Prince Charles warned in July 2009 humanity had only 96 months to save the world from “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it” caused by unchecked consumerism.
Saturday marked the 96-month deadline the Prince of Wales set, meaning that, according to Charles, humanity has run out of time to avert “an environmental crisis.”
“We face the dual challenges of a world view and an economic system that seem to have enormous shortcomings, together with an environmental crisis – including that of climate change – which threatens to engulf us all,” Charles said in a 2009 speech at St. James’s Palace in London.
Charles is a fervent environmentalist and critic of capitalism, which he sees as “an enormous cost to the Earth.” In his 2009 speech, Charles claimed humanity needed “coherent financial incentives and disincentives” to avoid environmental catastrophe.
The prince has argued global warming has already impacted society, claiming man-made warming was the “root cause” of the Syrian civil war. He also backed the Paris agreement on climate change that U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to exit in the coming years.
Ironically, Charles’s calls to check consumerism have been undermined by his own lavish lifestyle. His summer residence in Scotland, for example, is the sprawling 53,000-acre estate of Birkhall where he’s attended by dozens of servants.
“Despite his attack on the materialism of the modern age, the Prince has been criticised for his own indulgences, including dozens of staff to run his homes and hundreds of thousands of pounds spent traveling around the world. While his private estates on the Duchy of Cornwall generate record profits his tax bill was lower than the year before,” the UK Independent noted in 2009.
Regardless, Charles has joined the ranks of prophets of doom who set deadlines to avert a global crisis.
“But for all its achievements, our consumerist society comes at an enormous cost to the Earth, and we must face up to the fact that the Earth cannot afford to support it,” Charles said in his 2009 speech.
“Just as our banking sector is struggling with its debts – and paradoxically also facing calls for a return to so-called ‘old-fashioned’, traditional banking – so Nature’s life-support systems are failing to cope with the debts we have built up there too,” he said.
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