Magazine article New Internationalist

From This Month's Editor

Magazine article New Internationalist

From This Month's Editor

Article excerpt

I have to make a confession - I love spam. Not the infamous canned luncheon meat, but the stuff that clogs up the world's email inboxes. It fascinates and horrifies me in equal measure. It evolves so rapidly that much of it manages to bypass even the most ruthless spam filters (even Darwin would be impressed). Sometimes it is so clever that I am fooled into opening a message that ends up being from one of those family members of former dictators wishing to park their millions in my bank account.

As with email, other messaging has its spam. Much of it involves someone trying to sell you something - most often a product, sometimes a service; more insidiously, an idea. The public debate about climate change is constantly deluged with all these forms of spam. These are most often messages from the fossil-fuel industry trying to convince us that either there is no problem, or that the problem is well in hand. …

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