On 5 December, after decades of attempts, scientists finally achieved a phenomenon known as ignition – a nuclear reaction that generates more energy than it consumes. As the world looks set to hurtle past 1.5C warming, humanity’s survival likely hinges on securing sources of clean, abundant energy – and fusion could provide one. In this week’s Slow Newscast, Giles Whittell tells the story of the quest for ignition, how it was finally achieved, and what it could mean for humanity. Listen to ‘Ignition: The quest for nuclear fusion’ in the Tortoise app or on our website.
In today’s Sensemaker newsletter we’re looking at an issue that has gone surprisingly under-reported given the devastation caused by Covid. It’s bird flu, and the concern among experts that it could morph into the next pandemic. And in the Sensemaker Daily podcast, we look at something you’ve probably seen zipping around your city in greater numbers in recent years: e-scooters. Following Paris’s recent decision to ban e-scooters for hire, will London be next?
In case you missed it over the long weekend, David Aaronovitch sat in the editor’s chair for Friday’s episode of The News Meeting, which saw Tortoise journalists discuss Trump’s arrest, “pork fraud” and the lonely death of Sheila Seleoane. On Saturday the Weekend Sensemaker broke down the legal case that’s seen Leo DiCaprio testifying in court against former Fugees rapper Pras.
If you’re in central London on Thursday, do drop into The Review at Fora Soho at 9am. It’s your chance to discuss what’s happening in the news with Tortoise journalists over a cup of coffee. Croissants too. Hope to see you there.