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Mitt Romney Endorsed Bonkers Quack Science of 'Cold Fusion' as America's Energy Solution

Romney's answer to our energy woes "were based on nothing more than experimental errors by scientists in Utah."
 
 
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This article was produced in partnership with  GlobalPossibilities.org.

Coming hot on the heels of Mitt Romney's own demand for windows that can defy the basic laws of physics and open in airplanes, exposing him to ridicule across the web, a new factually impossible scientific statement from the candidate has been unearthed. This one involves the debunked notion of cold fusion.

Cold Fusion--or the idea of creating nuclear reactions at much lower temperatures--is a widely-known scientific joke, or as Wikipedia puts it "It has been rejected by the mainstream scientific community because ...there is no generally accepted theoretical model of cold fusion." It's as though scientists claimed to discover the genesis of life or the missing evolutionary link and then were revealed to have just made mistakes.

But that doesn't stop Mitt Romney from being a believer, apparently. In a 2011 interview with the Washington Examiner, he offered this about his love of science ( h/t Daily Kos).

I do believe in basic science. I believe in participating in space. I believe in analysis of new sources of energy. I believe in laboratories, looking at ways to conduct electricity with -- with cold fusion, if we can come up with it. It was the University of Utah that solved that. We somehow can’t figure out how to duplicate it.

First of all, cold fusion wasn't about conducting electricity, but about creating power. But more egregiously, as DailyKos's Jed Lewison points out, shortly after the original cold fusion "experiments" mentioned by Mitt Romney occurred, the alleged findings were given the kibosh.

He points to a contemporaneous New York Times article explaining the lack of evidence behind the cold fusion claims.

BALTIMORE—Hopes that a new kind of nuclear fusion might give the world an unlimited source of cheap energy appear to have been dealt a devastating blow by scientific evidence presented here...

Physicists seemed generally persuaded as the sessions ended that assertions of "cold fusion" were based on nothing more than experimental errors by scientists in Utah.

 

 

 

Sarah Seltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published at the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jezebel and the Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahmseltzer and find her work at sarahmseltzer.com.

 
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