In developed nations, information systems are now an indispensable part of most people’s lives. In developing nations, information systems are a means of enabling communication and exchange where no such infrastructure existed before, and that in turn creates many new opportunities from education to economic development. But the development of the global communications network, and the equipment attached to it, has come at a cost. The reality is that these services are not “free”; quite apart from the financial cost, the production and use of these systems is affecting the global ecosystem which supports life on earth. This publication examines how the information systems which support our lives work, and how their ecological footprint has grown to become a distinct part of the human impact upon the planet.
© Association for Progressive Communications, 2012