The famous wartime poster slogan “Loose talk costs lives” may be due a comeback. In the Second World War, it warned civilians against letting secrets slip. Today, it could encourage people to stop and think before adding to the overwhelming deluge of electronic communication swamping the planet.

It is easy to think of emails, mobile calls and other digital data as somehow ecologically neutral. After all, they don’t require much tree felling and they don’t need trucks and trains to transport them. But in an eye-blink of human history, our electronic traffic has reached titanic proportions. And ...


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