Update on the Impact of Environmentalism on the Future of Publishing

September 8, 2009 by Thad McIlroy

I’ve updated the environmentalism section of my site, prompted by a well-thought-out entry by Richard Romano on the Print CEO blog, called “How Green Is My Media?

If you follow this trail further you’ll learn that print is being tarnished with a stiff brush, essentially stating that it is the source of most or allof the pollution evil when it comes to reading. E-media (eReaders, eBooks, etc.) are true angels by comparison: no trees are destroyed in virgin forests, blah, blah, blah.

Of course the truth lies in the middle. Yes, print production has a broad carbon footprint, but then so does e-media. People love to forget the amount of electricity that is sucked up by computers and the Internet grid, and they love to forget how large a percentage of environmentally-damaging hardware is abandoned or put out with Monday’s trash.

At the same time, the good news is that the ever-increasing public concern about this issue is cajoling both industries into broad innovative programs that I believe will truly make a difference over time. The story will have a happy ending (or as happy as it can be, within the limitations of technology and innovation).

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