Retired media mogul Ted Turner, in an interview with Charlie Rose this week, said that if we don’t take action, the earth is on track to be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years. If that happens, he said, crops won’t grow and “most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals.” He proposed that everybody voluntarily limit themselves to having only one or two children, saying that the planet is warming because “too many people are using too much stuff.” Turner acknowledged that he’s “always suffered from foot-in-the-mouth disease,” adding, “I’ve gotten a lot better, though.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
What the commentators said
Turner’s “an unbelievable crank,” said Michael Goldfarb in The Weekly Standard’s The Blog, but what’s “most disturbing” about his pronouncement is the “talk of ‘stabilizing’ populations.” Why should we conserve resources and forego having babies to salve the “environmental conscience” of the country’s “largest land owner”? And one with the “largest herd” of bison in the U.S., at 40,000 head. “While the rest of us are cannibals,” it looks like at least “Turner will be eating pretty well.”
It’s clear there’s “a warming trend in the global environment,” said Jeremy Wick in the University of Wisconsin Badger Herald. But whether it’s from “man and his SUVs,” as Turner suggests, or “natural cycles,” cutting our emissions is a good idea. Luckily, “personal and corporate conservation” is in vogue. And due largely to high energy costs, not meddlesome “government intervention,” the U.S. is doing better than countries with formalized emission-reduction systems.
Eighteen states disagree, said the Boston Globe in an editorial, and have filed suit to prod the EPA into regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA has been “evading the issue” for years, stuck in deliberate “bureaucratic limbo” despite mounting “scientific research” showing the urgency of acting now. “George Bush pledged as a presidential candidate in 2000” to regulate emissions, but his administration instead “has made denial of global warming one of its hallmarks.”
“If global warming ends up being a global joke,” don’t blame the “deniers,” said the blog QC Examiner. Blame “idiotic fearmongering by the likes of Ted Turner” and Al Gore. “Global warming is a historic fact,” but nobody will take its activists seriously if, like Gore and Turner, they continue to live their own lives—jetting around and running up huge electric bills—“like global warming is not a big deal.” Instead of “whipping up fear,” they should put “deeds over words.”