given the heavy environmental footprint ....

j29682896

Senior Member
chinese
Hi everyone

Since these inventions, e-mail,e-books, and web-based news sites have reduced paper production, which has been a disruptive change for the industry, but probably a good thing given the heavy environmental footprint made by the papermaking industry.

My understanding of the word in red can be replace with "for" but I'm not sure about it. Can anyone paraphrase this sentence for me? And what does "environmental footprint" mean? Thank you.
 
  • goldenband

    Senior Member
    English - American
    My understanding of the word in red can be replace with "for" but I'm not sure about it.
    No, "given" can't be replaced with "for". "Given" means something like "if one takes into account", "in light of", or "considering":

    Given your bad behavior, you won't get any ice cream today.
    I think we'll stay indoors today, given the terrible weather.


    It might seem similar to "because [of]", but the difference between "given X, then Y" and "because of X, then Y" is that "given" doesn't necessarily imply that X is the direct cause of Y -- it can even be something that would normally suggest the opposite of Y ("despite"):

    Given how short he is, he really plays a terrific game of basketball.
    Given how old he is, it's amazing that he still gets around on his bicycle.


    And what does "environmental footprint" mean?
    Environmental footprint = the inevitable damage caused to the environment by a given behavior. Just as you leave footprints in dirt if you walk through it, you leave metaphorical "footprints" in the environment when you use or consume natural resources.
     

    waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    No, "for" does not work in place of "given" here...the sentence (which has errors) can be paraphrased something like "The reduced demand for paper due to modern electronic communications has hurt the (paper) industry, but that is probably a good thing because making paper is bad for the environment."
     
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