The Peak Oil Crisis: The 3rd Window

August 7, 2013 5:44 PM27 comments

We currently are living through one of the more interesting yet bizarre periods in the history of science. The interesting part is that the evidence continues to accumulate that there has indeed been a scientific discovery fully as significant as the steam engine, electricity, radio, atomic energy, or micro circuitry – perhaps even combined. The bizarre part is that 99+ percent of us have either no, or possibly a distorted idea, of what is happening. I am talking about the third window that nature left open for us into the energy locked inside atoms –popularly known as “cold fusion.”

The reason, of course, that most of us know little to nothing about it is that coverage in the mainstream media has been close to zero for the last 20 years. What little coverage there has been recently has been confined to obscure websites or cast in a skeptical light with each report of progress “balanced” by some eminent scientist saying it can’t be true.

The main reason for skepticism is that implications of cold fusion are simply too good to be true. When somebody says, “I have just made a discovery that will give the world all the cheap, clean energy it will ever need; that will solve the global warming problem and clean up the environment; that will do away with the need for fossil fuels; that will supply us all the clean water we can use; and that could even lift us all out of poverty,” obviously you are going to think him nuts, a fraud, or overly optimistic.

Keep in mind, however, from time to time major new technologies are discovered/developed – electricity, light bulbs, radio, internal combustion, atomic energy, computers – that do have a significant impact on human civilization. Why not another?

When the phenomenon widely known as “cold fusion” was announced 24 years ago, there was much enthusiasm in the media, which soon died away after the initial experiments turned out to be difficult to reproduce. The scientific establishment, for reasons too complicated to go into here, pronounced the idea of “cold fusion” as ridiculous, and the media dropped the subject altogether.

A handful of scientists, however, were able to detect anomalous heat in their laboratories and for the next 20 years these scientific “mavericks,” subjected to much opprobrium by their colleagues, continued to research the effect. Progress was made but largely ignored by the media as the heat produced was minimal – nothing like the atomic bomb which introduced the nuclear age.

About five years ago, however, Italian researchers discovered that by loading hydrogen into nickel a device could produce commercially significant amounts of heat. Two years ago, one researcher demonstrated a prototype heat-producing device to a selected group of scientists and members of the press. The demonstration was met with much derision as skeptics fell all over each other in attempting to explain how the “obviously fraudulent” demonstration was perpetrated.

There are several factors currently hindering general acknowledgement that cold fusion is real and that we are looking at a new paradigm-shifting technology. First, there is as yet no agreed-upon theory as to how the phenomenon, which many say must contravene the laws of known physics, works. Then there is the problem of proprietary information. There are currently at least a dozen companies attempting to develop and sell a heat-producing device based on cold fusion. As many countries still refuse to grant patents on what much of the scientific establishment considers fraudulent science, developers are obviously reluctant to share the detailed inner workings of their devices.

A key point in all this controversy, however, is that there have now been so many observations of anomalous heat by so many reputable scientists around the world that the chances that this phenomenon is not real are extremely remote. The question now becomes how long before “cold fusion” becomes a practical reality or at least it becomes generally accepted science so that governments will start spending on its further development and propagation – months, years, or decades?

There was an interesting development last winter when the Italian entrepreneur Rossi, who seems to be leading his competitors in developing a commercial heat-producing device, let a team of outside scientists come in and take measurements of his latest device in action. The team reported that the device worked as claimed, produced unprecedented amounts of heat, and that they were unable to detect any trickery. What was most notable about this report was that it received almost no coverage in the mainstream media.

Likewise, a successful video demonstration of a similar heat producing device by a Greek/Canadian company at a conference in Missouri last month elicited close to zero coverage in the media. This suggests that given the strength of current conventional wisdom about cold fusion, simple announcements and demonstrations are not enough to stir the media into recognizing what is happening. Only continuing media and their technical consultant access to working devices that produce large quantities of heat over an extended period would seem to be enough to overcome the legacy of prejudice.

Fortunately, that day may not be years away. There are currently three companies that have announced they are working on commercial “cold fusion” devices and that seem to be making progress on producing large amounts of heat from the hydrogen and nickel reaction.

The leader at the minute seems to be the Italian Rossi and his Leonardo Corporation. Rossi claims, and as yet there is not substantiation, that he has partnered with a major U.S. company, capable of producing cold fusion , and that they are currently completing the testing of a device which will be mass produced and marketed. A prototype has already been brought to the U.S. and will be installed as a source of heat for a new factory.

For now all we can do is wait for a credible announcement, demonstration, or other type of confirmation that a new age has arrived.

 


Tom Whipple is a retired government analyst and has been following the peak oil issue for several years.

  • Roger Bird

    Excellent article!!

  • AlainCo

    NB: in Tovima.gr, Defkalion announche they prepare to be public, around 15th of october.

    http://www.e-catworld.com/2013/08/defkalion-ceo-entering-the-toronto-stock-exchange-this-year/

    beside that, I hope that Cappiello will clear the doubt on the lab tests.

  • MasonAinsworth

    Great article. For those interested in learning more about Cold Fusion, which is now popularly called LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction), go to LENRProof.com.

    If you follow the links, you will see the involvement of the DIA, Darpa, US Navy, DoD, and the EU as some of the governmental agencies that have kept an eye on the LENR phenomena.

    A real surprise.

    • Charles

      This, LENRproof.com, is likely the best article yet regarding CF.

      The MSM does not report on this kind of stuff and thus is demonstrating why WAPO, Boston Blah-Blah, NYT, the Alphabet TV networks, etal are going down the tubes. That new-fangled stuff like the WWWeb, cold fusion, graphene etc. is a flash in the pan. Oh yeah, and so is e=mc2.

      One thing that I find puzzling is that the general public seeks its knowledge from a bunch of drunks who know nothing about numbers and science and everything about essays and oratory.

  • Rishi

    Does this checkered past raise any red flags?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Rossi_(entrepreneur)

    • MasonAinsworth

      Only if he were the only LENR company going through commercial development process. But he is one of about 10.

      For example, I see no red flags with Dr. George Miley, Lenuco, or his presentation at the recently held ICCF-18 at University of Missouri

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._Miley

      http://coldfusioninformation.com/companies/lenuco/

      https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10355/36784/DistributedPowerSourceLENRs.pdf?sequence=1

      • maryyugo

        The red flag is that Dr. Miley has never had his claim tested independently and has never given a public demonstration of it. And no test, not even his own, of the high power claims has ever been published in a peer reviewed journal. So far, it is all “vaporware”.

        • Roger Bird

          Oh, for God’s sake, who I am sure that maryyugo does not believe in, we are again infected by this lying BeeEyeTeeCeeAch.

          • maryyugo

            Name calling is the refuge of those with no argument. Have any argument Roger? (I think not)

        • kdk

          Many may wonder why they’ve never seen or heard of any papers in peer review by well-known scientists. The answer is that they have tried to publish them but have been categorically rejected. Probably one of the most brilliant scientists of our time was in fact the man who tried to publish them, Julian Schwinger. Frankly I would trust him over most any other scientist.

    • Roger Bird

      Yes, big, flapping red flags about how Wikipedia and every other encyclopedia is dreadful when it comes to the new and controversial. If you want established facts like the diameter of the Earth, an encyclopedia is where it is at. If you want something, a new discovery perhaps, you won’t find squat in an encyclopedia, even Wikipedia.

  • Political Atheist aka Javaman

    Let me guess, just as regulur fusion, it’s only 20 years away.
    the laws of themodynamics still rules.
    more clap trap

  • nnoxks
  • http://www.lenr-forum.com/ David Nygren

    Summary / Timeline, most from 2011-2012-2013 – video compilation of LENR.
    http://www.lenr-forum.com/showthread.php?2-Summary-Timeline-most-from-2011-2012

  • Robert Rapier

    “The main reason for skepticism is that implications of cold fusion are simply too good to be true.”

    That’s not really the reason for the skepticism Tom.

  • kcobley

    I think black magic would be an even better source of energy! This cold fusion crap coming from someone that should know better, it’s a con that’s been around since the 50′s, it’s gone nowhere and only exists in reality in peoples dreams like warp drive.

  • raca

    i hope that its not true,if it is human race would have unlimited energy to ruin the remaining of Eco-system, i know this might seem non-issue but look the damage we have already done using only fossil fuels

  • pyrolysium

    http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com.es/2013/08/dead-cat-bouncing.html

    I said in a previous post that I have lost all interest in the “E-Cat”, purported desktop nuclear device invented by Mr. Andrea Rossi. Although initially I had found it intriguing, and even fun (also here), it had become a never ending story, eventually boring.

  • maryyugo

    The reason Rossi’s and Defkalion’s tests do not make it to the mainstream press is that they are never independent. And they are for the most part not credible.

    Everything that Rossi claims, including all his associations with business and universities and customers is entirely unproven. Most of what is “known” about Rossi is what he writes in a silly blog he stupidly calls the Journal of Nuclear Physics. It is no such thing. It contains mostly the ravings of lunatics. Just look at it!

    Rossi has never revealed a single customer despite two years of claiming he has many. Defkalion have never revealed a single independent tester despite the claim by their chairman, Xanthoulis, that they work with the largest companies in the world.

    “And some statements/claims from Alex Xanthoulis, president of Defkalion:

    - Collaboration is on going with six companies for development of
    particular applications. Several of these companies are among the 10
    major companies in the world. Concerned applications are: UAVs,
    computers, water boilers, electric power generation, green houses, ship
    propulsion (managed by Defkalion), automobile, water
    desalinization/purification (non profit organization) and big turbines.

    - Agreements for licensing of manufacturing of a consumer product —
    the Hyperion — is signed with companies in Italy, France, Greece
    (Defkalion 50%), Canada and South Africa. 1,300 companies in about 78
    countries are interested. The license price has previously been EUR 40.5
    million.”

    http://matslew.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/comments-on-defkalion-reactor-demo-in-milan/

    Despite those claims, not one company which supposedly did a test has ever come forward. Defkalion and Rossi are simply not credible. Not at all.

    • FrY10cK

      Rossi and Leonardo Corp. were debunked also at theoildrum.com quite some time back. And no, the imminent shut down of theoildrum.com does not discredit articles soon to be archived there. Any discrediting to be done is well taken care of by the erudite commenters at that site.

      It was the single most rigorously peer-reviewed blog I’m aware of and the volunteers who ran it are taking a break.

      • Dionysius John

        Perhaps they are taking a break because they are no longer being paid to shill mainstream energy?

        • skeptickle

          Right on target John!!

  • Roger Bird

    It won’t matter what you skeptics think.

    • MasonAinsworth

      That is a basic truth.

    • Pete Richter

      Correct. All that matters is that the purported product goes on sale and revolutionizes the planet. On that front, Rossi has spent decades and millions of dollars of public funds on media announcements claiming that the release date is just a couple months away, over and over and over again. Despite all that time and funding, he has not sold a single working device to anyone (and his unverifiable claims of “anonymous” buyers do not count). You and I will almost certainly die of old age before Rossi’s “designs” come to public fruition.

  • skeptickle

    Tom, this is a always an excellent, balanced article and when finally the public learns of the extraordinary benefits of LENR/cold fusion – your consistent, honest reporting will be noted. BTW, for the technical people here, this is a link to the independent team of some 15 qualified scientists who ran a series of validations on the E-Cat proving it not only does what the inventor claims – it does so at remarkable energy densities:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

    “Computed volumetric and gravimetric energy densities were found to be far above those of any known chemical source. Even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.”

  • mjonesx

    Hang your cloths out to dry and that’s better than cold fusion.

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