Ted Turner Pushes One-Child Policy In PBS Interview

A longer look at the transcript of Ted Turner's April 1 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS shows that not only did he warn of horrendous climate change, he also pushed relentlessly for dramatic curbs on population growth.  People must be limited to one or two children apiece for the planet to survive:

CHARLIE ROSE: What is possible? Tell me what`s possible to do? TED TURNER: It`s possible that in 15 or 20 years we can completely redo it. If we -- we have to mobilize. This is how important it is, and how important that we do it quickly. We have to mobilize the same way we did when we entered World War II in 1941. We have to fully mobilize everything we have and put it into changing the energy system over, and not just here in the United States, but all over the world.It`s going to be the biggest business project in the history of world. Fortunes, billions of dollars are going to be made. Hundreds of thousands of people are going to be employed.We`re going to have clean air. We`re going to have so many benefits from it. It`s not going to cost us anything once we get going with it. It`s not going to cost us anything.Only the people that don`t understand it think it`s going to -- not doing it will be catastrophic. We`ll have eight degrees -- we`ll be eight degrees hotter in 10 -- not 10, but in 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 will be no more corn growing. It will -- not doing it is suicide. Just like dropping bombs on each other, nuclear weapons, is suicide. So, we`ve got to stop doing the two suicidal things, which are...ROSE: Nuclear and... TURNER: ... hanging on to our nuclear weapons, and then after that we`ve got to stabilize the population.When I was born, there...ROSE: So what is wrong with the population? I mean... TURNER: We`re too many people. That`s why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff. If there were less people, they`d be using less stuff.ROSE: But, you know, in China, what they worry about is not so much too many people... TURNER: They have a one-child family.ROSE: Exactly. And they worry about the demographics of their society. Everybody`s old. TURNER: Japan worries more about that than China does.ROSE: But China does, too. TURNER: Well, everybody worries about it a little, but for a while we`re going to have a demographic slump -- or a hump where there are more old people. But we`ve got to stabilize population. On a voluntary basis, everybody in the world has got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it.ROSE: Right. TURNER: And we`ve got to do that, because otherwise all the gains that we make in redoing our energy system are going to be erased by population increase. About 6.5 billion in the world today. Two billion are living in conditions that Americans would think was totally unacceptable. And I think they are unacceptable.ROSE: Unacceptable and intolerable. TURNER: Right. That`s absolutely right. And if you put two more billion people in here -- the natural world is collapsing all around us. And global warming is just one manifestation of that. A few years ago, remember we had the hole in the ozone layer that was caused by CFCs.ROSE: Right. TURNER: We`re altering the climate and the world in so many different ways. And what we`re doing is reducing the Earth`s carrying capacity so that each year that the natural world gets poorer, and less able to support the increasing number of people -- we have a finite world, but an infinite ability to increase our population. And we`ve got to handle that. That`s the next thing.

And a little before the "cannibal" part of the hour, there was this:

TED TURNER: In China you can`t even move around. They are wearing face masks and they`re falling like flies. The air pollution is so bad. And even if global warming is not as serious as the best scientists` consensus is, even if it`s not, if we convert -- when we convert over to clean, renewable energy, we`ll at least clean up the air. And that`s worth a hell of a lot. I mean, you know, it`s extremely important.ROSE: And when somebody comes along and says, Ted, that sounds very good and I`m in favor of that, but will do dramatic injury to our economic growth? TURNER: Listen, what good is economic growth if you are dead from poison? You know, when you`re poisoned, it`s just like Love Canal. Well, if you move from Love Canal, your value of your house goes down. Well, having a house at Love Canal, the value already went down. Everybody is dying of cancer on the block. You k now? I mean, that`s no good. No, you`ve got to take care of your health first, because what good is it -- if you are rich and unhealthy, that`s no good.ROSE: But you know that`s the reason the Chinese aren`t doing as much as they can, because they believe economic growth is necessary to deal with some other problems they have, like disparities between the urban and the rural and poor and... TED TURNER: It`s going to be the most complicated thing that we`ve ever done, because we have to work out an overall agreement with all the other 191 countries in the world that makes sense for the industrial-rich world, as well as the poor -- behind the poor developing world. We`ve got to come up with one agreement for the post-Kyoto agreement. And we have two years to come up with it.They had a big meeting in Bali. It went pretty well. But the devil is in the details. And working this out is going to be extremely complicated. And it`s -- the United States is going to have to take a leadership position this time. We`re the only country in the world, only developed country in the world, that didn`t sign on finally with the Kyoto treaty.
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis