The man who has done more to destroy the British monarchy than anyone since Oliver Cromwell has a new playground and a new eco-fantasy. Prince Charles now wants to build a thousand-home housing development on the Galapagos Islands, effectively doubling the size of Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Archipelago. Rebecca English of the Daily Mail writes:
Prince Charles is to help build a controversial 1,000-strong housing development on the Galapagos Islands.
He has been called in by conservationists alarmed that plans to create a 'mini-city' could seriously harm one of the world's most precious eco-systems, which inspired Darwin's theory of evolution.
As a result his Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment will next month set up an office on one of the remote islands 600 miles off Ecuador in the Pacific.
This isn't the bad kind of housing development, you see -- the kind that is built to satisfy market demand in the hope of profit. No, this one is reliant on donations, and is being built in the holy land of Darwin worshippers.
The Prince's Foundation held a series of community workshops this summer and will now formally advise local officials on how to create more housing and tourism accommodation while retaining the islands' delicate eco-system.
The foundation's design for the houses includes solar panels; large porches to cool air and dispense with the need for air-conditioning; cisterns to collect rain for re-use; and green sewage systems.
Hank Dittmar, the foundation's chief executive, said: 'Given the decision of the Galapagos government to approve development, the Prince's Foundation is looking forward to showing that people and nature can co-exist in a harmonious balance.
But wait a minute! Isn't tourism bad? All those airplanes bringing in wealthy Europeans, Asians, and Americans will have a big carbon footprint. And what about the impact on precious native culture?
On the other hand, if the Prince and his consort (see the hilarious top picture of them in the Galapagos here) agree to stay in the Galapagos, sort of like Napoleon in Elba, only for keeps, sign me up for a donation.
Hat tip: M. Geer