Prince Charles : "The Friend of the Forest"

Prince Charles in a speech to business leaders delivered on 12th March 2009 in Brazil said that the world has only about 100 months to take firm action to save the world from environmental disasters.

He has lamented that in spite of grave warnings from scientists that greenhouse gases continue to be emitted at levels beyond the acceptable limits, people's behavior towards climate change and global warming has not changed for the better.

He has also compared the current economic meltdown to the crisis of global warming and said the economic crisis is nothing compared to the bad effects of climate change.

He has been working for saving the rainforests for the past two decades by giving lectures around the world explaining how deforestation can cause harm to them, cause global warming, flooding etc.

In recognition for his services for the cause of saving the rainforests, the Brazilian government has conferred the prestigious award "Friend of the Forest" to him.

Celebrities like him are needed for :

  • Creating awareness on matters of grave importance to the world,

  • Improving the health of the environment etc,

  • since their activities, speeches and participation in conferences, forums and events can create a great impact in the minds of the world's public.

    Such actions from their part can influence the political leadership of the various nations to take positive action in the related fields.

    But being celebrities also can produce negative reactions from different publics.

    In the case of Prince Charles not all the scientists have been clapping their hands for his actions especially for his actions towards alternative medicines, treatment of cancer patients etc among others.

    Professor Michael Baum had criticized Prince Charles in an open letter published in the British Medical Journal a few years ago that the heir to the throne had admonished the medical professional for its complacency. The professor's lament was for the Prince's backing for non scientific treatments for cancer.

    Other scientists had also found occasions to be wary of the Prince's backing for products, which in their views were not medically correct.

    While celebrities make such eloquent appeals for the cause of saving rainforests or climate change or other such worthy causes, they have to get their facts from scientists and the other knowledgeable persons in the respective fields.

    The opposition to Prince Charles expressed by Professor Baum and other scientists obviously mean that they were not convinced about the knowledge collected by him. The celebrities have the risk of inviting such roadblocks from time to time.

    But the common folks also come across news items projecting "convincing" theories about the opposite views.

    On global warming and related issues also many scientists have given statements that the recent alarming projections about world getting warmer are not convincing.

    Further as per the recent poll conducted in the US currently 41 percent of the people say that news coverage of global warming is exaggerated, while 57 percent feel that the coverage is all right. This is in contrast to the poll conducted in 2006, when 30 percent viewed news coverage of global warming as exaggerated against 66 who did not.

    For the common public what do such contra news items convey?

    What should we do?

    Should we follow the opinions given by the celebrities and go by their recommendations?

    Or

    Should we ignore such recommendations and go about our own ways?

    Or

    Should we do research in the concerned matters and try to find the actual facts ourselves and take appropriate action for the betterment of the environment?

    It may not be possible for us to do independent research on these matters.

    But we can take positive action in such matters by not aggravating the bad situation further, by not adding to the emission of greenhouse gases by our actions etc.

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