There is an ongoing meme on YouTube (and maybe elsewhere) about contraptions able to produce considerable amounts of usable energy out of thin air. Some are so preposterous that they can only be understood as what the millennials call “ironic”, but others are meant to be taken “seriously”.
The projects usually explore complex configurations of coils and magnets, feeding on both the fascination and ignorance of the public on the effects of the electromagnetic field. People will remember the infamous ‘Miracles‘ song, of Insane Clown Posse (“[expletive] magnets, how do they work ?” — although, again, the song is not without its hints at irony, and a shallow interpretation dismissing its poetic aims would be naïve).
If you are willing to disobey the #1 rule of keeping the sanity in Internet (“never read the comments“), you’ll find a flabbergasting degree of ignorance. Thermodynamics is, after all, a subject that was settled two centuries ago, and whose basic fundamental principles should be, by now, well known by the general public.
If one cannot even see the difference between reality and phantasy when shown ridiculous contorted wires in a short videoclip, how can one develop a valid position on the relative merits of fossil, nuclear, hydroelectric, and alternative renewable sources ? If even educated adults in first-world countries aren’t able to grasp the minimum of Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy to understand why cosmic rays cannot really be harvested to feed lamps and motors, how can we hope that the general public everywhere will develop an educated political position on the critically important subject of Energy Economics ?