WC bets you didn’t know that the federal government not only has the power to create hurricanes and control their intensity, but can also aim the hurricanes at places they want to punish. At least that’s the claim of conspiracy site State of the Nation.1
WC has subscribed to the Sagan Standard since Carl Sagan created it in 1980: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” Surprisingly often, these conspiracy theories run onto the rocks of the Sagan Standard. But it had been a while since WC wallowed in the paranoid fantasies of the conspiracy nuts,2 so WC investigated.
The article itself describes all of the reasons why the Deep State3 would aim a hurricane at Texas if it could. But fails to describe the technology that would allow anyone, whether the Deep State or someone else, to accomplish the creation and direction of cyclones and hurricanes. There is a link in the article that promises to answer that question, and takes you to an article promising Hurricane Harvey was A Geoengineered Weather Event Using Chemtrails And HAARP, but, alas, the article disappoints, mentioning HAARP and chemtrails only in the headline.
HAARP, in any event, has been shut down since late 2014. If the Deep State can influence and direct the weather using HAARP three years after it has been shut down, it is sinister indeed. But WC shouldn’t give State of the Nation ideas.
Once again the reader is asked to assume as a given that these immense powers are available to the government. And that these folks’ fellow conspiracy fan, Donald Trump, would use them and not reveal them. It isn’t even a question of meeting the Sagan Standard. They offer nothing.
You’d think that if the United States actually possessed such powers countries like Afghanistan and Iraq would have been under more or less continuous cyclones (or drought) the last 14 years. You’d think that Yemen would have washed into the sea. Clearly, that hasn’t been the case. The claimed ability to create and direct hurricanes and cyclones, as far as State of the Nation reports, is only used against ourselves.
The processes that create Atlantic hurricanes like Harvey are fairly well understood. None of the six contributing factors seems to involve anything that humans could significantly influence.4 But the thing about conspiracy theorists is that the claim of a conspiracy is the answer to everything. To a conspiracy theorist the exclusion of anthropogenic causation of hurricanes is practically proof of the conspiracy.
But the hard fact is that a Category 3 hurricane has heat energy equivalent to 200 times the total electrical generation capacity on the planet. As for moving them, a moderate hurricane involves masses in the range of 250 million tons of water. Failing to address how the Deep State or anyone else creates or influences, let alone aims, that kind of mass is kind of an important omission. If you are reigious, WC supposes, you can blame it all on your God. And it seems cheeky, at least, to presume the Deep State or anyone else, without explanation, has the powers of the God of your choice.
These silly conspiracy theories are all cotton candy reasoning. The least amount of scrutiny and, like cotton candy in the rain, it all collapses to a sticky mess. Fun to look at, but free of logical nutrition and substance. Reading this stuff is amusing, in an appalling kind of way, but unlikely to be worth the time and effort. Useful, perhaps, as a further example of our inability to teach critical thinking skills. But not otherwise helpful.
- It was David James, posting on Facebook, who provided the link, offering it as further proof of the incapacitating idiocy of humankind. State of the Nation also argues for Pizzagate. Which more or less proves James’ point. ↩
- WC generally limits himself to reading the headlines on the supermarket journalism in the grocery store checkout line. It’s baffling that people spend money on that stuff. ↩
- The claim that there is such a thing as the “Deep State,” taken as a given by the conspiracy folks, also flounders on the Sagan Standard. This isn’t the last time WC encountered this logical lapse. ↩
- Interestingly, there were efforts back in the 1960s and 1970s to dissipate hurricanes, seeding them with silver iodide. They were entirely unsuccessful. ↩