Mounting evidence indicates that humans are significantly influencing the global atmosphere, leading to global climate change. Nations strive to better themselves over time, and efficient allocation of resources driven by a well functioning market is often cited by economists as an effective means to achieve this goal. Yet markets can have failures that result in the misuse of resources (a less than optimally ef-ficient use), leaving society worse off over time. Degradation of critical non-market ecosystem goods and services, such as a functional carbon cycle that creates a global climate considered relatively stable for the support of human life, can leave society in a worse condition in its efforts to achieve a better state. Climate change arises as a tragedy of the global atmospheric commons as individual nations and peoples ineffectively attempt to better themselves while degrading an essential global resource shared by all. Yet, using an ecological economics approach, this chapter highlights the possibility of moving towards sustainable development as we face global climate change. Safeguarding our global atmosphere will require concerted international effort and a renewed environmental ethic.