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Our Web of Inconvenient Truths

The Internet, Energy Use, Toxic Waste, and Climage Change

Katie Singer

184 pp.  
6" x 9"
Illustrations: black and white throughout


Available:  May 2019


Teams of scientists report that we've got to eliminate fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in order to curtail extreme weather and climate-related events. How does the Internet fit in this picture? In Our Web of Inconvenient Truths, Katie Singer explains how much energy the Internet's access networks and data centers guzzle. She describes the energy, toxic waste and CO2 embodied in every electronic device and presents ways that households, municipalities, schools and businesses can begin immediately to reduce their Internet footprint. Consider this book a must-read for anyone who wants to participate in solving our energy and climate crises.

  • Our Web of Inconvenient Truths is an unsettling and necessary exposé on electronic technology’s staggering impacts. First come detailed examples of the true costs of Internet access. Then, for those who are willing, we get well-thought-out solutions for reducing our footprint. This powerful book provides a clear call to the human spirit to get real and reduce our impacts on natural ecosystems.” —Dennis Klocek, author of Climate: Soul of the Earth (visit

  • “Katie Singer clearly explains that despite the Internet's benefits, it fosters energy dependence and takes us faster to climate change. May this remarkable book make Internet users more responsible. May it inspire revised policies and governance around the world.” —AJAY K. JHA, New Delhi attorney for sustainability and human rights

  • “Our Web of Inconvenient Truths is a magnificent, comprehensive, long overdue examination of the negative, irreversible consequences to society from our mad race for electronics. Pressured by billionaire enterprises, our entire globe has plunged into high-speed Internet without vetting its long-term consequences on nature or humanity. Katie Singer offers a keen, groundbreaking analysis of what we have actually done to ourselves and the living world. Her investigation is brilliant. Before it's too late, we must heed her recommendations.” —JERRY MANDER, founder of International Forum on Globalization; author of Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television

  • “Katie Singer has sounded the alarm: The Internet consumes unsustainable amounts of electricity and conflict minerals. It generates greenhouse gases and waste. With the semiconductor industry reporting that we may not have enough electricity to power computers by 2040, industry, legislators and consumers must understand the current disturbing trends and drastically reduce their Internet use ASAP. Please: read the well-documented evidence in this book—and join me in taking steps to shrink our Internet footprint.” —Frank Clegg, former president of Microsoft Canada and founding CEO of Canadians for Safe Technology


  • Introduction
  1. E-history
  2. Behind the Screens: What Goes into Making a Computer
  3. A New Understanding of Electronic Waste
  4. The Internet’s Energy Guzzlers
  5. How the Internet Speeds Climate Disruption
  6. Now Come 5G and the Internet of Things
  7. The True Costs of Digital Coins and Blockchain
  8. Biological Effects of EMR and Screen-time Exposure
  9. Democracy at Stake
  10. To Reduce Energy use, What Have We Tried?
  11. Shrinking the Internet’s Footprint
  12. Living within Our Means