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#215  The Promethian Project: Building a Radical Tomorrow with Dr Simon Michaux (in two parts)

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If we’re to survive the looming tipping points, we have to bring regenerative thinking together with material reality – so what do the cities of the future look like and how do they work?

Happy New Year. My guest this week is a long term friend of the podcast. Dr Simon Michaux has been a physicist and geologist and then became an expert in the reality of the circular economy. He now works in the Geological Survey of Finland and is a regular advisor to the Finnish parliament. The day after we recorded this podcast, he was talking to the British consulate in Helsinki and in the last year, he’s explained the reality of where we’re at over 200 times, and one third of those talks was to governments around the world.

He’s been extraordinarily generous with his time on Accidental Gods. He was with us in podcasts number 172, 175, 183 and 184 with a series of excoriating, fact-filled, grounded, lucid conversations on the reality of the transition we face, so who better to start us off into 2024 with a conversation about where the world is going, where it could go, where it might go, where it should go in the coming year. This was one of our longest ever podcasts and truly, my brain had turned to slurry and was leaking out of my ears by the end, but Simon’s ideas of how we could build a different way of being – and his ability to turn ideas into action feels revolutionary to me in the best possible way. We talked for hours. Many ours – and because we ended up defaulting to Zoom for the recording so we do have a video – the entire unexpurgated hours of which we will put up on YouTube – so if you want to see Simon’s slides, head over there. But Caro has edited this down to the highlights so that it makes for easier listening, even so, we’re spanning more than one podcast. At the time of recording, I don’t know exactly how many, but we’ll release them all at once, so just let your favourite podcast provider just stream them all for you.

One thing to say before we head into the first conversation is that Simon has very kindly agreed to come back to join our Cutting Edge gathering on Sunday 19th March at 7pm UK time. He’ll be with us for an hour during which you’ll have a chance to ask him the questions that matter to you – all the things I don’t think to ask – and then we’ll have another hour together to explore ways each of us can ground what we’re learning in our own lives. So you can sign up here. 

Episode #215 

PART ONE

PART TWO

Links to our previous episodes with Simon

Episode 172  – Tranforming Industry to create a Genuine Green Revolution
Episode 175  – Drawing Humanity Out of the Cave
Episode 183  – Lifeboats and Volcanoes
Episode 184  – Reality Check

In Conversation

Manda: Hey people, Happy New Year and welcome to Accidental Gods in 2024, where we are still the podcast that believes another world is possible and that if we all work together there is time to create a future that we would be proud to leave to the generations that come after us. I’m Manda Scott, your guide and fellow traveller on this journey into possibility. And my guest this week is a long time friend of the podcast: Doctor Simon Michaux has been a physicist and a geologist with experience in the mining industry in Australia and then later experience in Europe, working for what we would call the circular economy. He lives now in Scandinavia, where he works for the Geological Survey of Finland. But he’s also becoming a worldwide speaker at the highest level on the material realities of the transition we face. The day after we recorded this podcast, he was speaking to the British Consulate in Helsinki and altogether last year in 2023, he gave over 200 talks at the highest level, 30% of those to governments explicitly, and a great many of the rest to the people who organise the world behind the scenes. So they can’t say they don’t know where we’re at and nor really can we. Simon has been extraordinarily generous with his time on Accidental Gods. He joined us in podcasts numbers 172, 175, 183 and 184 with a series of excoriating, fact filled, grounded, lucid, often humorous, often hopeful conversations on the reality of the transition we face.

Manda: So when I was planning this about six months ago, who better to start us off into 2024 with a conversation about where he thinks the world is going in this coming year, where it could go, where it might go, where it should go. The conversation that we opened up with those exact questions was one of the longest ever podcasts I have recorded, and genuinely, my brain had turned to slurry and was leaking out of my ears by the end. Simon was still lucid. I definitely was not. But we ended up, for technical reasons of software not working again, recording this on zoom, which has far less sound quality, but it does mean that we recorded the video. So we’re going to put the basically unexpurgated video up on YouTube, because Simon had a lot of slides, and that’s the way you get to see them. So if you want to see the ideas that he’s putting out, then head over to YouTube. However, Caro, thank you Caro, has edited this down to the highlights. I don’t know at the time of recording this exactly how many episodes that’s going to turn out to be, but we will release them all at once. So just let whoever is your favourite podcast provider stream them on and you can keep listening.

Manda: One thing to say before we kick off is that Simon has really kindly agreed to come back to join our Cutting Edge gathering on Sunday, the 19th of March. These things happen at 7:00 in the evening UK time, and they last for two hours. Simon will be with us for the first hour, during which you will have a chance to ask him the questions that matter to you. All the things I never think of asking. So come along and ask your questions, and then we will have another hour together to explore the ways that each of us can ground what we’re learning in our own lives. So you can sign up for this at Accidental Gods dot life. Go to the gatherings tab and I will also put a link in the show notes. And then while you’re on the gatherings tab, this is the point to remind you that there is still space on Dreaming Your Year Awake on Sunday, the 7th of January. This is one of our experiential gatherings. So it lasts for four hours and we run from 4:00 to 8:00 UK time. This is a chance, really, to delve deeply into the year that’s just gone and then, more importantly, to look ahead at how we want to shape our attention and our intention for the year that’s coming. This is a time to begin to dream deeply, to dream forward, to explore what the future looks like that we are proud to leave behind on a day by day, year by year basis.

Manda: And this too is becoming part of our Accidental Gods tradition. We have people who’ve been coming since the first of these, which was four years ago now. So you want to have some time just for yourself after all the chaos of the holiday season, then head along to accidental.gods.life and go to the gatherings tab. And if you’re listening to this after the 7th of January, we are running these on alternate months, alternating with the cutting edge gatherings for the rest of 2024. So there should be something there that will inspire you, I hope. And so here we go. As we step into the first episode of 2024, people of the podcast, please welcome back Doctor Simon Michaux, pirate, Superman, Arcadian, deep thinker and friend.

Manda: All right, Simon Michaux, welcome to our first Accidental Gods podcast of 2024. And thank you for wearing your Superman t shirt. We can’t quite see it. There we go. Superman for 2024. Because you are the person who, as far as I’m concerned, has the greatest insight and the greatest breadth of understanding. So kick us off, Simon. What could happen in 2024? What should happen in 2024, and what do you think is actually likely to happen? Any of those? You can answer it in any order, in any depth, for as long as you like.

Simon: So I’m wearing my Superman shirt today because there was a management meeting and I wanted to come formally dressed.

Manda: What does informal look like then? That’s the low key t shirt.

Simon: Oh, I do have a number of t shirts and they’re all for different people. Like the pirate one I actually sort of run when I’m running a research consortium meeting and says, you know, we be pirates. But when I wear this one, it’s, uh, Superman cannot be stopped. And so when I get told what I can and can’t do, I go ummm, that’s nice. 

Manda: Let me put the bat signal on the wall and post you some Kryptonite. Alrighty. So what’s the Kryptonite? What’s happening?

Simon: Okay, so we are in the phase of a couple of years in to a very interesting time period. Now, if you remember one of our old podcasts, previous podcasts, I showed you a slide of metal price that all blew out in 2005. That’s actually when I have the start of this era. If you read the book The Fourth Turning, they’ve got the fourth turning in the current starting in 2008 to 2030. I’ve got the time starting in 2005, because that blow out then later created the GFC global financial crisis. So we’re a couple of years in and the last couple of years in particular, one damn thing after another has been going wrong. As a general rule of thumb, all the normal methods of operation are one by one failing. It’s like no one knows what to do.

Manda: No, but the bad guys are clinging on quite tight. It does look like Trump’s going to get in. You know the Tories are not going. I have a contact in the Tory party who says they are not going to stand down because they have to finish off the NHS before they leave. And he actually said that. So they’re, you know, they are gripping with their little fingernails as they slide down the cliff.

Simon: And the guillotine is coming out again. so yes, the bad guys are hanging on by the skin of their teeth, they’re really hanging on, but it’s not going well for them.

Manda: No. That’s true.

Simon: Their plans are just just coming apart at the seams.

Manda: Because they don’t acknowledge geophysical reality, do you think? Because they seem not to.

Simon: I think they’re used to dictating terms of geophysical reality. 

Manda: Right. Ideology wins.

Simon: Yeah. I believe that humans are of like an individual consciousness, but also a group consciousness.

Manda: Right. What Nate would call the superorganism.

Simon: Yeah, yeah, but he calls the superorganism for not only humans, but also the system that we are embedded in and the environment it’s embedded in. Like, it is like one gigantic system. And the super amoeba is the industrial system that just eats everything in its path. But I’m talking about humanity itself. Where, have you noticed for example, that certain ideas can be talked about openly now that were considered taboo even 2 or 3 years ago? Like peak oil. That was considered a conspiracy theory that you had to be seriously unbalanced to consider in the industrial world. When I was talking about it in 2010 and, you know, 2005, 2010, that era: Oh, no, no, no, that’ll never happen, shut your pie hole.

Manda: Okay. But I did listen to you and Chris Mortensen, and he is quite accurate. It is going to run out. You could argue about the scale but you can’t suggest that oil is infinite.

Simon: Yeah. But the people you could actually sort of talk about ‘oh we have plenty of oil left’.

Manda: Oh I see okay. So it’ll last us for another hundred years and then we don’t care.

Simon: Right. So the perception of people you would talk to, you couldn’t bring that up in polite conversation. There’s a whole series of these topics. The other one is a digital currency,that was considered a conspiracy theory.

Manda: The central bank, digital currency or any digital currency?

Simon: All of the above. But the central bank, global currency that is digital in nature. Or the other one, for example, was a digital passport that had all your information on it, which would be linked to a social credit system. That was proposed many years ago. And so now it’s there. So now your at the supermarket and random people can talk to you. My point is humanity as a group, as like if all humans are connected together, so if you see it as like one organism, we are evolving in sophistication, which means the usual horse shit is not working. Now the people in charge of things at the moment, when people play a rigged game, they tend to get stupid and complacent and they make mistakes. That’s what’s happening. And so geophysical reality is there, but there was a time when the people in control of things could do what they want and we just had to go along with it.

Manda: Yeah. Okay. For quite a long time actually, within our relative speaking, I mean obviously not 300,000 years, but within the last century, fundamentally the people at the top made the decisions and everybody else got the choice to go along with it or end up in prison or dead.

Simon: Yeah. And so what’s happening is every human relationship is based with four principles, at least for me: love, trust, respect and honour. Now at all levels, in all interactions, in all institutions, everything human, and anything that has a relationship that has emotions with anything else, for example your pet cat, it’ll have the same thing. So what I mean there is when people from say 50 years ago heard their leaders speak, like say their prime minister speak, they trusted, respected and honoured that person. And at some level even liked them, on the spectrum of affection somehow. How much of that has eroded now? Trust in particular, respect in particular. And so the public at large is starting to see through the veil.

Manda: Yeah. Emperor’s clothes are now considered not to be there

Simon: Not only not there, they were never there. It’s not like the emperor has suddenly misplaced his clothes, no, no, he never had them. And neither did the previous emperor. So anyway what’s happening to us now is this long process that is years and in some cases, decades long. We are starting to come together and we’re starting to see things now. And when we are told certain things, we don’t necessarily go along with it and behave as programmed. Humanity, I believe, for some time now, or at least parts of us have been programmed with forms of, you might call it propaganda, but I think that terms is not sophisticated enough. It’s like we’re being influenced with fairly sophisticated levels of suggestion of what to think, when to think, how to think. Remember in 1984, the two minutes of hate? I remember when I first read that as a kid, I’m going, yeah, come on that’s a bit silly. 

Manda: And it happens all around us, yes. And it’s within very narrow behavioural and conceptual lines, it seems to me. I mean, the death cult is keeping us arguing about tiny, tiny fractions of cultural wars that are completely irrelevant in the overall collapse of the ecosphere.

Simon: That’s the point. Keeping us occupied. But there are now several different issues on the books now where they’re doing that. But the methods of doing that and even the words they’re using are the same. So the patterns and cycles within each of those issues are the same, and they are diagnosing the actual hidden methods behind them.

Manda: Okay. You mean they’re very, very good at neurophysiology and neuropsychology? Basically.

Simon: So are we! But at an instinctive level, our instincts are telling us, no, no, mate. No, come on, none of that.

Manda: Okay. Bullshit metres win out.

Simon: So not only the bullshit metre is actually sort of pinging and the flags are going up: that’s not true. The people we are now programmed to hate, we are now looking at them in terms of collaboration and realising they’re just like us. Now at a fundamental level, let’s call them the death cult, what they are most afraid of is unconditional love. You know when a detective goes through your garbage and they’re looking at what have you thrown away, they’re trying for example to unpack who you are, what you are, and what you’re doing. Look at the actions of the Muppets of Cutthroat Island; what are they doing? And if they’re doing this, this and this, what are they truly about? They are afraid of unconditional love.

Manda: Because it’s not part of their narrative. It’s not really part of their reality, as far as I can tell. I know I shouldn’t be creating an ‘us’ and ‘them’, but there does seem to be an overclass for whom business as usual is the only option, and they are at the top of that very steep sided pyramid, and they will do whatever it takes to keep it moving down the line.

Simon: Well, yeah. And they’re having to get more and more extreme actions to get less and less results. Because we are evolving. And so there’s a race; can the Muppets of Cutthroat Island get what they want to get over the line in time? And can humanity awaken fast enough to see what’s actually happening? And it’s a race. And as far as I can tell, we’ve already won. It’s just a question of how much damage is actually going to happen.

Manda: Oh really? Damage, because the people at the top will just throw tantrums, throw all their toys out of the pram and throw a few nukes because they can? Or damage because it’s already built into the system?

Simon: Both. The decisive action is do they actually throw their nukes or not? Everything else, humanity at large, enough of us are waking up and that awakening is hardening up and developing as an undercurrent.

Manda: How do you see that awakening? Because I meet general people in the supermarket or whatever, not that I go to the supermarket, but anyway, I meet general people when when I do, and they still seem to be worried in the UK about small boats. They’re worried about the things that happen here and if I talk about the climate emergency…I wrote to someone who I considered to be quite bright and quite switched on the other day and said blahdy blah, something, given the nature of the meta crisis, this. And I got an email back by return  going what’s a meta crisis?

Simon: So small boats. What about large boats that are painted grey? 

Manda: The battleships, you mean?

Simon: I used to live in a place called Mount Tamborine in Australia. I didn’t realise at the time, but there was a high proportion of people who were very much awake. The rest of the world used to see them as hippies. But we would have random conversations in supermarkets, with people I’ve never seen before, about the strangest topics. So what you’re referring to there, I think, is there’s two levels of human interaction. One is the day to day talking, Hi, how are you doing? And people feel sort of comfortable at that level. But the number of people online on the internet who actually are discussing this, because the internet apparently is more private, if you will. You can actually express yourself, or you can look at things without the judgement of the person standing next to you. They don’t say certain things out loud. Like I heard an interesting statistic: 40% of generation Z have actually gone out and spent money on things like food supplies and equipment in case things get more difficult.

Manda: Preppers on some scale.

Simon:  40%

Manda: Okay. So they’re aware. They are really aware.

Simon: A lot of them are. We are in the process of what I call awakening. The veil is lifting. So many things are going wrong on multiple fronts. The finance stuff in particular, some really, really, really scary information’s coming in. But it’s been happening so long now that when we’re seeing this stuff, I understand exactly what it is, but I no longer have an emotional reaction to it. The data in every sector in the world, when you look at the fundamentals; China, the United States, Europe, we’re all in deeper shit than usual.

Manda: Even China? Listening to you in other recent podcasts, it seemed that China was playing the long game. They are playing GO where we’re still basically playing cricket, and that they had a pretty good plan, although it did seem to me that any plan is going to fall over if we hit ten degrees C, which is not impossible. Are they in trouble just because they’re no longer the kind of repository of all the world’s national debt? 

Simon: No. I think what’s happening is all large players, in fact everyone understands that an economic correction is coming, which will mark the end of the fiat currency experiment. All fiat currencies will crash and reset, and we will have a devastating economic period. And everyone understands that. And once they understand that it cannot be avoided, it cannot be postponed, now it’s can we control it?

Manda: Can we have a soft landing basically?

Simon: Or rather, can we manifest a new system on the other side of that where humanity has a hard landing, but they have a soft landing. And coming out the other side, whatever the proposed system is on the other side, and there’s a few now, the hierarchy of who owns what and who controls what. And so I believe the Chinese and the Americans in particular are playing that game and are jockeying for position, knowing that their systems as they are about to be destroyed. But while they’re being destroyed, from the ashes a new system will be manifested, but it will not be a very nice system for humanity at large to deal with, because of what is being dealt with. They know that, they understand that. And so, yes, there is some very serious information coming out of China saying the existing way of doing things is coming apart at the seams, so it is now time to actually press the red button. Everything blows up and then the new system comes out the other side. Humanity is going to be put in an appalling situation, and we’ll have no choice but to go along with it.

Manda: Okay, some quick questions. Three linked questions. One, will the Chinese look after their own population first as a priority? Two, are they likely to just press a red currency button? Because they could tomorrow crash the world’s currency if they tried. It wouldn’t take very much. Are they likely to pre-emptively create this, or are they just waiting till everything falls off a cliff, because the debt to GDP ratio is just too high?

Simon: So the Chinese system will look after the Han dynasty first. They’re the ruling class within China, it’s like the Saudi royal family in Saudi Arabia. The Han dynasty goes first. As a distant second, the rest of China population and an even more distant third is the rest of the population on planet Earth.

Manda: And is this a deliberate de-population exercise? Because I listened to someone on Nate’s podcast the other day and he said, what could we do that would make a big difference? And the guy said ‘cut the population to 1 billion tomorrow’.

Simon: There is a group of people who actually believe that is the actual answer. They saw the Club of Rome Limits to Growth report in the early 70s, just like everyone else. And they go, well, you know, what do we do about this?

Manda: Well, I remember you and I having a conversation in the middle of last year and me going, you know, if I were one of the masters of the universe, I would be wiping people out. Because I think far fewer people’s got to be, from one perspective, an answer. And yet we’re all still alive. You know, if that’s their plan, they’re not really very good at implementing it.

Simon: It depends, because remember they’ve got to maintain their own power structures. There are several schools of thought here. The depopulation agenda now has three streams running in parallel. And depending on which stream you subscribe to, you tend to refuse the existence of the other two.

Manda: Okay.

Simon: And one of them is we are in the process of a depopulation event happening at the moment, where all the long terme serious problems in human health are accelerating. Things like you know, myocarditis, obesity, liver failure.

Manda: Endocrine disruptors stopping fertility, which is quite high.

Simon: All of that. So humanity is undergoing a health problem, where we’ve got all the deep cycle, long terme health problems are now exploding. You know, cancer is going through the roof. And so roll the clock forward in ten, twenty years time. What are the implications of all that? And if that has been implemented in a way where we have no idea what’s actually happening, and just life goes on and then you get the outcome. Whereas if they line everyone up and put you up against a wall and you pull the trigger.

Manda: At some point somebody notices.

Simon: Yeah, everyone goes, aha, that’s what’s happening. And then we get organised and we take them out, because there’s more of us than them. So it helps if you say, how would a psychopath solve a problem like this?

Manda: And then watch what’s happening. But another question, because it seems to me that one of the ways that they’re doing this is there are now PFAS poly perfluorinated alkylated substances in the rain, chemicals in the rain. And they are definitely endocrine disruptors and they have just been demonstrated to be carcinogenic, in spite of an entire industry that works quite hard to make sure that you cannot publish anything that demonstrates them to be carcinogenic. George Monbiot, I’m not terribly fond of a lot of the stuff that he does now, but he published something in The Guardian early December, showing that certainly in the UK the water companies are now allowed to put sewage sludge on the land. Technically they are ‘fertilising the land’ and it’s fine until you want to build houses, but you’re not allowed to build houses there because it’s too toxic, because your kids would play in the garden and they would die. But you can grow food on it. So the the endocrine disruptors in the water and the food and in the entirety of the food chain are huge. And so reproductive rates are massively falling, amongst other things, and cancer rates and chronic diseases from a number of things. But it’s a hell of a blunt instrument, because how do you turn that around?

Simon: You don’t.

Manda: But how do you survive then, if you’re one of the masters of the universe, is a psychopath who thinks this is a fun thing to do? Because you have just, you know, the entire ecosphere is now falling apart because you’ve ladened the atmosphere with toxins.

Simon: So you might notice that the very, very rich don’t live next to you or I. They live in communities very, very far away.

Manda: It still rains, they still get the rain.

Simon: That’s true. But they also think in terms of, say, a hundred years from now, if they have like a hard stop of certain things, the planetary life systems can recover in a relatively short period of time. But if they have a hard stop… The thing is we keep doing it each year with more and more. So when I was in Hong Kong recently, I was at a venture capitalist group…

Manda: Name drop – clang! Talking to the Chinese government.

Simon: Uh, yeah, well, I was talking to a venture capitalist group, and it was run by the Chinese government. And I got a feel for who they were and they’re outside the West and they’re looking at the West saying, you guys are doing this to yourselves. And the mentality was they know what the West is doing, the strategies the West are rolling out, those strategies have been neutralised, apparently, at least on the world stage. Not necessarily internally, but the West’s attempt to try and sort of conquer other parts of the planet. And under the weight of your own shortsightedness, we’re going to watch you burn, and we’re not going to lift a finger to help.

Manda: Okay.

Simon: And so they actually have got like a multiple strategy approach, where they’re trying 20 different ideas. They’re funding them all. They’re treating them all seriously. And those ideas are cross-fertilising with each other within the Chinese mindset. And they’re seeing which one will help us the best.

Manda: Okay. Which is very sensible.

Simon: That’s not what we are doing. That’s what they are doing.

Manda: Yeah. Okay. 

Simon: We on the other hand are putting a hat on 1 or 2 strategies we know won’t work, in the name of control.

Manda: And those strategies are?

Simon: I believe, for example, the strategies of the Great Reset put out by the World Economic Forum, where they want to round everyone up and put them into highly dense cities. 

Manda: This is Monbiot’s idea.

Simon: Put them under a lot of surveillance, a lot of control and control their behaviour. It’s all about control because it’s not for everyone.

Manda: And feed them precision fermented proteins and rewild everything else.

Simon: If you or I take an aeroplane, like a flight somewhere, you’ve got to go through airport security. Have your suitcase x rayed. You have got to empty your pockets, take off certain clothing, take off your shoes, take off your belt. You know, and it’s quite invasive. If you happen to be travelling with a billionaire that owned a private jet, they just get on. Car drives right onto the jet, car’s not searched, suitcases are loaded on, the suitcases are not X-rayed. They show their passport, that’s it, at both ends. This is the West, and it’s all about control of us.

Manda: But it’s a very high energy control. Nobody sane thinks that we’re going to be able to continue that with the energy ramp down that’s coming.

 Simon: Oh no no no no. So what you’ve touched on there is one of the signatures which means it’s a short terme thing. There’s a number of them. For example, I think we discussed this on one of our previous discussions, that the green transition that we talk about, when you actually sort of pin thepolitician to the floor by their lower lip and demand ‘what have you actually done?’ The answer is nothing. But we’ve legally committed to certain things by 2030.

Manda: Oh yes. But our government in the UK has demonstrated you just go, oh did we legally commit to that? Well we just uncommit. Sorry guys. It doesn’t matter.

Simon: Yeah but hang on. That’s not going to wash for much longer. Finland for example, is committed to climate net zero by 2035.

Manda: Yeah. But it’s net. It’s just an accounting fiddle. They’ll just tweak the numbers.

Simon: But when it comes time to actually sort of look at the post fossil fuel systems, we’re one voting cycle away from the voting public understanding that not only nothing has been done, but they never intended to do anything. And it was all, all, all a way of leading us around by the nose and convincing us there was a plan and for us to keep quiet. It’s like we’re being collectively marched to the edge of the pier and the veil lifts and there’s no plan. Um, yeah, that was Trevor. Um, he did those numbers. Sorry about that. Now we’ve got to engage in some hard decisions.

Manda: Yeah, I have a question with that, though. One voting cycle away, certainly in the UK, looks to me in the US. The people who are making those non-decisions are also the people who control the media. And the media is very, very good at telling people, look over there: Small boats! Just ignore 2030. Oh it’s nonsense. You know, climate alarmists is a phrase. And I can imagine several voting cycles where people are required to look elsewhere because, hey, this this stuff’s too complicated. Do you think that the population as a whole will wake up to why? How? What’s going to help them when the media that they are bombarded with is about to be taken over, as far as I can tell, by AI, and it will be impossible to know. I mean, you and I could each generate videos of the others saying something completely other than we’ve just done. Within a year that’s going to be there.

Simon: No doubt. In fact, it might already be here. So when the Soviet Union fell, just before it did, uh, they had the news on at 6.30 every night, I think it was something like that. And it was the state run media, and it got increasingly ridiculous. You had to watch it. So people said, well, if I’m not home, I don’t have to watch it. So everyone left at 6.30 to walk the dog or just walk around the block. And so everyone, all at once, everyone left their homes. 

Manda: And they’re on the street talking to each other.

Simon: And they’ve got nothing else to do but talk to each other. And then very quickly, ideas started to exchange. And so what I’m saying is all the conventional ways of us doing things, we’re being pushed in a particular direction, and I think humanity will evolve around that and start to depend on different things.

Manda: Okay, I hope so.

Simon: And just because a talking head tells me to believe something, if I’m thinking that could be an AI, that’s not necessarily real. Which means I don’t have to just take it for granted that what that talking head is saying is real.

Manda: But my confirmation bias, if I’ve understood my nerves at all, is that if the talking head says something I already inherently believe, I will want to believe it. At the time when I will decide it isn’t talking sense is when it says something that I don’t want to believe, and then that’s just the AI, I don’t care. Confirmation bias seems to me quite a big feature of the race to the bottom of the brain stem that we get in social media and everything else, and it amplifies quite fast, so you end up with the tribal stuff on either side that’s really easy for people who want to spark tribal divisions to do that.

Simon: Okay, so what happens if we start talking about an issue that’s not directly what we’re looking at, but say a related issue that we don’t really have an opinion about, but it is important. And then we talked about something by those same talking heads that’s obviously bullshit. And so hang on a sec, that doesn’t fit. You’re outside the tribal boundaries of what you are normally likely to argue about. But the system can fracture on a related issue. Oh, that has implications. Hang on a second. If what that talking head just said is not true and they’re not real, and the same tone (and it’s a tone of voice) I’m now hearing other things as well and that’s not matching up with the reality that I see out the window.

Manda: Okay. So cognitive dissonance comes in and somewhere in the gap of that schism, somebody can wake up. And then they need to have sources they can trust to gain a more accurate sense.

Simon: And then it starts again. It all starts again. And we’re moving into an era where each of us have got to fall on our internal reserves of what’s real and not real. Intuition and discernment.

Manda: Connection to the web of life. Go out and sit on the hill and see what happens, because that’s real. Yes, okay.

Simon: A lot of what’s coming through the media is fear, fear, fear. Yeah, fear is your God! Kneel and pray.

Manda: Yeah. And let me expand your amygdala a little bit more. Apologies to the neuroscientists out there, I realise it’s not an identifiable organ. But let me just get your entire system more uprated and upregulated, so it’s really hard for you to come back down into some kind of parasympathetic balance.

Simon: Right. So instinctively, the part that sits under our conscious mind is evolving to the point where it’s become more prominent and the conscious mind is of, well, I’ve been told to fear will I get my next paycheque? For the last ten years I’ve been fearing, and it never changes. So what am I really afraid of? What’s really happening behind all this? So this is what I call the awakening and we have many, many, many different issues, all of which are scary but are actually linked in a system. And the awakening is when we all understand what the hell we’re looking at. Now, we don’t have to agree, but the awakening is when we have discussion, where everyone is discussing things and getting their arms around these issues, and can have an intelligent discussion respectfully on these issues. And you don’t have to agree on the outcome or even what the issues actually are, but humanity at large is starting to educate itself, as opposed to signing over its sovereignty by allowing someone else to do our thinking for us. 

Manda: And do you think the awakening will happen in this coming year, that 2024 is kind of waking up year? 

Simon: It’s in progress now. I’m seeing things for the last 5 or 6 years, and each passing year is more encouraging than the last. So we are seeing increasingly desperate things to try and keep everyone in their place using their credit cards; trust us, we’ve got it under control. Right? I’m seeing greater discernment and now I’m starting to see, and in fact, I’m in this place, a solution space. We’re moving out of ‘this is the problem, this is the problem’ and into ‘this is what we might do about it’. Now, all the conventional discussions about what we might do about it, okay, the first generation of them are impractical. They’re a nice idea, but really they’re a bridge to something else.We’re going through that process, where we’re now churning through the different solutions and thinking about the practicalities of it. And what’s apparent is when you put your hat on a particular solution, you’re joining a tribe.

Manda: Right. So the electric vehicle tribe.

Simon: Yes. So we are seeing a series of them going through and there are things we have forgotten or are not included. Like we don’t think about the oxygen we breathe, but it’s there and we need it.

Manda: Some of us do. 

Simon: Well, some of us do, yeah. But there is a lot of things in our world that we take for granted. You talk to the average person, for example, and do you expect clean running water to come out of the tap when you turn the tap on? Of course you do. What a daft thing to suggest. But talk to anyone who say lives through World War two or lives in parts of Africa. So anyways, there’s a whole lot of things that we’ve got to sort of uncover in our blind spots. And do the tribes stay tribes? And so we’ve got to have a look at the idea that we can test an idea, discuss an idea like an idea, but then put the idea down for something else without having these bitter confrontations where winner takes all, loser loses everything, right? So we’ve got to problem solve. And so this is called the awakening. It’s been in progress.

Simon: I think 2024 will be an extraordinarily significant year on a number of respects. The veil is just going to be ripped right off our eyes in many respects. And that will set off a chain reaction. And then humanity in spite of the barriers in front of it, will start to awaken. And not just in ones and twos, but large numbers. And we don’t have to agree, we might even have groups that disagree with each other, but at least we can now start discussing stuff which at the moment is taboo. And a lot of our beliefs of how the world works and what the world is and where things come from are simply not valid. And so that’s going to come.

Simon: And so the next part and that’s also starting to happen now, is what I call the ascension. Well there are RPG role playing games called Mage the Awakening. Mage The Ascension. That’s where the names came from.

Manda: Oh yes. Okay. Got you.

Simon: The awakening is like we all wake up, but once we all wake up, we all look at each other and say, well, now what? And to quote Jacque Fresco, this shit’s got to go.

Manda: Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project.

Simon: Of the Venus Project. Yeah, we’ll come to him later. But the Ascension is what do we do about it? It’s all right, we’re in trouble, we’re in a mess but we’re not helpless. We’ve got a brain and we’ve got each other and we’ve got our education. Now what? And so we’ve now got to build a new world. Oh, okay. And I’ll have the rest of the day off and a nice lie down.

Manda: With dwindling resources and we’ve got to be very careful what our power source is or our new world can forget itself because ten degrees.

Simon: And resources and interaction with the environment, relationship with the environment, interaction with each other. You know, all human relationships, love, trust, respect and honour. We’ve got to restore that.

Manda: And we’ve got to restore it across international boundaries because at the moment we have the Chinese behind an effective paywall, with a group of people who sound like they actually get it, and they’re doing some quite intelligent things. But if what you said is true, that they’re basically going to stay behind their paywall and just watch everybody else crash and burn.

Simon: They’ve got their own problems.

Manda: Okay. And we want to connect so that we’re all problem solving together, because there’s some seriously bright people.

Simon: You know The idea of the holographic principle? Where what happens on a small scale also happens on a large scale.

Manda: A Fractal. Yes, yes. Niels Bohr.

Simon: So here’s the idea. We first look after ourselves. We change how we see things and how we see ourselves and how we see everything around us. And then we change how we see each other. And on a small scale, we change how we do things, and then that becomes larger and larger and it becomes stable, right? And in a 100th monkey kind of way, lots of people are starting to do it, right, and then we start interacting with other people around the world. As the old ways of doing things start to become harder and harder to maintain, the people in those older systems will look at people in the newer ways of doing things, and they’ll see some things crash and fall, but they’ll see some things do really well. Oh wow, yeah, that’s really cool. Why don’t we try that?

Manda: So what are the some of the really cool things that you’re seeing emerging in this new fertile ground?

Simon: So there’s a lot of them. There’s two fundamental paths going forward. One, we’ve got to have discussion of all these issues and how they fit together.

Manda: Which is what we’re doing here. 

Simon: This podcast, but also ones like it, are getting people to think. And in a form where this podcast can be handed on to someone else. And he listeners don’t have to agree with what I’m saying, but if they start thinking for themselves, then it’s been successful. That’s one frontier. The other frontier is we’ve got to take all these really, really unusual ideas, innovative ideas, and turn them into something useful. Take an idea and turn it into an engineering outcome, a physical thing, and then see how those physical things come together. So we’re talking about innovation hubs, innovation groups. Let’s see if we can work things out, try new things. And the things that work tell everyone. The things that don’t work, tell everyone. And so we are collectively, it’s going to be like the wild, wild West in ideas.

Manda: Without the Genocide of the native people, hey?

Simon: No those native people are going to be required to help us if they’ve got the patience to do it and the grace. Because we’ve behaved appallingly to them. For example, the native indigenous population of of Australia, the Aborigines, were a stable culture for thousands of years.

Manda: Yeah, hundreds of thousands of years.

Simon: So we’ve got to go and learn from them, a stable relationship with the environment. How do you do that?

Manda: They were managing the environment. It just didn’t look like farms to Cook when he landed. Yes.

Simon: So I knew this Aborigine guy in Australia. And his name is Willy. He’s an old guy. And he had this phrase. I used to work in a town called Emerald in Queensland around the coal mines and then he was just one of the guys that filled up petrol at the station. And I’d meet him at the bar. He had this great phrase: white man still doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, but pain is a great teacher.

Manda: Wo! And this is before Rumsfeld and his unknown unknowns.

Simon: Oh, this is what, 1996? Yeah. Anyway, so, um, yeah.

Manda: We still don’t know what we don’t know. That’s absolutely fundamental.

Simon: And that may well be for some time. But if we actually start the purpose of learning in the right direction and getting out of our own way, we might actually start interacting with parts of our own minds that we have since written off. And that is in the fractal thing. We start interacting with solutions around us that we had previously written off, but that’s not necessarily appropriate.

Manda: What sort of things?

Simon: Well, um, can we get to that in a moment? What I call the new energy paradigm.

Manda: Okay.

Simon: So what I call the ascension is a whole series of working groups that look at ideas of all kinds. It’s like the old Academy of the Rose-croix, where it doesn’t matter what you’re looking at. In The Age of Enlightenment, back in the 16th century, there was a group called the Rosicrucians, and they had the idea of the Invisible Academy to try lots of different ideas.

Manda: And this was under the auspices of the Catholic Church, presumably. Or was it hidden? Or was this behind the scenes?

Simon: Oh, people were burned at the stake for saying such things. But this is just as the Age of Reason was kicking off. And the Age of Reason was a natural evolution of the human group consciousness; we’re not doing this anymore. Go back and look at some of the writings of the 15th century. We were in a terrible state. The superstition in the writings and the inconsistencies. There’s a reason aliens don’t talk to us! So we had to actually evolve to a point where we had to clean up our thinking and have it more structured. We’re about to go through another phase like that again, I believe, when we’re actually being pushed to almost at death’s door and we don’t have the luxury anymore to be complacent.

Simon: Why do we have to think for ourselves? Why do I have to be nice to the person next to me? Why do I have to have a genuine relationship with the environment, both short term and long term? And so on. As an individual and in groups of all sizes. And reason, consequence and accountability is coming. So we’re going to have an innovation suite, not from one person or one point, but as many people as we can manage all over the world are going to step up and try new ideas as things fall apart around them.

 Manda: How are they funding this Simon? Because  I taught a class last night and we were discussing a lot of this, and somebody said I work a 60 hours a week within the death cult. I hate it, but I can’t afford not to. And I’m imagining that if we could free people up from their 60 hour weeks, thecreativity that would be freed up is extraordinary. But in the meantime, they starve. Or they end up on the streets hoping that Taylor Swift has left however many millions to their local food bank, because otherwise they’re going to, you know, they’re freezing and they’re starving and they’ve got nowhere to live and nothing to eat. And creativity is hard under those circumstances.

Simon: So if you look at historical examples, there are a few that can help us here. When Cuba had the oil cut off in 1991, when the Soviet Union fell, they had a crisis and the average wage dropped to about $1.50 a week, which was useless. And so they said, well, no more money then. So a barter economy started up and everybody started growing things in their own back garden. But also not just food but everything. And so I’m not saying we’re going to go to a barter economy, although that’s obviously one of the vectors. What I’m saying is a parallel system will arise when it has no other choice but to be there.

Manda: A parallel monetary system or parallel economic system? 

Simon: All of the above. Everything that makes us up as a human society is a series of interlocking systems, and one by one, those systems are going to be put under stress. Like food. Where do we get our food from? It’s not just money. You can have money but not foodd. You can also have food but not money too. And so on. Because of the way we are and as money systems are virtual and our dependency on technology, this is going to be a rough and very steep learning curve for much of society. But it doesn’t have to be for everyone. You know, the awakening, what I call the awakening is going to happen unevenly. You know, the future is here, but it’s not evenly distributed. So is the solution space. And some areas will do okay and some areas won’t.

Simon: It’s going to be rough and the people who will get through this. And am I one? I’d like to think so, but I don’t know, we’re not there yet. But the people to get through this, we’re going to have to be stronger than the generation that fought World War Two. Not just physically stronger, mentally resilient and emotionally resilient, but also emotionally wise. And that last part hasn’t happened yet anywhere else in history.

Manda: Not even in Cuba when the oil embargo started? Because it seemed to me that was a country that pulled together and made things happen.

Simon: They did pull together. But when I say emotionally wise, uh, the Cubans did a short terme solution for their society, and they’ve had a replication of the system as it is now. It’s like a version of the American system done differently.

Manda: Okay. It’s predicated on the old paradigm.

Simon: Yeah. And so we’re talking about a new emotional paradigm between each other and ourselves.

Manda: Conscious Evolution. Yes.

Simon: Yeah, yeah. So the individual has got to be emotionally wise to the point where no matter what is thrown at them, they don’t lose their shit and turn to violence. And we will see a lot of that in some sectors, but it’s not going to work.

Manda: It’s happening already. There’s a lot of violence, but this is making me think a lot of a conversation with Alnoor Ladha and Lynne Murphy a couple of podcasts ago. And they were talking about the that we’re in a trauma culture, and we need to move forward into an initiation culture. And that the indigenous cultures are all initiation cultures, and that one of the keys of an initiation culture is that you’ve had this contained encounter with death that takes you to the edges of yourself. And when you have had a contained encounter with death and you come through it, you are naturally wiser, most of the time. Provided you’ve found your own inner resource, and you’ve realised that you can only become fully yourself connected with other people. So with any luck, our contained encounter with death when the economy falls off a cliff, or whatever it is that happens, brings us to this point of Evolution into the initiation culture. If the ascension happens, as you’re saying, and you may not have finished, please carry on. Where does it take us, or what do you think are the avenues? What could people do now, I suppose is the question.

Simon: Right. Okay. So this is just words and labels I’m using. And there are other ways to describe this. Just to finish off what I was saying before, when I was a younger man, I used to go and seek out military veterans. Men who’ve actually been through terrible, terrible things. And talk to them. It occurred to me that, for example, my generation, I’m 50 years old now, and my generation was the first generation as I saw it back then, that did not have to go off to war. My father had Vietnam, and then before that was Korea, before that and so on. And what struck me was everyone who had lived through, you know, like that series on TV, Band of Brothers. And so when I watched those, that’s not entertainment, that really happened and if I was in that situation, how would I deal with that? And so when I talked to these people, these guys wouldn’t talk about what happened, because they don’t and there’s a reason for that. But what they all want is what we’ve already got and take for granted; a nice little house somewhere, running water, a bit of money, a bit of food. You know, their family around them, all the quiet stuff. Leave me alone. But our modern society has actually made itself so complex and so dependent on consumerism. And we’re so determined and we keep upping the ante of what we want each year. All of that has to be cleaned out and replaced with something else; we’ve got to start valuing people not things. We are going to start valuing ideas, not things. And that sets off a chain reaction. And so we’ve got to become emotionally wise. We’ve actually got to want to do that. Not because we have to do that.

Simon: Not everyone will do it. And not all parts of society will go along with that. But the ones that do will find it much easier. And the ones that don’t, it’ll be harder and harder to do the basics.

Manda: Okay, I remember you had three classes of people on one of our previous podcasts, and this was The Arcadians.

Simon: So yeah. They’re The Arcadians. You had the Cornucopians who were determined.

Manda: Business as usual will go on forever. And the Vikings, who we renamed Pirates, I believe. Or the Colonisers.

Simon: The bloody Romans.

Manda: Yes, that was it. Yes, yes.

Simon: And then you had the prepper community and then you had the Acadians. So again, these are just labels to try and get your arms around what we’re seeing here. So where we will go is we will clear out all the blind spots. For example, what’s happening at the moment I believe, the commodities industry has been misunderstood. We’ve assumed that these raw materials will always be available to us, and we can snap our fingers, and they’re given to us because, well, we’re special, we’re rich, we’re special.

Manda: And the market will provide, because that’s what markets do, obviously.

Simon: Right and so the free market enterprise mentality is going to move into an era where we’re the problem has to be solved. Are you the solution or are you the precipitate?

Manda: That only works when you did chemistry at school, but yes.

Simon: Well you get it. That’s all that matters really. So anyway, this is where we’re going now. Now, if I might share my screen, this is what I’m actually presenting tomorrow. You like the title? Black Swans, white Swans and the Purple Transition.

Manda: Oh, and you’re presenting this to the British embassy in Finland?

Manda: I am, in Finland.

Manda: In Helsinki. Wow. There we go.

Simon: Anyway, so when we’re describing how things are going, you see it on the 6:00 news. How things are going; they lead off with the stock market. The stock Market is this! An extra trillion dollars was invented today. And sometimes they’ll talk about technology, but really it’s all about the money. But what really happens is this: When you’re actually talking about energy or technology or minerals or economics, you can’t separate them. Where there’s one, there’s the other three. Now they all are harvesting raw material, feedstock, out of the natural environment. That’s how we really are. That’s how we’ve always been and so any new system will have to have that similar structure. What’s happening to us, though, is the relationship between all four aspects and us and the planetary environment is changing in ways that we can’t control. So there’s actually four aspects happening at the same time. So energy has to change. Every energy system that I’ve looked at has a bottleneck. One of them has to evolve. So the thing that actually is ready to go, I think, is something that was developed 50 years ago. This is molten salt, liquid fuel fission, using thorium as the fuel.

Manda: Brilliant. You talked about that in our last podcast.

Simon: You’ve already seen this then. All right.

Manda: People may not have. So let’s don’t go too fast. 

Simon: Okay. So this is the status report, an outcome of several decades of research that was published in 1972. Basically it worked. And so this is what they’re talking about: So thorium fluoride, which is quite a stable thing. It’s not radioactive it’s fertile. Thorium 232 has a half life of 14 billion years. So it’s quite stable. So you put it in a salt and you put it in the reactor and you bombard it with neutrons.

Manda: 14 billion years. Is that not longer than the lifespan of the Earth?

Simon: It is.

Manda: Okay. Just checking what.

Simon: What it means is thorium is very stable. So we’re going to bombard it with neutrons and those neutrons are going to change, atomically at an isotope level, the thorium through several stages of change to uranium 233. So an isotope of uranium. Now that is quite radioactive. And it’s going to heat up because it’s hot, as things that are radioactive are often hot. And that will melt the salt. And the salt goes into a liquid. So inside the reactor where it’s all protected and everything, it starts to circulate as a liquid. Now that liquid flows around and it goes into a heat chamber that exchanges heat between that salt and another fluid, which heats it up. That heat is then used to turn water into steam. Steam turns the turbine. The turbine creates electricity. So you’ve got this molten salt going around the circuit, and you don’t need water to cool this down like a normal reactor, okay?

Manda: Because water is going to be one of our rate limiting steps. That’s a good thing. 

Simon: A conventional nuclear reactor needs an enormous amount of water.

Manda: Huge amounts of water.

Simon: Yeah. This doesn’t. So the reaction can only go so far before it starts to overrun itself and collapse. And if it gets too hot, for example, the reaction collapses, so we can’t have a meltdown like Fukushima.

Manda: So the chemical reaction is heat labile. Is that what you’re saying?

Simon: Yeah. It can only go so far. And so it’s got to be kept below a certain temperature so it doesn’t collapse. And a collapse for them is it just stops- Oh, man! Start up again. But then they’ve also got a freeze plug where if the temperature does go past a certain point, that freeze plug melts and the fuel as a liquid just drains out of the reactor into containment facilities. So it just cools down naturally. So there’s not one but two fail safes that mean the existing problems with nuclear won’t happen.

Manda: You mentioned a Doppler shift in a previous podcast.

Simon: So that’s actually the term for the cascading of the chain reaction, the thermal cross section of the neutrons, converting everything from thorium to uranium. And so more and more uranium has to be created and it gets to a certain point where it overruns and not enough uranium is being created, and then it decays out.

Manda: I will map that on to a red blue shift at some point in my brain. Carry on, because we’ll take this to places people don’t want to go. Go on.

Simon: All right. So here is the 1969 7.4MW reactor that first started with a uranium salt and went to a thorium salt: 6000 hours of power generation without a problem. Here is the Chinese system that’s actually commercially selling power now 

Manda: Two megawatts. How much does that power? Roughly.

Simon: A small town.

Manda: Wow.OK.

Simon: Okay. So a normal sized reactor is something like one 1400MW. This is two. 

Manda: Wow. Ok. I love the Chinese flag in the background.

Simon: Yeah, well, they did that on purpose, didn’t they? Now, I’ve been told that this is actually generating power. Someone said, oh, you can’t believe those guys. But yeah, I’m seeing it in other places as well.

Manda: Yeah, because you were in Denmark recently.

Simon: Right. So I’ve got some photos of that. So this is the actual thing. The bottom line is your conventional uranium system, where we’re going to generate 10,000 gigawatt hours of electrical power, 96% of that fuel is actually not useful in that reaction, but it’s still very radioactive. So for 32.9 tons of fuel going in, 31 tons comes out.

Manda: Somebody thought this was a good idea once. Blinkin ‘eck.

Simon: Well, money’s involved.

Manda: And nuclear weapons are involved. Yep. Okay. Carry on.

Simon: So now we’re going to do it with thorium. So in uranium we’re going to mine 123 million tons of ore and then compress it down to 32 tons of fuel. Here we’ve got 280 tons of monazite mineral sands. So already the system is smaller and we’re going to make 1.34 tons of thorium fluoride salt with other things like lithium and beryllium. 

Manda: To create the same amount of power over the same time.

Simon: Yeah. This slide was put together by Kirk Sorensen and I’ve just repurposed it.

Manda: So for those who can’t see the slide, because some people are listening to this, both of these, so 123 million tons of uranium ore as opposed to 280 tons, so orders of magnitude smaller; each create 10,000 gigawatt hours of electricity for 365 days.

Simon: Yeah. Now the waste that comes out of the thorium Molten-salt reactor is between 1% and 5% of radioactive isotopes that need storage. Those isotopes, you store them for 300 years.

Manda: Not 100,000 years.

Simon: Right. But also, here’s the funny part. A lot of these isotopes are actually used in a medical context, you know, medical radioactive isotopes. Things like, you know, xenon, caesium and strontium and all that. So they could actually be repurposed into the medical industry.

Manda: You could, in fact, sell them, as opposed to having to persuade some poor person to find a place to hide all your uranium that’s not going to destroy the entire planet.

Simon: Now, what’s weird is this system can burn up also uranium. You could have small portions of spent nuclear fuel in the nuclear stockpile and process it as fuel. It sits in the molten salt and stays there till it’s processed. So we can slowly run down the existing pile of spent nuclear fuel.

Manda: Okay. That would be handy.

Simon: So now things get really interesting. Here is a picture of me wearing a tie.

Manda: Yes. Simon. Not in the Superman t shirt. That’s very smart.

Simon: And I happen to be standing in front of a thorium molten salt reactor. 

Manda: Which has thorium in it. Is it working?

Simon: It’s a test rig. And so this one doesn’t have thorium in it. This has actually got another molten salt in it and is to test the water circuit. This is a group called Copenhagen Atomics in Copenhagen. They’re making reactors the size of a shipping container.

Manda: I was going to say, for people who can’t see this, this is not the size of a nuclear power station. It is a shipping container. Exactly that.

Simon: So that’s actually the size of a 20 foot shipping container. It’s one half of the system. So each commercial reactor will produce 100MW of thermal heat for 40MW of electricity. And the size of the reactor is is a 40 foot shipping container that sits on the back of a truck. So they’re going to make them in this factory, and they’re going to ship them out on a truck. So they’ll arrive in a truck, put it over there,  thanks and then get to work. 

Manda: And there we are. Electricity will be sold at $0.02 per kilowatt hour. So they’re not actually going to sell you the stuff on the truck, they’re just going to sell you the power.

Simon: So they want to own the reactor and the fuel in it. All the fuel for 50 years is loaded into the reactor, and they will take responsibility for running it.

Manda: And that’s a tiny, tiny fraction of what our government…they promised the Chinese and the French, I think it’s £0.80 per kilowatt hour for a standard nuclear power station that is never going to be built and is not safe. And these guys are wanting to sell it at $0.02 per kilowatt hour. So that’s like 1/80 of what the UK government is.

Simon: And the funny part is the fuel is actually going to be made out of industrial waste. 

Manda: Wow. So Simon, we talked a little bit about this in our last podcast. And one of the things that when we finished, I went away and was really quite scared about is this is the answer to a lot of the business as usual prayers, because it could allow the existing system, the death cult, to continue to power itself without the rest of us going, you’re worsening the climate emergency. This is a carbon free power source. And yet a lot of our biophysical collapse is not just coming from the carbon. There’s a lot of other aspects, but the carbon is the one that people know about. How is this not going to just accelerate us off the edge of the cliff with a power source? Because I looked at the energy turnover:energy invested, and it looked like 2000 to 1 or something, which is just amazing.

Simon: So those those numbers of 2000 to 1, I’ve yet to actually see the maths behind that.

Manda: Okay, but it’s still high.

 Simon: Such a wildly high number. I’m not sure. I want to see the actual numbers. In answer to your question. It won’t arrive fast enough before the system changes. 

Manda: Do you reckon?

Simon: The first reactor arrived is commercially sold in 2028, which is what they’re talking about. And they’re going to produce one a day. And so they’re not going to get out fast enough while the rest of the system is fragmenting, where people at large will think we’ve got a problem.

Manda: Yes, and who’s going to have those one a day? We’re going to be fighting over the first 365 iterations of, hey, you can have power at the bottom of your road that will power your entire town.

Simon: I think there’ll be a number of companies building these. But the problems we’re seeing are visible now and I think next year, a lot of the problems are going to be so visible that we’re all going to see them. You know at the moment when you try and talk about certain problems and you meet with pushback, whether that problem even exists?

Manda: Yeah. This is what you’re saying at the beginning. Like, we can now talk about peak oil, and maybe we can talk about the fact that we need carbon free power. Do you not think that if you show this to the British consulate or embassy in Helsinki, and they come back to to the current UK government, which is as corrupt as it seems humanly possible to be, they’re just going to put a lot of money to their friends like they did during Covid, and go build us some thorium reactors, because that’s going to answer a lot of our problems and we will own them.

Simon: I would suggest that they would touch up Rolls-Royce and say, fix it, and Rolls-Royce might already be doing it. And so they will, but it won’t arrive fast enough. It won’t, because even if they do that immediately and they start rolling it and the solution starts happening in one part, whole sections of the community are going to hit other problems where they are going to be forced to see them.

Manda: Right. I hope you’re right.

Simon: We’re there now. And when the oxygen is turned off from a lot of the existing systems, for example, China no longer exports stuff to us.

Manda: That’s all our stuff gone. Where else does it come from these days?

Simon: And we can no longer import gas and coal, not because we’re running out of gas and coal, but for geopolitical reasons, because we like picking fights with the people who sell us the stuff. Now what? Or the other one that’s coming in next year, I think, is food. You know, there’s now food shortages on the books. Especially the fertiliser industry is in a stress position.

Manda: Oh, good. Well, we need less fertiliser. That would be a good thing. We could just all move towards regenerative agriculture. It might be a better answer.

Simon: That’s what I’m saying is none of us will do that willingly. Okay, but what if we didn’t have a choice? Then you watch us become experts real quick, okay?

Manda: Particularly if people like you and I have been blazing a trail and going, the answers are here!

Simon: People have to see the answer. If they see the answer, and they understand that there’s a problem. And going towards the answer is actually easier than sticking with the problem, then they’ll do it.

Manda: Okay. And that’s it for the first part of our conversation. If you just keep listening, your podcast provider should key up and play the next part. If you need a break, now would be a good time to have it. And while we’re having breaks, enormous thanks to Simon for all that he’s doing, for all the number crunching he does, for the reality that he brings to what can become an incredibly flaky set of views forward if we’re not careful. But if we ground it in reality, then what’s coming up in the subsequent part or parts, because I still don’t know how many there are of this podcast, Simon is creating actual ideas that we could actually implement.

Manda: So keep listening and thank you to Caro for the music at the head and foot, and for some astonishing production of this episode. Thanks to Faith for the tech and the conversations that keep us going. Thanks to Anne Thomas for the transcripts and thank you to you for listening. See you in the next part. Thank you and goodbye.

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