What river floods in London

In 1989, the electrical engineer Richard C. Duncan predicted the end of human civilization in his Olduvai theory. Within a decade, the uneven development of the availability and demand for energy resources resulted in a Malthusian catastrophe. The constellation of the exhaustion of fossil energy sources and population growth and the associated increased production of food would lead to a global energy and health crisis in just ten years. If this scenario occurs, energy production per capita will fall to the same level as in 1930 by 2030. The age of industrial society would not exceed 100 years.

"Olduvai" is the name of a 48 kilometer long gorge in the Serengeti in the Arusha region of Tanzania. It is known among paleo- and anthropologists as one of the most scientifically significant areas for studying the early stages of human evolution. The animal fossils and man-made tools found there testify to the development of communal action and social interactions among the first people similar to us.

Reverb: the expansion of a sound, resonance; also a further effect, a retroactive effect

Today, now, the low-hanging sky is burning red and yellow in much of the southern hemisphere. For weeks, months, we have been observing the strange clouds and waiting in vain for them to vanish into thin air again. The plumes of smoke were created here and have returned in their eerie form after circling the planet, signaling the fires that trigger thunderstorms more frequently than usual.

It is estimated that one and a half billion animals died in the endless fires. Strong wind determines the weather in our hardly recognizable landscape. The animals' migration patterns seem confused and unpredictable. Violent storms have flooded the streets and corners of Spanish villages with unknown sea foam. Sandstorms ravage rural areas in New South Wales, Australia. Brown rain falls in the southernmost part of the Japanese island of Honschu. In Kenya, the red river floods that devastate the plains and the coffee fields are almost part of everyday life.

Apocalyptic blackouts, electrical activity in the atmosphere, and erratic fluctuations in power supplies are also affecting the most developed countries in Europe, North America, and East Asia. Big cities become the most dangerous places when the power grid fails. The urban areas will soon be depopulated. As quickly as these metropolises have grown and piled up in high-rise buildings, the buildings will be abandoned as soon as the electricity and basic supply are interrupted. The rubbish problem is being exacerbated exponentially by the climate crisis. The danger zones have already been identified and recorded.

Inexplicable acoustic phenomena have occurred, such as the so-called Hum, an uninterrupted, deep hum or hum that is not heard by all but by too many people to officially deny its existence. Originally, citizens of Taos, New Mexico became aware of the supernatural sound. Now it is already bringing a community together in an acoustic experience and is being heard more and more frequently in various locations across the UK and Indiana state. It's getting louder and louder all over the world.

Oscillation: repeated rise and fall, mostly in a time frame, a unit of an important value or fluctuation between two or more stages

The theory of Malthusianism states that population growth is slowed down and kept in check by other "control bodies" as soon as it exceeds the growth of the available vital resources; of disease, famine and war. In the past few months, a pandemic the likes of which mankind has never seen has struck the planet and claimed countless deaths. The new coronavirus and its accelerated spread affects the entire population of the planet. The extent is deliberately cached with the publication of figures that exceed predictability, while groups of experts in biology and medicine are researching a vaccine. This modern plague exposes the collapse of the underlying systems: the health system is overloaded, recessions set in, entire cities and countries are prohibited from going out and racist opinions about the differences between western and eastern cultures are becoming louder. The virus has been detected in more than a hundred countries. The number of infected people is increasing every day. Containing the contagion seems impossible.

New “health” and “tech” brands such as Airnium and Breatheasy are working with the major companies Amazon and Nike to develop ventilators that are designed to take style elements into account as well as health issues. The offer now includes home air purifiers, customized means of transport, self-cleaning gloves and protective bladders. This development shows how divided the understanding of the situation is: the younger generations, whose life expectancy exceeds the civilizational expiry date of the “Olduvai Gorge”, are preparing for the hostile conditions of a world devastated by climate change. Their parents and grandparents continue to deny this precise state of crisis and reject any responsibility for it.

The distance between young and old is further expanded by the scientific discovery of a spectrum of audio frequencies that only people under thirty can hear. The new medium of communication with age restrictions is used in political manifestos as well as for advertisements in order to reach the respective target audience in a certain way. The post-war generation and Gen X are the least likely to spend money on luxury goods and are therefore viewed by many brands as an irrelevant segment of the market.

It is well known that sound has long been used for military purposes, in war zones and in training marine mammals such as dolphins. What is new, however, is the positive use of sound waves. Certain frequencies accelerate plant growth; the so-called "sacred frequency" of 111 Hz, which was measured in the rooms of Neolithic monuments and temples and supposedly stimulates the activity in the right prefrontal cortex of the human brain. The use of the frequency has now led to positive results in the treatment of animal species whose flight from forest fire areas has triggered post-traumatic stress.

Reflection: a change in the direction of a wave when it hits a medium, which sends the wave back to its starting point

There is reason to believe that the evolution of hominids into prehistoric humans took place in the area of ​​the Olduvai Gorge, which is important for paleontology and anthropology. Apart from developments that are short-term in an evolutionary sense, such as increased life expectancy especially in the western world, immunity to old diseases, improved use of the potential of the brain, the expansion of the attention span and the ability to remember, changes in the fight-or-flight response , the human species has hardly changed biologically since it left the gorge. On the other hand, more and more young people suffer from depression and other complaints in our age dominated by the media and the hyper-accelerated exchange of information. Markets keep collapsing as the problem of overpopulation worsens and more and more people flee the dire situations of their homes every day. Our present is the age of oppression, the expression of a broken civilization.

In his essay on Olduvai's theory, Duncan defines the industrial society period as the length of time between the points when per capita energy production reaches 37% of its highest value, first during growth and then during regression. According to this calculation, industrial society has a life expectancy of no more than 100 years. After this period, our modern civilization would enter (or rather stumble) into a new, subordinate era.

Refraction: the change in direction of a wave when passing from one medium to another or the gradual change in one medium.



The essay was translated by N. Cyril Fischer.

The original, English version of the text is in the 21st edition of two point seven published. The magazine can be ordered here.

Image sources: contribution image (Dongyi Liu), hall, oscillation, reflection, refraction