Book Review: Lighting a Fire for the Future

MORAL GROUND: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson (Trinity University Press)


| September-October 2010



Moral Ground Book Review

Could there be a more pressing book topic than the present fate of humanity, perched at the precipice of environmental collapse? Perhaps only our steadfast ignorance and denial of the same. Moral Ground collects short essays and addresses from prominent writers, thinkers, and leaders that explore a question fundamental to our time: Do we have an obligation to future generations to take action now to stabilize the climate and protect them from harm?

Their answer, if you couldn’t guess, is an emphatic yes. It’s in the artful ways they affirm their agreement that these essayists distinguish themselves. Whether they’d do it for the kids, for the animals, to please God, or simply because it’s the right thing, they display an amazing range of personal motivations and persuasive strategies. The sorry truth is that the people who most need to hear this book’s message won’t go anywhere near it. Concern about climate change is dropping, not rising, as the forces of denial and obfuscation take hold and economic worries come to the fore. Moral Ground will light a righteous fire under those who are receptive to its message; the best we can do is hope that it spreads, and spreads, and spreads.