Nature can't take unrestrained growth: Prince
senior Green party MP said in a public mtg this y that no progress has
been achieved in persuading the non-Green MPs of this truth. I
fear she is right.
Nature can't take unrestrained growth: Prince Charles
Reuters July 8, 2009
By Peter Griffiths
LONDON (Reuters) - The quest for unlimited economic growth is
unsustainable and could bankrupt the environment through climate
and depleted natural resources, Britain's Prince Charles said on
Charles, next-in-line to succeed Queen Elizabeth, said a new
economic model must be found because the Earth can no longer support
the demands of a growing "consumerist society" where growth
is an end in itself.
must realize they are not "the masters of creation," rather
just one part of a fragile natural world, he added.
"Just as our banking sector is struggling with its
debts... so Nature's life-support systems are failing to cope with the
debts we have built up there too," Charles said at a BBC lecture
at St James's Palace in central London.
"If we don't face up to this, then Nature, the biggest
bank of all, could go bust.
"That is the challenge we face, it seems to me -- to see
Nature's capital and her processes as the very basis of a new form of
Charles, the former husband of the late Princess Diana, has
long campaigned on the environment.
farm went organic in the 1980s, he publishes details of his estate's
annual carbon emissions and has developed a sustainable village in
western England called Poundbury.
"Our ability to adapt to the effects of climate
change...depends on us adapting our pursuit of unlimited economic
growth to that of sustainable growth," he said.
conceding that industrialization had brought benefits such as better
education, prosperity and higher life expectancy, the future king said
that progress had come at a price.
Consumption has grown so much in the last 30 years that
demands on natural resources now exceed the planet's capacity for
renewal by a quarter each year, he added.
2050, the world's population will swell to about 9 billion people,
from the current 3.3 billion, and a higher proportion will expect
Western levels of consumption.
farming methods that use fertilizers and pesticides that have helped
feed a growing population have taken a "huge and unsustainable"
toll on ecosystems, he added.
"Our current model of progress was not designed of course
to create all this destruction," Charles said. "However,
given the overwhelming evidence from so many quarters, we have to ask
ourselves if it any longer makes sense or whether it is actually fit
Economic growth has failed to
end poverty, stress, ill health and social tensions, he added. A
reformed economy must give more weight to the environment and local
(Editing by Matthew Jones)