By Robert Verkaik
July 13, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino County, North California
The price of capitalism and consumerism is just too high, he tells industrialists
Capitalism and consumerism have brought the world to the brink of economic and environmental collapse, the Prince of Wales has warned in a grandstand speech which set out his concerns for the future of the planet.
The heir to the throne told an audience of industrialists and environmentalists at St James’s Palace last night that he had calculated that we have just 96 months left to save the world.
And in a searing indictment on capitalist society, Charles said we can no longer afford consumerism and that the “age of convenience” was over.
The Prince, who has spoken passionately about the environment before, said that if the world failed to heed his warnings then we all faced the “nightmare that for so many of us now looms on the horizon”.
Charles’s speech was described as his first attempt to present a coherent philosophy in which he placed the threat to the environment in the context of a failing economic system.
The Prince, who is advised by the leading environmentalists Jonathon Porritt and Tony Juniper, said that even the economist Adam Smith, father of modern capitalism, had been aware of the short-comings of unfettered materialism.
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