It’s another to set a very specific goal, like, “Don’t use any electricity for a day.” Or, “Don’t create any garbage today.” If there were some tangible goals designed to reduce our footprint on the planet, getting each of us to live a little more lightly, the collective response would be HUGE.
I think that’s where many people get frustrated when it comes to global issues. They feel they can’t do anything. So they deny science. They say the problem doesn’t exist. They choose to look the other way. They point fingers and say someone else or something else causes the problem. People find ways to rationalize.
Collectively, we rationalize as well. Companies don’t take action. Countries ignore steps they could take us in a positive direction because they don’t feel there’s a consensus to act. “We couldn’t come to an agreement, so we didn’t do anything.”
One way to combat this is to establish a concrete step that moves a solution forward. Here’s one: Let’s set aside the last Sunday of every month and designate it as “No Fly Day.” No airplanes are allowed to be flown globally.
This could very easily be implemented. First, it is not anti-competitive. You get every airline to not fly on that day and it’s a level playing field. It doesn’t hurt business. Have business executives fly out a day early or a day late to conferences. If you’re flying for a vacation, you have to plan in advance if that’s the Sunday you thought you needed to travel. Change the day.
Eliminating airplanes globally one day a month cuts out all their carbon emissions. Setting aside everyone’s “beliefs” in how the global climate is or isn’t changing, no one cannot disagree that cars, trucks, airplanes and other fossil fuel-using technologies release carbon into the atmosphere. The more you do it, the more that goes up there.
Cutting out all airplane travel one day a month reduces our collective worldwide carbon releases. It’s not a lot. It’s not going to immediately reverse a trend. But it’s a step, and can be accomplished.
Post 9/11 in the U.S., I remember discussions with multiple friends who lived near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. They marveled at how clear the skies were because all the planes were grounded, and by how peaceful things were.
Visual air pollution would be reduced, as would noise pollution. Both are side benefits of taking the planes out of commission one day a month.
Pilots and airline attendants would love this. They’d get an automatic day off a month regardless of their regular schedule.
It would not hurt airline profits because they’d all be in the same boat. None could take advantage and choose to fly on the designated Sunday. If they did, they would probably be ostracized by the general public and go out of business.
“Blue Laws” were used years ago, and still exist in many places. The concept was to take the day off Sundays and not use it for commercial purposes.
A “No Fly Day” would be similar. “Take the day off, airplanes. You can use a rest.” So can we. We’d all benefit.