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Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril Paperback – September 27, 2011


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Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril + A New Environmental Ethics: The Next Millennium for Life on Earth + Boundaries, Second Edition: Boundaries: A Casebook in Environmental Ethics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: Trinity University Press (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595340858
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595340856
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathleen Dean Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University. She is the author or editor of many books including Wild Comfort, The Pine Island Paradox, Rachel Carson, Holdfast, Riverwalking, and countless journal and magazine articles. She serves on the board of directors for Orion Society and Island Institute. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon.

Michael P. Nelson is Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics at Lyman Briigs College at Michigan State University. He is author or editor of several books including The Wilderness Debate Rages On and The Great New Wilderness Debate. He lives in Bell Oak, Michigan.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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This book was exactly what I was looking for and hoping to find.
Rick
Excellent resource for discussion group interested in environmental ethics.
Don Darby
Thank you for bringing all these wonderful thoughts together in one book.
Christine Heinrichs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Christine Heinrichs on November 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the book we needed to focus on the moral aspects of climate change. The authors have collected thoughtful essays from the people I'd most like to hear from on the question of: Do we have a moral obligation to take action to protect the future of a planet in peril? Answers are organized into sections on: For the survival of mankind; for the sake of the children; for the sake of the Earth itself; for the sake of all forms of life on the planet; to honor our duties of gratitude and reciprocity; for the full expression of human virtue; because all flourishing is mutual; for the stewardship of God's creation; because compassion requires it; because justic demands it; because the world is beautiful; because we love the world; to honor and celebrate the Earth and Earth systems; because our moral integrity requires us to do what is right. I'm using it for daily spiritual study. Thank you for bringing all these wonderful thoughts together in one book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Cafaro on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you're concerned about global climate change and wondering what the world's religious leaders and ethical thinkers have to say on the subject, this is an ideal place to look.

The book consists in short essays, with a poem or three thrown in, all addressing our obligations regarding global climate change and other global environmental problems. There essays are generally short and to the point, mostly of excellent quality.

There are pieces by environmental philosophers, like Peter Singer and Holmes Rolston; big names in environmental studies like Gus Speth; well known scientists like E.O. Wilson; activists like Wangari Maathi; spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama and the late Pope John Paul II; well known writers like bell hooks and Ursula K. Leguin; and many more.

These essays are intelligently presented, in 10 or so sections focused on particular reasons why we should act to protect the planet: "for the sake of the children," for the sake of the earth itself," "for justice's sake," etc. Each section has a short introduction and a concluding short few paragraphs giving ideas for "ethical action."

There are many things I like about this book. The writings are generally of a very high quality. It is helpful having both secular and religious approaches to the ethical issues. The writers often move beyond the typical focus on "techno-fixes", like compact fluorescent bulbs, and talk seriously about limiting consumption and ending population growth, which will be key to actually solving these problems.

All in all this is a terrific book. I recommend it highly!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Springer on January 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As this kindle-specific review can't be unhooked from the book's overall rating, I apologize for using a 3-star review in order to draw attention to a kindle-only defect.

The grace of this remarkable project is that 80 (eighty!) short essays were solicited to answer the question "Do we have a moral obligation to take action to protect the future of a planet in peril?" (Compare to Wiesenthal's _The Sunflower_ -- though here the respondents differ only on *why* they say yes.) The essays are somewhat artificially organized according to their broad patterns of moral reasoning. Obviously, some essays are more compelling than others, but since these are all public voices, it's worth reflecting on how they frame their responses.

The print edition displays the question clearly above the table of contents, and it lists each essay according to AUTHOR and essay title. So, you can browse through names including the Dalai Lama, E.O. Wilson, Barack Obama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ursula K. Le Guin, Peter Singer, J. Baird Callicott, Thomas L. Friedman, Mary Catherine Bateson, bell hooks, and Barbara Kingsolver (and 68 others), turning to each as you like.

The kindle edition OMITS THE QUESTION over the table of contents (so its "Yes, because..." headings are non-sequiturs). Worse, the table of contents lists essays by title but NOT AUTHOR. The kindle edition is therefore useless for anything other than a linear reading. Apparently there's "nobody home" at Amazon's kindle-edition assembly line to think about what readers need to have included in a digital edition. (If this problem is somehow fixed, I will retract this artificially-low rating.)
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Format: Hardcover
Scientists provide evidence that environmental degradation and global climate change are a danger to all life on Earth, and that we're approaching the point of no return in options. In all the discussions of cause and effect, often lacking is discussion of human moral responsibilities to the world. Here some eighty writers from across political and religious spectrums around the world survey moral issues and provide essays from various cultural traditions that all call upon ethical and moral codes to take an active stance. No college-level collection strong in environmental issues should be without this discussion.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nathan McClure on November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Kathleen Moore is amazing! For those who are interested in hearing from her on the topic of this book and all that it encompasses watch her address at Oregon State: [...]

For the youth and young adults - the failure of our leaders to do something about climate change is a theft from our generation, it is an unauthorized taking! We will live to see the ending of one way of life and a beginning of another. We need to stand up and demand justice for all generations!

What do we do:
1) live with integrity - what do I most deeply value; what am I doing that undercuts/embodies those values; what am I going to do next?
2) live with conscientious objection - yes change your light bulbs, unplug appliances, vote, all the things on those generic how to save the world list--but most of all refuse to become an instrument of destruction.
3) find the intersection between your joy and the worlds great need--this is your calling! think-how can I make my life an expression of what I most deeply value.

This book is a collection of many many reasons for believing it is wrong to wreak the world, for the purpose of finding a reason to act. We know scientifically we need to act but it takes more than knowledge to act. To be able to come to a conclusion as to what action one must do one must both be given empirical facts concerning the problem as well as ethical beliefs concerning those facts. Why do we care about those facts, how do they intersect with our values. If both these premises can be provided then we will be able to see a conclusion based in action.
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