Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Green? Fungus is green, too...

Here's a stupid new twist on the "Being Green" movement-

"Responsible Readers Rejoice: America'sBookShelf.Com Poised to Make Accessing Quality Books Both Socially and Ecologically Sound. Users can submit books to share with other readers and can request books from the web site for $3.50 each. Each new best selling book title represents a chance to be informed or entertained, to see things in a slightly new way. Unfortunately, too many of those books are read once and then placed on a shelf to catch dust. And every book not passed on represents a use of paper that will never be reclaimed. 'We wanted America'sBookShelf.Com to be involved in the green movement by helping people recycle books between their homes and across the nation,' Denkler [the owner] said. "America'sBookShelf.Com members can help save one tree from the pulp and paper mills with every 65 books shared."

Well, sure.

I don't mind folks promoting new ideas, but trumping up bogus "environmental issues" to flog business schemes does wrinkle my garden gloves a bit- let's try this scenario on for size:

-most of those "unwanted" books they are talking about will, without their "service", doubtless end up at the local library sale or used bookstore, delivered there all at once, where they will be recycled into the hands of other booklovers who will use a certain amount of gas to get to the bookstore and back home. However, assuming many of them were also doing other errands, the nautral resources used in these transactions is fairly small.

-on the other hand, using this new "ecologically friendly" system from America'sBookShelf, the books are all individually wrapped in paper and boxes (read: dead trees) and then moved back and forth across the country individually via tractor trailer, aircraft and postal or UPS truck, using far, far more gasoline (read: fossil fuel) than would be used by recycling the books through the local bookstore or library sale. result- more pollution, waste of natural resources, etc.

Which is to say that all such scenarios are more complicated than they seem, and lots of folks can wave the "ecology" flag over their heads and yet be full of bovine-excrement. There's nothing wrong with buying and selling books and shipping them across the country- we do it all the time. But to claim it's 'ecologically friendly'??? Please...

Myself, I will do my part by only buying books that have 50 pages or fewer...if an author can't make his point in 50 pages, fuck him.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I think this experiment in eco-friendly book exchanging is creating more questions than it is offering up opportunities to save the environment.

Every author should just go carve his words into a tree. This will serve several puroposes, chief among them being that if he doesn't really have anything important to say, it won't be worth the effort.

You will just have to open up a tree farm.