by Edmund Storms
Edmund Storms is a long-time researcher in nuclear physics and cold fusion science, formerly of Los Alamos National Laboratory. His most recent book is The Science of Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction: A Comprehensive Compilation of Evidence and Explanations about Cold Fusion published by World Scientific Publishing Company 2007.
Lets explore the present energy problem with total honesty and objectivity. As everyone now knows with overwhelming certainty, oil can cause great damage when it enters water, thanks to an accident. Less obvious damage results when CO2 enters the atmosphere after the oil is burned. Coal is even worse in generating CO2 and causing climate change. In spite of these disadvantages, oil and coal have too many advantages to be easily replaced. So, what can we do to gradually reduce their use?
Only a few sources of renewable energy are known and accepted. These are solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, tidal, wave-action, temperature gradients, and biomass. Each of these has the disadvantage that the energy must be concentrated into some other form for it to be useful. This concentration process adds to the cost and complexity of the energy source. Nevertheless, all of these methods are being explored with success at a rate controlled by economic issues, as determined by the low cost of energy from coal, oil and natural gas. In a rational world, like in Europe, the cost of energy from these sources would be increased artificially by using taxes, the income from which would be used to develop sustainable sources and to encourage conservation. Unfortunately, the rational approach is too unpopular to enjoy widespread application. So, what else is possible?
Fission power based on uranium is proposed but it is not renewable. The uranium will eventually be exhausted just like oil. In addition, dangerous radioactive byproducts are made. While this is a plausible temporary solution, it has potential disadvantages, as Chernobyl demonstrated. Fission power based on deuterium is not renewable either, but so much deuterium exists in the oceans that the energy is infinite for all practical purposes. Unfortunately, this fusion process has not been found to generate practical energy even though attempts have been ongoing for 60 years while consuming at least 20 billion dollars and counting. Several basic problems raise serious doubts about whether this method will ever produce useful commercial power.
What else is possible? Various unconventional sources of energy have been discovered, but these have been systematically rejected by science and society. Whatever the reasons, this rejection has denied mankind potential sources of energy just when the need has become critical. In a rational world, all imagined sources of energy would be explored with enthusiasm. But, as we discovered earlier, this is not a rational world.
What are these unconventional sources? Three have been suggested: cold fusion, hydrino production, and zero-point energy.
Cold fusion is a method for causing a fusion-like reaction between deuterons that was discovered by Profs Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. Details can be found at www.LENR.org. This method was rejected by general science and is still used occasionally as a metaphor for bad science. Enough information has now been accumulated by work in over 10 countries to demonstrate that the process is real but not enough to understand the mechanism.
Hydrino formation is described by Randell Mills in numerous publications that can be accessed at www.blacklightpower.com. Dr. Mills proposes that energy can be extracted from hydrogen by causing the atomic electron to collapse closer to the nucleus by occupying orbits that are described by fractional quantum numbers. The process is being actively developed as an energy source without help from conventional science.
Zero-point or vacuum energy is proposed to be extracted from an energy field that permeates space. Various methods involving a combination of magnetic and electric fields have been proposed and explored to accomplish this feat. Many so-called over unity devices have been created, but doubt remains about which demonstration is actually producing the claimed effect.
In spite of evidence being published showing the reality of unconventional energy sources, all of these methods have been actively ignored by conventional science and many governments. In general, the reason is based on the inability to explain the observed effects using conventional and accepted theory. In view of the disastrous consequences of using conventional carbon-based energy, the luxury of such intellectual arrogance is no longer justified. Even if some money is spent on studies that fail because the effect is not real, this loss is more than offset by unexpected discoveries that could solve our growing problems. After all, large amounts of money are routinely wasted on conventional studies that do not result in useful products. What have we got to loose by exploring unknown territory?