Alex McLaughlin reviewed Moralizing Hope by Daniel Moellendorf.
If we are to have a chance of limiting climate change to 1.5C, the production of energy through fossil fuels must be rapidly reduced and then ceased altogether. The problem is that urgent poverty alleviation requires that many are able to increase their energy use, since ‘[s]ignificant human development gains are reliably accompanied by dramatic increases in per-capita energy consumption’ (p. 2). This is the reality that frames Darrel Moellendorf’s excellent new book, Mobilizing Hope. There is, in his view, no avoiding what follows. The central task for the coming decades is ‘to decarbonize the global economy and to expand immensely the production and consumption of energy so as to fuel poverty alleviation programmes globally’ (p. 7). That is a daunting task. Mobilizing Hope’s important contribution to it is to reveal and, where possible, resolve the many moral tensions that climate change policy has to navigate.