Have you ever run into someone so stupid that you just had to play a prank on them? Welcome to the life of meteorologists who have to deal with "chemtrailers," or the people who falsely believe that airplanes are spraying chemicals because DA GUBMINT wants to kill you.
If you've interacted with enough people online or in person, you'll know that there is a large and growing number of woefully ignorant people who believe that the contrails left behind by airplanes are really "chemtrails," or long streams of chemicals sprayed from airplanes to control the weather, make us sick, control our minds, and other nefarious schemes.
Well, as with all conspiracy theorists, chemtrailers won't take science for an answer. The true explanation behind contrails — the warm, moist jet exhaust meeting the extremely cold air of the upper-atmosphere and condensing into a thin cirrus cloud — is just the World Government's smoke-and-mirrors to deceive the population from The Truth.
Do you know how to get rid of these super real chemtrails? Vinegar, of course. If you spray vinegar at the sky, it will magically ascend 30,000 feet in minutes to break up hundreds of square miles worth of clouds. Totally true.
The groupies come in swarms. They religiously follow the people who tell them what they want to hear. If you blaspheme against their Truthtelling, they will come after you like a pack of pissed off hornets.
Take my friend Jacob Wycoff, for example. He's a meteorologist who gained infamy in the chemtrail circles for actually standing up to them when they harass and issue vague threats of injury and death on social media for daring to speak against The Truth.
When it became clear that he couldn't shake the loonies, he decided to start having fun with them.
Yesterday afternoon, he posted a picture of an airplane cockpit where a pilot decided to have a little fun and put a "chemtrail" sticker above one of the switches. Wycoff posted it to his Facebook page and the conspiracy theorists fell for it hook, line, and sinker. It was glorious.
Of course, where there are idiots, there's money to be made. One of the biggest lines that conspiracy theorists use is that anyone arguing against The Truth they peddle is a "paid shill" by whatever enemy they're combating. I've been called a paid shill for the government so many times that I'm starting to wonder if I qualify for federal health benefits.
Well, running a conspiracy comes at a price, and the ones trying to speak actual science aren't the ones sitting on stacks.
The folks who dupe gullible people into believing the chemtrail hogwash are making bank off of their gullibility. The owner of a page called "Wake Up America" bought a new telescope off of the ad revenue he got when Wycoff told someone to "Google birth control" when she told him to "Google geoengineering."
Dutchsinse, a popular YouTuber who peddles weather control conspiracy theories, has almost 100,000 subscribers and regularly gets tens of thousands of hits on his videos. The owner of a website formerly known as The Weather Space also pushed weather control conspiracy theories, and his followers ranked in the six digits and raked in some serious ad money. A group called "chemdefense" even sells something called EnviroShield dietary supplements, reportedly designed to protect you from the effects of the evil chemtrails.
The chemtrail conspiracy theory is a strong profit machine for the theory's leaders, and it will continue to be as long as they manage to trick people into believing anti-science.
No matter how much you try to argue with the chemtrail believers, it won't work. A child will steadfastly believe in Santa Claus until he realizes that Santa's handwriting is the same as his mom's.
But man is it fun to mess with them in the meantime.
[Top image via Wikimedia Commons, others via Facebook]