Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, February 10, 2014

How big of a carbon footprint is left by Wall Street's Military-Industrial Complex? Might peace be the main solution to climate change?

Signs displayed by Coleen Rowley at a recent demonstration in Minnesota against the Keystone Pipeline.


Climate change and the military-industrial complex

This letter was written in reply to our recently published interview with Noam Chomsky about climate change. You can read the original Chomsky interview HERE.

The one important aspect of climate change the Left keeps missing is the fact that Wall Street’s very lucrative military-industrial complex leaves the largest carbon footprint of any industry.

So, why have the peace and environmental movements, along with most of the Left, failed to make this important connection?

I’m surprised neither Chomsky nor Canadian Dimension brought this important connection forward in this interview.

How much of what is produced from the Tar Sands will be consumed by the Military-Industrial Complex?
One aircraft carrier of the Nimitz class carries three million gallons of aircraft fuel. Fuel for just 80 aircraft.

The U.S. typically deploys six of these aircraft carriers during manoeuvres, conflicts and wars. This alone is one heck of a carbon footprint and we still have to figure out what kind of carbon footprint is created manufacturing these aircraft carriers and planes.

And this example is just the tip of the melting iceberg.

Consider all the mining and manufacturing which goes into producing for militarism and wars – what kind of carbon footprint is created in preparation for wars, by wars and rebuilding in the aftermath of wars?

There is a point to be made about global warming and militarism and wars which leads me to conclude that the most effective way to fight global warming and climate change is to fight for peace by “beating swords into plowshares.”

For some reason all these foundation-funded peace organizations and environmental organizations don’t want to acknowledge that the Military-Industrial Complex bears primary responsibility for global warming and climate change. Perhaps because the “great philanthropists” funding the foundations profit so handsomely from militarism and wars?

If changing out light bulbs contributes to ending global warming and climate change, can you imagine the contribution peace would make towards this effort?

It seems our environmental and peace movements could use what the great labour leader and working class revolutionary, William Z. Foster, advised “a good strong dose of anti-imperialist education,” connecting all the dots.

Alan Maki am the Director of Organizing for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council. I am also one of the founders of Minnesotans for Peace and Social Justice.


  • We are so indoctrinated in “support our troops ” and the culture of military domination that we don’t even discuss peace and total nuclear disarmament with China and others.
    It seems that “jobs” and the wealth of our industry and industrialist/stockholder class is more important than survival of the species.
    #1. Posted by Herbert A. Davis in davisherb@wisper-wireless.com on January 27th 2014 at 8:58am

  • Thanks as always, Alan, for telling the truth. The graphic of the American soldier watching oil wells burn pretty much sums up what’s leading America to ruin. Here’s hoping Canadians will wake up to the damage being done in the Alberta oil patch and by the lethal material it is producing, and rise up against the corporate behemoths which are systematically buying that great nation.
    #2. Posted by Anthony Noel in North Carolina, United States on January 28th 2014 at 10:47am

Let's agree not to cause the wealthy to suffer severe anxiety and depression by raising the Minimum Wage to a real living wage all at one time; the billionaires couldn't survive shock therapy.

Median income in Minnesota and in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

Median household income, 2008-2012
Minnesota $59,126
United States $53,046

Now; we are hearing a lot from politicians like Minnesota's billionaire governor Mark Dayton, these millionaire labor leaders and the foundation-flowers like Kathleen Blake from Take Action Minnesota that $9.50 or $10.10 is a “good place to begin increasing the Minimum Wage to what they claim will eventually get everyone to a real living wage.

Their claim, is the same claim we here from the employers, that raising the Minimum Wage too quickly will hurt the economy.

So; what do they propose?

They propose saving the economy on the backs of the poorest of the poor.

Let us set aside and ignore the argument that the economy should be saved by the richest of the rich. The rich are very touchy; they don't like to hear this kind of talk. Talking this way sends them into fits of rage and depression. They might pick up and leave Minnesota; or, heaven forbid, they might pack up and leave the United States altogether. So, let's spare the rich the agony that comes with the suggestion that they should be relieved of their wealth through some kind of socialist wealth redistribution scheme.

Remember--- it is the claim of these wealthy employers in the first place that raising the Minimum Wage to a real living wage all at one time would destroy the economy... and, let us not forget their concern for the poor small businessman for whom they don't seem to have much concern for when their monopoly price-fixing scams drive these poor small business people out of business or the high rents they charge these small business people are more than their profits can sustain. I am sorry, I am getting off track here into side issues.

Let me return to the main topic I was intending to respond to: the idea that the Minimum Wage should only be increased gradually and in increments.

It isn't like working people have any right to lay claim to the surge in profits these employers have mysteriously been lavished with.

It isn't like labor is creating this enormous wealth.

It isn't like the problem with the economy stems from these employers hoarding this wealth. These super-rich people couldn't all have “hoarding disorders.”

We live in a country where millionaire labor leaders like to live in harmony and without any strife or struggle between them and the billionaire employers.

You know, we should all be friends; go to the same country clubs, golf courses and resorts--- go along to get along.


Here is the deal.

We should decide how long it will take until poverty-waged workers (I know, I know; the proper term is low-wage workers; poverty is such a nasty and upsetting word--- the rich create the poor then can't stand to look at them or hear about their problems [they especially don't want to hear about any problems relating to “cost-of-living”]).

Back to this gradualism and incrementalism that is the “normally accepted” pace of reforms.

It isn't like the Minimum Wage should have been raised to a real living wage since the Minimum Wage Laws were first established back in 1938 or so; right? The pace of reform needs to be slow and very gradual so there is no noticeable impact on profits--- whenever this would be by the time the number crunchers decide?

So; here we go.

Here is my suggestion.

We agree on a date specific at which time the Minimum Wage will become a real living--- non-poverty--- wage.

This could be five years from now--- it could be one-hundred years from now; depending on how gradual and incremental we want the “reform” to be.

In the mean time; lets all come to an agreement that what we will do is all make the exact same sacrifice to save this rotten capitalist economy.

Whether we start with Minnesota's present Minimum Wage of $6.15 an hour or Barack Obama's suggestion of $10.10 an hour--- anyone else have a figure to pull from the hat?

We all agree to accept whatever wage is agreed to and anything and everything above this wage--- including salaries, bonuses and profits--- will be deposited in some kind of federal credit union where these funds will be deposited to be used to finance job creation programs; we are all for creating jobs, right?

Then we just pay everyone the Minimum Wage we all agree on. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, eh?

We don't want to leave the unemployed without income--- and we for sure don't want to pay these lazy bastards for not working.

Or, another solution would simply be to put all wages, salaries, bonuses and profits in a pot and divide it all up every year and we should end up with everyone making somewhere around the “median income.”

Come on, Governor Dayton, Richard Trumka and Bill Gates--- are you willing to make the sacrifice you are willing to saddle poverty-waged workers with?

Median income in Minnesota and in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

Median household income, 2008-2012
Minnesota $59,126
United States $53,046

$53,046.00 sounds like a pretty good income to me.