As time went on, we were able to move to more efficient and scalable technologies.
Instead of burning wood for energy, we were able to find fuel sources that packed a greater amount of energy release into smaller masses and volumes: coal, oil, and gas. But these are still all chemical-based energy sources, where energy is liberated by changing the bonding configurations of electrons in atoms and molecules.
In the 20th century, we discovered the secrets of harnessing the energy inside the atomic nucleus, allowing us to split the heaviest elements through the process of nuclear fission.
But there’s a different way of harnessing the power of the nucleus that circumvents all three of these risks: nuclear fusion.
Naysayers love to claim that nuclear fusion is always decades away — and always will be — but the reality is we’ve moved ever closer to the breakeven point and solved a large number of technical challenges over the past twenty years. Nuclear fusion, if we ever achieve it on a large scale, will usher in a new era for humanity: one where energy conservation is a thing of the past, as the fuel for our heart’s desires will literally be without limits.
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