As the developed world scratches its collective head over the puzzle of fuel efficiency — “Why would we want something that’s good for us in the short term and the long term?” — a Los-Angeles-based company has patented technology to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency, all with the humble holder-of-plastic-letters-onto-the-refrigerator: the magnet. Save the World Air, Inc., do-gooders and lovers of acronyms, own the manufacturing and marketing rights to ZEFS and CAT-MATE devices, which are …

… specifically engineered to minimize environmental pollution, to enhance fuel system performance and to increase engine efficiency. Variations of these devices can be attached to the internal combustion engines or exhaust systems in most automobiles, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, generators and other stationary implements.

Descriptions of the technologies are peppered with words like “atomization,” “viscosity,” and “complex magnetic flux,” which I don’t even pretend (or want) to understand. But I believe STWA when they say that the gadgets reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrous oxide, because ZEFS “influence fuel at the molecular level”! Molecules are cool, is all I’m saying.

ZEFS “are easily fitted to the base plates of carburetors and fuel injection systems.” And by “easily,” they mean easy for you, not for me.

I cannot for the life of me figure out what ZEFS stands for. Maybe it’s not actually an acronym. Maybe they just repeatedly, accidentally hit Caps Lock when trying to type a “z.” Maybe they plan to have a contest where consumers come up with their own ideas for the acronym. My idea would be: Zany Efficient Feature, Sucka!

The CAT-MATE increases efficiency when used in tandem with a catalytic converter. The name of that one seems, unfortunately, quite clear, so I can’t have fun with acronyms. But I like cats, so hey, it’s cool.

I’m liking me the innovation, people. Keep up the brainstorming and smartiness, and I will keep writing about it.

Incidentally, although STWA has recently patented these technologies, they aren’t the first to come up with the idea. They are, however, the first to put their information on a website that looks halfway credible. Do I feel comfortable buying “magnetic fuel efficiency boosters” from Oregon-based Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory when they can’t even spell their own state? You bet I don’t! How about a site that claims:

The actual vehicle efficiency is about 9%. This mean that your car consume more energy that it convert in movement. In other words you pay more energy that you obtain.

Um, no. And any site where I can buy not only magnets to increase my fuel economy but also a collar that will cure my kitty of all illness, a drink that will improve my eyesight, and a device that will “magnetically condition a newly opened bottle of wine”, I think I will avoid. But thanks anyway. Although the horse boots do seem practical.