The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee has awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace prize, jointly to Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for their "efforts to publicize and understand human-caused global warming."
Given that Al Gore is a politician, it should come as no surprise that the reaction to this prize is generally political. Those who share a political point of view with Al are throwing roses; those who don't, threw razzberries.
Politics aside, however, it does seem slightly odd that the famous Nobel Peace Prize should go to someone who is famous, more or less, for talking loudly. This seems hardly conducive to peace, especially as compared to previous laureates.
Consider the first American recipient of the prize, Pres. Teddy Roosevelt. His 1906 medal came for his mediation at the peace talks between Russian and Japan, leading to the end of the Russo-Japanese War. Ending a war? Peace prize? Sounds pretty reasonable.
In the list of honorees, we also see great humanitarians: Jean Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, in 1901; the Red Cross itself, in 1917 and again in 1944; and Pres. Woodrow Wilson in 1919, for his efforts in founding the League of Nations, precursor organization to the U.N. And with this award, we see the beginning of an interesting principle about these awards: You do not have to have, in fact, brought peace to anyone; you need only have tried real hard.
The Red Cross doesn't claim to bring international peace, but it's certainly provided tremendous aid and comfort to millions of suffering people all around the world - peace on a local level, if only for a short time. No one can say that it has accomplished nothing, quite the contrary.
Pres. Wilson, on the other hand, certainly hoped to make the world a better place; in fact, the negotiations were so stressful to him, that they led to his illness and death. But history records that the League of Nations, for all its fancy headquarters and busy diplomats, accomplished nothing whatsoever to benefit anyone. It's now defunct.
And over time, that becomes a more and more dominant theme. Reading the list of laureates, we see "noted pacifist" ... "pacifist journalist" ... "honorary international president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom" (now there's a reach, and what the heck is that?!) ... and so on down the line. Occasionally, you find one in the old model of actual peacemakers and humanitarians, such as Albert Schweitzer (1952) and Mother Teresa (1979), but there are far more nominees like Henry Kissinger (1973) for the Vietnam Peace Accord, which lasted all of two years before it was violated by North Vietnam, leading to the famous helicopter evacuation of the Saigon embassy, the boat people drowning in their thousands, the "re-education" camps, and 40 years of recriminations.
You even have the occasional oddball, like the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (1985), for "spreading authoritative information and by creating an awareness of the catastrophic consequences of atomic warfare." Yeah, like if it weren't for these guys, we'd all be looking forward to enjoying Christmas at Ground Zero...
Which brings us up to modern times. In 1994 we find a real poser. The award is split three ways - between Yizhak Rabin and Shimon Peres of Israel, and... well, what have we here? None other than Yasser Arafat, of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. At least the award shows a little modest accuracy - "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East." Even the Nobel Committee couldn't pretend they'd actually accomplished any peace there, and the dictionary reminds us that "create" means "to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes." Surely a very apt description of a peaceful Middle East!
But Yasser Arafat? We're breaking new ground here for the Nobels, with the inclusion for the first time of an international terrorist. Key planner of the murders of 11 athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics; linked to the hostage-taking of schoolchildren at Ma'alot; ordering the assassination of diplomats in Khartoum; and not least, major contributor to the Lebanese civil war.
While he did, in principle, recognize the right of Israel to exist (leading to his Peace Prize), it doesn't seem to have helped the cause of peace much. Multiple times, he refused Israeli land-for-peace deal offers, even being criticized by his own negotiators for his intransigence. He died with the Palestinian people in the midst of yet another violent intifada against Israel, and with the lives of the average Palestinian worse than ever - to say nothing of the innocent victims of a half-dozen countries that were murdered as the direct result of his orders over a half-century.
Since the award to Yasser Arafat, the Nobel Peace Prize has far more often been awarded as a leftist political statement than as actual recognition of a peacemaker. Only the 1999 award to the humanitarian group Doctors without Borders could be considered a traditional Peace Prize award. Instead, we see awards for anti-nuclear-weapons activists; workers for peace and reconciliation with North Korea (wildly successful, that); fraudsters, like Kofi Annan, who presided over a $13 billion scam taken directly from the mouths of hungry Iraqis while Secretary-General of the U.N.; and some out-and-out contradictions, such as the award to Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way" - which is exactly what they have completely failed to do in Iran.
Now comes Al Gore and his fellow global-warming scaremongers, to claim the award "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
Does Al deserve this prestigious prize?
Well, in England last week, the High Court ruled that his notorious film, An Inconvenient Truth, was unfit to be shown to schoolchildren without extensive disclaimers, because of its habit of making statements that are one-sided and contrary to fact, which arose, said the judge, "in the context of alarmism and exaggeration."
And we all know by now of Gore's quest to save the planet by reducing carbon emissions. Face the facts, folks - carbon emissions are caused by power generation. Other than by nuclear power (which is, if anything, even more hated by greens), it is simply not possible to generate the power needed for a modern economy in a carbon-neutral way. So, in effect, Al Gore is arguing for a voluntary end to modern technology - though that doesn't seem to prevent him from living in a house consuming more than 20 times the American average for electrical power - an average, we must note, which he has said is itself tremendously too high. And hardly a week goes by without him flitting around the globe on a gas-guzzling, ozone-destroying private jet - indeed, even to collect this very Nobel Prize.
A quick look at history shows us that the last hundred years have seen an enormous increase in average life expectancy, right along with - yes! - carbon emissions. So, by arguing for an end to modern power generation, and the therefore inevitable end to modern technology (for all but himself), Al Gore is condemning millions to an untimely early death from the whole panoply of causes that modern technology has saved us from. Do any of us really want to live the way we did in 1900? Because that's what "reducing our carbon footprint" requires.
Let's sum up here. Lies? Check. Hypocrisy? In spades. Deaths of millions? Not yet, but inevitable if he has his way.
Yep. Sounds like Al Gore fits right in with recent recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Alfred Nobel - the inventor of dynamite, the first modern high explosive, and a passionate advocate for the use of technology to improve the lives of ordinary people - is spinning in his grave.