Prince Charles Mocked For Backing ‘Crazy’ Climate Change Face Mask For Cows – Newsweek

Prince Charles Mocked For Backing ‘Crazy’ Climate Change Face Mask For Cows

Prince Charles has been mocked for backing a climate change initiative that would see a proportion of methane emitted by cows converted into CO2 and water vapor via special catalytic converter fitted masks.

The initiative pioneered by startup Zelp, founded by Francisco Norris, has been awarded the Terra Carta Design Lab award which forms part of Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative.

The award, which is open to students and alumni of Britain’s Royal College of Art, was given to four recipients by the prince at a special event during which the winners spoke with him about their projects.

In a speech given at the event also marking International Design Day reported by The Telegraph, Charles told attendees: “I can’t tell you how proud I am to be associated with the Royal College of Art, particularly as a result of seeing the remarkable ideas presented by many of the alumni and existing students.

“May I say that it is critical because of the urgency we face in terms of the crisis confronting us in all directions and just how important is what their ideas represent in terms of finding solutions rapidly.

“I can only hope as a result of this and drawing more attention to what you are doing that we will have a better chance of winning this battle in shorter time. I can only wish you every possible success. Many congratulations.”

Prince Charles Three Counties Show 2007
Prince Charles’ backing of a methane reducing wearable mask for cows has provoked criticism after being called “ridiculous” and “crazy”. Photographed inspecting a Hereford bull at the Malvern Show, June 15, 2007.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The attention drawn to at least one of the initiatives however may not be the kind the prince was hoping to achieve as he has received criticism over the out-there cow mask project.

Broadcaster Sophie Corcoran took to Twitter to voice her disbelief over the project writing: “Prince Charles backs a face mask device for cows that catches Methane emissions in order to stop climate change.

“Climate change Facemasks for cows. What world are we in? this guy is out [our] next king.”

TalkTV host Mike Graham told his viewers that the idea was “ridiculous” and “crazy”.

“Apparently [the masks] are going to stop them burping,” Graham said of the initiative, “or at least when they do burp then the methane that emits through their mouths is not going to contaminate the atmosphere.”

“I mean this bloke wants to be the next king of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” he continued. “I mean are you serious? Prince Charles?”

Graham was not alone in his criticism of the initiative as he spoke to journalist Ross Clark who said, “I feel rather sorry for the cow. Animals don’t tend to like wearing stuff on their faces if they can help it and I should think the first thing they are going to try and do is scrape that thing off on a fence post and the fields will be left full of plastic masks.”

Cows have “got to be able to eat and breathe,” Ross added, stating that “when methane’s emitting from the mouth you can’t sort of cover the whole thing which is why this device has only really claimed to capture 60 percent of the methane emitted through a cow’s mouth and nothing out the rear end.”

This is not the first time Prince Charles has come under criticism for his environmental beliefs and initiatives. As early as the 1980s rumors that he would talk to plants began to circulate which he later confirmed in the 2011 television documentary Highgrove: When Alan Met Prince Charles, with broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh.

“I happily talk to the plants and the trees,” the prince said, and “listen to them…I think it’s crucial.”

He also voiced his bewilderment at the criticism he faced as a result being labeled “Potty this and potty that and looney this and looney that,” over the years for his gardening and environmental practices.

In a 2020 Twitter post from the Clarence House official account, it was revealed that in addition to chatting with the trees he occasionally gives them a friendly hand-shake. It read:

“Working with the Woodland Trust, @BBCCountryfile are supplying trees for viewers to plant at UK sites as part of a special ballot, or through their free tree packs scheme.

“Did you know that after HRH plants a tree, he often gives a branch a friendly shake to wish it well?”

Charles has been an impassioned speaker against climate change and in favor of greenhouse gas reducing initiatives for over two decades. He has become one of the leading global figures in the fight against climate change speaking at the COP26 summit in 2021 in front of world leaders.

The cause is seconded by the prince’s two sons Prince Harry and Prince William, the latter of whom started his own environmental prize, the Earthshot Prize last year.

It has not been all jokes and criticism at the expense of Zelp’s cow masks however, and the company has found a partner in ABP, the U.K’s largest beef processor, which plans to implement the initiative.

An ABP spokesperson told The Telegraph that, “We have been working with the team at Zelp over several years in supporting development of the technology and are currently piloting the latest units on our demonstration farm in Shropshire.”

In addition to the wearable methane reducing cow masks, the winners of the 2022 Terra Carta Design Lab Award included a recyclable and chemical free outdoor performance textile, a recycled food waste seed pod initiative to promote plant restoration and a tech-start up initiative to monitor wear on car tires.

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