A philosopher and award-winning nature writer examines the moral arguments behind the need to end the processes that have created global warming.
Moore (Philosophy/Oregon State Univ.; Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature, 2010, etc.) examines why it is unethical to permit the pillaging of the Earth’s resources and why people should take action to end further environmental degradation. She presents “Thirteen Good Reasons to Save the World” and then, in the essays that follow, elaborates on those she finds the most compelling. Humanity must save the Earth for future generations to enjoy, she writes, and the world is too miraculous to destroy. But most importantly of all, to allow further destruction violates the most basic human rights to “life, liberty, and security of person.” Human beings must learn to see the magnificence of the world and every living thing in it. At the same time, they must let the beauty of nature inspire a love that is so “elemental and fierce” that it gives rise to a determination not to let the planet die without a fight. As Moore points out, by 2060, it’s likely that “half of the Earth’s species will have gone extinct.” Speaking out about patterns of acceptance and denial that exist in personal and collective attitudes toward the reality of climate change is also imperative. Humans may be able to adapt—for a time—to the damaged world we are creating, but, writes the author, “the single-minded focus on accommodation to climate change…is a moral failure” because it makes no allowances for the open, multifaceted discourse that could improve a dangerous situation for the greater good. In this probing and lyrical book, Moore reminds readers of the interrelatedness of all living things through time, and she offers a clarion call to summon the moral courage to “rage against the dying” of the Earth.
An impassioned and well-reasoned cry for “great rising tides of affirmation of justice and human decency and shared thriving.”