posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 09:13 PM
California has just declared its first power emergency of the year as temperatures begin to hover in the low 90's. The 5th largest economy in the
world has not completely recovered from the last crisis.
Downtown Los Angeles was a baking 91 degrees F early Monday afternoon and many heavily populated cities in the valleys surrounding the city were
also in the low 90s F, according to the Weather Channel.
California is still recovering from its 2000-2001 energy crisis when a shortage exacerbated by market manipulation by energy traders led to blackouts
and the bankruptcy of its largest utility, San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric.
California has just stepped one foot closer to the Olduvai Gorge
, which is an expression used by scientist
Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D to describe the process by which civilizations decline due to energy requirements. It is much easier to adapt to increasing
energy prices, but rolling brownouts create uncertainty and wreak economic havoc. Is California about to slide into a new Dark Age? According to Dr.
Duncan, it just might:
Although all primary sources of energy are important, the Olduvai theory postulates that electricity is the quintessence of Industrial
Civilization. World energy production per capita increased strongly from 1945 to its all-time peak in 1979. Then from 1979 to 1999 ? for the first
time in history ? it decreased from 1979 to 1999 at a rate of 0.33 %/year (the Olduvai 'slope', Figure 4). Next from 2000 to 2011, according to the
Olduvai schema, world energy production per capita will decrease by about 0.70 %/year (the 'slide'). Then around year 2012 there will be a rash of
permanent electrical blackouts ? worldwide. These blackouts, along with other factors, will cause energy production per capita by 2030 to fall to 3.32
b/year, the same value it had in 1930. The rate of decline from 2012 to 2030 is 5.44 %/year (the Olduvai 'cliff'). Thus, by definition, the duration
of Industrial Civilization is less than or equal to 100 years.
[Edited on 30-3-2004 by Zion Mainframe]
[Edited on 30-3-2004 by Nerdling]
[Edited on 31-3-2004 by Kano]