77 Theses On The Care of The Earth

                           A Guide for Earth Trustees

                                 Principles and Policies that will foster
                                   the peaceful nurture and care of
                                         the planet Earth.

Written by John McConnell, the founder of Earth Day
 

"The world of tomorrow is not foreordained to be either good or bad...rather it will be what we
make it. In these 77 theses I have tried to present the essentials ideas needed to achieve a historic
global change - from mindless exploitation, with increasing danger of worldwide catastrophe, to
the peaceful nurture of our home, Planet Earth"

                                                                                John McConnell

 

                                PROLOGUE - Earth Trusteeship
 
 

The 77 Theses are especially for people who will think of themselves as Trustees of Earth and who seek to do the things about
ecology, economics and ethics that foster peaceful progress on our planet.

Earth's rejuvenation can best be realized by individuals and small groups of people (preferably 5 to 15 each) who will make
their own special commitment to projects for the care of Earth. And, who at the same time, affirm a common world view about
the protection and care of Earth - which they share with other Earth Trustee groups - a view and commitment which hopefully
will soon spread to include all, or practically all, of Earth's people. The Earth-Trustee concept can provide the measure of unity
in our diversity needed for achieving Earth's rejuvenation.

A useful analogy is the way each cell in the body has its specific task, but has within it the genetic code -- or pattern -- for the
whole body.

The problem is to determine the items in the Earth Trustee world view that can be accepted and shared voluntarily by people of
every clime and culture, of every ideology, religious belief and temperament.

To accomplish this it is important to separate the vital facts on which most people can agree (2+2=4, etc.) from the items of
belief that deal with uncertainties or differing viewpoints - in politics, religion, economics, education, social justice, etc.

The 77 THESES can obtain general support for a broad Earth Trustee world view. With this as a common template all
approve - not in details of implementation, but in general purpose - rapport and appropriate bonds between groups can be
established. Earth Trustees will recognize their independence and points of difference. The purpose they will share is the care of
Earth.

The object then in each group will be to obtain information that will assist their choices and the pursuit of their Earth Care
project, or projects, Computer networks, data banks and flow of communication about what others are doing will serve this
purpose.

With the above in mind, Earth Care Handbooks* in every language will provide an Earth Trustee world view and orientation,
plus guidelines for finding and choosing Earth Care projects - carefully avoiding the partisan issues that cause disagreement.
Our goal is a global consensus on the care of Earth.

*Handbooks can be produced independently, with common guidelines.

Part of the program - and basis of eventual success - will be a practical determined effort by each person and group to share
their enthusiastic interest with friends and thereby bring about a rapid doubling - each month if possible - of individuals joining
or organizing Earth Care projects.

In these efforts a key to success will be the sense of community, or spirit of cooperation that is engendered. Special emphasis
on reverent prayer, worship, dedication to and emphasis of moral and ethical values in the terms acceptable to each group will
make a vital contribution.

The most important inner point of unity in the care of Earth is our love of Earth, its life and its people - especially our nearest
neighbors.

The most important outer point of unity is the simultaneous celebration of and dedication to the care of Earth on each EARTH
DAY, March 20-21 and will be aided by observance each day on radio and TV of global Earth Minutes. Religious groups are
especially invited to participate - each in its own way. In this there is no compromise or watering down of their particular faith
or belief. The point of unity is not doctrinal or ideological belief, but dedication to the care of Earth and inner love of our planet
and its people.

I can engage in this united action in spite of strong differences with people of other religions or political beliefs. Loyalty to
country, which exists in spite of differences with other citizens, must now be equaled and transcended by loyalty to our planet
and dedication to its care.

A sign of participation can be the flying of the Earth Flag...
 
 

                   Dear John, I have read and reread your 77 Theses. They are wonderful and so much to the point.
 

                   Robert Muller, Chancellor of the University of Peace, Costa Rica.

                   Along with the Secretary General U Thant and other world leaders, Robert Muller signed the 1971
                   UN Earth Day Proclamation designating the March 20-21 equinox to be Earth Day. The
                   Proclamation was written by John McConnell.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

                                  Be a Trustee of Planet Earth
 
 

                                      FLY THE EARTH FLAG
                                      Order the Earth Flag Online
 
 

                          77 Theses on the Care of the Earth
 

EARTH DANGER

1. RECOGNIZING: That ignorance and neglect of our planet, combined with the folly of international rivalries, has now
endangered all life on Earth;

2. That our planet's life is threatened by policies and actions that cause massive pollution of air, water and soil and dangers of
chemical, biological and nuclear disaster;

3. That mutual trust is necessary in order to counter these threats;

MUTUAL TRUST

4. That only by open communication and joint action, for a great common good, can mutual trust develop;

5. That the one thing we have in common is our planet ;

CAMPAIGN FOR EARTH

6. That a campaign for the care of Earth will create relationships leading to mutual trust and ultimately to reciprocal disarmament
and stable peace;

7. That in pursuing peace it is important to identify and emphasize vital matters and the extent and nature of our accord, and to
build on this accord;

8. That peaceful actions beget peace;

9. That in a world of instant global communications a strong, informed public opinion in all nation's dedicated to peace and care
of Earth, could become the greatest deterrent to war and to local violence;

10. That the greatest challenge in history is the present challenge of destiny involving all humanity; a challenge to reclaim the
Earth for all peoples and to free them from the fear of war and want;

11. That accepting this challenge will bring the measure of trust needed to achieve these goals

WHOLEHEARTED DEDICATION NEEDED

12. That the peaceful care of our planet cannot be accomplished through half-hearted or insincere efforts, but will require the
dedication of all humanity;

13. That in seeking the basic change in the conduct of governments and their peoples, we acknowledge the failures of all
previous efforts to achieve a peaceful world;

14. That investments worldwide in instruments of destruction endangers the human race;

15. That excessive destruction of trees, vegetation, and wildlife, from ancient times to the present, has decimated or destroyed
numerous species and degraded Earth's potential for nurturing life, and that the current acceleration of this process will bring
global catastrophe if it is not soon brought to a halt;

HUMANITY'S SPACE AGE CHOICE

16. That world peace requires a basic long-term commitment to change attitudes and conduct, and to develop structures and
programs that will foster peaceful progress in the care of Earth and in our relationships with each other;

17. That new factors in the quest for peace are Space Age global awareness and deep concern everywhere that something
must be done;

18. That we owe to untold generations in our past and future a firm decision for peace and care of Earth;

19. That it is time for humanity to take charge and take care of their planet;

NURTURE OF EARTH

20. That the campaign for Earth requires ideas and attitudes conducive to the nurture and care of Earth;

21. That loyalty to community, bioregion, and planet is essential for the healing of our planet and people;

22. That a patriotism embracing people and planet as well as nations is necessary now;

23. That loyalty to our planet will not hurt, but instead will help our lesser loyalties;

ALLEGIANCE TO EARTH

24. That while national governments use police force to coerce allegiance when needed, their long-term strength depends on
voluntary support by their citizens;

25. That loyalty to our planet can best be achieved through voluntary efforts to understand its life systems and processes, and
then with love for our planet to help nurture and sustain the amazing web of life that covers our globe;

26. That global communication and education to foster Earth's care can provide the measure of enlightenment needed to justify
and assert the authority of humanity in the management and care of Earth;

GLOBAL COMMUNITY of CONSCIENCE

27. That voluntary support of Earth care and person-to-person communication about Earth care can provide a global
communication of conscience dedicated to Earth's protection. This will bring inner peace and global peace;

28. That constraints and requirements for Earth care will then permeate society and provide our global conscience with moral
authority and influence greater than that of national governments;

29. That as we develop a strong community commitment of individuals and governments to the care of Earth and to one
another, and are aided by world public opinion filled with hope instead of fear, we will establish peaceful relationships and
make any war unthinkable and impossible;

30. That the management and care of Earth by the people of Earth can only be achieved by their willing support;

31. That the willing support of people throughout our world can only be obtained by providing, equitable, fair benefits in return
for their services;

32. That it is necessary to determine the rights and responsibility of individuals in the care of Earth;

RIGHTS to the USE of EARTH

33. That religions teach, and philosophers aver that the Earth is for all people. The Psalms state, "The Earth hath He given to
the children of men";

34. That, whether considered the gift of God, or the bounty of Nature, every individual has an equal claim, or right to Earth's
natural bounty; to a portion or benefit from their share of Earth's land, raw materials and natural resources;

35. That every country should provide a free homestead for each family that lacks one, or the means to obtain one. Every
person who wishes to receive this basic inheritance in their planet should be given a secure habitable shelter, or be provided the
purchasing capacity or land and materials;

FAIR BENEFITS from EARTH

36. That expenses of government and public needs they serve can best be met by land use fees, or single tax, based on the
value of the land (not on improvements or labor);

37. That every individual, regardless of circumstances or lack of resources, should be assured an opportunity for basic
nutritious food, or practical means for procuring it;

38. That raw materials - oil, coal, minerals - are the inheritance of all Earth's people. As they are mined, sold, or used, at least 2
percent of their value should be equally distributed as royalties to everyone. These unearned assets in the ground, the
inheritance of all Earth's people, should be carefully mined, conserved and recycled by the owners or managers, and used by
consumers in ways that will increase the Earth's natural bounty and benefit Earth's people;

RESPONSIBILITY for the CARE of EARTH

39. That rights to the bounty of Earth must be equaled by responsibility for its care;

40. That every individual should be taught from childhood the requirements for Earth care by instruction and experience in
caring for gardens, animals, and birds. Later instruction should include Earth Care criteria and guidelines for land use,
manufacturing, recycling, energy, design of homes and communities with sustainable goals in population and development;
preservation of wildlife and wilderness areas, ways to diminish pollution of air, soil and water;

MONEY and TRADE

41. That equitable trade and development requires a fair honest medium of exchange;

42. That money should not be a product, controlled by special interests and sold to the highest bidder, but instead should be a
free medium of exchange, based on things to be exchanged, and made available through collateral loans in percentages needed
to facilitate trade and exchange without inflation;

43. That amply secured loans should not require payment of interest, only the cost of paper work. Usury (interest) is
condemned by major religions. It can cause inflation and results in unearned and unnecessary income by manipulators;

44. That in high risk loans to individuals or firms, security provided by the borrower should be of equal value to money
provided by the bank. And both should share equally in any losses or profits; In this case money is actually an investment
instead of a loan;

PRODUCERS and CONSUMERS

45. That control of capital should be widely dispersed and prevented from being used to take unfair advantages of individuals
or corporations with legitimate need for money;

46. That public disclosure should be required in the management of any business or the sale of any stock setting forth the
company's adherence to Earth Care criteria:
Such as what is being done to avoid pollution in production and use of products or services; energy efficiency; design for easy
repair, service and recycling of products; fair wages and benefits to employees. Reports of standards adopted and adherence
should be provided by appropriate independent authorities;

47. That leaders in church, state and entertainment should urge support of Earth Trustee efforts and provide examples of an
Earth Trustee conscience in investments, purchases and life style;

48. That individuals who invest for greatest profit with no regard for how the money is made - bombs for poor misguided
countries, production lacking environmental safeguards, unfair poverty wages for employees - should be made aware of the
harm they are causing. Companies responsible for such Earth Kill practices should be exposed, penalized and their products
shunned until they convert to Earth Trustee conduct;

49. That the media should be the guardian of the public's long-term interest and could serve this purpose by exposing gross
Earth Kill examples, and by headlining Earth Trustee solutions and programs;

GREED and WHAT to DO ABOUT IT

50. That a major cause of injustice, of crimes against Nature and people, is the way we have accepted and institutionalized
greed, particularly greed for private profit from the land and natural resources of the Earth;

51. That most successes in selling products is presently achieved by advertising and promotion that increases greed, lust and
vanity. Subtle motivational techniques are used to deceive and corrupt and thereby make greater profits: For example, in the
promotion and sale of cigarettes;

52. That to attain a viable Earth Trustee future it is essential that designers, inventors, planners, producers, and consumers - and
advertising executives, all learn the necessity of Earth Trustee constraints. A massive educational program in schools, churches
and voluntary agencies is needed to expose Earth Kill kinds of promotion and products and instead promote public awareness
of Earth Trustee values and choices;

EDUCATION

53. That an Earth Trustee curriculum in schools is urgently needed. Earth Trustee studies can provide the best unifying purpose
for education;

54. That it is essential for children to learn more about the wonders of Earth and that our generation can become trustees,
custodians and caretakers of our beautiful planet;

55. That to accomplish these goals effective use must be made of every means of communication - print, fax, radio, TV,
telephone, satellite, computer networks;

MEDIA

56. That the general knowledge about how the world works should be constantly presented by media - in news and special
programs. For example, the role of light, soil, water, air and living organisms in nurturing the thin skin of life that covers our
globe; the diversity of plants, trees, animals, birds, insects - all necessary to the delicate balance of life-giving nutrients on our
planet;

TECHNOLOGY

57. That technology must be used to foster Earth's care. The present mindless use of technology in ways that poison, pollute
and disrupt Nature's ecosystems must be halted. Instead of a destroyer, technology can and must become a harmonious
extender of Nature's bounty;

RIGHT SIZE for EVERYTHING

58. That there is a right and wrong size for everything. Finding the right size is essential to the lasting success of any product,
system, arrangement, institution or endeavor;

59. That everything should be as small as possible, unless there is a good reason for it to be larger. In many cases communities
and businesses should be smaller - providing more intimate, humane services to smaller groups of people;

60. That constant growth of a city or a business will eventually lead to disaster. Exponential factors decree this. Cities and
towns can avoid this by providing laws that only allow new construction which replaces old structures. New Earth communities
using interactive technologies can relieve congestion;

61. That once a community or business reaches an optimum size, progress should be sought, not through an increase in size or
profits, but through improved quality of services and products. In a small business where the employees are close to owners
with a personal interest in each employee, a shared understanding of the operation and its purpose brings better give and take,
the pursuit of excellence and efficiency. Given a level playing field of competition, when a business gets too big, its smaller
competitors will be the ones to increase sales. Also, cooperatives will be given a better chance to prove their worth;

ETHICS OF RELIGION

62. That a sense of responsibility and the practice of Earth Trustee ethics is an essential requirement for the future;

63. That major religions, philosophies and ideologies teach the "Golden Rule" - to do unto others as you would have them do
unto you;

64. That while some people of faith are engaged in works of peace and works of charity, many religious people show in their
actions bigotry and hypocrisy;

65. That the majority of people fail miserably to live up to their intentions;

66. That moral responsibility and ethical behavior is for the most part found in people of deep, religious faith - reflected in their
compassion, fairness and charity;

67. That most conflict over religious and ideological beliefs have their roots in different hypotheses about the unknown. Does
God exist? What is the nature or purpose of reality?;

KEY TO BASIC ACCORD

68. That in the question of what life is all about, we face profound mysteries and unanswerable questions. Who can imagine the
Universe never having a beginning or ever having an end?;

69. That there is in the human spirit a desire for meaning in life. Religious belief, especially belief in a loving God, provides a
more promising hypothesis about the unknown. While belief in God or life after death cannot be scientifically proven, there are
phenomena that suggests its possibility; for example, answers to prayer, and reports by people who were briefly dead;

70. That the value and test in the here and now of religious faith or philosophical belief is its good effect on the believer: the
measure of confidence, virtue, integrity and the practice of the Golden Rule;

VIRTUE

71. That in the present crisis of our planet the greatest virtue or moral imperative is the care and rejuvenation of Earth and
securing the right of all people to its natural bounty;

A NEW GOLDEN AGE

72. That every adherent of ethics or religious faith should act as a responsible Trustee of Planet Earth: join the global Earth
Trustee Effort and assist some Earth Care project;

73. That every municipality or community should form an independent Earth Trustee Committee, which will discuss the 77
Theses and then form their own program to help the Earth Campaign: initiating or assisting projects that eliminate poverty and
pollution and benefit humanity;

74. That radio stations and TV need to program one or more daily Earth Minutes - at 0300, 1100 or 1900 GMT*. These
simultaneous global "minutes without words" can be produced independently by any radio or TV station, with views and sounds
of nature, children, music, bells, our planet;

75. That to foster the vital unity needed in our diversity, all individuals and institutions will celebrate Earth Day each year on the
March Equinox - Nature's Day, March 20 or 21; the first day of Spring (Fall in the Southern Hemisphere);

76. That global acceptance of responsibility for the protection and care of Earth can usher in a new golden age of opportunity
for all humanity;

77. THEREFORE, LET US PLEDGE OUR LIVES AND FORTUNES TO AID THE GREAT TASK OF EARTH'S
REJUVENATION, AND WITH CONFIDENCE AND FAITH, EACH DO OUR PART AS A TRUSTEE OF EARTH TO
TAKE CHARGE AND TAKE CARE OF OUR PLANET.

*Whenever people hear an Earth Minute on radio or TV, they will add their thought or silent prayer. A growing multitude are
praying and working for Earth's rejuvenation: for the prosperity that harmony with nature and neighbors will bring.

                                      John McConnell

                                         Earth Day

                                         PO Box 780

                                  Pine Planes, NY 12567
 
 

                                        BIBLIOGRAPHY
 

Can Man Live Without God - Ravi Zacharias
The Once And Future King - T.H. White
This Freedom Whence - Charles Wesley Brady
The Discovery and Spirit of Science - Sir Richard Gregory
The Mind of the Maker - Dorothy Sayer
Progress and Poverty - Henry George
The Kingdom of God is Within You - Leo Tolstoy
The Gospel of John
The Commandments of Jesus - J.S. McConnell
Star of Hope - John McConnell
Earth Magna Charta - John McConnell
Global Rallying Cry - John McConnell
Small is Beautiful - E. F. Schumacher