At an EU meeting in Brussels, dubbed the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit, the UK’s Prince Charles made the case that without healthy ecosystems, the global economy will suffer.
“We have to see that there is a direct relationship between the resilience of Nature’s ecosystems and the resilience of our national economies,” he told Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), business leaders, and other policy makers. “If the fabric of the Earth’s life-support system fragments, as it appears it may be starting to do; if those systems become weak or even collapse—essentially, if Nature’s capital loses its innate resilience—then how long does it take for our economic capital and economic systems to lose their resilience too?”
He added: “I cannot see how we can possibly maintain the growth of GDP in the long term if we continue to consume our planet as voraciously as we are doing.”
The heir to the English throne also attacked climate change deniers for their “corrosive effect on public opinion”.
He stated that such self-described skeptics “deny the vast body of scientific evidence that shows beyond any reasonable doubt that global warming has been exacerbated by human industrialized activity.”
In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that it was ‘very likely’ (over 90%) that human activities are the primary cause of warming over the past century. Since the industrial revolution, the Earth has warmed on average approximately 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The last decade was the warmest since record keeping began, and 2010 among the world’s warmest years.
“I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they failed their future; that they ignored all the clear warning signs,” he continued. “I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach for this plays a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us?”
Prince Charles also said that environmentalists must change their message and focus on the many benefits of living sustainably.
“If we are constantly told that living environmentally friendly lives means giving up all that makes life worthwhile, then it is no surprise that people refuse to change,” he said.
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