Home > What Could Possibly Go Right? Interview Series > Episode 27: Kathleen Dean Moore: Building Anew on Moral Foundations

December 15, 2020

Kathleen Dean Moore, Ph.D., is an Author, Moral Philosopher, Environmental Advocate. She served as Distinguished Professor of Environmental Philosophy at Oregon State University, where she wrote award-winning books about our cultural and moral relations to the wet, wild world and to one another. But her increasing concern about the climate and extinction crises led her to leave the university, so she could write and speak full-time about the moral urgency of climate action. 

Kathleen shares thoughts on What Could Possibly Go Right? including:

  • That “sometimes it feels like the whole world is burning to its foundations, but the foundations are still there, and they’re holding a space for the future.”
  • That “almost every major change in US history has been the result of a rising wave of moral affirmation,” of the “conscience of the streets”.
  • That we need to remember our shared moral foundations, of the “human decency deep in the earth” and the ideals our nation aspires to.
  • Using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to call out the oil, gas and fracking industries for violations of human rights through contributing to climate change.
  • The Blue River Declaration by an assembled group of philosophers, which asks “three fundamental questions… What is the world? What are human beings? And therefore, how shall we live?” 
  • That as human beings with imagination and understanding, “we have a responsibility to be the meaning makers of the universe.” 

Resources


About Kathleen Dean Moore

Kathleen Dean Moore, Ph.D., served as Distinguished Professor of Environmental Philosophy at Oregon State University, where she wrote award-winning books about our cultural and moral relations to the wet, wild world and to one another. But her increasing concern about the climate and extinction crises led her to leave the university, so she could write and speak full-time about the moral urgency of climate action. 

Since then, she has spoken out across the country, publishing Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, a collection of short essays by the world’s moral leaders about our obligations to the future. That is followed by Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change (2016); Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World (February 2021); and Bearing Witness: The Human Rights Case Against Fracking and Climate Change (April 2021). Her work on the extinction crisis includes a film, “The Extinction Variations,” a collaboration with a classical pianist. 

She writes from Corvallis, Oregon and from an off-the-grid cabin where two creeks and a bear trail meet a coastal inlet in Alaska.

Connect with Kathleen
 riverwalking.com | musicandclimateaction.com


Download the transcript here.