News Release

Environmental Degradation: “How the 1% Created a Monster”


Williams is author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis and a professor of physics and chemistry at Pace University. He recently wrote the piece “Frankenstorms and Climate Change: How the 1% Created a Monster.”

He said today: “In point of fact, the whole reason why the candidates don’t want to discuss climate change is precisely because of the economy, specifically the U.S. economy, which depends, as no other in the world, on fossil fuel energy. …

“And those representatives of the elite will sponsor and push policies which favor their class, not ours. And if those policies contradict a broader reality, such as calling into question the very stability of the entire planetary climate system, so be it.

“Which means that I’m far more interested in working with people, forging alliances and building a climate justice movement with anyone who wants to fight against the ruling elite in the intervening 1,460 days, before the next competition between two representatives of the corporate 1%, than I am in whether someone is voting for the lesser of two evils on November 6.

“In those struggles, I’m far more likely to be doing that by linking arms with the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action than I am with Obama and his coterie of Democratic Party operatives.

“For many environmentalists, it seems easier to imagine the end of the world than it does the end of the economic and social system known as capitalism. Not only do I disagree with that as a premise, if we don’t get rid of capitalism, there won’t be much of a world left to imagine.

“Therefore, even as we build a broad-based movement to fight for real reforms within the system, to slow down the monster of runaway, fossil-fueled capitalism that is creating Frankenstorms and much else in the way of ecological and social devastation, we need a vision for a completely different social system.

“This means locating the practical and ideological operation of capitalism and environmental degradation within a unified framework that requires its replacement with a system based on cooperation, real democracy, sustainable production for need and the earth held in common trust by all the people in the interests of future generations.

“Only then, by that revolutionary social change, can we hope to avoid cataclysmic dismemberment of global ecosystems via anthropogenic climate change.”