The following announcement showed up in my email recently:
The Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council. Stakeholders have the opportunity to review the Federal Register Notice and submit written comments by e-mail to BOCrfc2015@ntia.doc.gov on or before 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 10, 2015.
Details of the request can be found in the Federal Register. One of the impacts of improved rural telecommunications access is increased opportunities for telework. Here are some of my thoughts on the topic.
There is a major politico-economic tug of war going on these days. It is between those who want the internet to work as it has been for the last few decades and those who want to have the internet provide preferential treatment to certain customers. This may sound like an abstruse issue but it’s not. In particular it may decrease your ability to telework in the future.
As the “unseasonal” cold snaps and blizzards continue in parts of the US—and as other parts experience unseasonal warmth—the evidence keeps coming in that global warming is real. And largely a result of our burning fossil fuels.
To celebrate this clear trend the European Union, once a leader in the struggle to reduce greenhouse emissions, is having second thoughts. It seems that the fight against global warming is bad for business; Europe may be losing its competitiveness, according to the Financial Times. Continue reading What global warming? Part 2→
This week President Obama announced his plans for outflanking Congress with regard to global warming by implementing a series of executive orders that don’t need congressional approval. Foremost among these orders is one that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to require caps on the carbon emissions of power plants. Coal burning power plants produce roughly 40% of the global-warming CO2 produced by the United States (and possibly a larger proportion of the CO2 produced by China, a country outside the jurisdiction of the EPA).
The reaction by the coal industry? Shock if not awe. The immediate responses of that industry tended to be focused on the jillions of jobs that would be lost by coal miners, operators of the forecast-to-be-shut-down coal-fired power plants, small businesses that would be adversely affected by the higher costs of plants using alternative energy sources and so on down the impact-chain of dominoes. Free-market war is about to be declared: the carbon requirers versus the carbon eschewers.
I’m writing this as Hurricane Sandy is drenching and/or flooding the East Coast of the United States. It’s an appropriate time to wonder why, just a week before the vote in this very heated and close presidential campaign, neither of the contenders has mentioned climate change in any recent speeches or debates. Well that’s not exactly the case, Pres. Obama did discuss climate change in a recent interview by Sway Calloway, a reporter from MTV.
Still, I should point out that most reference to the problems of climate change by either contender have been indirect at best. Pres. Obama explains that this is simply because no one has asked him about climate change in any of the recent debates. Governor Romney, on the other hand, seems to feel that the human-engendered part of climate change is a hoax perpetrated by liberals meaning to somehow penalize the coal and oil industries. Continue reading Sandy, climate change, politics and telecommuting→
Colombia’s First International Telework Fair went off as scheduled on 26 July 2012. Before it started I was interviewed by Rafael Orduz Medina, the Executive Director of Colombia Digital. Here’s the video:
Colombia Digital is the sponsor of the fair together with the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of Colombia. The opening ceremonies included presentations by Diego Molano Vega, the Minister of Information Technologies and Communication; Rafael Pardo Rueda, the Minister of Labor of Colombia; Carlos Tomada, the Minister of Labor of Argentina; Samuel Moreno Rojas, the Mayor of Bogotá; and Colombian Senator Claudia Wilches. Topping off these statements was the signing of a pact among these government agencies and a number of Colombian business organizations (including Cisco and Microsoft delegates) to accelerate the adoption of telework in the country.
Even though many legal barriers to teleworking have been eliminated over the past couple of decades, some of them persist. A particularly insidious barrier only applies to cross-state-border teleworkers. Since most teleworkers, even today, are telecommuters—living within commuting distance of their employer’s offices—this has not been a problem affecting thousands of people—so far. But, as I mentioned several months ago, some teleworkers are seriously affected by one barrier: double taxation.
The scenario is as follows: Janice teleworks for an employer in New York, say, but lives in California. Occasionally Janice goes to New York for meetings and conferences in her employer’s facilities but mostly she works from her home in California. She loves her job and is doing well at it. Except for one thing: New York wants to tax her income even though she earns it primarily in California. Of course, California also wants to tax the same income since she earns it there. What to do?
The Durban climate change meetings are over. The results are in. They are: not much has been resolved. The 2012 expiration date of the Kyoto protocols is unchanged. No new protocol was adopted. Still, there is movement toward a global agreement on climate change sometime around 2020 or so. This agreement would/might include China, India, and other large carbon–emitting nations. But 2020 may be way too late to have the world avoid serious temperature change.
The general impression that this meeting leaves is that, if you feel that action is required now to reduce further global warming, you had better not depend on any government (except maybe the state of California) to make it happen. As I stated in my previous blog on this topic, Mother Nature is indifferent to the actions of mankind. The laws of physics remain in effect regardless of who believes himself in charge. This year, 2011, was again one of the warmest on record with a number of serious weather events. The non-climate disaster in Japan simply added to the toll of misery inflicted on humanity. So, what to do?
In 2005 the so-called Kyoto protocol went into force, requiring most of the developed nations to begin serious reductions in their production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). The protocol was designed to last until the end of 2012. It specifically left out reduction requirements for developing countries such as China, Brazil, and India. The European Union countries began specific and varied steps to implement the protocols; the United States did not.
Today what is supposed to be a determined attempt to expand the Kyoto protocols beyond 2012 begins in Durban South Africa. The outlook for success is not bright. For example, Japan, one of the major leaders in development of the Kyoto protocol, has said that it would not support a second commitment beyond 2012. So what began as an important effort by world governments to slow the rate of global warming is in real danger of suffocating. Rather than taking an energetic step forward, the participants are in danger of death by ennui. Continue reading Death by Durban→