“A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial,
until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.”
I am fascinated by alternate energy, not merely wind generators and solar panels and geothermal installations, but the more exotic alternative free energy, such as LENR devices, electromagnetic high frequency contraptions, anti-gravity, engines that run on water, and the whole mish-mash of other instruments and mechanisms designed to save the planet and make us all feel good about ourselves.
Imagine a world with an infinite supply of free energy (let’s dream big while we’re dreaming, hope big while we’re hoping). No more lopping the tops off mountains, no more fracking, no more oil spills, no more air and water pollution, and with free energy there would be less pain and suffering, an end to starvation, better health, and that would pretty much be heaven on earth for all.
Unfortunately, the promise of these creations stands a lot taller than the actual performance of the devices, so far. And some folks who have demonstrated supposedly functioning machines are looking pretty darn suspicious when their machines don’t quite do what the inventors say they will.
The most famous of all such devices, I believe, is the invention of Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann that came to be known as “cold fusion.” They didn’t call it that (I think the media did) and they were figuratively tarred and feathered and ridden out of town for their efforts. But research has continued on what is now referred to as Low Energy Nuclear Reactions.
The skepticism directed at these new devices isn’t unlike the skepticism Oliver Evans faced in 1804 when he wanted to put a steam engine on wheels and run it on a pair of rails. Or the skepticism Alexander Graham Bell faced when trying to raise money to develop his telephone. The invention was referred to as a toy, and The Times in London called it “American humbug.” Then there was Rudolph Diesel whose (diesel) engine was viewed askance by the established engine builders of the day.
The negativity toward new ideas seems to be unlimited and nearly universal. Yet, a handful of people with an idea, a dream, and a whole lotta persistence, have been capable of creating what the skeptics said couldn’t be created. Let’s hope this is the case with at least one of these yet unproven new energy devices.