The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Heat Crisis:
There’s a Lot of Work to Do

Jul 30, 2012

It’s sweltering! And not only are people pushed to the limit. In the extreme weather, the infrastructure, the stuff we depend on, is also at or past its limits.

Like all construction, roads and bridges are built to expand and contract according to past normal weather patterns. But the old “normal” is not what we are getting today. The last 10 years are the hottest on record – July’s hot weather has already buckled subway rails and derailed trains. The drought and heat are causing roadbed failures from Alaska to Nebraska.

Storms of increasing intensity meant more rain falling in a shorter time than drainage systems were planned for.

The electrical grid, which hasn’t been upgraded or expanded, nor even really maintained, is over-stressed. Cooling systems aren’t built for this heat. A power plant shut down when its supply of water ran dry.

There is a tremendous amount of work of all kinds that needs to be done, in order for society to adapt successfully to the changing weather patterns. By coincidence, there are several million unemployed workers available right now! Strong and energetic youth are available; the unemployment rate for 18-to-24-year-olds is near 50%!

And, even more coincidental – or maybe not coincidental – an estimated TWO TRILLION DOLLARS in unproductive capital is being held in reserve by capitalist society’s banks and financial elite.

What more could we ask? The money is there, the labor power is there, and after this sweltering summer, the need to get work started is obvious.

There is only one problem: the financial and political rulers of this society don’t make socially responsible decisions. That will have to be imposed on them by the collective force of working people fed up with paying the cost.