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California drought manipulation conspiracy theory

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The California drought manipulation conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theory that proposes that the 2011–2017 drought was a deliberate, man-made phenomenon, created by weather modification. It is largely promoted by a number of self-proclaimed "independent researchers" and "scientists", and by alternative news outlets. The theory has been dismissed by the scientific community and mainstream media as fringe science or pseudoscience.[1][2]

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Conspiracy theory

Conspiracy theory

A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that asserts the existence of a conspiracy by powerful and sinister groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. The term generally has a negative connotation, implying that the appeal of a conspiracy theory is based in prejudice, emotional conviction, or insufficient evidence. A conspiracy theory is distinct from a conspiracy; it refers to a hypothesized conspiracy with specific characteristics, including but not limited to opposition to the mainstream consensus among those who are qualified to evaluate its accuracy, such as scientists or historians.

Weather modification

Weather modification

Weather modification is the act of intentionally manipulating or altering the weather. The most common form of weather modification is cloud seeding, which increases rain or snow, usually for the purpose of increasing the local water supply. Weather modification can also have the goal of preventing damaging weather, such as hail or hurricanes, from occurring; or of provoking damaging weather against the enemy, as a tactic of military or economic warfare like Operation Popeye, where clouds were seeded to prolong the monsoon in Vietnam. Weather modification in warfare has been banned by the United Nations under the Environmental Modification Convention.

Alternative media

Alternative media

Alternative media are media sources that differ from established or dominant types of media in terms of their content, production, or distribution. Sometimes the term independent media is used as a synonym, indicating independence from large media corporations, but this term is also used to indicate media enjoying freedom of the press and independence from government control. Alternative media does not refer to a specific format and may be inclusive of print, audio, film/video, online/digital and street art, among others. Some examples include the counter-culture zines of the 1960s, ethnic and indigenous media such as the First People's television network in Canada, and more recently online open publishing journalism sites such as Indymedia.

Scientific community

Scientific community

The scientific community is a diverse network of interacting scientists. It includes many "sub-communities" working on particular scientific fields, and within particular institutions; interdisciplinary and cross-institutional activities are also significant. Objectivity is expected to be achieved by the scientific method. Peer review, through discussion and debate within journals and conferences, assists in this objectivity by maintaining the quality of research methodology and interpretation of results.

Mainstream media

Mainstream media

In journalism, mainstream media (MSM) is a term and abbreviation used to refer collectively to the various large mass news media that influence many people and both reflect and shape prevailing currents of thought. The term is used to contrast with alternative media.

Fringe science

Fringe science

Fringe science refers to ideas whose attributes include being highly speculative or relying on premises already refuted. Fringe science theories are often advanced by persons who have no traditional academic science background, or by researchers outside the mainstream discipline. The general public has difficulty distinguishing between science and its imitators, and in some cases a "yearning to believe or a generalized suspicion of experts is a very potent incentive to accepting pseudoscientific claims".

Pseudoscience

Pseudoscience

Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claims; reliance on confirmation bias rather than rigorous attempts at refutation; lack of openness to evaluation by other experts; absence of systematic practices when developing hypotheses; and continued adherence long after the pseudoscientific hypotheses have been experimentally discredited.

Key claims and components

The 2011–2017 drought inspired alarm among many, leading to the emergence of conspiracy theories purporting to explain the cause of a complex problem using oversimplified and non-evidence based explanations.[3]

Many of the proponents claim that chemtrails are used to affect storm clouds, in a manner of suppressing the development of precipitation. This would occur because of the presence of too many cloud condensation nuclei, or "cloud seeds", in a single area. Others say that technologies similar to HAARP (a federal ionospheric research program, which was decommissioned in 2015),[4] are being used to create a large and stubborn high-pressure area over the West Coast of the United States.[5] They claim that this, also, discourages storms and rainfall.[1]

Dane Wigington and his group GeoEngineering Watch were the most visible proponent of this theory. Wigington said that government agencies and other entities have economic and geopolitical motivations to manipulate the weather on the West Coast and elsewhere.[2]

Proponents have claimed credibility for the theory, in part, as a result of a Los Angeles County cloud seeding program, begun in early 2016.[6] This reinforced their view that government continues to engage in weather modification and/or climate engineering.[7][8]

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Chemtrail conspiracy theory

Chemtrail conspiracy theory

The chemtrail conspiracy theory is the erroneous belief that long-lasting condensation trails are "chemtrails" consisting of chemical or biological agents left in the sky by high-flying aircraft, sprayed for nefarious purposes undisclosed to the general public. Believers in this conspiracy theory say that while normal contrails dissipate relatively quickly, contrails that linger must contain additional substances. Those who subscribe to the theory speculate that the purpose of the chemical release may be solar radiation management, weather modification, psychological manipulation, human population control, biological or chemical warfare, or testing of biological or chemical agents on a population, and that the trails are causing respiratory illnesses and other health problems.

Cloud condensation nuclei

Cloud condensation nuclei

Cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs), also known as cloud seeds, are small particles typically 0.2 µm, or one hundredth the size of a cloud droplet. CCNs are a unique subset of aerosols in the atmosphere on which water vapour condenses. This can affect the radiative properties of clouds and the overall atmosphere. Water requires a non-gaseous surface to make the transition from a vapour to a liquid; this process is called condensation.

Ionosphere

Ionosphere

The ionosphere is the ionized part of the upper atmosphere of Earth, from about 48 km (30 mi) to 965 km (600 mi) above sea level, a region that includes the thermosphere and parts of the mesosphere and exosphere. The ionosphere is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important role in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on Earth.

High-pressure area

High-pressure area

A high-pressure area, high, or anticyclone, is an area near the surface of a planet where the atmospheric pressure is greater than the pressure in the surrounding regions. Highs are middle-scale meteorological features that result from interplays between the relatively larger-scale dynamics of an entire planet's atmospheric circulation.

West Coast of the United States

West Coast of the United States

The West Coast of the United States, also known as the Pacific Coast, Pacific states, and the western seaboard, is the coastline along which the Western United States meets the North Pacific Ocean. The term typically refers to the contiguous U.S. states of California, Oregon, and Washington, but sometimes includes Alaska and Hawaii, especially by the United States Census Bureau as a U.S. geographic division.

Economic geography

Economic geography

Economic geography is the subfield of human geography which studies economic activity and factors affecting them. It can also be considered a subfield or method in economics. There are four branches of economic geography. There is, primary sector, Secondary sector, Tertiary sector, & Quaternary sector.

Geostrategy

Geostrategy

Geostrategy, a subfield of geopolitics, is a type of foreign policy guided principally by geographical factors as they inform, constrain, or affect political and military planning. As with all strategies, geostrategy is concerned with matching means to ends Strategy is as intertwined with geography as geography is with nationhood, or as Colin S. Gray and Geoffrey Sloan state it, "[geography is] the mother of strategy."

Cloud seeding

Cloud seeding

Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification that aims to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud. Its effectiveness is debated; some studies have suggested that it is "difficult to show clearly that cloud seeding has a very large effect." The usual objective is to increase precipitation, either for its own sake or to prevent precipitation from occurring in days afterward.

Source: "California drought manipulation conspiracy theory", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_drought_manipulation_conspiracy_theory.

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See also
References
  1. ^ a b Gumbel, Andrew (September 26, 2015). "Drought blamers: California conspiracists see government's hand in arid climate". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Growing Number Believe California's Drought Is A Government Conspiracy". CBS Sacramento. September 22, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  3. ^ Vine M, Carey M (2017). "Mimesis and Conspiracy". The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology. 35 (2): 47–64.
  4. ^ Cole, Dermot (July 2, 2014). "HAARP closure postponed until 2015". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Rogers, Paul (January 13, 2014). "California drought: What's causing it?". Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Kim LaCapria (March 17, 2016). "HAARPing On; The government didn't quietly admit to modifying weather in California; cloud seeding is a well-documented effort to counteract the effects of drought (and isn't related to chemtrails)". Snopes.com. Snopes.com. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Plautz, Jason (February 5, 2015). "The Climate Conspiracy Theory Coming to Your Congressman's Twitter Feed". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  8. ^ Pentland, William (February 4, 2014). "As Water Supply Reaches Record Low, California Combats Drought With Black-Ops Weather Control Technology From Vietnam War". Forbes.com.

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