Peace and Global Cooling

By David Swanson

Those are our two goals now, and we are facing dual catastrophes spearheaded by a single unimpeached president. Some people have understood the goals of peace and environmental protection for quite some time. If the Democratic Party ever finds its soul, when it arrives in Denver for the 2008 Convention it should honor a resident of that city who is currently 91-years-old.

John McConnell founded Earth Day. He advocates dialogue with the Iranians, rather than threats and bombs, and his understanding of Iranians’ openness to talking dates back to his efforts in Iran to free the American hostages a quarter century ago. But John did something many years before that crisis that sets a stronger example, one being followed today by Lt. Ehren Watada.

John went to prison rather than join the Army and kill human beings in World War II. He understood that even the war that is so commonly labeled “good” and “just” was neither, that it ought to have been avoided through better diplomacy in the preceding decades, and that people ought not to kill each other for the goals of presidents and prime ministers.

Those who believe that World War II was a good war and that the Iraq War is a bad war — a large group of people that I believe includes Lt. Watada – still owe a debt to WWII resisters who helped lay the groundwork for future peace movements, and civil rights movements, in this country.

McConnell says that when he was in prison, a lot of soldiers were brought in and locked up simply for being late returning from leave. Here’s how he describes this on his website

By Earth Day Founder, John McConnell

I was once in prison for my refusal to join the Army and help kill our enemies. Many of the prisoners were black and sang Christian songs they knew. One night we were ordered to march back and forth in the yard. Some of them started singing, “Up above my head, I hear music in the air. Up above my head, I hear music in the air. Up above my head, I hear music in the air. Now I know, yes I know, there’s a God somewhere.”

To me, the greatest mystery is the mystery of love, the kind of love that you find in the commandments and promises of Jesus. We assume the source of all that is must have infinite wisdom, and the greatest wisdom I know is in the words of Jesus. St, Francis, Martin Luther King, and other true followers of Jesus have pointed the way. I have tried to do the same. The Earth Trustee Agenda in my Earth Day web site ( points the way.


People of every creed and culture agree we should practice altruism in all our actions. The Earth Trustee goal of Peace, Justice and Care of Earth is the common goal we all can support. While we may differ on what we think is best, we can agree on this basic idea.

Find something you can do that will further this purpose. Of course the more influence you have, the more will result from your actions. Leaders in government, corporations, religion, and media, have a special responsibility.

Do what you can and get attention for it. We have inherited a wonderful planet with a miracle web of life that is headed for catastrophe – unless we go all out to save it.

We must, and can, end humanities long record of war, greed, and selfishness with a global turn toward peace, justice, and a sustainable future.

Everyone can make a difference. The greatest opportunity is for global leaders and people of wealth. Media can make a great difference by headlining the nonviolent ways of peace and where they are doing the most good.

In this 2006 Christmas season, let us Think, Pray and Act to foster peace in all our contacts. And Expect A Miracle !!! .

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