Posted By Roger Stritmatter on June 28, 2013
Some months ago I offered a blog commenting on what may well become the biggest underground story on the internet for the past three years: Andrea Rossi’s so-called e-cat reactor, an energy producing device that is poised, if we are to believe Mr. Rossi and his followers, to usher in a new, post-petroleum age of abundant inexpensive energy for basic needs as well as enable futuristic space flight.
To appreciate how big this may be, consider that proponents sometimes refer to the technology on which the e-cat is based– so called “cold fusion” or — more accurately, it might seem — Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) as “Fire 2.0.”
That’s right, Fire 2.0.
If so, that puts Andrea Rossi and many of his colleagues in a legendary league. The archive of LENR articles, many peer reviewed, available at LENR-CANR.org covers many highlights of the history of development of this highly controversial new energy source.
Although the book is somewhat dated now, the suppression of the field is documented in Fire and Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor, by the late Eugene F. Mallove. Before and while writing this book, Mallove was a science writer and editor for MIT — not exactly the sort of person whom you would think likely to be taken in by an obvious scam.
While some think the designation “Fire 2.0” is hyperbole, if Rossi has been telling the truth then the label fits. Personally I see many signs that Rossi has been (to the best of his ability) completely truthful in his public statements. There is more evidence that he has sometimes been awkward enough in his projection to inadvertently feed the monomania of his most excitable critics, who don’t seem to have much experience with paradigm shifts.
This is comedia delle Arte, not the Shakespeare you were forced to memorize in grammar school. Rossi is making things up as he goes along, and has learned that sometimes a problem he wants to tackle directly can only be approached more indirectly — following in the footsteps, we may notice, of Vienna’s Duke in Measure for Measure. LENR may be destined to become as important in our lives as cybernetics or the WWW.
In the month of May, supporters of Rossi were heartened to read a report, issued by seven scientists (mainly Swedish and Italian) with relevant backgrounds (including 6 PhDs) that confirms that the device, invented jointly by Andrea Rossi and University of Bologna physicist, the late very well respected Sergio Focardi, works as claimed. Professor Focardi passed away on or about June 22, 2013, but not before seeing Rossi fulfill his dream of turning his laboratory experiments into what by all reliable indications is well on its way to becoming a viable commercial product.
Recent interviews with both Focardi and Rossi, released on the occasion of the good professor’s decease, confirm their long-term working relationship, close collaboration, and mutual respect. According to Rossi, Focardi was not only a generous colleague, but one whose contribution to the safe working of the e-cat is “an order of magnitude” greater than those of his well-respected current collaborators.
It now appears that some of the alleged deficiencies in the Fall 2011 tests of the device are attributable to the fact of Rossi’s following the urging of his elder colleague, who knew that his time was limited, to move forward, perhaps with less caution than he might otherwise have done.
Most importantly, these interviews of Focardi and Rossi belong to a growing internet archive, of some dimensions and complexity, which supports the development of new science based on the LENR phenomenon and features many experts — Mike Mkubre of Stanford Research Institute or University of Missouri Provost Robert Duncan being two of the most credible in this 60 Minutes story from 2009.
Duncan learned of the truth of the LENR phenomenon only after being hired by 60 Minutes to review the findings and methodological procedures of LENR researchers all over the world. He came away convinced that the phenomenon is real.
The Report, which includes among its signatories Hanno Essen, a former President of the Swedish Skeptics Society as well as Director of Undergraduate Studies at the at the Department of Mechanics at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology, is available online (among other sites) at Cold Fusion Now!
Since the Report, The Washington Post admits that “Cold Fusion Lights up The Washington Post.” Asked to write in about their favorite solution to the need for more and less expensive energy by removing the shackles of today’s rigged markets from the poor, by far the largest number of readers pointed to LENR as the solution, no doubt much to the surprise of The Post’s editors.
Also subsequent to the report, Rossi’s Swedish sponsors, the Swedish Utility group ELSFORK declared that “the catalyst produces significantly more energy than can be explained by ordinary chemical reactions. The results are very remarkable. What lies behind the extraordinary heat production can not be explained today.”
Italian Engineer Dr. Renati Estri also “came out” in a related video. Estri is apparently a “Rossi insider” who is speaking out, without violating any NDA language, about the prospects for the new device.
Those prospects? High, if we are willing to place confidence in the word of Estri, Essen, and many others. Most likely, Estri and his company are both players in the new development. As the e-cat world administrator explains, “Dr. Estri works for Artech, an Italian company which designs software control systems….” Hmmmm.
As a topic much more well known already in Italy, it is even quite conceivable, as was suggested by one reader of E-cat world, that this remarkable and amusing Fiat ad, was produced with an awareness of the e-cat in mind. If I were on the board of directors of Fiat, I would sure be talking to Andrea Rossi about the virtues of doing business with other Italians. If there’s no connection between the two things, then Fiat is just lucky. A reader on e-cat.com made the connection, noticing that “the first Italian is already here” (i.e. in the US), viz. Andrea Rossi.
Nor is Rossi alone in the race to commercialize the first LENR reactors for industrial or domestic application: his former associates, the owners of Defkalion (now incorporated in British Columbia), are said by others to be closing in on salable product. Similar rumors are reported also for Brouillin, another major player in the new research sector.
All in all, how well does this proposed paradigm shift qualify for real? As far as I can tell, its pretty much a done deal at this point. That is not to deny that rational basis for withholding judgment does not exist; only that those of Rossi’s critics who attack his person, rather than responding to his accomplishments, are missing the point and have been for some time.
Online surveys at e-catworld.com show that since the May report about 63 percent of all readers have become “more convinced” that the technology is real; another 23 percent say that the test has not changed their opinion of Rossi’s device because it remains “as strong as ever.” Only 5 percent of respondents said that the test had diminished their confidence in the e-cat.
Count me among the 63 percent who conclude that this report greatly increases the plausibility of Rossi’s entire career (bumps and all) towards becoming one of the most important inventors of the 21st century. If you plan on investing in LENR or companies that may benefit from it, of course do your own due diligence.
It appears that we are in for a real roller coaster ride in the energy markets. Rossi has been quick to emphasize, over and over again, that his goal is to work within the existing energy infrastructure so as to cause the least possible dislocation of markets consistent with the reasonably swift dispersion of the new devices. Unfortunately that has not prevented Rossi from becoming an active target in the shrill online world of professional “skeptics” — who seem skeptical about everything except the things they really should feel skeptical about.