The Olduvai theory was first introduced by Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D. in 1989. He presented it in his paper, "The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road to the Olduvai Gorge", at the Summit 2000 Pardee Keynote Symposia of the Geological Society of America, on November 13, 2000. The name is a reference to the Olduvai Gorge. The Olduvai theory provides a modern argument supporting the Malthusian catastrophe.
The Olduvai theory states that the industrial civilization will have a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years.
"The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road to the Olduvai Gorge"
The Industrial Civilization is defined in this paper as the time from when energy production per capita rises above 30% of its peak to when it falls below 30% of its peak. This peak, according to the paper, occurred in 1979.
This decline is predicted to occur in three stages:
- the Olduvai slope (1979–2000)
- the Olduvai slide (2000–2012) - 'may resemble the "Great Depression" of 1929 to 1939: unemployment, breadlines, and homelessness'
- the Olduvai cliff (2012–2030) - 'I know of no precedent in human history.'
The paper contains a quote that Sir Fred Hoyle made in 1964, stating that if the industrial civilization does collapse, with the fossil fuels and "high-grade" metallic ores gone, no species will ever reach the same level of technology as we now enjoy.
- The Hubbert peak theory, also known as "peak oil," an influential theory concerning the long-term rate of conventional oil production and depletion.
- Future energy development
- Great Depression
- "The Peak Of World Oil Production And The Road To The Olduvai Gorge" by Richard C. Duncan (2000)
- "The Post-Petroleum Paradigm—and Population" by Walter Youngquist (1999)
- "Forecast of Oil and Gas Supply to 2050" by Jean Laherrere (2003) (PDF file)
Two of the references for the paper are other websites. The one that does not work is as follows:
- Duncan, RC (2000a). The Heuristic Oil Forecasting Method: User's Guide & Forecast #4. www.halcyon.com/duncanrc/ (Forecast #4). 30 p.
This site is no longer accessible. Some versions of this site, however, are available in the Internet Archive at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http%3A//dieoff.org/page224.htm.es:Teoría de Olduvai