September 2022 is bringing with it an exciting, unique event that aims to change the way we act moving forward in the fight to eliminate excess CO2 in the atmosphere. I had the opportunity to speak with the president of Zero Emissions, Tom Holm, as he shared with me his incredible, inspirational story about how a serious event in his life led to him dedicating himself to eliminating harmful emissions and securing a cleaner, greener planet for generations to come.
This story begins several decades ago when ZE president, Tom Holm’s beautiful three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. As a parent myself, I can feel the heartbreak and the devastation such a diagnosis would bring upon a family. A three-year-old child is still only a baby, brand new in the world and yet to experience all of the wonderful adventures that are on offer to us here on planet Earth. Questions were raised about the cause of the cancer and one particular doctor suggested that it may have been the result of carcinogenic diesel emissions leaking into Tom’s son’s bedroom that he slept in, in the family’s motorhome.
When Tom was told his son’s cancer was likely terminal, he immediately promised God that if his son was given a chance at life on this Earth then he would dedicate his entire being to protecting the natural resources of this planet and creating a sustainable and safer environment for his son and future grandchildren. We all know that this universe works in mysterious ways and an unlikely miracle occurred in the months following this declaration. The terminal prognosis was proved to be wrong. Today, in 2022, Tom’s son is serving as an officer with the San Diego Police. He has graduated from the University of San Diego with degrees in Political Science and Behavioural Neuroscience and is a remarkable endurance athlete who trained with the Navy SEALS. This incredible human being has defied the odds and in a beautiful end to this part of the story, Tom’s son is about to become a first-time father, just before the ZE Summit. What a fitting tribute to the miracle that was bestowed upon this family.
So now, Tom feels he has a debt to repay of biblical proportions. How could he give thanks for such a divine intervention on his son’s life? Tom dedicated his career to eliminating harmful emissions in the environment and, for over 25 years, he has been building award-winning “Eco-Expedition Vehicles” for Ford, General Motors, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and other well-known company names. Because all his vehicles ran on net-zero emission biofuels, he decided to return to grad school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to research biofuels made from algae and non-edible agricultural bioproducts, like using corn cobbs to make cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel made from the fibrous parts of a plant and can be created using agricultural waste produce, contributing to a sustainable cycle of use and reuse.
Given his plentiful experience, knowledge, and capabilities, Tom felt he must do more to dutifully advance zero emissions technologies, not only to save resources, but to save lives and prevent more families experiencing the pain and the heartbreak that he and his family went through. The best way Tom knows how to do that is to organise the Zero Emissions Summit & Expo successfully and ethically.
Now, for the main event. The ZE summit is set to be a unique opportunity to bring together those people who are committed to creating a sustainable future for our global community. Bringing “innovators” of green technologies, and their products, to the San Diego Convention Centre is an important component of the ZE Summit & Expo but another component is assembling influential “facilitators” from federal agencies, municipalities, utilities, universities and school systems, Indigenous communities, airports, ports, and other members of society with the power to implement change. Bringing these groups together will give them the chance to see how these technologies can be implemented and will educate attendees in an accessible way on how to get funding for the infrastructure needed to utilise those technologies. So, in addition to innovators and facilitators, “financiers” and financial institutions are being gathered at the ZE Summit & Expo to, not just talk about funding projects, but actually walk delegates through grant applications and other funding processes. The ZE Summit & Expo will not be just another photo opportunity for politicians and social media influencers, it will be a catalyst that brings about immediate change by providing individuals from a wide-reaching audience, access to the tools needed to succeed.
In addition to the global impact the ZE Summit & Expo will have, Tom is comforted to know the jobs and revenue it generates will support local schools and other community services. Knowing some of those resources will support the San Diego Police Department, in which his son now serves, brings Tom personal fulfilment beyond measure.
Now, all that is left to do is say a huge thank you to Tom, firstly for giving me the opportunity to write about this event. Helping communities who might not otherwise be able to access such important funds is such a huge area of interest and passion of mine and this event aims to provide this for so many organisations, allowing them a chance for their community or company to hit net zero. And finally, thank you for sharing the story of your son, your inspiration, and the driving force behind ZE and the catalyst for change. We are a huge global community and by working together and providing equal opportunities to create change, we can be so powerful in the fight against anthropogenic planetary destruction. There’s a big world out there, so let’s change it, together.
The Zero Emissions Summit & Expo aims to connect industry innovators with facilitators from government agencies, financial institutions, and other organisations for the specific purpose of reducing environmental carbon dioxide. This unique event unites leaders from the energy, automotive, aviation, defence, transportation, carbon sequestration, agriculture and other global industries, to evaluate challenges, create solutions, identify funding, then advance Zero Emissions infrastructure while also delivering clean energy to all. The summit consist of four days of educational sessions and speakers that provide guidance to advance a ZE future, including instructions on accessing the Federal Infrastructure Bill, the California “Blueprint,” and other funding sources. The ZE Expo is a creative combination of indoor and outdoor exhibits, engagement areas, and collaborative workstations. Displays are designed to drive collaboration and remove barriers to the advancement of technologies. Also featured are experiential displays that help drive innovation and spark collaborations for new technologies.
The Zero Emissions Summit & Expo, created and developed by ZE president, Tom Holm’s passion and experiences, promises to be an exciting, one of a kind event, not to be missed. For more information and to secure your place, please visit the website.