Origins of Earth Day...
Concerning the rights of all people to Earth's land, sea, minerals,
oil and other natural resources.
1. That all men are created equally free and independent and have
among their inalienable rights certain fundamental property rights
during their sojourn on this planet.
2. That a beneficent Creator has provided this Earth-home, this
nest in the stars, with an abundance of land and natural resources;
enough that with care and cooperation a good life can be enjoyed
by all members of the family of man.
3. That among the equal rights of men is the right to an equal
share in nature's bounty; a right of each man [person] to his
planetary inheritance -- his share of land, water, minerals or
an appropriate equivalent in food, housing or other benefits.
No one can, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity,
or any other man's posterity, of the right to his portion or Earth.
All natural resources belong equally to every living person.
4. That steps should be taken to compensate for, or other wise
adjust the differences in the present unequal ownership of the
gifts of nature. To this end each nation should collect a two
percent royalty each year for all use (including its own) of any
land or other natural resources. These royalties would be above
and apart from taxation for government needs, and be distributed
equally to all citizens through quarterly payments, or other appropriate
measures. In this way within a fifty year life span there will
be full and just compensation to each person for the use of his
portion of Earth's natural riches.
5. That since the benefits of nature's bounty can only be realized
through man's constructive effort and the wise use of his accumulated
knowledge, each person's learning and labor should be encouraged
and rewarded. Therefore, no individual, or group should be deprived
of any just benefits obtained from Earth's available -- so long
as fair payment is made to the rest of mankind.
6. That the basic raw materials of the Earth should be made available
to all on an equal basis, with due regard for the requirements
of conservation; that the United Nations should seek agreements
to serve this purpose.
7. That steps be taken by the United Nations to assure that the
use and exploitation of the sea and sea floor will be equally
available to people of all nations, subject to careful conservation
regulations and supervision; and that in addition to fees for
its services, the United Nations will collect royalties for the
use of the sea and sea floor to be distributed equally among the
ultimate owners -- all the people of this Earth.
8. That as these steps toward social justice and cooperation demonstrate
their advantage, all nations should seek to adjust the remaining
differences among them in natural resources benefits through participation
in a natural resource Royalties pool, whereby equal royalty payments
would be paid each and every member of the whole human family.
These steps toward realization of global property rights will
encourage cooperation, individual initiative, and responsibility;
they will make feasible full production with ever-growing peaceful
progress as we explore the nature of man and his place in the
universe, and find new ways to encourage and inspire his highest
By John McConnell, 1969
PROPOSED EARTH DAY
As Earthians we need a day to celebrate our global unity and destiny,
The observance of EARTH DAY will alert concern and interest for
our planet -- with its precious treasure of living things, and
EARTH DAY is to remind each person of his right, and the equal
right of every other person, to the use of this global home and
at the same time the equal responsibility of each person to preserve
and improve the Earth and the quality of life thereon,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED;
That in the City and County of San Francisco March 21st (Vernal
Equinox) be the designated EARTH DAY - a special day to remember
Earth's tender seedlings of life and people; a day for planting
trees and grass and flowers, for cleaning streams and wooded glens.
That to further these purposes a Silent Hour For Peace (a time
for quiet reflection or prayer) be observed on Earth Day at 19:00
G.M.T. (11:00 a.m. P.S.T.). That on EARTH DAY the EARTH FLAG,
which portrays in its center our "Beautiful Blue Planet;"
be flown to encourage mutual respect for Earth and all its people.
Written by John McConnell, Founder of International Earth Day,
and later signed (in amended form) by 1. Alexander B. Grannis,
New York Assembly; 2. Judith Hollister, The Temple of Understanding;
3. Luther Evans, Former Director General of UNESCO; 4. Estelle
Feldman (Ireland), 1970 World Youth Assembly; 5. David R. Brower,
Friends of the Earth; 6. Arvid Pardo, Ambassador, UN Mission to
Malta; 7. Margaret Mead, Anthropologist; 8. Eugene McCarthy, US
Senator from Minnesota; 9. John Gardner, Common Cause; 10. Mike
Gravel, US Senator from Alaska; 11. Hugh Scott, US Senator from
Pennsylvania; 12. Buzz Aldrin. American Astronaut; 13. S. O. Adebo
(Nigeria), President of UN Assembly; 14. U Thant (Ceylon). United
Nations Secretary General; 15. Maurice Strong (Canada), UN Environmental
Programme; 16. Y. Fukushima (Japan), Environmental Scientist;
17. Rene J. Dubois, Environmental Scientist; 18. Lubos Kohoutek
(Czechoslovakia), Astronomer; 19. Buckminster Fuller, Inventor;
20. Mark Hatfield, U.S. Senator from Oregon; 21. John Denver,
Singer; 22. Robert Muller (France), Assistant Secretary General,
UN; 23. Isaac Asimov, Writer; 24. Aly Teymour (Egypt). Chief of
Protocol, United Nations; 25. Anatoly N. Berezovoi (Russia), Cosmonaut;
26. Cynthia Lennon (United Kingdom), Artist; 27. Oscar Arias,
President of Costa Rico; 28. Audrey McLaughlin, Leader, NDP, Canada;
29. George Fernandes, Minister of Transportation, India; 30. Carlos
Salinas, President of Mexico; 31. Yasir Arafat, President of Palestine;
32. Yehudi Menuhin, Musician, Violinist; 33. Mikhail Gorbachev,
President, Russia (some signed at later dates)