Down the rabbit hole with Annette Smith

Vermont’s most notorious eco-scold Annette Smith is known for walking a fine line between activist and crackpot. She manages to retain a measure of political clout in spite of her habit of brandishing cherry-picked junk science in her perpetual battle against wind turbines, solar arrays, and anything else big, shiny, or corporate that might dare to penetrate the borders of our green and pleasant land.

For those who think the “crackpot” label is excessively mean, consider this: Annette Smith is, or has been, a proponent of the ultra-fringey “chemtrail” theory. In that, she is a full-fledged member of the Tinfoil Hat Brigade.

In case you hadn’t heard (lucky you), chemtrails are supposedly secret chemical seedings of the atmosphere from high-flying jets. The purpose is either mind control or poisoning the people or geoengineering or fomenting climate change in the service of globalism or the fossil fuel industry or — well, pick your own secret government plot.

Of course, they’re really nothing but contrails: lengths of harmless water vapor that typically disperse within a few minutes.

But if you believe that, you’re just one of the SHEEPLE who has yet to realize THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!!!!!!!

I’ll provide examples of Smith’s chemtrail advocacy below. But just in case I need to explain the relevance, well, as a good lawyer might say, “it goes to the witness’ credibility.” If she believes in something as loony-tunes as chemtrails, why should we take her seriously on wind or solar energy?

Okay kids, now take a deep drag on your hookah and follow me into Wonderland…

This is a screenshot of a post by Smith, apparently since deleted, on the Facebook page of Gaelan Brown, chemtrail alarmist and advocate of Vermont independence (and also, apparently, an anti-vaxxer and a 9/11 Truther):

Annette Smith Chemtrails

The link is to a chemtrail-conspiracy video that “exposes” the truth about…

The international program [that] involves spraying aluminum, barium, strontium and other toxic chemicals from airplanes at high altitudes that then fall to the ground, ending up in our bodies, our water, our soil and the air we breathe.

Nope, sorry, it’s just water vapor. That’s all. I do appreciate the “international” reference, which puts this into New World Order/Black Helicopter/Elders of Zion territory.

(The screenshot of the Facebook page doesn’t have a visible date, but the video was posted in April of 2014, so it wasn’t that long ago that Annette Smith was actively promoting chemtrail theory.) 

Now, the video seeks to differentiate contrails from “chemtrails.” The former dissipate quickly in the atmosphere; the latter are more long-lasting, allegedly because of their heavy metal content.

Which brings us to our other example of Annette Smith writing about the chemtrail conspiracy. In it, she writes about listening to VPR’s “Eye in the Sky” while driving; the report said that the sky was clear and cloudless… but she kept noticing white trails across the sky.

… When I got home I posted them on the Facebook page of “The Eye on the Sky” and asked “what is it?” No response. There have been subsequent Facebook posts but nobody has responded to the question.

Well, of course. Mark Breen is obviously in on the plot.

I contacted one meteorologist in 2011 after photographing similar “clouds” in the sky, and he wrote, “The clouds formations in the pictures that you sent to the station are cirrus clouds, generated by air plane contrails. If the atmosphere is very dry at the level where the plane is traveling, the contrail will often dissipate. However, if moisture is available, the cirrus cloud generated by the contrail will maintain itself and gradually expand. Simple as that.”

Yeah, well, Annette’s not buying your bland reassurances and your “science”, Mr. Probably United Nations-Funded Anonymous Meteorologist. Because right after that, she went on like so:

In one sense I don’t care what it’s from, it is air pollution and it’s a problem.

Uh, no, it’s not “air pollution.” It’s cirrus clouds. Which are made of — stop me if you’ve heard this before — water vapor.

Holy crap.

She goes on to state, as if it was established fact, that these toxic “chemicals are now being sprayed without our consent and are actually trapping the warming and increasing climate change at a much faster rate than would otherwise occur.”

She doesn’t ever actually say “The Truth Is Out There,” but she might as well.

All you have to do is look up on a day that is supposed to have a clear blue sky and notice that something is happening to our atmosphere. It is widespread throughout the globe, and we are not talking about it.

… for some reason we as a population are not supposed to discuss it lest we be labelled as wackos, members of the tin hat society or, yes, “extremists”.

No, it’s not because you might be labelled as wackos. It’s because you ARE wackos.

Below is the entirety of Smith’s piece, so you may judge the quality of her reasoning for yourself. Perhaps you’ll bear it in mind the next time she talks or writes about the hidden dangers of wind turbines and solar panels.

If Ms. Smith would like to expound further on the subject of chemtrails, she is, as always, welcome to post a comment.

__________________________

Annette Smith writes:

Last Sunday (Easter) I was driving back from Poultney listening to Vermont Public Radio and “The Eye in the Sky” came on. The meteorologist talked about the clear blue sky and he said the only clouds were in southern Quebec. I had my camera with me so I took photographs of the sky all along the trip from Poultney to Tinmouth. You can see them here:https://plus.google.com/photos/114098560210816181304/albums/6004432903924547889?banner=pwa&authkey=CPrhl-Pnr_–hwE. (I took similar photos on Friday, April 25).

When I got home I posted them on the Facebook page of “The Eye on the Sky” and asked “what is it?” No response. There have been subsequent Facebook posts but nobody has responded to the question. I looked at the airplane activity, there are several websites, and there were no “official” flights over this area of Vermont during the time I was photographing or for hours before or after.

Some people want to argue about whether or not geoengineering is taking place, and claim that what I photographed on that beautiful clear blue sky Easter Sunday is normal airplane contrail activity. I contacted one meteorologist in 2011 after photographing similar “clouds” in the sky, and he wrote, “The clouds formations in the pictures that you sent to the station are cirrus clouds, generated by air plane contrails. If the atmosphere is very dry at the level where the plane is traveling, the contrail will often dissipate. However, if moisture is available, the cirrus cloud generated by the contrail will maintain itself and gradually expand. Simple as that.”

In one sense I don’t care what it’s from, it is air pollution and it’s a problem. As someone who relies on solar power, I will note that this activity, whatever its cause, is resulting in dimming the sun. The BBC did a documentary in 2012 about the phenomenon (it does not mention geoengineering) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmywf7a9OlI.

One assumption based on that documentary appears to be that if “we” (governments? private industry?) allow the planet to behave “naturally”, unless humans get involved to inhibit the sun’s impact on the planet, global warming will take off so it is necessary to spray substances that reflect back the sun’s rays.

Geoengineering proponent David Keith of Harvard talks about the “potential” in this Ted talk from 2007:http://www.ted.com/talks/david_keith_s_surprising_ideas_on_climate_change

Others counter that the chemicals are now being sprayed without our consent and are actually trapping the warming and increasing climate change at a much faster rate than would otherwise occur.

Yet another assumption is that the spraying of toxic chemicals is intended by the global elite to sicken and depopulate the planet.

Readers may observe that this is not a discussion taking place in mainstream media. As noted above, meteorologists either give a pat answer that it is a natural phenomenon of airplane activity (something we never saw as kids growing up) or they do not respond.

All you have to do is look up on a day that is supposed to have a clear blue sky and notice that something is happening to our atmosphere. It is widespread throughout the globe, and we are not talking about it. There have been demonstrations against geoengineeringhttp://globalmarchagainstchemtrailsandgeoengineering.com/, there are movies on youtube (What, Why and Who in the World Are They Spraying On Us), websites on geoengineeringhttp://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/, but for some reason we as a population are not supposed to discuss it lest we be labelled as wackos, members of the tin hat society or, yes, “extremists”.

Missing from the discussions about CO2 emissions and climate change are the larger issues about the elite, the less than 1% who are keeping us in the dark, literally and figuratively, while keeping us hooked on fossil fuels and making sure all new technologies that would free us from fossil fuels never make it to market. Ask yourself why we are using energy technologies developed 100 years ago when there have been huge technological breakthroughs in other areas.

In many ways, the focus on CO2 emissions is part of the problem, as it deflects us from talking about the bigger problems our planet is facing, as the economic forces coalesce to enrich themselves through fossil fuel extraction and promoting war at the expense of humanity and our planet.

The good news is that we can get beyond fighting about nuclear power, wind turbines and solar panels, and yes, have more fun and laugh more, if we focus our energies on exposing and toppling the fossil fuel oligarchs and building a new, peaceful society. We are in a time of great transition, which can happen quickly and go either way at this point. I side with peace.”

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8 thoughts on “Down the rabbit hole with Annette Smith

  1. walter h moses

    Ho Hum. Another richey burger.
    Must file a complaint with the AG about you shelling whole walnuts for you’re neighbors consumption. Would that be ole Tony Klein?

    Reply
      1. walter h moses

        Not really, I have to take a vacation from the internet at fairly regular intervals. Your post occurred in the middle of a break. I don’t live with the elites in north or is it east perhaps northeast Montpelier so I have to check it out, but not always on time with baited breath.

  2. Dave Katz

    As per usual, we can go to Patrick O’Brien for a little light in the darkness of human nature: A great Jack Aubrey line dishing a skeevy character of his acquaintance with the mangled Latin tagline, “Falsum in unum, falsum in omnium”

    The redoubtable Ms. Smith has emerged as a public face for an eclectic group comprised of well-to-do NIMBY view-hoggers (see Kennedy family, the, and the ocean wind project), 911 Truther/Contrailers sheltering their paranoid domes under tin foil, the always-present, blurry, roachlike, well-industry-funded-anti-sustainable naysayer operatives (see Arizona Public Service, the, millions spent in post CU regulatory board packing in that state).

    Such a disparate and ordinarily inimical little family sharing an interest gets me fingering the curtains and flipping up the corner of the carpet to inspect the weave, metaphorically speaking. Annette Smith exudes an odor of righteous bunkum in service of–well, something unclear, anyway– around her public person. Ordinarily, the stolid burghers of the Leg would backhand her away as if she were the Workers’ Center, but curiously, they seem somewhat moved by her crusade. Hmmmm. Say whatever you like about the boring indifference exhibited by said burghers, they do have outsized, well-developed quivering antennae for What Power Wants in this state.

    Reply
  3. newzjunqie

    While personally ticking off a couple of VPO fringe boxes aside, import imo, is that the language incorporated by AS shows the same dogged categorizing of all supposed scourges assigned with equal relevence & import in the minds of AS & *some* but not all followers, the others, perhaps majority, having truly legitimate concerns.

    But the “how” is an unknown quantity, & what keeps the addicts returning to this heroin of the psyche. There are some things which cannot or easily, be explained, hence how these pied pipers of conspiracy ply the people with their wares. Those of us who reject collectivism including authoritarianism & prone to unconventional thinking need to beware. This particular path to perdition is paved by these & their plausible theories.

    Alex Jones, George Noory (Coast2coast am) & a few others in the so-called Conspiracy Theory of either wings of political parties esp the right, harbor a fringe element that resides in a reality that really isn’t, that they don’t want to completely cast off, b/c *it sells*. KKK-ching spends just as well as all the rest so lets not alienate them completely.

    Investigated but never got involved with the chemtrail issue primarily b/c it seemed to reside in the realm of inconclusive. Why investigate an issue that cannot be proven either way, but which also has a preponderence of evidence heavily weighted to conventional wisdom and is difficult or impossible to prove otherwise.

    What results would one expect of behavior such as sending pics to Eye on the Sky for chemtrail analysis? This is the real problem, not the thought. Same conclusions no matter how conventional the wisdom or not & personally am not a conventional-wisdomer but must admit it has its place.

    Other supposed crackpotisms *do have* at least some evidentiary & scientific basis despite wails to the contrary, which is why there is this mashup. Discernment, which still has a measure of the subjective must be present in some quantity.

    Soo, though many if not most of AS devotees have legitimate concerns, have found themselves in AS camp, even defending entirety of nuttiness b/c there is no one addressing legitimate concerns, just as the larger audience of AJ, Noory & Co.

    This is why the rightwing & indy of legislature races will win where ever there is a strongish challenge — they are supposedly & hopefully looking out for the interests of the faceless & voiceless VT voters. VPIRG has become a fixture & another committee in the statehouse serving as lobbyists for green corporate. The classist elitism of D/P march to the money paid to keep them in office to the detriment of the voters will be their undoing.

    Reply
    1. Dave Katz

      Those poor voters struggling with their detriment actually put these folks in office–those that bothered to vote, anyway. Are you really selling some fishy bait-and-switch theory, that these “elitists” are in fact nothing more than corporate ‘hos? Maybe someplace else that’s true, but that dog don’t hunt here. Vermont has a centrist-voting polity, and they won’t accept candidates who don’t conform to the voters’ fairly narrow and parochial notions of what the state government is allowed to, or capable of, doing. Casting politicians as elitist because the electorate doesn’t trust innovation and experimentation is like blaming the rock for the cow pissing on it.

      Reply
  4. newzjunqie

    What new mythology are you talking about now. Yes voters elected ppl making controversial decisions what else is new. When a large amount of voters are ignored by the majority party they tend to vote against said party. This strange occurrence happens typically at elections. If there are enough of those who oppose current regime & resultant staus quo, said majority party loses.

    Renewable energy which I have always supported & still do has become polarized due to nimbyites but also ppl who have legitimate issues, unsure how this could go unnoticed. Other surrounding states have enacted siting rules & statutes for years, unsure what updates there are if any:
    http://www.nrel.gov/wind/news/2013/2081.html?print
    According to link, appears that PSB has the most say-so in VT, this gives a lot more leeway than other states w/o residents having enough say.

    Not just renewables. PSB & the state agency under Recchia have allowed those under their purview to poorly serve VT residents. No one speaks for the public. Renewables are just one more entity allowed to do whatever they want.
    The sky’s the limit in VT:
    http://vtdigger.org/2016/06/22/vermont-gas-pipeline-costs-jump-7-8-percent-to-165-6-million/
    Wasn’t just Stowe area either totally screwed up 911:
    http://vtdigger.org/2015/10/04/fairpoint-target-of-complaints-from-stowe-area-customers/
    http://vtdigger.org/2011/01/13/on-video-illuzzi-seeks-to-loosen-rules-for-fairpoint/

    Problem is that many of our state reps & governor have recieved large donations from producers — you haven’t heard of this — or its completely untrue-which pls.

    In case you forgot, the proposed standards which passed overwhelmingly were vetoed by Shummy which sent statehouse (or renewable developers is more like it) into a tizzy, was overturned, so back to drawing board.

    Nothing in the statute would prevent future development but developers may not have been able to make the killing they paid our lawmakers for.
    http://vtdigger.org/2016/06/10/full-day-of-maneuvering-yields-new-energy-siting-bill/

    Reply
  5. Dave Katz

    Reread my comment: the playing field in Vermont is N-A-R-R-O-W. Is there opportunism? Are there lobbyists, doing their nasty lobbying? Sure. The biggest single impediment to a more progressive state government is over-cautious candidates running in front of voters who are ill prepared by temperament or the lessons of past political success or failure–because nobody does the heavy lifting of organizing and educating the polity as to what actually works to effect meaningful change–to demand better government. Simple solution Almost unimagineably difficult to execute. Screeching “The fix is in! The fix is in!” just confirms voters’ wrongheaded suspicion that it’s all broken, so fuckit, what’s the use? End result is, it gets worse and worse. If you need any clearer example of the outcome of this pox-on-the-gummint’s-house blindered thinking, I give you 36 years of Reagan Republicanism, culminating in Don Dump. ‘Nuff said. Try another tack, willya?

    Reply

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