Abstract
Climate change may be the most far-reaching manifestation of white privilege and class privilege to face humankind. Caused overwhelmingly by high-consuming people, climate change is wreaking death and destruction foremost on impoverished people, who also are disproportionately people of color. This essay first posits climate change as a compelling moral matter of “race- and class-based climate debt” and “Global North climate debt.” A second part draws upon the descriptive and transformative tasks of Christian ethics as a critical discourse to frame a moral response. Finally, the essay illustrates implications for public policy. I propose the concepts of “climate privilege,” “climate violence,” and “blinders of climate privilege” as tools for demystifying our situation; “climate reparations” as a dimension of a moral response; and “atmospheric citizenship” as a tool for moral identity.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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DOI 10.1353/sce.2016.0014
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