A gripping new investigation into the underbelly of digital technology, which reveals not only how costly the virtual world is, but how damaging it is to the environment.
The Dark Cloud is the searing exposé of the immense toll the "cloud" takes on our environment. A simple "like" sent from our smartphones mobilizes a cascade of invisible consequences. This small notification, crossing the seven operating layers of the internet, travels around the world, using submarine cables, telephone antennas, and data centers, going as far as the Arctic Circle in what will soon constitute the largest infrastructure built by man.
It turns out that the digital world, essential for communicating, working, and consuming, is much more tangible than we would like to believe. Today, it absorbs 10 percent of the world's electricity and represents nearly 4 percent of the planet's carbon dioxide emissions. We are struggling to understand these impacts, as they are obscured to us in the mirage of "the cloud."
In this follow-up to his global bestselling book, The Rare Metals War, Pitron, a journalist, researched the dark truth behind the easy mirage of our digital world, in an investigation carried out over two years, across four continents. The result shows the anatomy of a technology virtual only in name. Pitron argues that the cloud needs to be exposed and understood-because our future is implicated.
Praise for The Rare Metals War:
"Pitron weighs the awful price of refining the materials, ably blending investigative journalism with insights from science, politics and business."
Simon Ings, New Scientist
"[E]xposes the dirty underpinnings of clean technologies in a debut that raises valid questions about energy extraction."
"An expert account of a poorly understood but critical element in our economy … Pitron delivers a gripping, detailed, and discouraging explanation."