Brace for Peak Impact

Now that I have a demographic tool, I can ask questions relating to when we might hit peak power as a civilization. I use power (rate of energy use) as a proxy for all manner of resource dependencies, as energy usage correlates strongly with materials use and ecological impact. Plus, it is a readily-available measure.

How an Aboriginal woman fought a coal company and won

In 2019, Australia was on the cusp of approving a new coal mine on traditional Wirdi land in Queensland that would have extracted approximately 40 million tons of coal each year for 35 years. But that didn’t happen, thanks to the advocacy of Murrawah Maroochy Johnson, a 29-year-old Wirdi woman of the Birri Gubba Nation, who led a lawsuit against the coal company in 2021, and won.

The Climate According to Numbers

The point is, the physical science basis is a term intended for science, and it makes most sense within those boundaries where its meaning and limitations are understood. It’s when it crosses the border to society that things get weird, where you suddenly you wake up to discover everything from forests to farms to whales have been reduced to carbon quantities, and life itself is being financialized.