BY JANKHANA DESAI
Ted Turner knows what ails the world, and he isn’t shy about sharing. The media mogul visited HLS on March 13 to speak about what he deems to be the greatest problems facing the globe.
Turner’s talk, “Our Common Future,” addressed these three issues, including nuclear weapons, for Turner the greatest threat, and the “ever increasing population of humanity … and the concurrent threat to the environment,” said Turner.
“The way I figure it at the end of the day is that if we don’t straighten out these three things, we will not be around or we will be a very sad human race a hundred years from now,” Turner said. Turner, who serves as Vice Chairman and Senior Advisor of AOL Time Warner and a member of its board of directors, urged students to take steps to solve these problems.
“I hope that you will, as you live your lives, that you will join in the effort to try and straighten these things out before it’s too late,” Turner urged the students filling Ames Courtroom. “What I’m going to try to do … is to try and get us to focus on … these survival issues and deal with them in time before there is a catastrophe.”
“If we taxed pollution and gave the tax breaks to clean alternatives – to solar energy, to wind power – and put some serious government money into getting fuel cell technology working quicker rather than later and we went ahead and used a portion of our military budget and federal surplus to rebuild our plants … we could replace all the coal burning and oil burning power plants in the world and that would reduce the emissions in the atmosphere by a third,” argued Turner. He also admitted to driving a car that gets 48 miles to the gallon instead of a “gas guzzler” and suggested others do the same.
Turner, 62, has spoken in universities and venues around the world. “I spoke wherever I could and called for an end of the Cold War, for stabilization of the population and for an emphasis on preserving the environment,” he said.
Turner also called the 20th Century one of the “darkest centuries in the history of the world,” because of two world wars and the many people that were killed.
It is time for a new start, he said. “We want our children to grow up in a world that is as good or better than the world we lived in,” said Turner.
The talk was presented by the HLS Forum, an organization that presents a variety of speakers throughout the year. Earlier this year, the HLS Forum presented television game show host Bob Barker and television talk show host Jerry Springer among other speakers. The next speaker will be attorney and author Scott Turow, on April 10.