Buying Books to Sequester Carbon

I have always thought that books were a good way to sequester carbon.  Much of a book consists of carbon, and books can last a long time.  My faith in this possibly crackpot idea has been slightly shaken by some calculations showing that the carbon cost of making a book can be rather high - in one case as much as 34 kg/kg of book.

Carbon footprints have always looked more like superstition than science to me, especially when the estimates differ by a factor of 30 or so.  In the case cited, much of the calculation seemed pretty dicey - the carbon cost included the carbon incorporated in the book plus the carbon that the tree cut down might have taken from the atmosphere in the future. 

Oh please!  Trees grown for fiber are going to be cut down sometime and wouldn't live forever anyway.  Also, they will be replaced by new trees that will in turn grow and take up carbon, and the carbon taken from the tree is now a durable book.

Of course I now buy most of my books in electronic form.


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