There are two really interesting stories from a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) or energy buff’s standpoint. The first is the new Iraq War, experts think the latest offensive by the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) could cause gasoline prices across the USA to rise by 14¢ a gallon, prices in Canada cloud rise to $1.50 per liter according to the CBC.
Airfares could also increase because jet fuel prices will also increase, analyst Dan McTeague told the CBC. The CBC also reported that oil prices could rise by $40 or $50 a barrel if fighting spreads to southern Iraq where the main oilfields are. Iraq is the world’s seventh largest producer putting out 3.3 million barrels a day.
This situation could be catastrophic for the US economy which shrunk by 3% in the first quarter of 2014. It could trigger another recession or worse. We’re in the middle of yet another war for oil that could cripple our economy and hurt average people where they live.
Though ISIS’s goals are religious (to establish a Sunni dictatorship in the region) this war is all about the oil. ISIS is targeting oil fields to cut Iraq’s government off from its revenue source and to seize and sell the oil to finance its campaign. It goes without saying that other governments like that in Saudi Arabia profit from this situation because it drives up oil prices making more for them.
The mess in Iraq proves how dangerous it is to rely upon a finite mineral as our power source, particularly one found in politically unstable places like Iraq. The situation there could get far worse if other powers like China, India, the United States and Iran get dragged into the conflict. Resources need to be invested in real alternatives to oil such as LENR now.
Open Sourced Patents and LENR
The other story with implications for LENR or cold fusion is open sourced patents. Tesla and SpaceX mastermind Elon Musk has decided to give his electric car patents away. The major goal for this to be to drum up business for Tesla’s planned Giga Factory, a giant plant that will churn out vast numbers of lithium ion batteries for electric cars.
Musk probably hopes that other companies will copy his plans then they’ll need to buy batteries for those vehicles which he will supply. Note a very similar business plan has worked well for Google. It supplies the raw material other companies need to do business online data and searches. It makes the gateway to the technologies free but charges people once they’re using them. That will generate vast amounts of cash to finance Musk’s ultimate goal which is to build a city on Mars (I’m not kidding here) he’s actually said this to reporters on numerous occasions.
Ecat inventor Andrea Rossi disagrees with Musk he thinks intellectual property and patents are vital for technology companies. Of course it should be noted here that Musk has $12 billion in the bank, he’s still in a position to live in luxury until he dies if all of his plans flop terribly. Rossi only has around $11 million.
“To give away for free the Intellectual Property of a technology is a mistake that takes away from the real business that technology, because nobody invests seriously in a technology if there is not the right of the ownership of the connected IP,” Rossi wrote at his blog. He cites Apple’s success as proof of his contention, although he conveniently ignores Google.
My guess is that there is room for both open-sourced (no-patent) and close-looped (patented) LENR technologies, just as there is room for both Apple and Google in the computer industry. Note at the end of the day, the winner will be the best technology and the best business not the best patents. A person with a good technology that works will make money regardless of what government issued pieces of paper he or she possesses.
One thing, Rossi seems to forget is that some companies become obsessed with the patents. The focus of the process turns to the legal process not the technology or the business. In that situation the only people who make any money are the patent lawyers who laugh all the way to the bank with the company’s profits. I hope this doesn’t happen to Rossi and Industrial Heat.