From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]


Turner: Global Warming Will Cause Mass Cannibalism, Insurgents Are Patriots
BY Brent Baker  /  April 2, 2008

Interviewed Tuesday for Charlie Rose’s PBS show, CNN founder Ted
Turner argued that inaction on global warming “will be catastrophic”
and those who don’t die “will be cannibals.” He also applied moral
equivalence in describing Iraqi insurgents as “patriots” who simply
“don’t like us because we’ve invaded their country” and so “if the
Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we’d be doing the same thing.” On not
taking drastic action to correct global warming:

“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.”

Turner ridiculed the need for a big U.S. military, insisting “China
just wants to sell us shoes. They’re not building landing craft to
attack the United States,” and “even with our $500 billion military
budget, we can’t win in Iraq. We’re being beaten by insurgents who
don’t even have any tanks.” After Rose pointed out the Iraqi
insurgents “have a lot of roadside bombs that kill a lot of Americans”
and wondered “where do you think they come from?”, Turner answered:

“I think that they’re patriots and that they don’t like us because
we’ve invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis
were in Washington, D.C., we’d be doing the same thing: we’d be
bombing them too. Nobody wants to be invaded.”

A couple of excerpts from Turner on the Tuesday, April 1 Charlie Rose
on PBS:

On what will happen if global warming is not addressed immediately:

TED TURNER: 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. Just like
dropping bombs on each other, nuclear weapons is suicide. We’ve got to
stop doing the suicidal two things, which are hanging on to our
nuclear weapons and after that we’ve got to stabilize the population.
When I was born-

CHARLIE ROSE: So what’s wrong with the population?

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.

On what he told the UN in a speech Tuesday:

TED TURNER: I also said war doesn’t make any sense anymore. And we
need to cut the military budgets back.

ROSE: How much do you want to cut the military budgets back?

TURNER: 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. The two countries that the military-industrial complex and
some of the politicians would like to demonize and make enemies are
Russia and China. China just wants to sell us shoes. They’re not
building landing craft to attack the United States. And Russia wants
to be our friends, too.

ROSE: Well, wait a minute. No, no, no.

TURNER: Well I know that because I spent time with the Chinese and

ROSE: You’re telling me the Chinese military budget is not
increasing? Is that what you’re saying?

TURNER: It might increase, but you know how big it is compared to
ours? It’s one 20th what ours is and so is the Russian military
budget. Those are not credible expenditures. However, even with our
$500 billion military budget, we can’t 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.

ROSE: They have a lot of roadside bombs that kill a lot of

TURNER: Well, that’s right. That’s exactly right.

ROSE: And where do you think they come from?

TURNER: I think that they’re patriots and that they don’t like us
because we’ve invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the
Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we’d be doing the same thing: we’d be
bombing them too. Nobody wants to be invaded.

ROSE: Nobody likes an occupying force, or to be occupied.

TURNER: That’s right. It’s gotten to be — it’s passe. You know,
it’s time to move on. I mean, all we have to do is look at Vietnam. In
Vietnam, we killed three million Vietnamese. They never attacked us,
we attacked them. It was another one of these preemptive wars like the
war in Iraq. And we lost 50,000. They lost three million. That’s like
60 for one. But at the end of 18 years we left and the Vietnamese were

I’m just so glad, because I think about it a lot, that the
Vietnamese, the North Vietnamese, didn’t give us an ultimatum that we
couldn’t leave Vietnam until we signed a decoration of surrender, you
know, so they could get that on tape just like the Japanese
surrendered on the Missouri.

ROSE: We made them sign a declaration of surrender.

TURNER: Yeah, but we surrendered and then we could go home. We
couldn’t go home. What if the Iraqis, the insurgents say that: we’re
not going to let you leave until you sign a surrender document, we
just want the mighty United States. I mean, that’s how ridiculous the
whole situation is.

ROSE: But where does this, where did this idea come from?

TURNER: I think a lot. I spend a lot of time thinking. And I hope
that’s not a sin. And let me tell you another one, another story:
We’re not the only superpower that’s being beaten by a third world
country that doesn’t have a single airplane. The Russians got beat,

ROSE: In Afghanistan.

TURNER: That’s exactly right.

ROSE: With whose help?

TURNER: Well, we were helping Osma bin Laden, we were backing him
that time.

ROSE: The Mujahidin.

TURNER: Right.


The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) is a non-profit organization with
a mission to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use
and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons,
and to work to build the trust, transparency and security which are
preconditions to the ultimate fulfillment of the Non-Proliferation
Treaty’s goals and ambitions.

Since governments have most of the resources and authority in
addressing the threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons,
it is not just what NTI can do directly to reduce threats that matters
— it’s also what NTI can persuade others to do.

That is why NTI’s focus is on leverage – combining its influential
voice with direct action projects to catalyze greater, more effective
action by governments and international organizations.

NTI’s Leadership
NTI is a place of common ground where people with different
ideological views are working together to close the gap between the
global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and the
global response.

Co-chaired by philanthropist Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam
Nunn, NTI is governed by an expert and influential Board of Directors
with members from the United States, Japan, India, Pakistan, China,
Jordan, Sweden, France and the United Kingdom. Board members include:

* Charles B. Curtis, President & Chief Operating Officer;
* Dr. Alexei Arbatov, Head, Center for International Security at
Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian
Academy of Sciences
* U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico);
* Susan Eisenhower, President of The Eisenhower Group;
* Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, Chairman of the Board, Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute;
* General Eugene Habiger USAF (Ret.), former Commander in Chief of
the U.S. Strategic Command;
* HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan;
* Pierre Lellouche, Member of the French National Assembly;
* U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Indiana);
* Dr. Jessica T. Mathews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace;
* Judge Hisashi Owada, International Court of Justice;
* Dr. William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense;
* Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General;
* Professor Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor and Professor
of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University;
* Rt. Hon. Shirley Williams, House of Lords, UK;
* Professor Fujia Yang, Academician of the Chinese Academy of

Advisors to the Board of Directors include leading figures in science,
business and international security. Advisors to the Board include:

* Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.;
* Dr. David A. Hamburg, President Emeritus of Carnegie Corporation
of New York;
* Siegfried S. Hecker, Director Emeritus of the Los Alamos
National Laboratory;
* Frederick Iseman, Chairman and Managing Partner of Caxton-Iseman
Capital Inc.;
* George F. Russell Jr., Co-Chairman of the EastWest Institute and
founder of the Frank Russell Company.

NTI’s staff includes experts in international affairs, nonproliferation, security and military issues, public health, medicine and communications, who have operational experience in their areas of specialty.

NTI’s Work
NTI is an operational organization — actively engaged in developing
and implementing projects that bring new strategies, new partnerships
and effective action to reduce the dangers from nuclear, biological
and chemical weapons.

NTI is working in several focused areas to develop new frameworks and
approaches for addressing the most urgent global threats from nuclear,
biological and chemical weapons in order to prevent terrorsts from
getting a nuclear bomb and to strengthen global health and security:

* Securing, reducing and eliminating the use of Highly Enriched
* Removing and securing nuclear materials around the globe;
* Preventing the spread of technology to make nuclear weapons
* Strengthening security for nuclear materials through the World
Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS);
* Promoting the safe and secure practice of the biomedical
sciences to help prevent bioterrorism;
* Creating Regional Disease Surveillance Networks to detect and
respond to infectious diseases.

NTI’s work addresses high-risk situations and leverages greater action for threat reduction.

Below are examples of NTI’s work:

Project Vinca
More than two and a half bombs’ worth of highly enriched uranium (HEU)
stored in a civilian research reactor with inadequate security in
Vinca, Serbia, were vulnerable to theft by terrorists, so NTI worked
closely with the U.S. Department of State, the IAEA, Russia and Serbia
to facilitate transfer of over 100 pounds of weapons-usable nuclear
material in the form of fresh reactor fuel to more secure storage in
Russia for elimination through blend down. NTI’s contribution of $5
million supports the repackaging and removal of hundreds of kilograms
of highly radioactive spent reactor fuel for ultimate transport and
disposition in Russia.

The results:
A contract was signed in September 2006 for the removal and transport
of the spent fuel. NTI has also contributed to the design and
construction of a new storage facility for low-level radioactive
waste, a significant amount of which was already poorly stored on-site
at Vinca, and additional waste which will also be generated by the
spent fuel repackaging process. The U.S. Department of State said
NTI’s partnership was “key to the project’s success.”

The total cost of these two projects is anticipated to be around $30
million. In addition to NTI’s catalytic contribution of $5 million,
the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Hungary,
and the IAEA’s own budget have now pledged over $12 million in support
of securely removing this dangerous material from the heart of Europe.

The U.S. government pledged to take action to secure vulnerable
materials at 24 other similar reactors throughout the world. In June
2004, U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced a Global
Threat Reduction Initiative to secure, remove or dispose of a broad
range of vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials around the
world, and dedicated more than $450 million to this effort.

The New York Times ran an editorial calling the Vinca operation a
“prototype for future cooperative efforts” and urging the government
to allow increased flexibility in spending U.S. government funds in
this arena.

Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev pledged
increased cooperation with the United States and the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remove weapons usable material from
Soviet-era reactors.

Strengthening IAEA Programs to Secure Vulnerable Nuclear Material
NTI contributed to and leveraged additional support for the IAEA’s
Nuclear Security Fund, which finances the Agency’s critical and under-
funded work to help member states strengthen the physical security of
nuclear materials around the world.

The results:
The IAEA hired several trained nuclear security experts — effectively
doubling the capacity of the IAEA’s physical security program and
expanding the IAEA’s ability to

1) review security for nuclear materials at facilities around the
world; 2) identify needed security upgrades; and 3) organize
contributions from donor states to support upgrade implementation.

The IAEA has visited over a dozen member states to provide advice and
review the progress in implementing physical protection systems,
including missions in 2003 to Bulgaria, Iran, Ukraine, and Turkey. The
IAEA has also conducted physical protection workshops and training
programs involving dozens of other states.

NTI’s grant of $1.15 million was immediately matched by a pledge from
U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and has helped leverage more
than $26 million in additional support from over two-dozen nations.

WHO-NTI Global Emergency Outbreak Response Fund
Since improved disease detection, surveillance and response are
critical to addressing biological threats, NTI committed $500,000 to
establish the WHO-NTI Global Emergency Outbreak Response Fund to
strengthen the World Health Organization’s ability to respond to an
infectious disease outbreak, whether the outbreak is naturally
occurring or intentionally caused. With this fund, WHO is now able to
send teams of epidemiologists to investigate and respond to reports of
disease outbreaks within 24 hours.

The results:
The WHO-NTI Fund has supported rapid response to several threats to
global public health and security, including the SARS outbreaks in
China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and the
Philippines; Ebola in the Republic of Congo; and avian influenza in
Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The fund has
increased attention to the importance of rapid response and has
leveraged millions of dollars in contributions from nations and other
organizations to replenish it.

Mission Approach and Funding Philosophy

NTI advocates threat reduction solutions, raises public awareness and
undertakes direct action projects that demonstrate innovative ways to
reduce threats.

The majority of NTI’s awards support operational activities that NTI
has a strong hand in developing. While there is no formal award-making
cycle, NTI will consider unsolicited projects that:

address significant high-risk situations; generate additional funding and leverage action for threat reduction; or otherwise promote the core objectives of NTI.

The Nuclear Threat Initiative was established in January 2001 as a
private foundation. On July 1, 2003, NTI changed its status from a
private operating foundation to a public charity, enabling it to
accept contributions from organizations and individuals. All of NTI’s
activities are conducted with full transparency with governments.


Turner Enterprises, Inc. (TEI), a private company, manages the
business interests, land holdings and investments of Ted Turner,
including the oversight of two million acres in 12 states and in
Argentina, and more than 45,000 bison head.

TEI also works closely with Turner’s philanthropic and charitable
interests, including the founding and ongoing operations of the United
Nations Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Turner Foundation,
Captain Planet Foundation, and the Turner Endangered Species Fund.
Turner Enterprises is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, also home to
the Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant chain.


Foundation Makes New Commitment to Leverage Another $1 Billion

NEW YORK, 11 October (UNFIP) — United Nations Secretary-General Kofi
Annan announced last night that the United Nations Foundation has
delivered $1 billion of new and additional resources to the United
Nations and UN causes.  The milestone was marked at the annual United
Nations Association-USA dinner — the same occasion at which, nine
years ago, Ted Turner made his unprecedented pledge to donate $1
billion to United Nations causes and to raise additional funds through
partnership efforts.  The Foundation also announced tonight that it
intends to use the remaining $400 million of Turner’s gift to leverage
another $1 billion in support of United Nations causes over the coming

The Foundation (and its sister organization, the Better World Fund)
has donated over $600 million from founder Ted Turner and over $400
million from individuals, corporations, Governments, and non-
governmental organizations to programs that address key global
challenges in four areas:  children’s health, environment, women and
population, peace, security and human rights. The United Nations Fund
for International Partnerships (UNFIP) facilitates the Foundation’s
work within the United Nations system.

In prepared remarks, the Secretary-General said:  “Ted’s gift was a
tremendous financial boost for our organization.  More than that, it
has helped the UN to change — to become a partnership organization,
something that has been a top priority of mine.  … But, Ted’s act was
perhaps most important for the message it sent to his fellow
Americans, his fellow businessmen and women, and to the world.  Here
was an iconic businessman standing up for the United Nations, and
saying to the world that the UN and its work were worthy of support.”

Turner, Chairman of the UN Foundation’s Board of Directors, said:  “As
we are seeing all across the globe, the UN works — for the world’s
poor, for peace, for progress and for human rights and justice.
That’s why I’ve always believed in the UN.  That’s why I’ve always
supported the UN.  And that’s why I set up the UN Foundation.”

“In fact,” Turner added, “One of the great legacies of Kofi Annan’s
tenure at the UN has been his embrace of the private sector and civil
society – his efforts to transform the United Nations into a
partnership organization.  Kofi Annan recognizes that interdependence
is the driving force of our time.  He knows that in an interconnected
global economy, we all have a stake — moral and material — in peace
and security.  Together with the Secretary-General, the Foundation’s
leadership, and our diverse and international board, this organization
has worked tirelessly to campaign for solutions to the world’s
greatest challenges.  It is one of the best investments I’ve ever

Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, said:
“Nearly 10 years ago, no one knew what this experiment in global
philanthropy could do or how involved Ted would be.  In fact, he has
donated generously not only of his money, but his time.  Few realize
that Ted also announced that he would lead comprehensive efforts to
get others involved in the UN’s work — and the results show that he
has succeeded here as well.  With his support and his commitment to
the UN, we’ve been able to put together partnerships that include some
of the world’s largest companies and leading charities including the
American Red Cross, Coca-Cola, Expedia, Global Fund, Nike, Rotary
International and Vodafone.  Without him, none of this would have been
possible and we’re looking forward to working with him and the UN to
deliver the next billion to UN causes.”

The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur
and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN
causes and activities.  The United Nations Foundation builds and
implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most
pressing problems, and also works to broaden support for the UN
through advocacy and public outreach.  The United Nations Foundation
is a public charity.  For a complete listing of the Foundation grants
and programs or to learn more about the United Nations Foundation,

The United Nations Office for Partnerships promotes new United Nations
partnerships and alliances worldwide.  It offers a “one-stop” service
for partnership opportunities with the United Nations family.  It
encompasses UNFIP, the office established by Secretary-General Kofi
Annan in March 1998, as an autonomous trust fund set up to serve as
the interface between the United Nations system and the United Nations
Foundation.  For more information of the work of UNFIP, visit

For more information contact Camilla Schippa, Chief of Office, UNFIP
at schippa [at] un [dot] org, tel. 212 963 3441; or Katherine Miller,
Communications Director, United Nations Foundation at
kmiller [at] unfoundation [dot] org, tel. 202 778 1622.