My daughter was asked 3 questions in class the other day in the interests of global warming:
- Would you and your family be prepared to return to the one car one family system of yesteryear?
- Would you be prepared to return to one telephone per household?
- Would you be prepared to give up air travel?
Think about it and then ask yourselves those questions? It’s not long ago that the correct answer (yes, yes and yes!) was just ordinary life and nothing unusual…
As you know, since we’ve written about it before, HRH Prince Charles has been closely associated with this subject for years and has been increasingly concerned about the lack lustre performance of our global leaders. There is no point in me spouting on, read for yourself the transcript of his speech to our leaders in Copenhagen:
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On Tuesday HRH The Prince of Wales appealed to delegates at the UN climate summit to set aside national differences and agree to a global warming accord before it is too late. Delivering the keynote address as the conference in Copenhagen formally entered its final phase, HRH told ministers and world leaders that:
“The eyes of the world are upon you and it is no understatement to say that, with your signatures, you can write our future.”
HRH used the speech to outline how critical tropical forests are to a successful climate deal and how a deal on forests could provide a valuable example of how climate change issues could be resolved:
“The simple truth is that without a solution to tropical deforestation, there is no solution to climate change. That is why I established a Rainforests Project to try to promote a consensus on how tropical deforestation might be significantly reduced.”
“It seems the quickest and most cost-effective way to buy time in the battle against catastrophic climate change is to find a way to make the trees worth more alive than dead.”
HRH placed the battle to save the forests within the context of a world ecosystem struggling to cope with the ever increasing pressures exerted by the global economy. He stressed the need to deal systemically with the problem of deforestation and address its fundamental economic drivers:
“It is critical to find ways to prevent forests being converted to agriculture. I have been heartened by my conversations with some of the world’s largest agri-businesses which have told me that, through more effective use of vast areas of degraded land, we could feed and fuel a growing population and keep the forests. But, Ladies and Gentlemen, it must be genuinely sustainable agriculture that helps to sequester carbon, protect biodiversity and empower local communities and small farmers.”
Describing deforestation as just one manifestation of a broader malaise HRH stated that:
“We appear intent upon consuming the planet. It seems likely, on current patterns of use, that our global fisheries will collapse by 2050 and, already, fresh water is becoming scarcer, placing global food security at ever greater hazard.”
“In the last 50 years we have degraded 30 per cent of global topsoil and destroyed 30 per cent of the world’s rainforests. All of these issues are linked to each other and to climate change – a truly vicious circle. However, it is these links, together with our common humanity and the unprecedented connections of today’s global community, which might, perhaps, provide us with a solution.”
On corporate involvement, he said:
“The need fully to engage the private sector reflects not only the growing determination of business to act in a sustainable way but, crucially, its determination to listen to customers. And what customers are saying ever more loudly is that they want their investment choices to make a positive difference to climate change.”
“The future of mankind can be assured only if we rediscover ways in which to live as a part of nature, not apart from her,” he said.
“The grim reality is that our planet has reached a point of crisis and we have only seven years before we lose the levers of control.”
He added: “Reducing poverty, increasing food production, combating terrorism and sustaining economic development are all vital priorities, but it is increasingly clear how rapid climate change will make them even more difficult to address.
“When it comes to the air we breathe and the water we drink, there are no national boundaries. We all depend on each other – and, crucially, on each other’s actions – for our weather, our food, our water and our energy.
“These are the ‘tectonic plates’ on which the peace and stability of the international community rest. The inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that a partial solution to climate change is no solution at all.
“It must be inclusive and it must be a comprehensive approach – one that strengthens the resilience of our ecosystems.”
In his closing statement, HRH left the assembled ministers and leaders with a poignant call to action:
“As our planet’s life-support system begins to fail and our very survival as a species is brought into question, remember that our children and grandchildren will ask not what our generation said, but what it did. Let us give an answer, then, of which we can be proud.”