Originally Posted by Gianfranco
I am quite confident that ending all the deforestation such that the trees are used for book-papers, and not to mention all the transporting of the books from factory to printing, from printing to seller, etc will remove quite a load from the environmental pressures.
I think the main reason for deforestation is not "book production", that seems a little unlikely. While not motivated enough to go look for some actual sources, I would wager that increasing "productive" area for agriculture and living space for humans and cattle would have more to do with it. I have no idea if book paper is recycled - nor what the recycling process would cost in both monetary and environmental terms.
And to produce and read ebooks you need computers. Besides the resources you have to pour into manufacturing them, computers need power. Electric power and lots of it, which comes from a number of sources, but burning fossil fuels is still very popular. Ebook readers themselves need (far less) power, but if they become extremely popular...
It is an interesting discussion topic, but I do not think it is as one-dimensional as you propose.