travel rst began, 23 experts
(47%)answered no, 18 experts (37%)answered yes,
and 8 experts (16%)offered no response. Among those
indicating they thought trails are now lasting longer, the
top reasons given were: Aircraft ying higher (17
experts, 35%), modern and larger engines that produce
more water vapor (11 experts, 22%), more plane trafc
leading to planes ying at higher altitudes where contra-
ils are more likely to form (nine experts, 18%),higher
water vapor content of the atmosphere due to climate
change (six experts, 12%), and decreased temperature
of aircraft exhaust related to improved fuel efciency
(ve experts, 10%).
Atmospheric deposition
Figure 3shows the responses to photocopies of three
different laboratory analyses that SLAP proponents
argue show high and abnormal concentrations indica-
tive of chemical spraying. For each analysis, experts
were rst asked if the simplest explanation of the trails
in the photo was a secret, large-scale atmospheric
spraying program. They were then asked to write in
how they interpreted the results.
The rst lab result on the survey showed the con-
centrations of aluminum, barium, and strontium
measured in a sample of pond sediment/sludge: 375
parts per million (ppm)for aluminum, 3.1 ppm for
barium, and 345 parts per billion (ppb)for strontium
(gure 3(a)). Twenty-four atmospheric deposition
experts (86%)responded that the simplest explanation
of these results did not involve a SLAP, and four
Figure 2. Presented with four different images of trails behind aircraft (a)(d), experts uniformly responded that a secret, large-scale
atmospheric spraying program (SLAP)was not the most parsimonious explanation for the depicted phenomena (pie charts). In each
case, the stacked bars show the expertsmost common alternative explanations. The photo in part (b)has been reproduced with
permission from Forest M. Mims III.
4
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011
experts (14%)said they did not know how to interpret
the results. Eleven experts (39%)indicated that the
lab results showed typical concentrations of alumi-
num in sediment/sludge, and six (21%)said they were
likely of natural origin (e.g. minerals in sludge).As
summarized by one expert, All three of these elements
are major constituents of crustal material. The con-
centrations reported for the three elements are much
less than what is present in average upper continental
crust. Another stated: It looks like about ve grams of
average soil or desert dust in a liter of sludge, quite
reasonable.
The second sample showed the concentrations of
elements in a sample of airborne particulates taken in
May 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona (gure 3(b)).Bariumis
reported at 556 000 ppb, copper at 197 000 ppb, and
manganese at 562 000 ppb. The results appear to show
concentrations of all three elements far beyond their
maximum contaminant levels (MCLs),whicharelisted
on the results as 2000 ppb for barium and copper, and
100 ppb for manganese. One expert (4%)said the results
maybeevidenceofaSLAPthesameexpertwhosaid
s/he had previously come across high levels of atmo-
spheric barium. Twenty-ve experts (89%)rejected the
results as evidence of SLAP, while two (7%)did not
know or were unsure. When asked to write in their
interpretation, 12 experts (49%)said they wanted more
data rst, such as atmospheric conditions and proximity
to industry. Four experts (14%)said the concentrations
were average or typical. As stated by one expert: 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.TheMCL
values used were indeed based on drinking water, and
not airborne particulates.
The third sample showed the concentration for the
elemental make-up of metals from a snow surface sam-
ple taken in July 2008 on Mount Shasta, California
Figure 3. Presented with copies of results from three different elemental analyses of pond sediment (a), airborne particles (b)and snow
(c), in each case >80% of experts responded that a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program (SLAP)was not the most
parsimonious explanation for the depicted phenomena (pie charts). However, in each case a few experts (24)were not sure, and 1
expert responded that SLAP was the most parsimonious explanation of the elemental concentrations in the airborne and snow
samples. For each set of results, the stacked bars show the expertsmost common alternative explanations.
5
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011
(gure 3(c)). Aluminum is measured at 611 ppm, bar-
ium at 83 ppb, and strontium at 383 ppb. Twenty-three
experts (82%)rejected the results as evidence of SLAP,
while fourteen (14%)did not know or were unsure.
When asked to interpret the results, many experts (ele-
ven, or 39%)again said they were not sure and wanted
more data, while seven experts (25%)said the concentra-
tions were average or typical. A different expert (4%)said
the result may be evidence of a SLAP, writing Unless,
thereissomekindofAl[uminum]pollution source in
the direct neighborhood, the results for are ridiculously
high and indeed suspicious. Another expert who rejec-
ted the sample as evidence of a SLAP said the results did
show very high Al concentrations for a snow sample
which makes me think it cannot just be snow. Indeed,
the sample was not just snow, but snow surface. One
expert explained: As before, these data are actually low
relative to crustal compositionwhile another described
thesampleasshowingnormal dust fall.
We also asked experts to evaluate the advice of one
SLAP website on how non-specialists can collect sam-
ples of surface water to obtain evidence relevant to
aerosol geoengineering:
If you are testing a pond, then the only
thing different is how you collect the
sample. The very bottom of the pond is
where the elements stack up. Turn your
jar upside down and get the mouth to the
bottom of the pond or still waterK.the
older the pond the higher the readings.
Turn the jar over and collect both the
water and a LITTLE of the bottom
sediment.
Twenty of the deposition experts (71%)either dis-
agreed or strongly disagreed with the instructions,
with 17 (61%)explaining that collecting the bottom
sedimentwould contaminate the water sample
(gure 4(a)). The remaining eight respondents (29%)
were neutral; no expert said they agreed with the
instructions. As stated by one expert: The non-specia-
list is instructed to add sediments to the water which
will not give an accurate measurement of metal con-
centrations in surface water itselfsoils/sediments/
sludge are more concentrated in these elements
than water and will contaminate the water sample.
Another stated: The sampling will entrain both sedi-
ments and water; sediments are naturally high in trace
metals and will not reveal anything about concentra-
tions in the overlying water.
The same website also has step-by-step instruc-
tions for how to collect samples of rain and snow,
recommending the use of mason jars to collect the
samples, and then to shake or stir the samples:
(1)If you can get brand new, never used mason jars,
but clean used jars and lids will work.
(2)Place as many of these into the rain or snow as
possible (you can pour all their contents into
one jar).
(3)When transferring from one container to another,
IT IS CRITICAL TO RE-SUSPEND the sample...
shake the jar with the lid on, or stir with a sterilized
instrument. Alternatively, you can back and forth
the samples, allowing a little fallto create enough
turbulence to re-suspend any contaminants that
may be stuck to the glass.
(4)Seal with the lid and ring and place into the
refrigerator. Take to the lab as soon as possible,
preferably the next morning.
(5)Take the sample to your local lab, use a lab that tests
well waterKthey are certied and this is easy for
them. Call them rst, make sure you have the right
lab. You ARE NOT looking for something like a
well analysisKwhich is pretty expensiveKyou
just want to test a rain sample, in a sterile mason jar
for specic metals.
Six experts (23%)were neutral and three experts
(11%)agreed with the instructions; none strongly
agreed (gure 4(b)). Nineteen experts (68%)disagreed
or strongly disagreed with those instructions, with over
half (15 experts, 54%)saying a jar glass and metal lid
would likely contain trace elements that would con-
taminate the sample. One expert who strongly
disagreed with the instructions wrote: the jar will con-
taminate the sample, as will the metal lid, particularly if
you shake it! I cannot imagine a worse protocol for col-
lecting a sample, the data would be totally worthless.
Another said: To analyze metals in environmental sam-
ples,glassneedstogothroughanacidwashtoremove
any residual metals. Otherwise, plastic should be used.
Finally, we asked the deposition experts if they
have noticed a general increase in environmental con-
centrations of aluminum, barium, and/or strontium
over their careers. Only six (21%)thought concentra-
tions of aluminum had increased, and three each
(11%)barium and strontium. Of the experts who
thought that concentrations might have increased, the
increase was primarily attributed to changes in indus-
trial, agricultural, or natural processes.
Both contrail and deposition experts were allowed
to rate their level of expertize and condence for each
survey question, an option used by less than a third of
participants in either survey. For the contrail survey,
experts reported the lowest level of condence for the
question regarding duration of contrails, and the high-
est level of condence and expertize for their assess-
ment of the photos. Deposition experts were more
likely to report lower levels of condence regarding
their analysis of the test samples, and higher levels of
condence and expertize in their assessment of the
sampling instructions.
6
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011
Discussion
For the contrail survey, no expert thought they had
ever come across evidence of a SLAP. Further, no
expert thought any of the four photos in the survey
cited as evidence of chemical spraying on SLAP
websiteswere best explained by chemical spraying.
On the contrary, there was a high degree of consensus
on the natural mechanisms accounting for the phe-
nomena in each photo. For many photos, there was
also overlap on the peer-reviewed studies that best
explained each photo.
Where there may be some slight agreement with
SLAP theorists was with the 18 experts (37%)who
thought trails may now be persisting for longer peri-
ods of time. However, they attributed the longer dura-
tion of trails to known factors such as larger engines
and fuel efciencies that create cooler water vapor and
allow increased plane trafctoy at higher altitudes,
leading to more persistent condensation trails.
For the deposition survey, 80%89% of respon-
dents for each of the three samples presented did not
think the simplest explanation involved chemical
spraying. It should be noted, however, that eleven
experts (39%)were not sure how to interpret the
results from either the airborne particulates or snow
surface samples (gures 3(b)and (c), respectively),
saying they wanted more information and context. Yet
while SLAP proponents argue all the samples show
abnormally high levels of metal concentrations, the
experts who did offer an analysis mostly said the sam-
ples showed average concentrations given the fact that
they were not simply water, air, snow but sludge, sedi-
ment, and dust samples.
Although many experts were not sure how to
interpret the second and third samples, most disagreed
or strongly disagreed with the sampling instructions
offered on the SLAP website for collecting surface
water, rain, and snow testing (gure 4). The main
reason offered for disagreeing with the surface water
sample instructions is that adding sediments would
increase measurement of metal concentrations, as
levels are higher in sediment than water. There was
also concern that the instructions for rain and snow
samples did not include sufcient information for pre-
venting contamination.
Conclusion
A small but vocal group of people have been advocat-
ing that there exists a SLAP that is spraying dangerous
chemicals from aircraft. Some people believing these
theories have constructed websites that purport to
show evidence of ongoing widespread spraying. With
the exception of a fact sheet presented by government
agencies in year 2000 (EPA, FAA, NASA and
NOAA 2000), these claims have not been addressed by
the scientic community, which may lead the broader
Figure 4. Presented with the sampling instructions offered on a SLAP website for collecting surface water (a), and rain and snow (b)
samples, >60% of surveyed experts disagreed with the advice, in each case expressing concerns about contamination of samples.
7
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011
public to be confused or uncertain about the validity of
the claims and data.
We therefore offer the rst peer-reviewed expert
response on SLAP data, from both atmospheric scien-
tists with expertize in condensation trails and geoche-
mists working on atmospheric deposition of dust and
pollution. Results show that 76 out of 77 (98.7%)of
scientists that took part in this study said there was no
evidence of a SLAP, and that the data cited as evidence
could be explained through other factors, such as typi-
cal contrail formation and poor data sampling instruc-
tions presented on SLAP websites.
The number of aircraft contrails has been increas-
ing. There have been revelations over the decades of
governments undertaking action in secret without the
informed consent of the population. It is reasonable
that ordinary citizens should want questions answered
Table 1. Expert participants in contrails survey (alphabetical order).
Name Institution
Andrew Carleton Penn State University
Andrew Heidinger National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration
Andrew Heymseld 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 Universityof 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 Scientic
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 Occupa-
tional Safety and Health
Tove Svenby Norwegian Institute for Air Research
Ulrich Schumann Institute of Atmospheric Physics
Ulrike Burkhardt German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Table 1. (Continued.)
Name Institution
Volker Grewe Institute of Atmospheric Physics
William L Smith National Aeronautics and Space
Table 2. Expert participants in atmospheric deposition survey
(alphabetical order).
Name Institution
Anne-Catherine Pierson-
Wickmann
University of Rennes 1
Carmen Nezat Eastern Washington University
Carol Kendall US Geological Survey
Chris Measures University of Hawaii
Christopher Hissler Gabriel Lippmann Public
Research Centre
Clifton Buck Franklin College
Daniel Engstrom University of Minnesota
David Grantz University of California at
Riverside
Dominik Weiss Imperial College London
Heleen de Wit Norwegian Institute for Water
Research
Jan Kramers University of Johannesburg
Jill Schrlau Oregon State University
Joanna Clark University of Reading
Josef Hejzlar Institute of Hydrobiology
Kiminori Shitashima Kyushu University
Lubos Boruvka Czech University of Life Sciences
Prague
Marjorie Schulz US Geological Survey
Mark Smits Hasselt University
Matt Kulp US National Park Service
Nicolas Belanger University of Quebec
Pavel Rosendorf T. G. Masaryk Water Research
Institute
Robert Duce Texas A&M University
Rolf David Vogt University of Oslo
Scott Bailey US Forest Service
Steve Howell University of Hawaii
Tomas Navratil Czech Geological Survey
William Landing Florida State University
Wim de Vries University in Wageningen
8
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016)084011
concerning health, climate change, and pollution.
While we understand that many of the fears under-
lying SLAP theories may be legitimate, the evidence as
evaluated here does not point to a secret atmospheric
spraying program. Changes in aircraft technologies
may be causing contrails to persist longer than they
used to, and changes in industrial development could
potentially be increasing aerosol deposition in some
areas. But the focus on a secret, large-scale atmo-
spheric spraying program may be taking attention
away from real, underlying problems that need
addressing.
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... When scientists and government officials agree on a policy or practice (or "consensus"), this provides persuasive justification for their actions [63]. Any attempts to inform the public about the grave hazards of, for example, ongoing chemtrail operations, is met with suppression or disinformation [64]. Digital and social media offer new tools for expanding state surveillance and control of the "official narrative" [65]. ...
... About the chemtrails, a strange omertà -the code of silence -has pervaded international officialdom, including the medical and scientific communities. Like the mainstream news media, atmospheric and climate scientists avoided considering the consequences of, or even mentioning, the very obvious atmospheric manipulation [74], and misleading claims were made that the aerial particulate-trails are just harmless ice-crystal contrails [64]. But the most disquieting pervasive omertà in our experience was, and is, perpetrated by the medical and public health community. ...
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... For decades, with increasing frequency and geographic range, particulate matter has been jetsprayed into the troposphere ( Figure 2). Internationally, officials decline to provide either the composition or the intent of the tropospheric particulate emplacement, and falsely assert that the jet-trails [64] are harmless ice-crystal contrails [65]. Academics participate in the deception [66, 67]. ...
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Earth's life support systems are breaking down, including the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects all higher life on the planet from deadly ultraviolet radiation. This breakdown is a direct result of human activities including the large-scale manipulation of processes that affect Earth's climate, otherwise known as geoengineering. We present further evidence that coal fly ash, utilized in tropospheric aerosol geoengineering, is the primary cause of stratospheric ozone depletion, not chlorofluorocarbons, as "decreed" by the Montreal Protocol. The misdiagnosis was a potentially fatal mistake by mankind. Coal fly ash particles, uplifted to the stratosphere, are collected and trapped by polar stratospheric clouds. In springtime, as these clouds begin to melt/evaporate, multiple coal fly ash compounds and elements are released to react with and consume stratospheric ozone. Contrary to the prevailing narrative, the stratospheric ozone layer has already been badly damaged and now increasingly deadly ultraviolet radiation, UV-B and UV-C, penetrates to Earth's surface. Our time is short to permanently end all geoengineering activities, and to reduce and/or eliminate all sources of aerosolized coal fly ash, including first and foremost the jet-sprayed emplacements into the troposphere that are systematically breaking down Earth's support systems and poisoning life on this planet.
... Via Internet postings and social media, citizens have expressed concern as to what is being sprayed, why, and the consequences on human and environmental health. Other than blatant efforts to deceive citizens [3], scientists [4,5] and the public health community [6], the scientific community, with one exception [7], ignores the veryobvious chemtrail assaults on the natural environment which we described in numerous peerreviewed scientific and medical articles . ...
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California's Giant Sequoias and Coast Redwoods, long symbols of strength, longevity, and resilience, have survived natural climate change for as long as 3,000 years, but are now succumbing to human manipulation of the natural environment. Scientists concerned with the wellbeing of these magnificent trees blame their recent die-offs on climate change, drought, and insects while turning a blind eye to the primary underlying cause: environmental modification by jet-emplacement in the troposphere of toxic particles evidenced as coal combustion fly ash. Said aerosolized particulates cause droughts and deluges, heat the troposphere, contaminate rain, snow, and fog with plant-killing toxins including chemically-mobile aluminum, coat foliage, and exacerbate forest fires. The aerial spraying depletes stratospheric ozone, allowing damaging ultraviolet radiation B and C to reach Earth's surface. These environmental stressors weaken the trees to the point they are attacked by insects and pathogenic fungi. Here we disclose the unspoken, underlying cause of the die-offs of Giant Sequoias and Coast Redwoods. Through a diabolically-deceptive, Trojan horse, United Nations' International Treaty the governments of sovereign nations were coerced to wage environmental warfare against their own citizens and the natural environment under the guise of peaceful environmental modification. Remaining trees, and indeed much of the life on Earth, can only be saved if this environmental modification is halted.
... They pose no health hazard of any kind" [38]. This is the false-information parroted by Szilagyi in his attack on my General Article [2], and spread throughout the scientific community by duplicitous individuals [39,40]. I have presented photographic evidence that the jet-emplaced particulate trails are inconsistent with ice-crystal contrails, such as the on-off behavior sometimes observed [2,42,43]. ...
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In 2015, in response to an urgent call for assistance to understand the geological association of high aluminum mobility with human health in the Ganga Alluvial Plain, I published a General Article in Current Science entitled "Aluminum poisoning of humanity and Earth's biota by clandestine geoengineering activity: implications for India". The events that transpired following its publication led to evidence and documentation that the furtherance of that activity is tantamount to waging environmental warfare against Indian citizens, and citizens of other countries. Its publication, however, triggered an assault by one or more disinformation professionals that may have "poisoned the well" at the Indian Academy of Sciences. The truth is laid out here. During the following five years many questions were answered, such as: Why were the particles being placed into the lower-atmosphere (troposphere), not into the upper-atmosphere (stratosphere)? Why was there no public mention of the jet-emplaced particulate trails except through dissemination of false information, i.e. the contrail lie? What is the legal justification? What are the dangers to human and environmental health? The survival of Indian citizenry is critically dependent upon the natural weather cycles. No one has the right to poison the air people breathe or to disrupt the natural environment that makes life possible. The United Nations' sanctioned "peaceful environmental improvement" constitutes, I allege, covert, hostile, environmental warfare. By virtue of their abilities and advanced training, scientists have an implicit responsibility toward humanity. Scientific integrity is even more important for members of the Indian Academy of Sciences who must now muster courage to confront a very real threat to the survival of their nation.
... operated by Mick West, allegedly an intelligence-agency operative, deceive the public and are used to smear the reputation of one of us (JMH). • Misleading claims were made in the scientific literature that the aerial particulate-trails are just harmless ice-crystal contrails by non-scientist Mick West and three scientists [95]. When a rebuttal of this claim was submitted, the journal refused to publish it, in defiance of scientific norms [96]. ...
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While the public perception of the recent attempts to unseat duly-elected U.S. President Donald J. Trump is thought to be solely of national origin, there is strong evidence of a more pernicious, United Nations' sanctioned environmental assault on America and on American citizens. The United States and other sovereign nations are in the midst of a highly organized, covert environmental warfare assault, underlain by deception and deceit, orchestrated by a foreign entity, and perpetrated in America by the U.S. Air Force and its contractors, and facilitated by intelligence-agency operatives. The intent, to slowly and insidiously sicken, weaken, and debilitate citizenry, cause weather and climate chaos, cripple agriculture, and devastate the environment, is so cleverly underwritten and camouflaged as to have gone unnoticed in the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America and, presumably, is unknown to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it is described here. American military officers have the responsibility to protect their own citizens, especially as they possess the means to destroy human and environmental health. Systematically poisoning the air Americans breathe, harming human and environmental health, causing weather and climate chaos, damaging agriculture, and deceiving the public as to the adverse human and environmental health consequences-all under secret orders originating from a foreign entity-we allege, violates not only their Oath of Office, but is tantamount to treason. The United States Air Force co-optation, deceit, and unquestioning capitulation to a foreign entity should be of grave concern to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. With due humility we must emphasize that no military asset is worth damaging human and environmental health, especially on a national or planetary-scale, and especially due to a deceptively-worded, Trojan horse, United Nations international treaty whose signatories presumably were duped into signing in the false belief that they were preventing hostile environmental warfare.
... operated by Mick West, allegedly an intelligence-agency operative, deceive the public and are used to smear the reputation of one of us (JMH). • Misleading claims were made in the scientific literature that the aerial particulate-trails are just harmless ice-crystal contrails by non-scientist Mick West and three scientists [95]. When a rebuttal of this claim was submitted, the journal refused to publish it, in defiance of scientific norms [96]. ...
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... An extensive debate was brought in the last two years by the increasing evidence on the high extent to which fake news and conspiracy theories are shared publicly in the online media,creating confusion, misleading those who are prone to believe fake stories to be true, and growing public distrust of institutions and their policies. The results reported by recent surveys and studies indicated misinformation as a global-scale problem (Shearer et al, 2016;Allcott., Gentzkow, & Yu, 2018). The increased number of people believing fake stories and conspiracy theories -such as those related to climate change, 'chemtrails' (the existence of a secret large-scale atmospheric spraying program), artificial diseases, alternative therapy suppression, vaccine conspiracieshave generated troubles in many parts of the world. ...
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Outsourcing service is especially advantageous for small companies and for those countries, which have a deficit of qualified personnel and besides that, do not have the time for training them. In Georgia also, there is a practice, when a company uses various outsourcing services because of the lack of desired personnel. Many companies prepare qualified personnel with the help of the electronic teaching, which is the distance teaching conducted by computer technologies. Unlike classical methods of education, internet teaching has an advantage in organizational respect. Accessibility, simplicity – are main advantages, also flexible graphic (Surmanidze and Tsetskhladze, 2018). In small and medium-sized companies, it is difficult to create qualified teams of certain fields (finances, accounting, legal support, logistics and informational technologies), take care of their everyday development and motivation. 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... Observant individuals will have no trouble seeing white trails across the sky, like those shown in Figure 3, that have increased in frequency, intensity, and geographic range over the last three decades, especially during the Obama Administration. These are not harmless ice-crystal contrails that quickly disappear by evaporation, as the public is being deceived [17][18][19]. No. These trails are made of fine particles that quickly spread out to become a white haze before falling to ground in a matter of days, along the way mixing with the air we breathe. ...
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Chapter
I decided to write this chapter the last moment. It was September–October of 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic was at its highest point, or that was what we were thinking at that time, so were conspiracy theories concerning the virus and the outbreak in general. Later this would focus specifically on vaccines. It was more than clear that in the years to come, one of the new topics, if not the real battlegrounds that will occupy the attention of society, will be the conspiracy theories. Psychiatry will likely be involved in this, since the main characteristics of the problem are irrationality, intense emotions including anger, and problematic behaviors that pose dangers to public health and safety, including vaccination denial, following harmful alternative medicine ways, violent acts, and more recently failure to follow the COVID-19 lockdown and safety measures. This new “battlefront” is so new, so uncharted and difficult, and so peculiar that the side of conspiracists includes at least three Nobel laureates, editors of prominent medical journals, and a significant number of reputed scientists, while an additional significant number walks a tightrope between radical unconventional thinking and conspiracism.
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