Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, called on world leaders Sunday to address the global warming crisis by drastically reducing the number of people on the planet. Maintaining that the very future of humanity was at stake, Turner urged immediate action: “If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people,” said Turner, who went on to propose the immediate adoption of a global one-child policy.
The media mogul has long been infatuated with Chinese-style “family planning.” Appearing on National Public Radio on May 7th of this year, he praised the Chinese government for “wisely institut[ing] … the one-child family policy, … put[ting] in penalties, tax penalties and so forth, for people that have more than one child.”
Now the father of five, who has often publicly regretted having so many children, wants to extend China’s policy to the rest of us.
Turner makes it clear that he is not proposing an unplanned pregnancy be viewed as a criminal act, and that women who violate his one-child policy should not be forced to have abortions and sterilizations. In fact, he flatly denies that such things happen in China at all, instead claiming that the Beijing regime has enforced the policy “without, as far as I can see, Draconian steps.”
In his panic about global warming, Turner apparently hasn’t looked very far, for Draconian is precisely what China’s forced-pace population control is. I know. I have spent three decades studying it.
The Chinese population control police don’t merely “encourage people to have one child,” as Turner says, they arrest women for the crime of being pregnant with an illegal child, they subject them to detention without trial, and they forcibly abort them if they don’t “voluntarily consent” to an abortion.
CNN has reported such stories before, but apparently he doesn’t even watch the news network that he founded. Or any other, for that matter.
Of course, Turner does not want to resort to violence of the kind common in China. Instead, he wants to pursue a less populated world by bribing women into giving up their fertility. Under his scheme the world’s poor could sell their fertility rights and thereby, in his words, profit from avoiding procreation.
As a billionaire, whose wealth insulates him from the concerns of ordinary people, Turner is apparently tone-deaf on the subject of both money and children. There is, after all, something despicable about offering a poor, hungry woman food, money, or clothing in exchange for her surrendering her fertility.
In 1998, even the U.S. Congress recognized this fact, passing the Tiahrt Amendment, which forbids the use of bribes and sanctions in government-funded population control programs. Paying women to accept contraception, sterilization, or abortion, as Turner proposes, would be a violation of U.S. law.
And what does he propose to do about those couples who will not sell their children, whether conceived or merely hoped for, at any price? Is the coercive power of the state to be used to force them into the sterilization queue?
You bet. That is precisely the path population control programs worldwide have often followed. They are entirely “voluntary” until someone refuses to submit to the knife, at which time the pretence of “voluntarism” is abandoned, threats start being made, and forced sterilizations follow.
Turner justifies his proposed war on people by claiming that we are in the midst of an environmental crisis of the first order–and that we can stop global warming by reducing the number of people.
He spoke in conjunction with economist Brian O’Neill, who claimed that promoting access to “family planning” could be a major boon to those seeking to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Now, I personally find it hard to get worked up about rising levels of carbon dioxide, since increased amounts of this atmospheric “fertilizer” will lead to increased food production. Ditto for global warming–if indeed it is happening at all. But these are subjects for another day.
As for Turner, long before he or anyone else began hyping “global warming,” he was an outspoken population controller. Back in 1998, at a Zero Population Growth banquet, he was already speaking of “managing human numbers in a sensible way … I really believe that there are huge forces arrayed against us. The forces of ignorance, lack of education and prejudice and hatred and fear. The forces of darkness in general.”
“In the end,” he concluded. “I’ll put my money on the smart people against the dummies. If the smarts can’t beat the dumbs, we’re really not that smart, are we? And we have a lot more fun than they do, because we’re right and they’re wrong.”
But is it really so smart to align yourself with China’s brutal dictatorship, especially when you admit knowing almost nothing about the subject?
Wrong again, Ted.