The story that the mainstream press is underplaying this week comes from China, because God Forbid they should ever print anything positive about China. To be fair, though, it is not an unqualified positive and there is definitely a scary side to all this, but it is amazing news, astounding news, and much more imminently relevant than the revelation that astronomers have seen a distant sun explode, or Novak Djokovic’s covid related visa problems in Australia.
The Chinese have managed to run a fusion reactor (Tokamak) for 17 minutes at a heat of 120 million degrees Celsius! For those of you thinking in Fahrenheit, it doesn’t matter – we are talking millions of degrees, it’s an incredible amount by any scale. It’s about 10 times hotter than THE SUN.
Since it’s fusion, not fission, this could mean a cheap and endless source of energy for the whole world. With that kind of energy we could green the deserts, provide the whole world with fresh, desalinated water, we could power the whole grid, transportation around the world would become cheap and easy, everybody would have to shut the hell up about bitcoin being ‘dirty,’ we could grow crops indoors under hot lights, creating tropical zones in all the world’s cities, we could leave the lights on 24/7 wherever we felt like it and heat all the roads to just melt the snow. We could even terraform Mars, which might in fact be the best place to use this kind of power because, damn, if one of these was to blow, it would make Fukushima look like a blown fuse in your apartment.
So, it’s awesome and scary at the same time. But it’s big, it’s very big, it is absolutely huge news and I think it deserves a little bit more attention.

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