The environmental impacts of digital technologies¶
Digital technologies and the environment! Perhaps the two most talked-about (digital) topics. You can't miss the digital, and the environment can't leave you indifferent.
The digital sciences have made us aware of the environmental problem, but the digital itself has an impact on the environment. In this first part of the Mooc, we begin to introduce the basic notions necessary to understand the environmental impacts of digital technology.
First of all, in the age of data, we have all kinds of data at our disposal: measurements acquired by powerful sensors, information collected with or without our consent, etc. Digital technology gives us a tremendous capacity to collect, store and process this data. And this helps us to understand our impact on the environment.
So, what do we know about man's environmental impact on the climate? And what do these indicators tell us about the environmental impact of digital technology?
Next, we will introduce you to some of the mathematical and computational tools that are essential for understanding and analysing the indicators. They are used by scientists and the curious to know and understand, by politicians and companies to administer and govern, and by everyone to represent things and communicate. It is important to master them to a certain extent in order to understand the issues and to be able to debate as an informed citizen.