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ECFD 2001: The nose of the camel is under the tent

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Dear Old Friends and Colleagues, Well, Earth Car Free Day 2001 is fast upon us - opening up for business at dawn tomorrow for the first time in this or any
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 18, 2001
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      Dear Old Friends and Colleagues,

      Well, Earth Car Free Day 2001 is fast upon us - opening up for business at
      dawn tomorrow for the first time in this or any other century.

      And if you journey CO2-free to our website at www.carfreeday.com you will
      see what we have managed to accomplish over these last six months of
      volunteer ground-laying work with zero dollars of taxpayer money and no
      official support of any kind. We hope that you will take your time when you
      get there since there is a great deal to see.

      Today, barely three weeks after we opened up our new (original, fast and
      terrific by the way) ECFD database, more than two hundred groups, cities,
      individual citizens and families have registered projects for this first
      Day. The latest, which whipped in barely an hour ago from a Moscow school
      and entirely in Russian, has been blasted into the best translation we plus
      our machines could manage, and there you have it: a touching and original
      effort in support of the great Day by thirteen year old schoolchildren,
      their teachers and parents. And then there are the city-wide projects in
      Halifax, Seattle, Bhaktapur , Pusan, Singapore, Surabaya and the list goes
      on.

      Here's an interesting thought for you. None of this... none! would ever be
      taking place if our all-volunteer team had not rolled up their sleeves and
      got to work on this in the first place. Who says that the Internet is
      useless for anything serious?

      Visitors are rolling into the site at www.carfreeday.com at a tempo of close
      to one a minute. And while most of them are not going to be ready in time
      to do very much on this first day, judging from the flood of email that is
      coming in every one of them has started to think about it. Which indeed is
      what this first ever Earth Car Free Day is all about. Getting people to
      think about it, getting them together, and giving them a handy place to go
      to get materials, ideas and inspirations of what they can do next to make
      the transportation arrangements of their cities more sustainable and more
      socially just.

      Okay. Now let's talk about you. What if anything can you do at this late
      date? I can imagine that many of you, busy as you are, may be feeling a
      slight pang of guilt about not being able to get to this earlier. But fear
      not! we have prepared an escape hatch for you. And while we would have
      liked it certainly if your schedules had permitted you to talk your mayor
      into issuing one of our ECFD City Proclamations (you'll see that when you
      click City-Wide CFDs), or possibly to have started an ECFD Petition in your
      community (see the Citizen Initiative section for more on that), there still
      is something very positive and useful you can do in the next five minutes.

      If you do to the site at www.carfreeday.com you will see at the very top a
      linked image with a mother and child crossing a street. If you click that
      you will see a small handful of slots that you can quickly fill in, which
      will tell the world what you think of this kind of "trickle-up" approach to
      the challenges of sustainability. The car free day approach as we understand
      it may not be able to make good on all of the ambitious and worthy
      objectives of Kyoto, but it is a valuable parallel instrument. And indeed,
      it just may be this sort of swelling grassroots movement that will put the
      pressure on our elected representatives to stop the posturing and start to
      do something concrete and useful. Because there is a great deal that we can
      do, without waiting for the present American Administration to reveal its
      mid-game plan.

      There you have it. Today's acid test. I have to take it myself, so we are
      in this together.

      With all good wishes and in the hopes that you will be with us on this,

      Eric Britton

      Earth Car Free Day 2001 at www.carfreeday.com
      Sustainable Development and Social Justice
      "ECFD: The nose of the camel is under the tent."

      The Commons ___technology, economy, society ___
      Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France
      Eric.Britton@... Tel: +331 4326 1323
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