Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 50 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/28/18

Hurricane Florence Hits the Carolinas: A Natural Occurrence--An Unnatural and UNNECESSARY Disaster

Follow Me on Twitter     Message Revolution Newspaper
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)

Category 4 Hurricane Michael battered the coast of the Florida Panhandle October 10, before moving through Georgia, the Carolinas, and on to Virginia. Michael, which came less than a month after Hurricane Florence, was reportedly the most powerful storm ever to hit the Panhandle. It left death and massive destruction in its wake, including nearly obliterating the entire town of Mexico Beach where it made landfall.

Meanwhile, on October 8, two days before Michael hit Florida, a news report by the United Nations' leading body on climate science, the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that the climate crisis is not a far-off problem--it's happening right now, and it's accelerating more quickly and having more devastating impacts much sooner than previously understood. The report called for radical, "unprecedented" transformations starting immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels to prevent a global catastrophe. A co-chair of the group of 91 scientists from 40 different countries who wrote the report calls the next few years "probably the most important in our history."

In this series on Hurricane Florence, we examine how the capitalist-imperialist system of today fuels such hurricanes and worsens the death and destruction, and we start to grapple with why and how it would be radically different in a genuinely socialist society.

* * * *

On September 14, Hurricane Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast with rain and winds gusting to 90 miles an hour. Its storm surge flooded some coastal areas. It then moved inland, dumping as much as 30-40 inches of rain across North and South Carolina, as far as hundreds of miles inland.

Two weeks later, those rains drained down from mountains in the west. The gushing water caused rivers to crest at record levels and some towns to flood. One dam breached and flooded a coal-fired power plant, causing the release of poisonous coal ash into the Cape Fear River.

At least 48 people have been killed so far, 37 of them in North Carolina. A one-year-old was ripped from his parent's arms by surging floodwaters. Two mental health patients were drowned when the sheriff's van they were being transported in was flooded (the two deputies driving escaped unharmed). A million and a half people were forced to evacuate. Whole cities and towns were flooded. Countless homes were destroyed. Over a million lost power for hours or days. Toxic waste and chemicals were released into the environment. And now more storms are building in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station.
Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station.
(Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video)
  Details   DMCA

Hurricanes are natural occurrences.

But there is nothing "natural" about how hurricanes like Florence are becoming increasingly frequent, powerful, and devastating.

There is nothing "natural" about who is--or isn't--able to escape and recover from the storm's impact.

There's nothing "natural" about why so many are living in harm's way.

And there's nothing "natural" about why power plants, chemical factories, and industrial pig farms--with all their toxic wastes--are placed in flood plains.

Flood damage from Hurricane Florence.
Flood damage from Hurricane Florence.
(Image by North Carolina National Guard)
  Details   DMCA

So, again, Florence was a natural occurrence--but some of the worst effects of the storm have been created, shaped, or greatly magnified by the workings of capitalism-imperialism. Under this system, decisions like where people live, how food is produced, and how power is generated are all ultimately determined by what's most profitable and filtered through the oppressive social relations this system has inherited and maintains.

All this is heartbreaking, foul, and utterly UNNECESSARY! It could--and would--be handled in a radically different way in a revolutionary society aiming for a communist world free of all exploitation and oppression, as concretely laid out in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (CNSRNA), authored by Bob Avakian.

As the Introductory Explanation to that Constitution makes clear: "In order to bring this new socialist state into being, it would be necessary to thoroughly defeat, dismantle and abolish the capitalist-imperialist state of the USA; and this in turn would only become possible with the development of a profound and acute crisis in society and the emergence of a revolutionary people, in the millions and millions, who have the leadership of a revolutionary communist vanguard and are conscious of the need for revolutionary change and determined to fight for it."

Implementing these radical and liberating transformations will--and must--be a tumultuous process, full of ferment and struggle. It will involve, as the CNSRNA spells out, leading on the basis of the "solid core," towards the goal of the complete emancipation of all of humanity, as part of a worldwide process. On that foundation, the new state will encourage discussion and debate, dissent and struggle, as well as create space for a wide range of activities and initiatives, over how to solve the problems facing the new society and move toward uprooting all forms of oppression, all over the world.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Revolution Newspaper Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram Page

Revolution newspaper/, the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, provides the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for the whole process of carrying out our strategy for revolution. Through publishing works of (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Under the Radar: Constructing the Gallows of All-Out Fascist Repression in the U.S.

An Empire of Exploitation, a World of Misery, and the Revolution Humanity Cries Out For

New Nightmare Looming for the Middle East: U.S. and Israel Escalate Threats of War on Iran

Refuting the Biggest Lies About Communism, Lie #3: The 1917 October Revolution in Russia was a "coup" staged by Lenin...

How Hurricane Florence Hit the Poor, the Oppressed, and Immigrants Hardest

The Murder of Markeis McGlockton and the Epidemic of White Supremacist Assaults on Black People Sweeping America

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend