Climate Change or How to Defeat Medusa: A Conversation with Kathleen Dean Moore

Moral Philosopher and Environmental-Thought Leader, Kathleen Dean Moore, tells the hard, urgent truth about the state of Earth and calls out for moral courage.

Dr. Kathleen Dean Moore spoke at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton, Oregon, September 30th, 2018. Hear her address, Bearing Witness (starts at 4:30).

In this interview, she talked with John Shuck about her 2016 book, Great Tide Rising: Calling on Clarity and Moral Courage to Confront Climate Change. She discusses grandchildren, criminals in high places, religious hypocrisy, despair, hope, and moral integrity. Time is short. We have a mission. What is life for?

Kathleen Dean Moore is a writer, moral philosopher, and environmental thought-leader, devoted to an unrelenting defense of the future against those who would pillage and wreck the planet.

As a writer, Kathleen is best known for award-winning books of essays that celebrate and explore the meaning of the wet, wild world of rivers, islands, and tidal shores – Riverwalking, Holdfast, Pine Island Paradox, and Wild Comfort. But her growing alarm at the devastation of the natural world led her to focus her writing on the moral urgency of action against climate change and habitat destruction. Quitting her university position, Kathleen began to write in defense of the lovely, reeling world. 

A moral philosopher, Kathleen holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. For many years, she taught critical thinking and environmental ethics as Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University. She has published philosophical books on forgiveness (Pardons: Justice, Mercy, and the Public Interest), Apache philosophy (How It Is: the Native American Philosophy of Viola Cordova), Rachel Carson (Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge), and critical thinking (Reasoning and Writing). While at OSU, she co-founded and for many years directed the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, where she now serves as Senior Fellow.

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 — Alaska to Texas, New York to California — 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.

Kathleen is embedded in a family of environmentalists and biologists. Her parents were science educators who led nature walks in the beech-maple forests in Ohio. Her husband, Frank, a neurobiologist, is an expert on amphibian behavior. Her daughter, Erin, is an architecture professor at the University of Oregon, specializing in green construction. Her son, Jonathan, is a professor of coastal studies at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Kathleen and her husband live in Corvallis, Oregon, and in the summers, in a cabin where two creeks and a bear trail meet a tidal cove in Alaska’s maritime wilderness.

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Evolution, Climate Change, Denial & Beliefs

In this episode I take us back to 2012 for a re-broadcast of interviews with Michael Zimmerman and Barbara Kingsolver.

In the first part of today’s show, you will hear an interview that first aired in February 2012 with Michael Zimmerman, the founder of the Clergy Letter Project and Evolution Weekend.   Over 13 thousand Christian, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalist clergy have signed a letter in support of teaching evolution in public schools.   On the Sunday closest to Darwin’s Birthday faith communities all over the United States celebrate Evolution Weekend by honoring science and religion.

Author Barbara Kingsolver lives in southwest Virginia.  She is the author of 14 books including the The  Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  She visited with me at the WEHC studio at Emory and Henry College to discuss her latest novel, Flight Behavior, a novel set in Southern Appalachia.   In part it is about denial and the beliefs that get assigned to us.

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Unprecedented Crime: Peter Carter and Climate Science Denial

Dr. Peter Carter is founder of the Climate Emergency Institute.  He has served as an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change’s fifth climate change assessment in 2014. He has also presented on the implications of global climate change on food security for the world’s most vulnerable regions and populations at science and policy conferences in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.

He along with Elizabeth Woodworth, who has written extensively on climate science and activism, have co-written Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival.

They make the case that fossil fuel companies and the banks that fund them have committed and are committing crimes against humanity. They can be stopped.

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The Pentagon, Hollywood, Climate Change, and An Appeal for Democracy

Professor of Philosophy at Columbia, Phillip Kitcher, talks with host John Shuck about how if human beings hope to survive the looming climate catastrophes, we will need to talk it out, one to one, in families, neighborhoods, and social gatherings. The power of grassroots democracy is the theme in the latest book he co-wrote with MIT philosopher Evelyn Fox-Keller, The Seasons Alter: How to Save the Planet in Six Acts.

Matt Alford along with Tom Secker have exposed new evidence that the national security state led by the Pentagon and the CIA have forced script changes on over 800 Hollywood movies and over a thousand network television shows to cover-up crimes and to manipulate US citizens. The authors show that Hollywood and Washington are part of a system that is hard-wired to encourage American global supremacy and frequently the use of state violence. They document it all in their new book, National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood.

Phillip Kitcher 2:50

Matthew Alford 31:09

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