An Appeal to TV Stations

TV Peace Blitz -- Weekly Battle Cry - Save Earth one hour TV programs.
October 4, 1998 (St. Francis Day)


On Earth Day 1972, WOR TV (Channel 9, New York) provided a magnificent 12 hour TV Special which covered the ringing of the UN Peace Bell by the Secretary General, his call to an environmental conference in Stockholm was followed by entertainment and hourly panels by world experts on environmental issues. John McConnell, founder of Earth Day, provided the idea and was Co-Producer.

The following proposal would bring a major breakthrough in preventing the further degradation of Earth life and in stimulating its nurture and care. It would bring worldwide attention and inspire action for a peaceful, prosperous future. The suggestions could be modified or changed in detail by different TV stations and networks and still achieve their principal objectives.

Program Guidelines

The essential elements for programming are the ideas of Earth Care, as defined in the Earth Magna Charta and and the observance of a common annual Earth Day on nature’s March Equinox. These can provide recognition of our planet and commitment to its nurture and care.

The two symbols that will aid this program are the Earth Flag, which shows the Earth as seen from Space, on a dark blue field, and the United Nations Peace Bell – its visual use and the use of its sound.

"Battle for Earth" would be an hour program. A special set would be prepared drawing on some of the feeling of Star Wars, or perhaps the Operation Room in the Pentagon, with views of our planet – of problems and actions to solve them.

The Anchor Man (or woman) should be a dynamic person of quiet strength, perhaps a little like Intrepid, or Spock, someone sensitive to ethical and spiritual values and at the same time a very practical person who can clearly state basic needs and priorities.

Programs would seek to give an overview of what’s happening on our planet, and then come down to specific local incidents that people can relate to: For example, the growing of vegetables in a neighborhood garden, urban homesteads, shopping tour for earth Care items. In the practical examples of Earth Care and their success stories there would be an effort to combine education and entertainment. While the best of theater techniques would be employed in these programs, the object here would be a concrete, practical one: to motivate individuals to do the things that will help the nurture and care of Earth.

In creating the sense of awareness that is needed one program could say, in effect, "You are There." For example, viewers would pretend they are astronauts in a Space Mission. The TV screen would show the Earth as seen by an astronaut circling our globe. This could be punctuated by telescopic views of key Earth attractions: whales, lions, deserts, villages, etc. with a feeling of the wonder of Earth.

"Battle For Earth"

Programming could follow the outline of the Earth Magna Charta, beginning with awareness of our planet, then Earth Trustee examples in ecology, economics and ethics. The importance of stories would depend on how much they were defining and helping a sustainable future. This would provide a moral equivalent of war. Instead of nations with different creeds and cultures mobilizing their people to settle their differences with other countries by using guns to kill their enemies, the enemies would be poverty, pollution and violence. The weapons would be words and actions to eliminate hate and fear with mutual assistance for common goals.

In discussion of news and needed action there would be scholars, scientists and laymen focusing on their special knowledge to answer the question, "In this situation, what will best help the struggle to make Earth a healthy, peaceful planet." There would be a constant search for programs and actions that will avoid future dangers and meet Earth’s needs for rejuvenation.

Interesting, informed individuals would be invited to be guests on the program: Leaders of science, religion, politics, business. (Walter Cronkite might host a program.) A special treat would be to feature some figures from history – as Steve Allen once did. We need the wisdom of the ages to solve our problems. The day I am writing this is "St. Francis Day" (October 4th). He would be especially appropriate.

The Battle for Earth TV program would create the feeling that their studio was a command post for our planet; obtaining information from around the world, and then zeroing in on priorities that need to be addressed.

Viewers could be invited to write in and receive an Earth Trustee Membership Card, an attractive card that could be carried in a wallet and would state, for example: Earth Trustee Member, John Smith, Citizen of the city of New York.

Each member would be asked to join some group that is helping the Earth Trustee agenda, to assist a specific project of their choice. They could report results to local Earth Trustee Message Boards on Internet.

There could also be an Earth Trustee Certificate, an attractive document that people would want to frame, and keep in their home or office. This would indicate that the individual is committed to getting recognition and appreciation for our planet, and is dedicated to the care of Earth and to help assure that its natural bounty – land, raw materials – are made available to all of Earth’s people in an equitable manner.


Bethel, a town in Connecticut, is going all out to demonstrate Earth Trustee actions. Their example will encourage other cities to do the same.

New York City

Any city in the world could take a lead in Earth Trustee action that would change their impact on our planet from Earth Kill to Earth Care. Take the City of New York as an example.

Marcus Aurelius referred to Rome as the highest city, of which all other cities of the world were families. New York City is unique both in its size and density of population and in its influence throughout the world. Within this city are ethnic groups from every nation. Then the presence of the United Nations, the financial community, and the communications industry, provide the possibility of influencing the whole world. Mobilize this city for the care of Earth and it will be easy to obtain similar action by cities throughout the world. This present Tower of Babel can be converted to a lighthouse, a pillar of light for all of humanity.

A special effort should be made to determine the fraternal resources of the city and to enlist their participation. In this city voluntary organizations abound: scientific, cultural, religious and educational institutions of every kind are found. An invitation by the Mayor should enlist their participation in the Battle for Earth. Many would adopt the Earth Magna Charta and in their own way pursue an Earth Care / Earth Trustee program, where possible relating present activities of this kind to the Earth Trustee theme. A Wall Street task force could address the issue of economic policies and action that would help win the Battle for Earth. Public Relations and Advertising could improve their image by making a strong case for Earth Trustee action. We could then saturate New York City with the idea that in all of our endeavors we must be aware of our planet and dedicated to its care. Changing New York from Earth Kill to Earth Care would not only do wonders for this great city but at the same time the results would reverberate around the world.

It will be important to keep coming back to basics, to priorities that are practical and easily understood. It should be stressed that in taking charge and taking care of Earth there will be more and more jobs, with useful satisfying work, and that this program will provide humane homes for every family on Earth. This is a feasible goal that can be achieved in the next 20 years. Stressing the fact that this planet is an inheritance of all Earth’s people, and that everyone has a right to a portion of their planet and a fair stake in its future, there could be reports on the varied ways poor people are obtaining their right – and justifying their right by their care of Earth.

A technique for simple visual communication would be the use of graphic maps: maps that show mainly forests, maps of clouds, rivers, wildlife, a map of New York just showing libraries and museums, or parks, or neighborhood gardens, botanical gardens, etc.

The host of the TV programs would be constantly seeking ideas, strategies, and success stories that will help win the Battle for Earth’s Survival and Care. The milestones in this effort will be each succeeding Earth Day in the years to come – aided by the impetus of the New Millennium. Together, we will achieve victory in our Battle for Earth, with major action by humanity to take charge and take care of Earth and make our Earth a healthy, peaceful planet.

Recognition of our planet, and its place in time and space, will be aided by special attention to the events that mark our voyage around the Sun and our changing seasons. In addition to Earth Day, the March Equinox, there is the September Equinox and the Solstices in June and December. There are many ways of explaining them and fabulous records and artifacts about their significance to ancient cultures.

Earth Day 1999

A well planned effort now could result in global attention on Earth Day "99 for our planet – with communication and commitment to the care of earth. With help from NASA, and possibly from the Soviet Space Program there could be a "Report From Space on the State of Earth." This could reflect their assessment of Earth’s problems and possibilities. In 1998 the Mir Space Station joined in the observance of Earth Day. The Report From Space could be a prelude to Earth Day.

Earth Day 1999 will be on March 20 with the ringing of the United Nations Peace Bell at 8:46 p.m. EST. Bells in every part of the world can join in this signal recognition of nature’s wonder and our dedication on the Equinox to Earth’s nurture and care.


Here is a chance for the TV stations of the world – which must take a measure of responsibility for the sad state of our media made civilization – to take action that will rejuvenate our planet. Instead of the new millennium bringing the doom of civilization, it will then provide its renewal.

John McConnell
October 4, 1998

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