"Moral Ground" book coverBarack Obama, Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, and Ursula K. Le Guin walk into a bar book …

No, it’s not a joke; it’s an ambitious project that aims to make a rock-solid moral case for environmental action. It started with the print book Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril and now includes e-book versions, a website, a blog, a YouTube channel, a Facebook group, and town hall get-togethers.

In Moral Ground the book, 80 bigwigs and big thinkers answer this question: Do we have a moral obligation to take action to protect the future of a planet in peril? Answers are split right down the middle — 50 percent yes, 50 percent no. Oh, we kid — 100 percent say yes, obviously. What’s interesting is that everyone gives a different explanation as to why we have this moral obligation.

For Sasha and Malia, says Obama.

For God, says the Pope. 

For future generations, says the Dalai Lama.

For the wild things, says EarthFirst! cofounder Dave Foreman.

For the love of the land, says caps-averse feminist author bell hooks.

For the love of the present, says farmer and writer Wendell Berry.

For the sake of fairness, says ethicist Peter Singer.

For the sake of mindfulness, says Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

For children’s poetry and butterfly kisses, says novelist Barbara Kingsolver.

For human survival, says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

For the chile peppers, says ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan.

What do you say? What’s your moral case for environmental action? Spill it below in comments.