Ramakant Yadav the Internet edition

Random Ramblings Of Ramakant Yadav

9 March 2011

A flock of parrots flew overhead as I put the bill down, and pondered upon the insidious nature of commerce in general and the telephone company in particular. Cutting down less trees was a fine and noble goal which, undoubtedly, would have led to the betterment of nature and mankind. But my mind marvelled at the cunning displacement of the cost of sending bills. Whereas earlier, the telephone company would have picked up the cost of printing and sending the bill to my address, it now needs only to send it to my email address. The company not only saves the cost of printing, it successfully transfers some of its cost of retrieving my telephone bill to me. I now have to switch on my computer and check my email in order to retrieve my bill. Computers have a running cost in the form of electricity and general replacement of parts as they wear out. Of course, the running cost of a individual computer is minuscule compared to the cost of onions, however, when this cost is multiplied by the large number of customers of the telephone company, it adds up to a small fortune. A small fortune in savings for the telephone company. A small fortune in costs for the customers, albeit spread across a large number in order to minimise impact. The greatest cost for the greatest number?

As the huge flock of parrots made themselves nosily comfortable in the trees in the neighbourhood, it occurred to me that trees were a renewable resource. The easiest way to minimise the environmental impact of cutting trees would have been, simply, to plant more of them. If the various commercial interests in our country took a long term view of the environment, and allocated some of their hard earned wealth to planting trees, then, maybe we could print as many bills as we wanted. That sounded like a great plan, until I thought about the fuel and chemicals needed to convert the tree to paper. Taking the environmental cost of making, printing and delivery into account, there is a clear advantage to using e-bills. True, there is the manufacturing cost of computers and the running cost, but those costs would be there regardless of weather we used e-bills or not.

Having concluded the raging debate in my mind, I proceeded to finish my tea and went inside for a well deserved late afternoon siesta, sorrounded by the pleasent sound of parrots in the trees.

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