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Big Tech Goes Green(washing): Feminist Lenses to Unveil New Tools in the Master’s Houses

Drawn tantalum wire
Transactions by American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (1871). Source: Internet Archive

This article discusses the greenwashing of technology from a feminist perspective. It was initially published in Global Information Society Watch 2020: Technology, the environment and a sustainable world: Responses from the global South and edited for this magazine.

Posters, videos, speeches.

The word “forest” was displayed everywhere, together with sanitised stands and uniformly pruned plants, geometrically positioned while slowly wilting under an office light. These were attempts to represent “nature” at the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) at IFEMA – Feria de Madrid – which happened in December 2019 in a huge shed that looked like a technology fair. And tech was definitely there too, in different layers.

Among the so-called innovations to “combat climate change” there were hyperbolic ideas such as giant mirrors to reflect solar rays or some kind of vacuum cleaner to be positioned in space to aspirate carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere – all under the buzzword “geoengineering”.

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One Vision, One World. Whose World Then?

Image kindly shared with permission of Vândria

Vândria Borari, an indigenous leader, lawyer and human rights defender, joins Camila Nobrega, a researcher and journalist working on social-environmental justice, to discuss their visions for a sustainable and just internet. Their conversation took place across several weeks, spanning continents, sometimes in indigenous territory in Brazil, sometimes without an internet connection, but always with the possibility of creating bridges between world views, without denying its complexities.

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