An End of the World Thriller

Sep 7th, 2020 | By | Category: Other Resources

By Geoffrey Holland, guest writer for Transition Earth.

Photo by Klimkin/Creative Commons

Photo by Klimkin/Creative Commons

Take in the big picture.  It’s a story that is apocalyptic in scale, driven by arch villains defending the old order, against protagonists determined to forge a life-affirming, and sustainable transformation for humanity. It’s about survival on an epic, planetary scale.

It is our story.

We are nearly eight billion humans caught in our own spiral downward. Will we wise up and save ourselves by taking a new course, or will we continue down the dark road to our own demise?

The grim reality we are experiencing could easily be translated into cheap pulp fiction. I’ve read my share of that over the years.  I never thought I’d be living through anything that would approximate that kind of literary brinksmanship.

Consider our reality. We have too many people, and not enough resources. We are caught in a global viral pandemic. The economic system that links the entire planet is withering under increasing stress. The biodiversity of our Earth is collapsing. The climate is seriously overheated, and prone to weather extremes; droughts; flooding; super-tornadoes; and enormously destructive hurricanes. Political tensions are boiling over.  We are caught in a swirling, cultural maelstrom.  That is our story.

We have made a very big mess of the biosphere we all depend on.  The course we are on is the road to ruin. That’s what the science warns. About ninety percent of the world’s scientists see it that way.

For humanity, escape and renewal demands a new direction; a direction built fundamentally on two global-scale ideas: ‘Dignity for All’, and ‘Shared Planetary Stewardship’. We must recognize that we are all in this together; that we are part of, not separate and superior to nature.

There is no one coming to our rescue. There is no one to save us but ourselves.


Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.

~ Carl Sagan, Voice of the Cosmos

As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, we are at a colossal turning-point in our own drama. Who will prevail? On one side are the world’s bankers, billionaires, corporate elites, and complicit politicians using every tool and trick to protect their self-interest. Lined up in opposition, around the world, are increasing numbers of citizens, who recognize that life-on-Earth is in big trouble. They feel threatened as never before. They are ready to stand for an agenda that serves the common good. They want to be part of building a future for our Earth that is worthy of our species.

So, how does our own real-life, Earth-scale example of pulp fiction turn-out? If I’m writing the story, the transformers win; after a protracted struggle and a lot of pain, suffering, and destruction, it’s the hoards of compassionate humanists around the world, who identify as planetary citizens, that win.  A new order for life on Earth takes shape that reflects gender equality across the board; dignity for all; and a commitment to proper stewardship of the planet we all depend on. That’s what I wish for.

In real life, we don’t know how the story plays out.  In real life, it’s not pulp fiction. In real-life, there is unprecedented suffering, death, and destruction. In real life, the risks are increasingly obvious, and the outcome is potentially fatal on a planetary-scale.


[Photo: Creative Commons]

[Photo: Creative Commons]

We are immersed in our own story.  We are at a monumental turning point. We will all have a hand in determining if the human saga is at the beginning of its end, or at the end of its beginning.

In the chapter currently unfolding, we can remain hapless cogs in service to the destructive status quo, or we can embrace our obligation to be the change that human survival demands.  Our future is in our own hands.

The time has come. We must all step up and be counted, before it’s too late.


Individuals learn faster than institutions, and it is always the dinosaur’s brain that is the last to get the message.

~ Hazel Henderson, The Politics of the Solar Age


Geoffrey Holland is a writer/producer, and lead author of The Hydrogen Age. He is Dialogue Coordinator for the Stanford Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere.

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