AP /Dolores Ochoa
Britain's Prince Charles waves after a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in
Quito, Ecuador, on Sunday, March 15, 2009.

Can Prince Charles Set Himself Apart From Eco-Celebrities?

April 23, 2009 10:30 AM
by Sarah Amandolare
The prince is set to release "Harmony," a book and film devoted to the environment. The effort marks a public declaration of greenness by a man with a lifelong interest in environmental conservation.

Can "Harmony" Create Harmony Between Man and Earth?

Both the film and the book, to be released by New York publisher HarperCollins, are titled "Harmony," and are set to come out in 2010. Prince Charles claims environmental issues have concerned him since his teenage years, but this project represents a significant step toward establishing that concern, and could prompt others to follow his lead.

According to UK newspaper The Guardian, "Harmony" will likely focus on "big businesses that have damaged the environment in their insatiable drive for profits," and will document the prince's journey toward rediscovering "that sense of being a part of, rather than apart from nature."

The project will also emphasize "caution and conservation," and center on the issue of climate change, which the prince has been warning about for years. Most of the film will be shot in the United States. A children's book version is in the works for 2011.
Inevitably, Prince Charles' project has drawn early comparisons to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." But the prince already conveys a sense of authority that Gore didn't have when he started his global warming crusade, which could result in "Harmony" having a great impact.

His mission to create environmental awareness extends beyond book and movie deals. Last month, the prince and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, traveled to Chile on a tour of Latin America aimed at promoting "energy efficiency and measures to combat climate change," Reuters reported.

During the trip, at a gala dinner with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Prince Charles told attendees, "If we do nothing, the consequences for every person on this earth will be severe and unprecedented, with vast numbers of environmental refugees, social instability and decimated economies-far worse than anything which we are seeing today."

Opinion & Analysis: Criticism of Gore and Prince Charles

Being public figures, neither Gore nor Prince Charles has escaped criticism; both have been called hypocrites.

The Daily Mail reported on the prince's use of a private luxury jet to travel around South America during his eco-tour in March. The aircraft carried only Prince Charles, Bowles and a group of 14 companions on a 16,400-mile trek to Brazil, Ecuador and Chile.

Meanwhile, Gore, along with several other well-known figures, was slammed last year for leaving a large carbon footprint while advocating an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Gore was criticized for living in a large home, and several celebrities were called out for their private jet travel.

Background: The Prince's progressive food and environmental ideas

In 2007, Prince Charles was named to Time magazine's list of Heroes of the Environment. The prince has maintained his own organic farm, Duchy Home Farm, since 1986, and set up a firm called Duchy Originals in 1992. The company sells organic foods, including cookies and soups, made with Duchy Home Farm produce and ingredients from other sustainable suppliers, and all profits are given to charity. In addition, the prince has been "urging action on global warming" since 1990.

Also in 2007, The New York Times reported on Prince Charles' devotion to the land, and his following among "The left-leaning food elite of the United States," including trailblazing chef and organic food proponent Alice Waters. "He is, in private, really one of the most forward-thinking, radical humanitarians I have ever talked to," Waters told The Times. The article includes an audio clip of Prince Charles discussing "small-scale agriculture and the Slow Food movement" during his speech at the 2004 Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy.

Reference: Guide to Organic Food


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