Why Isn’t the US Media Covering Andrea Rossi and the E-Cat?

A recent article by Anne Landman providing a thorough description and analysis of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat has an interesting conclusion.

“Most of the news about the E-Cat has been reported in blogs operated by people and organizations interested in energy issues, and in the general press and media in Italy, Sweden, Greece and throughout Europe. By contrast, the Energy Catalyzer has received virtually no coverage in the U.S. mainstream media. The American media seems either unwilling or unable to grasp the significance of the Energy Catalyzer, or is omitting discussion of it for other reasons. The absence of news about the Energy Catalyzer, we could postulate, might be because it poses a threat to powerful American corporations that both control big media outlets and are vested in the energy production status quo. (Think General Electric, which both owns NBC and manufactures traditional nuclear fission reactors.) There would also appear to be motive enough to continue this news block as climate change pushes more policymakers to reconsider the more dangerous traditional nuclear power, and as corporations that benefit from recent huge price hikes in fossil fuels continue to rake in fabulous wealth with no end in sight.”

There has been very little coverage of the E-Cat in the US — and I would add in all the English language media. Landman’s theory about why this media silence is interesting, but I think there are other factors that could be in play.

There seems to be a fairly tight relationship between mainstream science and many mainstream media outlets. When major science stories are covered, the media will often call upon prominent people in the scientific community to comment or even author pieces. We live in a time when the prevailing scientific opinion carries a huge amount of weight, and those who publish conclusions that go contrary to this prevailing opinion often find themselves shamed for doing so.

The accepted wisdom is that cold fusion has been discredited, Mr. Rossi’s invention is one that according to most prominent scientists should be impossible.  It’s likely that media organizations don’t want to go out on a limb in taking something so suspect so seriously

The media was burned badly when it paid so much attention to the Pons and Fleischmann announcement in 1989. That event turned out to be a flop, and there was doubtless a lot of embarrassment for the media that followed.

The interesting thing in all this is that there might a way for the media to cover the Rossi story without going out on a limb. They could cover it as an interesting example of deluded scientists chasing the cold fusion dream. But I suppose there is a danger in that — they might find it hard to pick holes in the fairly rigorous way that Rossi and Focardi have presented their technology. In other words, they might find themselves in a position that they could become convinced.

Whatever the situation, the silence cannot go on forever if Rossi has discovered a new source of cheap and plentiful energy. Something this valuable will not be able to be ignored, and the emergence of this technology could turn out to be an important educational moment for both the mainstream media and mainstream science — sometimes the “impossible” happens.

  • http://tony71.joinambit.com Anthony

    This was bound to happen! Or the earth would be ruined!

  • Waiting

    I hope this is real. But I can’t help noticing certain facts.

    Rossi has done this sort of thing before. Years ago, he demonstrated a thermocouple he invented that he claimed had 20% efficiency. The best in the world are 4%, so his claimed 20% was like magic. So the US government bought many of them. Not a single one worked. They weren’t 20% efficient. They weren’t even 4%. They were only a fraction of one percent. So the US army funded a year long contract to hire professional engineers to help him fix his production line so his product could be made reliably. At the end of that year, the production line still didn’t work. Not a single device had been created that worked. There wasn’t even a single hand-built prototype that worked. Even the unit that seemed to give 20% in the tightly-controlled demo, was never given to any third party, and seems to have disappeared without a trace. Rossi claims to have sold all the rights to some unnamed, secret party. But even now, years later, no company has released a product with 20% efficiency, even though they could make billions off of such a device. If it existed.

    Now he has demonstrated a LENR device with unprecedented reliability and power output. But only in a tightly-controlled demo. He has again refused to give anyone a chance to test it in their own facility. He has said he would let two professors in Sweden do so now, but then backtracked, and said they’ll only be allowed to test it “within a year”. He now says there are unnamed investors, and secret contracts. His first customer will be a company that will do nothing but sell the device. That “company” has existed only since January, and has no board of directors or employees, except for a single “spokesman” whose existence can’t be confirmed, who gives no interviews, and who conducts business from a Gmail account.

    What would it take to convince me? Simply give two working reactors to the two Swedish professors to test in their own labs, as he promised. They could verify that it’s not a chemical power source in less than a day, without opening the device. But Rossi says he can’t do that because he doesn’t have time. How much time does it take to slap some bubble wrap on it and mail it to Sweden? When someone asked him that on his blog, his only answer was “time at the university is gold”. Huh?

    I want this to be real. I could easily be convinced it’s real in less than a day, if he would just do what he’s already promised to do. That verification would even help with the patent problems. But he continues to fail to do that. He just keeps giving demos in his own lab that only rule out honest mistakes, but don’t rule out intentional fraud. And keeps talking about secret investors. Hmmm. As long as he keeps doing that, then I guess I’ll just keep waiting.

    • dec

      You paint a very dismal scenario. One the one hand there is a man, Andrea Rossi, who acts rationally, honestly, and has put his fortune on the line to develop and bring a product to market and believes he has heated his offices with Ni-H fussion reactions. One the other hand, as you have apparently informed us, there is a very cunning individual who utilizes the “honest Rossi” personallity to take best advantage of others withoyut bounds. The degree of personallity partitioning required is not without its known cases, but beyond any of which I have seen, though perhaps worth keeping in mind.

      A second scenario, I find on more than on equal par, at this time, revolves around economic security. Livelyhood goes a long way in prejudicing what we call often call scientific truths–far more than objective facts. Where government agencies who have evolved close relationships with inductry are involved, the pressure on individuals to delivery the required conclusions, contrafactual or not, are economic in nature.

  • Wes

    Why has the US Media not been covering Andrea Rossi and the E-Cat? The answer is simple. None of the research into Mr. Rossi (he does not have a legitimate claim to the title of “doctor”), nor the Paintelli/Focardi device pan out.

    Despite being widely published in detailed articles, there are no independent replications of the Piantelli/Focardi device which have shown to provide one watt above unity, and Rossi’s E-cat is based on this. If you know of any successful independent replications of Paintelli/Focardi which show over unity power, do the world a favor and post them here.

    • Linden

      Brian Ahern has a PHD from MIT and 26 patents. He has produced an excess of 8 watts. Why don’t you try replicating this experiment. That way you can make a statement based on some scientific evidence. I will be doing so as soon as I can gather the equipment. If we can both replicate this experiment, then one of us will be convinced one way or the other. By the way, this is called a challenge.

      http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/06/brian-ahern-getting-8-watts-in-low.html

  • David G

    I think the reason the US media is ignoring this is because they were burned by the Pons and Fleishman announcement in 1989.

    The media gave them a lot of attention and then it turned out to be a bust. Because of this the media is going to be much more cautious with how they handle the Rossi / Focardi Energy Catalyzer.

    I suspect that if/when the eCat devices are sold to customers who use them in real world situations, the media will start paying attention.

    I’m following the eCat news stories very closely, but I’m not going around posting about it on facebook or other places because, like the media, I don’t want to be made a fool if this turns out to be a bust like with Pons and Fleishman.

    • admin

      Good point. I am sure that is a part of it — cold fusion (and anything resembling it) has been pretty much written off by most in the science and media world because of the P&F episode.

      I do see a difference, however, in that Rossi and Focardi have provided far more evidence to back up their claims than ever was provided by Pons and Fleischmann. I would think the evidence presented so far — admittedly not proof yet — would be enough to at least have some reporters sniffing around.

      BTW, I understand the reluctance for anyone to be trumpeting their interest publicly yet. But I think this may change over time.