It’s time for news updates on outside-the-box energy systems to Occupy the news coverage of clean energy. And time to acknowledge that all members of the human family are stakeholders in society’s choices regarding energy.
The recent news coverage of Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi and their Energy Catalyst (E-Cat) system for more-output-than-input power is a case in point. Instead of the usual mainstream television stations and newspapers, predominantly from one country, whom you’d expect to attend a potentially world-changing event, the human family sent its maverick journalists — people willing to go where the governmental, media and science establishment fears to tread.
For example, from Australia comes coverage of E-Cat and related news by Craig Brown, webmaster of eCatNow!; and from Sweden the coverage is by writers connected to the NyTeknik weekly newspaper (read by the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers). An American full-time independent journalist attending the landmark October 28 demonstration of E-Cat in Italy was Sterling Allan of Pure Energy Systems PESwikiwebsite. His e-newsletters come out weekly and daily.
Where were the media giants? Those traditional megamedia are shrinking and the independents are growing in stature. I’m told that Associated Press was to be given somewhat exclusive coverage because they were attending the demonstration last Friday. A purported science writer from AP did attend, but where are the front-page stories?
Fear of cold fusion isn’t a sufficient excuse for the media. Being afraid of being embarrassed if a demonstration fails or being criticized by the hot-fusion physicists and other vested interests are not good enough reasons to shun such a potentially world-changing demonstration.
Even if the test isn’t considered conclusive by physicists who couldn’t be there to measure input and output and who aren’t provided enough independent data from those who were there, the fact remains that Andrea Rossi demonstrated something that needs to be looked at and further developed before humankind builds any more destructive and polluting energy projects.
However, Wired.co.UK is also to be commended for having the courage to run an article by their correspondent David Hambling, saying that Rossi’s cold fusion power plant passed its biggest test on October 28, producing an average of 470 kilowatts for more than five hours. “A technical glitch prevented it from achieving a megawatt as originally planned.” The demonstration was to convince engineers from Rossi’s mysterious ?American? customer, “which was evidently satisfied and paid up.”
Hambling added that we can’t crack open the champagne and celebrate the end of fossil fuels quite yet. “Skeptics have plenty of grounds to doubt whether the new test really takes us any further forwards.”
He gave two reasons for a start, as to why skeptics are not yet convinced. For one, the customer remains anonymous. Secondly, “observers apart from the customer were only allowed to view the test for a few minutes at a time and during the entire test the E-Cat remained connected to a power supply by a cable. The external power was supposedly turned off; as a demonstration it would have been more impressive for the reactor in its shipping container to be visibly disconnected while operating.”
I acknowledge that skeptics have good reason to withhold judgment — but not to pass judgment viciously or arrogantly at this time and indulge in name-calling. Give it a chance!