By David Tulis
In 2008 a waste pond dam gave way at TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., plant, pouring forth 4.2 million cubic meters of slurried coal fly ash, swamping houses nearby and burying neighboring parcels of land six feet deep in sludge.
The evironmental disaster highlights the danger of coal fly ash, which is stored wet in dredge cells to prevent its becoming airborne.
But airborne it is, and not by mistake.
Coal fly ash has become a key ingredient in a form of reverse pollution, thanks to the federal government’s intensifying program to alter weather patterns in an erstwhile war on global warming. Coal fly ash is like firefighters’ backburn operations in the parched West Coast inferno season where smaller fires forestall fiery cataclysms.
A nuclear geophysicist has published a study that says the federal sky striping program is dumping coal fly ash across U.S. skies in a weather intervention program that has already damaged public health.
Coal fly ash is radioactive and contains neurologically damaging ingredients such as aluminum, the study says, linking jet created fogbanks like those over Chattanooga with disturbed weather patterns and rising rates of neurological damage such as Alzheimer’s and autism.
The study is consistent with earlier reporting in Chattanooga in what may be the city’s biggest environmental story in the past 20 years.
The 16-page scholarly paper by a California geophysicist is also in line with much of the speculative popular and science journalism in the past two years that proposes a global sun-dimming program by jet aircraft as a response to global warming.
In a February study, government- and CIA-funded scientists propose a massive pollution program that might cause many harms but would have the benefit of deflecting sunlight from the surface of the earth. In Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth, a 235-page book, the National Academy of Sciences describes “albedo [cloud reflectivity] modification” in a jet-delivered “geoengineering” program to dim sunlight and ostensibly cool the planet’s surface temperatures. The report does not favor any one type of microsocopic particle nor evaluate possible injury to human populations.
“[T]toxic coal combustion fly ash is the most likely aerosolized particulate sprayed by tanker-jets for geoengineering, weather-modification and climate-modification purposes,” Dr. J. Marvin Herndon says in “Evidence of Coal-Fly-Ash Toxic Chemical Geoengineering in the Troposphere: Consequences for Public Health,” published — and hastily if irregularly retracted — in a scientific journal.
Fly ash fits the requirements of an aerosol injection program to artificially brighten up the sky. Fly ash is extremely fine, fairly buoyant, contains aluminum for sun reflectivity purposes, and is a waste product from coal-fired steam boilers such as those run by the Tennessee Valley Authority hauled away cheap.
Dr. Herndon’s study includes close examination of HEPA air filters, leachate from coal fly ash, water samples and visual observations of how jet plumes convert themselves into cloud cover that darkens American landscapes.
Geophysicist casts eyes aloft
Dr. Herndon appears a recent combatant in the controversy over Washington’s weather intervention. In spring of 2014 Dr. Herndon took notice of “white trails” in blue, cloudless skies that he compares to “aerial graffiti.” The stripes “start to diffuse, eventually forming cirrus-like clouds that further diffuse to form a white haze that scattered sunlight, often occluding or dimming the sun. Aerosol spraying was occasionally so intense as to make the otherwise cloudless blue sky overcast, some areas of sky turning brownish.”
The owner of Transdyne Corp. noticed how treatments continue without a break. “The necessity for daily aerosol emplacement stems from the relatively low spraying-altitudes in the troposphere where mixing with air readily occurs bringing down the aerosolized particulates and exposing humanity and Earth’s biota to the fine-grained substance. The author’s concern about the daily exposure to ultra-fine airborne particulate matter of undisclosed composition and its concomitant effect on the health of his family and public health in general prompted the research.”
A review of literature popular and scientific literature indicates that sky spraying by jets often is linked to the appearance of aluminum and barium in rainfall, “two elements usually not present in naturally-occurring rainwater.” The regular appearance of a third ingredient — strontium — in these reports made Dr. Herndon more curious. “The presence of strontium together with barium suggests that the undisclosed particulate matter is derived from a natural product,” he says, and might help explain how the “the undisclosed particulate matter” of aerosol goengineering is produced cheaply out of public view.
The use of coal in manufacturing processes creates four waste products.The one most likely useful to weather modification programs is fly ash, comprised of micron- and submicron-sized particles ordinarily wisped into the troposphere by factory smokestacks. “Because of its well-known adverse environmental health effects, Western nations now mandate that coal combustion fly ash is to be captured and stored. Representatives of coal burning utilities and their trade organizations actively promote commercial applications for coal fly ash, which, to name a few, include uses as additives to Portland cement, agricultural soil amendments, replacement for compacted backfills, mine reclamation, melting river ice, and as subsurface for roads” (citations omitted)
A secret use of waste product
But Dr. Herndon says fly ash is used also as an aerosol by jets mucking up the atmosphere over his hometown, a Pacific port city.
“[C]oal fly ash is one major global waste product stream with the appropriate grain-size distribution for aerosolized tropospheric spraying that is readily available at extremely low cost and with existent processing and transport infrastructure. The author submits the following hypothesis: Coal fly ash is most likely the aerosolized particulate sprayed in the troposphere by tanker-jets for geoengineering, weather-modification and climate-modification purposes.” His hypothesis is that “coal fly ash is the aerosolized particulate sprayed in the troposphere by tanker-jets for geoengineering, weather-modification and climate-modification purposes and to reveal some of the adverse human public health consequences and the antagonistic consequences on Earth’s environment and biota.”
His experiments test coal fly ash by leaching it, and measuring rainwater. Corroborating evidence was supplied by lab reports of HEPA filters dirtied in 2011 in Los Angeles. Because spraying in San Diego is so persistent, he is unable to obtain rainwater free of aerial deposits to establish a baseline.
Dr. Herndon is 99 percent confident that his data supports his hypothesis. “[T]he tropospheric-emplaced matter has the same water-leach characteristics as coal fly ash for at least eight elements, which is indeed strong evidence of the identification of the aerosolized substance as coal fly ash.” The HEPA filters contain 14 elements lining up with coal plant fly ash.
The pollution is being emitted in the troposphere, the lower atmosphere. Dr. Herndon says jet emissions and the routine milky haze of jet trailwork indicate the coal ash does not stay long in the sky, but drifts onto cities, over farms, across subdivisioned housing districts and public parks. “The tropospheric lifetime of the particulates was sufficiently short as to necessitate near-daily spraying, which is an argument against the collected samples originating far away, such as from China due to the global movement of weather.” Much reporting about weather modification indicates that “negative emissions” have routinely been laid in the higher stratosphere. But Dr. Herndon says the emissions are much closer to the earth — at 20,000 feet vs. 40,000.
Tanker jets, he says, dump aerosol “bombs” over the ocean, bringing already dispersed aerosol clouds over the land. Concerned about high concentrations of noxious materials, Dr. Herndon says he plans to fly a plane through the concentrations to collect samples.
Fly ash is poisonous to human health. Aluminum, arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium (III), chromium (IV), cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, selenium, strontium, thallium, thorium, and uranium. “Coal fly ash has been described as being more radioactive than nuclear waste,” warns the author of many peer-reviewed scientific papers.
“Long exposure to air pollution particulates, not necessarily coal fly ash, in sizes ≤ 2.5μm (PM2.5) is associated with morbidity and premature mortality. One may therefore reasonably conclude that aerosolized coal fly ash, at least the PM2.5 component, is detrimental to human health.
The ultra-fine particles of aerosolized coal fly ash do not remain at tanker-jet operational altitudes: they mix with and pollute the air people breathe. Tropospheric aerosol coal fly ash can potentially endanger humans through two primary routes: (1) ingestion of rainwater-extract of coal fly ash toxins, directly or after concentration by evaporation and (2) particulate intake through inhalation or through contact with the eyes or skin. In the latter instance, harm to humans can arise from in situ body-fluid extraction of coal fly ash toxins as well as from the consequences of tissue contact. Coal fly ash that is PM2.5 is readily entrained in terminal airways and alveoli and retained in the lungs for long periods of time; the small grain size enables it to penetrate and reach deep within the airways where it can cause inflammation and pulmonary injury (citations omitted).
Not every person is harmed at the same level.
“The extent of adverse health consequences from aerosolized coal fly ash depends on a variety of factors including age, physical condition, individual susceptibility, concentration and exposure duration. Moreover, some toxic elements from tropospheric spraying of coal fly ash, in addition to direct bodily input by inhalation or transdermal infusion, may be concentrated by processes in nature. Arsenic, for example, one of the coal fly ash toxins, poses the greatest health threat in its inorganic form. Arsenic can be taken up by a variety of organisms and, like mercury, can be passed up the food chain. Arsenic can be involved with hypertension-related cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases and diabetes. Arsenic leached from coal fly ash taken in by pregnant women can crossover the placenta to the fetus. Concentration and exposure duration increase likelihood of this happening.”
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s link
Chattanooga air pollution data collected under authority of the Clean Air Act shows persistent particles of strontium, barium and aluminum. Yet these ingredients are not regulated as pollutants, according to a city-county air pollution control bureau director, Bob Colby.
“Although aluminum is abundant in the Earth’s crust, it is highly immobile,” Dr. Herndon says. “Consequently, our planet’s biota, including humans, have not developed natural defense mechanisms for exposure to chemically mobile aluminum. It is a matter of grave concern that aluminum in a chemically mobile form can be readily extracted from coal fly ash with rainwater or in situ with body fluids.
“Aluminum is implicated in such neurological diseases as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), all of which have markedly increased in recent years. Aluminum is thought to impair fertility in men and is also implicated in neurological disorders of bees and other creatures” (citations omitted).
Coal waste — cheap alternative to volcanic ash
Dr. Herndon says fly ash fits the solution to the alleged global warming crisis, but the years-old program is shrouded in secrecy. “Without public candor it is difficult to know the underlying motivations and the range of specific activities involved. One thing seems certain: the potential damage to public health and the environment is likely to be unprecedented in its planetary scope.”
Coal ash is much more easily attained for governmental and military purposes, he says, and vastly cheaper. Instead of mining and milling rock to produce artificial volcanic ash in sufficient volumes to spray aloft and “cool the planet,” Western governments and militaries “adopted a low-cost, pragmatic alternative, but one with consequences far more dire to life on Earth than global warming might ever be, and used coal combustion fly ash.
“To make matters worse, instead of placing the material high into the stratosphere, where there is minimal mixing and the substance might remain suspended for a year or more, they opted to spray coal fly ash into the lower atmosphere, the troposphere, which mixes with the air people breathe and gets rained down to ground.”
Aerosols deposited over weather systems act as a dessicant, or drying agent, Dr. Herndon explains, citing a Nasa study on the effect of aerosols on rain-drooping clouds. Coal fly ash is hydroscopic, he says, absorbing of water and able to prevent rain-heavy clouds from releasing their burdens on farms, lakes, parking lots and lawns below. In an interview he says spraying coal fly ash over rain systems makes them disappear.
Not only are jet trails implicated in the four-year California drought, but in global overheating. “[P]ervasive, widespread, tanker-jet spraying affects weather and Earth’s heat balance in ways that act in opposition to cooling the Earth. Those who reside in locations where natural cloud cover is rare, like San Diego, notice the rapid cooling after the sun goes down, except on cloudy days when heat is retained. During the daytime coal fly ash clouds may block sunlight, but at night may retard heat loss from the Earth, act to prevent rainfall, and contribute to global warming. Nighttime tanker-jet spraying, presumably to the hide the activity from public view, further retards heat loss.”
The geoengineering program “may cause drought in some areas, floods in others, crop failure, forest die-offs, and adverse ecological impacts, especially in conjunction with the chemically-mobile-aluminum contamination from coal fly ash. The consequences,” Dr. Herndon says, “ultimately may have devastating effects on habitats and reduce human food production.”
‘Well orchestrated disinformation’
The program appears to have ramped up two years ago, says the author of two books and many scientific papers. “Evidence indicates that tropospheric spraying of coal fly ash (1) has been taking place throughout the 21st century, (2) on an international scale, and (3) with significant ramping-up since about 2013. Throughout that period of time there has been a program of well-orchestrated disinformation, but no public disclosure, no informed consent, and no public health warnings.”
Dr. Herndon’s paper faced controversy so sharp that the editor of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health retracted it (the link is to the paper with author edits). Editor Paul Tchounwou spiked the paper after allegedly being paid a personal visit by an individual who bragged on an Internet post, according to Dr. Herndon, that “I was partially responsible for the retraction. I went personally to speak face to face with the editor of the journal and we spoke for about five minutes about the errors it contained. He agreed and retracted the article Herndon wrote.”
The professor says the bases for Dr. Tchounwou’s decision are “blatantly false, misleading and pejorative statements,” including “a gross exaggeration of a minor correctable error.” Dr. Herndon is taking action against the academicians involved, alleging ethical breaches and malfeasance. His website, http://www.nuclearplanet.com/, gives details of the spat.
A second paper in a similar vein, “Aluminum poisoning of humanity and Earth’s biota by clandestine geoengineering activity: implications for India,” appeared June 2015, 5 pp., in the publication Current Science in connection with the Indian Academy of Sciences.
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