blame it on the internets

CITES argues the the Internet has led to huge destruction in habitat and loss of rare species. Namely, the Internet has allowed for a revolution in the way that wildlife is (illegally) traded, to the detriment of species.

Trade on the Web poses “one of the biggest challenges facing CITES,” said Paul Todd, a campaign manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

“The Internet is becoming the dominant factor overall in the global trade in protected species,” he said. “There will come a time when country to country trade of large shipments between big buyers and big sellers in different countries is a thing of the past.”

Of course, this ignores the huge benefits that a global medium has in communicating environmental problems and allowing for social mobilization. We might not even know about the problems facing the Kaiser’s spotted newt were it not for the Internet. A small community in the developing may not be able to work together with other impacted communities or gain support from international non-governmental organizations were it not for the Internet. Still it points to the two-edged sword of the new media and the fact that media are not simply transparent communication tools.

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