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It's Not Impossible, We Just Need a Better Plan...

Dr. Simon Michaux

Monday, February 6, 2023

Chris Keefer  0:00  

Welcome back to decouple. Today, I'm joined by returning guest, Dr. Simon meesho, who came on recently just back in December, that a wonderful self introduction, but briefly, is a geo metallurgist, word that my spellcheck does not recognize, but that Simon did explain a little bit in our last episode, as well, I think, our only explosives experts to ever come on the podcast. So Simon, welcome back. It's, it's great having you back again. Thanks for making the time.

Dr. Simon Michaux  0:30  

G'day, Chris. It's really nice to see you again. So let's have some of those questions.

Chris Keefer  0:35  

For sure. For sure, you know, just for the folks watching on YouTube. You might see my eyes have dried up, they were looking a little teary trying to try to stop the incessant blinking that some people comment on. Simon did tell me a great dad joke relevant to mining, which we'll get to, I think maybe his little halftime break. But we have a lot of a lot of stuff to discuss. And the reason Simon, I brought you back, is because your paper has definitely generated some pushback. Again, that paper is the assessment of extra capacity required of alternative energy electric power systems to completely replace fossil fuels. We'll run through what the findings of that study are briefly. But you know, to sum it all up, my read is that we're a little hooped in terms of the mineral requirements for a netzero future. You know, it's generated a lot of pushback, I think, because this, this poses a very real obstacle to something a lot of folks are invested in. So there are some alternative studies that have come out, I want to talk a little bit about, you know, modeling variables, and why your study is potentially finding different things than other studies that are out there. So yeah, why don't we just jump on in on our last episode, you did go through some of the findings of your study. So we'll keep it brief on that. And then yeah, let's let's jump into the pushback. And in a bit of a critique of, of modeling.

Dr. Simon Michaux  2:05  

So work done was due to the need that when I arrived from the Australian mining industry to Europe, and I was sitting in European Commission meetings, listening to the circular economy in haste 2020. Plans for the future, about how they were going to phase out fossil fuels. This was in 2017 2016 2017. And it was amazingly clear to me was the people making these plans had these massive bottle of blind spots, there were there were a whole lot of things that they just didn't seem to understand. And it came down to. In Europe, we don't do mining, we buy stuff off the market. Even the manufacturing that's done in Europe is based on components that are made elsewhere, usually China, in China or South Korea. And so I've been giving some thought about how to communicate what I've been seeing, to these people in a way where they can't refuse it. And I used to be one of these guys that used to write these models and papers. And that was, you know, describing things like energy intensity and, and what have you. And I found that didn't work. Like when I couldn't get anywhere with that, because it was, so when I actually went the engineering calculation route, that's when I started getting some action happening. So the outcome is, if we were to knock out fossil fuels, and that is all electrical power generation, oil, gas, and coal, that's, you know, we take all that out, and then we replace it with non fossil fuel systems. And we're allowed to use any nuclear non fossil fuel system including nuclear, nuclear, hydro, solar, geothermal, wind, etc, etc, etc. And the entire transport fleet has to be that as dependent on petroleum products, in some form, has got to be stood down and replaced with something else. And it's a combination of vehicles that are electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. So the calculation was, what were our industrial actions at the time. And if we were to go completely electric, take petroleum out what extra power would be neat. And so this sort of a chain reaction, and so and what would each power system need, and the outcome was a really large number of a large amount of electrical power much larger than our existing system. To give you the actual numbers. In 2018, the global system consumed 26,614 terawatt hours of electricity. So this is electrical stuff not not petrol and petroleum and ice generation. It's just our electrical generation, where a big chunk of that was fossil fuel. And to phase that out, we've got to phase out the fossil fuels and to build the extra capacity to charge the batteries and make the hydrogen. Right, we need an extra 37,289.7 terawatt hours on top of our non fossil fuel system at the moment, those numbers have shifted a little bit because through appeared or for review, I've had about 30 people review this now. And each time there is a, the numbers are shifting, and they finally stabilized. And a couple of days ago, all of this has been published into pushed into a peer reviewed journal, for calculation, both studies from one end to the other. And so a lot of the criticisms on Twitter cannot go away, because, you know, it's an out a peer reviewed study. It's passed through the first generation of peer review five, six people. And the second generation, which I think is one person is in progress. Now. Are these peer

Chris Keefer  5:52  

to peer reviewers? You know, mostly from academia? Are there any kind of from from the real world of engineering mining?

Dr. Simon Michaux  5:58  

So because because of the nature of what I'm suggesting, normally, when we do a peer review, we didn't we only need one or two reviews. And we pull it from the field. But because this is like a like a meta science, it bridges everything. The first big report, if you look in the front, there's actually a panel of 2025 people, that us Thank you, that's the review panel. Right, because you've got each section that looked at needed a review from that section. So I need to sum from nuclear to review, I needed someone from hydrogen to review it, I needed someone from mineral minerals, to review things, multiple electrical engineers, I need someone from who actually runs wind power generation systems. There's a corporation in Finland called Fortum, that owns owns and runs power, wind turbines, it's you had to go go through these hoops. And it was quite a long and arduous process because of the nature of the study. Right. And so that was the first generation of work. And then and now the second generations come and I presented it many times. It's been reviewed back and forth. Monkeys on Twitter, throwing poo were actually useful in determining what needed to go into the final peer review paper. And so yeah, and so, okay, so the outcome is we need 30 37,008 289 terawatt hours of extra capacity over on top what we have now. And so the system will expand in size says 175%. Now those numbers are conservative, they're on the small side,

Chris Keefer  7:33  

because it usually hear about sort of needs to double or triple the grid for and electrify everything agenda.

Dr. Simon Michaux  7:37  

Yeah, so I'm not I'm not including manufacturer, for example, like steel fired steel manufacturer is in there. But when you make a solar panel, you've got like your silicon wafer, you've got to heat that silicon to 2200 degrees Celsius. At the moment, we use coking coal to do that, take away coking coal, you've got to do something else. And there are alternatives, but they haven't been costed and calculated, because they didn't have enough of the data to be stable.

Chris Keefer  8:05  

Is that like electric arc furnaces? Is that the only real replacement for those kinds of process temperature rates?

Dr. Simon Michaux  8:10  

No, you can use biofuels. So electric arc, biofuels, or hydrogen? See, Ya see, like a nuclear power plant has got an internal temperature about five 600 degrees. Right. So that's not going to help us. And so, see, see all of these things work. And you can do it on a small scale, but you try and scale the buggers up. That's when the trouble starts.

Chris Keefer  8:36  

And I think that's the problem with so much of the popular media coverage. Our sense of what's possible comes from these these, again, sort of breathless media articles. And one has to think when you when you really assess, you know, how starving a lot of journalists are that there's a certain amount of any, even the sort of publications I mean, obviously, they're a bit starved as well, we're seeing a real crisis in media. But the sort of advertorial nature of some of the writing around these pilot projects, again, really does leave out, you know, these considerations of scalability. And I mean, perhaps it's just a limitation of the folks writing these these stories and scalability is a hard concepts to grasp without a overall knowledge of of supply chain chains and heavy industry is that is that kind of your read? So

Dr. Simon Michaux  9:21  

you've got that those issues, but as well as you've got a series of ideologies, which are forming to be effectively echo chambers, because we haven't actually done this yet. And so we are a we're only talking about it still, you know, the, the amount of renewable power that we brought online is impressive, but it's nowhere near what we need to do when we get serious. Right, so we haven't actually crossed the threshold yet of actually sort of doing this properly. And there's a number of things here.

Chris Keefer  9:51  

So just briefly, you know, the hydrogen to run, you know, steel plants, for instance, is that requirement for hydrogen Narration factored into your study? Because 170% expansion actually doesn't. I mean, just get from a historic perspective doesn't seem enough to run those processes as well. Does it include the hydrogen production?

Dr. Simon Michaux  10:10  

No, no, it doesn't. So So I've assumed all coal fired, steel production goes to electric arc furnace, about 30% of the coal industry's there already. So the hydrogen to make steel. When that when this study came out, there weren't numbers publicly available, where I could actually use them to the point where I could do calculations like this. So I referenced the hybrid project, which is what we've got here in Sweden. And But moving forward. So this whole study was to make a point now, and the point was that the people who control our world now, and I'm talking about the banking sector, what do they think? And they still talk in terms of economic growth, like 2% growth, help us do 2% growth, don't bother coming. I heard them say that. Right. And the other one was, you know, as a as a presenter in the C 20. That actually advises the G 21. Year, and the G 20. Rep came and said to us, Look, if you can't help us do 2% growth, don't bother us handling anything. And there's a book we're hanging out with this is the civil service side of things in a civil civil society. Okay, that's it. Right. That's it, we will not accept anything from the C 20. In our deliberations. So the whole C 20 conference was a PR exercise, that we lived in a civil society. And that was that was really quiet. Uh huh. Right. Okay. So yeah, and so the banking sector believes that we are still on the growth machine. And they are still funding and operating the internal combustion engine society. But and their attitude is, I'm not going to do anything until you can show me how to make money off you, or how you can show me how to destroy a competitor. I actually heard them say that too, in a banking meeting, right. And this is why nothing's changed. So there's a lot of talk. So the guys that actually think the future is either going to be the same as it was last 50 years, or we're going to fall back on this thing called the dream, Trent green transition, and it's all sorted. And their attitude is you go on sorted out, whoever goes in first, will make the market take all the risk, and then we'll step in and take the markets from that. That's the right attitude. And what that means is nothing actually happens. So for the last 15 years, we've been talking in platitudes that have been largely the same since 2008. Things haven't really changed that much.

Chris Keefer  12:41  

And so far, you know, in terms of where the money's coming from, for the limited, you know, so called energy transition that we've had so far. Therefore, it's not coming so much from the banking sector, but more from government subsidy, or

Dr. Simon Michaux  12:53  

government subsidies been driving it and the banking sector have been supporting it. But they're sort of doing about well, we'll step in when there's a real market.

Chris Keefer  13:01  

And I would gather sort of supporting it in order to harvest subsidy as well.

Dr. Simon Michaux  13:06  

Yes, that's right. And everything's about money. And the banking sector through predatory predation is their basic means of operation. And so they have been supporting it, but we haven't really, it's all been the stuff that's been able to get up, it's been forced to be the only stuff that is economically viable when they're in competition with fossil fuels in terms of cost. So they've been driving the cost down, and a lot of the studies that are saying about the green transition, look at market cost, and finally getting their act together to actually be in a position where that cost can be driven down. And, and they predict predicting like that the renewable energy technology, technology will become cheaper than fossil fuels. But before we get there, we've got supply blockages. And so might you say my work was to talk to those guys. And once you understand that, their plan is not going to work. The whole thing is put to one side and we move on to what do we do instead? And there are options on the table for that.

Chris Keefer  14:07  

Your your reason for saying that this option won't work is there simply aren't enough minerals to make it happen for the first generation of

Dr. Simon Michaux  14:15  

First of all, this the scale of the problem is so large that we've completely unprepared for what what we're looking at. We don't have the time to manufacture so many things so quickly. Like we've we've you know, in Europe committed to like 32% non fossil fuel by 2030. Now, that's that's seven years away guys.

Chris Keefer  14:37  

And your TriCity this is this is all energy, is that correct? Correct.

Dr. Simon Michaux  14:40  

Correct. And Finland has actually committed to renewable targets to be carbon neutral by 2035 for the whole country, for the whole country. So the the sheer size of this is huge. They're committed to things without doing the math on what's involved. And I'm getting calls from you know, groups like the Helsinki urban So one commission that and they said, look, we've got a problem here. Because now that we've committed to this, the people, we're asking to do things on our behalf just won't. They just said, this is not possible, leave us alone. And so they've starting to see that they're in a bind. Now they're starting to do it.

Chris Keefer  15:15  

What do you see it just as another tangent here? I mean, what do you what do you foresee happening as these commitments that politicians are making, you know, just don't come true? Does that what impact does that have on on public opinion? Like there's there's perhaps a lack of skepticism now of of the targets that are being said, but what do you think happens when they actually don't come true? Or when, you know, for instance, you know, electric vehicle mandates, you know, result in a fleet of electric vehicles that simply can't be charged reliably?

Dr. Simon Michaux  15:44  

So that's something give me a bit of thought of, and the answer is not very nice. Right now, because what we are, I thought we're about at one political cycle away from the great unwashed, the voting public, realizing that all these promises have been made for their future, by their democratically elected the leaders, were never going to happen because they hadn't done any work. Yet, the number of power stations they think they're going to bring online is enormous. They're bringing on some, but nowhere near enough, right. And so it's going to occur to most of the public that they will never, ever actually going to do this. And they're going to realize it all at the same time, all over the world. And I can't blame the other party, because it's been going on for 20 years.

Chris Keefer  16:28  

I mean, I think another element that's interesting here is, you know, we're building you know, some new generation that tends to be the unreliable kind. And, you know, the infrastructure we're coasting on to back it all up is aging rapidly as being run and stop and go fashion that ages that even more quickly. I mean, I'm thinking of Australia here. Where are those coal plants that are really end of life, but they've they've been leaning on them hard and actually doing I guess, some refurbishment because of a realization that they're, they're needed. That's my big worries, right? We're running on sort of the reliable stuff is legacy legacy infrastructure. That's, that's not getting any investment for climate reasons. But also, it's just, it's just old.

Dr. Simon Michaux  17:08  

Well, the era, the era of history coming into the next 10 to 20 years, could be described as play silly games win stupid prizes. Dumbass decisions made have consequences down the track. And so far, we've been able to get away with a lot of that, by sheer the effectiveness of the existing system, the existing Momentums. But But if we're trying to build something fundamentally new, it's everyone's giving lip service. Yeah. It's it's called the Green two step. Sure. We'll do it later. Sure. We'll do it later. Sure. We'll.

Chris Keefer  17:45  

And that's and that's because and that's because the financial institution, I mean, partially, I guess, but that's because the financial institutions are not convinced yet. I mean, I guess they're a little more numerous running the numbers and saying,

Dr. Simon Michaux  17:55  

yeah, yeah, well, that's, that's cool. For example, they haven't made a refinery in the United States since the 70s. Because they haven't had the oil to process that. I don't know if that's still the case. But it was the case when I looked at this couple of years ago. But if they can't justify the source, they're not going to finance the infrastructure. It's due diligence. So you've got the politician class and making promises. But to actually bring those promises to bear involves a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice by most of society at the same time, which is not politically correct to suggest. Right, then you've got the finance class that is not really convinced anyway. Or they're waiting for someone else to take the risk. The conversation I heard at a battery capital investment group, was the center of the European Central Bank gets up and says, right, okay, we want to do this, we want to invent a battery industry for Europe. Okay. And so but then all the bet all the private sector banks that will, okay, whoever steps in first will take all the risk and lose all the money. This is what Tesla is doing with Elon Musk make the market first. And then other groups coming in behind him to actually take his market off him. Right, that's, that's his risk. So the bananas look, we the private sector won't move on the battery industry until there is a market for us to make money from. Everyone wants to be the third owner of the gym, where the Mark has already been developed. And the risk has already developed and they step in and they buy the product, when it's ready to go on make capital, they don't have to do anything. They just sit there and collect money. Right. And so whoever moves first is going to get scalped by everyone else. So they're all looking at your we're not going to move first. So then they collectively turn to the European Commission central bank, and it says, right, you guys are telling us to do this. There is no market yet. So you will then go and make the market and we'll take it from you. Thank you. And the ACB goes, well, we can't do that because you know, they just don't have the money for it. And then you know, they're under pressure. To behave responsibly, but they're printing money behind the scenes, and if someone looked too hard that they'd be in a lot of trouble. Right? So European Central Bank's, the European Commission won't allow that. Sorry. And so every single Well, we can wait. And so everyone's like, like birds sitting on a fence watching each other. And that's why nothing's happened. And so they don't mind. There was a book by Naomi Klein that talked about disaster capitalism. Yeah, the shock doctrine. Yeah. That's how these guys actually think. They don't care if there is misery, because that misery usually comes with money, opportunities without rules. And that, that's unfortunately, how things are actually operating now. So anyway, so if we're going to take out a, say a coal fired power station, which is st Available 92% of the time, coal stary pretty reliable, right, we've got to replace it with many, many, many, many solar stations that are smaller. Right, but because of the weather constraints, and solar radiation, they're only available 11% of the time. Now that is based on the energy observatory, the global energy observatory that in 2018, what did each of these systems actually delivered? Not what they promised? And

Chris Keefer  21:16  

then why not just Europe? Will worldwide worldwide capacity factor? Wow, that's

Dr. Simon Michaux  21:21  

low. Yeah. So and when was about 24.9, because it wind doesn't blow all the time. And engineering has got to the point where that's, that's up to around 33%. Now, but still, when you build these things, most of the time, they're going to be standing idle, not producing power, because of restraints. So you've got to not only build lots that to replace capacity, you've now got to build out lots of dormant capacity for when the wind blows. And when the wind wind blows on the Sun radians is okay. And that's that's the information I was going to show you so, so to replace, we are currently just 46,000 power stations, including fossil fuels, right, and we need to bring in 607,000 new stations to replace the oil gas and coal systems for that reason. So we're talking about a lot of capital investment, and a lot of it is going to be standing idle, because you're you're at the mercy of the weather, and then you've got other problems. So back to the problems, we don't have enough time, we don't have enough capital. Even if we did have the time. That's that's a study for someone else. Right? Then we get to the promo, let's say we did the capital and the time, we don't have enough minerals in the ground to deliver. The reason that's important, less about 1% of the vehicle fleet is electric vehicles. So most of the ice fleet is vehicle fleet is still ice. And renewable energy is still sitting here sitting around, say four or 5% of the primary energy pie. So the non fossil fuel system hasn't been manufactured yet constructed yet, and what it's not constructed can't be recycled. And the sort of stuff that we want to use is comparatively exotic metals like lithium and cobalt, to do it are rare earths. Right. And there's just not the metal in the system to recycle. And our mining is done in trace element quantities compared but we want to stop mining like steel. And the people who are suggesting this have no concept of what they're suggesting the mining industry must do if they're to deliver this.

Chris Keefer  23:27  

So your your critics are claiming that your calculations are off. And there's some alternative models, which say, you know, do we have enough minerals to power this clean energy transition? Yes, you know, will we will we blow through our 1.5 Celsius budget to produce these minerals? No worries. So, why are these? Why are these modeling studies clashing? What what variables are being assumed that are different? Help me understand that.

Dr. Simon Michaux  23:58  

So, okay, I What I've done is, instead of actually, I've done something fundamentally different to everyone else. Most of the studies will, for example, looked at if we were to expand existing capacity, and they'll use the past to predict the future. And they'll use very abstract things. And they'll use like calculations for that encompass whole systems. What I've done is said and they'll look at like, we will replace like, 5% of the system at a time, then I'm looking at full replacement of the existing system, which at some point in the future. So I've gone out and counted up the number of cars, cars, trucks, commercial vans, buses, and all that. Then I went to trains and then went to maritime shipping and then went to aviation. Most of the studies look at just passenger cars and lately, they're starting to look at trucks as well now. Right? And so that's that's diff And number one, so

Chris Keefer  25:00  

you're taking the net zero people at their word. And perhaps these other studies are being a little bit more limited, cautious, maybe even a bit more realistic about what we can actually change more humble in in the goal that you're saying

Dr. Simon Michaux  25:12  

collation is, it's a straight calculation. Question, How am I, let's see if you can get how many vehicles are there in the global transport fleet? In terms of cars and trucks?

Chris Keefer  25:24  

No, it's I think it's in the billions to 2 billion,

Dr. Simon Michaux  25:27  

it's actually 1.4 billion as a conservative estimate. Right, but now the World Economic Forum released a report in 2019. That put some numbers in there, when you actually extrapolate it out, they had to add in 45 million. Right. So what's happened is the size of the transport fleet has been grossly misunderstood, or at least misquoted. Right? And so when they sort of say, oh, we'll need X amount of metal by this time, they haven't even got the number of cars. Right. Right. And then, so what I've done is a straight engineering calculation. It's brutally simple. So there's no extrapolation. It's a case of, we need 600,000 passenger cars, we need 160 2 million trucks, whatever the numbers were, but number of trucks, number of cars, and for each vehicle class, I got a commercially available representative. Like the Toyota Mirai, for example, is a electric vehicle. That it's a medium sized car. And we've got the stats for it like, what performance does it do? Like how many? How much power would it take to drive 100 kilometers? That's known that's stated. And so I've been able to actually sort of collect that kind of information. And the battery size is known, the battery chemistry is known. Right. And so you have a series of known things as you got a representative for each class. And I've done that for the whole system. And then I've actually gone back and projected What did actually happen in 2018, in terms of power generation, if we were to expand one sector and shut down another sector. So there's no extrapolation in that at all, where things have gotten into a very gray area, for me was the power buffer, storage, wind and solar, highly, highly intermittent. It's all over the place. Now, you've got to our power system has to balance perfectly. Supply has to balance the demand to a scale of about a million for the second, some very complicated engineering, to actually get that to happen, they will happens in the background, we can't have a situation where supply goes up and down. Now at the moment, the way we actually do this, in Europe, in particular, is we trade power between the grids. Like each country, no country actually makes just enough power for what they need, they either make too much or too little. And they traded amongst themselves to make sure everything balances out. So that's how things are done. And it's done. balanced in particular with the gas industry, gas is very flexible, it can go up and down and it can actually meet meet things nicely. Now, wind and solar, according to a used an IEA prediction for the 20 2050 mark energy market, you know, the energy mix. And then I added some inland things to that, in that mix, about 70% of the grid is wind and solar. At the moment, wind and solar is quite small. And so when it varies, it's a simple matter of actually balancing it with another external power grid, usually guess. And that's how things are done at the moment. But when we actually move into such large systems, we're in an uncharted territory. And now we need to balance them ourselves. So the question is, how much power buffet will we need? If wind and solar were to be completely self sufficient remembering there's such a large grid now Net Zero America when I actually sort of looked looked at the report and pulled it apart in fact, the reason I the a couple guys smeared me in print in Finland and mainstream newspaper, and they said, Look, this works, this works rubbish, we've debunked it, it's not worth looking at. And they said some rather unkind things in print. And when we actually invited them in to talk to them, we finally got out of them that their belief that the tenets be capital investment guys, so when engineers their belief in what the buffer would be needed was based on what netzero America did. And they said five to seven hours, I'm running on 28 days. There's just in five to seven hours. So that difference is the bulk of the raw material requirements. So what's happened Here is a estimate of minerals needed is now become very dependent upon the outcomes of a relatively obscure engineering requirement. And that requirement hasn't really been looked at very effectively because we haven't needed to until now. Right? So now in net zero America, they do a nice simulation, they have a series of scenarios, and they work out your power load, there is a demand and your power supply. And sometimes it's higher, sometimes it's lower. And they have for technologies to actually absorb when things are too high, and then push it into when when it's too low and matches up. Right. So what they're doing there is they're looking at short term variation only, or their idea of long term as they've only got to manage like a couple of days. So they'll hold a little bit of power, and they'll move forward a couple of days later. Now, the other three technologies have their problems, but the thing is, they're looking at short term fluctuations only. They are not looking at long term fluctuations. Now, long term. So the difference in solar radiation is like how strong is the sun? The difference between winter and summer is pretty clear. In winter, we get less sun than in summer. Right? Did that a fair statement? And there's there's plenty of data to show that. And so a lot, like a lot, a lot different. And when it's in excess, so if it's got to be a stable system, right? And it's six months of the year, we're actually over the actual specification of what's possible, that power needs to be collected and stored for about six, maybe seven months. And then in the winter periods, when you're under specification has to be released slowly, over the following six or seven months.

Chris Keefer  31:52  

I mean, this just seems so silly. Like why even bother modeling it?

Dr. Simon Michaux  31:56  

Well, they haven't. This is the problem. This is actually the thing though, netzero America guys just didn't consider this. It. It's this is such a complicated. That's

Chris Keefer  32:06  

true America, I mean, to just really, really simplified, at least as I've heard, you know, Jesse Jenkins kind of summarize who's you know, I think one of the lead authors on that serve America and one of the most prominent clean tech energy modelers is that you sort of have three parts to your power generation system. One is the weather dependent stuff. Number two is the clean firm, which I guess is nuclear, geothermal, maybe hydro, although obviously seasonally intermittent California start relying on hydro right now as a clean, firm, baseload reliable source, and then and then fast burst, which I think is batteries kind of for voltage modulation. But you know, what strikes me is the issue with this is that your clean firm assets need to be able to meet 100% of demand. Because if the weather shifts, the bad if we have a dunkel flower today, like in Germany, no, no wind, no sun, you need something to underpin peak demand. Now, I guess they're saying with a little bit of storage, you could get your clean firm down to a lower, you know, you wouldn't have to meet all of your grids demand. But that does seem like a rather monumental task. And as you're saying, if you have a period, a continental wide period of no sun, no wind, that's going to be a significant chunk of storage requirements.

Dr. Simon Michaux  33:20  

Windows, the next problem, where we have these massive peaks and troughs, where you have a couple of days a window really hard, and a lot of power is generated. And then you have like, a couple of days where it's a low, we can drop, it can change by as like 48%, in some of these studies,

Chris Keefer  33:35  

in a period of hours. Yeah.

Dr. Simon Michaux  33:40  

And so the size of these peaks, then dictate how big a buffer you actually sort of need. And so the true number, I don't know what I do think after looking at some of these studies, in the paper, that's sort of coming out 28 days is not enough, either. And the answer is, we've got to change our requirements of why we need the buffer. So you remember, wind and solar represents 70% of the global energy mix now. 70%. So 70 right

Chris Keefer  34:09  

now or you mean in the future, in the

Dr. Simon Michaux  34:11  

future in the future, like the the I the IEA prediction of the 2050 Graduate energy mix, that's, that's where I took that from, and if we're not going to use wind and solar water options, and that's an interesting question. And so something that is so well, you know, volatile and vulnerable and changes all over the place to vulnerable to the weather. That's now 70% of our world energy mix. Right? And if we got massive changes of seasons between winter and summer, five to seven hours is not it's not for that purpose. It's not going to isn't it's not going to work. So the net zero guys, and look, I've undertaken a fairly complex study, so I do sympathize with this. You've got to have your hands on so many different variables. So many different sectors, and they just didn't consider it just wasn't part of the calculation. As were the minerals, that was a bridge too far from.

Chris Keefer  35:09  

And I mean, part of what strikes me and I think we're gonna abstract in a second and get just towards some of the foibles of of modeling and the consequences in the way they're interpreted. But, you know, I'm seeing a lot of very unrealistic modeling occurring, you know, is close to home in Ontario, where we've got, you know, some projections for 2050, which involve, you know, about a third of our grid being hydrogen without without really an acknowledgement that hydrogen needs to be produced. It's an energy carrier. And, you know, that kind of capacity level is insane. But in any case, I think it's because the model has to make netzero a reality, you know, we have to bend the curve, because, you know, I mean, don't get me wrong, I think climate change is, is a potential catastrophe, you know, on a on a, certainly on a timescale of centuries. But, you know, if you're facing an apocalyptic threat, there's a kind of psychological pressure on the modeler is like, well, we've got to make the fucking work, or at least if the political imperatives are like, you know, well, we're mandating that we're going to get to this level of emissions or net zero, the, you know, it's incumbent upon the modeler to produce something for the politicians to show it's possible, in a way in which I think energy modeling, you know, in the 50s 60s 70s, you know, wasn't as imbued by these sort of psychological factors to create, you know, frankly, really unrealistic

Dr. Simon Michaux  36:25  

outcomes. Few things to say there. I've been in contact with a couple of groups now that do this sort of work. And I used to swear by these models, and I'll come to that in a second. They will quietly told you not all, but the ones that have actually spoken about this part have quietly told me that they're under considerable pressure, not to say anything bad news like that, that might cost jobs, or that might suggest people will lose money, or anything other than we've got this under control, and everything's fine. Right? And so anything, so I actually asked him directly after showing them the data, that we've actually got a localized peak oil in November 2018. That's more complicated. By the way, art Berman has recently done some very nice work to show where people's at crude oil may well peak in November 2018, but total liquids is increasing versus being supplanted by the gas industry. Right. And so anyway, so we're in this window now, where where we've got observations on the ground, it's no longer a theory. And so I asked them, guys, why didn't Why don't you talk about this, and so we can't. And so there's this groupthink pressure not to go certain places. Now, when I did this first generation work in, I think the first generation was developed, but not published in 2018. And I dependent on a lot of these models that are now quoting that everything's fine. And that there are things like know, what is the energy consumption of electric vehicle battery, and a lot of it's based on old technology. And so the assumptions were badly wrong. And, but when I all put them together to do an engineering calculation, and then I've seen got reviewed by a couple of guys in Toyota, who actually produce electric vehicles, I got taken to the woodshed. And they said, Look, you know, your models, right, or badly wrong. And then then they pulled up, this is what we are actually got on the market now. And these are the energy specifications. And they're badly wrong from what your model is suggesting. And so what ended up doing in the next generation of work is taking it all such models and going to commercially available technology where the specifications are published. Right now, it's a straight engineering calculation. It's not a model at all. It is literally a series of Excel tables sum together. There's, there's no, there's no predictions or extrapolations or modeling in there. And the only thing that's left of the original modeling is the energy return on energy invested stuff. But even that, it's there's there's a lot of screams of pain in the literature in the moment about people have flaming each other because they can't agree on what it should be done. And so now it's to the point where you make a point to show a graph, and then you leave it alone, and then it doesn't take part in any of the calculations from that point forward. So I've decoupled completely from the modeling world, right? And so and which is my methods are different, which means my answers are different, but you have to take them in the right context, you have to remember why this work was done in the first place. People saying what you're suggesting is irrational. So that's the point, the existing plan is irrational, and we should do something else. And that's something else is interesting, but we've got to go and do it. At the moment, our best and brightest are tied up and things that I think aren't that useful.

Chris Keefer  39:48  

Well, let's, let's shift gears a little bit, you know, to see the implications of of, you know, some mineral depletion. We've talked about that a little bit more and what I think particularly interested in As you know, our current mining is geared around our current energy system and current industrial system. And we're talking about very different different types of minerals required for you know, so called Clean Tech technologies. And you mentioned you know, taking, you know, rare earth minerals and trying to produce them on a scale like we do iron ore right now, if we get the niche minerals and turning them into whatever the equivalent is for steel, but let's, let's

talk about that a little bit. We hear a lot about rare earth mining, rare earth processing, what are some of the rare minerals and how does their mining differ from, you know, the traditional, you know, steel, aluminum, etc.

Dr. Simon Michaux  40:36  

So, when we mined rare earth elements are things like Indium or yttrium. Germanium is not a rare earth, neodymium, that's a rare earth. And so hang on, so, yeah, okay, so the railroads are things like neodymium lanthanum, per se, Diem, dysprosium, terbium, and hafnium. Right, and they use electronics, like your iPhone, for example, will have a lot of rare earths in the end. So technology has become very complex and requires exotic materials. But then you can turn around and say, Do we actually need that technology so complex, because it's, it's whim based is not function based. Now, if we went back to the good old fashioned Nokia phone, that was all the rage, what, 20 years ago, and I could make a phone call and send an SMS, that's all I need to do. Right. And if you 3d printing to make it, then how much of this stuff do we actually need. And so So you when you talk about what's demanded, and what's needed. Now, so with these elements, a lot of the trace elements, if we're looking, a lot of them are what's called carrier minerals, or byproducts. You don't mind Indian, for example, directly, your mind zinc, and indium is often in the zinc concentrate, and you get it out as a byproduct. So what that means is Indian production is entirely dependent on zinc production and zinc metal price. And when you're looking at a poly metallic process plant, which is a mineral processing plant that gets more than one element out, right, if if you're optimizing to one element you can do and you can do an efficient job. But the moment you start going for more than one, you've got layers of complexity, and you start losing efficiencies all over the place. Because you're trying to sort of pull levers and twiddle knobs to try and get the best and, and things often break down, it becomes very complicated. So what we're getting is lithium production, for example. Lithium is the one that we currently everyone wants to focus on lithium ion chemistry. And one of the things I'm trying to get out of out from under and said, look, let's not do that, let's, let's see, what what are we up. So in 2019, whereas the world mined 95,170 tons of lithium. And that sounds like a lot, and it's used for various applications. Now, we actually want to mine to actually replace using lithium ion chemistry what we have around us, where most of this, you know, going through all sorts of different chemistries, we need 976,274,657 tons for the first generation. Now, that's the calculation at the end. If we were to mine at 2019 rates, how many years will we need to hit that target? The answer is about 10,000. It's a little bit more than 10,000. Now, so then you say I'll just open more lithium ions. And so some people will say, well, we can just pull lithium out of seawater as you can. But can you do it, you know, effectively and viably

Chris Keefer  44:02  

And can't you just can't just print more money to make it economically viable? Right?

Dr. Simon Michaux  44:06  

Yeah, well, that that's like I said, the ideologies that we've actually been going, if you would have some resources, reserves and resources under the sea, it is still less considerably less than the amount of lithium we need for the first generation. And remember, everything wears out. And 20 years later, or 10 years later, we do it all again, somehow. And that puts pressure on the recycling side of things. So so the current generation of work was to include what would happen if we included resources? And what would happen if we include undersea resources? And the answer is, is still not enough. And so you did, there's lithium in the air, it's in the it's in the sea, okay, but it's at such a low grade. That the amount of of capital investment you'd need to get a unit of lithium is simply not worthwhile. And so you've got to have some sensible engineering in there.

Chris Keefer  45:00  

So the I guess the summary of you know, how rare earth mining difference is, is different than traditional mining is that it's not necessarily the mining itself, because you're you're mining more common metals, but it's it's all in that processing, which I guess is, you know, China dominates at presence it's is it dirty, nasty, environmentally harmful? Or is it just the general tendency of Europe and the US not to really like having mines, and so

Dr. Simon Michaux  45:25  

China dominates the rare earth element production, because they're prepared to do things that we weren't. They don't have all the reserves. So there's other rare earths are not necessarily that rare in terms of reserves in the ground, there are actually other places. The things that you would have to do, though, to process and extract those metals, is not considered economically viable in countries like Europe, or the United States. But not too hard. Let China do it. Because what they do do, they do stuff that we would consider illegal, not only in things like human resource management, but but also in terms of like, they'll do things like, use hydrofluoric acid, to actually dissolve things where hydrofluoric acid is a compound, where if you even just a tiny little bit of touch your skin, that's enough toxicity to kill you. But they'll have open lakes of hydrofluoric acid in the process plants. And yes, people die. And they're quite happy with that situation when they're not but but, you know, the people on the ground certainly aren't. But But, but so the reason China dominates the world at the moment is they're undertaking all the industrial jobs that are not very nice, that no one else wants to do. Right. And that's why they've got all the production. So anyone around the world who's producing rare earth concentrate, they would sell that concentrate to a smelter in China. And away they go. And so yeah, and so usually rare earths are a byproduct of something else. And they come in on a much smaller volume. So we actually want to know, the existing internal combustion car at the moment uses mainly steel, and aluminium, a bit of magnesium and a bit of copper. And that's essentially it. Right, but now we've got all this exotic metal metals like cobalt and nickel, and, and lithium, and, and all the rare earth elements that we want to run the electronics. Right. And we want to extrapolate that out as the foundational piece for our industrial civilization for car. So now to the volumes involved. It says that oil system took a century to build, and more than a century to build at a time when we had really, really good energy resources. And at a capital and mineral resources were relatively high grade, and they were considered abundant. And none of that's true. Right. And so now we've got a really fragile finance system that's not in a fit state to do in depth, industrial reform, we've got the largest human population we've ever seen. We're embedded in a environment that's deteriorating fast. And we're running out of energy to and now we want to replace this whole system of peak oil. Now we want to replace that whole system with very fragile energy. And in lots of effective,

Chris Keefer  48:17  

okay, so one of the things that you hear a claimed is that, you know, are existing mostly, you know, thermal,

you know, sources, certainly of electricity generation, but I guess processing and other things are thermodynamically inefficient, and a move to electrical engines means that you don't waste you know, 50 60% of energy in waste heat. And the other thing you hear is that, you know, well, the existing fossil fuel industry results in a lot of mining, certainly coal, but I think when you think of, you know, hydrocarbons, liquid and gas hydrocarbons as a form of mining, won't that decrease enough so that the burdens of of mining for these more exotic minerals are not too intensive. I mean, those are two things that are that are frequently brought up. So conceptually,

Dr. Simon Michaux  49:03  

those statements are true, but you've got to put them in the right context. Right so an internal combustion engine for say passenger cars about 25% efficient 20 to 75% of the energy is lost. And electric vehicle system at the moment is 73%. And it's getting better right so the amount of so what you do is you take a car petrol car, work out the number of kilometers It drove in a year, right and then so if that car was an electric vehicle, how much energy would it require to drive that same kilometer distance and that's that's what I've done right so physical work done and so I haven't actually considered the energy required in mining at all in any more calculations. It's more the the the renewable technology requirements to run the system as it is assumed that all the mining stuff just appears magically. Now. phenomenal amount of energy is used to push the fossil fuel systems around like In the maritime shipping in the simulation that he looked at the two classifications of oil and gas, and coal, to actually sort of move things around, I actually took them out of my calculations because we don't need them anymore. Right. But it was, it was a big chunk. And so, all right, you might say, Well, you've got to put in a lot of infrastructure in for to drill for oil, and extract at night. And all right, and you might have to mined for coal, coal happens to be one of the most efficient mining methods we have. When you get into the metal infra stuff, it's much, much more capital intensive, because you've got a crush and grind it and then floated whereas coal used to get up and use it,

Chris Keefer  50:39  

you just put a conveyor belt, so straight to the the power plant and burn it there essentially got turned into dust and burn it,

Dr. Simon Michaux  50:46  

you've got to put it through a coal wash plant, which involves things like removing ash. So there are a few processing steps, but they're nowhere near as onerous as to say, grinding a gold deposit to say 20 microns. So the idea that so first of all, if you go from ice to evey, yes, we do have a massive efficiency gain. Right? So that's embedded in the calculations. All right, now we've got 1.4 billion vehicles travel, a little under 16 trillion kilometers in a year, go. How much energy do you need to surface that. So this is the chain reaction that is set off. Also, now we've got to include the rail industry, some of its electric, some of its not, so any diesel locomotive now gets replaced with Nevada, I looked at an electric powered with a battery bank, and I looked at a hydrogen fuel cell system. And the hydrogen fuel cell was considered more sensible, because you actually had, instead of like a massive battery bank that weighed like, a massive amount, a hydrogen fuel cell was much smaller in size, so could go for a longer range. And there are assumptions like that, and they are they economic? This is not that sort of thing. It was, it was it was a much cruder calculation, you know, I'm saying short range vehicles or electric vehicles and all long range of the hydrogen. That's not sensible in terms of economic market, but it does provide a rough cut, in terms of for the global system at large. How much materials will we need? And I couldn't find anything that came close to that, which is why I did it. And so So the second question is, if we actually stop mining fossil fuels, the mining of fossil fuels is a tiny, tiny fraction of the rest of mining. And so then we're and so if we're to go green. So you know, if I often say if the environmental movement doesn't join hands with the mining industry, their green transition will not happen. Right? Because then you need to mine a buttload of lithium now, and cobalt and nickel, get on with it. And so what that means is they're going from an air war, stop the carbon stop the carbon to a land war, strip mined the planet. Right, both are going to be disastrous. So yeah, and so taking coal out of the system, is a very small amount of the mining involved, and the energy you lose in doing so it's not really replaceable. There's the sheer volume of it.

Chris Keefer  53:18  

And of course, those fossil fuels are certain amount of fossil fuels are need to be burned in order to fuel mining. We talked, you gave the example last episode of and it was very nice. It was a pretty detailed description, very efficient of, you know, an open pit coal mine, and basically how preposterous that was to fully electrify. I mean, this is run by like a 300 megawatt gas plant powering the Crushers and the bucket excavator but, you know, the rest of the stuff covered by diesel, simply not viable to be replaced there. You know, some some listeners pushed back and said, there are some mines which are already basically electrified, I think those are more kind of underground mines. Is that is that a tiny fraction of existing mining? That's basically mostly electrified or

Dr. Simon Michaux  54:06  

no what what I've got is, no, no, no, no, you got to unpack this. Most of the actions on a mine site are electric. Right, so your your power plant is electric. But to run that electricity, your mind's off in the middle of nowhere. So you've got a gas fired power plant, and a pipeline of gas will go out to it, or coal, whatever it is, and powers that power plant and that powerplant powers everything else, things like your drag lines are on the unit of an extension cord. So there's a lot of stuff that's already electric, especially on the ground stuff. Where we get into trouble is the truck and shovel fleet. Right, and so these big trucks, you got a diesel generator that generates electricity, and that electricity is then run to use electric motors at the wheels. And that's how they run at the moment. And so, it is true that a lot of mining is already electric, but the parts that are not electric How you're going to replace it. So at the moment, they've got the idea of the electric battery truck,

Chris Keefer  55:04  

or like overhead cables for certain sections to decrease the size of the battery.

Dr. Simon Michaux  55:10  

So now let's consider that electric truck like you've got like this, lots of videos of them racing up and down, and they've got the speed. Can they actually run for the same time, like a diesel fueled truck and run for I think it's like 14 hours before it needs to fuel up. And so so one shift comes in and refuels. And the next one comes out. How long can that battery powered vehicle run for before it needs recharging? And then how long does it need to recharge? Now this is important because a mining operation is designed around its equipment, right? How many trucks and shovels it will need will depend on their capability? Like what's what's their load time? What's their travel time? What downtime do they need in terms of maintenance, now we've got downtime for charging. So those numbers I've not seen. And but I'm very skeptical.

Chris Keefer  56:01  

And we went into a fair amount of detail in the last episode on this. So we'll refer people back to that. In the few minutes we have left. I just wanted to we've addressed kind of the rare earth elements to some degree. That polysilicon is obviously a huge part of the puzzle in terms of solar production. It's in the news because China's contemplating a solar wafer technology export ban. But briefly,

I mean, I've heard aluminum, a very intensive mineral described as solid electricity simply because of how much electricity is needed. I've heard polysilicon is maybe even worse in that regard.

Can you tell me a little bit about about polysilicon production mining

Dr. Simon Michaux  56:44  

full before I do that, I pulled up an old example that I used. So we've got this is all shifted with a diesel fuel truck in Bingham in Escondido, which is a minor South America, in Escondido, it's a copper mine, about a third of the total energy consumed is in the haulage of the ore from the pit floor to the pilot plant. The horror is so long. So if you've got a 255 ton capacity in this truck, right, and we're going to take away the trucks and we're going to bring in donkeys donkeys are now going to take the the ore from the pitfall up to the it was it was a joke. Right? How many donkeys do you need to replace? How many? It Bingham Canyon, they cut 5000 tons of rock for a ton 10 ton an hour of copper. And so to do that, you'd need 66,000. Donkey loads an hour. Right?

Chris Keefer  57:39  

So it's kind of this is the kind of thing that could almost be I mean, again, what's being described as not quite as ludicrous as this. But I mean, this is I think what you're modeling is doing, you're not trying to say that this is, you know, I think certain modelers are modeling in such a fashion to make it possible. And you're you're sort of taking a good honest look at modeling what folks are saying is possible. And boundary conditions, right,

Dr. Simon Michaux  58:04  

I'm showing a hard boundary condition. And I'm proposing instead of saying it's not possible, I'm saying we need a better plan, do something else. And that something else is entirely possible. But we got to do it,

Chris Keefer  58:15  

we're gonna have to get into that in a subsequent episode and the time we have left just humor me by by giving a little polysilicon overview.

Dr. Simon Michaux  58:22  

So silicon. Solar panels are made from silicon and silicon is the most abundant element on planet Earth. But you need very pure silicon, what's called metallurgical grade silicon. Not just any silicone will do, because the more impurities you have, the more damage you're doing to your smelter in actually getting rid of those impurities. So they have what's called metallurgical grade silicone. So we take that and we heat it to 2200 degrees Celsius, to make a silicon wafer. At the moment, this is done mostly in China. And they use coking coal, to develop that heat. And this is missing entirely from my study, the heat needed to generate to actually manufacture goods. Okay, we've got steel in there, but there's none of the other materials are in there. So to make a silicon wafer, you've got an enormous amount of energy to heat the material. And then then then purify it and then go to the next step. I've got the numbers, but I don't have them to hand at the moment, but at the moment, we use coking coal to do that. And you can use an electric arc furnace to do that. Or you can use biofuels or you can use hydrogen. But each of those options have their problems, especially when you consider how much of those options will be needed to expand by its replace what we use coking coal for now. Now I'm talking quantity, how much coking coal is used and the calorific energy in that coal is now replaced with say biofuel, or hydrogen, and you're going to make that hydrogen and then transport and store and all the rest of it. So the whole lot of the manufactured technologies that we've got to phase out FOSS fuels are intimately dependent on fossil fuels to produce them and get them into place at the moment. Now, I'm not not saying it's not possible, but I am saying is the engineering process flowchart to make something entirely without fossil fuels from one end to the other doesn't exist yet. And a lot of that thinking just hasn't been done.

Chris Keefer  1:00:21  

And perhaps it could be done as a tiny pilot project. But again, I mean, when we're talking about scalability, it seems almost as preposterous as the donkey example.

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:00:30  

Well, a lot of the a lot of the, on the donkey example, assume 200 kilograms on each donkey, that's a big donkey. So so the studies have been done to put the numbers together in a thumbnail sketch that show how silicon wafers are actually made. But I haven't actually seen anything that scales up to the volumes needed. In fact, that's on my list of things to do. When I get around to it, is what does fossil fuels actually do? For us? We're pretty good with oil, that gas and coal, we have no clue

Chris Keefer  1:01:02  

why think we're gonna have to park it there. You know, there's so much more I'd like to explore with you. You know,

I I've come to I think the sad realization that fossil fuels are just too good. Our entire industrial civilization has been built around them, they are a pretty unique, well, I guess, an entirely unique form of energy in many of their applications. And I just I just, you know, I'm kind of chuckling to myself with the idea of, you know, using biofuels, for instance, for polysilicon production, because we're also apparently relying on them for things like bioenergy, carbon capture and storage, to make our netzero curve fit the model. You know, when taken in some, you know, what we need to rely on to replace fossil fuels. It just seems preposterous. But

you know, that's my Gestalt. And I don't think it's the public assault, I'm not sure if it's your Gestalt. But

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:01:56  

no, no, it's not. I was one of these guys shouting from the rooftops, we're doomed. Here's proof. Right. But now I've come to the conclusion that there are solutions. The solutions aren't for everyone, because people won't look at it. Right. But if we change, so we're talking about the supply end of the equation equation, if we change the demand in the equation by being smart, change the paradigm, change the ideology, change what we're trying to do, right, all sorts of solutions start falling out. And it requires all problems are put on the table at the same time, with all solutions at the same time. And every stakeholder has to sit around that table and have a frank discussion of what's possible, and what's needed. And if we cut away the bullshit, we actually have some things we can approach and then do very simple things, like make batteries out of something else other than lithium. Wow. You know, so all developer and electrical engineering technology that can manage variable power that doesn't need a power buffer. Something that can cope with a very varying current varying voltage, varying frequency, if you can do that, and then that then then we can make it applicable, then we don't necessarily need a large buffer if one at all. And if that's the case, a lot of this material requirements scale back. Right. So the solutions are there, but we've got to look in the right direction. And that's what I'm trying to communicate to people

Chris Keefer  1:03:24  

certainly going to demand a significant decrease in demand and significant degrowth. It sounds like to to make this work. And I mean, is that amount of Is there enough fat in the system to be trimmed, that won't actually impact on, you know, some of the gains of the Industrial Revolution, like massive drops in childhood mortality, increase in lifespans? etc? I think that's that's kind of an open question.

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:03:47  

That that's a very complex question. Because we live like kings. Now, compared to people say 1000 years ago, the average person does really well. And we've become very complacent and very dependent on our technology,

Chris Keefer  1:04:01  

and not eager to go back, as Hans Rosling puts it, to die in harmony with nature, when when the average woman had six kids, and only two survived, and that's how we maintain a stable population.

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:04:12  

But hang on, we've got to look at the gains we do have, we now have education and knowledge of science and engineering, unlike anything that's been seen before, if we were to apply that to these problems with new limitations, innovation changes, what would happen if we made things out of hemp and bamboo? Instead, what would happen if we scaled back the need for mobile phones and we developed a very primitive Nokia phone similarly, we scale back what we needed and the average human being evolved in capability to not be too so dependent on technology anymore, and so on and so forth. There are solutions there.

Chris Keefer  1:04:49  

I guess there's the argument that you know, a reliance on biological organisms on on things like bamboo simply results in more land conversion and then some incense, you know, just as coal saved, you know, what's left of European forests. A reversal means a return to a greater use of, of, you know, so called natural fuels or natural materials, you know, plastics, save a lot of, you know, a lot of toward what is it there's a certain kind of turtle that used to be used for horn rimmed glasses, I think the hornbill turtle,

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:05:24  

so you can make plastics out of bioplastics. And so but can we can we harvest that much more out of the environment sustainably new? So now we have to make cutbacks.

Chris Keefer  1:05:35  

Yeah. Okay. Well, let's, let's leave it there. I mean, daunting problems we face. Thank you for shining a light on them. I hope it I hope it brings some some reality to the discussion to the decision makers, but but definitely quite a sobering analysis. So thanks again for coming on Simon to shed a light.

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:05:54  

You're welcome. So the future is actually work will be done. And after we get through the hotpot, we do have something to contribute still.

Chris Keefer  1:06:04  

question is Will that work be done by donkeys? And can they actually carry kilograms? I used to actually, I literally used to work pack horses. You know, we put pretty heavy loads of moose meat on you know, big Belgian and pressure on horses. You know, I think I think 200 kilos on a donkey is gonna break it's back to be honest. But yeah,

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:06:25  

especially for the 66,000 runs it out.

Chris Keefer  1:06:28  

All right. All right. We'll leave it there. Thank you, my friend.

Dr. Simon Michaux  1:06:34  

Right? No problem.

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