limate change presents each and everyone of us with a huge challenge. But if wecan adopt the technologies and ways oflife that enable us to leave a softerfootprint on our planet, we can begin to transform ourall-important relationship with the Earth and the way itsustains us, says HRH Prince of Wales at the launch ofa sustainability initiative "Start".No one can fail to appreciate the importance of theIndustrial Revolution to Britain and to the entire world.But I trust we do all know that these wonderfulinnovations carried with them a long-term cost thatnobody at the time could possibly have foreseen. Now,alas, that cost is all too obvious, and I rather hope youdo not need me to tell you that we now have to reckonthis cost very firmly into the equation before it is all toolate - if, that is, we want to make sure the future for ourchildren and their grandchildren is as bright andexciting as it was when these great machines were firstunveiled.It is certainly the case that these astonishingachievements in engineering changed the way everyman, woman and child in this country lived. Suddenly,food could be grown and harvested on anunimaginable scale; clothing, and a whole variety ofproducts could be produced by machines with a speedand efficiency that had been simply unthinkable. That, of course, led to people leaving the land and moving to the cities to find work in the factories that were creating the goods and wealth that would, in so many ways, improve people's lives beyond measure. No city was more at the very heart of that revolution than this great city ofManchester and that is why I wanted to come here toannounce a new initiative that I hope might help all ofus prepare for the next great transformation we face...At the end of last year, I was invited to give a speech atthe Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. Heads ofState and Environment Ministers had gathered from allcorners of the Earth to try to hammer out a deal thatwould help us avoid catastrophic climate change.Despite what you might think from having read andheard the reports of the Conference, some progresswas made, not least concerning funding to help stopthe destruction of the world's Rainforests, a subject onwhich I have been working for the last two years.But even with all these countries coming together, it isclear that we are still a long way from agreeing on thechanges necessary to secure a sustainable future - oreven agreeing on the urgency with which thesechanges must be implemented. I have given much thought as to why this might be,especially in the face of such overwhelming scientificevidence. Please be in no doubt that the evidence oflong-term and potentially irreversible changes to ourworld is utterly overwhelming. I have watched withgrowing dismay and alarm the glee with which thesceptics have leapt upon the recent news stories thatquestion the science that climate change is Man-madeand suggesting it is nothing more than a myth.Well, if it is but a myth, and the global scientificcommunity is involved in some sort of conspiracy, whyis it then that around the globe sea levels are more thansix inches higher than they were 100 years ago? This is not an opinion - it is a fact. It is also a fact thatatmospheric carbon dioxide levels are forty per centhigher now than they were before the industrialrevolution. And, clearly, the Government of theMaldives does not believe climate change is a myth,MAKING TECHNOLOGYWORK FORA "SUSTAINABILITY REVOLUTION"068INNOVATION TECHNOLOGYCHRH THE PRINCE OF WALES""IF WE CANADOPT THE TECHNOLOGIESAND WAYS OF LIFETHAT ENABLE US TO LEAVE A SOFTER FOOTPRINT ONOUR PLANET, WECAN BEGIN TOTRANSFORM OURALL-IMPORTANTRELATIONSHIPWITH THE EARTHPhotos: © European Union, 2010?
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