Utility Bill Deaths

I read a lot of news stories, but this would be one of the most troubling signs of our times, and a warning of things to come…

Bay City officials said changes are on the way in an attempt to not let another instance like this happen again.

An autopsy determined Schur died from hypothermia in the home he lived in for years.A medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Schur told TV5 and WNEM.com that Schur died a painful death due to the hypothermia.Dr. Kanu Varani said he’d never seen a person die of hypothermia indoors.A neighbor who lives across the street from Schur is angered that the city didn’t personally notify the elderly man about his utility situation.Schur’s neighbor, Herndon, said Schur had a utility bill on his kitchen table with a large amount of money clipped to it, with the intention of paying that bill.Right now the city said the situation is still under investigation.

WWII Veteran Freezes To Death In Own Home – News Story – WNEM Saginaw.

One might think I am going to write about how irresponsible the power company was to do this, but the situation is deeper than that. The heart of the problems lies with the fact that we have outsourced all of our requirements for living to people who (a) just don’t care, and (b) can’t possibly continue to provide the service indefinitely. The same story would be told of someone who died as a result of not being able to use their cell phone due to an expired contract. I write this in a warm house, heated, lit and comfortable mainly due to external energy supply – fully understanding the trust I place in the corporations and personnel that manage the infrastructure that keeps my house comfortable. I don’t particularly like it, but it is a reality of our housing stock and of our energy supply that the system has weaknesses in terms of over-reliance on massive infrastructure systems.


This death is sad, and should be investigated, but with poverty and unemployment likely to continue rising, these scenarios will play themselves out across North America, and for a while there will be cries for action, possibly there will be government bailouts, but if the financial troubles continue, don’t expect governments to be able to keep pulling money out of their back pocket to prop up the unsustainable infrastructure that represents suburbia.

via – Casaubon’s Book

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

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