Why Spamming Is Considered a Bigger Threat to the World Than Green House Gas


Who does not know about the ‘go green’ campaign? With endless individuals across the globe supporting the cause, it comes as no surprise that the idea has permeated into almost every industry one can think of and information technology is no exception. When we think of all the hazardous elements sabotaging our environment, images of poor waste management, transportation, construction and manufacturing industries giving off smoke and releasing poisonous gases into the air conjure up in our mind. Sadly, the more damaging aspects are often overlooked.

It is no secret that over the years, information technology has played its role in promoting the cause. Companies offering web hosting services initiated the use of solar and hydro power for running their data centers. Desktop and server vendors supported the cause by incorporating features that save power. Such power-saving strategies were aimed at reducing carbon footprints that continue to serve as a trouble for the environment.

In the society we live in, the inhabitants of the earth continue to pollute the environment, intentionally or unintentionally. As technology continues to grow and the number of high speed internet providers sees a steep rise, the extent to which information technology can influence the environment comes as a shock. While information technology has furnished extensive convenience in our everyday lives, when it comes to saving the planet, nothing even comes close.

Spam is a menacing headache that every single internet user is well aware of. Spam is defined as the transmission of messages in bulk and so if someone tells you that SPAM is short for Stupid, Pointless, Annoying Message, you may as well believe it because that is what it is. From contacts to emails, from software to documents, today it is hard to name one area that is not affected by spam.

Sadly, the implications of this nuisance are not limited to security but is now becoming a menacing problem threatening the well-being of the environment. Wondering how this happens? Read on to reveal the mystery.

According to a research conducted recently, if the emissions of green house gas are to be compared with the energy it takes to open one spam email, it will be equal to that of driving a car for three feet. While one may think that three feet is a seemingly harmless figure, this example does not fully comprehend the environmental consequences.

All you have to do is to multiply those 3 feet to 95 trillion as it was the number of spam emails sent in 2010 and you will be shocked to find out that the green house gas emissions are now equivalent to those of driving the car across the globe two million times.

If you are still reeling from the shock, you have even more surprises in store for you. A study has shown that every single year carbon dioxide in quantities as big as 28.5 million metric is created just by spam. Still wondering how green house gases and spam emails are related? Well, there is an abundance of high speed internet providers. To use internet, it is important to keep the computer open and these green house gas emission are a result of it.

What actually happens is that it takes a system several processor cycles to access your mail client and power is then needed to retain the message and deliver it to the user. This complete process is polluting the planet and this is how spam emails sabotage our environment.

One other devastating fact associated with green house gas effects and spam emails is that each year, an approximate of 104 hours are spent by users online to read or manually delete spam emails. What comes as a bigger shock is the fact that this amount is 4700 times greater the number of man hours that were spent in the construction of the tallest building in the world, the renowned Burj Khalifa.

As far as the culprits are concerned, the three countries that are actively participating in polluting the world are USA, China and India with a contribution of 21%, 15% and 7% respectively. So, the next time you come across someone calling spam the biggest environmental threat till date, just nod in agreement.