Olduvai Theory And Our Response

Lonewolf shared this link with me, and I (slowly) read it through and pondered this most of the night. It is the Olduvai Theory: Sliding Towards a Post-Industrial Stone Age and it has of course, particular significance towards the future of all humanity.

First off, if you don’t know what this is, it is the representation of human history and the rapid rise and fall of the industrial age.

“the life-expectancy of Industrial Civilization is horridly short.”

How short? The answer may surprise and shock you. Only 100 years, give or take a decade or two at most. That’s it.

This is because of the collapse of non-renewable resources, including energy sources. Industrial civilization depends upon non-solar energy sources for it’s existence, and non-renewable resources like mineral ores. We have already strip-mined the planet of over 50% of these resources, picking off the easy “low hanging fruit” first. What remains is increasingly harder and harder to obtain, require massively intense energy expenditures.

But the Olduvai theory bases it’s claims upon the peak energy usage per human. My comment above extends this just a bit further, logically stating that our declining non-renewable, non-energy sources are also a factor.

Peak energy usage per human has already long since passed, Duncan “fixes” this date as 1977. Since then, the energy “capital” available has declined, at an average of .90 per year. This will increase (rapidly) as we continue to squander the remain world’s resources with abandon (examine Dubai for current and grossly excessive examples).

First off, I think Duncan is quite correct, as this ties directly into the other observations and records of history posted on this blog. Humans have reached their apex of civilization, blowing their one shot to do better:

It has often been said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on Earth, some other species will take over the running. In the sense of developing high intelligence this is not correct. We have, or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only. (Hoyle, 1964; emphasis added)

What I am interested in knowing, is how this will be “responded” to by the globalists, who most certainly are keenly aware of this rise and fall of industrial civilization, and what this will mean to them and their holdings and interests.

Will they simply go along for the ride, like the rest of us, rising and falling back to the stone age? I think not. I suspect that what this means is something quite different then what Duncan and others have suggested because it is horrific in scope and scale.

From a globalist viewpoint, it makes no clear sense to “permit” humanity to exhaust the planetary resources at a breakneck speed, only to have all of industrial civilization fall back into the stone age just as quickly. The future of the planet and all of life itself would (and is) at stake.

From a humanist viewpoint, this would also be troublesome because all of our achievements including things like equality, justice (where it actually exists), democracy (same), education, and other accomplishments including science, medicine, intelligence, communications, computers, etc., would be subjected to the same decline, back to the stone age as the globalists fear.

Both fears are quite correct. Unless a massive energy source is found and developed, industrial civilization will collapse in upon itself, leaving behind a unbelievable garbage dump of useless artifacts spread across the entire globe.

But on the other hand, if such an energy source is found (purely speculative by the way, no such source has ever been found or is likely to be found), we’d simply continue to strip-mine the planet down to the bedrock and below, destroying all of the environment and all other life forms on Earth, until finally, our folly would create the collapse we have been trying to avoid anyway.

In other words, collapse will happen anyway under both scenarios. Unless we managed to springboard ourselves to the stars where we could repeat our voracious habits, we are “doomed” to remain on planet Earth. Moreover, we are doomed to go back to where we’ve already been. The question then becomes how will we exist on this planet? Will we die in a gigantic trash heap? Or on a burned out cinder? I suspect something else will actually happen and this is the focus of this blog entry. Here goes:

I do not believe that humanists nor the global elite will permit the worlds billions to mass-rape the planet forever. This would be the worst possible choice for humanity. Industrial civilization may indeed die, but it need not die everywhere and it probably won’t.

When we think of industrial civilization, we think of manufacture, production, the economy and growth and all the points in between that make modern life possible. Civilization itself is ubiquitous with the term industry, and permitting industry or civilization itself to “quit” is simply not an option for most people in all walks of life.

These people would include most of you in fact, and the world leaders, pundits and politicians. Civilization is deemed highly desirable and reverting back to the stone age is considered by most to be highly undesirable. Be that as it may, we can pretty much surmise that everything possible will be done to make sure that this does not happen (despite civilizations final conclusions anyway, foresight is not a strong human attribute).

It is my prediction that planned (orchestrated) population reduction and resource hoarding will commence in earnest, far beyond what we have already seen, as the tactical response to the Olduvai Theory. Beyond this theory, there is of course the very real impacts of resource depletion and climate change and the inability to “permit” the third or even the second world to achieve first-world living standards. This has already been widely recognized — and a tactical response to this demand will soon commence (imo).

Irregardless of the lip-service we have all seen of fairness, justice and equity for “all” (which is really stating it will be business as usual and especially more “business” and privilege and protection for the world’s elite), the reality of what is occurring in the real world as opposed to our minds is very different. The impoverished conditions of the worlds citizens are most definitely NOT improving and never will. The Olduvai Theory also means we live at the apex of our civilization and it is all downhill from here for the rest of us.

But I also think this means that a tactical response will be deployed in earnest to reduce the worlds populations by several billions (at least), preserve the remaining resources for “technological and industrial centers”, and permit the rest of the world to basically go to hell in a handbasket as far as you and I are concerned.

One step towards this goal is the rise of the police state and global fascism that we are now seeing, especially here in America and England. Controlling the unruly populations with a big stick will be necessary.

You should know that this also ties directly in with the UN agenda to reduce the world population by billions. Even ‘extreme environmentalist‘ agree this “must” happen. USA Today ran an article this year that claimed the United States population would hit “1 billion”, over three times it’s current number, by the year 2100. Nobody in their right mind would agree that this would be a good idea. It is of course, not even possible that this would happen because we will crash long before then, but you get the idea.

We are in fact, all faced with a severe problem, one which must be addressed. If populations continue to climb, we WILL destroy ourselves. If we embark on a genocidal campaign to reduce population, we ARE destroying ourselves, but with the “hope” that we are doing it for the “greater good of humanity and its future existence”. If we do nothing at all, but restrict population to current levels (a total pipe dream, we simply cannot behave ourselves), then all we would do is delay the inevitable a few years.

The other and final option is what I suspect the globalists will actually do, and that is to preserve civilization and industry by reducing world population levels dramatically through various means, including war, genocide, starvation and deprivation, disease and sickness. Selected cities and regions will be established to preserve civilization. As of yet, I do not know where they are.

As horrible as this is, I believe this is the only response they will see as being the “moral choice”, saving future humanity (and themselves) from the ultimate and inevitable destruction of civilization to come. By doing this, they will be attempting to preserve the remaining world’s non-renewable resources as long as possible and this will permit civilization and industry to continue (and their vested interests of course).

Reverting back to the stone age is simply not an option. Everything possible will be done to avoid this including global genocide.

I realize this is not “news” to collapse watchers, but there are a lot of newcomers that read this blog now. This is an agenda that has been talked about for decades and is found deeply rooted at the heart of many global policies.

The problem with it is (setting aside the morality of this issue for a moment) it makes sense. We’ve become too big and too voracious to continue like this much longer. If we do, we will consume ourselves anyway, killing off our entire species along with everything else. If we do nothing — we die anyway. If we do something, the choices will be unbelievably difficult, because it means that most of us will not live.

Fortunately, I myself don’t have to make this choice, neither do you. It is already being made for us. So my question at this point becomes “how do you survive this?” coming genocide? It will happen anyway, either externally imposed upon us by events and circumstances (sooner), or self-inflicted by sheer negligence (later).

This blog has dealt with this issue in the collapse series of articles and entries, but not as specifically as I would have liked. This is in part due to the various natures and abilities of the readership, we are all at different levels of our personal preparations and plans, and not everybody is all on the same page. The blog has attempted to highlight the issues primarily that surround us all from a collapse perspective, rather then detail the designs.

The issues are clear — we are all in severe peril and this peril is growing by the day. It is coming at us from many different directions, but will all involve our response at different times and levels.  How you respond is well, really up to you. I’ve tried not to get into too many details on this because I think each response is different for every person.  In general though, I do think there are common themes that we all need to embrace (read on).

I can romanticize quite easily what it would be like to live in the stone age, but it doesn’t really matter to me, because I will never see it. Your kids very well might however which is why it then becomes quite pertinent to humans living today. But I can’t possibly romanticize what it would be like to live under more tyranny or global genocide, or having to “buy” energy units in order to exist. Well, we do that already, it called kilowatts and gallons and pounds, but I meant under a quota program. We’re all very accostomed to getting what we want, when we want and all that we want. That won’t last much longer.

Quotas are coming by the way, that should be self-evident. In a nation that uses 25% of the worlds energy, but comprises less then 2% of the world’s population, quotas for your energy usage and consumption are coming. Right now, you pay as you go to live the privileged life of an American, and that will always be the case. But you won’t always be able to consume excessive amounts of food, fuel or energy (or even renewable resources like water) forever. They will restrict this with a broad brush as time goes on.

The “answer” to all of this has always remained the same. Humans must embrace a new ethic and a new level of existence if they are to survive much longer on this planet. Since this is not happening (not in America), then it will eventually be imposed upon us by external forces.

The better choice then would be to do it now while you can still choose. It will be the lack of choice in the future that will make this harder to accept then willingly choosing now. You can actually stand a chance to avoid the coming global genocide if you choose now to live independent of the system, instead of being entirely reliant upon it.

This should be self-evident, but in case it’s not, here’s why: the teeming billions that now exist are entirely reliant upon the failing agro-industrial system for their existence. This will only worsen their conditions and existence as time goes on, the Olduvai Theory proves that, as does peak oil, energy decline and resource depletion and climate change.

Those still “in the system” and reliant upon it for their existence will be the first to be affected by all of the above. They will also be the first ones removed in the coming genocide. Whether planned or accidental, the end result will be the same, billions will perish. Therefore, remove yourself (choose) to become self-reliant and take care of your needs as soon as you can, then teach this to your children, who are going to need this the most.

We should be setting up centers all over the world to become self-reliant, but common sense and foresight on the pending issues facing humanity remain ignored. It’s too bad, because we could do quite a lot if we wanted to avoid the other outcome, which I’m convinced will be pretty horrific. Preserving human life is not a strong suit of civilization, which takes and destroy lives with abandon. Civilization (and industry) is insensitive to life actually. This indifference springs forth from the disconnected nature (modern) civilization and industry has with nature, which is the source of all life on Earth.

By becoming self-reliant, you will have made a rather major step towards your own survival and that of your children. The global genocide to come will still be a very real factor, but you will have done what you can, when you can to try and survive this.

Finally, this is after all, your only real choice anyway. If most of humanity (if not all, but I believe the globalists will develop technological and industrial centers for selected membership while they suck the rest of the planet dry of resources) is headed back to the stone age anyway, then take a step in that direction now and become self-reliant. The education you will gain will be absolutely invaluable — and quite essential for your continued existence.


admin at survivalacres dot com

5 thoughts on “Olduvai Theory And Our Response

  • October 26, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    “Anyone who depends on a system that is collapsing will die with that system. The survivors will be those who are not dependent on it.” ~ Jason Godesky

    [aka survivors (if any) are those who have successfully created and maintain their own private system, be they chattel or lord]

  • October 26, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Admin’s scenario reminds me of the movie Zardoz (starring a post-James Bond Sean Connery). In the movie, an elite group of scientists have solved the riddle of immortal life. But to sustain this life, they have formed bubble-enclosed hamlets. They extract inputs for their survival from the outside world, which essentially resembles the genocidal remnants of what was once civilization.

    On a side note, I did want to report on my visit to the San Diego solar show last week. I must say I was disappointed on several levels and Admin’s lessons kept ringing in my ear.

    The technology is still very primitive and relies on fast disappearing mineral resources (silicon depletion was mentioned in one of the sessions). There is no solution to the battery problem – a five year shelf life and very dangerous (lead and fire hazards). Most systems are being manufactured for grid tie-ins. Worse, the production for the vast majority of equipment is being done in China – slave labor (or near slave labor) – with little attention being paid to environmental concerns. On the plus side, a lot of work has gone into simplifying the installation, the solar panels will last between 30 and 40 years, and the ability to absorb the sun and generate electricity will soon become part of standard house paint and windows. We are also approachiing the point where the energy required to produce, ship and install the panels is equal to the power generated over the lifetime of the panel, and optimism is high that power produced will increase with time. But there is NO easy answer – as Admin warned. Without a battery breakthrough, it will be tough to see the technology provide anything that could sustaing comparable living off grid.

    For a rough comparison, I can only point to the cellphone industry. Two decades ago cellphones were gigantic and expensive. This is where the solar industry is.

    To become viable, the solar industry needs to be localized, just like food production. Every city, town and hamlet should possess the skills to manufacture the panels. Can this happen? Sure – look at the way the military has its industrial base spread all over the U.S. But not only will it be very expensive, powerful forces will fight against this just as they fight against local food production.

    For example, with local food certain seeds have been outlawed in Europe because they are not compatible with genetically-modified seeds. Can you imagine outlawing a seed???? It’s like outlawing a weed.

    See link:


    From link:

    “In most places outside of North America, Europe in particular, seed companies selling non-commercial seeds suitable for seed saving are operating outside of the law. Thatâ’s right, theyâ’re selling illegal seeds! These seeds are not in any way unsafe, in fact many of the varieties are the same ones our ancestors ate. They are illegal because all those years ago laws were set up to protect seed companies and make their operations profitable.”

    Given corporate hostility to seeds, what hope do we have that these same corporations will permit us to establish our own energy or water supplies?

  • October 27, 2008 at 6:53 am

    For around four years, I had figure 1. stuck to my cork board at work. Only one person asked me what it meant. When I told her, she literally fled the room with her ears covered, and shouted, “Don’t tell me any more. I don’t want to hear it.” She never came back.

  • October 28, 2008 at 7:46 am

    The Olduvai Theory is an interesting one and goes right in line with “collapse” thinking. I’ve read enough now to understand the role of petroleum in our civilization. The fact that we’re depleting it like morons even today to do nothing more than joy riding is crazy. But we do it anyway….

    The world is headed for drastic change. Admin is right that the world could be headed over the brink, with massive starvation and potentially isolated or walled off parts where some form of “civilization” will exist.

    As much as my mind wants to embrace pessimism, my heart longs for something more sustainable. That’s why growing your own food supply using sunlight as proposed by Pollan is where I’m putting my energy. To do this I need water inputs and some way to pump the water. I also need energy inputs – in this small way solar panels might provide and answer. And I inted to cultivate seeds. Growing one’s own food can be rewarding, more nutritious, and much better for the earth.

    Is there enough soil available to sustain present populations? Perhaps. As Pollan states, we just do not know.

    One thing is for sure – our technology will not survive unless it is powered by some other source. And as the author of the Olduvai Theory states, current data suggests that we are living at the end of the “golden age” of cheap energy. Alas….

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