One-only Peak LO26685

From: Heidi and Dan Chay (
Date: 05/16/01

Replying to LO26660 --

[Addressed to Richard Duncan]

Hi Richard,

I enjoyed your UN trip report as I read it on energyresources. Would you
mind if I shared it to the learning-org list to which I have subscribed for
the last nearly five years? ? With your okay,
I would include it in the following message.

Best wishes,

Dan Chay

Richard Duncan replied:

>Yes. You're most welcome.

>Let's get the word out. And keep up the good work.

>Best regards,

>Rich Duncan

>Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D.
>Institute on Energy and Man
>5307 Ravenna Place NE, #1
>Seattle, WA 98105

In LO26660, Winfried Dressler quoted At:

>Our present technological activities have been described by a revered
>cosmologist as a "one-only peak" and not as another plateau upon
>successive plateaus (ordinary waves) of the past. The reason is that we
>had been driving our technology with fossil fuel which nature prepared
>through many millions of years. By compressing (turbo-charging) these
>millions of years into two centuries of consumption, this high speed
>became possible. However, we cannot sustain this technological activities
>indefinitely. In fact, the summit of the "one-only peak" may have already
>passed us some years back. We will have to redesign our technological
>activities on renewable sources of free energy. But we need organisations
>to do it. That is why the oil companies, as Rick have noticed, are
>investing so much in new "waves of organisation" (using Teresa's

>Humankind is in much deeper trouble than we may think.

Winfried then wrote:

>You will find a picture of this "one-only peak" technological soliton
>wave under (fasten your seat belts and then dare to click)


With the 7E's and entropy production in mind, I think (Univ. of
Washington) Richard Duncan's Olduvai Theory is a natural complement to Jay
Hanson's Dieoff Theory:

Richard Duncan recently was invited to give a presentation to the United
Nations. His report of that experience with yet another ordinary
organization (OO) is funny if not sad:

 ----- Start od Richard Duncan's report -----
The following is a UN 'trip report' in response to several inquiries.

On April 25, 2001 I gave an invited presentation, "Energy, Institutions,
and Sustainability: What This Means to the Nations of the World," to the
UN Commission of Sustainable Development (UNCSD) at UN Headquarters in New
York. The UNCSD meeting organizer had previously given me "strict
instructions" to [sic]: (1) "Use 'Sustainable Development' in the title of
your paper." (2) "Do not mention nuclear energy because it is too
controversial. Several nations have petitions against it." However I knew
I still had the upper hand. Nonetheless, those "instructions" made it
clear that I was traveling to "The Land of OZ." Of course, I had no
illusions about making any difference whatsoever in the course of human
events, but it was an opportunity to explain the Olduvai theory to "Alice"
and "The Wonderful Wizard of OZ."

I arrived at the UN at about 10 am. The first thing I noticed was the long
black limousines disgorging their impeccably attired delegates at the main
gate. The UN complex is HUGE. Lots of flags, statues, murals, fences,
guards, gates, etc. Expensive land along the Hudson River. Cherry trees in
blossom. Crowds of tourists. The official HQ complex is bounded by many
NGO (non-governmental organization) buildings. One of them is (lightly)
referred to as "The God Box" because it houses NGOs from the world's
countless "religious organizations." Next came the official picture ID.
Plush offices and smiling secretaries behind computer monitors got the job
done in less than an hour.

Then came lunch (overlooking the East River) the with the CSD meeting
organizer, the moderator, and the second speaker (I was the first). The
lady organizer again admonished me, "You are not to mention nuclear
energy." (I nodded.) She then asked the second presenter to detail his
topics. He had two: (1) "Solar Power Satellites" (SPS), and (2) "Stem
Cells for Meat Production." SHE WENT BALLISTIC! "Your are absolutely not
to mention of stem cells and meat!" (She is Hindu, I believe.) Startled,
the second presenter instantly acquiesced (and later stuck to his
promise). But his hard-copy handout let the cat out of the bag [pun
intended] as follows:

Stem Cells for Meat Production
Umbilical Cells of Cattle (Steer or Cow), Goat, etc. stimulated to grow
muscle tissue.
No need to produce the whole animal to get meat.
Saves land, animal feed, water, energy.
Theoretically possible, but research is needed.

No bones about it. Five hundred pounds of solid sirloin steak! The Land of
OZ -- not back in Kansas -- but in uptown Manhattan.

The meeting was from 1:00 to 2:30 PM with about 20 UNCSD "delegates"
sitting around a large horseshoe shaped desk -- "united" of course.

Per his business card, the session moderator was a gentleman (Ph.D.)
representing the following NGOs: "Caribbean Action Lobby, Caribbean
American Chamber of Commerce, International Institute for Technology
Exchange, Panama/US Development Consortium, Southern Diaspora Research &
Development Center."

As mentioned, I was first to speak. The lady organizer handed out copies
of my 21 page paper before she learned that it contained the "N" word (see
above). Then I used colored slides (cartoons, pictures, data, and graphs)
to explain and update the Olduvai theory. For example, the Olduvai "cliff"
event moved to 2007 from 2012, due to cascading blackouts that begin in
the US, then spread worldwide. Thus my main goal was accomplished. There
was just one comment afterwards by a very insistent lady: "But surely the
engineers and scientists will think of something. Just look at what
they've done with computers!" My response: "You may be right."

Next came the UN University professor of "Stem Cell Sirloin" fame
(explained above). His main (and only) energy recommendation was to use
Solar Power Satellites (SPS) to solve the world's Global Electricity
Issues. "Where will the extra electricity come from? ... Energy from
Space! No greenhouse gasses. No nuclear waste. Enough for the world." His
handout contained the following:

Space Solar Power Options
Build solar satellite elements on the earth, assemble in orbit, and beam
energy to earth.
Build solar panels on the moon from lunar material and beam energy to earth.
Build solar satellites in orbit from asteroids or from lunar material and
beam energy to earth.
These are in addition to wireless transmission of energy from earth sources
to other locations on earth.

Afterwards, a gentleman (perhaps from Africa) asked the professor a
telling question: "Solar Power Satellites might be OK for the rich
nations, but how about the poor nations?" In response, the professor went
on and on to explain (by arm-waving) how "The cost of SPS will come down
with innovations, new materials, and mass production. Eventually everybody
will be able to afford them." Later the gentleman who posed the question
said to me, "In ten minutes he never answered my question."

I should add that, IMO, the UN University professor made one serious
technical error in his SPS presentation, but none of the CSD "delegates"
caught it. However, I can't discuss it at this time.

After the CSD meeting, I took the rubber-neck tour of the UN HQ complex.
Large colored portraits of the UN Directors from Trigvi Lee (1946-50) to
Kofi Annan (1998-2002) adorned the walls. Self congratulatory publications
were stacked for the taking. For example, The Earth Times for April 2001
headlined: "MAKING JOBS AND DOING GOOD. Not just a pretty place: Combining
tourism and sustainable economic growth in the Caribbean resort of Punta
Cana." And so it went. We finished up at the UN General Assembly Building
(an impressive cathedral-like structure, stained glass windows and all).
Our guide's parting words were conclusive: "The United Nations resolutions
are not binding -- they are not "laws" -- because all of the 180 member
nations are Sovereign States. Each can do as it pleases."

BOTTOM LINE: "Institutional catatonia" I call it. Fred Hoyle said it well
when he explained why governments, scientists, etc. do not exercise any
control over the course of human events. Sir Fred's words still ring loud
and clear just as I heard them at the University of Washington long ago:

"To return to the point at issue, who then is in the driver's seat? If not
governments, if not scientists, who? Nobody. We are traveling in a vehicle
that guides itself, just as our species has arisen from an evolutionary
process that guided itself throughout past ages. It is my belief that
nothing has changed, we are still in the grip of natural processes, we are
not in charge of our own destiny. S We are still being swept along by the
tide of events, like a canoe in the rapids." (Hoyle, F. Of Men and
Galaxies, 1964, p. 61 & 67)

Rich Duncan
 ----- End of Richard Duncan's report -----


Dan Chay


"Heidi and Dan Chay" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.