LONDON - Prince Charles on Wednesday warned that mankind has only eight years in which to make the dramatic policy changes needed to prevent climate change from becoming irreversible.

The heir to the British throne used the annual "Dimbleby lecture" in honour of renowned journalist Richard Dimbleby to deliver a scathing attack on how man's pursuit of short-term profits has led to a prolonged assault on the environment that has left mankind cut off and isolated from nature.

Charles, long known for his ardent pursuit of environmental causes, blamed the modernist movement of the 1960s for unleashing a wholesale attack on nature as policymakers and businessmen focused on short term economic growth and material wealth.

"There was an eagerness to embark upon a new age of radical experimentation in every area of human experience which caused many traditional ideas to be discarded," Charles said, lamenting the loss of man's ability to work in harmony with nature and use resources in a sustainable way.

Instead of working in union with nature, as ancestors had done for generations, man adopted the view that mankind was the master of nature and could exploit the earth's resources indefinitely without facing any long-term costs, he said.

Charles also called for financial incentives to help bring unconventional and innovative business ideas into the mainstream as Britain copes with a prolonged economic downturn.

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