I’d like to thank Fortyniner for sharing the following article which I believe may turn out to contain the most potent argument against the proliferation of LENR technology in the long run.
Mike Adams, founding editor of Natural News writes an article titled “Real global warming could be unleashed by a hidden technology most people don’t even know exists.” The interesting thing about this article is that Adams is not an LENR sceptic, nor a disbeliever in ‘free energy’. He mentions being a fan of cold fusion proponent Eugene Mallove, and being a personal friend of free energy proponent Brian O’Leary. Adams seems to take seriously the possibility of free or very cheap energy becoming available.
His argument is that we should put the clamps on it — and one reason he states is this:
“If free energy technology were to be developed and openly shared with the world, it would very rapidly lead to runaway global warming. I don’t mean by emitting greenhouse gasses because obviously such devices don’t burn fossil fuels. What I mean is literal, actual WARMING: the production of heat that’s released into the atmosphere. Joules and BTUs, in other words.”
Adams argues that the explosion in economic and technological activity that free energy would unleash on the planet would vastly increase the amount of heat being pumped into the atmosphere. Desalination plants, electric vehicles, massive economic development, etc., all powered by a free energy source would “[raise] the temperature of the entire planet and [cause] global warming from a whole new perspective.”
He mentions that free energy availability would curtail efforts for energy efficiency (why limit the use of something if it is free?), and take away any of the limits on human activity that currently expensive energy places on us.
His bottom line is that humans cannot be trusted with free energy, that they would squander it and ruin the planet in the process. He states that while he believes that eventually free energy should be made public — when humanity has ‘grown up a little’:
We would all be wise to keep this technology carefully reserved and out of the hands of the imbecilic masses until the day comes when we can apply these incredible gifts of the universe with wisdom and maturity.
Yesterday I wrote about the report published The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) urging nations to find low-carbon technologies that could help save us from climate catastrophe, and how LENR seems to fit the bill. I wonder what a similar panel might be writing about in a few years time if LENR technology becomes universally recognized as being a viable and inexpensive energy source.
The theoretical basis of global warming currently rests on the mechanism of greenhouse gasses (e.g. carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane) which trap heat in the atmosphere, rather than letting it radiate out into space. If you drastically reduce the production of of man-made greenhouse gases, does the threat of global warming go away? I wonder if theoreticians might at some point modify their models as they see that much more energy is being generated by widely available and inexpensive technologies.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Adams’ perspective in this article became a commonly held one by people who are concerned about the effects that
abundant and cheap energy might have.
I think the truth is a technology like LENR does have the potential to change human activity across the globe in profound ways and alter our notion of civilization as we currently know it. But this has happened throughout human history. Our world has been transformed over and over by the introduction of new technologies such as electricity, automobiles, aviation, and the internet.
I don’t think we can, or should, try to stop the introduction of a powerful technology which has so many potential benefits. Andrea Rossi is fond of saying these days in mercatu veritas — in the market there is truth — in other words it is the market (the interaction between producers and consumers) that will sort out the place of his technology. If Mike Adams’ philosophy were to prevail, it would not be the market, but a certain class of decision makers, who would determine whether we are mature enough to handle a technology like LENR.