As an environmental lawyer and climate activist, approaching digital rights for the first time was challenging. Although digital has become a big part of many people’s lives, to think about digital from the lens of climate justice is not the most obvious thing, more so when trying to understand, for example, how marginalized groups highly vulnerable to climate change which often lack access to the digital world can benefit from accessing digital tools.
For non-experts and common people in our everyday lives, both climate change and digital rights might seem abstract and somehow ephemeral topics. Both subjects seem to be taking place in the clouds and seem hard to digest. In facing this challenge, In the Clouds Lab was born as an experimental digital ‘place’ (hence in the cloud) for dialogue to explore how digital rights can be a tool for climate justice, especially when thinking about climate adaptation and the limits and challenges that this may have. Through mindful observation of what might seem complicated to materialize, such as GHG emissions reductions and digital rights happening on the Internet, we will try to find points of connection.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, clouds play a fundamental role in understanding climate change. To give an example from South America, the Amazon rainforest produces most of the drinking water for the Andes region. How does that happen? Basically, all the vapor that is created thanks to the rainforest travels with the help of the wind that comes from the south of the continent, and when it reaches the Andes mountains, it feeds the mountains with rain. Thanks to those flying rivers from the Amazon, we in the Andes have access to water. At the same time, digital rights seem to happen in the clouds, not a physical entity or a network, but the place where our digital lives happen.
From understanding the huge internet coverage gap in highly vulnerable areas where climate data collection does not seem to be taking place, to discussing the disconnection between local knowledge and the science of climate change, In the Clouds will use digital channels to delve into digital rights for climate action.
From techno-precarity, to the gentrification of the Internet, from open mapping and open data for climate action, In the Clouds will be sharing infographics and creative and interactive materials through digital channels and social media to open up and break silos in the conversation around climate change and digital rights.
A Hybrid Space for Experimenting
In the Clouds, this hybrid space will be our place to experiment and connect at the intersection between digital rights and climate clouds. Such as climate action and digital rights, In the Clouds pretends to transcend frontiers, languages, and time zones, in an effort to support community building in the digital era with digital snapshots that are easy-to-digest information for climate activists.
Stay tuned for more news In the Clouds Lab.