Prince rebukes 'headless chicken' climate change deniers

Gamal Albinsaid with Prince Charles The prince was speaking as he presented an award to Gamal Albinsaid

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Prince Charles has dismissed climate change "deniers" as the "headless chicken brigade".

Campaigners who share his long-held green stance faced a "barrage of sheer intimidation" from the powerful anti-climate change lobby, the prince said.

He made the remarks at an awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening.

The heir to the throne has previously called on politicians to face down "sceptics and... corporate lobbyists".

Presenting Gamal Albinsaid with the Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize, Charles said it was "baffling" that people's "blind trust in science and technology" did not extent to climate science.

"All of a sudden, and with a barrage of sheer intimidation, we are told by powerful groups of deniers that the scientists are wrong and we must abandon all our faith in so much overwhelming scientific evidence."

'Vested interests'

He paid tribute to the youngsters vying for the inaugural award.

"[They] have the far-sightedness and confidence in what they know is happening to ignore the headless chicken brigade and do something practical to help," he said.

Analysis

Charles may be taking on rather more of his mother's duties, but it's clear he hasn't yet reached the moment when he feels the need to temper his language on a subject about which he feels so passionately.

To him, it is totally obvious that human activity is causing climate change. The scientific evidence, he believes, is "overwhelming".

He feels anger and frustration that those whom he regards as "powerful vested interests" are succeeding in challenging the science.

He feels he has a duty to speak up. Those who know him well say he regards it as a mission, from which he will not retreat.

Charles is all too aware that one day he will succeed his mother as monarch and find himself in a role which requires much greater discretion.

But right now his frustration at what he regards as the lunacy of those who deny that man's activities are harming the globe shows no sign of abating.

The prince, who has for many years campaigned against global warming, acknowledged his position sometimes saw him criticised.

Before an invited audience of sustainability experts, business leaders, other finalists and policy makers, he said: "I have tended to make a habit of sticking my head above the parapet and generally getting it shot off for pointing out what has always been blindingly obvious to me.

"Perhaps it has been too uncomfortable for those with vested interests to acknowledge, but we have spent the best part of the past century enthusiastically testing the world to utter destruction; not looking closely enough at the long-term impact our actions will have."

He has previously been criticised by climate sceptics for "poisoning" the debate and by anti-monarchy groups for intervening in matters of public policy.

Award winner Mr Abinsaid founded a project to help poor communities in Indonesia access health and education services by selling recycled rubbish.

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