Ecology: The Royal philosophy

By Andy Kenworthy

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

The book: Harmony, by HRH Prince of Wales with Tony Juniper and Ian Skelly, published in 2010, is the frankest account of the Prince's philosophy to date. It is an uncompromising read. It begins, rather ironically considering the Prince's position, with a call for revolution.

"'Revolution' is a strong word and I use it deliberately. The many environmental and social problems that now loom large on our horizon cannot be solved by carrying on with the very approach that has caused them. If we want to hand on to our children and grandchildren a much more durable way of operating in the world, then we have to embark on what I can only describe as a 'Sustainability Revolution' - and with some urgency."

The central tenet of the book is that humanity must re-establish its harmony with nature. This, the Prince argues, can be done through a deeper understanding of the patterns of nature and their limits, as well as by re-establishing the kind of humility, reverence and spiritual connection that has been largely bulldozed out of the way by the modern tendency to think exclusively in materialistic terms.

Tony Juniper comments: "The conclusion that the Prince has reached is that the main challenge we face in relation to sustainability is not an absence of technology or different policies, but more what he calls a 'crisis of perception'. There are several faces to this, but one recurrent theme expressed by the Prince is how we have come to collectively perceive that we are outside nature, and therefore come to believe that we can do without all that nature provides for us."

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