Ted Turner, who owns the Atlanta Braves major league baseball team and created the CNN television network, established the Foundation bearing his name in 1990. He currently serves as its Chairman, while he his five children constitute its Board of Trustees. The Foundation’s President is Michael Finley, the former superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. The former Vice President of the Foundation was Turner’s ex-wife, Jane Fonda.
Committed to “preventing damage to the natural systems — water, air, and land — on which all life depends,” the Turner Foundation is a major supporter of radical environmentalist organizations whose goal, as writer Michael Berliner explains, is “not clean air and clean water; rather, it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization.” In Turner’s view, measures to curb environmental degradation are desperately needed in order “to ensure the survival of the human species.” He believes that the human race and most other forms of life will become extinct within fifty years unless dramatic measures are taken to forestall and reverse the environmental damage allegedly done by industrial pursuits and their related pollutants. Virtually no major logging, mining, road building, or development venture can proceed without first facing a court challenge from one of the myriad environmentalist groups that the Turner Foundation supports.
The Turner Foundation’s philanthropy is divided into four main program areas: Safeguarding Habitat: “The goal of this program is to protect terrestrial and marine habitats and wildlife critical for the preservation of biodiversity. Focus is placed on protecting functioning ecosystems, including core, intact habitats, buffer zones and wildlife corridors.”Growing the Movement: Designed to develop activist leaders and organizations, this program aims “to engage, organize and empower new constituencies in order to ensure the future protection of our environment.”
Creating Solutions for Sustainable Living: “The goal of this program is to modify patterns of consumption and to halt further degradation of our natural resources by addressing the environmental impacts of our personal, institutional and community choices. … Issues may include clean energy, transportation and fuel alternatives, recycling, forest certification efforts, water consumption and conservation, groundwater depletion and human population.” (The “human population” issue refers to the Foundation’s support for universal access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand as a means of population control.)
Healthy Planet, Healthy Communities: “The goal of this program is to restore or mitigate the effects of non-sustainable practices in order to enrich our quality of life and the health of our future communities and planet. Issues may include clean air; clean water; green space for community benefit; and environmental health and justice.” (The latter issue is based on the Foundation’s belief that pollution and environmental hazards disproportionately affect minorities and the poor.)
The Turner Foundation is a member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group and the International Human Rights Funders Group. The latter is a network of more than six-dozen grantmakers dedicated to funding leftist groups and causes.
The Turner Foundation identifies the following as its “Affiliated Organizations”:
(a) Captain Planet Foundation: “Started in 1991, the mission of Captain Planet Foundation … is to fund and support hands-on environmental projects … that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities.”
(b) United Nations Foundation: This Foundation defines itself as one that “builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and also works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach.” The Foundation was funded entirely by Ted Turner‘s historic $1 billion gift in 1997, earmarked for the support of UN causes and activities.
(c) Better World Fund: This campaign “is a bi-partisan, non-profit national education and outreach effort dedicated to enhancing the awareness of and appreciation for the vital role the United Nations plays around the world. In particular, [it] works to highlight the UN’s work to strengthen international security through multilateral cooperation.”
(d) Nuclear Threat Initiative: This “is an organization working to reduce the global threat from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.”
Among the many recent recipients of Turner Foundation grants are: Alliance for Justice; the Arms Control Association; the Brookings Institution; the Carter Center; Catholics for a Free Choice; the Center for Media and Democracy; the Center for Reproductive Rights; Common Cause Education Fund; the David Suzuki Foundation; Defenders of Wildlife; Earth Action Network; the Earth Day Network; the Earth Island Institute; Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund; Earth Share; Ecotrust; the Environmental Defense Fund; Environmental Media Services; the Environmental Working Group; the Feminist Majority Foundation; Friends of the Earth; Global Exchange; Global Green USA; Greenpeace; the Institute for Policy Studies; the Izaak Walton League of America; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund; MADRE; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro-Choice America Foundation; National Public Radio; the National Religious Partnership for the Environment; the National Wildlife Federation; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Nature Conservancy; the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; People for the American Way; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Planned Parenthood; Zero Population Growth (now called Population Connection); Public Broadcasting System; Rainforest Action Network; Rainforest Alliance; the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Ruckus Society; Save the Children Federation; the Sierra Club; the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center; the Trust for Public Land; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the United Nations Foundation; the U.S. Public Interest Research Group; the Waterkeeper Alliance; the Wilderness Society; Women’s Action for New Directions; the World Resources Institute; and the World Wildlife Fund.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Turner Foundation, click here.