According to Elliot and Urry, “the increasing mobilisation of the world – accelerating carbon-based movements of people, goods, services, ideas and information – affects the ways in which lives are lived, experienced and understood.” (Elliot and Urry, 2010: x). When people travel, they can connect to home, family or the wider world by using networked ICTs. The movement of information and data can also mobilise goods and services, for example, ordering a takeaway online. These issues paired with the fact ICTs have integrated into most people’s daily lives has increased the amount of mobile information, causing an expanding carbon footprint due to the manufactuing and maintenance of digitial infrastructure, such as server farms. As Elliot and Urry belive, this freedom of movement is costly to the planet and the planet (Elliot and Urry, 2010: 8), as seen above and with the immobilsation of people such as hotel workers who make life on the move “feasible. (Elliot and Urry, 2010: 4-5).
United Nations define sustainable development as meeting today’s needs without compromising future generations and building an inclusive, sustainable future (United Nations, 2017). Three core elements are economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection (UN, 2017) and can be applied to DecarboNet, a research project investigating social platform’s potential in mitigating climate change because it aims to empower citizens and provide knowledge (social inclusion), raise awareness and encourage citizens to reduce their energy consumption (environmental protection and economic growth). (DecarboNet, 2017).
DecarboNet uses news and social media to increase awareness about climate change and how citizens can take action. The project’s effectiveness is anaylysed by looking into how citizens participate and how more can be reached. (DecarboNet, 2017).
Elliot and Urry identify four scenarious for future mobilities; perpetual motion, local sustainability, regional warlordism and digital networks (Elliot and Urry, 2010: 141-150). Regional warlordism is a “barbaric climate change future” with oil, gas and water shortages where mobility, energy and communication connections breakdown. (Elliot and Urry, 2010: 145). While not preferable, they describe regional wardlordism as “probable” (Elliot and Urry, 2010: 147) and this is the future DecarboNet are working to avoid.
Elliot, A. and Urry, J. 2010. Mobile Lives. Oxford: Routledge. Pp. x-150.
DecarboNet. 2017. Home. DecarboNet. Available at : https://www.decarbonet.eu/ (Accessed 28/04/17).
United Nations, 2017. The Sustainable Development agenda. United Nations. Available at: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/ (Accessed 27/04/17).