The world must make dealing with the consequences of climate change a greater priority, Prince Charles said in an interview broadcast Thursday. The heir to the British throne, a keen organic farmer, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that society had a responsibility to future generations to tackle an issue that was "the greatest challenge to face man."
"We should be treating the whole issue of climate change and global warming with a far greater degree of priority than is happening now," Charles said.
"Again, if you think about your and my grandchildren, I mean this is what really worries me. I don't want them, if I'm still alive by then, to say 'why didn't you do something about it, when you could have done', and this is the point."
The prince, 56, has long taken an interest in environmental issues, and oversees an organic farm at his Highgrove estate in western England.
Charles said the global spread of bird flu was "very, very worrying," especially to poultry farmers.
He urged support for small-scale farmers, saying he feared agri-business would end up "completely industrializing the landscape."
"I still think that you have to think of agriculture as exactly that, agri-culture, not agri-industry, and the cultural element is of enormous importance because it's actually fundamental for life itself," he said.
"None of the wonderful landscape we have in this country happens by magic," Charles added. "Somebody has to look after it and manage it and maintain it and sort out the hedges and the walls and all these other things that everybody loves."
The prince, who begins a weeklong tour of the United States with his wife, the Duchess or Cornwall, on Tuesday, also urged Britons to eat more high-quality local produce.
"In this country we spend far less on food than on the Continent," said Charles, who plans to visit an organic farm and a farmers' market in California during his tour. "There is a price to be paid at the sharp end, environmentally, for food that is produced in a particular way, reports the AP. I.L.