Slicing Up the Sky

On a clear day, we can see New Jersey. Straight across is Newark, over New York Bay and Bayonne and Newark Bay. Newark International is there too. Glancing northwards, as above, the twin cities of Jersey City and Manhattan finger the sky. This particularly clear morning was all sliced by condensation trails, better known as contrails, produced by water vapor freezing in the wake of high altitude jets. It’s pretty basic chemistry and a contributor to atmospheric warming.

However, in all too typical ignorance-paranoia-stupidity fashion, a whole industry of “chemtrail” conspiracies has arisen around them. We were once in Great Swamp NWR and a nice older couple started chatting with us. They’d been going there for decades and had noted a marked decline in bird life. The male half confided that it was all due to chemtrails, secret government emissions from airplanes. I could read about it on the internet if I wanted to know more, he suggested.

Not rampant suburbanization and other sprawling development surrounding the NWR and the destruction of habitat in wintering regions, not the pesticides and pollutants in the air, water, soil, working up the food chain, etc., no, no, nothing like that, folks. Just some sinister, decades-long experiment by the dang blad gummerment!Another cold day, ripe for more scarification of the sky.Every single cloud in these pictures originated from an airplane. No conspiracy necessary. It’s just what we do.

1 Response to “Slicing Up the Sky”


  1. 1 Sherry Felix December 2, 2018 at 6:50 am

    One “belief” is that contrails increase climate change. I have a few friends who believe all the nonsense on the internet.


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