Open Letter from Brian O’Leary to Al Gore


Richard Moore

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Open Letter from Brian O'Leary to Al Gore

December 2006
Dear Mr. Gore,

I am a former astronaut, Cornell professor, physics faculty member at Princeton 
University and visiting faculty member in technology assessment at the 
University of California Berkeley School of Law, Mo Udall's energy advisor and 
speechwriter during his 1975 Presidential campaign, author, AAAS Fellow, World 
Innovation Foundation Fellow, NASA group achievement award recipient, and 
founder of the New Energy Movement.

You have asked the public to address the important question: "How can we reverse
global climate change?" I agree that taking on that task is critical for our 
collective survival. You have also stated that we must freeze and drastically 
reduce our carbon emissions. I totally agree.

The most promising answer to your question is surprisingly simple and can be 
summed up in two words: new energy. My experience finds that serious discussion 
of new energy is still politically incorrect in mainstream circles, which is 
appalling. Delays in implementing life-saving innovation will be at our 
collective risk and peril. The urgency for action in these times is 
unprecedented in human history. Quantum leaps in energy innovation, which some 
of us in the scientific community are aware of, can provide the needed solution,
hopefully in time to avert global disaster.

Having held professorships in the physical sciences and energy policy at many 
universities with an impeccable publication record for 45 years, I join you in 
not taking these matters lightly. I make no claims that cannot be rigorously 
backed up and I have no vested interest in which specific energy options should 
be implemented. I receive no money for the grassroots work I am doing in 
assessing these technologies. I can assure you that with proper public support, 
we will soon have robust solutions without needing many building blocks or 
wedges. Incremental approaches, as you correctly point out, will not be adequate
to solve the problem. But you may not be fully aware of what's on the horizon, 
since we have been so blinded by our collective shortsightedness.

By "new energy" I mean innovative technologies with the potential of providing a
quantum leap in our ability to tap cheap, clean and decentralized energy for 
producing fuels and electricity. These may or may not be recognized by 
mainstream science. The technologies include:

ADVANCED HYDROGEN TECHNOLOGIES (1) catalytic water molecule manipulation and 
dissociation through cheap electrolysis, and (2) manipulation of hydrogen 
plasmas with catalysts to induce fractional quantum electronic states that yield
large energy outputs;

COLD FUSION or low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) by electrochemical means, 
induced in water and heavy water solutions catalyzed by (1) palladium cathodes, 
(2) sonocavitation and (3) other processes that can produce large amounts of 
thermal, radiation-free nuclear energy;

VACUUM ENERGY or zero-point energy, tapping the enormous quantum potential of 
every point in space-time, through the use of (1) super-motors with 
super-magnets (cf. Faraday), (2) solid state devices, (3) Tesla coils, and (4) 
charge clusters; and

THERMAL ENERGY from the environment.

Any one of the above approaches to new energy promises a quantum leap, i.e., 
orders of magnitude increase, in our ability to tap and have abundant clean, 
cheap, decentralized energy for all of humanity. In addition, there are many 
important transitional technologies which can mitigate emissions in the very 
near future, as follows:

innovative chemistry; and


All of the above concepts have already been demonstrated in laboratories 
throughout the world (I have seen many such demonstrations) and have been 
published in the peer-reviewed literature, but implementing them has proven 
difficult because there is no significant support.

As you undoubtedly already know, the environmental literature nowadays well 
expresses the energy problem and other aspects of our national crisis, but has 
so far fallen short on solutions. Some of the best scientists in the world (John
Holdren, Nathan Lewis, Richard Heinberg, James Lovelock and Ruggero Santilli, 
for example) have concluded that conventional renewables such as solar, wind, 
hydroelectric, geothermal, tides, biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells are not 
nearly adequate to meet current, much less projected, energy demands. Each of 
these "building block" options runs into serious pitfalls environmentally and 
economically when we talk about supplanting our multi-trillion dollar 
hydrocarbon energy economy. Nuclear options also have their serious problems, as
you undoubtedly know.

You hit on the situation in your recent NYU speech when you said, "I am certain 
that some of the most powerful solutions will lie beyond our current categories 
of building blocks or wedges". You said that America, and only America, has the 
"capacity for vision" but that "we have to urgently expand the limits of what is
politically possible". Very well said, and part of any program to implement new 
energy will involve a very rapid but necessary political education and 
risk-taking that even the liberal and progressive community has ignored. I 
acknowledge, and I am sure you would agree, that the limits of what is 
politically possible need to stretch very far to accommodate the reality of new 
energy. But what is physically and economically possible is surprisingly close 
at hand.

You also said in your speech that our children "deserve better than the 
spectacle of censorship of the best scientific evidence about the truth of our 
situation and harassment of honest scientists who are trying to warn us about 
the looming catastrophe." There's also a second group of scientists involved in 
new energy research that has been suppressed even more and need to take their 
place in our quest for solutions.

New energy would shift the paradigm overnight. We will need public policies in 
place to:

1.  Do the necessary R&D Apollo-style in secured laboratories, gathering teams 
of the best and brightest scientists and engineers in the field. Surprisingly, 
the cost of such an effort would only be on the order of $2 billion/year for 
5-10 years, the annualized equivalent of one week of fighting in Iraq and three 
weeks of profits for ExxonMobil. We must leave no stone unturned in this quest 
because the range of technologies is already broad and far-reaching.

2.  Provide public forums to debate and discuss how to implement the most viable
new energy options to mitigate climate change and pollution; and provide 
education and demonstrations for the public. We need to plan conversion 
scenarios that can help industry and government make the necessary transition to
a new energy economy. The defense and aerospace conversion policies I helped 
George McGovern, Fritz Mondale and Jesse Jackson draft during their campaigns 
were minor compared to what we must do here.

While being politically incorrect at the moment, the consideration of new energy
needs to be at the forefront of future energy policy discussions. It is too late
to deny this, and we certainly don't want the control of these technologies be 
in the wrong hands by default. In President Eisenhower's words, "Only an alert 
and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial
and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that 
security and liberty may prosper together." New energy needs to be controlled by
We the People and so a strong grassroots movement will be necessary.

I cannot stress too strongly that an aggressive program to develop new energy is
what humanity will need to survive our perilous situation. It may be painful for
us to address these issues and may seem a bit far-fetched at first, but I can 
assure you these technologies are very real and can be developed as public 

One final word: don't rely exclusively on those mainstream scientists, 
journalists and pundits who deny the reality of new energy. They are just as 
ignorant as those scientists who denied the practicality of aviation even after 
the Wright brothers were flying. But to expect the Wrights to immediately 
deliver a 737 would have been unrealistic.

In the conclusion of your speech, you said, "This is an opportunity for 
bipartisanship and transcendence, an opportunity to find our better selves and 
in rising to meet this challenge, create a better brighter future - a future 
worthy of the generations who come after us and who have a right to be able to 
depend on us." I couldn't agree more and we're on the same team.

The leadership of The New Energy Movement will be introducing draft legislation 
for an historic new energy bill to members of Congress in January 2007, titled 
"Energy Innovation Act of 2007". I and my colleagues look forward to providing 
you a personal briefing on the background and provisions of this key legislation
in the very near future, and trust that you will embrace and support it.


Brian O'Leary, Ph.D.
Author of Re-Inheriting the Earth
For briefings on "Energy Innovation Act of 2007", contact:

Joel Garbon
The New Energy Movement

Steve Kaplan
Executive Director
The New Energy Movement
phone: (503)297-7348

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