good overview on the Ubuntu phenomenon from Mr. Vance
"Internet zealots get a charge out of describing books, magazines, and newspapers as "dead tree media." The implication is that surrounding yourself with always-on electronic gadgets connected through a vast switching network to massive data centers represents a more environmentally friendly lifestyle than that pursued by, say, an old lady sitting at her kitchen table reading the morning paper." – if you're going to include the infrastructure costs for one form of distribution, don't you have to do it for the other?
i don't disagree with the basic premise – that Google and its friends are massive consumers of electricity, or that we need to think about all of our consumption. but i think Carr is neglecting to discuss the implications of non-digital distribution on the environment because it might complicate his argument.