Yes folks, with his slack jaw and rosy cheeks, Prince Charles has been in the news again, but not for the reasons I have just led you to believe. This time, it isn’t about creative accounting in the bedroom. Instead, Charlie boy is back at the rostrum, imploring the world to follow his example by returning to the life of the low-born serf – having naught but an entourage of over 150 estate workers to help maintain some semblance of modern-day civilisation. Because, you know, that’s what it’s going to take to save the planet. We all need to go carbon neutral, just like our Charles. And just to make sure we all get the message, he has been telling us so, with all of the diplomatic and non-credentialed immunity one can muster from being a guest speaker at the G7 Summit.
You might think that the world would know better than to accept the expert authority of a toff who believes in homeopathy, speaks to his rubber plants and has on his bucket list the ambition of becoming a tampon. But we live in strange times in which the pupil has become the teacher, and the loony landed gentry have bought up all the moral high ground and evicted the plebs. We’d like to give voice to our own opinions, but who are we? We don’t have anyone to clean our polo boots, let alone someone who is paid to clean the boots of the bloke who cleans our polo boots. So I guess our role is just to shut up and wait for Boris to reveal to us all what our personal priorities had been all along. Even so, it would be nice to see some degree of leadership-by-example from those who are privileged enough to have every bat-shit crazy word recorded and reported on the evening news as if some sort of sermon on the mount.
So, as far as burning bushes go, just how climate-friendly is our right, royal, regal regaler, His Royal Highness, the Prince of a country the size of Wales?
I Have Here the Data
Fortunately, the princely Charles is good enough to publish annual reports declaring to the world just how much progress his estate is making in its race towards carbon-neutrality. The latest report, issued June 2018, and compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), makes for some interesting reading. It gives a breakdown of carbon dioxide emissions from household energy use and from official travel, both domestic and overseas. Figures are given for 2016, 2017 and 2018, enabling some appreciation of progress. Firstly, there is the household performance, for which the report says of 2018:
“Total energy use remained fairly constant this year and the proportion of energy from on-site renewable sources remained at 39%. Net emissions fell by 6% due to reductions in fossil fuel use and greater use of energy from renewable sources.”
Seems fair enough until one notes that 2017 had seen an increase on 2016, so the two year reduction is far less impressive. In fact, it is absolutely nothing to write home about.
Then there is the domestic travel:
“…emissions from official UK and other travel have fallen by 10%.”
Okay, I suppose. But then the report says:
“A very busy schedule of overseas engagements, following a relatively quiet prior year, resulted in an increase in emissions from official overseas travel of 286%.”
I beg your pardon!
“I said, a very busy schedule of overseas engagements, following a relatively quiet prior year, resulted in an increase in emissions from official overseas travel of 286%.”
Not such good news then. And it doesn’t end there, because the above are figures for official travel. In addition, the report states:
“Emissions from other travel comprise non-official staff and private travel and vary each year with the amount of travel undertaken and the modes of transport used.”
What? Like the helicopter used to attend a polo match 60 miles down the road? A private helicopter, I suppose, is a mode of transport when all is said and done. But so is the sedan chair. A climate-friendly prince might have chosen the latter for such a short trip.
But to His Royal Credit
I don’t know about you, but I am not getting a picture of continual improvement here. That, however, would be to miss the essential point. Who needs to improve, continually or otherwise, when you’ve got a ready supply of carbon credits to cash in? So the bottom line of the report reads as follows:
Total Co2 equivalent emissions, 2017: 1,703 tonnes
Total Co2 equivalent emissions, 2018: 3,271 tonnes
Carbon credits purchased, 2017: 1,703 tonnes
Carbon credits purchased, 2018: 3,271 tonnes
Net emissions after credits, 2017: 0 tonnes
Net emissions after credits, 2018: 0 tonnes
Now I grok it. It really doesn’t matter at all how you perform when you have a magic carbon credit machine at your disposal. You can wipe out any increase at the stroke of a pen. And that means you can take that private jet to Davos to meet up with Greta. All you need to do is to remember to turn up the knob on the carbon credit machine before you leave the house. It really is that simple. It also explains how one can contemplate expending 200 gallons of aviation fuel travelling to a polo game, rather than the 4 gallons of petrol we evil, climate trashing plebs might have opted for.
In fact, I really can’t for the life of me understand why Charles is always going on about sacrificing for the greater good. With credits in your valet’s back pocket there’s no need to sacrifice anything. Charles may have by far the biggest carbon footprint of any of the royals, but then the others don’t seem to have his bottomless pit of carbon credit to call upon. That’s why he gets to fly the evangelist flag. And that’s why he gets to fly around the world, farting out tonnes of carbon dioxide in his trail, in his self-promotional but ultimately futile bid to share a Nobel Prize with someone – anyone.
And that is why, I’m out.
I have just been notified on good authority that the feature image for this article is that of Lord Charles and not Prince Charles.
What can I say? I made a mistake. I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to run a BBC Fact Check.
sErf. Sorry, force of habit.
Thanks. Well spotted. You just can’t get a good mind-reading spell checker nowadays.
sorry for being lazy/stupid – but how/where do you buy/use “carbon credits” ?
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I’m sorry but you are asking the wrong guy. My understanding as to how these schemes work in practice is fully captured by the above article: You just ask your valet to twiddle with his knob.
Anyone who is thinking that my article is unnecessarily personal and critical, might want to read what the Daily Mail quotes royal biographer, Clive Irving, as saying about the ‘atrociously hypocritical and entitled’ Prince Charles:
“’He pulls in groups of advisers he targets for his issues and invariably they’re sycophants,’ Clive claimed. ‘He doesn’t like to be challenged, and he thinks like an autocrat. And he’s shown himself to be a hypocrite.’
The royal biographer went on to cite the royal’s efforts in highlighting the importance of climate change, while alleging he still opts to travel by executive jets rather than commercial flights – which would have a significantly lower carbon footprint.
Clive added: ‘He’s born with such a sense of entitlement that it’s never occurred to him that maybe you can’t continue to do that.’”
Irving could have added that this sense of entitlement extends to Charles’ strategy for achieving carbon neutrality. Anyone who pays someone else to clean his polo boots isn’t going to flinch at paying someone else to achieve the reductions he can’t be bothered with himself.
John, what really creeps me out about Prince Charles is not his hypocrisy but his false humility. He’s a hugely conceited twat who thinks that flapping your hands and gurning while looking downwards and to one side can transform boasting into diffidence. Paraphrased:
‘Huh, silly me. I know nothing really. But I have been hugely privileged to have had thousands of world-leading scientists ask me for my views and I like to think that they have not come away empty-handed. Huh, silly me.’
He’s a pillock. The monarchy is doomed.
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Bang on Vinny. Peter Hitchens has little time for Charles if the article linked to below is anything to go by.
Charles’ insufferable hubris, on this occasion, sees him claiming that the western world started to go off track with Galileo and everything that science has achieved since has simply entrenched a ‘deep, inner crisis of the soul’.
“As a result, Nature has been completely objectified—She has become an it—and we are persuaded to concentrate on the material aspect of reality that fits within Galileo’s scheme.”
“One thinks of the painstaking, cloud-dispelling labor of British scientists from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to Charles Darwin to Ernest Rutherford to Alan Turing and Francis Crick, much of it built upon the shoulders of Galileo and Copernicus, only to see it casually slandered by a moral and intellectual weakling from the usurping House of Hanover.”
“If it’s a case of deciding between the scientific worldview and the worldview of a wannabe tampon, I’m gonna have to choose the former”.
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John, sorry I haven’t commented yet. Holidays and all that. I’m not a fan of the heir to the throne, not least because as a republican (in the conventional, not as in the US political party sense) I don’t think there should be such a thing as an heir to the throne. And I certainly don’t think such a person’s views should hold more weight than anyone else’s, simply because of an accident of birth. Finally, I’ve never had any time for people who say “do as I say, not as I do.”
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Thanks for the Hitchens article, John. I’ve saved it.
One-word review: Ouch!
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Yes, it is a good one, isn’t it? But for some reason I referred to the author as ‘Peter’ rather than ‘Christopher’, despite his notoriety. I’m not having a good day. First I accidentally use the wrong image for Charles, and now this.
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Has anyone met with our heir to the throne? I haven’t, and that upsets me mightily. Prince Charles was the patron (or some other figurehead figure) of the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA and was visiting for an hour or so. All the important people in the School met him, but I, who was then Head of Teaching (one of the four most important roles in the School) did not (no invite). Perhaps it was felt that, with my sceptical views I might challenge and upset the School’s patron, as well I might. Anyway I attended to much more important matters, like refreshing the water in my office potted plants, although I refrained from talking to them, on principle.
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Charles visits the Lake District quite a lot. On a visit a few years ago, local business people met him at a formal meeting. I know one of them, and met him the next day. He seemed pleased about it. I asked him what the outcome of the meeting was, what it had achieved. His face fell. He realised it had achieved nothing, and had taken him away from productive work. As he is self-employed, it has in effect cost him money.
John, That is, absolutely, the best image to use. I imagined Charles and Camilla straight away. For those that have seen Lord Charles on TV many years ago, it’s an ironic comparison.
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My apologies for the delay in getting your comment through moderation.
“Top insurers join Prince Charles to fight climate crisis
Taskforce led by Lloyd’s of London plans to expand coverage of greener projects and help countries facing extreme risk”
“Chief executives from the UK’s largest insurers have joined forces with the Prince of Wales to launch a sector-wide taskforce aimed at tackling the climate crisis.
The Sustainable Market Initiative Insurance Taskforce – comprising bosses from 17 firms including Legal & General, Allianz, Hiscox and Axa – has pledged to support the transition to a less carbon-intensive economy by expanding insurance coverage for projects such as offshore windfarms, and partnering with governments to provide better disaster protection cover in countries facing serious risks like extreme weather caused by global heating.
“Climate change is already having an impact – you see this in wildfires in California and you see it in persistent droughts in Australia,” Bruce Carnegie-Brown, the chairman of insurance market Lloyd’s of London, which is chairing the taskforce, said. “So there is now increasing demand by customers for these kinds of protections and we need to respond to them.”
He said a number of individual companies had started offering more climate-friendly insurance policies, but had failed to coordinate across the sector.
“What the prince is really doing is helping us convene and galvanise a whole of industry response,” he added. “Instead of people going off and doing their own thing they’re actually bringing some of their intellectual property, and some of their capability reporting on some of their existing findings and research, on what is having the most impact.”
The launch of the taskforce was marked by a visit by Charles to Lloyd’s of London’s underwriting room in the Grade I-listed building at One Lime Street, where the group gathered for their second meeting on Thursday.
The group, which the prince first brought together in February, is pushing ahead with plans to expand insurance coverage for hydrogen and nuclear power, and adding clauses to home insurance policies that will encourage customers who lose their home to fire or flood to rebuild with more sustainable materials.”
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“Top insurers join Prince Charles to fight climate crisis”
This is crossing over into another subject-matter I have covered recently:
Climate risk management consultancy is another of those huge growth industries benefiting from the climate ‘emergency’, but it is by no means the largest. Nor is renewable energies. The thing is, all the talk of transitional risk and physical risk demands that there be risk management, and the primary tool in the risk manager’s kit is risk transfer, i.e. insurance. All this talk about increased claims being made to cover climate change damage is supposed to make us feel sorry for the insurance companies, but when did you ever see an insurance company balk at the opportunity to issue more policies? Whenever did you see one lose out by doing so? They know what they are doing and they know they are set to make a killing that makes all the other climate change bandwagon killings look like a mere bagatelle. Prince Charles is just a useful idiot to them because using him in this way makes it look like they are teaming up to fight the noble cause. In reality he’s just a piece of marketing like the Churchill Dog, only less bright.
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You’ve got me thinking now about the insurance industry and climate change. I think I may be right in believing that this is a subject that hasn’t been covered in a Cliscep article before, and so it might be a good idea for someone to write one. That person could be me but I’m not sure if I am currently predisposed to writing such an article since it would need to be properly researched. In the meantime, here are some collected thoughts on the subject:
A) Most articles I’ve found on the subject portray insurance companies as being over-exposed and not doing enough to help combat climate change. No surprises there. Few articles seem to pick up on the opportunities that climate change is creating for them.
B) Insurance companies are data-driven when it comes to setting premiums. This is presupposed to be the reason for the exposure since climate change represents a non-stationary risk.
C) Insurance companies are increasingly looking at event attribution analyses to inform their premium setting. Pobability of sufficiency is particularly relevant in this regard. However, this is also particularly difficult to calculate. The sensible thing would be to err on the side of caution because this would manage the risk whilst staying in line with governmental policy and activist sentiment.
D) These companies always have the option of withdrawing from a market once the risks become too high for risk transfer to remain a practicable option for the client.
E) The profits lie in the margin between perception of risk and the reality. It makes good commercial sense for insurance companies to widen this margin to drive premiums up. Teaming up with a high profile figure who talks up the risks at every opportunity makes a lot of sense, therefore.
F) There is a rIsk that governments intervene and force these companies into carrying a social care burden.
G) You must expect these companies to be in the forefront of supporting climate change policies. To not do so whilst simultaneously increasing insurance premiums would be seen as an incoherent position.
That’s probably enough for now. If anyone wants to go further and write the article, then be my guest.
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There has been quite a bit in the press recently about Meghan and Harry turning down the Earldom of Dumbarton for Archie because it contains the word ‘dumb’. A lesser man than I would take the opportunity to point out that Charles must have declined the Earldom of Scunthorpe for similar reasons.
As I said, a lesser man than I.
Perhaps it’s in the genes:
“Change needed to tackle climate crisis, Queen says”
“Tackling climate change will mean a change to “the way we do things”, the Queen has said as she met experts on global warming in Edinburgh.
The Queen and the Princess Royal visited the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI) ahead of COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.
It was the monarch’s final engagement as part of the traditional Royal Week visit to Scotland.
She arrived at the University of Edinburgh in a hybrid 4×4 vehicle.
During her visit she was shown a wave energy converter model, which is designed to provide cost-effective clean electricity.
The Queen spoke to experts from Climate XChange, an independent research group that advises the Scottish government.
Regarding the impact of tackling the global issue, she said: “It does mean we are going to have to change the way we do things really, in the end.”
Anne Marte Bergeseng, knowledge exchange manager at the organisation, said her discussion with the monarch covered “everything” about a greener future and what that means for our way of living.
The tour coincided with the announcement of the Edinburgh Earth Initiative (EEI), a project aiming to boost global leadership on the adaption to and mitigation of climate change.
EEI will be a focal point for the university’s research on the climate, and will have an emphasis on supporting global partnerships to deliver solutions.”
I can’t help feeling the trip was lined up for her and that she was given a speech to read. Even though I would abolish the royal family immediately if I had my way, I have (until now) recognised that there may be benefits in having an apolitical head of state, so it’s a shame to see climate fanatics politicising the monarchy in this way.
“Prince Charles’ warning over survival of small farms”
“It comes ahead of the publication of the National Food Strategy, the first major review of Britain’s food system in more than 70 years.
The strategy was commissioned by the government and is headed by Henry Dimbleby, the founder of the Leon restaurant chain.
Thursday’s report will explore the links between food production and environmental degradation including climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and the sustainable use of resources.
It will include recommendations for the government, which has promised to respond with a White Paper within six months….
…The Prince of Wales has been concerned with food and the environment for most of his adult life….
…He describes how, over the years, he has watched with increasing concern as many of the nation’s “precious landscapes” have been slowly diminished in the name of “efficiency”….”.
I don’t recall him ever expressing concern as many of the nation’s precious landscapes have been sacrificed on the altar of net zero.
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“Queen secretly lobbied Scottish ministers for climate law exemption
Monarch used secretive procedure to become only person in country not bound by a green energy rule”
“The Queen’s lawyers secretly lobbied Scottish ministers to change a draft law to exempt her private land from a major initiative to cut carbon emissions, documents reveal.
The exemption means the Queen, one of the largest landowners in Scotland, is the only person in the country not required to facilitate the construction of pipelines to heat buildings using renewable energy.
Her lawyers secured the dispensation from Scotland’s government five months ago by exploiting an obscure parliamentary procedure known as Queen’s consent, which gives the monarch advance sight of legislation.
The arcane parliamentary mechanism has been borrowed from Westminster, where it has existed as a custom since the 1700s.
In a series of reports into Queen’s consent in recent months, the Guardian revealed how the Queen repeatedly used her privileged access to draft laws to lobby ministers to change UK legislation to benefit her private interests or reflect her opinions between the late 1960s and the 1980s.
The new documents, uncovered by Lily Humphreys, a researcher for the Scottish Liberal Democrats using freedom of information laws, disclose how the monarch used her special access to Scottish legislation to intervene in the parliamentary process as recently as February.
The documents also suggest Nicola Sturgeon’s government failed to disclose the monarch’s lobbying this year when a Scottish politician used a parliamentary debate to query why the Queen was securing an exemption from the green energy bill.
The move appears at odds with the royal family’s public commitment to tackling the climate crisis, with Prince William recently joining his father, Charles, in campaigning to cut emissions and protect the planet….”.
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