United Nations Report
Pollution-spewing earth summit
September 2, 2002
It seems that heartthrob millionaire actor Leonard DiCaprio didnt get that sinking feeling about the worth of the ill-fated Johannesburg Earth Summit.
Titanic star DiCaprio, who calls the U.S. the worlds "biggest polluter", chastised President George Bush for not attending the environmental fest.
"Mr. Bush, were asking for your support, to be the president that looks forward to the future," DiCaprio said in August at a rally organized by Global Green USA, an affiliate of Mikhail Gorbachevs Green Cross International.
After lecturing the American president, Dicaprio himself made a last-minute cancellation from making a summit appearance, citing a previous obligation in support of a project to save the great apes.
Nor did the actor have anything to say about tens of thousands of delegates attending a summit at a cost of more than $50 million in the middle of famine-thrust South Africa.
According to NewsMax.com, "Ironically, the 60,000 people attending the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development are projected to create the same amount of pollution during the 10 days of the summit as nearly half a million Africans do during the course of an entire year.
DiCaprio isnt the only celebrity irked at the no-show of George W. Bush. Sierra Club bigwig Michael Dorsey moans, "People around the world are seriously concerned that the Bush administration is undermining the world summit instead of working with other countries to benefit everyone."
Says Newsmax.com in a press release on the summit: "But others think the event is the funniest, most hypocritical thing since globalist fatcats stuffed their faces at the so-called World Food Summit."
Fred L. Smith Jr., of Competitive Enterprises Institute wrote a letter applauding Bush for choosing to skip the summit.
"Why would you go to a party when they want to throw pies at you? The fortunate thing is when 40,000 goofies get together, not much happens," Smith told
"Except, of course, for all the pollution they create. Just think how much carbon dioxide will issue from all that hot air."
Food tasters and prostitutes:
UN thinks of everything
UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan thinks of everything.
As thousands of delegates flocked to South Africa for the biggest United Nations meeting in history, there were food tasters for the VIPs.
Ironic that while heads of state could have their food tasted for poison by paid food tasters, there is no food to taste for more than a million inhabitants of Africa where a famine is taking its toll.
The thousands of delegates pouring into Africa include UN dignitaries, government negotiators, environmental campaigners, charity workers, aboriginal activists and luminaries from multi-national oil giants.
According to far-thinking UN officials, to satisfy the expected demands, brothels were bringing in prostitutes from other cities and even from neighbouring African countries.
Entertainment and photo ops are a big part of the summit, and in the middle of a famine, nightclub strippers have been put on a diet.
Strangely missing from action were the hawkers and beggars who populate the street corners of nearby Alexandra, one of the countrys most impoverished townships, the proverbial hop, skip and a jump from Sandton, summit headquarters.
UN will have to wait for Turners $1 billion offer
Like the untold scores of average people who need a little more time to meet their financial obligations, media mogul Ted Turner needs more time to cover his $1 billion over-10-year pledge to the United Nations.
With his fortune dwindling at AOL Time Warner, now thrust in the middle of an accounting scandal and a dramatic plunge in its share price, Turner has to renege on his flamboyant promise to the UN.
Originally the 63-year-old said he would pay the $1 billion over 10 years, but now plans to take longer to fulfil his pledge.
In a flurry of world-wide newspaper headlines in 1985, Turner established the Better World Society to promote two of his pet issues: environmentalism and the UN.
In his book Where on Earth are we Going? Canadian Maurice Strong describes how in 1991 Turner persuaded him to lead the organization: "Midway through lunch, (Turner) abruptly put down his knife and fork and got down on his knees
`Maurice, he said, `Im down on my knees because I want you to become president of the Better World Society, and I beg you not to say no." Strong didnt.
The Better World Society was only the beginning of Turners UN generosity. In January 1998, he donated $1 billion to the new United Nations Foundation (UNF). Its goal is to distribute $100 million a year for the next 10 years to UN programs dealing with poverty, malnutrition, peacekeeping and the environment.
Money.telegraph.co.uk reports that to date Turner has paid $373 million to the UN Foundation. The UN does not accept cheques from private individuals. Officials close to him deny that plans to extend the life of the UNF have anything to do with the reversal of his fortunes, saying that the original $100-million-a-year scheme was "arbitrary."
In addition to being the best known icon of the UN, Turner is also one of the largest landowners in America, with ranches in Montana and other states.
Jane Fondas most recent ex also owns about 30,000 bison--an asset that has also suffered a dramatic tumble in value. Bison used to fetch $2,000 each but are now worth closer to $300, according to the National Bison Association.
It is not known how the falling prices of bison will affect Turners plans for a host of restaurants he wants to make famous for the bison burger.