Does the World Hate Newspapers?

May 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

The elimination of newspapers could be a boon for planet Earth. Here’s why:

Logs passing through Vancouver, August 2006.

It takes the equivalent of twelve mature trees to produce one ton of newsprint. Even when newsprint is made from recycled paper, it’s taking away resources that could go toward other paper enterprises. We also need to take into account the amount of carbon emissions generated in the processes of turning wood or used paper into newsprint, powering presses to print the news, and delivering the finished product to homes and commercial outlets. The internal and external costs are significant, even compared with the energy used to power Internet servers and personal computers.

Alas, most people writing about the impact of newspapers are media stakeholders who have a vested interest in presenting data that reflects favorably on their medium, whether it be print or the web.

But I’m not going to do that. As much as it pains me, I have to admit that newspapers today are not nearly as environmentally destructive as they were during most of the 20th century. More than 75 percent of old newspapers in the U.S. are recycled into cardboard packaging, tissue, construction paper and, of course, newsprint.

And while getting news online does reduce stress on the paper cycle, it still consumes electricity, which places the demand on the energy grid. So unfortunately, neither method of news dispersal can be considered environmentally benign.

Newspapers and the Environment

What’s the Greener Way to Get Your News?

The Print Media Are Doomed

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

To Be or Not To Be Already History

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