The Prince of Wales's Speech

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales slipped into Washington just days after the Royal Wedding. He came to Georgetown University to address a high level conference on "the future of food." The speech got relatively little attention, since the news has been dominated by the killing of Osama bin Laden and the budget fights on Capitol Hill.

Prince Charles did not have to overcome the impediment that made his grandfather's dramatic struggle to deliver a speech a blockbuster movie. The King's Speechgarnered Oscars and honors. The prince's speech won him warm applause from the foodies in attendance, but little else.

In his 36-page address, Prince Charles tackled the big problems of our global civilization. He raised serious question about the depletion of ocean resources, topsoil, our underground aquifers, and, of course, the rapid rise in population. He warns us that global food systems are well on the way to being in crisis. "[F]or the first time, [yield increases are] less than population growth."

Ever hovering above such conferences, like Banquo's ghost, is the question of "the ravages caused by climate change." How can we find the means to feed "a staggering 219,000 new mouths every day?" He helpfully noted that that number increased 450 "since I started talking!"

Well, maybe His Royal Highness should stop talking. The prince's speech was touted as news, but warmed-over Malthus is hardly news. Rev. Malthus was another British gentleman with rather too much time on his hands. Malthus warned that population increased geometrically but food production increased only arithmetically. Add to Malthus some updated panic literature of the kind provided by the population bombing Paul Ehrlich and you can get a food scare going pretty nicely.

It is rather hard to take seriously the jeremiads of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales about our dangerous reliance on fossil fuels. I had the honor of serving as part of his body guard back in the 1970s when terrorists were threatening to assassinate him in San Francisco. We drilled for weeks before his arrival at the Coast Guard Air Station. His chartered jet landed four minutes early and headed out to the end of the runway, away from us, his human shields. What was this? Was there some bomb plot uncovered? The hair went up on the back of our necks, but not one of us Coast Guardsmen stirred.

When the royal jet turned and headed back to the assigned debarkation point, we saw that the pilot had affixed the Union Jack and the Prince of Wales's Royal Standard outside the plane's cockpit. Do you think this maneuver might wastefully have consumed some fossil fuel? Imagine sixty years of this.

In his Georgetown speech, the prince relied on UN projections and studies, as if the UN's Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) utterances were gospel. The UN's members are some of the worst polluters on earth. We can hardly take their prescriptions as binding.

Historian Michael Barone's excellent book, Our First Revolution, tells the fascinating story of England's Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. Barone rightly notes that all the rights we American colonists claimed in 1776 and many of the precedents we cited then were established a century earlier in that near-bloodless revolution.

Barone also tells us why Prince Charles may not urge any action on us. As a result of the ascendancy of William and Mary following that Glorious Revolution, the English monarchs reign but they do not rule. The monarch has the right to warn and the right to be advised. But those are rights the monarch can exercise only in concert with the elected and responsible government of Britain. This is why the Queen's speeches are written for her by the Prime Minister and why they are uniformly so dull.

The prince is not only out of his depth when he ventures into the turbulent waters of policymaking, he is acting unconstitutionally. When this man, who is on deck to become the Head of the Church of England, counsels us to adopt Islamic values in addressing environmental threats-as he did in a recent speech at Oxford-he is not only acting improperly, he is also a threat to the English system of government.

Poor Charles! It must be terrible to have most of your countrymen tell pollsters you should be leap-frogged in the line of succession to the Throne and let Will and Kate ascend in your place. He must be desperate to do something meaningful with his life.

Still, when this man who would be king tries to urge UN-approved actions on the rest of us, we need to resist. Ironically, if the UN agenda is adopted, there will be no sovereignty left in Britain should Charles ever become the Sovereign.

He could find an honorable course, however. He could continue to speak out freely on all the issues in the world as the Duke of Cornwall. If he signals his intention to step aside, no one would dispute his free speech rights as an Englishman. For us Americans, however, the speech of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is one more reason to heed John Adams's last words: Independence Forever!

Robert Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales slipped into Washington just days after the Royal Wedding. He came to Georgetown University to address a high level conference on "the future of food." The speech got relatively little attention, since the news has been dominated by the killing of Osama bin Laden and the budget fights on Capitol Hill.

Prince Charles did not have to overcome the impediment that made his grandfather's dramatic struggle to deliver a speech a blockbuster movie. The King's Speechgarnered Oscars and honors. The prince's speech won him warm applause from the foodies in attendance, but little else.

In his 36-page address, Prince Charles tackled the big problems of our global civilization. He raised serious question about the depletion of ocean resources, topsoil, our underground aquifers, and, of course, the rapid rise in population. He warns us that global food systems are well on the way to being in crisis. "[F]or the first time, [yield increases are] less than population growth."

Ever hovering above such conferences, like Banquo's ghost, is the question of "the ravages caused by climate change." How can we find the means to feed "a staggering 219,000 new mouths every day?" He helpfully noted that that number increased 450 "since I started talking!"

Well, maybe His Royal Highness should stop talking. The prince's speech was touted as news, but warmed-over Malthus is hardly news. Rev. Malthus was another British gentleman with rather too much time on his hands. Malthus warned that population increased geometrically but food production increased only arithmetically. Add to Malthus some updated panic literature of the kind provided by the population bombing Paul Ehrlich and you can get a food scare going pretty nicely.

It is rather hard to take seriously the jeremiads of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales about our dangerous reliance on fossil fuels. I had the honor of serving as part of his body guard back in the 1970s when terrorists were threatening to assassinate him in San Francisco. We drilled for weeks before his arrival at the Coast Guard Air Station. His chartered jet landed four minutes early and headed out to the end of the runway, away from us, his human shields. What was this? Was there some bomb plot uncovered? The hair went up on the back of our necks, but not one of us Coast Guardsmen stirred.

When the royal jet turned and headed back to the assigned debarkation point, we saw that the pilot had affixed the Union Jack and the Prince of Wales's Royal Standard outside the plane's cockpit. Do you think this maneuver might wastefully have consumed some fossil fuel? Imagine sixty years of this.

In his Georgetown speech, the prince relied on UN projections and studies, as if the UN's Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) utterances were gospel. The UN's members are some of the worst polluters on earth. We can hardly take their prescriptions as binding.

Historian Michael Barone's excellent book, Our First Revolution, tells the fascinating story of England's Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. Barone rightly notes that all the rights we American colonists claimed in 1776 and many of the precedents we cited then were established a century earlier in that near-bloodless revolution.

Barone also tells us why Prince Charles may not urge any action on us. As a result of the ascendancy of William and Mary following that Glorious Revolution, the English monarchs reign but they do not rule. The monarch has the right to warn and the right to be advised. But those are rights the monarch can exercise only in concert with the elected and responsible government of Britain. This is why the Queen's speeches are written for her by the Prime Minister and why they are uniformly so dull.

The prince is not only out of his depth when he ventures into the turbulent waters of policymaking, he is acting unconstitutionally. When this man, who is on deck to become the Head of the Church of England, counsels us to adopt Islamic values in addressing environmental threats-as he did in a recent speech at Oxford-he is not only acting improperly, he is also a threat to the English system of government.

Poor Charles! It must be terrible to have most of your countrymen tell pollsters you should be leap-frogged in the line of succession to the Throne and let Will and Kate ascend in your place. He must be desperate to do something meaningful with his life.

Still, when this man who would be king tries to urge UN-approved actions on the rest of us, we need to resist. Ironically, if the UN agenda is adopted, there will be no sovereignty left in Britain should Charles ever become the Sovereign.

He could find an honorable course, however. He could continue to speak out freely on all the issues in the world as the Duke of Cornwall. If he signals his intention to step aside, no one would dispute his free speech rights as an Englishman. For us Americans, however, the speech of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is one more reason to heed John Adams's last words: Independence Forever!

Robert Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.