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The Environment and Global Media and Communication Policy

Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller

We envision a toxic-free future, where each new generation of technical improvements in electronics products includes parallel and proportional advances in social and environmental justice. Our goal is environmental sustainability and clean production, improved health, and democratic decision making for communities and workers most affected by the high-tech revolution. (Vision Statement, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, quoted in Byster and Smith 2006: 111)

A major feature of the knowledge-based economy is the impact that ICTs [information and communication technologies] have had on industrial structure, with a rapid growth of services and a relative decline of manufacturing. Services are typically less energy[-]intensive and less polluting, so among those countries with a high and increasing share of services, we often see a declining energy intensity of production … with the emergence of the Knowledge Economy ending the old linear relationship between output and energy use (i.e. partially de-coupling growth and energy use). (Houghton 2009: 1)

One of the newest and most valuable areas of communication research to emerge in the twenty-first century focusses on how the media frame global awareness of the transnational risks associated with climate change and other threats to the Earth’s well-being. An Environmental Communication Network specializes in such questions and publishes Environmental ...

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