Ted Turner is not one to mince words, and his most recent public appearance was no exception. At the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2011 conference in Anaheim, Calif., on Monday, Turner said choosing between renewable energy and fossil fuel is an issue of right and wrong.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, and it is time to get serious about addressing the problem by supporting wind, solar and geothermal power, Turner said. “The government should be phasing out the fossil fuel industry, starting with the incentives for the fossil fuel industry,” and provide long-term incentives for renewable energy, he said. It is important for the country to achieve economic and national security and to help make a cleaner and happier world, Turner said.
He spoke about the economic clout of the fossil fuel industry and how it factors into policymaking. The problem is that industries such as oil and coal have more money to spend on advertising than the renewable-energy sector, Turner said.
“It’s the seventh inning, and we’re down by two runs,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that we’ve lost, but … we need to get on them. We need to stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things.”
And yet Turner is not completely against fossil fuel. He acknowledges natural gas’ role as a fuel in the transition to renewable energy. He recently debated T. Boone Pickens, who supports gas and wind energy, on the matter. Turner said that while the gas industry says the country has enough resources to last a 100 years, it is not enough.
“We’re on too short a time horizon,” he said. “We should be thinking 1,000 years, not 100 years. I’ve almost lived to be 100, and it went by like that.”