Spam helps kill the planet

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spam-greenOnce you read this piece of news, chances are you’ll never look at spam the same way again. Just when we thought that all spam did was to cost plenty of time and money to filter it out, in addition to providing malicious links that could cripple an entire company’s network with a cleverly installed trojan no thanks to the curiousity of some in the company who failed to adhere to rules concerning clicking unverified links, we now have word that spam will also help in the cause of global warming. How does it achieve this? Well, it becomes an environmental scourge by damaging the planet after contributing more greenhouse gas during the course of sending and weeding out spam.

McAfee, the security firm has made a study known as “Carbon Footprint of Spam”, touting a mind-blowing figure that shows the world expends 33 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, or 33 terawatt-hours, to send, route, and filter spam messages. This is roughly the equivalent of juice required to power 2.4 million homes, where that energy use will emit an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases as 3.1 million passenger cars that drink up 2 billion gallons of gasoline. Talk about leaving not only a trail of destruction across corporate networks and home computers, but spam will also impact our environment in a negative manner! This places even more importance on spam filtering that saves both the environment and money.

Apparently, the same study by McAfee points towards savings of 135 TWh of electricity per year with spam filtering, which is equal to the removal of 13 million cars from the road. Imagine if every e-mail inbox comes with state-of-the-art spam filtering (they didn’t say this, but they would secretly hope for you to use McAfee products), spam could be reduced by up to 75% – similar to 25 TWh per year, that is a reduction comparable to the removal of 2.3 million cars off the road. Now that you know all this, what are you going to do on your part to combat spam and save the environment simultaneously?

Source: Information Week

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