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Christopher Greaves

Oxygen from Books

Margaret Atwood is one of my all-time favorite authors, not just for her position in promoting the fight against library cuts here in Toronto.

Today’s Toronto Star carries a quotation from a book printed on paper made from straw in which Atwood says “Human beings need oxygen, and forests produce it; printed books require paper, but paper need not be made from virgin forests.”

This strikes me as an odd statement to make.

My understanding of photo-synthesis is that almost all types of vegetable matter take in carbon di-oxide during the day and expire oxygen.

So straw, trees, carrots and rhododendrons all take part in creating oxygen. Swapping trees for grasses doesn’t add up to a hill of beans unless someone does the maths.

For example, maybe grasses, pound for pound, per day, produce more oxygen than trees.

For example, maybe grasses, acre for acre, per day, produce more oxygen than trees.

Discussing leaves leaves aside, of course, the whole arena of electronic books

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Toronto, Monday, August 03, 2015 11:43 AM

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