Dave Dahl, “Skywatcher” (2012)
Here’s an intriguing documentary that offers an alternative explanation for climate change that should have us all re-thinking that overseas holiday we were saving up our hard-earned bucks for: suppose climate change is caused not by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but by chemtrails of silver iodide and other toxic chemicals left high in the Earth’s atmosphere by small planes and commercial jet aircraft? This is the theory posited by writer and producer Dave Dahl, an amateur climate researcher, who suggests that cloud-seeding programs by the United States government and other countries for the purpose of creating precipitation for areas that supposedly need it are not only having effects on global climates but are also poisoning ecosystems, potentially threatening the collapse of many animal and plant species, and ultimately threatening human survival.
The documentary is 25 minutes long and is a mixture of images and PowerPoint-styled captions and title cards. The voice-over narration is soft and rapid and viewers unfamiliar with the chemistry of the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the chemical effects of silver iodide and other chemicals like strontium and aluminium among others might need to re-run the documentary a few times. There are some computer animations and diagrams that help to illustrate Dahl’s narration but they are not easy for a general public not familiar with cloud-seeding concepts to follow and understand.
It’s perhaps ironic that the discoverer of cloud-seeding and the potential of silver iodide in cloud-seeding programs should have been Dr Bernard Vonnegut, the brother of the famous writer Kurt Vonnegut, one of the most caring people ever to have trod this planet. Beginning in the 1940s, the United States used dry ice in cloud-seeding programs and in the 1960s replaced dry ice with silver iodide; since then, most states in that country now routinely use silver iodide in cloud-seeding programs to modify the weather to increase precipitation. The silver iodide (formed from silver nitrate and potassium iodide) is sprayed by small planes flying in the troposphere. The irony is that doing so may actually increase the likelihood of drought as there is only so much water vapour in the atmosphere and so the more drought there is, the more states will resort to cloud-seeding. US taxpayers end up footing the bill for cloud-seeding which is often done by private weather modification companies that charge US state and county governments which then pass the costs onto ratepayers through their utilities bills.
Spraying silver iodide into the troposphere to precipitate storms causes the jet streams of commercial jet aircraft, flying in the stratosphere (above the troposphere) to form icy clouds on reaction with the silver iodide which over time lose their distinctive streamlined shapes to be confused with clouds that have formed naturally. It’s difficult therefore for most people to distinguish between natural clouds and clouds formed from trails left by jet aircraft and so the problem has remained undiscovered until now. In some parts of the western United States, clouds formed from jet streams have become more common than natually formed clouds.
Although the documentary appears credible, more work of course has to be done to validate the theory. Its plea to viewers to become more aware and to demand and/or initiate change near the end borders on the idealistic as it doesn’t address the possibility that information about cloud-seeding and its consequences for human health and the long-term survival of global ecosystems might have been withheld deliberately by governments and corporations from the public. Why have governments and business allowed climate change debate to be dominated for so long by discussions about the role of carbon dioxide in climate change if they know that silver iodide might really be the cause? Do governments and business have an interest in preventing the public from knowing or finding out information about the consequences and dangers of using silver iodide? Are there alternatives to silver iodide or to cloud-seeding? Does cloud-seeding actually benefit agriculture and other industires dependent on rain generally or is it being used in such a way as to favour large agribusinesses and other corporations for profit?
As news emerges of forests of large trees dying in many parts of the world on top of reports of collapses of bee colonies, especially in the United States and Europe where commercial jet air traffic is most intense in areas that may be most heavily seeded with silver iodide, and other reports on populations of birds and other animals being affected by toxins that can be traced to silver iodide in the atmosphere, “Skywatcher” is a timely warning indeed.
The documentary can be viewed at www.artificialclouds.com.