ZeDay 9-21

A Letter to President-elect Obama
December 21, 2008
Zero Emissions Day
September 21
Dear President-elect Obama:

Your acceptance speech on the night of the election moved the whole world to tears. On behalf of all our children, I can't thank you enough for this opportunity to post recommendations to change.gov.

On September 21, 2008, some 400 people from 40 countries (and 28 North American states and provinces) at very least expressed a willingness to participate in a modern world first: a 24 hour moratorium on the combustion of fossil fuels.

They did so because they were prompted by the Facebook group, started six months prior, Zero Emissions Day on September 21. The notion of a Zero Emissions Day was initiated by a ground swell – many people thought it a good idea – and by two artists, Bill Koeb in North Carolina and Ken Wallace in Nova Scotia. "When multiple luminaries instantly showed support, we knew we must be doing something right."

Scheduled near the September equinox, fair for both north and south hemispheres, "ZeDay" follows four simple guidelines:
  1. Don’t use or burn oil or gas or coal.
  2. Minimize (or eliminate) your use of electricity generated by fossil fuels.
  3. Don’t put anyone in harm’s way: All essential and emergency services operate normally.
  4. Do your best, have fun – enjoy the day!
In the end, if everyone was to follow these, nothing would be turned on that is not powered by an alternative energy source. Nothing would happen – and that's precisely the point!

We arrive at square one for a day (honoring how our ancestors have lived for millennia) and celebrate. The world needs this sort of ritual today. Never before has humankind been able to enact a transcultural ritual that is easily accessible to everyone and promises to be of benefit to everything and everyone on the planet without exception.

Yes, we are so accustom to our creature comforts and yet if we could collectively for a day shift our focus to each other and enjoy simple pleasures this would be a most excellent place to start engaging our deep humanity as stewards of our world.

We don't imagine for a minute that such a ritual could come about by any government dictate. At the same time, leadership by example could be quite helpful here. Since September 21 is also the International Day of Peace, it would be not too much to expect that the US military might be "unplugged" to every extent possible for the day: tanks parked, the whole world for 24 a no fly zone and so on.

Ground Air Force One for the day. If you or any one in the government needs to be somewhere on the 21st - schedule travel proir to Zeday.

Ground ground transportation as well. September 22 is World Car-free day. It would be great it the Obama administration strove to avoid motorcades on these two days.

It goes without saying that people in developing countries are likely to have large second thoughts if major cities in the US actually take this break seriously. We can show leadership to the whole world in such a simple way.

We're looking at the adoption of the September 21 celebration of clean alternative energy — the observance of a zero emissions from fossil fuels day — as progressing slowly and surely over years and decades. There are so many indications that it would be wise to get this underway right now. We think that September 21 would be a good place to start. We hope the White House in 2009 will too!

Yes we can and it will be of benefit to all!

Ken Wallace

Sealevel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
+1 902 444-4218
skype: sealevelns
Make history in 2010: just one day for a whole planet.