Nightly News   |  November 19, 2010

Prince Charles shows down-to-earth side

Making a Difference: Using his high-profile role to help save the planet, Prince Charles discusses his new documentary "Harmony," and how thinking about nature as capital should not be considered heresy. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, here covering two things. we've been covering our planet here all this week, and on fridays, we look at those trying to make a difference. so that brings us back to that interview with prince charles . a one-hour special airs here on nbc tonight, followed by his own documentary on the environment, which is and has been his passion. and at his getaway home in scotland, and yes, his home is a castle, he spoke to us with great passion on that topic.

>> we've ceased to understand, i think any way, the need, not only do we take from nature and what she gives us, but we need to give something back.

>> he wants nothing less than for people, each one of us, to rethink our place in the natural world . and to re-evaluate literally what nature does for us.

>> we don't even, for instance, value properly the vastly important services nature provides us with.

>> like?

>> like the rainforest, for instance, which provide billions of tons of water vapor every day, which provides rainfall, which we all depend on. they act as a gigantic carbon sink. trillions and trillions of dollars worth of services completely gone.

>> he calls it natural capital , placing a dollar value on nature's services and factoring those dollars into our decision making.

>> if we construct a inknow vative market mechanism which can regard the protection enhancement of ecosystems, whether on sea or land, which produces the income from natural capital , then we might get somewhere in the future for our grand children.

>> in case you missed it, prince charles wants nothing less than to remake the world's economy.

>> everybody is terrified. that to suggest looking at economics in another way is a threat to capitalism itself. but if capitalism itself doesn't take into account natural capital , we're all stuffed. i mind about your children and grandchildren, and i think we are failing miserably in our duty if we don't take these matters very seriously indeed. because by god, their lives are going to be in misery.

>> and a reminder, you can see my full interview with prince charles in a "dateline" special tonight, 9:00, 8:00 central time . that broadcast will be followed by "harmony," the prince's