Ted Turner: Adopt China's one-child policy to save planet

Atlanta's most unguarded tongue is at it again, telling global leaders meeting in Mexico that the rest of the world should adopt China's one-child policy, according to a Toronto newspaper.

"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," CNN founder Ted Turner said Sunday at a conference discussing the impact of demographic trends on the future of greenhouse gas emission.

If such a plan was adopted, the father of five said, poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce by selling fertility rights.

China claims its policy has resulted in 400 million fewer births since 1979, limiting emissions growth even as the country becomes more industrialized. But critics argue the mandate has contributed to more abortions and high levels of female infanticide.

Former Irish president Mary Robinson said such a radical proposal is a non-starter.

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"If we do it the wrong way, we can divide the world," said Robinson, who, in a dig at Turner, added "[many] people in the climate world could communicate this very badly.

Of course the former Braves owner is no stranger to controversy. A look at some of his more colorful statements over the years:

  • In 2008, Turner, appearing on Charlie Rose's PBS show, warned that if global warming is not properly dealt with, most of mankind will be destroyed "and the rest of us will be cannibals." At that time he advocated a two-child limit per American family.
  • He later apologized for his 2001 observation that Ash Wednesday adherents were "Jesus freaks." In the same interview, Turner called opponents of abortion "bozos."
  • He defended Iran's nuclear ambitions, telling Reuters in 2006, "They're a sovereign state. We have 28,000. Why can't they have 10? We don't say anything about Israel — they've got 100 of them approximately — or India or Pakistan or Russia."
  • Turner was also sympathetic to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer in 2005 the U.S. should "give ‘em a break," adding that the isolated regime posed a "non-existent" threat to America. When Blitzer suggested North Korea's missiles could reach Alaska, Turner demurred: "Well, what, the Aleutian Islands? There's nothing up there but a few sea lions."
  • PR maven Bob Hope, an executive with the Braves when Turner owned the club, recalled an incident in which his boss offended a Jewish group with an off-color quip. Turner penned a long letter of apology, signing it, "Yours in Christ."

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