Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Moral Ground -- a book review

Thanks to Lyn Adamson for suggesting this book, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril (Trinity University, 2010). 

It is a collection of reflections and eco-visions by over 100 thinkers. Since then, the Moral Ground website has added 14 bonus articles, as well as excerpts from the original book.

Like so many others in the ecojustice movement, the editors Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson feel that scientific data and government regulation are insufficient for the social and personal transformation that true earthcare requires. “What is missing is the moral imperative, the conviction that assuring our own comfort at terrible cost to the future is not worthy of us as moral beings.”

In a May 2011 survey, Climate Change in the American Mind, 82 out of 100 admitted they have made no changes in their lifestyle despite the gathering evidence of man-made pollution. Though climatologist James Hansen, biologist E.O Wilson,  preachers like Bill McKibben, University researchers and UN agencies report we are rapidly reaching climate chaos, with 300,000 human lives lost annually as a result of global change, species die-offs exceeding 100 times normal rates, planetary limits exceeded -- the majority of us do nothing.

How can we learn collective responsibility? How can we act out of concern for our grandchildren, and compassion for everything that lives, rather than individual greed, comfort, and convenience? That is the challenge of this book. MG's mission statement invites us to town hall meetings, study groups and actions, to start "a national conversation concerning our individual and collective responsibilities to the future."  
  • Yes, it’s wrong to leave behind a ransacked and dangerously unstable world.
  • Yes, our lives must be an expression of what we most deeply value.
  • Yes, we can and must make conscience-driven choices about how we spend our money and time.
  • Yes, we must provide a safe and thriving future for our children.
  • Yes, tending to the Earth and reversing climate destruction are a moral, spiritual and religious imperative.

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