Climate Change and the Military-Industrial Complex

The New York Times ran this article, but omitted any mention of the role the Military-Industrial Complex plays  in climate change; something the U.N. has also omitted.

Click "read more" for my perspective, as originally published at Canadian Dimension.

Alan Maki | January 26th 2014 | 3

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 [email protected] 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

  • I was glad to see an instructor from Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury, Connecticut, Leonard Yannielli, publish this on the internet as part of what he wrote on the environment:

    The single greatest global problem and threat to the environment is war and war preparations. Agent Orange use in the U.S. War in Vietnam killed an area the size of Massachusetts. Genetic damage among ensuing generations has occurred among the Vietnamese.

    The burning of the oil fields during Iraq War I is a more recent example. Both Iraqi and U.S. forces suffered the respiratory consequences. No one entity uses more nonrenewal resources than the U.S. Military. All these examples may pale in face of the dangers of spent radioactive material that spew radiation for 1,000s of years.

    The explanation of war and its extreme environmental consequences are to be found in the bowels of capitalism. The tendency of rates of profits to fall send competing capitalist elements around the globe seeking to stop this trend. Going to places whose people are not in a position to defend nature is their “solution.”

    An unfortunate example now is the so-called “pivot to Asia.” The U.S. Administration is deploying up to 60% of its military force there. Why? It is looking to exploit natural resources such as oil and gas.

    War and war preparations along with peace and peace making construct one dialectical whole. The resolution of this contradiction in favor of peace is of major importance to the many who place nature before profits. Here lies the material basis for cooperation between the labor, peace and environmental movements. The blue-green alliance is one result that needs much more attention in our work both on state and local levels.

    Socialism has the best chance to do it right vis a vis the environment. Its thrust for social solidarity and raising the cultural/educational level of all the people can only bode well for the environment. Of course, there are no guarantees. Immersion in environmental struggles would be the best determiner of a Left and peoples movement with a deep environmental consciousness.

    #3. Posted by Alan L. Maki in Warroad, Minnesota on February 25th 2014 at 6:55pm

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published this page in Blog 2014-03-31 21:06:50 -0700