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Ted Turner talks wind power and baseball at Anaheim conference

Wind Media mogul Ted Turner opened the wind industry’s largest national conference Monday morning with the kind of feisty, fist-pumping comments that have become his calling card.

“I’ve been accused of being full of hot air most of my life, so this fits right in,” he told the crowd at the kickoff for the American Wind Energy Assn.’s annual confab. 

Turner, who founded the CNN network and helped launch the environmentalist television show Captain Planet and the Planeteers, likened the severity of climate change to a baseball game. “We’re in the seventh inning and we’re down by two runs,” he said to association head Denise Bode. “It doesn’t mean we’ve lost, but our backs are to the wall.”

Comfortably ensconced in a chair on stage, Turner’s discussion with Bode veered from his bison preservation efforts to his love of Dr. Seuss. Peppered with salty language, his comments also meandered to concerns about overpopulation and his enduring bitterness toward Time Warner Inc.

But Turner was also adamant about the importance of wind. “It’s time to move beyond fossil fuels,” he said. “It’s past time. We’re late! It’s like hanging onto telephone booths.”

If the government were to institute more stable incentives and help set up transmission lines, he said he would immediately erect hundreds of wind turbines on his sprawling ranch properties.

Professing that he has “nightmares about clean coal” –- technologies that claim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning coal –- he said that the renewable power industry needs to raise more money to make its case to lawmakers.

“I’ve never seen anything so clear and overwhelming as the case for wind, solar and geothermal right now,” Turner said. But he cautioned would-be fundraisers: “Don’t look at me.”

RELATED:

California renewable energy gets major boost in new law

Wind energy: headed for a slowdown?

Clean-tech: a decade of explosive growth with more to come

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Wind turbines at Rocky Mountain Power's Dunlap project dot the landscape near Medicine Bow, Wyo. Credit: Tim Kuspick / Star-Tribune

 
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Money where mouth is, Ted. He should know that.


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