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  Digitalization and the Anthropocene

Creutzig, F., Acemoglu, D., Bai, X., Edwards, P. N., Hintz, M. J., Kaack, L. H., et al. (2022). Digitalization and the Anthropocene. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 47, 479-509. doi:10.1146/annurev-environ-120920-100056.

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 Creators:
Creutzig, Felix, Author
Acemoglu, Daron, Author
Bai, Xuemei, Author
Edwards, Paul N., Author
Hintz, Marie Josefine, Author
Kaack, Lynn H., Author
Kilkis, Siir, Author
Kunkel, Stefanie, Author
Luers, Amy, Author
Milojevic-Dupont, Nikola, Author
Rejeski, Dave, Author
Renn, Jürgen1, Author                 
Rolnick, David, Author
Rosol, Christoph1, Author           
Russ, Daniela, Author
Turnbull, Thomas1, Author           
Verdolini, Elena, Author
Wagner, Felix, Author
Wilson, Charlie, Author
Zekar, Aicha, Author
Zumwald, Marius, Author more..
Affiliations:
1Department Structural Changes in Systems of Knowledge, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Society, ou_2266695              

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 MPIWG_PROJECTS: Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene
 Abstract: Great claims have been made about the benefits of dematerialization in a digital service economy. However, digitalization has historically increased environmental impacts at local and planetary scales, affecting labor markets, resource use, governance, and power relationships. Here we study the past, present, and future of digitalization through the lens of three interdependent elements of the Anthropocene: (a) planetary boundaries and stability, (b) equity within and between countries, and (c) human agency and governance, mediated via (i) increasing resource efficiency, (ii) accelerating consumption and scale effects, (iii) expanding political and economic control, and (iv) deteriorating social cohesion. While direct environmental impacts matter, the indirect and systemic effects of digitalization are more profoundly reshaping the relationship between humans, technosphere and planet. We develop three scenarios: planetary instability, green but inhumane, and deliberate for the good. We conclude with identifying leverage points that shift human–digital–Earth interactions toward sustainability.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-09-022022-10
 Publication Status: Issued
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Project name : European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme
Grant ID : 853487
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Title: Annual Review of Environment and Resources
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 47 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 479 - 509 Identifier: ISSN: 1543-5938