The only official website –- and, in all probability, the only factually correct website –- for the author Benjamin Hoff.
For a long time, I hesitated to write down what follows, believing that it could be misunderstood (Part I) or misused (Part V). But I finally decided that it might have some value, might somehow help to improve the situation. And when I considered that no one else seemed to be saying what I wanted to say -- which always seems to be the inspiration for whatever I write -- I decided to go ahead.
While I don't wish to appear unfairly or unjustifiably skeptical of the current allegedly Earth-friendly alternative auto-power choices, I believe that there are some things that need to be pointed out regarding the three most-favored automotive-arena solutions to the problems of diminishing oil and gasoline supplies, the "greenhouse effect," and global warming: the all-electric auto, bio-diesel fuel, and the hybrid vehicle. I also believe that a search in another direction might prove beneficial -- but that's for Part II and Part V.
Concerning the electric auto: Something that never seems to be mentioned in sales pitches for electric cars is the extreme toxicity of their batteries. Health authorities have warned that anyone fighting a battery-powered-auto fire needs to wear full body protection in order to avoid consequences such as death and/or deformed children.
No one I'm aware of has investigated the possible health risks of EMF radiation generated by all-electric autos. Investigations of this sort always seem to take place years or decades after the technology in question has been put on the market. What was determined a few years ago by EMF investigators is that the electrical system of a standard automobile generates a 30-40 milligauss field -- more than enough electromagnetic energy to disorient drivers, slow their reactions, etc.
No automobile manufacturer to my knowledge provides EMF shielding of any kind in their cars. To the contrary, auto manufacturers have lately expanded the instrument cluster to include electronic navigation systems, radio displays that flash the current musical-selection name, and so on, and are thereby increasing EMF generation -- and driver distraction. (If I were to buy a car with any of that electronic frou-frou, I would take it out. Even one second of distraction can cause an accident. I received my behind-the-wheel driver instruction from a former race-car driver, and consequently have no tolerance for distractions -- and, as a result, no accidents.)
Green living? Let's say you drive an electric car. When you plug it in to recharge, where does the electricity come from -- a coal-fired power plant, a hydroelectric dam, a nuclear power plant (the most likely sources at present), wind generators (maybe), or solar collectors (hardly likely)? ln the United States, almost half of the electricity is generated by coal burning. The U.S. has more nuclear power plants than any other nation in the world -- a major threat to the survival of the planet, and to the one in three Americans who live within fifty miles of a nuclear plant. Both the coal industry and the nuclear industry are powerful opponents of clean energy generation; both have for decades successfully lobbied U.S. government administrations to block clean alternatives.
By now, everyone ought to know that the first three above-mentioned sources of electricity are not Earth-friendly. (Many people, however, still don't seem to know that for a very long time now, coal burning, rather than the internal-combustion engine, has been the number-one source of greenhouse-gas emissions.) Not long ago in the scheme of things, all three Earth-damaging major electrical-power sources were considered perfectly all right. So is the latest non-solar power-generating device, the wind-driven generator. What power companies don't want the public to know about the latter is that the giant whirling blades of wind-power generators kill thousands of bats and birds - including bald and golden eagles - every year. ls this Earth-friendly?
A few years ago, l read in a scientific publication a statement to the effect that if solar collectors were placed along only a few square miles of the American desert (I believe the number stated in the article was four square miles, but it may have been more), the collectors could satisfy the electrical energy needs of the entire United States.
For decades, unfortunately, the U.S. government -- meaning all those politicians who represent corporate interests, political pressure groups, powerful organizations, and wealthy individuals, rather than the American people -- has treated solar energy research and development like an unwanted stepchild with a contagious disease. The government has backed nuclear-power generation and hydroelectric dams, and has for too long tolerated coal-burning plants. Will it now make a serious, forward-thinking commitment to solar energy? Here's the ultimate reason why it won't: To make that commitment would depend on politicians. But even if such a change were to take place...
If all automobiles in the nation were converted to electric power, what could possibly supply the electricity to handle such a massive additional load? Which brings me to bio-diesel...
The big problem with bio-diesel is simply that there's no way that enough land could be dedicated to the growing of corn, etc. with which to create enough bio-diesel to power all automobiles. It's going to be difficult enough to grow adequate fuel (food) for people, due to the ever-expanding human population, decreasing cropland areas, and the dangerous tampering of bio-engineering corporations, who are genetically splicing pesticides and other toxic chemicals into our food plants and turning nature's long-lived seeds into bio-engineered, short-lived seeds for the food-tamperers' financial benefit -- and contaminating nature's non-GMO food crops. And there's the smell of bio-diesel. A little of that goes a long way.
Of the three automotive-energy alternatives, hybrid vehicles might seem at first glance the most reasonable -- but only for the immediate future. Viewed from a realistic, objective, long-range perspective, they combine two ecological negatives: gasoline power and electrical power. And in the real world, two negatives don't make a positive. For the long haul, there's going to have to be a better solution.
Might it not be possible to create a substitute for gasoline? Synthetic oil already exists -- I use it exclusively, as it outperforms Big Oil oil. And I have yet to hear anything about synthetic-oil tanker spills and undersea drilling gushers -- which is a great deal more than l can say for Big Oil oil. The oil that the oil industry has spilled already will be with us for generations, if not forever. And they'll keep on spilling it. Given enough time, and today's lack of restraining regulations on the part of oil-company-favoring industrial nations, I believe that the industry will destroy all life in the ocean.
l have a 2012 report in front of me on oil-industry behavior that states in part:
The Russian oil industry spills 30 million barrels of oil each year. That‘s seven times the amount that escaped during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
And as a hint of what's ahead, the report points out that:
Hoping to benefit from the unprecedented sea ice melt, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Statoil all have made plans to begin drilling for fossil fuels in the Alaskan Arctic.
And so on. Drill and spill, make the ocean ill.
So what if there were developed a gasoline substitute that outperformed oil-based gasoline, and that by doing so made the reckless, arrogant behavior of the oil industry, with its record of ocean-life destruction and insanely expensive oil-safeguarding wars in the Middle East, a grotesque thing of the past?
ln my early teen years, I occasionally watched a television program titled One Step Beyond, which dramatized strange, unexplained real-life events. lt was like the more recent show Unsolved Mysteries, except that it dealt with unusual occurrences exclusively, rather than with crimes as well. The episodes of One Step Beyond were thoroughly researched. According to the show's creator and host, John Newland, no story was presented that could not be backed up with eyewitness accounts or some other convincing proof of authenticity.
One of the episodes I managed to see was about mysterious appearances and disappearances, and was titled "Where Are They?" An incident dramatized in it has stayed in my mind since l first saw it. l recently found the episode on DVD, listed as having been aired on December 13, 1960; so in describing the incident here, l'm not relying on memory. To summarize it...
ln 1917, a man made a surprise visit to the home of a cabinet member of the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. The man, who introduced himself as Charles Elton, told the cabinet member that he had waited for days in the latter's outer office in a vain attempt to see him, and had finally decided to visit him at his home. He informed the cabinet member and his chauffeur, who had shown up at the house to drive his employer to the State Department, that he had just drained the gasoline tank of the automobile that was parked on the grounds nearby -- the cabinet member's car - - and that the car was therefore in no condition to go anywhere. "So," he said, "you might as well let me fix it." The chauffeur, alarmed by the large puddle of gasoline beneath the car, attempted to start the engine. lt wouldn't start.
Ignoring the strong protests of the cabinet member, Charles Elton ran water from a nearby garden hose into the fuel tank, took out a large round tablet resembling a "horse pill," and dropped it into the tank. After the resulting fizzing sound had stopped, he primed the engine and pressed the starter. The engine started immediately and proceeded to run perfectly.
Following that demonstration, the cabinet member gathered together in the nation's capital a team of experts to conduct a laboratory test of Charles Elton's formula. On the night of the test, the laboratory contained a newly-assembled, never-run internal combustion engine and a large glass bottle of distilled water, both of which had been provided by members of the testing team. Before the test began, water was taken from the bottle, analyzed, and tasted. lt was declared to be nothing more than "good old H2O."
The inventor then dropped one of his tablets into the container of water. When the effervescence had stopped, he poured most of the resulting mixture down the laboratory drain and then poured what little remained into a beaker. According to the program script, he explained to the others that the amount was:
"Just enough to prime it and run the engine for about a minute. One provision, Mr. Secretary -- you must permit me to consume every drop of the fuel. Well, sir, all the elements l used can be found on this planet. And perhaps some very clever chemist, after some hard work, might succeed in making an analysis. Then l would no longer have a secret, would l -- and therefore nothing to sell."
He poured the liquid from the beaker into the engine's intake manifold. Then he thoroughly rinsed out the beaker and the water bottle. A team member started the engine. It ran for a minute or so -- as steadily as would an engine powered by gasoline, and with no adjustments made to it as it ran -- until the fuel was used up.
"Well," said the cabinet member to Charles Elton, following a stunned silence and statements of astonishment from the testing team, "how much do you want for your formula?" "Ten million doIlars," the inventor replied. "How much would it cost to produce this marvelous pill of yours?" "For a 'pill,'" came the answer, "that will convert ten gallons of water into ten gallons of high-grade fuel, less than two cents."
The cabinet member escorted the inventor into an anteroom, asking him to wait for a few minutes while he and the testing team discussed what they'd seen. "Take your time, Mr. Secretary," replied the inventor, sitting down on a bench by the far wall. The cabinet member stepped back into the laboratory and closed the door.
ln the very brief discussion that followed, all the testing-team members agreed that the test results were indisputably genuine. lt was pointed out that such an invention could prove invaluable to the war effort, and would greatly accelerate the growth of the world's economy. The cabinet member declared that he would take the matter to the President.
He opened the door of the anteroom to tell Charles Elton of his decision. But, as everyone present could see, the bench was unoccupied. Charles Elton was not there. He had vanished.
The building was searched; so were the grounds. The FBI and Secret Service were called in. A thorough, lengthy search, first local and then national, was conducted -- presumably a very secretive one, considering that if news of the missing inventor and his formula had been made public, he could have been located and kidnapped by enemy agents and his "marvelous pill" used against the Allies. The fingerprints on the water bottle and beaker were analyzed, but no match was found to any in the FBI files or any government-employee or private-industry files. Charles Elton, or whoever he was, had disappeared -- from Washington, from the United States, and, as far as anyone could determine, from the planet. Aside from the fingerprints that he left behind, no proof was found that the man had ever existed.
Within the ranks of investigators, there must have been a good deal of speculation about who Charles Elton was. My own impression, which is just as capable as anyone else's of being completely correct or completely wrong, is that he was a visitor from the future. I surmise that he appeared in the role of an inventor with a secret formula to sell, for a very large amount of money, as a sure way to catch the attention of people at a very high level and be taken seriously -- it's human nature to believe that a discovery or an invention has possible merit if it can generate or save a great deal of money and is being offered for sale at a high price -- and then, having made his point, having shown the scientific community that what he had claimed to be able to do could in fact be done, using elements found on this planet, he left. That explanation is an odd one; but it's the only one I can think of that makes any sense at all.
lf the dialogue in the One Step Beyond episode is an accurate representation of what Charles Elton actually said, he, as you can see from the dialogue quoted above, did not claim to be able to change water into gasoline; he claimed to be able to change it into fuel. The distinction, I believe, is an important one.
Before going further into the subject of a possible substitute for gasoline, l'm going to mention one more reason for developing such a substitute.
You may have noticed that certain national governments have been making earnest-sounding proclamations about the importance of countering the dangerous effects of global warming, while doing nothing to fix the problem. (l'll describe what I consider the easiest and fastest solution -- nature's solution -- in Part VII.) Why the massive hypocrisy? l believe the number-one reason is oil.
Consider the current Arctic military behavior of the majority of what are known as the Arctic Nations -- Canada, Russia, the United States (which has Alaskan footholds above the Arctic Circle), lceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark (which has sovereignty over Greenland). These are not the only nations to eye the territory opening up by the rapid melting of the ice -- China, for example, has expressed interest in the area -- but they're the first to take action to claim it and to prepare to fight for it.
Russia, using a nuclear submarine, has planted a titanium (rustproof) Russian flag on the sea bed near the North Pole. Russian troops above the Arctic Circle have been training for polar warfare. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced that his government has ordered nine icebreakers (six diesel, three nuclear) to "expand transportation" in the Arctic.
Canada has announced the government's intention to build an Arctic fleet.
The U.S. is planning two new military bases for Alaska. lt already has the 821st U.S. Air Base Group at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. The patrolling of the Arctic Ocean by U.S. nuclear submarines and Air Force planes is being stepped up.
Denmark is expanding its military base in Greenland and has announced that it will establish a new command in the North Sea.
Norway has announced that it will move its Operational Command Headquarters into the Arctic Circle.
In other words, the next "Middle East" is shaping up in the most ecologically fragile and pristine water area on the planet. Do you think you've seen oil spills and oil warfare? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Concerning the alternative provided by Charles Elton:
First, l'll state some cautions, which are of the foremost importance because of what arrogant, insensitive, short-sighted scientific tampering has already done to our land, air, and water. Next (Part IV, Part V), l'll give some facts about water and combustion. Then (Part VI), l'll move into the area of science fiction.
A great many inventions and scientific advances, such as space travel, undersea exploration, and television, have been made possible by science fiction writers and other people with more creative imagination and less tunnel vision than scientists tend to have -- people who for one reason or another were not held back by the alleged scientific truth that what they were imagining and describing couldn't possibly work because... Here's a truth bigger than scientific truth: The mind creates its own reality. The mind of science has too often restricted its view of earthly life by self-imposed blinders and a lack of respect for nature. As a result, it has created a great deal of very bad reality. ln this dawning of the 21st century, maybe it's time to do better than that.
Regarding the following cautionary remarks: l'll be citing only a minute fraction of the evidence that I could present to back up what l say. But l believe that it'll be enough.
Increasingly in recent years, science has turned from an attitude of Let's Learn From Nature to an attitude of Let's Play God. An example that's been in the scientific news for some time now is science's plan to create life on Mars (at taxpayer expense) -- a plan that ought to scare anyone of intelligence into suspecting that the field has been taken over by lunatics. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley warned of the dangers of the scientific mind playing God in her novel Frankenstein. ln my experience, scientists don't read many novels. But maybe they ought to read that one.
If one were to place in the pan at one end of a balance scale all that science is doing that injures our planet, and place in the pan at the other end of the scale all that science is doing to restore the functional health of our planet... Well, you know which way the scale would tip, don't you?
Consider the severe weakening of Earth's health by products of the branch of science known as Chemistry -- the most likely scientific arena in which someone might attempt to develop an alternative auto-fuel formula.
Over 50,000 synthetic chemicals found in medicinal, personal care, home care, and food products have never been safety-tested or approved by any governmental agency. The number of chemical combinations -- and problems -- that could be produced by this number of substances is probably incalculable.
PCBs (polychlorinatedbiphenyls), organochlorine pesticides, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated chemicals, and other deadly toxins have been found in mothers' milk around the world, in developed and undeveloped countries alike.
The following are quotations from reports l've recently received.
A comprehensive survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found 148 different chemicals in the blood and urine samples of 2,400 Americans. More than a quarter of all the samples contained benzo(a)pryene, a toxin found in automobile exhaust fumes. And nine out of ten samples contained a mixture of toxic pesticides.
National Geographic magazine paid nearly $15,000 to test one of their reporters for the presence of 320 different chemicals as part of an undercover investigation into environmental toxins. They discovered that the reporter's level of one flame retardant chemical was so high that it would have been considered alarming, even if the reporter had worked in a plant that manufactured the chemical.
A Mount Sinai School of Medicine study found a total of 167 different chemicals in the blood and urine samples of volunteers. That's an average of 91 toxins each. They found lead, dioxins, PCBs, phthalate DEHP, as well as compounds that have been banned for more than a quarter century. Bottom line: every single person in the study was contaminated.
The Department of Homeland Security has identified 4,997 chemical facilities as "high-risk." The EPA has identified 100 chemical plants that each put one million or more people at risk. Just one U.S. chemical plant disaster could kill or injure up to 2.4 million people. Despite numerous warnings since 2001, Congress has done little to neutralize these hazards.
What other profession could as a matter of daily routine carry out such massive, widespread, life-threatening activities? lf a non-science profession were to behave in such a manner, it would be considered the province of crackpots and terrorists.
To conclude my cautionary remarks before going on to the subjects of water and combustion:
ln 1937, a French independent nuclear researcher named Jacques Bergier met a mysterious, unnamed man who claimed to be an alchemist. M. Bergier's recollection of the resulting discussion was included in Le Matin des Magiciens, published in France in 1960 by Editions Gallimard, and published in English translation in England by Anthony Gibbs & Phillips Ltd. in 1963 as The Dawn of Magic and in the U.S. by Stein and Day in 1964, under the title The Morning of the Magicians.
The self-proclaimed alchemist described to M. Bergier some of the principles and processes by which nuclear explosions can be produced -- descriptions that went far beyond what the French scientist had by then learned -- in order to prove that he knew what he was talking about. (Years later, these descriptions were verified exactly in a military report shown to M. Bergier that had been written after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.) The unnamed man told the scientist:
"You are on the brink of success, as indeed are several other of our scientists today. May l be allowed to warn you to be careful? The research in which you and your colleagues are engaged is fraught with terrible dangers, not only for yourselves, but for the whole human race. The liberation of atomic energy is easier than you think, and the radio-activity artificially produced can poison the atmosphere of our planet in the space of a few years. Moreover, atomic explosives can be produced from a few grammes of metal powerful enough to destroy whole cities. I am telling you this as a fact: the alchemists have known it for a very long time ....
"l would also ask you to remember that the [original] alchemists' researches were coloured by moral and religious preoccupations, whereas modern physics was created in the eighteenth century for their amusement by a few aristocrats and wealthy libertines. Science without a conscience."
ln a similar spirit, l will now say to anyone in the field of science who attempts to reproduce Charles Elton's formula or to formulate an alternative to it: If you respect the wisdom and balance of nature and work to ensure that no harm is done to the world's water, you may produce an auto-fuel formula little short of miraculous. But if you carry out the search in a spirit of short-sighted arrogance, employing a scientific mind but no heart, you will produce consequences harmful or fatal to every living being on this planet. The responsibility for those consequences will not be Charles Elton's, or mine. It will be yours.
Thomas Edison famously remarked that "Nature has all the answers." A Taoist such as myself might add that a great many of her answers can be found in water, the life force of our planet. To Taoists, water is the Great Teacher -- the strongest power on Earth and the greatest yin (feminine) energy. Her behavior has been observed and emulated by Taoist teachers and followers for thousands of years. Water, say the Taoists, deserves respect.
Ch'i, the Chinese character for human/animal/plant vital energy, depicts steam rising from rice. The ch'i one generates in the practice of Ch'i Kung -- Taoist yoga, a form of inner alchemy -- feels like a very subtle form of steam.
A baby's body is about 90% water; a thirty-year-old adult's is about 70% water; the body of someone dying of old age is about 50% water. 90% of blood is water; 75% of muscle tissue is water. The shrunken look of the elderly is due to lack of water (and ch'i). Old people tend to drink very little water, except in the form of tea -- which is a diuretic, and which therefore increases water loss. To a great extent it's true that "you are what you eat." But to a far greater extent, you are what you drink.
Earth is a water planet -- 70% of its surface area is covered with water. Supposedly all of the water that existed when Earth began is still with us. Water can be neither created nor destroyed. However, it can be changed into a solid (ice) or gas (water vapor). And it can be contaminated, poisoned.
Water molecules are in constant motion, both in water as a body of liquid (water molecules held together by their great bonding power and surface tension) and in the surrounding air, into which some molecules escape to become water vapor. Losing energy in the air, these molecules return to the liquid state as condensation, rain, and snow.
Earth's continuous recirculation of water is an enormous recycling and recharging operation. lt's also a purification and enrichment program: As water falls on land and flows along and through soil and rock, it loses impurities and picks up minerals. Fast-flowing or turbulent water -- in a waterfall, for example, or a whirlpool -- gains oxygen and energy. Like happy, excited riders on a roller coaster, water molecules love to move. When water stops moving for any considerable length of time, it becomes unhealthy.
Being yin, water attracts, receives, and absorbs. Especially since the lndustrial Revolution began, what water has received from the human race has been mostly poisons and neglect. Ecologically speaking, water's amazing absorption ability has been considered its weakness, as it is therefore greatly susceptible to toxins. But, as with all yin energy, within its "weakness" can be found its strength. The following paragraphs will explain what that statement means.
Water's extraordinary ability to absorb whatever it is exposed to has been documented by Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Humanities and Science graduate from Yokohama Municipal University, certified as a Doctor of Alternative Medicine by the Open International University. He has studied the concept of micro-cluster water and Magnetic Resonance Analysis technology. His first book published outside of Japan, The Hidden Messages in Water (Beyond Words Publishing, 2004), became a New York Times bestseller.
After undertaking extensive research into water worldwide, Dr. Emoto began capturing images of frozen water crystals with high-speed photography. He discovered by experiment that water from clear springs when exposed to positive words, positive thoughts, or classical music formed brilliant and complex snowflake patterns, while clear water exposed to negative words, negative thoughts, or heavy metal music formed asymmetrical or incomplete patterns and repellent colors, as did polluted water. The Hidden Messages in Water contains many color photographs of these crystals. In one experiment, a sample of clear water was intentionally ignored. lt produced only the vague beginnings of a pattern. The most beautiful and best-formed crystals were created in response to the words "love and gratitude."
In a large-scale experiment, Dr. Emoto asked a Shinto priest to repeat one of the native religion's incantations for an hour at the edge of the lake formed by Fujiwara Dam in central Japan while he videotaped the event. His research team collected samples of water from the lake, both before the priest began and after he had finished.
Within fifteen minutes after the incantation had ended, Dr. Emoto's crew called him over to the edge of the lake to look at the water. The water, which had been murky before the priest began, was becoming clearer, and those present could now see the vegetation at the lake bottom.
ln The Hidden Messages in Water, Dr. Emoto states that crystals formed from the lake water taken before the incantation began were "distorted... like the face of someone in great pain," while crystals formed from the water taken after the incantation were "complete and grand."
Books and DVDs by and about Dr. Masaru Emoto are available from Beyond Words Publishing (beyondword.com), 20827 NW Cornell Road, Suite 500, Hillsboro, OR 97124, (503) 531-8700.
l hope that the statements made in this section have conveyed enough about the energy and nature of water to make the point that water is a unique substance of extraordinary spirit. As the greatest yin power on the planet, water remains elusive and mysterious -- at least, until it is shown respect. Until very recently, the human race has not shown it anything of the sort.
Water will not willingly reveal its secrets to minds that treat it as less than what it is. lf you attempt to force or trick those secrets from it, you will be forced to suffer the consequences.
Returning to Charles Elton's use of water:
Although water cannot be burned as fuel, its elements -- hydrogen and oxygen -- have a connection with the principles and practice of combustion. The element oxygen enables combustion to take place. The element hydrogen is, to quote from the American Heritage Dictionary:
A colorless, highly flammable gaseous element, the lightest of all gases and the most abundant element in the universe, used in the production of synthetic ammonia and methanol, in petroleum refining, in the hydrogenation of organic materials, as a reducing atmosphere, in oxyhydrogen torches, and in rocket fuels.
ls a light beginning to glimmer?
Due to the complete lack of response to this essay-by-installments, and to all of the other material I've had placed on this website since its beginning, I have decided against continuing the essay. I don't want to be like someone who goes on talking even though nobody's listening.
April 9, 2013
AUGUST 2013 UPDATE:
Read the timely summer 2013 newsletter article by Pax World Investments on Addressing Climate Change Requires Addressing Corporate Political Spending. (updated link)