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Mother’s (Earth) Day Epistle

In the 1970s, many of the climate change issues that now dominate our public debate first surfaced. Among the more enduring periodicals from that period was Mother Earth News, a homespun pioneer in practical approaches to ecology, renewable energy, recycling and Emersonian approaches to self-reliance. As I write this, just past Mother’s Day here in the U.S., it is an appropriate time to reflect on the betterment of our planet and to consult Mother Earth News for a definition of total ecology:

“A scientific means for discovering the expeditious ways of employing the world’s resources in a way which will render a higher standard of living for all mankind- a means of accumulating facts, information and statistics related to world resources-a way of discovering trends in the use and misuse of resources-a network for relating these trends and developing a logical sequence of events to show how a future state might evolve.”

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Mother’s (Earth) Day Epistle

In the 1970s, many of the climate change issues that now dominate our public debate first surfaced. Among the more enduring periodicals from that period was Mother Earth News, a homespun pioneer in practical approaches to ecology, renewable energy, recycling and Emersonian approaches to self-reliance. As I write this, just past Mother’s Day here in the U.S., it is an appropriate time to reflect on the betterment of our planet and to consult Mother Earth News for a definition of total ecology:

“A scientific means for discovering the expeditious ways of employing the world’s resources in a way which will render a higher standard of living for all mankind- a means of accumulating facts, information and statistics related to world resources-a way of discovering trends in the use and misuse of resources-a network for relating these trends and developing a logical sequence of events to show how a future state might evolve.”

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Babe and Lou, If You Could See the Sports Museum of America

In spring my thoughts turn to the”Boys of Summer” (it was Babe Ruth who said”this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth”), that time when daylight lengthens, when school gives way to the competition of baseball and the eternal imagination of youths self-identifying with sports heroes. The smell of fresh-mowed sod, the sharp crack of a fastball meeting a Louisville slugger, and the exhilarating fear and unrestrained joy of taking off for first — emotions as fresh today as they were decades ago. These are memories etched in the”YouTube” of our brains, retrieved, sometimes, just by a chance conversation or the smell of a hotdog slathered in deli mustard and sauerkraut.On May 7 we celebrate the launch of the Sports Museum of America (SMA), www.sportsmuseum.com, the first museum dedicated to just about every sport played in America. The SMA has partnered with more than 50 sport organizations’ Halls of Fame, national governing bodies and other top athletic associations to showcase exhibits, memorabilia, stories and heroes that resonate with all of us. Partnering with the museum’s founders and all-star roster of directors (from too many different sports to list here), Cisco is providing a range of visual networking and emerging technologies to build a human network within the museum and online -as the web version never closes — converging technology and history to enhance the attendee experience. Read More »

Happy Earth Day!

How are you celebrating Earth Day? According to the Earth Day Network, Earth Day 2008 is expected to be the biggest in this event’s 38-year history. There are events of all sorts from celebrations to volunteer opportunities all over the world. You can find more than you ever thought possible with a simple Google search.Take a simple step.For the last few years, coincidentally, I’ve found myself flying somewhere on Earth Day (this year it was the day before). But whether I get on a plane on Earth Day or the day after (this year it was the day before) doesn’t matter much. What does matter is what I do all year. I may end up having a very-low-carbon-emission Earth Day this year, but if I go back to high-carbon-emission habits tomorrow, I haven’t really accomplished much.Becoming greener and reducing your carbon footprint can be simple. Hold a meeting on-line (try it free). Work from home one day per week (or month if your boss doesn’t like the idea as much). Check out what a few Cisco and WebEx execs are doing in their own lives to be just a little bit greener:And if you are interested in how to get started, or in hearing how other companies are taking some simple steps, join us tomorrow for the Green Business Summit.So whether it’s personal passion or pure profit that propels you to produce a bit less carbon, take one step today. And make it last all year.I promise not to ask you to take another step-at least not until tomorrow.Jeff Weinberger, Chair, WebEx Green Initiative, WebEx

Rising Gas Prices Fuel the Value of Remote Collaboration

Are higher gas prices making remote collaboration tools more attractive to consumers and small businesses? I certainly think so. I read an article recently in The San Jose Mercury News that featured a Bay Area couple who spend $1200/month on fuel for their daily 385-mile (combined) commutes. While one can debate the merits-and the sanity-of this particular example, higher gas costs are looming larger in many household and small business budgets. Remote collaboration tools that make sense for large businesses are becoming money- and time-saving tools for small businesses and individuals, too. Now there’s a second”green” argument: this one’s about wallet contents rather than carbon footprints.Imagine if the couple above worked from home just two days a month. Using a remote computer access solution like Cisco WebEx’s PCNow, they’d have secure remote desktop access to their work computers from their home computers, whether they were PCs or Macs, plus remote file and folder access from their mobile phones. Even better, a solution like this would let them easily share their local computer screens with remote colleagues for one-to-one collaboration, training, or support.The couple would reduce their commute by over 750 miles a month, save more than $100 on gas, and reduce their stress and fatigue by avoiding over twelve hours spent listening to talk shows while avoiding other drivers who also should be collaborating remotely. All for about $25 a month for two PCNow subscriptions.Of course, most workers don’t have the excessive commute of our lucky couple, but the price of gas isn’t likely to drop anytime soon, either. Plus, as they say in the credit card commercial,”Regaining productive time, saving money and remaining sane? Priceless.”by David Bockian, Cisco WebEx strategic marketing