by Randolph T. Holhut
Chief of American Reporter Correspondents
May 17, 2012
HOW WE'VE BECOME TWO AMERICAS: SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL
BRADENTON, Fla., May 6, 2012 -- Europe turned left on Sunday. Punishing both moderate parties, Greek voters turned to the far left and far right in rejecting them. In France, voters turned its presidency over to a Socialist for the first time in decades, this time to Francois Hollande. And over the past week, conservatives in Britain suffered "atrocious" losses in local city council elections.
Meanwhile, assailed by top intelligence and military officers, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for early elections that will portrayed widely as a referendum not only on his conservative Likud Party's policies - which include expansion of controversial West Bank settlements - but on his plan to attack Iran to in a pre-emptive strike again its nuclear facilities and ambitions.
Even Germany's Angela Merkel is in trouble, news reports say, as her center-right Christian Democrats try to impose their own brand of austerity.
In the United States, which since the Civil War has never had politics as volatile as Europe's but is just at the start of what promises to be a very hard-fought presidential election, the same lines are drawn: the austerity budgetary plan of Rep. Paul Ryan and GOP nominee (or soon to be) Mitt Romney will face off against the stimulus plans of President Barack Obama.
Both men fail to see or believe in energy breakthroughs which - given strong federal backing - could transform our economy into a spirited one overnight, and thus are trying to prepare Americans for additional gloom, lower rates of employment and even cutbacks in the current levels of federal and state-funded programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and loans for education.
Rather than embrace new technologies as powerful as the Internet, which generated a huge economic boom and nearly-full employment, they side with the old Establishment of oil and gas industry moguls who would suffer most if new technologies for producing electricity and fuel are embraced.
While high school students in Italy build and patent a working tabletop cold fusion device and offer it as an open-source gift to the world, NASA scientists ballyhoo their discovery of a "new form of energy" and then blast it in their individual blogs - even as they seek a patent on it. A lack of national leadership and imagination mire our economy in the muck of old science even as more competitive nations like India break their necks to develop useful applications for the science of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, or LENR, a safe, cheap and plentiful source of electric power on any scale.
Europe's turn to the left augurs well for this new science because the left is often the first to see the outlines of a better future, one in which scarcity is not encouraged and austerity is unnecessary even if new controls on capital are.
It is a major irony that some of the most forward-looking work is being done in countries that are most at risk of deeper economic trouble. Defkalion Green Technologies is planning to manufacture a mass-market LENR device this year, as is Miami-based Leonardo Corp., which is the operation of Italian inventor Andrea Rossi. In America, both Brillouin Energy and Niche Energy promise to arrive at the marketplace soon.
Israel's Energetics has been toiling at a successful cold fusion device - hailed in a "60 Minutes" segment last year - and California's SRI, a spin-off of the once-powerful Stanford Research Institute, also labors to produce a device with useful applications. Meanwhile, at MIT, which had so much to do with destroying the careers of cold fusion pioneers Martin Pons and Stanley Fleischman, last month authorities permitted an ongoing demonstration of working cold fusion - producing 14 times more power than it uses - by distinguished professor and scientist Peter Hagelstein. Interested scientists can view the device in working mode on the 5th floor of Bldg. 36 at at the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass.
The race to be first with a small, home-based generator of electric power that enables every American family to escape "the grid" is utterly ignored by the politicians that would have us believe they are leading us back to prosperity, while those who actually are leading us in that direction fight their bureaucracies for recognition and help. Because of the broad-based research that is going around the world, it now appears that United States, which might have owned the patent and the lead in this technology, may not be the first beneficiary of it.
To understand what this means, imagine a China whose power needs are no longer filled by gigantic projects like the Three Rivers Gorge dam but by room-sized generators that use only nickel, hydrogen and carbon to achieve their miracles. If China is the lucky winner of the race to develop LENR, the cost of their exports - which are already overwhelming national economies everywhere - will drop like a rock, enabling even cheaper goods to flood our markets.
While Mitt Romney blathers about GM and President Obama throws hundreds of millions at technologies the power grid has no capacity to absorb, both ignore the scientific realities that are coming at us like giant bulldozer, intent on wiping out the fossil-fuel industry and evaporating the dreams of natural gas proponents. As they and their Old Moguls would betray our future, they embody the greatest threat to it - ignorance and apathy.
Europe - Greece and Italy in particular - are far more likely to succeed in developing practical and cost-efficient LENR devices for homes, cars and factories in the near future than the United States is, thanks to the lack of effort and research here. It will be painful, as we watch European governments turn left, to see that with their new politics comes the promise of new technology than can transform the world. Those who have remained stuck in the mud of denial in the United States - who are first and foremost our political leadership - will pay the price at the polls when Americans realize they have been unnecessarily defeated in the race for a Golden Era of Energy.