For the first time, US scientists have achieved a fusion reaction with net energy gain. But the dream of limitless zero-carbon energy is still a long way from reality.
Video timeline: 00:00 – What powers the universe 01:04 – ITER: the biggest experiment in human history 04:28 – What is fusion? 06:38 – Replicating the sun 08:38 – The US breakthrough 13:46 – The investors 20:40 – A new class of magnet 24:30 – Dream or reality?
The FT’s Simon Mundy meets scientists and investors in the UK, France and US, to see how close we really are to commercial fusion power.
Financial Times – The FT’s global business columnist Rana Foroohar looks at why the US should bring manufacturing jobs back home. In the second of three films based on her new book, ‘Homecoming: the path to prosperity in a post-global world’, she follows the all-American supply chain of clothing company American Giant, to see how it impacts jobs, businesses and communities
Video timeline: 00:00 Made in America, Again 01:20 An all-American supply chain starts here 03:17 What went wrong with globalization? 07:00 The cotton gin – a risky business 09:53 Automation at a high-tech mill 13:16 Why manufacturing is important 19:59 The family-run finishing factory 23:21 Worker innovation at the sewing factory 27:33 Education, training and community 29:07 A moment for change?
Financial Times – Wind power is the number one source of renewable energy in the US, but nearly all this stems from onshore wind. The US offshore wind industry is underdeveloped and, with only two small offshore operations to date, it lags far behind Europe and China by comparison. The FT’s Derek Brower looks at why progress is slow, and what the White House is trying to do about it.
Financial Times – It could be the Shazam of smells. A California-based start-up has developed a device to sniff out substances such as drugs, explosives and viruses. Sniff tech is a burgeoning sector which could have major implications in fields including healthcare and security but may also raise issues over individual privacy. The FT’s Patrick McGee takes a trip to the lab and gets a good whiff of how the future might smell.
Koniku builds smell cyborgs. We will put out small form factor smell cyborgs in 10 million homes inside this decade. We aim to securely and safely diagnose disease and maintain health and wellness in real-time. We are building a marketplace that makes every individual the CEO of their own health.
Financial Times – One of world’s favorite drinks is under threat from global warming. The world’s top coffee producing nations all lie at similar tropical latitudes, where even small rises in temperature are forecast to have severe consequences for people and agriculture. But as the FT’s Nic Fildes reports, in Australia, scientists are tackling the problem by trying to develop a better, hardier coffee bean.
Latin America’s largest nation is facing its most important election in decades as Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva square off amid deep political and cultural polarisation. FT Brazil bureau chief Bryan Harris travels the nation to look at the enormous economic and social challenges facing the next president. He meets wealthy farmers, truckers, evangelicals and those facing food insecurity. Read more at https://on.ft.com/3Cjrg5T
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 214 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the seventh most populous.
The UN’s World Food Programme has described 2022 as “a year of unprecedented hunger”, with millions of people in dozens of countries facing famine. At the same time, significant amounts of farmland are being used to produce so-called biofuels. But could a global food crisis change that?
Biofuels are liquid fuels produced from renewable biological sources, including plants and algae. Biofuels offer a solution to one of the challenges of solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources. These energy sources have incredible potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and yield environmental and economic benefits. But many of these sources have a limitation: they can’t replace liquid fuels such as jet fuel, gasoline, and diesel fuel that are critical to our transportation needs. That’s where biofuels could help.
Silicon Valley venture capital is feeding a budding business in fermented, animal-free proteins, creating bacon, turkey and egg white from yeasts and fungus. San Francisco correspondent Dave Lee considers its potential over a few slices of fungus salami.
Heavy industries must decarbonise dramatically to reach net zero. Replacing fossil fuels with green hydrogen, created with renewable energy, is one way to reduce emissions. Examples of green hydrogen being used in various industries are emerging, but as the FT’s Sylvia Pfeifer reports, this carbon-free innovation faces a major challenge to scale up.
Recent crises such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have thrown the vulnerability of supply chains, and with them, food supplies, into sharp focus. But as the FT’s Camilla Hodgson reports, a landmark UN report says climate-related shocks such as extreme weather events will become more common and severe and could further upend food supply chains. But what can we do about it?