There are a few cookers* who follow me on Twitter, probably to see what non-cookers are doing. I had an … um … interaction with one a couple of days ago.
He started off with: “you all better hope this stuff they’re seeding the clouds with doesn’t end up killing us all…S.E Qld this arvo…” (This was accompanied by a photograph of cirrus clouds). One of the conspiracy theories that cookers seem to be fond of, is that of chemtrails**. They look up, on a mostly clear day, and see aircraft condensation trails (contrails) and they imagine nefarious activities by governments to control people.
I replied: “Oh Jeez! Chemtrails? [3 rolling on the floor laughing emojis] Will it give you 5G reception?”
He replied seemingly in all seriousness: u one [Are you one?] thinks it’s a conspiracy ..it’s never even been a secret..all I want to know is how can they not include the effects when calculating climate change models ? it’s gotta have more impact than cow farts that’s certain..”Cloud seeding – CSIROpedia” (This was accompanied by a photograph of a WW2 era Lockheed Hudson (?) aircraft and a link to a cloud seeding article from CSIRO1)
That he considered that his suspected (baselessly) cloud seeding in southeast Queensland needed to be included in global climate change models displays a complete misunderstanding of the scale of the planet, when compared to the minuscule cloud-seeding efforts.
I couldn’t control myself and replied: “You should call up CSIRO and tell them about the effects on climate change models. I am sure they would love to hear from you.”
He replied, seemingly oblivious to the sarcasm: “it’s them shld be telling us… what’s your issue”
I replied: “My issue is with people who think they know better that people who have studied particular fields of science all their working lives. Cookers are hilarious.”
He replied to this with: “ha…ffs…I do NOT trust the scientists…I don’t question their knowledge..I just don’t trust them with it..they cannot stop their tech being sold to the highest bidder no matter what the honour of their intent”. So, he doesn’t question their knowledge but refuses to use any of it and thinks that all science is sold to the highest bidder for nefarious purposes.
I replied: “Get a grip. You do not understand science and you need to realise that. Time you admitted that. You clearly believe the drivel that people like Murdoch sell you. Don’t be so gullible.”
He replied to this with: oh ffs…what fkn nonsense…wrap your head around this… “Turnbull’s $10m for ‘rainmakers’ with no proof”. (this was accompanied by a link to a Sydney Morning Herald article2)
The instance recorded in this Sydney Morning Herald article is when Environment Minister in the Howard coalition government, Malcolm Turnbull, gave a $10 million for research promoted by a rainmaking company part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s nephew Matt Handbury. This was despite scientific experts hired by the Government stating the firm had provided “no convincing data” to support the technology. My cooker interlocutor looked upon this as clear evidence that the government of the day was up to nefarious activities trying to control the populace, rather than a simple instance of corruption where the government just handed a wad of public money to the Murdochs just before the coalition lost the federal election.
I came back at him with: “Of course. It works in that it can nucleate rain, but when you cause it to rain in one place, it won’t in another. It is not rocket science; yet you immediately think it will cause cancer or warts or whatever.”
He replied with a complete misunderstanding of the scale of cloud seeding: “why half the world is in drought or on fire while the other half is under flood water”.
On top of that he said: “I don’t think it does anything other than manipulate the weather…tho what long term effects these chemicals will have in the environment and upon humanity is certainly unknown…”
I replied with: “Manipulates the local weather, not the planet’s. They mostly use Potassium Iodide and Silver Iodide for cloud seeding. You think these are dangerous?”
He replied with another misunderstanding: “mate…an hour ago you said it was a conspiracy theory and now you’re a bloody expert ? I’m going to get pizza..have a nice night”
I replied with: “No; your belief that it was going to kill us all was a conspiracy. Stop being so gullible.” Then he drifted off, presumably to get his pizza.
I have had a discussion with this bloke and a couple of his deluded fellow cultists before3. Their knowledge, and their ability to increase it, has not improved.
I am always astonished by people like this. Much of the world’s knowledge is available online and is only a few keystrokes away. Yet these cookers are either incapable or unwilling to look anything up. Indeed, the CSIRO source he sent me described the CSIRO experiments in cloud seeding. Initial experiments in 1947 were promising and one experiment in seeding led to rainfall over 80 square kilometres. It began a program of cloud seeding which continued for another 24 years. It ceased in 19711. Intermittent efforts have been used subsequently around the country, but the cookers are blaming cloud seeding for the record-breaking floods in Queensland and New South Wales, both in March 20224 and July 20225. This was shown in both cases to be false and as I intimate above, cloud seeding is impossible on the scale of the NSW and Queensland floods. It is the La Niña weather system that is the cause6, and is something that for three years eastern Australia has suffered and is still suffering under. The floods continue.
He seems to seriously think that in the middle of drenching, flooding rains, some plane is flying around seeding clouds in the effort to make it rain more. You have to wonder. While I don’t doubt these cookers can read, I do wonder whether they actually read anything longer than Tweets or Facebook posts from other cookers, and if they do, whether they can comprehend it at all.
*Cooker: In Australian slang it started off as a reference to anti-vaccination ‘activists’ (antivaxxers) who were against wearing masks, border closures and lockdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic7. Because antivaxxers tend to believe in all sorts of other bizarre conspiracies, the term cooker has expanded to include any people who believe such conspiracy theories. There is now a website which tracks some of the major cookers in Australia8.
**Chemtrails: The chemtrail conspiracy theory is the silly belief that long-lasting condensation trails from jet aircraft are ‘chemtrails’ consisting of chemical or biological agents pumped into the atmosphere by the aircraft, sprayed for nefarious purposes undisclosed to the general public. Believers say that while normal contrails dissipate relatively quickly, those contrails that linger must contain additional substances (seemingly unaware that the rate at which these dissipate is dependent on air temperature and humidity). They believe these ‘chemicals’ are for weather modification, psychological manipulation, population control or even biological or chemical warfare against the population9. It almost goes without saying that these beliefs are simply bovine excrement.