The Olduvai Gorge Theory

the Stone Age was "sustainable"
civilization won't outlast fossil fuels

related pages

The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road to the Olduvai Gorge, Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D.

www.energycrisis.org/duncan/olduvai2000.htm

"the collapse will be strongly correlated with an 'epidemic' of permanent blackouts of high-voltage electric power networks -- worldwide"

This theory argues that "sustainability" equals living at a hunter-gatherer level of technology. But, hunter-gatherer societies also need far more land per person than agricultural societies. Any effort to deal with Peak Oil and other resource limitations that ignores population is not likely to be effective.

The challenge of the 21st century is to avert this worse case scenario and to mitigate the crash as best as possible.

 

from www.dieoff.org

February 2007
Olduvai Theory updated

Richard Duncan's "Olduvai Theory" postulated that modern industrial civilization cannot outlast the energy resources it consumes, and consequently the aftermath of Peak Oil and other "peak resources" crisis will inevitably lead to complete collapse. The original version of "Olduvai" is

The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road to the Olduvai Gorge,
Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D.
www.energycrisis.org/duncan/olduvai2000.htm

An updated version of "Olduvai" has been posted. A copy is at

www.warsocialism.com/duncan_tscq_07.pdf
The Olduvai Theory: Terminal Decline Imminent
Richard C. Duncan, PhD

If there is a way to keep the ecological and resource crises from devolving into "Olduvai," converting the global war machines toward serious efforts for genuine sustainability would be an important prerequisite, although this would have been much easier decades ago.