Humans tend to ignore our visionaries, those people with a unique knack to look beyond current crises to project viable solutions. Yet visionaries are our guiding lights who, to paraphrase Einstein, we need in order to develop a new, higher level of thinking that will enable us to solve problems created by our current level of thinking.
John McConnell, born in 1915, was a visionary and actionary whose ideas were far ahead of the times.
During The Depression in the 1930s, when many Americans were standing in breadlines, he was involved with production of biomass plastic made from discarded walnut shells.
As a newspaper owner during The Cold War, he editorialized that the United States and USSR should explore space cooperatively, a concept that later manifested in the Mir space station.
In the 1960s, he espoused, “Peace is not the absence of war,” a phrase often quoted by peace speakers today. Yet, John also gave to us the method to attain peace—seek “an honest understanding of another’s point of view”—that is often ignored today.
John McConnell created the Earth Flag, which is still the only banner for all the world’s people.
In 1969 and ’70, he founded the original Earth Day on the vernal equinox. This name was soon usurped by another camp who, at the same time, was organizing an “Environmental Teach-In” on April 22, 1970. Due to greater public relations efforts by the Teach-In group, most people today misidentify April 22 as “Earth Day,” while a small cadre of John McConnell’s followers continue to celebrate the first day of spring by ringing the Peace Bell at the United Nations and various other locations worldwide.
Peace, Justice, Care of Earth, then, is a story of a great man who, like many other visionaries, have been lost in the shadows, passed over by the spotlight of fame and fortune. Yet, John McConnell’s light continues to shine as a candle to safeguard humanity from darkness.
His vision shines most brightly in his explanation of the holistic relationship between peace through understanding, social justice as an equitable sharing of resources by all people, and the fact that both of these are necessary before we will truly begin to take care of planet Earth.
Thus, application of John McConnell’s concept of Earth Trustees, conceived more than a half century ago, is essential to human thrival today. Order this biography and find out why.
The Vision of John McConnell,
Founder of Earth Day
A biography by Robert M. Weir
Published by Press On Publishing
Previously published as Star of Hope by Swan Books, New York, NY
5.5 x 8.5, 344 pages, photographs, index
Available in hard cover, paperback, and Kindle
Peace is not the absence of war. Peace comes from an honest understanding of another’s point of view.
Justice is not an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; that’s legalized revenge. True justice comes from an equitable sharing of all the world’s resources by all the world’s people.
Without peace through understanding and social justice, the environmental movement is a one-legged stool.
- —John McConnell, 1915–2012
John McConnell’s concept of peace, justice, and the care of Earth is one of my most popular and oft-requested speech topics. Contact me to schedule this presentation.
John McConnell and Robert Weir with Earth Flag, Denver, Colorado, 2005