The California drought manipulation conspiracy theory is promoted by a number of independent researchers, self-proclaimed scientists, and alternative news outlets. The theory proposes that the 2011–2017 drought was a deliberate, man-made phenomenon, created by weather modification. The theory has been dismissed by the scientific community and mainstream media as fringe science or pseudoscience.
Key claims and components
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), are being used to create a large and stubborn high-pressure area over the West Coast of the United States. They claim that this, also, discourages storms and rainfall.
Prominent was Dane Wigington of www.GeoEngineeringwatch.org. He said that government agencies and other entities have economic and geopolitical motivations to manipulate the weather on the West Coast and elsewhere.
Proponents have claimed credibility for the theory, in part, as a result of a Los Angeles County cloud seeding program, begun in early 2016. This reinforces their view that government continues to engage in weather modification and/or climate engineering.
Shasta County action
In July 2014, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a formal inquiry into chemtrail conspiracy claims. One of the reasons given was their potential to affect weather and rainfall. The action was cheered by supporters, but mocked by many in the media.
- Weather modification
- Climate engineering, also called geoengineering
- List of geoengineering topics
- List of proposed geoengineering schemes
- Project Stormfury
- Weather warfare
- Solar radiation management
- Stratospheric sulfate aerosols (geoengineering)
- Beijing Weather Modification Office
- Environmental engineering
- Gumbel, Andrew (September 26, 2015). "Drought blamers: California conspiracists see government's hand in arid climate". The Guardian. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
- "Growing Number Believe California's Drought Is A Government Conspiracy". CBS Sacramento. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Cole, Dermot (2 July 2014). "HAARP closure postponed until 2015". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
- "California drought: What's causing it?". 13 January 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Gumbel, Andrew (26 September 2015). "Drought blamers: California conspiracists see government's hand in arid climate". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- DuPertuis, Richard. "Shasta County agrees to find out more about jet trails". Mount Shasta Herald. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Loki, Reynard. "Conspiracy theories rain down: California cloud-seeding project brings out the truthers". Salon. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- 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.
- Plautz, Jason. "The Climate Conspiracy Theory Coming to Your Congressman's Twitter Feed". Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "As Water Supply Reaches Record Low, California Combats Drought With Black-Ops Weather Control Technology From Vietnam War". Forbes.com.
- "UPDATED: Shasta County supervisors vote unanimously to learn more about "chemtrails"". Redding Record Searchlight. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- KANDUCH, PATTI. "Nation ignoring dangers of chemtrails". Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Mersereau, Dennis. "Chemtrails Don't Exist and Shasta County Is Ground Zero for Stupid". Gawker. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- "Local City Board Actually Votes to Look Into 'Chemtrail' Conspiracy". The Blaze. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2016.