John McConnell - Founder of Earth Day, Speaks for Earth
on December 22, 2003 (40th anniversary of the first Minute for Peace Day
which ended the mourning period for Presiden Kennedy, following his Assassination)
The reason for poverty, pollution and war is the lack of a well defined agenda for peaceful progress that will appeal to all. As a result adversaries lack a basis for peaceful resolution of differences.
Discussions too often neglect areas of honest accord. Peace efforts then stall in spite of international laws and United Nations agreements and resolutions. We need to stress where we agree and what we have in common.
ASTRONAUTS POINT THE WAY!
"We set out to explore Space -- and discovered Earth!!"
"Astronauts for Peace" reveal the common view of Astronauts that we are one human family and have only one Earth. The way to avoid mutual destruction and continue the human adventure is for us all to think and act as responsible trustees of Planet Earth.
EARTH TRUSTEE SOLUTION
The Earth Trustee solution is for every individual and institution to think and act as a Trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that they believe will eliminate pollution, poverty and violence on our planet. While many may differ on details, more and more people will sense and follow a common cause.
THIS WILL BRING THE REJUVENATION OF OUR PLANET AND FAIR BENEFITS FOR EVERYONE.
We will see a change of attitude and conduct World-Wide from fear and despair to hope and faith. People will act, each in their own way, as responsible trustees of Earth. They will sincerely act as trustees of Earth because they know it will be best for them as well as for others.
This will provide a moral equivalent of war-- a Peace Blitz for a Better World. Instead of wealth being spent for war, it will be devoted to projects that heal, build and unite.1
To succeed, leaders and laymen are asked to avoid the historic mistakes of humanity's past. Instead of emphasis on our differences, let us call attention to the important matters in which we agree. We all want a world without war and the end of poverty. We would like a stake in Earth's natural bounty -- for ourselves and everyone, including the disinherited poor.
Now is the time for the realization of human potential -- physical, mental, spiritual in a world of freedom and order.
To achieve this we should look below the surface at the root causes of civilization's sickness. In the past individuals identified with and were most loyal to their clan, nation, religion or business. The narrow view of competing groups often led to conflict and sometimes war.
Today, the astronauts and cosmonauts have provided a global view of our planet. "We set out to explore Space - and discovered Earth!"
We are now aware that one fragile planet is our home, the home of one human family. Now we have a chance to see in our diversity a unity which will enable us to fairly adjust our differences with new solutions -- unseen in the past.
In all decisions we must now consider how they affect the nurture and protection of Earth and the rights of individuals to the use of our planet. Seeing the whole picture will help us make the right choices.
Part of the problem is faulty economic policies and institutions. A basic mistake in history is the development and establishment of unfair, inefficient systems of money and credit. We have a planet with assets in the trillions of dollars -- much of it in developing countries. Once we see that money is not wealth -- wealth is land, raw materials, technology, factories, people with skills, etc. -- we might avoid the folly of war prosperity, followed by peace depression -- with more money for money manipulators than producers and workers.
By a change in monetary policies to fair, free credit -- based on adequate assets, and by making money an honest medium of exchange backed by assets and available in the measure needed for stable exchange of goods and services, we could soon bring prosperity to our whole planet.
To take advantage of the amazing new technology that covers the Globe, a vital necessity is to tap the spiritual and emotional resources of our religious faith ... in ways that will not compromise our separate creeds and beliefs.
Love of God, love of people, love of Earth, honesty, fairness and truth are to be found in every major religion. I may totally reject the creeds of other religions where they relate to a future life and at the same time approve their actions that heal and help people and planet. A deeply held shared goal aids communication and promotes more openness to each others point of view -- often resulting in a basic unity that helps resolve many differences, with accommodation or separation where needed. True love of God will result in love of neighbor and nature.
Once the primary universal goal of Earth Trusteeship is established and affirmed by leaders and world public opinion, we will more constructively sort out differences and find areas of agreement.
This will increase understanding and bring better definitions of issues -- how they relate, provide direction, or help achieve global goals. Then, with the aid of an enlightened, responsible mass media, world public opinion, a powerful force, will promote good will, peace, justice and Earth's rejuvenation.
Now is the time to mobilize our faith and our institutions in an Earth Trustee Campaign for Earth. Now is the time, especially, for a new sense of purpose and responsibility by public media. Let them sponsor a Media Blitz for Earth's rejuvenation, with features and headlines for the many solutions that are working and need attention. Call attention to places where Earth Trustee words are being followed by Earth Trustee actions.
To aid inner commitment we are urging all radio and TV stations worldwide to program daily Earth Minutes at 0300, 1100, and 1900 GMT (Convert to local time in each time zone). These minutes without words will have locally produced music, views of Earth from Space, nature, children.
When you hear Earth Minute announced you can link your thought, your prayer, with others all over the world.
At other times during the day, there can be reports and features about Earth care solutions, planned or in progress. This can provide a new sense of Earth Trustee identity that will tap the best of our personal religious convictions, diminish fear, hate, greed and lust and assure an era of peaceful progress.
We ask radio, TV stations and newspapers to start an Earth Trustee Media Blitz. We have the raw materials, the technology, instant global communications -- and there are people ready and willing around the world.
All that is needed is to get their attention. The picture here presented can then bring the needed Earth Trustee choices in words and actions -- and peaceful progress will prevail.
John Adams said, "Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people...they may change the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty."
Ghandi said, "Pluralistic nationalism excludes the establishment of any State based solely or mainly on one religion." Jerusalem, holy to Christian, Muslim and Jew, should be ruled by peaceloving leaders from all three religions.
What a great thing it would be to see Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders in Jerusalem thinking and acting as Earth Trustees. By focus on our common humanity and the right of everyone to an Earth Claim, they could provide homesteads for homeless constituents. Their actions would result in friendly communities throughout the Mid-East. Soon the whole world would see the Earth Trustee solution and we would be on our way to a Global Peaceful Future.
Let every individual who reads and agrees with this article take action to aid its purpose. We especially urge reporters in mass media -- and leaders who can get attention in mass media -- to provide a global Earth Trustee Peace Blitz -- and feature solutions more than problems. The power of faith and positive thinking can lead to actions that will change the world.
return (1) Examples of projects that "heal, build and unite."
American Friends Service Committee
P. S. Individuals and groups who are working for a better future should provide examples of what their programs have done to help people and planet. We need more than words.
You will find a partial record of what Earth Day and its Earth Trustee agenda has accomplished at:
Earth Day/Earth Trustees: http://www.earthsite.org
4924 E. Kentucky Circle
Denver, CO 80246