Ecosocialism or Ecocatastrophe

(How far are we from catastrophe?
What can be done to prevent it?)?

Presented on Mon, October 12, 2009 IPS as a SALSA class.

David Schwartzman gave a presentation at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC on the science and politics of catastrophic climate change (“C3”). The event was sponsored by the Metro DC chapter of CCDS and the DC Metro Science for the People. Renee Carter chaired the meeting which was attended by over 20 mostly activists and representatives of environmental and progressive organizations. After David’s in-depth, but clear explanation of the complex science of both climate change and how the catastrophic results can be prevented, Ted Glick of CCAN spoke about the latest environmental legislation and the organizing of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a major environmental group in the Washington area. Walter Teague discussed the political and strategic issues of prevention of C3 and Renee described the political work and approach of CCDS.  Valuable contacts both new and renewed were made and the impassioned discussion continued for over two hours.


Presented as an IPS/SALSA CLASS, David’s address on the threat of catastrophic climate change ("C3") that now confronts all humanity, explored the questions: “What are the biggest obstacles to prevention? Why this challenge is also an unprecedented opportunity to end the global rule of capital. Why is it critical to take seriously the sciences of climatology and
 thermodynamics for C3 prevention and to construct the other world that is possible? And why 21st Century Socialism will either be Ecosocialism or simply will remain the narrow vision of political sects?”

Participants were sent David’s “
Ecosocialism or Ecocatastrophe,” Capitalism Nature Socialism March 1, 2009. Your may request a copy from him at or read his other writings at Other climate change articles can be accessed at:


This is a PDF copy of David’s PowerPoint slides Ecosocialism or Ecocatastrophe (How far are we from catastrophe?
What can be done to prevent it?)
(updated version Feb. 12, 2010)

David Schwartzman: David Schwartzman is a Professor, Department of Biology, Howard University. His research focus is on biogeochemistry, astrobiology, origin of life, environmental policy. Member International Committee, Green Party, U.S. DC Metro Science for the People. Activist in the DC Statehood Green Party. Author: \"Life, Temperature, and the Earth. The Self-Organizing Biosphere."


  1. What is eco-socialism?
  2. CCDS web site locations:
  3. Climate Change:
  4. Ecosocialism or Ecocatastrophe? (An earlier shorter draft of the CNS article)
  5. "Ecosocialism and Ecocatastrophe" Full article available from Capitalism Nature Socialism.
  6. David’s other writings:
  7. Rethinking our Strategy is Imperative - Comment on the UN Climate Change Science Compendium 2009