The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Winter Turned Disaster by Capitalism

Jan 6, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of people lost power in Michigan, New York State, Vermont and Maine during a winter storm. Power outages lasted over a week in parts of central Michigan. At least 25 people have died. Cities were brought to a grinding halt by unplowed snow.

Power companies blame nature for these outages. They say it’s winter. Isn’t snow and ice in winter months to be expected, especially in northern states?

Nature simply creates what it usually does in winter: snow, ice, cold temperatures. These are completely predictable problems. But power companies have cut back on maintenance; they didn’t prune tree limbs so nature did it for them. They didn’t strengthen the wires so ice brought them down. They have cut back their workforce to the barebones so it takes longer to restore power when it does go out. People are forced to heat their homes anyway they can, leading to fires and carbon monoxide poisonings.

Politicians also blame nature. Never mind that they don’t even bother to plow except maybe when the snow stops. This means more accidents and stranded drivers. Emergency vehicles can’t even travel safely.

Those that suffer the most of course are those without shelter and those who lost power. Many places like libraries, rec centers and so forth, which could be used as shelters, have been closed due to cut backs.

No. Nature did not cause the power outages or deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Cut backs at the power companies and in the cities caused this disaster.