Prince Charles 'baffled' by climate change sceptics

Friday 10 September 2010 10:36

The Prince of Wales said today he found the views of climate change sceptics "extraordinary".

He also made an impassioned plea for the country to adopt greener ways as he gave a breakfast television interview.

He warned that living on the planet would be "no fun at all" for future generations unless people took action to combat climate change.

Charles has spent the week touring eco-projects across the country and emphasised how some local people were taking up the challenge of adopting more sustainable lives.

The heir to the throne's comments were made in a pre-recorded interview with Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, the hosts of ITV's new breakfast show Daybreak.

The royal chatted to the presenters in the garden of his London home Clarence House yesterday evening and even showed them his small vegetable garden with its neat rows of lettuces and leeks.

Speaking about his travels around the country to promote his START initiative - which aims to encourage the public to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle - Charles said: "What I've been trying to highlight is the fact that so much can be done by communities - it's a grassroots thing.

"Frequently people have taken it onto themselves to try and do all these things because they get frustrated I think, and they also realise there is a huge challenge that we're facing.

"And you know (we're) putting nature's systems under huge strain and we can't go on like that if we want to hand over something reasonably worthwhile to our children and grandchildren."

Asked by Bleakley what he thought of climate change doubters, the Prince responded: "I find it quite extraordinary, because to me it seems only sensible to take a precautionary approach. There is something going very wrong.

"And I would say to all these sceptics - alright it may be very convenient to believe that somehow all these greenhouse gases we're pouring into the atmosphere just disappear through holes conveniently into space, it doesn't work like that."

The Prince also emphasised how ordinary people had taken up the challenge of sustainability, saying how books on bee keeping and looking after chickens had become prized and allotment keeping, once a declining hobby, was now popular.

He walked the presenters through his garden to a small vegetable patch and told them it was an attempt at being "self sufficient".

"Well most of it goes and is used in the house, and you know we have quite a lot of, inevitably, dinners, events and things so the great thing is to have as much as we can from here in the garden," he said.

He also claimed the country wasted £10 billion worth of food every year describing it as "unbelievable".

He added: "And people talk about feeding the world. Well you think you might start with getting rid of the waste."

Charles highlighted how farming did not put nature at the "centre of the whole process".

He added: "We've forgotten that we are actually part of nature ourselves. We've some how been taught to believe we are separate from it, and that nature's something we exploit and generally suppress, but all that happens the more we do that the more we engender a situation where she kicks us in the teeth.

"And that is happening now all the time, you can see it in terms of the general chaos, chaotic nature of the climate and the weather."

Charles' whistle-stop tour across the country this week saw him visit an inner city farm in Newcastle, take tea with a woman at her Nottingham home fitted with solar panels and deliver a speech on sustainable energy at a Manchester monastery.

He began his journey at Glasgow Central train station on Monday where he sat on a collapsible red bike, available to commuters, and donated a pair of green cord trousers to a Marks and Spencer and Oxfam stall at the station.

Despite being a long-time champion of the environment he came under attack for touring the UK in the nine-wagon royal train and accused of failing to practise what he preached.

The four-day royal tour cost £50,000 to spread the sustainable living message which includes emphasising the importance of walking and cycling.

Launching an initiative in Wales, to conserve an area of African tropical forest the size of the country, Charles underlined the environmentally friendly nature of his train, telling the audience: "It is powered by used cooking oil."

The Prince is also staging an "eco-festival" in the gardens of Clarence, Lancaster and Marlborough Houses in London.

The 12-day Garden Party To Make A Difference event began on Wednesday and uses a mix of exhibitions, interactive displays, activities and live performances from comedians, musicians and speakers to encourage sustainable living.

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