Environmental Activism in the Digital Age


  • Maëlle Jacqmarcq


The development of new digital technologies was predicted to be a boon for environmental activism. Internet and social media platforms were expected to facilitate broad bottom-up change, enabling activists worldwide to communicate and organize more effectively. However, the emergence of digital technologies may not have revolutionized the methods and impacts of activist organizations, especially for the environmental movement, wherein meaningful change has not yet been realized regarding climate change and nature preservation. Given the many challenges activists face, it is essential to understand how collective action can be undertaken with digital media to produce positive consequences for nature and human relations. Moreover, the neoliberal economic context from which digital technologies emerged and grew further accelerates environmental destruction through overproduction and overconsumption. This paper examines the relationship between environmental activism and digital technologies. While the environmental movement may have benefitted from newer organizational and communication tools on the international stage, the neoliberal economic framework in which digital technologies operate fundamentally contradicts the goals of the environmental movement.