Originally Posted by Gianfranco
I have not said this is a one dimensional problem in any way, neither have I said that a major part of deforestation is due to paper production. I do however argue that a lot of unnecessary transporting, and energy is wasted on material which is only used once.
I'm sorry, I might have misread that first part - you said "I am quite confident that ending all the deforestation such that the trees are used for book-papers [...] will remove quite a load from the environmental pressures." (I removed the transport bit for the quote)
I'm also not sure what you mean by "material which is only used once" - are you referring to the books themselves?
But do you know the costs of keeping the underlying infrastructure of the internet going? All those routers, servers, and so on? There has been some research into it (PDF link
The total power demand in 2005 (including associated infrastructure) is equivalent (in capacity terms) to about five 1000 MW power plants for the U.S. and 14 such plants for the world. The total electricity bill for operating those servers and associated infrastructure in 2005 was about $2.7 B and $7.2 B for the U.S. and the world, respectively.
Another article: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070215-8854.html
With all this I'm just trying to say that electronic distribution ALSO comes with a price tag.
It would be interesting to compare the two.