Mikhail Gorbachev says that CNN creator Ted Turner “has set a new standard for what a single individual can do to address the most challenging problems threatening our survival.” That is according to the blurb on the back of author Todd Wilkinson’s Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet, published by Lyons Press in 2013 and copyrighted to Turner Works, LLC.
Wilkinson and Cascadia Wildlands Executive Director Bob Ferris are currently touring Oregon and Washington talking about Turner, conservation and capitalism on a “Two Talking Wolves” tour that starts this week.
Ferris says that Turner talks about “the need for people that have been successful to be empathetic in terms of realizing their wealth comes from natural resources, and they need to put something back in the bank to keep human and ecological systems healthy.”
Wilkinson’s biography of Turner kicks off with a dream of a wolf and the concept of rewilding — bringing back some of the native species from hundreds of years ago to the lands they once roamed. Ferris says that rewilding and Oregon’s roaming wolf pair, known to some as OR-7 and his “uncollared female” and to others as Journey and Wanda, will be part of the wide-ranging discussions on the Two Wolves tour. Ferris points to conservation work on Turner’s 2 million acres of land holdings as an example of the media mogul’s views as an “eco-capitalist-humanitarian.”
“Ted’s a good model for successful people to aspire to,” Ferris says. “His sort of attitude and thinking anybody could adopt.” He says Turner puts the same spirit that led to his creation of the 24-hour news station into conservation. Some of the most economically successful businesses are also the most environmental, Ferris adds.
According to Ferris, the fact that wolves could successfully return to Oregon and that Journey and Wanda could “hook up” demonstrates that, with enough wild land, sensitive species can return, but the loss of biodiversity must be slowed before that can happen.
Ferris and Wilkinson urge that people come out and learn about how “the Pacific Northwest figures at the center of many urgent environmental issues affecting America and the world.”
The Two Talking Wolves tour comes to Eugene at noon Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Knight Law School, Room 110 on the UO campus, and 7 pm the same day at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St. At 7 pm Friday, Oct. 17, Ferris and Wilkinson will speak in Cottage Grove at The Healing Matrix, 632 E. Main St., and they speak again 7 pm Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe Ave.