Imagine, please. You spend a few hundred dollars - perhaps a thousand or so - on a device about the size of a large-screen TV, and place it in your basement. You unpack it and wire it up, and take it through a one-time start-up procedure, and then plug it in to the wall. Perhaps you'll need an experienced electrician to make sure you do it right, so add another $50 to the cost.
Next, you switch off your oil burner or wood stove and write PSNH a nice letter to say you'll not be needing any more of their power and would they kindly present their final bill for your prompt attention. Send a note also to your fuel-oil supplier, to the same effect.
Murphy's Law has not been repealed, so it may be that at some time your new device will go wrong, so you may want to modify those letters and actions so as to give yourself some emergency backup; but fundamentally what you've just done is to instal a "Power Pack" that will deliver you a free, permanent supply of electric power without further reference to any of the present vendors. Even if (being oil-fuelled today) you have to buy an electric heater for every room, you'll recover the whole cost of the device in about a year, two at most, in terms of saved expenditure on oil or wood or Power-Co electricity.
I trust that the readership of this column includes no cynics, but if it does, they will be curling their lips at this very moment and telling me to "dream on", or some such. Well, it's too bad, but I'm about to disappoint them. This is not a fantasy. It's not certain yet, the device is not yet in the stores, but it does exist, it is being tested, it is being prepared for manufacturing and marketing, and by the end of this decade, give or take a year or so, what I described above may very well be taking place in your home and mine. It is by no means fully understood, but it is entirely real.
Furthermore, a leading member of the small band of scientists, engineers and inventors who are developing just such devices as this Power Pack lives right here in New Hampshire. His name is Dr Eugene Mallove, and he has his home and small testing laboratory in Bow, NH, just down the I-89. He edits the magazine of the new industry, called "Infinite Energy", and he is currently putting together an investment group to take part in this remarkable new technology. If you want to subscribe, or to invest, all it takes is a phone call.
In September I went to a seminar he arranged in Boston, close by the M.I.T. - and was astonished by the range of laboratory devices that have emerged in recent years, and which await development money, mass production and marketing. The one I had in mind above is called the "Carrea Generator", after its man- and-wife inventors in Canada: it takes in electrical energy on one side and delivers 100 times as much energy on the other. No full, systematic explanation of WHY it works has yet been developed. All the Carreas claim is that it does work, be our guest, try it for yourself.
In an earlier Edition of this column I described the Patterson Cell, featured by ABC-TV last February; that well-proven device uses 1 watt of power for every 200 watts that it produces. Even Dr Patterson, who invented it, does not know (or at least, does not say) why it works; but laboratories all over the world have tested his design and confirmed that it does, indeed, work as advertised.
At Dr Mallove's seminar we heard of a dozen other devices in development, all looking ready to introduce a remarkable new era of free or very low-cost power. Some of them, he openly admitted, may be fraudulent. Others will be found genuine, and in due course brought to market. But none of them, he and his associates reckon, can be just "mistaken"; they are one thing or the other.
Technology has brought mankind immense benefit already, in every age during which it has been allowed to flourish. In the "Western World" it was crushed only during the Middle Ages, when Authority forbad free enquiry and enforced conformity to one world-view, that of the Roman Church. Once the Renaissance broke those shackles, civilization rapidly recovered what had been in place a thousand years earlier, and has hardly looked back since. In our own time, the breathtaking fall in the price of personal computing has dramatically demonstrated what science and enterprise can do when government keeps out.
It will be a close call, though, in the next few years. Obviously, every new and beneficial invention displaces some people, who understandably protest. The automobile, 100 years ago, brought havoc and destruction to the horse and buggy trade. Unemployment in them was rampant. Bankruptcies were commonplace. That's the cost of progress - or more accurately, the cost of not keeping up with progress; back in 1890 or 1900, nothing prevented carriage-builders getting in to the automobile trade and doing what Henry Ford did a few years later. But they had their blinkers on, and tried to prevent progress, and got crushed.
Today, alas, government is so monstrously powerful as to give such Luddites extra help in their doleful work. Oil companies and power companies and even foreign governments can go billfold in hand to Washington and demand and expect some massive assistance in obstructing the new age of cheap power. Vested interests have a lock on the Pols and are not going to roll over and die. And of course the Pols will co-operate, having no other objective but to attract enough backing to get themselves re-elected; that's the entire political game.
So we can expect to hear shrieks of protest along the way, like "Unsafe!!" and "Has the EPA approved this??!" and "How many will lose jobs?" and even "What will Arab terrorists do?" - naysayers will have a field day. And I expect their friends in the major media will play along, for as their motto goes, "If it bleeds, it leads" - that is, bad news hikes ratings. Should any accident mar the progress towards free energy, rely on it to hit the headlines.
All of which provides yet another reason to chop government off at the knees.
|© Copyright Jim Davies 1999|
Jim Davies lives in New Hampshire,
and enjoys contemplating which way is up.
The above is Edition # 174
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