I recently came across a story going around the fringe of fringe science conspiracy circuit about Nuclear Plasma Batteries and the many people connected with them who’ve been ‘murdered’ over the past few years.
I posted a question about it on Google + to see what the general opinion would be to such a notion.
As I expected I received a very level headed response which was universally sceptical, I have sniffed around a bit myself and I would say the story utterly bogus.
There are without question historically accurate cases of big corporations buying companies and patents and sitting on them. Patents for devices or systems that could undermine their core business.
This fact makes some people furious so they start from there, from actual fact and then enhance/embroider all the way to Nuclear Plasma Batteries and strings of murders across the globe.
The very notion of 'the perpetual free energy source' is obviously a potent one for some people on the fringes of science, but in the fantasy this is usually connected with the military, is produced in secret and is one little gizmo which produces so much power, it bends light and can shatter the planet.
As depicted in the excellent and entertaining Avengers Assembled movie, it’s the Tesseract, a wibbly-wobbly shaped cube full of twinkly light strings which has to be housed in a massive facility and only understood by someone with a mid European accent.
Strangely the very obvious 'perpetual free energy source' is already with us, well, we wouldn't be here without it.
It’s the ‘big yellow ball in sky’ energy source, it’s fairly predictable and reliable and the way we capture that energy could change the energy market quite dramatically.
A big change would, I humbly suggest, only take place if small, local, distributed, ubiquitous, uncontrollable solar energy collection is done by individuals and not large corporations.
This could clearly be unsettling to the status quo and if I saw a story that 10,000 people who had installed solar panels and other forms of micro generation had been bumped off by big, scurrilous corporations to ensure our continuing reliance on their evil product, I might be more concerned.
If enough people go about this in the right way, and all the signs are that they will, having some weird quantum cube producing endless free energy, which obviously needs to be guarded by super hero's, will be rather unnecessary.
The future of energy needs to be small, local, networked, distributed and semi ungovernable, I would suggest that is a lot more threatening to power and control obsessed multi-nationals and their over-lobbied lap dogs in government.
I’m not suggesting all corporations are evil, far from it. Corporations are in an excellent position to discover and develop new technologies, many of them are already doing so at a breathtaking pace.
I also don’t see all governments as evil institutions, without the over arching policy objectives of big governments, progress would be knee jerk, chaotic and short term.
However the changes we have seen in media due to the development of the internet, the de-centralised ubiquitous availability of data and information could transfer to the energy sector.
Instead of having 3 or 4 global, uber-powerful corporate bodies which control the flow of energy and the systems used to produce and deliver it, we could be entering an age where energy generation is a small, local activity.
This is not to say energy creation will be in some way outside the jurisdiction of governments, as Carlos Ghosn said when I gave him a lift, ‘governments are endlessly creative when it comes to taxing things’ but it will change the relationship.
Not only that, we probably don’t need ripped and pumped-up superhero’s to guard our solar panel arrays, although Scarlett is always welcome to hang around my gaff to check everything's in order.