Rattle's new book challenges key assumptions concerning the role of Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in globalization processes. The author argues that while globalization is predicated upon a strong, extensive, and interconnected global ICT network of products, processes, and services, the real environmental and health benefits remain far from certain. ICTs have been promoted as the next economic wave with the potential to generate jobs, wealth, and prosperity to surpass that of the industrial era. It is assumed the environmental impacts will be negligible or even beneficial in this shift toward a service economy. Rattle investigates these current and expected trends in ICTs and their potential contribution to sustainable development. His book is an indispensable overview for researchers and instructors in globalization, Internet Communication Technologies, and environmental anthropology or sociology, as well as a resource for policymakers in environmental protection, sustainable development, sustainable consumption, and the social role of science and technology.
Foreword: Global Social Narcosis at the Speed of Light: How the Internet and Communications Technologies are gobbling resources, eradicating cultures, and destroying the planet, and what can be done to stop the runaway train
Chapter 1. ICTs and Globalization: Asking Important Questions
Chapter 2. The Poverty of Affluence: Sustainable Consumption and Global Environmental Change
Chapter 3. Virtual Morality: Globalization, ICTs, and Sustainable Consumption
Chapter 4. Lulled to Complacency: ICTs and Energy and Materials Consumption
Chapter 5. The Efficiency Paradox: Intensity and Consumption
Chapter 6. From Social Meanings to Global Conformity: ICTs and the Global Commons
Chapter 7. Pathological Tendencies: The Health Link
Chapter 8. Incantations and ICTs: A Global Ideological Pervasion
Chapter 9. Redefining Reality, Transforming Values
Chapter 10. Global Transformations: Serious Considerations and Promising Opportunities
Robert Rattle is an independent consultant working for NGOs, business and governmental organizations. For the last two decades, Rattle has conducted research and provided consulting services in the areas of sustainable development and sustainable consumption; ecosystems and human health; ecological economics; impact assessment; information and telecommunications policy; Aboriginal well-being; and globalization.
"A timely, engaging read [...] Highly recommended."
– Choice, August 2010
"Computers, cell phones, and other novel information and communication technologies surround us, and will certainly shape our future. Can they help us move toward environmental sustainability, or will they make our impact on the environment worse? Computing Our Way to Paradise? offers the most comprehensive reply to those questions now available. It covers all the key issues, and, more importantly, it explores the big picture, the ways in which such technologies form part of our worldview, our capitalist economy, and our resource- and energy-intensive way of life. Computing Our Way to Paradise? reveals that only by understanding and acting on these fundamental matters can we fulfill the environmentally positive potential of our information and communication technologies."
– Josiah Heyman, director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies, University of Texas at El Paso
"This book amplifies the growing fissures emerging in our collective understanding of ICTs and how they can benefit sustainable consumption [...] .This book is a timely and useful contribution to the debate on how we are to deal with unfolding social, economic, political and environmental chaos. It adds clarity to the unsustainable trends in consumer driven lifestyles, how ICTs drive them and how their extra-ordinary potential for a better future has yet to be fully harnessed."
– The Learning Edge, Fall 2010