Trees are a renewable resource rex.
trees aborb and store carbon. Paper is stored carbon so is wooden furniture. It would be an intersting excercise to compare the CO2 out put of production of paper and an ipad.
Various heavy metals are mined and refined to make the circuitry for a computer chip and contaminate the environment onece no longer in use. plastics are not biodegradeable.
I think paper is a better bet myself as long as the trees are replaced of course.
VERY good point. I might add that an Ipad is more eco-friendly than a full sized desktop. Also this new "cloud" technology may require only ram and a minimal amount of actual storage space.
Also books are not only made of paper but glues, canvas, and ink that is derived from refined crude oil that (especially in the case of magazines) is never recycled back into useable ink. The amount of ink represented on the pages of today's books represents trillions of gallons of oil. This oil, dyes and glues also ends up in our rivers and streams. Paper needs to be manufactured and this requires huge plants that pollute the environment too. Ever lived near a paper plant? The paper plants also have been known to pollute streams and also the air. And what of when the manufacturing equipment needs replacing, that equipment must also be disposed of properly. This also ups the price of the actual book too. Digital books require usually only the time writing it, a possible editor and maybe a graphic artist for a cover and some advertisement. Plus all of the energy that is wasted creating millions of the same book and the transportation that is needed to deliver these books all over the globe by snail mail is a consideration.
Also the books that actually get printed after this may actually be worth keeping on a shelf because more time will go into each volume versus mass printings of paperbacks...
Public libraries will be in one or a few "digital" places and contain every book ever written versus ones in each city and town with poor selections. These libraries require upkeep and huge expenses to keep documents mold, fungus and bacteria free. Often books need to be refurbished and this required book specialists and mountains of tax payer money which becomes a government and taxpayer expense. Libraries need to be heated and moisture levels maintained plus the expense of paying librarians salaries within each town where there are millions of public libraries.
It costs an average city millions to build and maintain a library. Then there is the democratic aspect where most classic books of very type will be available for a minimal fee for human consideration and research.
And no more library cards and late fees!
Also if an ipad lasts 10 years or more that is ten years of books, music, magazines, coupons, business letters etc.. that will no longer require the energy to manufacture and deliver to buyers. Also, over time the ipad itself will gradually become more and more recyclable. More and more regulations will cause it to become more green as automobiles are constantly held under scrutiny for the same reasons of efficiency and energy savings. Let's consider the etch-a-sketch where millions of them were/are manufactured and have so little if any at all real functionality overall.