By Louise Gray
The Prince of Wales has accused climate change sceptics of using ‘pseudo science’ and ‘intimidation’ to stop the world from addressing catastrophic global warming.
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.
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 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.
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.
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