Ted Turner: Green hypocrite

Frets about the planet in his private jet.

Here are environment-related excerpts from the new Hollywood Reporter profile of billionaire Ted Turner:

The “Mouth of the South” is no longer as he devotes his time (and $1 billion) to the U.N., jets between 28 homes and four girlfriends, misses Jane Fonda and opens up to THR about Rupert, Jerry and his abuse as a child. Says a friend: “He’s definitely changed”…

The tycoon-turned-philanthropist has removed the wallet from his blazer to show me a printed card with his “11 Voluntary Initiatives,” an oddly naive reinvention of the Ten Commandments that he concocted some 15 years ago, including such vows as “I promise to care for Planet Earth and all living things thereon, especially my fellow beings”…

Turner doesn’t pay attention to TV anymore, other than CNN. “I don’t watch entertainment,” he says. As for CNN’s sister network, HLN, “the News and Views Network” featuring Nancy Grace: “I haven’t watched in years. I want to see serious news.”

Instead, he spends an average of an hour and a half each day reading nonfiction — The Economist from cover to cover, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal whenever he can, along with substantive tomes including environmentalist Lester R. Brown’s World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse and Catherine Crier’s Patriot Acts: What Americans Must Do to Save the Republic

“I like Obama. I don’t know who could do a better job. He’s got an incredibly tough situation, and a good heart and mind. I’d like to see him rally support a little better. He’s alienated a lot of people — not deliberately or anything.” By contrast, “Certainly the Tea Party people are mean-spirited. It’s so heartbreaking to have [them] say that global warming is a hoax”…

He may lack the ebullience of his earlier years, yet Turner shuttles endlessly among his 28 properties — 14 of them ranches with 55,000 bison — traveling hundreds of thousands of miles per year on his private Challenger jet, making numerous speeches when he’s not communing with nature in the “wilderness,” as he puts it. With nearly 2 million acres, he was America’s largest landowner until his friend, Liberty Media chairman John Malone, surpassed him…

With a mind that still bubbles with invention and an IQ of 128 (“in the 97th percentile,” he says), he has turned his unequaled gaze on the nonprofits that have become his abiding love: The U.N. Foundation, established with former Democratic Sen. Timothy Wirth of Colorado as its president to promote the aims of the U.N.; the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which he co-chairs with former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia, championing projects such as the conversion of reactors around the globe; and the Turner Foundation, which among other pursuits bestows ecosystem-
safeguarding grants

Now he has sold his shares in CNN parent Time Warner, whose plunging stock price following the AOL merger in 2000 cost him $8 billion of his estimated $10 billion fortune. Other than a solar-energy project he recently developed with the Sutton Co. in New Mexico and his chain of 44 restaurants in 16 states, Ted’s Montana Grill (which showcases the bison he breeds), business doesn’t entice him…

Click for the entire article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.