When it comes to public pronouncements on science, Prince Charles has a far from spotless track record. His views on homeopathy and nanotechnology are, frankly, rather loopy.
But the Prince spoke sense in last night's Richard Dimbleby lecture. The comparison he drew between last year's banking meltdown and the looming environmental crisis is a good one. The financial community was motivated by a blind rush for short-term profits. And, as we seek economic growth without regard for the sustainability of the planet's resources, we are behaving in an equally blinkered way. As the Prince puts it: "Nature, the biggest bank of all, could go bust."
The Prince, with his many homes, his vast entourage and his frequent flights in private jets, is no ethical paragon. Some will dismiss his stance as hypocrisy, with good cause. But despite this, we dismiss the core argument the Prince is making – for a revolution in our attitudes towards our environmental heritage – at our peril.