Ted Turner’s Warnings
Must Not Be Ignored
By James Donahue
While the nation was
caught up in the continued drama between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama this week, Public
Broadcasting Network’s Charlie Rose spent an important hour with CNN founder Ted Turner, talking about the planet’s
looming environmental crisis.
Those who caught the
interview, which was preceded by a NOVA documentary that took a frightening look at the effect jet aircraft contrails are
having on global warming, may have had an inkling of the REAL issues that should be concerning the world, not the bickering
among would-be political candidates.
Turner, who utilizes
the Turner Foundation to funnel philanthropic grants to support environmental issues and world population control, said publicly
what many world scientists and environmentalists have been warning for years . . . that overpopulation and a careless capitalistic
lifestyle in so-called “developed” parts of the world must be brought under control immediately if we want to
avoid a doomsday scenario, possibly within the next 40 years.
In his own vernacular,
Turner described the root of the crisis facing the world: “We’re too many people; that’s why we have global
warming. Too many people are using too much stuff,” he said.
One key to combating
global warming is to stabilize the population, Turner said. He said people all over the world need to follow an example set
by the Chinese government when it began limiting the number of children allowed for each family. He suggested a voluntary
limit of one or two children per household.
Turner said that we also
need to stop burning fossil fuels and turn to alternative energy sources, and do it NOW.
If we fail to act, Turner
warned, “we’ll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow.” He
said everything will turn to desert, the rain forests will be going up in flames, and civilization as we know it will have
“Most of the people
will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,” Turner said. “The few people left will be living in a failed
state . . . and living conditions will be intolerable.”
Turner also said it is
time for the world to stop making war. He said warfare has never accomplished anything and only serves to divide a world that
needs to learn to start working collectively to solve this massive environmental crisis.
“Right now, the
U.S. is spending $500 billion a year on the military, which is more than all 190
countries in the world put together,” he said.
Turner scoffed at reports
that China and Russia
are building a war machine with plans to attack the United States.
“China just wants to sell us shoes.
Russia wants to be our friends too,”
He noted that in spite
of the fact that the U.S. has a massive military budget, and is using the
most advanced military equipment, we are unable to win in Iraq.
“We’re being beaten by insurgents who don’t even have any tanks, they don’t have a headquarters, they
don’t have a Pentagon, we don’t even know if they have any generals.”
He said the Iraqi insurgents
are “patriots” who “don’t like us because we invaded their country and occupied it.”
The NOVA report, “The
Contrail Effect,” noted that for the three days immediately following the 9-11 attacks, when all aircraft in the United States were grounded, climatologists had an opportunity
to measure the effect jet contrails had on the cooling and heating of the planet.
Several studies were
conducted, many of them giving scientists an important baseline with which to study the effects of contrails now that planes
are flying again.
Perhaps the most dramatic
discovery was made by David Travis of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and two colleagues, who measured the differences
over the three contrail-free days between the highest daytime temperature and lowest nighttime temperature across the continental
When compared to the
average range in day-night temperatures from 1971 to 2000, the Travis team found that for the three days that jets were not
flying, the days got warmer and the nights got cooler, with an overall range greater by about two degrees Fahrenheit.
The studies suggest that
contrails, which are, in effect, the formation of clouds caused by vapor ejections from the jet engines, can suppress both
daytime highs by reflecting sunlight back into space, and nighttime lows by trapping radiated heat. There is debate now about
whether they are having an overall warming effect on the planet.
A 2004 study by Patrick Minnis, senior research scientists at NASA’s
Langely Research Center,
suggests that contrails are capable of increasing average surface temperatures enough to account for a warming trend in the
United States between 1975 and 1994.
Of course contrails are
only a fraction of the global warming issue. The effects of carbon emissions from jet engine exhaust, alone, were not included
in these studies, nor were the emissions from all of the automobiles, factories, building heating furnaces and other diesel
and gasoline-fueled engines operating on the ground.