[permaculture] Re: Aside from the whole issue of "Chemtrails"....

Keith Johnson keithdj at mindspring.com
Sun Feb 15 16:08:33 EST 2004

Let's pretend for a moment that I never mentioned any particular health 
issues. The list of emittants I provided multiplied by the number of 
flights over the whole planet, especially the US, suggests the potential 
for harm to ecologies and inhabitants. Are you aware of studies which 
suggest a need for remedial action and what those actions might be? Or, 
shall we all remain blithe and secure in the certainty that no concern 
is necessary? Are all of these substances degradable by ecosystems, even 
degraded systems? Is it worth a letter to congresspeople, to editors? 
Perhaps this list is entirely the wrong venue for questions of this kind 
and I should be enquiring of various organizations dedicated to clean 
air issues. My intent was less to determine cause / effect relations for 
our own particular local conditions and more to address the questions of 
overall effects on planetary systems.

Sure, we can say "just plant more trees, restore wetlands, practice 
permaculture, etc.," and the effects will be greatly lessened. But, what 
ARE the effects that might be caused by the substances emitted by jet 
aircraft? Is there an answer? Has anyone else asked the question? Who? 
What did they find out? Sure, I can do further research, but one of the 
values of addressing 400 some odd permaculturists is to refine my search 
by enquiry of those I respect and admire for their observational skills. 
I already read 50 periodicals a month and one article I encountered on 
the subject, in Earth Island Journal, suggests there may be reason to 
apply some attention to the question. What else has been learned? Where 
else shall I look?
Thank you,

David Neeley wrote:

>It isn't so simple as spore count...and there could be any
>of a myriad of other influences besides the jet engines of
>the planes flying over...or in addition to them.
>It could even be a particular combination of elements that
>may not be problematical by themselves but that are when
>taken together.
>Since you did not mention any of the symptoms of the
>problems you are having, and there is no real idea of the
>local ecology or of potential pollution sites upwind of
>your location, I can not tell.
>Neither can you.
>It's simply much too simplistic to look at the "jets flying
>overhead" and jump to a conclusion that they are the
>In my opinion, we must seek to find actual, verifiable
>relationships between environmentally-related issues and
>health if we are to be taken seriously and not simply
>dismissed out of hand as "environmental nuts". 
>For instance, a jet passing over at, say, 35,000 feet emits
>substances which are then borne by the wind at that
>altitude. Rarely would they affect you below. That does not
>mean, however, that there may not be lower-level pollutants
>from the jet engines from upwind of your location. Those
>elements which are heavier than air would settle earthward,
>but obviously would be affected by the winds aloft at the
>varying altitudes as they descend.
>When you speak of a seasonal affect, variables such as
>prevailing winds at these different seasons should be taken
>into account. 
>Generally, the techniques used by public health researchers
>to run down such problems are very helpful to begin to
>identify the actual causes of any problems you may be
>experiencing. If it's pollution-related, I would think
>you're much more likely to find some sort of pollution
>source upwind of your location and perhaps fairly close to
>it--the farther the pollution source, the more dispersed
>the airborne contaminants become (obviously). Thus, you
>might also consider how wide an area immediately around you
>has these elevated levels of respiratory distress with
>symptoms similar to yours.
>As for the moisture elements as a seasonal thing, I think
>it may depend upon the actual cause of the problem and
>whether the particular cause may be more pronounced when
>the moisture content is higher or lower. Since there are
>many other variables, however, this is all mere
>Of course, if you *can* run it down to jet emissions, you
>should verify that other areas with higher concentrations
>of these emissions have the same problems. For example, one
>would presume that areas immediately downwind of airports
>would be more affected than you are unless there is some
>component in the length of time the polluting elements are
>in the atmosphere that creates the problem. For example,
>one would suppose that the greater radiation counts aloft
>at the cruising altitude of modern jets may react in some
>way with these elements differently than when they are
>emitted near to the ground. However, this seems quite a
>stretch compared to the *much* higher concentrations near
>One would also assume that Navy people working on aircraft
>carriers or anyone working in and around airports would
>also have increased levels of respiratory problems of the
>type you are experiencing.
>The bottom line is that it seems to me you are a very long
>way from making a logical connection and some
>epidemiological techniques for running it down are in
>order. Merely pointing out that there are some nasty
>components of jet exhaust is simply not enough.
>I'm reminded of Ambrose Bierce in his "Devil's Dictionary"
>definition of "effect":
>EFFECT, n. 
>The second of two phenomena which always occur together in
>the same order. The first, called a Cause, is said to
>generate the other -- which is no more sensible than it
>would be for one who has never seen a dog except in the
>pursuit of a rabbit to declare the rabbit the cause of a
>I suggest that your medical problems deserve a bit more
>study and connection than you have indicated.
>--- Keith Johnson <keithdj at mindspring.com> wrote:
>>Possibly, but would the same hold true in the drier
>>winter months as 
>>well? We have fewer illnesses when spore counts are at
>>their highest 
>>during the summer.
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Yahoo! Finance: Get your refund fast by filing online.

Keith Johnson
Permaculture Activist Magazine
PO Box 1209
Black Mountain, NC 28711

also Patterns for Abundance Design & Consulting
Culture's Edge at Earthaven Ecovillage

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