[ Dr. Richard Duncan, a petroleum engineer and Director of the Institute on Energy and Man, has accomplished extensive modeling of petroleum resources. His Olduvai theory states that the life expectancy of Industrial Civilization is less than or equal to 100 years: 1930-2030, based on his projections for the ratio of world energy production and population. Previously he has stated that the begining of the ‘Olduvai cliff’ marked by permanent blackouts would occur around 2012. He has now moved that date forward to 2008. The full text of the update will be available soon -AF ]

The final draft of the Olduvai update is complete. The update is based on world energy and population data from 1850 through 2003. Prior to submission for publication review, the following brief is available.

The Olduvai ‘cliff’ event has been moved closer to the present by four years: namely from 2012 previously to 2008 in the update.

The other major findings are contained in three paragraphs of the paper’s Summary:


Historic data of world energy production, world population, and the ratio of the two (e) were presented, discussed, and graphed from 1850 to 2003. The graph of e revealed 1) strong growth in e from 1945 to 1970, 2) weak growth from 1970 to 1979, and 3) no growth from 1979 through 2003. The latter interval comprises the historic ‘Olduvai plateau’.

Postulate 2 of the Olduvai theory states, “Energy production per capita (e) will decline exponentially from the cliff event circa 2008 to 2030.” If that is true, then the population in the world’s industrial nations, we argue, will go from about 3.3 billion in 2008 to about 0.9 billion in 2030, a net die-off of about 300,000 people per day in the 22 years from 2008 to 2030.

Mother Nature is waiting patiently to solve for us the problems that we either could not or would not solve for ourselves.