Ted Turner went into the heart of darkness last week to deliver a message of hope, or a stern lecture, depending upon one’s allegiances and point-of-view.
Speaking before the Houston World Affairs Council (in an appearance funded by BP and Marathon Oil Corp.), Turner said, “What we need is a moratorium on all new coal plants, on all new carbon-producing energy power technologies, and work on replacing them with renewable alternatives.”
Turner also called for urgent action to address global climate change, which he referred to as the “single greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced.”
“The biggest danger is we won’t do enough soon enough,” he said.
“The days of fossil fuels as a fuel are over,” he told a packed ballroom over lunch at the Hotel Intercontinental. “It’s just a matter of how soon everybody recognizes it.”
If people aren’t motivated by helping the Earth, they should be drawn by the financial opportunities in clean energy, Turner said.
“The greatest fortunes in the history of the world will be made in this new energy business,” said Turner, who estimates his net worth at more than $1 billion. According to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, Turner owns one-third of Dome-Tech Solar, the largest solar installer in the eastern United States, and together they are creating DT Solar, a renewable energy company.
In related news, billionaire philanthropist Richard Branson last week pledged $25 million dollars to the first person or group who can come up with a technology to remove one billion tons of green house gases from the atmosphere per year for ten years.