Niamh Marnell
DC Bureau
February 17, 2011

In our hurried activities, most of us don’t look up at the sky like we used to as children, back when we might have tried to decipher what animal each fluffy white cloud resembled. But most of us have a clear memory of what the sky looked like: sometimes piercingly white cumulus clouds against a crystal blue backdrop or thin, wispy cirrus clouds of ice crystals whisked across the sky haphazardly or the rounded mounds of altocumulus, a staccato of light and shade with only peek-a-boo blue.

A set of individuals, activists, filmmakers and members of groups like Hands Off Mother Earth, California Skywatch and Canada Skywatch say: Look up at the sky today and you will see a starkly different sight, a crisscross of persistent contrails. Visible jet exhaust can produce a white haze over the skies as the long thick trails spread out and join together as they hang in the sky for many hours.

Although the level of activity of jets leaving persistent contrails differs from location to location, according to activists, if you spend a week looking up at the sky in any city across the United States, you are bound to notice this phenomenon – one very different from the experience of the sky 25 years ago.

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