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UNDER THE WEATHER


So I'm outside yesterday catching up on some rays. It's around noon and the sky is a fairly deep shade of blue. Not many clouds. Lovely springtime atmosphere, if a little warm. When I was a kid the weather felt like this in June, maybe even July. Now it's almost always summer in sunny LA. Oops, I spoke too fast. I must have dozed off because I suddenly felt a chill. I opened my eyes to find my body was in the shade. Had someone moved me underneath the backyard umbrella? I look up and there's a blanket of clouds obscuring the sun. Where'd that come from? I wonder. 

For a while I watched the sky. Every so often a jet would come by, and out of its back would spew fluffy white stuff. Exhaust, I presumed at the time. But the white stuff didn't go away. There were several of these lines all over the sky, and almost as many jets making more. I looked at some of the older lines to find they were spreading so that the sky was becoming less blue and more the murky color of coconut water. Not the billowing, puffy, cotton-ball type cumulus cloud that I so know and love. It was just a blanket of haze. I noticed that many of the jets flew right beneath the sun, as if intent on blocking its rays. By 2 pm the day was completely overcast, so I packed up and headed inside. Probably just as good. I can easily overdo it on the suntanning. But I'm less and less able to overdo it with each passing year. For there are simply fewer sunny days. This haze is becoming the norm. Gray days are more regular than ever, making it more and more likely that you'll feel under the weather. Because you are.

Now, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but my father sort of is, and years ago he pointed to such jets in the sky and their trails. "Chemtrails," he called them. "Weather modification. To combat global warming, and other stuff." It seems these chemtrails are differentiated from condensation trails, or contrails, by their persistence in the sky. Contrails are what normally come out of plane engines. Mainly a mixture of carbon dioxide and water. They hang around for a few minutes and then quickly disperse. Chemtrails, on the other hand, do not disperse, often for hours. And they can contain chemicals such as silver iodide. Water molecules adhere to silver iodide and ice crystals are formed, resulting in clouds and even rain. The Chinese often seed clouds and brag about all the water they've produced, which they say has gone a long way to ending their historic drought. Are we making like the Chinese and trying to make rain? Skeptics have tested the rain formed after jets make grids across the sky to find high levels of aluminum and barium, much higher than are normal or healthy.

Apparently geo-engineers use aluminum oxide to reflect the sun's rays. The compound acts like a mirror to reflect the solar light back into space so that it won't enter our thinning atmosphere and do more damage than it already has, and which through our fossil fuel consumption we have had a heavy hand in contributing to. This may have been why I saw the planes around the hottest time of the day, between the hours of 10 and 2 when the sun is at its highest point. The engineers were preparing the atmosphere to reflect these potentially deadly rays away from us. Okay fine. Thanks a bunch. But it turns out that ingesting these chemicals in water or even in foods grown in soil that has been rained upon, can result in sickness and symptoms such as dizziness and fatigue. Under the weather indeed.

Conspiracy theorists take it a step farther. These ranters say that the government is attempting population control, that it is testing counter-terrorism measures, and other things I find hard to believe. If "they," whoever they may be, are polluting the water supply with these tactics, what water are "they" drinking? Are "they" not worried about their own health and that of their kids, like normal people? There is a reason suicide missions don't happen all that often. It is hard to find people crazy enough to sacrifice their lives for a cause. But not hard to find people crazy enough to believe in this baloney. The EPA has come out and said that they find no evidence of chemtrails. Canada has said the same thing. What we are seeing more of is merely the product of condensation. Contrails can persist in colder weather, which is why regular airplanes I see taking off and descending around LAX do not emit any trails. The higher you go in the sky, like the jets I see, the colder it gets. Experts also state that the reason we are seeing more of these condensation trails is because there are far more flights in the air than ever before. Commercial aviation has only been around since after World War II, and these days air travel is quite common, despite the hassles encountered at the hands of TSA. In fact, there are around 100,000 planes in the sky each day. That's a bunch.

But the planes I see don't look like Delta or United. They are small and drab colored and super fast and fly really high. I'm no expert, but they look like military planes. Jets. Last time I checked, there's no war going on in the skies above Westwood, so what are these jets doing there? Well, cloud seeding is legal in much of the US, including California. In fact the government admitted to being behind some of the rain that was seen in our fine state this past March. It just feels weird to have my sunny day hijacked by military planes modifying the weather according to some trial and error playbook that some blame for the worsening storms in the East. Not to be let down, I went on a bike ride in the afternoon. Despite the blanket of clouds, the day was still toasty, almost as if all the jets had done was to lock in the heat. I kept a lookout, cloud watching as it were, and noticed that as evening approached and the temperature cooled, the man-made clouds descended until they became a thick fog which surrounded my house and actually felt chilly. I used to blame the weird weather we are increasingly having on global warming, but maybe it is due to our efforts to combat global warming.

Anyway, I woke up today to find the fog had persisted. It was so overcast I felt like I had slept on the beach. Not only that, by 9 am it started to drizzle. I've heard of April showers and June gloom. But rain in May? Come on! Not even the weather channel can keep up with the government's agenda. The forecast for today said sunny. It was only when the clouds began to dissipate in the early afternoon that the forecast was changed to cloudy. 

Today there are hardly any jets in the sky, and far fewer condensation trails or whatever they are. Why, because we don't need them. It is still pretty chilly. Yesterday was a success, I guess. Geoengineers one, global warming none. The score is actually quite higher, because weather modification has been going on since the turn of the millennium, and since we are still visited by record temperatures, I'd say we are losing the fight. And at what a price! I cannot imagine the cost of keeping these exhaust-spewing figher-looking jets in the air day after day just to make a drizzle of rain and keep the temperature a couple degrees cooler. Tax payers' money, I guess. Mine too if I made any. 

I've had it with all this paranoia. So I asked my dad to stop sending me chemtrail conspiracy videos. It makes you feel powerless knowing that the powers that be are up to something you may not agree with and you are not in a position to do anything about it. I told him the people at Thrive Chemtrail Movement are looking for attorneys to draw up a class action lawsuit for all the individuals who have been sickened by cloud formation, if these individuals really do exist. As for me, though I love me some rays, I much prefer running in the rain. And today's wet weather was therefore welcome.

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