FOR RELEASE  -- October 24, 1999



Statement by 84 year old John McConnell, founder of Earth Day, at "May Peace Prevail on Earth." on United Nations Day, October 24, 1999 at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza - New York



We take this occasion to invite you to help "Stop the World -- for the Earth Day Millennium Equinox on March 20, 2000."  We would like the world to take a few minutes on the day the equinox occurs to stop what they are doing and go outside, look into the sky and make a heartfelt commitment to think and act as an Earth Trustee.

This simple idea can appeal to people of every creed and culture and help bind us together as one human family as we enter the new millennium.

The last United Nations Day before the year 2000, provides  a momentous opportunity to end history's long sad record of hate, fear, lust and greed, and begin the actions that will realize the ancient promise of a New Millennium -- "where the Lion will lie down with the Lamb and the nations will know war no more." 

What do we mean by "Stop the World"?  The old saying was, "Stop the world, I want to get off." By this we mean to stop all we are doing and act as if we are off the planet, looking together at the whole world;  knowing its in a mess.  The whole world is upside down.  But we now have an Earth Trustee lever than can turn it right side up. We can do what is needed to make the new millennium a new beginning of promise for our planet.

To use the words of the World Anthem "Wake Up The World,"  "People have to Stop, Stop this world from crying and make this planet Smile.  That's what they have to do - To do together."

The Earth Trustee idea, which Earth Day provided, makes clear that we are one human family and now can -- with our new knowledge and technology -- eliminate poverty, pollution and the ignorance that causes injustice and violence.

In the last two millennium the evil in man has dominated and almost destroyed our planet.  But in the ups and downs of history there has been evidence that the good in man (or the good available to him through his religion or reverence for life) has always been at work in some measure.  One of the great mysteries of life is the many examples of love at work in the midst of vile and cruel conditions.

The way to a new millennium of hope and promise is for all who believe in the power of love to find common ground with people of other religions or beliefs.  An outstanding scholar was asked to put in the fewest words what was most important.  He said, "Love one another."  In every human contact, we need to remember LOA, "Love One Another."

In times of great crisis nations and people have found they can cooperate for a great common goal and make room for their differences.  In World War II the US and USSR cooperated to defeat the Nazi threat aimed at their destruction.  Earth Day and the Earth Trustee Agenda provides a moral equivalent of war that will not kill people, but will destroy poverty, pollution, injustice and the ignorance that causes violence, hate, fear and greed. 

The most important common ground in this life is the ground under our feet.  We all know we must care for one another and care for our planet.  The best way to do this is for all to think of themselves as Earth Trustees.

Think, talk, pray, act.  Let's mobilize a moral equivalent of war that will turn fear and hate into new hope - and night into day.

Let every one who hears this message choose now to be an Earth Trustee and spread the word in every way possible.  By Earth Day 2000 we can have the whole world take a giant step from Earth Kill to Earth Care and begin a new future that will realize our best hopes and dreams.

John McConnell
October 1999

*  For more information on "Stop the World" go to:
*  Wake up the World"  Music and lyrics by Vladji, Vladimir Ostrofsky