07-15-2010, 06:33 PM
Direct Action Resistance Fighter
Joined: Aug 2006
The Prince of Wales accuses sceptics of peddling 'pseudo science'
Quote:He likened the failure to combat rising temperatures across the world to playing "Russian Roulette with the future of our children".
But instead of acting, the Prince said more and more people are listening to the "siren voices" of climate change sceptics who argue that the theory of man-made global warming is simply a "sinister attempt to undermine the capitalist system".
"It has been profoundly depressing to witness the way the so-called climate sceptics are, apparently, able to intimidate all sorts of people from adopting the precautionary measures necessary to avert environmental collapse," he said.
"For too long we have treated the planet like a perpetual cash machine which doles out money without there ever being any need to check the bank-balance. But now, finally, the money is running out."
Recent scandals have damaged the reputation of climate science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was forced to apologise after mistakenly claiming the Himalyan glaciers could melt by 2035.
And scientists at the University of East Anglia were accused of exaggering the extent of global temperature rise.
Although the British researchers were cleared of dishonesty, the so-called 'climategate' saga coupled with the coldest winter in the UK for 30 years has led to a drop in the number of Britons who now believe global warming is caused by humans.
A recent survey showed 70 per cent of people in the UK now believe climate change is man made compared with 90 per cent five years ago.
Addressing hundreds of business leaders at St James's Palace, the Prince said scepticism is "on the rise" and called on the private sector to not only cut carbon emissions but persuade the public to take man made global warming seriously.
"People have heard the climate sceptics and attempted to listen to the kind of pseudo science they are peddling.
"But make no mistake the sceptics have no wider love of Nature and her crucial role. So the challenge that I would like to lay before you is simple. Will you stand up and be counted? At every opportunity will you confront the sceptics and tell them they are wrong?
"Will you use the power of your brands and the power of your communications to support what the science tells us and if necessary be prepared to take risks with your reputation to ensure you are on the right side of the debate? If you don’t pick up this challenge and inspire many others, then I fear the battle will be lost."
The Prince, who has been criticised by for promoting 'alternative' approaches to modern science like homoeopathy and organic farming, admitted the irony of accusing others of "pseudo science".
"I who have been endlessly accused of pseudo science all my life – think of the irony of that," he said.
But he insisted the evidence of "environmental collapse" is already being seen. Not only in rising temperatures but the impact on certain species like honey bees.
"If we lose the honey bee, then Nature will suffer," said The Prince. "We won’t be able to grow food so easily, and it will be near-on impossible to provide environments that are resilient to whatever temperature increases we are already committed to."
The Prince of Wales' Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change was set up with the University of Cambridge at the end of last year to encourage business to take a lead on climate change.
Since than almost 1,000 companies have signed up, but the Prince said the general public remain unconvinced about the threat of global warming.
"There is a chance, I suppose, that the massed arrays of climate scientists are wrong and that humanity can carry on blithely destroying the planet which supports us. But is that chance worth taking? Or shouldn’t we play it safe? I am sure you all agree that it is simply unacceptable to play some sort of Russian roulette with our children’s futures," he said.
The conference at St James's Palace in London also heard from Lord Stern, who first warned the world of the economic case for tackling climate change. He warned that unless the world takes action to reduce greenhouse gases in the next few decades, temperature rise will force billions of people to migrate, sparking international warfare.
His warnings come as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office launched a map that shows the consequences of a 4C (7.2F) rise in global temperatures around the world.
The interactive map, available on Google Earth, shows the melting of the ice sheets, droughts in America and flooding in Britain.
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