There is a movement, based mainly, but not exclusively, on the internet, of people with usually little or no formal science education, or whose science education is in some field other than physics, who think it is possible to build what used to be called a perpetual motion machine, usually now re-named by them, a free energy, zero-point energy, or vacuum energy, or over-unity machine. Such claimants have existed for centuries, despite the efforts of scientists who have actually studied the subject, to educate the public about why this is considered impossible. But now, with quick and easy communication on a global basis, these formerly isolated individuals have come together into a well-defined movement.
This movement is not, as might be expected, composed mainly of inventors who think they have invented something. It is composed of maybe 5% such inventors, and 95% fans and hangers-on of such inventors. And it has come to include much more than mere claims to free energy inventions.
The free energy movement comes as a part of a package. The package include the belief in a conspiracy theory that is used to explain why none of these alleged inventions has yet been brought to market. This theory says that any new, worthwhile, and important technology is automatically fought and supressed by the Big Bad Establishment, the oil companies and other Forces of Evil that control the world.
Once they have accepted one conspiracy theory, namely that the oil companies are preventing the adoption of free energy devices, it is a small step to accepting other conspiracy theories, such as that the government is somehow secretly controlling the weather with some undisclosed weather control device, or that someone is secretly spraying toxic chemicals from airplanes as a part of some secret plot.
Believers in one conspiracy seem prone to believing in all of them and no evidence is required to convince them once they have accepted the basic premise that Something Bad is being done in Secret by Powerful People for some Bad Motive.
There are other components of the movement also. It is a part of this culture to think that any and all new technologies are good and should be developed and used. There is no understanding of all the potential for harm to the environment or to the public health, or danger to the privacy and other rights of individuals that may be caused by the introduction of some kinds of new technolgies. In fact, the impression one gets from the prolific writings of this sub-culture is that, ignoring the fact that most environmental problems are caused by modern technologies and that almost all modern technologies have a downside and have added to environmental destruction, they think all environmental problems could be solved by new technologies, usually of a energy-source nature.
A part of the same package of unexamined ideas is that there would somehow be great benefits for the environment if some new source of energy was invented. When examined carefully, this always turns out to be a fallacy based on the perception that the most important form of environmental degradation aside from nuclear power reactors is combustion of oil and coal. All other forms of environmental destruction are conveniently ignored.
None of these free energy advocates ever presents any reasoning to explain how or why free energy would lead to less mining of anything other than uranium, coal or oil, fewer trees being chopped down, less land in the tropics being cleared for farming, fewer fish being caught from the oceans, fewer members of endangered species being killed, fewer cattle being grazed on fragile rangelands, less chemical input to farmlands, fewer genetically modified crops, less microwave broadcasting filling our surroundings with damaging microwave radiation, or, most important of all, fewer humans on this planet.
Instead of directing attention to these real issues, the free energy advocates present themselvs as working to help save the environment by pushing for new sources of energy, despite the total lack of any reason to think such a new energy source, if indeed one were ever to be found, would do any good beyond reducing the production and use of the currently common forms of fuel.
An environmentalist saying that a new technolgy is dangerous and should not be used is demonized by these people as a part of the vast consiracy to supress new technology, not as a prudent individual who is thinking of potential harmful side-effects it might have. A person who thinks new technologies usually are taken up and used by the people who control society to increase their power, if he warns against introduction of some new invention, is thereby considered a tool of the very establishment he is warning against.
The people who inhabit the free energy community never have an analysis of social conditions beyond the conspiracy theory that a few powerful highly placed and greedy individuals are the problem. There is never any attempt to explain in sociological or mass-psychological terms how and why those few are able to control the masses. There is no analysis of how propaganda functions and why it is able to influence so many people the way it does instead of being instantly seen for what it is by most of them. There is never any critique of the system of private ownership of the means of production or of the land base upon which the public lives.
That system is regarded as a given. It is even defended, at least in relatively unsophisticated America, as a matter of personal "freedom". In fact, most of the free energy movement is on the far right of the political spectrum. Important indicators of this are that many of them claim to be "patriots", profess a religion, usually of a very conservative variety, and have no problem with inventors attempting to move into the wealthy classes they claim to dispise by comercializing their alleged inventions.
Many of the leaders of the movement, especially in America, are Libertarians, a far-right political party that, along with some admirable positions on civil liberties issues, advocates repeal of nearly all environmental protection laws. But despite that, many members of the free energy movement see no cognitive disonance between advocating suport of the Liberatrians and their professed desire to protect the environment, which they insist is one of the main motives for their promotion of free energy devices. And in spite of the blatant illogic, the rest of the free energy movement tolerates this inconsistant position without protest.
I know of no free energy inventors on the political left, and only one well-known follower of the free energy scene, who happens to be one of the very few women in the movement, who has ever expressed a genuine concern for the environment, as opposed to hypocritically exploiting such concerns as a marketing tool to promote free energy.
If there was no such thing as a cloudbuster, these obvious cranks could be safely ignored, but since there is such a thing as a cloudbuster, they have become dangerous. It has become an increasingly important case of fallout from this cult of new technologies and allegedly supressed inventions that many of these people are attracted to cloudbusting because they think it has somehow been "supressed" by the same establishment they think is supressing new energy sources. So in their misguided fantasies, cloudbusting should be "made public" to "benefit humanity".
One of these misguided people wrote to me that the increase in population in the future will require weather control to feed them all. I asked him what he was doing to prevent that increase in population. Was he working on inventing a better form of contraception? Was he active in fighting against the malign influence of the religions that preach against birth control?
Needless to say, I got no response. He apparently simply accepts as a given that the population will increase and is not interested in anything being done about it. Possibly he himself belongs to one of those destructive, anti-birth-control religions that is bent on making the problems worse. Instead, his sole solution to the problem is to control the weather, not to put his claimed inventive abilities in the service of inventing a better method of controling human fertility to reduce the demand for weather control.
The attraction many of these free energy buffs feel to cloudbusting would not exist if the cloudbuster had been accepted by the mainstream scientific community from its' inception. In that case, it would lack the glamor and anti-establishment image that is what attracts them. It is the dramatic and unfortunate history of the cloudbuster and its' inventor that attracts their attention, not the invention itself and what it can do. It is the false association with their pet idea' fixe' of inventions being supressed by those in power that makes them take up cloudbusting. It is more a matter of doing something they imagine is forbidden than any real interest in what the weather does.
For that reason it is important to refute the conspiracy theories that swirl around cloudbusting. We who wish to protect the planet from the effects of irresponsible and incometent cloudbuster operators must take a firm stand against the pseudoscientific free energy enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists whose indulgence in fanasties of free energy and power-fantasies of weather control at the risk of the environment is now a major contributing factor in the Cloudbuster Proliferation Crisis we are facing.
So I must insist that there is no such thing as a working, practical free energy device, there is no general and all-pervasive conspiracy to supress any new inventions and technologies, and the few voices raised in warning against new technologies being introduced without comprehensive testing for potential side-effects are the voices of reason, not of people in power seeking to prevent "progress" for nefarious ends.
No government agency, military or civilian, of any government in any country has ever taken cloudbusting seriously enough to even look into it, let alone conduct practical operations with cloudbusters. And no attempt has ever been made by any government or any big business interests to supress cloudbusting by anybody for any reason. And the cranks who think otherwise are the ones who must bear the burden of proof.
I would suggest that if any of these people really would like to help the world, they should direct their energies to changing the social and economic system, encouraging the habit of critical thinking, and waging war against the common irrationalities of religion and populist politics that are the real roots of social and ecological problems, not to inventing new technolgies while leaving the same old social order in place.
Cloudbusting has become a backyard hobby for anyone with access to the internet to learn in a half an hour how to build a cloudbuster. They are then free to dash out and start playing with this new toy to their hearts' content. And they have already done great harm to this fragile planet and unless they are stopped, they will do more.
So these technophiliacs and their free energy movement are a threat to the environment and all concerned environmentalists will do whatever they can to combat this delusional system that incites them to cloudbusting.