COEUR d'ALENE - On the computer screen in the study room belonging to Cliff Harris, are crop reports.
There are reports on Australia, India, Pakistan, China, Europe, and the Ukraine.
Harris, Coeur d'Alene climatologist, reads them daily. He provides weather forecasts for those trying to plan their crops and investments. It's big business.
As a registered commodity adviser, too, he advises his clients what to buy and when to sell. He speaks of risk and profit.
"Right now, I'm telling them to buy corn at $5.41 to $5.45, with a stop at $5.27 to $5.31, a $700 risk, and a potential of maybe $5,000," he says. "That's a pretty good return on your money."
The 70-year-old Harris isn't slowing down. He rises at 5:30 a.m. each day to begin his 70-hour work week. He and Sharon, his wife of 51 years, share their Player Drive home with their two toy poodles, Genny and Sholeh.
"I tell people I work my age," he said, smiling, on Wednesday, the first day of summer as he sat in his office at his well-kept, clean and comfortable home.
Much of his life, more than 60 years, has revolved around the weather.
He recalls being bored in middle school because he already knew the material, and was staring out the window watching the snow fall.
"One time my teacher said 'If you like the snow so much, go on out there,' and everybody watched me out in the snow."
Today, he's the guy who measures the rainfall and the snowfall. He's the guy who records the highs and lows. He's the guy who predicts if it's going to be hot or cold or cloudy next week, if we'll see La Nina or El Nino next year.
He is proud of his career, his credentials, his weather reports and his faith.
He worked as a press operator at age 18, when he was told by his dad, Carl, it was time for him to go out on his own. He was an insurance broker for 25 years and has been a registered commodity adviser for 32 years.
For 12 years, from 1970 to 1982, he was the weatherman on KCFW Channel 9 in Kalispell, Mont.
"We were the only TV station in the Flathead Valley," he said.
Harris estimates he has earned more than 300 college credits from seven different colleges and university.
He has written on the weather for the Boston Globe, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. He has served as the weather expert on a national network of "all-star advisers." He has produced weather almanacs.
He has been writing weather columns for the Hagadone newspapers, including The Press, the Daily Interlake and the Whitefish Pilot, for more than 40 years.
His office is organized and tidy, his record keeping is meticulous. To prove it, he pulls out carefully stored scrapbooks of articles and reports and columns and numbers.
"I go though all of this every single day," he said.
He devours books, too.
"I'm a science junkie. I've read probably about 500 science books in my lifetime. I read about 20 a year."
He doesn't just read books. He has been quoted in them, including "The Return" by Mike Evans published in 1986. In it, Harris is quoted, "The next decades may well become the most violent in the past 4,000 years since the chaotic days of Noah."
Harris stands by that quote today.
"There's tons of stuff I've been doing over the years," he said. "I've been doing more than more people think."
"I'm just saying, I'm not some weirdo out in the country out there."
When most folks are 70 years old, they slow down. How do you just keep going and going?
I've done 50 pushups every single day. As long as you keep doing them, it doesn't matter how old you get. You can still keep doing them.
I do 500 leg kicks for each side, each day. And we walk with the dogs, that's a good exercise.
Where did you grow up and how did you get your interest in the weather?
I grew up south of Buffalo, New York, in Hamburg, New York
My grandfather was a horticulturist. He grew roses in two greenhouses. He ended up with Lou Gehrig's disease when he got to be about 60, or a little after that. Pretty soon, he couldn't walk and hardly talk, so I became at age 9 his legs. He ran a weather station.
I had to go in and take care of all his weather charts because it went with the greenhouse as well, and he ran the weather station for the Hamburg area.
I've been doing it now for over 60 years straight, running a weather station.
With several career options, why did you pick weather first?
That was my greatest love. I'll never quit it.
What is it about the weather you find so fascinating?
I like to live in an area like this where it changes. I tell people we live in Camelot. We don't have hurricanes. We have very few severe storms. We get our amount of snow we need to have, especially in the mountains, for water and irrigation. It's a wonderful area to live. In fact, the History Channel picked this as the safest spot.
Safest spot for what?
North Idaho. To live. They made a little circle in here. They said we have everything we need to survive.
We have enough food, we have enough water, and that's extremely valuable. We have metals, we have everything here. We just have to be sure we're not allowing heavy metals to pollute lakes like Lake Coeur d'Alene and so on.
It's coming from the air now as well. What they're trying to do with these chemtrails, they're trying to reflect the heat back into space so we can cool this planet that's become a burning ember. While nothing could be further from the truth.
Why did you recently begin writing about chemtrails, that the government is spraying chemicals in the sky?
Because I couldn't deny what was going on. I was having doctors call me and saying, 'I'm seeing patients with their urine and hair samples and blood samples with all these heavy metals. It's got to be coming from the air. It's not leaching up from the ground. It's not like radon. It's falling from the air.
What reaction are you getting from folks?
Seventy percent positive. One fellow thought I should be put in a mental institution, but they don't understand what's going on. And they don't look at the proof. I studied five years of evidence and information before I ever wrote anything.
How do you answer those who think you're wrong?
I try to tell people there are things happening right now, nations are trying to control the weather, they're doing all this experimentation, they don't even deny it. I've got the proof. They just won't look at the tapes. They won't look at the pictures. We have tons of proof.
What proof do you have?
We have actual proof of what we're looking at. We have pictures. There's no doubt in my mind this is going on.
We took pictures about three months ago that show the planes going back and forth, and I told people with high-powered binoculars, you can see them dumping these materials out of the bottom of C-130s.
Why would they target North Idaho?
It's because of the wind flow pattern. Many times, once the winds die down, you have a lot of clear skies and they can do their patch work patterns. It's not disturbed by a jet stream that's blowing them apart.
A National Weather Service official and an area college professor on weather both said you're wrong and there are no chemtrails, the government is not spraying, there is no evidence for it. What do you say to that?
They're just naive. They don't know about it, they won't look at the evidence
But we have people now that are doing something. Dianne Finestein in California, Pat Roberts in Kansas, he wants a cease and desist because it's ruining some of the wheat areas. The aluminum-oxide is polluting the area and wheat won't grow.
So you're not done trying to raise awareness of what you say are chemtrails?
Oh no. It's not a fantasy. It's happening.
There's so much evidence it's unbelievable they've been doing this. It's been an elephant hiding in plain sight.
Could you talk about the weather all day?
I could talk about the weather as long as I can. And I like weather in Bible prophecy. I have talked until I'm blue in the face that all of the things that we're looking at are told in the Bible, are predicted in the Bible.
I told everybody we would have skyrocketing food prices, that we'd see oil go well above $100 a barrel, people were laughing at me when I said that. Just a couple of short years later, we had all these happen. The crash of the economy, which I predicted, all of these things. They want to know now, where did you get all this information? I got a lot of it from the world's greatest textbook and it's the Bible.
Are you what some would call a religious fanatic?
I'm not a religious fanatic. I believe we were put here by God. I believe if it weren't for Jesus, I wouldn't be getting out of this world alive. I know I'm a sinner. I need somebody to stand in my place. What better person than the son of the judge. How can I go wrong?
What's ahead for us, long term with the weather?
We're going to see a lot of extremes, but we're living in a little jewel, a little Camelot where everything will go around us. I do think we're going to get some very strong wind storms. Mother Nature abhors a vacuum.
We tend to be getting frost further into the spring and earlier in the fall. We've actually cooled off. We've cooled off since 2006 and 2007 and I think this could continue.
I believe we're going to go in to a cooler cycle once this 2012 and 2013 solar peak is out of the way.
What's next for Cliff Harris?
I am going to cut back a little at the end of the year, I'll be 71. I've been going like gangbusters. I still feel pretty good despite all my health problems. I have high blood pressure, I have high cholesterol, but I take medicine, I exercise. My mind is still clear as a bell. I have a better memory now than I had 10 years ago. But I'm going to cut back a little bit. You can't keep working 70 hours a week, forever. But I'm never going to quit the weather. I'm going to die emptying a rain gauge.
Meet Cliff Harris
Date of birth: May 6, 1942
Family: Wife of 51 years, Sharon. Two sons and two poodles.
Education: 312 units of college credit from seven different colleges and universities. Insurance broker for 25 years (1968 to 1992) a registered commodity adviser for 32 years, since 1980. Written daily weather and commodity columns for decades.
Number of hours on average you work in a week: 70
Number of hours on average you sleep in a night: 7
Hobbies: Running Coeur d'Alene weather station, writing poetry, reading.
Favorite movie: "Empire of the Sun"
Favorite book: The Bible, and then "Climate and the Affairs of Men" by Iben Browning.
Favorite spectator sport: Football. Oakland Raider fan since Day 1 in 1960.
Best Advice: Memorize scripture from dad, Carl.
Person who most influenced your life: The Rev. Billy Graham. He told me at a luncheon in 1959 that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)
Quality you admire most in other people: Tenacity
Any one thing you consider your greatest accomplishment: Being married for more than 51 years. "Behind every successful man is a woman rolling her eyes, because she knows his every weakness, all of them, as well as his strengths. She has seen us at our worst, not just our best."