QAnon conspiracy theorists are pushing the false claim that the snow storm in Texas is fake and is “government generated” by President Joe Biden and Microsoft founder Bill Gates to plunge the state into chaos, notes Yahoo News.
The Independent reports the science deniers are convinced the snow is fake because they can’t melt snowballs with their lighters:
“This goes out to our government and Bill Gates. Thank you Bill Gates for trying to f***ing trick us that this is real snow,” a woman says in one video as she holds a cigarette lighter to a snowball over her bathroom basin.
“You’ll see it’s not melting and it’s going to burn. Snow don’t burn. Snow f***ing melts. No water, no dripping, no nothing. If I put this s*** in the microwave, it’s going to start sparking because there’s metal mixed in it.”
PolitiFact notes that the conspiracy theorists only hold their lighters to the snowballs long enough to create black scorch marks, which are perfectly normal:
Those come from the lighters themselves. Lighters are typically fueled by butane, which is composed of carbon and hydrogen. When a lighter is flicked on, the butane molecules react with the oxygen in the air, releasing energy as heat.
The reaction isn’t perfect, and some of the carbon molecules from the butane bond with one another to form soot.