The Editor's Desk
Published Monday, February 28, 2011
by Jim Thompson
STOP IT WITH THE CHEMTRAILS, OK?
In a recent installment of The Editor's Desk, I tried to ease the fevered mind of a reader who was worried that high-altitude condensation caused by jet exhaust, which sometimes lingers and spreads across the sky, is actually some sort of chemical expulsion intended to harm the American populace in some unspecified way.
I pointed the reader to research showing the so-called "chemtrails" are a natural consequence of jet exhaust expelled under certain meteorological conditions. Apparently, it didn't take. Recently, this reader sent me a link to a story on The Intel Hub, a conspiracy-fueled website, in which it was pointed out that there were no chemtrails seen over a recent California golf tournament because "the elite LOVE golf" and nobody wanted to be spraying them with chemicals.
Earlier, I'd received an e-mail from someone who confessed that "these contrails that persist and spread into low level cirrus clouds are a real puzzle to me. If it was just normal exhaust from aircraft, and/or air pollution (anthropogenic aerosols) one would expect the entire airspace around ATL/Hartsfield to be covered in clouds all the time."
Look - I don't mind y'all sending me this kind of stuff. What I'm worried about is that you'll start sending it to Executive Editor Melissa Hanna, whose fascination with another conspiracy-laced issue - news stories of unexplained cow mutilations - has led her to the unassailably logical conclusion that extraterrestrials are coming to Earth and disassembling our bovine friends for some nefarious purpose.
Add a few e-mails about chemtrails to a few more actual news stories about cows being sliced up somewhere other than the grocery store, and before you know it, the bosslady will have the newsroom staff monitoring the skies above Athens daily, not to mean having us chase down every black Chevy Suburban spotted on the streets, and sitting up nights watching for mysterious lights in the sky.