Ted Turner: Climate Change ‘Most Serious ... Problem Humanity Has Ever Faced’

June 24, 2011 - 1:49 PM
Ted Turner

Ted Turner and members of the board of UN Foundation. (Photo: UN Foundation)

(CNSNews.com) – Media mogul Ted Turner says climate change is “probably the most serious--and, in all fairness, the most complex--problem that humanity has ever faced.”

He added: “It is really easy to understand how some people don’t get it, because it’s so complex and complicated.”

Turner took part in a telephone news conference on Thursday, held by his United Nations Foundation on the island of Svalbard, one of the northernmost regions of Norway.

His comments came in response to a question posed by reporter Sunny Lewis of the Environment News Service about how to change the minds of climate change skeptics.

“A few climate skeptics and deniers seem to be holding up action to curb climate change,” Lewis said. “What can be done to convince and persuade these holdouts as to actually realize what so many scientists know and are telling us in urgent terms?”

Turner applauded the question.

 “That’s a very good question," he said, "and if we knew the answer to it, we’d already have an energy policy in the United States. You know, my good friend Boone Piockens points out, and absolutely correctly, that the United States, in its history, has never had an energy policy including during the Arab oil shocks of the ‘70s, and we still don’t have (one), and we need to.

“The only thing I can think of, is we just have to keep working, just like we are doing now, and get as much publicity as we possible can for the issue, and increase the amount of the debate, and persuade people with both the evidence, which is overwhelmingly in favor of climate change being a serious problem, probably the most serious--and in all fairness--the most complex problem that humanity has ever faced,” Turner said.

Referring to climate change skeptics, Turner added: “It's really easy to understand how some people don’t get it because it’s so complex and complicated. But that doesn’t mean we have to do, all of us, do what we can to try to convince people to do the right thing and then motivate them to take the action.”

Turner is the founder and chairman of the United Nations Foundation, and presided over the organization’s semi-annual meeting, which took place June 19-25 in Oslo.