9th Annual New York Dinner
Ted Turner does not beat around the bush. Asked by Tom Brokaw why he was concerned about the environment, Ted replied, “If we don’t stop doing things wrong and start doing things right, if we keep acting stupidly instead of acting smartly, we’ll be extinct.”
Turner’s bluntness struck a chord with the nearly seven hundred guests assembled in the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ocean Life for Conservation International’s 9th Annual New York Dinner. Tom and Ted’s discussion ranged from bison ranching to nuclear war, but always returned to Turner’s heartfelt passion for conservation and belief that Earth’s biodiversity can be preserved if people start making the right choices now.
Ted and Tom were introduced by David Letterman, who shared his fears about global warming with the audience. “It was so warm down in Washington, DC today,” quipped Letterman, “that a congressman got into the freezer with his bribe money. Actually happened.”
CI’s CEO Peter Seligmann was also on the program to share CI’s vision of making conservation “an inclusive club rather than an exclusive club.” Peter argued persuasively that welcoming a broader spectrum of partners to the conservation bandwagon would help tip global trends in favor of protecting our Earth.
Peter was introduced by Sigourney Weaver, who praised his efforts to expand conservation’s big tent. Sigourney also narrated CI’s new film, Can Anything Live Forever? Produced by CI’s friends at Radical Media, the film is a sobering reminder that the decisions we make today will decide the future of our planet’s health.
Harrison Ford closed the evening with an eloquent plea for guests’ leadership and generosity. Thanking the guests for their support, he reminded them that the success of CI’s global mission depends on their commitment.
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