This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Of course a royal prince has the same right to free speech as any “free-born” Englishman, as his father demonstrates. I can attest from a lengthy discussion with the latter many decades ago, when I was a research student, that he has a knowledge of science and a lively curiosity about it. He also has a mischievous sense of humour, which often gets him into trouble with the more po-faced sections of the new establishment. His son has none of these qualities, but does have a burgeoning self regard based on little justification. Can you imagine the Duke summoning a corps of press and business leaders to a royal palace in order to harangue them about his personal prejudices and slander all those scientists who do not share them? It is this that is an abuse of privilege, not the holding and stating of an opinion.
Fair point, John, but did he summon them or was he invited? I agree he does not seem to have the same mischievous sense of humour as his father, but his father was never in his position as heir apparent, hedged around with protocol. While I agree his views on CAGW are wrong, I believe they follow from his quite genuine concern for the natural world and "The Environment" and he is merely ill-advised, hence my thread title.
It looks like Prince Charles has changed his argument from last month. He's now decided that AGW sceptics are to blame for lack of progress on his environmental concerns, last month's 'big idea' was that people needed to adopt the Islamic way of thinking to solve environmental problems.
On the 'Charles the Unready' theme he has actually done a slight amount of thinking on his future job. In the 1990s as I recall it was announced that he wouldn't call himself Charles III when he bacame king, on the basis that Charles was an unlucky name for an English king, and he was going to call himself George VII instead (he's allowed to use one of his other forenames).
On the freedom of speech issue it has to be recognised that there is a difference between a normal opinionated person and someone who is a lobbyist, or is in effect a lobbyist. An opinionated person normally just offers their opinions on a take it or leave it basis and the biggest platform they normally have is being given a newspaper column. A lobbyist is someone who is seriously trying to influence others and may put in orders of magnitude more effort than an opinionated person in trying to achieve this. Charles wasn't just turning up to give an invited speech to business leaders, the meeting was part of an activity organised by him called "The Prince of Wales's UK Corporate Leaders' Group on Climate Change" and this group acts as a pressure group on the UK government in encouraging the implementation of the Green agenda.
Charles' lobbying has been noticed in Westminster for a number of years and has earned him the nickname 'the medding price'. By contrast his father Prince Philip had a reputation for being quite an opinionated person but has never taken it far enough to be regarded as a 'meddler'. Charles is even prepared to pull strings behind the scenes if he can as he did over the Chelsea barracks incident reported a few months ago.
I reckon all this started back in the early 1990s when Charles got involved with the Green crowd in a big way by employing Jonathon Porritt as his environmental adviser. (As I remember it Porritt had a major bust-up with the Green party and Charles 'rescued' Porritt by offering the adviser job.) There are now supposed to be about a dozen environmental activists on Charles' payroll. Greenies only have one skill - lobbying, and it isn't surprising to me that Charles has picked up his own style of manipulative lobbying behaviour from hanging around with them.
Perhaps the implied reference to Aethelred the Unredy is a little esoteric for some of our members, particularly those who are not British. In this context unredy or unred means redeless (lacking counsel or wisdom). There are also many examples in history of weak royal personages surrounding themselves with sycophantic courtiers, which might have been appropriate parallels.
His Royal Highness is also a keen advocate of homeopathy. Of course it's possible to be quite wrong about one thing but right about others, but the links are superstitious nature-worship and wishful thinking. It would be so NICE if homeopathy worked or if we could predict and control climate change.
Incidentally there is an elegant disproof of homeopathy, which requires one to ingest water that contains the smallest possible number of molecules of a harmful agent. If it worked, every glass of water would cure almost every illness.
Don't usually post this kind of stuff Frank, but couldn't help myself after reading your comment.
@Francisco - loved that cartoon.
Although I, as a monarchist, grieve that HRH s spouting nonsense, I do wonder now if his espousal of it coupled with the more republican sentiments of the left, might just be a useful tool for discrediting CAGW? (ow anyone with any knowledge of history can even be a republican is quite beyond me, but it's a funny old world)
In general I am extremely opposed to the idea that celebrity utterances are worth more than informed comment from educated experts.
I am definitely not happy with the Ed Begleys, Sting, Ted Danson etc. spouting off as if they actually know something we don't. Oh, I forgot that Goldsmith bloke, who doesn't seem to have done as well under the Ant 'n Dec Brokeback Mountain coalition as he might have expected under a clear FPTP win as the Liberals were able to provide an even worse alternative in the shape of Huhne (sorry did I spell his name wrong or is his name really the German for chicken?) and whose educational qualifications for his stance on the environment appear to be as good as mine to be a consultant brain surgeon.
However, in the case of Charles, like it or not, we may expect he will be monarch one day and in the tradition of Royalty we may then expect he will say nothing of consequence on anything.
The Queen must find it a trial to watch a succession of idiots offered up as PMs who then do untold damage to "her" country but must not only maintain silence as to her real views on the matter but must also present all manner of objectionable policies as if they were her own in the Queen's speech.
I should also say that while I disapprove of some of what Charles says and does, I absolutely agree with him in other areas such as on architecture, that is, when he castigates some new achitectural Tracey Emin style travesty, I totally agree. I only wish he would speak out about frozen head sculptured in blood, unmade beds and the like. Isn't it about time Saachi was hauled away fro a mental examination along with the entire RA? Ditto Booker Prize etc.
So with Charles, I guess we have to take the rough with the smooth. In any event, most people can recognise when he is talking stuff and nonsense but our real problem has been the fact that we have discovered the same trait among supposedly reputable scientists whose defects are then whitewashed over.
Our problem isn't really with the Charleses, Dansons and Begglys, it with the previously trustworthy like scientists who should have cut the ground from under these crackpot theories long ago but are actively engaged in making them up as they go.
"I should also say that while I disapprove of some of what Charles says and does, I absolutely agree with him in other areas such as on architecture, that is, when he castigates some new achitectural Tracey Emin style travesty, I totally agree. I only wish he would speak out about frozen head sculptured in blood, unmade beds and the like."
I wish Charles would speak out against the ultimate example of "monstrous carbuncles" (his term for out-of-place modern day architecture), namely wind farms. The rumours are that he hates them but he keeps his mouth shut under the advice of his Green courtiers.
The Royal family have been pretty enthusiastic about renewable energy since the 1970s. Prince Philip had some solar panels installed on a roof in the 70s and these were probably the first roof-mounted solar panels in the UK. They also make use of ground heat pumps and water turbines at some of their properties, but I've never heard of them adopting wind turbines.
Charles would be the perfect person to front an anti-windfarm campaign but due to his strong ties with the Greenies it isn't going to happen.