Environmental Transparency in a Digital Era

Russell L. Weaver


Because of the Internet, which has profoundly influenced both society and communication, environmental transparency, and environmental activism, are more possible today than at any point in human history. Centuries ago, before the printing press, mass communication was difficult and slow. Indeed, for most of human history, books and documents were laboriously prepared by hand, and there was no way to quickly create or reproduce written works. Moreover, only a small number of people (usually monks) had the time to write books, and they typically wrote religious texts in Latin. During this period, the absence of books was less critical because many people were illiterate.

With Johannes Gutenberg’s development of the printing press in the fifteenth century, the possibilities for effective communication increased dramatically. Gutenberg’s invention involved development of a system of movable type that could be used to relatively quickly “compose” pages by assembling the letters into wooden boxes the size of a printed page, and thereby lay-out pages to be printed. The composed pages could then be used to create numerous copies of a page. 


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