The merely obvious will do



  • I just received (via snail-mail) a periodically distributed booklet from a financial institution with which I do business. On the cover of this 200+ page booklet was a full page containing just the text: "This document contains Printed Material" (capitalization theirs).

    Really?

    This was sent to about 1MM customers.

    I don't mind the surface-mail; not everyone gets electronic documents. But 1MM copies of that cover page is just wasteful, and yet another rainforest is defoliated.



  • What they're saying is that they have embraced the 20th century with its printing presses and flying cars. No longer will they rely on a monastary full of monks to rewrite the pamphlets by hand.

     Dem's bin printed, bitchez. Respec'.

     Edit: I defoliated someone's rainforest the other night. Don't knock it til you try it.



  • I agree it's wasteful, but no rainforests were harmed in the printing of the pages... they grow as many trees as they need; if they didn't need so many, they wouldn't grow so many. You might as well try to "save the corn" by not eating corn any more: they'll just grow less, and the number of corn plants on the planet will remain more or less constant.



  • [quote user="CoderDude"]they grow as many trees as they need; if they didn't need so many, they wouldn't grow so many.[/quote]

    That reminds me of something I heard on (I think) Pen & Teller's Bullshit: "If you wan't more trees, waste more paper."



  • Besides not harming any rainforest (paper comes from farmed trees as previously indicated) wasting paper is arguably good for the environment.  I'll explain...

     What is everybody always whining about? ...  CO2 emissions.  All us bad little humans are just blasting out too much CO2 with our cars, coal/oil plants, various motorized items, etc...  If only there was some efficient way to get lots of CO2, trap it in some solid form, and bury it away until technological advancement finally gets rid of our need of widespread fossil fuel use.  Maybe if there was this neat thing that would scrub the air, collecting CO2, and that someway money could be made by selling that thing.Of

    Of course you probably see where I'm going with this already.  Trees are great for sucking CO2 out of the air.  Trees are then processed, turned into useful goods (furniture, paper products, etc...), and sold to consumers.  Consumers can then throw away or keep these items so that the carbon stays trapped either in the consumers home or in a landfill.

     So kids, what have we learned today?  Throw away all your paper, recycling paper is bad for the environment.

    <disclaimer>Please ignore any holes you find in this theory, thank you</disclaimer>
     



  • [quote user="smbell"]

    <disclaimer>Please ignore any holes you find in this theory, thank you</disclaimer>

    [/quote]

    You just threw a hanging curveball for someone, but I'll let someone else take advantage of it.



  • I'll take advantage of this one.

    [quote user="smbell"]

    So kids, what have we learned today?  Throw away all your paper, recycling paper is bad for the environment.

    [/quote]

    Paper that you throw away is probably going to be burned, releasing all that CO2 back into the environment - this would accomplish nothing. The correct solution is to produce many millions of tons of paper, load it onto rockets, and fire them into the sun. That will reduce the total amount of CO2 on the planet in a permanent manner.

    Alternatively, you could feed it to a passing space goat. 



  • I'm pretty sure trees convert CO2 to O2, and store carbon, not carbon-dioxide. Furthermore, maximal CO2 reduction would require that the tree stay operational - that is, alive. Clearly, an adult tree will process more CO2 than a procession of trees being chopped down and made into paper. If we can make the assumption that using less paper actually does mean more live trees, then recycling is clearly beneficial.



  • [quote user="Isuwen"]I'm pretty sure trees convert CO2 to O2, and store carbon, not carbon-dioxide. Furthermore, maximal CO2 reduction would require that the tree stay operational - that is, alive. Clearly, an adult tree will process more CO2 than a procession of trees being chopped down and made into paper. If we can make the assumption that using less paper actually does mean more live trees, then recycling is clearly beneficial.
    [/quote]

    While this is true, I think you are missing some very important points. Allow me to explain.

    To be precise, trees convert CO2 (from natural sources like coal, oil, etc) and H2O (from the air) into the green stuff (choloforms) you find in leaves and the young stems of new growth through a process called "photosynthetics". It is only when these parts die or are killed that you see the "brown" colour we associate with unbleached paper products through a process called "browning".

    So not only do young, growing trees absorb more CO2, but older trees, being mostly brown already, are mostly dead, absorb next to no CO2 and, given that most of the "browning" has already occured, are practically useless in paper production.

    Brown paper, being "brown", is a much dirtier fuel source then bleached paper, being "white".

    Given these widely held facts, the best way forward is to grow trees and harvest them early for paper. This is best achieved in rain forests because they are established tree growing "hot-spots". Then, by burning paper to power generators, we release CO2 into the atmosphere to encourage trees to grow faster and power our paperless offices into the future.

    I see it as no problem if some of the fuel from this paper cycle is temporarily diverted to educate people about the existance of printed text on the paper they are looking at as long as the paper is bleached paper, which such educational texts predominantly are, and it is eventually burnt in a well thought out recycling loop.

    You call it global warming, I call it life.



  • [quote user="CoderDude"]I agree it's wasteful, but no rainforests were harmed in the printing of the pages... they grow as many trees as they need; if they didn't need so many, they wouldn't grow so many. You might as well try to "save the corn" by not eating corn any more: they'll just grow less, and the number of corn plants on the planet will remain more or less constant.[/quote]

    <rant> 

    I'm sorry, maybe your sarcasm was too subtle to detect, but please don't tell me you're serious.  The kinds of trees that are cut down to make paper take decades to grow.  Have you ever seen how long it takes to grow a thick, healthy tree from a sappling?  I assure you, they do NOT plant as many trees as they use.  If you'd like to know where the US gets a large portion of its paper, come to Canada.  There are plenty of Wayerhauser pulp and paper mills.  Better yet, head to BC and join the logging crews.  Ask them if they replant the trees after they finish clear-cutting a strip.  Or best of all, just fly over and see for yourself.

    Rest assured, the trees we use are not replaced.

     </rant>



  • [quote user="RevEng"]

    [quote user="CoderDude"]I agree it's wasteful, but no rainforests were harmed in the printing of the pages... they grow as many trees as they need; if they didn't need so many, they wouldn't grow so many. You might as well try to "save the corn" by not eating corn any more: they'll just grow less, and the number of corn plants on the planet will remain more or less constant.[/quote]

    <rant> 

    I'm sorry, maybe your sarcasm was too subtle to detect, but please don't tell me you're serious.  The kinds of trees that are cut down to make paper take decades to grow.  Have you ever seen how long it takes to grow a thick, healthy tree from a sappling?  I assure you, they do NOT plant as many trees as they use.  If you'd like to know where the US gets a large portion of its paper, come to Canada.  There are plenty of Wayerhauser pulp and paper mills.  Better yet, head to BC and join the logging crews.  Ask them if they replant the trees after they finish clear-cutting a strip.  Or best of all, just fly over and see for yourself.

    Rest assured, the trees we use are not replaced.

     </rant>

    [/quote]

    You may not be missing sarcasm, but you are missing reality.  The trees used to make paper do not take decades to grow.  Paper is generally made from the scraps of softwood (and to a lesser extent hardwood).  The softwood trees take anywhere from about 5-15 years to be viable for harvest (depending on the type of tree).  Hardwood trees take much longer, often 25+ years, to become viable for harvest which is why hardwood costs much more than softwood.  The softwood is turned into lumber (think 2x4s) with the scraps going to plywood, particle board, and paper.  Because of it's value hardwood is more carefully harvested and produces less scrap.

    Lumber companies, Wayerhauser included, own huge commercial forests in the millions of acres.  They rotate these fields just like any farmer who rotates their farm land.  Sections will go without use for years in some cases with the intent to produce a consistent level of varying types of lumber.  Saplings are usually grown in an indoor facility to be replanted by machine when they are 'safe' to endure the outdoors.

    By the way I see this all the time as I live in the NorthWest.  BC is a short drive away.

     



  • [quote user="RevEng"]

    [quote user="CoderDude"]I agree it's wasteful, but no rainforests were harmed in the printing of the pages... they grow as many trees as they need; if they didn't need so many, they wouldn't grow so many. You might as well try to "save the corn" by not eating corn any more: they'll just grow less, and the number of corn plants on the planet will remain more or less constant.[/quote]

    <rant> 

    I'm sorry, maybe your sarcasm was too subtle to detect, but please don't tell me you're serious.  The kinds of trees that are cut down to make paper take decades to grow.  Have you ever seen how long it takes to grow a thick, healthy tree from a sappling?  I assure you, they do NOT plant as many trees as they use.  If you'd like to know where the US gets a large portion of its paper, come to Canada.  There are plenty of Wayerhauser pulp and paper mills.  Better yet, head to BC and join the logging crews.  Ask them if they replant the trees after they finish clear-cutting a strip.  Or best of all, just fly over and see for yourself.

    Rest assured, the trees we use are not replaced.

     </rant>

    [/quote]

    I live in the Pacific Northwest, and I drive past lumber farms on a regular basis.  Yes, the largest boards do come from "wild" trees that are 50+ years old, but most of the 2x4s and plywood sheets come from farmed pine trees that are harvested and re-planted on a 25-year schedule.  I also occasionally drive past a pulpwood farm out in eastern Oregon: it's about 25 square miles of hybrid poplar trees, the woody equivalent of weeds.  They're not as open about the production schedule as Weyerhauser is, but judging from the heights of trees, they're harvesting and re-planting every seven years.


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