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David Guyatt
03-13-2009, 11:56 AM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jW4ItOtxhcKERu8HZlnSjkzNqWMA


Crisis 'nothing' compared to climate change: Prince Charles
15 hours ago
RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) The current global financial crisis is "nothing" compared to the impact of climate change, Prince Charles warned Thursday as he called for urgent environmental protection measures.
"We are, I fear, at a defining moment in the world's history," he told a meeting of Brazilian business leaders and officials in Rio de Janeiro halfway through a Latin America tour.
"The global recession is far worse than any seen for generations," he said, adding that growing demand for energy and food created the potential for "political uncertainty in every continent."
But more menacing, he said, was that "the threat of catastrophic climate change calls into question humanity's continued survival on the planet."
He stressed: "Any difficulties which the world faces today will be as nothing compared to the full effects which global warming will have on the world-wide economy."
The speech was billed as a key presentation in the prince's commitment to environmental conservation.
It came a day before Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were to head to Brazil's Amazon to see human impact on the world's biggest rainforest, sometimes called "the lungs of the Earth" for its role in soaking up greenhouse gases.
Prince Charles, 60, and Camilla, 61, were on a 10-day, three-nation tour taking in Chile, Brazil and Ecuador's Galapagos Islands -- the research inspiration for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution -- meant to draw attention to the challenges posed by climate change.
The prince praised Brazil for the measures it has implemented to protect the Amazon, and described them as part of a new approach that dovetailed into the search for solutions to the world's economic and financial crisis.
That model relied on governments bringing in private investors through carbon credits and other schemes to promote eco-protection -- to "leverage" private capital for the cause of conservation.
"Surely at the heart of such a fresh approach must be the creation of low carbon economies," the prince said.
"The old model of industrial development is clearly failing to deliver the benefits for which many had hoped."
Prince Charles said, however, that conservation moves such as Brazil's would buy only a "little more time for alternative sources of energy production to be developed -- for that, after all, is the main problem."
He emphasized: "We have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change, and the unimaginable horrors that this would bring."
The prince outlined his ideas in a discussion with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday, and on Monday with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
After his speech, the prince left to visit a social program set up by a British-run group in one of Rio's notorious slums that seeks to channel street violence into body combat sports.
In the da Mare slum, a large crowd surrounded the prince as he walked through the dusty streets under the watchful eye of many police.
He paused briefly with Camilla at his side to view a trio of scantily clad Carnival queens put on a samba dance show in front of him.
Children in the slum were awestruck at the visitor, without quite understanding who he was.
"It's the first time I've ever seen a real prince," said one 13-year-old girl, Keila.
A nine-year-old boy next to her tried to climb up a crowd control barrier for a better look.
"What's the prince's name?" he asked.

Peter Lemkin
03-13-2009, 12:29 PM
I'm NO fan of that man - nor his family....but he is correct here....I teach this at University every week and the students dutifully put what is required on the tests, but are [almost] as much in denial as the society, at large.....

David Guyatt
03-13-2009, 01:24 PM
Agreed. Even a fool can guess the correct time twice a day. but to be fair to him on this issue, he has been banging this drum for a very long time.