"The Carbon Case for Downloading Music"

"A new study has found that downloading music is substantially better from an emissions perspective than buying compact discs.

The study, which was financed by both Microsoft and Intel and written by two academics at Carnegie Mellon University and a third affiliated with Stanford University, found that buying an album digitally reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 40 to 80 percent relative to a best-case scenario for purchasing a CD.

That scenario involves a customer buying a CD online and having it delivered via a light-duty truck; the more carbon-intensive options examined by the study are express air shipment of the CD, and the customer visiting a store to buy the CD.

The advantage for digital comes largely because CDs must be manufactured, packaged and transported over long distances."

Kate Galbraith reports for the New York Times August 17, 2009.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009