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Shane Simonsen: The End of Cheap Energy, is Mad Max Our Future?

Posted on Apr 10, 2024 by in Podcast |

Shane Simonsen discusses the energy crisis and how industrialization was built on the resource base of cheap coal and oil whose quality and quantity is depleting which will affect the complexity of modern society and exacerbate economic and political issues. The elites are dealing with a changing resource base they’re struggling to manage and they have a lot less power than we imagine. The real power lays with global multinational corporations who have co-opted nations and political parties. The loss of modern conveniences should see us move back to a more community-oriented setting. We’re headed into an era of techno-authoritarianism but at some point that technology will fail. The real trouble is when elites start turning on each other. The future of warfare and society could be biotechnological.

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Going to Seed Podcast

Haldane B. Doyle

About Dr. Shane Simonsen

Shane Simonsen grew up in subtropical Australia as a biology obsessed nerdling, consorting with blue tongue lizards, breeding mantis shrimps and molesting octopi when he wasn’t cultivating rare succulents and carnivorous plants.

He trained as a research biochemist, then made just enough money to retire before middle age to his experimental farm. There he works hard to develop novel and orphan crops that rely on zero inputs, including domesticating a staple tree crop from the Jurassic. He blogs regularly on this work at Zero Input Agriculture on Substack (or see older Zero Input Agriculture posts here) and will write a book about it someday.

Apart from farming he finds time to imagine the distant post-industrial future, creating fictional worlds that could quite possibly come to exist (though hopefully with less heart-slicing drama). His style of hard science fiction relies on extensive research into real research.

Sci-fi fans are tired of apocalypses. Star-trek futures have slipped out of reach. That just means it’s time to imagine a future that’s both realistic and inspiring instead.

*Podcast intro music is from the song “The Queens Jig” by “Musicke & Mirth” from their album “Music for Two Lyra Viols”: (available on iTunes or Amazon)