Kathleen Dean Moore, a philosopher, environmental advocate, award-winning essayist and the author of books about our moral relationship to the natural world, will be the featured speaker in a global read and discussion at Northland College’s Alvord Theatre, Saturday, October 22 for two hours beginning at 10:30 a.m. Her new book, Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change, is the subject of the discussion focused on climate change.

Northland College President Michael Miller has invited the campus and community to read the book and join in on this larger discussion. People from around the country and the world will be joining in on this discussion. The event is free and the public is invited.

“Dr. Moore is no stranger to Northland College,” said Associate Professor of Outdoor Education Clayton Russell, whose Northwoods Pathways class is reading the book. “In 2000 we presented her our Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award for her book ‘Holdfast,’ a collection of essays about family and place and last May she received the College’s Honorary Doctorate Degree of Philosophy.”

Moore’s book’s title comes from her belief that there is a great tide beginning to rise—a tide of outrage against the pillage of the planet, a tide of commitment to justice and human rights, a swelling affirmation of moral responsibility to the future and to Earth’s fullness of life. Climate change may be an economic and technological problem, but she views it as a moral problem, and says it calls for a moral response.

“We face a crisis of compassion, as climate catastrophe sweeps toward those who have no voice to defend themselves – children, future generations, plants and animals, people on the economic and geographical margins,“ Moore said. “If we have a duty of compassion, then we have a duty to do everything we can to confront the causes of climate change.”

The format of the program is a global call-in and discussion led by Moore. Discussion questions will come from the audience and may include those addressed in her book: Why is it wrong to wreck the world? What is our obligation to the future? What is the power of moral resolve? How can clear thinking stand against the illogic that prevents positive change? She will offer stories and ideas that inspire people to move forward with clarity and moral courage.

“I’m excited about the response, because the stories in Great Tide Rising seem to be lifting peoples’ spirits and charging up their determination,” Moore said. “People are using the book as a way to start conversations—in classrooms, in church and civic discussion groups, in activist organization, in families – about their role in the struggle to stall climate change.”

A moral philosopher, Moore has taught critical thinking and environmental ethics as distinguished professor of philosophy at Oregon State University. She has published philosophical books on forgiveness, Apache philosophy, conservationist Rachel Carson and critical thinking. Her book, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, gathered testimony from the world’s moral leaders about our obligation to the future.

Two years ago, Moore left the university in order to write and speak full-time about the moral urgency of action to stop fossil fuels and the consequent global warming. She has addressed audiences ranging from 350.org activists to Nobel Conference scholars to Disneyworld executives and students all over the country calling people to clarity and moral courage as they confront the forces that would wreck the world. Her new project, “A Call to Life: Variations on a Theme of Extinction,” is a collaboration with classical pianist Rachelle McCabe.

Moore summarizes the book’s hopeful message:  “We can do this,” she said.  “We can build a new culture on the energy that the Earth freely gives – the wind, the water, the sun itself. What it will take is high-flying imagination, fierce determination, unified pushback against the forces that destroy life, and a great rising tide of affirmation of our obligation to the future.”

The Charter for Compassion, is a non-profit organization that provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Their mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action.

The Charter has selected five books, including this one, for the public to read and then the organization provides an on-line discussion of each work led by each author. The other books in this series are: “The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness” by Marc Ian Barasch, “The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide” by Mark Gerzon, “Turning Compassion into Action” by Olivia McIvor, and “If Mayors Ruled the World” by Benjamin Barber.  For more information go to: www.charterforcompassion.org.


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