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infinite energy


Breaking Through Editorial:
Water— The Omnipresent Enigma
(Originally Published September - October, 1999 In Infinite Energy Magazine Issue #33)
by Eugene F. Mallove, Sc.D.

"Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink".

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798

Water is all around us and in us, yet we may be very far from understanding-or even recognizing-all its mysteries. It is an omnipresent enigma. We are water beings living on a water world, but we do not understand this substance, once considered by ancient Greek thinkers and those who followed to be one of four basic "elements"-air, earth, fire, and water. In chemist Paul Caro's paean to water,1 he writes, "As a source of life and a means of purification, water is undoubtedly the prototype for spiritualized matter; the irrepressible attraction of water for human thinking was first expressed in religious or poetic form."

In the Judeo-Christian heritage, the Book of Genesis tells that before the "first day" of creation, all was water: the world was "without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." In many eastern religious traditions water was also the origin of all things. Whatever one's faith or non-faith, water stirs the soul. Who cannot find joy in contemplation at water's edge near an ocean, lake, pond, or babbling brook?

Our particular interest in water began with cold fusion and other claims of energy extraction from water-and these certainly are candidates for the most astonishing of water's "miracles." We could not help but notice other important claims and controversies surrounding water. We decided to gather them together and write about some of them in this issue of Infinite Energy-our special "water issue." Apparently we have just scratched the surface. It would be easy to dedicate a bimonthly magazine to nothing else but the many faces of water.

Water is omnipresent, as the "ancient mariner" of Coleridge's poem well knew, though he dared not drink the salty concoction that surrounded his boat and which covers 70% of his little planet. National Geographic's special edition on North America's water (November 1993) noted that 97% of Earth's water supply is salt water and only 3% is fresh, two-thirds of that being ice. The New York Times (December 8, 1998, p. E1) put these figures at 97.5 and 2.5% respectively. Its focus on water noted that only 0.008 of all terrestrial water is the renewable fraction that supports land-based life. We protoplasmic beings are about 60% (by weight) water. Since most other molecules in the human body are of greater mass than water molecules, one infers that water molecules must be by far the most abundant molecule, number-wise, in any organism.

As many readers may know, but it must be mentioned in tabulating water's "miracles," water is an extremely peculiar substance: its maximum density occurs at 4C, above its freezing point 0C, the inverse of the normal situation of maximum density at or below the freezing point. Thus, ice floats, and the world's life-giving oceans and bodies of fresh water have not frozen solid-as most certainly would have happened had the more dense ice been able to sink to depths. It is amazing that the "universal solvent" has this life-critical flotation property, while at the same time its tiny Mickey Mouse head-shaped molecule can cluster around large molecules in living organisms to transport and position them in the intricate dance of biochemistry.

Unlike comparable molecules, such as H2S, H2Se, and H2Te, water remains liquid up to a very high temperature, 100C.2 The Earth is thus able to be a clement world, protected as it is by the most dominating "greenhouse gas" of all, namely water vapor.

Earth is not the only planet of the solar system that has water-Mars may have had much more than it has today as part of its frozen polar caps or locked underground. Recent close-up images of Mars suggest that water may have produced some erosion features in the comparatively recent geologic past. Jupiter's moon Europa has gained notoriety for its presumed very deep water ocean below its cracked ice shroud. These certainly are not the only places harboring water in and around the solar system. Literally trillions of icy comets are said to extend in a gigantic halo cloud far beyond the realm of the well-known planets. Much further out, water has been detected in interstellar space in unusual "Buckyball" clusters, as MIT Professor Keith Johnson reports (see his article, p. 29).

Noted space scientist Dr. Louis Frank has made his mark claiming that "small comets" are constantly bombarding Earth and other planets, virtually unnoticed except for the still controversial evidence for them from satellite images of Earth. He overturns geochemical dogma in claiming that these are the source of most of Earth's water; water does not come primarily from upwellings from the planet's primordial stores.3 Because of this heresy, he's in as much hot water with mainstream geology as cold fusion people are with mainstream physics and chemistry.

Another water heresy that has caught our attention is the possibility that deep underground water not part of the hydrologic cycle, may be abundant worldwide. If only geologists who are expert in the hydrologic cycle could shift their paradigm a bit, they might see that water might be almost everywhere for the taking. From springs atop the driest mounts in the Middle East to mysterious inflows discovered and rejected by tunnelers below New York City, fresh, possibly virgin, Earth-generated, or "primary" water seems to be available in lots of strange places. Read the account of Morad Eghbal of the Riess Institute (p. 10), and you will understand how little we really know about water-we can't even agree on its sourcing! Virtually no articles written about the crisis in fresh water scarcity mention this stream of thought.4,5 Just as pundits debating energy today never refer to cold fusion and other water energies, those who promote the fresh water crisis say nothing about Riess et al. and their findings.

When we are able to command the essentially infinite energies within water to generate clean power without pollution, the freshwater crisis will be handled by cheap ocean water desalination and transport. The Sahara Desert and other barren areas will be no more. Clean, fresh water will be anywhere and everywhere we want it to be-with or without Earth-generated water a la Riess. Furthermore, better technologies for desalination already exist, but are little-known-see Don Bullock's article, p. 62. Cold fusion and the BlackLight catalytic process are in the vanguard of candidates to provide energies for desalination and transport, but we must also note the emergence of parallel technologies that extract energies from water that may be unfamiliar to many cold fusion and BlackLight Power advocates. A good example: the water-arc process described by Drs. Graneau, p. 33.

Our colleague Ken Rauen's review of a major hydroelectric power project in Quebec, Canada, with which he has had direct experience (see p. 19), illustrates the intimate relationship of water, energy, and the environment. There will be no need for energy-producing, land- and culture-destroying dams anywhere when "small is beautiful" water-fueled power sources are in common use.

Jules Verne predicted the advent of the water-fuel age in his 1870 novel, The Mysterious Island. But in today's paradigm-paralyzed world, energy from water is still seen by the scientific establishment as science fiction. Even more "miraculous" are allegations of potential medicinal properties of ordinary water, which is treated in special ways. We first encountered this issue in the so-called electrochemical activation of water (IE, No. 18, p. 35 and IE, No. 21, p. 7). Robert Yukes provides an update and extension to this very, very heretical topic of health properties of specially treated waters (p. 26). When military authorities in the U.S. take seriously the potential of this water technology to assist in defense against biological warfare, and when Russian and some Japanese hospitals are routinely using this water as sterilants and curatives, scientists of good will need to take note. They need to suspend disbelief and conduct hands-on investigation; they must read the technical literature.

The alleged medicinal properties of electrochemically treated water pale in comparison to the claims being made in the "memory of water" controversy, which began in France in the mid-1980s with the work of Dr. Jacques Benveniste. Please read my review of Michel Schiff's remarkable book on this controversy, The Memory of Water, p. 55. In work that has been reproduced and widely attacked as discredited science, Benveniste and his colleagues conclude that extreme dilutions of chemical agents in water-to the level that not even a single molecule of agent remains in the water-can have a significant effect on cells. This was nearly the first time, and certainly the most publicized, that a foundation of the alternative medical practice, homeopathy, was brought literally under the laboratory microscope. If Benveniste is correct, a major revolution in the life sciences is on the horizon, once the establishment calms down and studies the data that it rejected so hurriedly.

As ancient peoples, we first knew water as just a major part of the environment. Our awareness of its practical properties evolved while its spiritual qualities also emerged in ancient and modern minds. Some ancients began to think of it as an "element" long before we had any idea of what an element was in the nuclear sense of twentieth century physics and chemistry. Remarkably, the several thousand year-old debate about whether the tangible world consisted of atoms or a continuum did not end until the nineteenth century became the twentieth.

And what about water? Water, it transpires, was not even discovered until the late eighteenth century!2 As Davis and Day relate in their excellent little 1960s work, Water: The Mirror of Science (well worth hunting for in used book stores), it was not until 1783 that Henry Cavendish in England could conclude that water was composed of the gases hydrogen and oxygen in certain definite proportions. Hydrogen he knew only as "inflammable air" and oxygen as "dephlogisticated air." Despite this primitive eighteenth century knowledge, it was a key turning point. Water was no longer an element. From then on, the path was open to reveal even greater mysteries within enigmatic water.

As did the ancient mariner of Coleridge's poem, we thirst for "miracles" from water-some of these, such as several laboratory-established energy sources, we now know to be real, though they still lag in acceptance and development. Others, such as Riess's theory of omnipresent Earth-generated water, and Benveniste's "memory of water," may turn out to be be mirages. But I would not bet that these claims will turn out to be ephemeral. Work is still going on; data is in hand, even building. A water "miracle" may be no miracle once you have seen it and measured it enough times and have checked your vision. What we most need now is that rarest of elements: open minds to study and develop these possibilities, plus the resources to make that happen.

Much of this Infinite Energy water issue owes its life to Barbara DelloRusso, our creative Managing Editor. Barbara was instrumental in pulling together all the diverse articles, materials, and fragments that, we hope, make this issue impressive to the beholder. Especially appreciated is Barbara's written contribution-an overview of the history of the Quoddy tidal power project. We can't thank her enough for her tireless efforts on behalf of this very special magazine, and for this very special issue.-EFM

References:

  1. Caro, P. 1993. Water, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York (translation of French edition, 1992).
  2. Davis, K.S. and Day, J.A. 1961. Water: The Mirror of Science, Anchor Books, Doubleday & Company, Garden City, NY.
  3. Frank, L. 1990. The Big Splash, Birch Lane Press.
  4. Leslie, J. 2000. "Running Dry: What Happens When the World No Longer Has Enough Freshwater," Harpers Magazine, July, pp. 37-52.
  5. Simon, P. 1998. Tapped Out: The Coming World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About It, Welcome Rain Publishers, New York.
  6. Schiff, M. 1994. The Memory of Water: Homeopathy and the Battle of Ideas in the New Science, Thorsons, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, London, San Francisco.



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