Economics Explored
Economics Explored
May 23, 2023
French Journalist Guillaume Pitron argues the Digital World is Costing the Earth - EP189
Play • 1 hr 8 min

French journalist Guillaume Pitron discusses his book "The Dark Cloud: How the Digital World is Costing the Earth" with guest host Tim Hughes. The book explores the environmental impact of the digital world. Pitron delves into concerns about energy usage, e-waste, and the carbon footprint of the internet. The episode concludes with a debrief of Tim by regular host Gene Tunny on the conversation. 

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About this episode’s guest

Guillaume Pitron is a French journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written two books, published in some fifteen countries, about the natural resources needed for new technology. He has been invited to share his ideas in the French and international media (Le Figaro, BBC World Service, Bloomberg TV, El País, La Repubblica) and at international forums and institutions (Davos, IMF, European Commission, Unesco).

Link to Guillaume’s website:

https://www.en-guillaumepitron.com/

What’s covered in EP189

  • Introduction to this episode. (0:06)
  • What is the dark cloud? (1:27)
  • There is no digital life without rare earths. (3:54)
  • What is the real cost of digital technology? (8:06)
  • What’s the cost to the environment? (13:07)
  • What can we do as individuals to make this better? (17:38)
  • Facebook's Lapland data center. (22:22)
  • Facebook uses hydro-electricity to run its servers. (24:25)
  • What happens if there’s no water? (28:05)
  • What is the future of the internet going to look like in 10 years? (33:18)
  • Are there any governments around the world that are taking steps forward to regulate the internet? (41:02)
  • What can be done to address this issue? (43:59)
  • What were the main takeaways from the conversation? (48:11)

Links relevant to the conversation

The Dark Cloud book:

https://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/books/the-dark-cloud-9781922585523

Digital Cleanup Day:

https://www.digitalcleanupday.org/

Jevons paradox:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

It appears the Amiga hard drive Gene's neighbour in the late 1980s had was a 20MB hard drive:

https://bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/product.aspx?id=534

Thanks to Obsidian Productions for mixing the episode and to the show’s sponsor, Gene’s consultancy business www.adepteconomics.com.au

Full transcripts are available a few days after the episode is first published at www.economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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