The Invisible LENR Revolution

There was a little flash of hope recently that maybe those watching over the Cold Fusion page on Wikipedia were becoming a little more lenient in their treatment of references to Andrea Rossi and the E-Cat. For almost the whole day the following information could be read:

Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat LENR system has recently gained some notice as possibly the first working, replicable LENR system. In 2014 the American private equity firm Cherokee Partners bought the rights to his system for $11 million after a team of European scientists studied the system in operation and confirmed its validity. They set up the company Industrial Heat LLC to explore its market potential. Rossi also provided them with a 1 MW plant which they will operate and test for a year. He also received a US Patent for one of the components of the system (see Patents, below).

There was also a reference to the experiments of Alexander Parkhomov. However, an editor put an end to this visibility by deleting the comment along with the note: “Remove Rossi ballyhooing.” (See the Wikipedia history page for the full tracking of the revisions)

One of the governing tenets of Wikipedia is that information presented there should be covered from a ‘neutral point of view’, which Wikipedia defines thus: “All encyclopedic content on Wikipedia must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic.”

For many people, trusting the neutrality of Wikipedia, it is the place to go to check out if something is legitimate or not. If you do any Google search on a topic, you are very likely to find a reference to a Wikipedia article on the first page (most people look no further), so for many people Google + Wikipedia = Truth. What is not so commonly realized is that what shows up on Wikipedia pages is carefully filtered by the attitudes of the Wikipedia moderators, who make the determination about what count as reliable sources on any topic. Normally, citations from mainstream publications are the only sources of information that are allowed to be cited, which leads to a cloak of invisibility being thrown over much information that is not covered by ‘acceptable’ sources.

The same approach holds fast for other publications. Most professional journalists, editors and writers will avoid mentioning topics that are not approved by established authorities. I read today an article on the Italian edition of the International Business Times which had reported on Rossi’s achievement of obtaining a US Patent. They added this update to their article:

In the comments section of our Facebook page there was noted that this article concerning E-Cat could have the effect of “incense” the work of Andrea Rossi. While thanking the reader for attention that he wanted to dedicate ourselves, we do not think that really what is written above may be some sort of praise the work of Rossi, and even speaking specifically of concern that, despite the grant of the patent, still remain .

The rest of the piece is nothing more than the “cold record” of the events: the grant of the patent, its timing, the description comes from the abstract.

However, to avoid any misunderstanding, we would like to clarify that the granting of the patent USPTO is in no way a guarantee of the validity of the scientific principle (which is still shrouded in mystery) on which the E-Cat should be based .

So any discussion of the E-Cat in polite company has to be done with the utmost caution, lest people might think it is presented in any kind of favorable light. And it’s not just Rossi and the E-Cat — anything connected with cold fusion/LENR gets similar treatment, or is completely ignored. The legacy of the Pons and Fleischmann affair still looms large over the whole field.

So the LENR revolution continues largely invisible. Those who work in the field, and those who follow the topic are very much outsiders — some consider us gullible, foolish, crazy or worse. However, mostly the field is totally unknown; it has been successfully whitewashed out of public awareness by those who hold the keys of knowledge.

However, I don’t think this is going to be a permanent situation. Important work continues, and replication efforts are increasing, as new information is gleaned from patents and other experimenters. I think the signs are very good that the field will break out sooner or later, and finally the cloak will be lifted and many more will be able to recognize that the LENR could be one of the most important discoveries of our age.