Abstract - The Information Society 25(2)

Environmental Communication in the Information Society: The Blueprint from Europe

Piyush Mathur

I start out this paper by noting the lack of a sustained theoretical engagement between the discourses concerning the information society and environmentalism, and contrasting it with the environmentalists’ practical usage of information technology. Explaining why this discrepancy requires probing, I go on to introduce and interpret a European report that brings the aforementioned discourses together via its blueprint for ecological communication in the information society. Further, noting the contextual significance of development, I argue that the report uniquely places ecological communication somewhere between development and the information society, on the one hand, and environmentalism and the information society, on the other. I also underline the report’s significance in disciplinary terms—contrasting its conceptualizations with the underlying orthodoxies of the academic discipline of ecological communication. On another level, I deem the report a culmination of post-1990 European efforts at developing an eco-informational and eco-communicational dimension to its environmental policy. Here, I introduce the key efforts, outlining their contributions and the broader factors contributing to their orientation and substance. I conclude the paper by illustrating the report’s distinction from those efforts, elucidating the report’s novel conception of ecological communication, and speculating about the reasons behind the report’s continued neglect within the intellectual realm and outside the European environmental policy circles.


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