“We can’t go on like this, with every month another record in temperatures being broken,” he told CNN in an exclusive interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “If we leave it too long, and we have done, just growing things is going to become difficult.”
The heir to the British throne and lifelong environmentalist was speaking to CNN after he threw down a challenge to the global business and finance elites in Davos to lead a “paradigm shift, one that inspires action at revolutionary levels and pace” to avert the approaching catastrophe.
“Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance when we could have done? I don’t want to,” he told the audience at the WEF’s 50th annual meeting.
“And just think for a moment — what good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from ‘business as usual,’ if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?”
Just this year, huge forest fires exacerbated by climate change have devastated vast areas of land in Australia and killed millions of animals. Recent research shows that the world’s oceans are absorbing as much heat as that generated by five atomic bombs every second. Toxic smog continues to choke India’s cities despite repeated promises of cleaner air from the government, and the last decade was the warmest in recorded history.