It would be hard for me to pinpoint my favorite single moment of this 10-minute long video of a woman squirting vinegar into the air to hurt clouds. I guess it would have to be the son holding the camera, who is at once annoyed at his mother and yet somehow in agreement with her that this is an appropriate use of their time.
I think this is my favorite exchange, around 1:44:
“This gives us more credibility.”
“No, it’ll be too long!”
This isn’t one lone nut job – this woman is just one of hundreds of seemingly sane, normal people who think that 1. the government is spraying chemicals into the air using passenger planes and 2. they can get rid of the chemtrails 30,000 feet away using a squirt bottle full of vinegar.
What you’re seeing is classic confirmation bias and post hoc ergo propter hoc in action, which is par for the course for conspiracy theorists. When scientists tried to tell these people that “chemtrails” are actually just regular contrails, clouds that form behind planes flying in cold, humid skies, the conspiracy theorists claimed that these are a recent phenomenon. Really, they’re not – it’s just that the conspiracy theorists are now noticing them more. Increased air traffic and bigger jet engines contribute to more visible contrails, adding to the illusion that this is anything new.
The conspiracy theorists also claimed that these “chemtrails” last longer than they used to, because they started noticing when the contrails stuck around and ignoring when they disappeared quickly. Really, that’s all due to the atmospheric conditions.
So now they think that squirt bottles are helping break up the contrails. Now they’re noticing when the contrails disappear “quickly” (as in the video, it takes about 30 minutes, which is normal). They assume that this is unusual and attribute it to their squirt bottle. Sure, the squirt bottle only has a range of about four feet, but there’s little room for logic in superstitious thinking. “The Bills must have won because I’m wearing my lucky socks!” “I must be nice to animals because the moon is in Virgo!” “Those clouds broke up because I cleaned my kitchen counter!”
I should mention that according to the site where I found this video, a bunch of the vinegar-sprayers are Ron Paul supporters, but when I search the Googlez for “Ron Paul vinegar chemtrails” (I can’t wait to see what ads Google starts serving me) all I see are links to the original article. Counter Contempt links to this debate at the Daily Paul, but I have no idea how many people that site really represents. I think the safe bet is to just note that there’s some overlap between Ron Paul supporters and Alex Jones listeners, which should surprise absolutely no one, and leave it at that.