I’ve been listening to Prince Charles about all this stuff all my life…

Follow the leader. Can't locate photo source.

Follow the leader. Can’t locate photo source.

Prince Charles has a good radio voice – distinctive and direct. I realise I must have been listening to him worrying in public about environmental issues all my life. Here is a slice of a Prince of Wales 1970 speech broadcast on BBC radio linked to Conservation Year. It was the kind of activity that fed into pressure for the first UN summit on environment in 1972. Themes and frustration sound familiar?:

‘one of the most basic problems is people… human nature, obstinacy and prejudice… we are faced with the menace of pollution in all its cancerous forms… costs of cutting pollution… are we all prepared to pay these greater prices (created by regln) and limit ourselves?… ‘if we are not the whole of this conference and Conservation year will be a splendid waste of time’… waste: ‘when you think that each person produces roughly…’

And later:  ‘the word ecology implies the relation of an organism to its environment and we are just as much an organism as any other animal that is often unfortunate enough to share this Earth with us’.

In 1992 another speech covers relations between democracy – development – environment – population – poverty. Its his  pre-Rio UNCED (‘Earth Summit’) speech, and has quite a Jonathon Porrittish feel to it perhaps…

Don’t quote from the above. I anticipate that we’ll make accurate transcripts with timecodes of quite a lot this stuff and post them publicly in the later phases of the project. We’re directing most of our attention at the TV, and our selection of 50 hours is mostly TV, but I’m reminded that radio really is the top medium in so many ways…

I don’t go with the ‘people are the problem’ line, but hope and think he doesn’t now. But it’ll be interesting tracing that as one of the lines of argument within the broadcast archives.

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