The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Saturday, March 27, 2004
Current Affairs ... Science ...

I’m still very disoriented by the process of looking for a new apartment. Yea, I know, you grad students can do it in your sleep (or do it instead of sleeping). But when you get to be my age, changing your address just ain’t so easy. Just wait and see.

Anyway, I still manage to read the papers now and then, and I just saw something in the NY Times saying that the US Department of Energy is going to conduct a research review regarding cold fusion. Wow, cold fusion … it ain’t dead after all! I remember that little burst of excitement back in 1989 when two scientists (Pons and Fleischmann, if I recall) made some grand press announcements about the revolutionary energy source that they had discovered. The world economy was finally going to be saved from the dirty, nasty and increasingly expensive fuel sources that it was (and still is) held slave to. A new era of prosperity and promise was about to begin, powered by the clean and almost limitless energies derived from cold fusion cells — pretty much a few pieces of metal dipped in water. Well, of course, the whole thing turned out to be a fraud.

Or did it? I remember reading back in 1989 that even though Pons and Fleischmann had been discredited, there were other legitimate scientists who were continuing to carefully investigate the possibility of low-energy nuclear reactions in electrically charged water. Well, here we are 15 years later, and maybe those guys are finally going to have their day in the sun. Or a cold-fusion version of the sun (recall that the sun is powered by “hot” fusion).

If you want to read more, the place to start is www.infinite-energy.com. I was browsing some of the freebie articles on their site, and it brought back memories of The Lone Gunmen, a short-lived TV show that was spun off from the X-Files. For those of you who weren’t familiar with the Gunmen (and that’s about 99% of you), they were fictional independent crusaders and hard-core techno-conspiracy theorists. The Gunmen would have liked the Infinite Energy crowd (unfortunately, they were killed off in one of the final episodes of the X-Files). The big premise of Infinite Energy is that they are on to a new science that could save the world, but the scientific establishment and the government that funds it are trying to quash them so as to protect the traditional energy interests (Exxon-Mobil, Pittston Coal, the Bush family, etc.). While browsing their site, I can just about hear the theme song from the The Lone Gunman, which was called “Crossing The Line”.

We conspiracy seekers shouldn’t trust the Department of Energy to give cold fusion a fair hearing (in 1989 they hurriedly issued a report saying that it’s totally bogus and shouldn’t be given any government funding). It’s obviously a plot to discredit the movement by seemingly giving it a fair hearing. Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean that no one’s trying to get rich (or get even richer) while the masses choke on their fumes and riot because of upcoming energy shortages and mass unemployment.

Hey, just kidding … I think …

◊   posted by Jim G @ 7:22 pm      
 
 


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