The economic crisis is devastating. So many people I know are out of work. More have taken pay cuts. Lost benefits. Every day we’re reminded about how bad it is in the paper, on TV, in conversation. And what’s going on in the U.S. is nothing compared to the hard times smaller countries around the world are facing with extreme poverty. So I was quite surprised to read that Prince Charles said the current global financial crisis is “nothing” compared to the impact of climate change.
Kinda puts things in perspective, right?
On Thursday, Britain’s top-dog prince spoke at a meeting of Brazilian officials in Rio de Janeiro and warned that measures need to be taken immediately to protect the environment.
“We are, I fear, at a defining moment in the world’s history,” he said at the meeting. “The global recession is far worse than any seen for generations.”
But more menacing, he said, was that “the threat of catastrophic climate change calls into question humanity’s continued survival on the planet. Any difficulties which the world faces today will be as nothing compared to the full effects which global warming will have on the worldwide economy.”
Prince Charles has been an environmental pioneer. Last year it was announced that his greater use of green energy and taking further trips has cut his greenhouse-gas emissions by 18 percent. Not to celebrate, he announced his goal is 25 percent by 2012.
Furthermore, he converted his 38-year-old Aston Martin to run on biofuel made from surplus wine. The car runs on 100 percent bioethanol. He also converted his other cars — some Jaguars, an Audi and a Range Rover — to run on 100 percent biodiesel.
The prince is currently traveling in Latin America to draw attention to the challenges posed by climate change. One of his stops will be Brazil’s Amazon, where he plans to learn how human impact has affected the world’s biggest rainforest.
He emphasized: “We have less than 100 months to alter our behavior before we risk catastrophic climate change, and the unimaginable horrors that this would bring.”