Climate change may be, above all, a moral issue, because those who've caused it will suffer least, and those least responsible for past emissions -- the young, the poor, the unborn -- will suffer the worst impacts.

Consider these two maps.   The first highlights -- by proportionally enlarging their dimensions -- which countries emit the most CO2.    The second shows which countries will suffer most.    (Click on the map to read more.)  The disconnect is striking.

world map of CO2 contrib vs. vulnerability

For a nutshell version of the moral narrative, see Andy Revkin's The World is Not Flat. for more detailed versions, follow the links in that article, or see

The Ethical Dimension of Tackling Climate Change by Stephen Gardiner writing at Yale Environment 360 on 10/20/11.    He writes,

"the heart of the matter is the fact that humanity is in the grip of a profound ethical challenge . . .

We in the current generation — and especially the more affluent — are in a position to continue taking modest benefits for ourselves, while passing nasty costs onto the poor, future generations, and nature. . . 

"Most victims of climate change cannot hold us to account, being very poor, not yet born, or nonhuman."