Gore Deserves Nobel Prize
To many, the commonly-pictured persona of Al Gore is that of a stern and socially awkward politician who lost one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history. Though Gore may not have the charisma of most Hollywood stars, in recent years his activism on the subject of global climate change has commanded a large audience. Apparently that audience included the committee of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
The committee recently announced that Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are to be jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace. The committee’s announcement cited Gore and the IPCC ‘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.’
It seems as if more and more people and nations are becoming conscious of the issue of climate change. Climate issues are now at the forefront of many large international summits, such as the recent Asia-Pacific Summit in Sydney, Australia. The next problem that faces these large nations is that of accountability and leadership; everyone is pointing the finger elsewhere, and demanding that someone else shoulder the burden of adapting to climate change or that someone else take the lead. What the world needs right now is a leader on the issue of global climate change. The Nobel Committee has chosen Al Gore.
Because Gore has not averted any major global conflict as of yet, there has been some criticism of the committee’s decision. In this case, the Nobel Committee should be commended for its actions, as it has now catapulted Gore and his cause into the international spotlight more than his movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ ever could.
The subject of his activism is that of a potential worldwide catastrophe that could not be undone. The most recent report by the IPCC concluded, with greater than 90 percent certainty, that the increased global temperatures that have been observed since the 1950s is most likely caused by man. It also underscored the fact that the majority of adverse effects of global warming are yet to come if mankind continues at its current pace of fossil fuel consumption. The IPCC has provided a consolidated source of international scientific efforts to study the changing environment, man’s impact on that change and the potential consequences for mankind. Few involved in science can ignore the studies that have been done, and those outside of science rarely bring up any reason to invalidate the reports of the IPCC.
The time for bickering is over. What the world needs now is a leader, someone who will take charge and provide direction and a central rallying point for combating global climate change. Gore has now been afforded that spotlight by the Nobel Committee. The award gives the IPCC, Gore and the cause some much needed backing and validity. Awarding Gore the Nobel Prize can be seen somewhat as an investment, for he now has an obligation, and the tools, to bring his activism to the next level.
As the old clich