by Michael dEstries
Categories: People.

turnerWhile we support Ted Turner’s enthusiasm for doing anything and everything to avert Global Warming, we certainly wish that he would communicate that effort a bit more delicately.

In an interview Tuesday for Charlie Rose’s PBS show, the CNN founder said that one of the consequences of Global Warming will be mass cannibalism. From the interview,

“Not doing it will be catastrophic. We’ll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable. The droughts will be so bad there’ll be no more corn grown. Not doing it is suicide.”

Of course, those opposed to the very idea of climate change science are jumping all over these comments as proof of “crazy global warming zealots”. Obviously, Turner’s thoughts are on the extreme side — but not addressing the issue of climate change could very well have very real consequences in terms of food, health, and habitat. I’m not sure if we’ll all develop a taste for each other, but life will be more difficult.

So please Ted, stop.

via Newsbusters

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Lisa Williamson

    What they forgot to mention is that Ted stopped taking his meds a few weeks before he made that prediction.

  • Danny Bloom

    Ted is dead right. But you are right, he could have phrased it more
    delicately. Oops. See my polar cities ideas here

    and if time blog on polar cities pro or con. okay?

    delicately. New York Times did blog post last week on this. Google the
    term “polar cities” to see it.


    Tufts 1971

    my polar cities are for 2500 not now. Ted was a bit too hasty i think

    New York Times blog Andy revkin did
    a story last weekend on POLAR CITIES,

  • Jeff Davies

    Surely you mean “polar city” not “cities” since one pole will probably melt away completely this year (or soon after).
    Considering there are what 5 weeks of backup food left currently globally, we could see some of Ted’s predictions start to happen next year.
    (we’ve had failed harvests in the US/Australia/South America, Ukraine, Europe, Middle East). The backup food reserves have kept dropping year on year for the last four years or so.

  • Danny Bloom

    Good point. Please email me at danbloom GAMIL, want to chat re POLAR CITY idea. — danny

    “Surely you mean “polar city” not “cities” since one pole will probably melt away completely this year (or soon after). *** SMILE

    Considering there are what 5 weeks of backup food left currently globally, we could see some of Ted’s predictions start to happen next year. ***OUCH!

    (we’ve had failed harvests in the US/Australia/South America, Ukraine, Europe, Middle East). The backup food reserves have kept dropping year on year for the last four years or so.

    do email re all this


  • Jonathan

    This is too funny. Sorry, but Paul Ehrlich (Stanford Biologist)already beat Ted Turner to the punch in regards to lunatic predictions of doom and gloom in the 1960’s. His book, “The Population Bomb” began,.. “The battle to feed all of humanity is over … hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.” In 1969, Ehrlich added, “By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth’s population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people.” The same year, he predicted in an article entitled “Eco-Catastrophe!” that by 1980 the United States would see its life expectancy drop to 42 because of pesticides, and by 1999 its population would drop to 22.6 million. In the mid-seventies, with the release of his The End of Affluence, Ehrlich incorporated drama into his dire prophesies. He envisioned the President dissolving Congress “during the food riots of the 1980s,” followed by the United States suffering a nuclear attack for its mass use of insecticides. That’s right, Ehrlich thought that the United States would get nuked in retaliation for killing bugs.

    Bring on the people in the white coats! Get a life people!

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  • Grub

    I wonder if God told him that if he didn’t raise enough money for Global Warming awareness, he’d have to eat himself. Pat Robertson?…Is that you?…

  • Richard Warner

    This response to a Time magazine story seems relevant.
    For many it had to be disappointing that you did not include discussion of the single greatest human cause of environmental damage nor any practical programs for mitigating that cause, in your “10 Ideas That Are Changing The World” list. Are we as a _species_ in denial? I would like to see a whole story on this issue alone, but will understand if you choose not to… My anecdotal studies suggest no one would buy your magazine to read it. Talk about, “An Inconvenient Truth”! No one wants to hear about this one, or even let it stray into their mind for long. The “many” being disappointed were surely the non-humans on the planet. For an estimated 27,000 plant and animal species a year, there comes a moment when only one of them is left alive and struggling with all they have to keep their species going…only to fail.

    The resources their species’ needed are no longer available. Land use changes, loss of habitat, hunting, pollution, etc. have wiped them off the Earth forever. This extinction rate is estimated at several _thousand_ times the natural rate. What is driving it? Humans. One of your ideas claims that the planet has a carrying capacity of some 8 billion and we will stabilize at it, but how can that be when species are being wiped out like this? How many years can we lose 27,000 species before those pesky chickens come home to roost? Seems like if we take our cue from Nature herself, we can find our true carrying capacity by when extinction is occurring at the natural rate.

    Global human population management is the mother of all inconvenient truths. We have a niche in the biosphere to fill and we do not decide its size, Nature herself does. We can willfully manage our own population or Nature will do it for us with environmental collapse (global warming merely being one of many on the list), poverty and famine, disease, and war. It’s not how big our carbon footprint is, but rather the consumption and waste footprint and HOW MANY OF US are making footprints.

    There are three ways to manage it. Voluntary measures exist and they can turn the environmental direction around 180 degrees in ONE DECADE! Wow, get a reporter on this. (But be warned, no one will want to read the article, not even Al Gore.) Non-voluntary but democratic governmental ways exist such as the removal of tax incentives for having children, and the creation of tax-disincentives. And of course there is education. People need to learn early on the basics of ecology and carrying capacity, interdepence, respect for all life, consumption and waste footprint (forget carbon footprint), living within the means of the given ecosystem, NON-EXPLOITIVE low-consumption/high-tech lifestyles and societies, etc.

    There’s an impoverished and extremely non-popular website that represents at least one voluntary approach. The idea is simple: The global and self-identifying “Haves” voluntarily sacrifice some of their money, goods, and services. The global and self-identifying “Have-nots” voluntarily sacrifice some of their fertility. There is a global redistribution of wealth and globally human population levels move down into their carrying capacity through natural attrition. The website has an online interactive spreadsheet that details the program cost and some basic program variables. Dramatic global affects can be theoretically seen with ten countries funding $150B/year for ten years. Affordable when compared to the Iraq war. Part of the novelty of this approach is that not only is free birth control provided, but also incentive payments to participants and their communities. Keep in mind that for some 60% of the world, the annual income is less than $1,500 USD. For example, as seen in the spreadsheet, a village of 1,000 could realize program benefits of $600,000 to $800,000+ in cash, goods, and services: food, agriculture, medicine, clean water, transportation, communication, housing, education, generators, tools, clothing, neonatal care, etc. They exchange hope for the future (their fertility) for Hope Now. (See website:

    Both sides of the global human equation sacrificing, united together for fixing that part of the world’s problems which we are empowered to fix. Caring for each other by sacrificing our greed, selfishness, and self-importance in recognition that if we choose not to we have no future and will take a lot more of other amazing species with us. Coming to our senses and accepting our place in Nature. What would Jesus do? Exactly that. Maybe he gave us the answer to a pop-quiz that was to come 2,000 years later: self-sacrifice.


    Richard Warner

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