ENVIRONMENTALISTS MISINFORMED ABOUT EMERGING ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
Letter From Jeane Manning, May 22, 1996
The frustration that comes from speaking with the "experts" - experts on yesterday's energy- technology paradigm - is a feeling that I've had to shake off all too many times lately, and it lingered after I hung up the phone this morning.
I was requesting information from a top researcher at Greenpeace Canada headquarters in Toronto. The expert on global climate change was helpful and agreeable; he's aware that Canada's prime minister "represents the dinosaurs" regarding technology for generating power. However, the tone of the conversation changed when I mentioned what I see as "good news for the Planet" - that research on what is called cold fusion is thriving in laboratories all aground the world.
He said he'd read "scientific writings" but it sounded like he'd been reading the negative Huizenga/Taubes books, or magazine articles which give the impression that cold fusion researchers "deliberately misrepresent" their results and don't practice good science.
I asked if he'd heard about James Patterson's successful invention or other new developments in what the Japanese call New Hydrogen Energy. Then the Greenpeace researcher said he resents the money that goes to such efforts (I didn't get a chance to ask: "What money? In North America, certainly NOT taxpayers' money,") He resents any effort put into new research because "we already have the alternatives ready to use - solar, wind and biomass." My phone bill and an incoming call prevented me from staying on the line to convince him to look at the emerging energy technologies that, if developed, could out perform those traditional alternatives.
Is there a fear underlying the anger of entrenched academics - a subconscious fear that the New could cause the Old to become obsolete? I contend that long-time environmentalists sometimes develop closed minds, just as do long-time experts on any topic. Any messenger-for-a-new- worldview coming along with information that seems to oppose the experts' bodies of accepted knowledge, is resented. The messenger is experienced as an irritant or an antagonist, depending on how closed-minded the expert is.
My sympathies are certainly with those people who have devoted their careers to saving this planet's ecosystems. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to build bridges to them verbally - how to detour around their resistance to topics such as cold fusion? If only we all had Gene Mallove's and Hal Fox's speaking ability! I'm heading to my nearest Toastmasters' Club, because we have to convey the good news in time to clean up this planet!
Jeane Manning, author of: Angels Don't Play This HAARP (Book)
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