He Didn’t Mention Cycling
Posted by chdot on July 9, 2009
UPDATE – TEXT OF SPEECH NOW ONLINE
The sight of a well heeled, white, Western, very conservatively dressed man hardly conveys the impression of eco/class warrior or radical anti-capitalist.
Prince Charles’ appearance on last night’s Dimbleby Lecture will have reassured some and turned off others.
But it’s the words that count. They were delivered with the assurance of a well practiced public speaker who actually knows his script and believes what he is saying.
He has advisers (including Jonathon Porritt) and no doubt the 50 minute lecture was not written solely by Charles. However many hands were involved behind the scenes the result was a well crafted, and wide ranging summary of the issues facing the natural world and the role of the human population involved in it.
The delivery was confident, the passion mostly hidden, though he clearly cares about the loss of the rain forests – pointing out that the Greenhouse Gas consequences are greater than those caused by all the world’s transport.
There were wry references to a genetic interest in architecture (and the trouble it has caused him). The tone and content was about questioning the apparent assumption of “business as usual”. He pointed out that “there can’t be capitalism without capital” and added that ultimately all capital comes from the earth whether as raw materials or food (etc.) derived from sunlight/plants.
He reminded his audience (mostly white, well dressed and not particularly young) that he had previously warned that ‘we’ had 100 months to make changes or there was a serious chance of irreversible (and undesirable) Climate Change. He told the audience that it was now 96 months.
But it wasn’t just a call for a return to a simpler life where pubs and post offices were still open. He talked about how such “community capital”items and the value of people interacting was not just difficult to measure, but also largely unmeasured, in a world primarily concerned with GDP. He called for ‘balance’ and argued for a marriage of older ‘values’ and new technologies which he sees as the best way forward.
Prince Charles has been seen on a bike in the past, but the photographic evidence has previously been used to mock his ‘greeny’ interests.