Sunday, March 30, 2008

Energy Ignorance

"The Saint" tells the story of a thief (Simon Templar played by Val Kilmer) who disguises his identity by using the names of various Catholic saints. The plot focuses on one of Templar's missions, which is to steal the formula for cold fusion from the female scientist at Oxford University who developed it. A Russian mafia member who is hungry for political power hires Templar for the mission in order to provide the Russian population, currently freezing to death, with energy for heat. Little does anyone know that the Russian politician is actually hiding oil reserves from his own people!

One thing that struck me as interesting during "The Saint" was the ignorance of the Russian politician about energy. Immediately after receiving the formula for cold fusion from Templar, the politician gives it to a Russian scientist for decoding. As far as I can tell from the movie, the politician has no knowledge about cold fusion and completely relies on scientists to inform him about it.

Due to the advanced nature of subjects today (and especially cold fusion), the ignorance of the politician is understandable. However, I sometimes wonder how ignorant politicians are about the subjects of their decisions. I do not expect politicians to be experts on all topics, but a general knowledge of major issues would be nice.

The Russian population's experience of no heat can represent the energy crisis that some people believe is near or even here for the United States. I hope that American politicians, unlike the Russian politician, make it a point to learn some energy basics before making any drastic decisions about the way we get our power.

1 comment:

Jrod said...

Erin, i'm a big fan of this movie...but never really thought about how it protrayed energy and society before. After reading your blog I started to think back and I too think that the ignorance of the russian politician was quite deep.

I also think this movie was interesting, because it illustrated how energy can be the motivator and cause behind major governmental and international crises. In this movie, the rise and fall of an entire government was based on the simple need for warmth. It's hard to imagine the US population not being provided with something as simple as warmth, but it does show how together the majority can enact major influence.

On another note, I thought it was interesting how they portrayed 'cold fusion'. I thought it was nice that perhaps the movie educated some people as to what the basics behind cold fusion were, but I also thought it was quite ridiculous that the entire secret to creating free energy was kept on a few note cards! I think this concept was harmful for the public to watch because some people may have actually walked away from the movie thinking that it's that simple.

well, I'll finish with a quote I hope you like...
"you don't believe in all this cold fusion mumbo-jumbo do you?"