Monday, February 12, 2007

Personally, I think it is witches...

There is a major problem in the hives of America.
A mysterious disease is killing off U.S. honeybees, threatening to disrupt pollination of a range of crops and costing beekeepers hundreds of thousands of dollars, industry experts said on Monday. Beekeepers in 22 states have reported losses of up to 80 percent of their colonies in recent weeks, leaving many unable to rent the bees to farmers of crops such as almonds and, later in the year, apples and blueberries. [More]

This situation is bad news for beekeepers, of course, but in the absence of a defined cause, speculation runs rampant. It can be discouraging to read serious suggestions that one cause is "chemtrails". [see comments attached to this post]

Maybe I have been oblivious to current conspiracy theories, but this one was new to me. It seems the condensation vapors behind high flying jets have spooked some observers.
The chemtrail theory is a group of conspiracy theories regarding allegedly unnatural vapor trails purporting to hold 'chemicals.' They are said to be found behind certain aircraft (in certain places and at certain times), leaving behind the distinct trails thought to be laden with so-called 'chemicals.' Conversely, contrails are formed by condensation of water vapor in the aircraft's exhausts. Proponents of the theories maintain that some trails have an appearance and quality different from those of normal water-based contrails, i.e. that chemtrails are not consistent with the known properties of contrails. The general unifying factor is the generally conspiratorial belief that some kind of chemical or biological agent is being secretly released. The term "chemtrail" should not be confused with other forms of aerial dumping (e.g. crop dusting, cloud seeding or aerial firefighting). It specifically refers to systematic, high-altitude dumping of unknown substances for some undisclosed purpose resulting in the appearance of these supposed chemtrails. [More]

A significant portion of our populace is alienated by the very technology that makes our lives relatively indolent by historical standards. This is their right -albeit a singularly ungrateful response, IMHO.

Still, our deployment of scientific knowledge has been less than inspiring. I'm not sure it could be otherwise. Knowledge tends to outrun our judgment. The older I get, the more latitude I allow to those for whom comprehension of modern technology is both taxing and unrewarding.

Still, it is sobering to be reminded how far we have not traveled from superstition.

2 comments:

brian said...

John,

You ever heard of a guy by the name of Art Bell? He used to be on the radio late at night, and chemtrails are boiler plate stuff for him. Of course, the substances are thought control chemicals, dropped on us by our government to keep us docile. Since Art got abducted by aliens, his show is now done by a guy named George Noory, and it's sindicated on a lot of stations. Conspiracies, paranormal phenomena, ufo's - they're all there. My favorite is the one about how the earth's polarity is in imminent danger of reversing - compasses will point south and just about nothing will work the way it's supposed to. Good stuff.

Brian

John Phipps said...

Actually, pole reversal is a real phenomenon and has occurred a few times before. It's something to do with the molten core of the earth. How soon that will occur is up for grabs, of course.

I just don't care - who needs compasses with GPS?

As for alien abduction, I've always wondered why we imagine they want to have sex with us? Carl Sagan famously pointed out that probabilistically speaking, we would be more likely to successfully mate with a rutabaga than an alien.