The Hard Part

In the beginning, there was a void. And into this void was born the Earth. The Earth was a dead world, with sulfuric oceans and punishing solar rays. Freezing with its molten moon, burning with its furious sun. This was the first world.

Then the breath of Earth grew thick. And she birthed a great many species. These lived and died. They changed and spread from the sea to the land. From the land to the air. They grew fabulously large, and amazingly small. They spread deep into the ground. And they live in the air. They grew to live together to the benefit of all. And eventually they each became extinct, gifting their place to another. This was the second world.

Next in our unrepentantly anthropocentric creation story comes humanity. This species had gifts like all the species. Like the spider has silk and the cat has speed. Their gift was culture. And with this ability they adapted to every climate on Earth. And where ever they went they changed what they found. Some species gave their last gift to the Earth in this process. But what humanity created was greater fertility. And greater balance between the species of Earth. This was the third world.

The talent of humanity for changing their environment made some grow in arrogance. And they proclaimed themselves supreme. They spread across the globe in an orgy of death. Proclaiming they were making the world better they marched forward with their banner of progress, leaving sand and baked Earth in their wake. Many species suffered, giving their last gift prematurely. But the tragedy is that humanity suffered more, because despite the separation, the lack of food, the unheard of diseases and illnesses, even the newly, unrelenting struggle to survive in a dead landscape…despite it all…humanity did not give their final gift. They only grew in number forcing humanity into greater and greater hardship. This is the fourth world.

Now we stand on the brink of the fifth world. Humanity will either give its last gift, or will go forward with a new purpose. Humanity’s gift from Earth was culture. We can change at will without having to wait for evolution. This is the great virtue that made humanity’s name a blessing, and then made it a curse. Humanity must exercise its gift again, and change. Creating life and bounty where we once left salt and sand. And this change will relieve the suffering of humanity as well. This is the fifth world. Building it is our great work.

I was originally introduced to this great work more than five years ago. Compared to some of you out there I’m pretty new at this. But I’ve seen a big change in the way we talk to people who do not yet know they are a part of the great work. Before we had to convince them things needed to change. Once we did, offering the solution of a new society was relatively easy. They needed to hear a solution, and we had one ready. The only toss up was whether they would want to run with us or stay on the sidelines.

Now people know we need change. That argument is quickly and easily accepted. They are even mostly prepared to hear the true extent of our situation. But they already think they have been given the solution. Renewable energy, clean coal, recycling, organic food, vegetarianism, etc have all been offered to people as solutions. They are not. Not a single one has a hope of solving the problem, not all together or each severally. The hard part is not convincing people things need to change. Now the hard part is convincing them that what needs to change is not our technology or our trash, but we ourselves.

– Benjamin Shender

P.S. Please feel free to leave comments. I know we have readers, I have the numbers to prove it. Feel free to jump into the conversation.



  1. Lindsay said,

    October 24, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Yes, you have readers! And I imagine many of them, like me, anxiously await your new posts. Glad to see a bunch. I’m hope you are well and I’m glad you’re continuing to spread the word. We’re seeing many people “waking up,” even here in my highly conservative corner of the world. There could be hope for us yet. I can’t do much more than continue to do all I can do, and pass the truth to others who will listen.
    Thanks again.

  2. mory von werner said,

    January 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    the putative original cell is impossible— therefore Darwin’s theories a fairy tail.
    what am I missing in all this!!??

  3. Arlo said,

    August 20, 2009 at 3:37 am


    Capitals? An understanding grammar? An education?

  4. Manny said,

    June 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I enjoyed reading some of your posts. I recommend the following post that changed the way I think about survival and made me rethink my strategy toward post collapse. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  5. Miss J said,

    March 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Have you read Cradle to Cradle? Great book that tackles this subject…

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