When you think of women who work tirelessly everyday to create a healthy future for our children, there is perhaps no one more dedicated than Laura Turner Seydel. Laura inherited her passion from her father, Ted Turner, the original Captain Planet who instilled in his children environmental stewardship. Laura has dedicated her life to making sure we leave this planet a place our children and grandchildren can enjoy. MyScoop interviewed this inspirational woman and mentor and we hope her answers will spark a passion of stewardship in you.
What inspires you about waking up each morning? People don’t realize how close we are to not being able to turn around and reverse our trajectory. I wake up each morning with the intention of fighting for the planet I want to leave the next generation with. Children are depending on us to help solve the tough issues we are facing like the current 6th mass extinction, pollution and waste, toxicity in air, water and food products, and the real game-changer carbon pollution. By burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests we are leaving the next generation in a big mess!
What inspires your work? I am so inspired by the heroes of our time that have dedicated their lives to turn wrongs into rights, often putting their lives on the line in the process. I’m deeply moved by the warriors who comprised civil and human rights activists. Particularly living legends Reverend Joseph Lowery, C.T. Vivian, Andy Young, Congressman John Lewis and Reverend Gerald Durley that stood up with MLK. Of course there are also the environmental legends like Jane Goodall! Then there are the young people who put their lives on the line working with Greenpeace and Whale Warrior Paul Watson. Currently there are also 21 young plaintiffs (all under the age of 21) and world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations and his granddaughter, suing the US Department of Justice for inaction on regulating carbon pollution which contributes to global warming. They are alleging oil companies and the government have known the science and that fossil fuel emissions were fueling climate extremes/warming but ignored it. It is so appropriate that the next generation is behind this lawsuit because it will be their generation that experiences the brunt of the negative changes that will wreak havoc on their lives.
How does your family inspire you? I’m also privileged to have some of these pioneers in my own family, my dad Ted Turner, stepmom Jane Fonda and mother-in-law Pat Mitchell. They have always been continuous founts of inspiration for me.
All of my family members inspire me in their own ways! My husband is so smart. He’s an attorney who sees the big picture and knows how to invoke the law when it comes to environmental issues. We need more great lawyers like him representing the voiceless and our children, protecting “the least of these”. My kids are another great source of inspiration for me. Currently, my son is launching a political platform and app, called Revolution Nation Network, designed to engage millennials in the political process on issues they care about through social media.
What is your favorite place in the world? It is hard to name just one. We are blessed with so many incredible places in our country and all over the world where nature thrives intact. It is critical we do a better job and protect them for our young people to experience.
What advice would you give women going through life’s trials and tribulations? Take care of yourself. Eat smart, work out. These are key to better managing your stress levels. Also see a reputable anti-aging doctor who practices integrative medicine. It saved my life.
How do we begin to seek a better life? Through service to others. Focus on making the world better within your sphere of influence. Change begins in our own communities.
Describe your personal style? What did you wear as a child? I like to wear more timeless clothes made from organic or sustainable fabrics with earth-friendly dyes. I think the fashion industry needs to offer more earth-friendly fashion and less cheap, trendy clothes that are in one’s closet for only a season. I also think it was a good experience for me to wear hand-me-downs from our local church when I was growing up. I still shop in thrift stores on occasion. I like recycled/up cycled things.
What is your favorite quote? “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. – Native American Proverb”
Who have played mentor roles in your life? Definitely my mother-in-law, Pat Mitchell. She has an incredible list of accomplishments including the former CEO of PBS. Pat has been fighting on the frontier for women’s rights as long as I have known her. I have learned so much from her. She is an incredibly smart and strong woman who has dedicated herself to helping other women rise up.
My dad has also had a tremendous influence on me. He brought the 24-hour news cycle to the world, but I think his most important legacy is his incredible vision in business and philanthropy. His contributions and success in making our planet a safer, more peaceful, and healthier place has inspired millions to do more.
Advice to women in their 20s. Work with a mentor. Many successful women think it is important to pay it forward and enjoy lifting up young women. There are so many benefits to experience for both.
READ MORE about the work Laura does at her website http://lauraseydel.com/