Commentary: Gore's Nobel Enterprise: Al's win earns plaudits (unless you're a climate Naysayer or British judge).

AuthorMotavalli, Jim
PositionCOMMENTARY - Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize

Everybody loves Al Gore this week, after he shared the Nobel Peace Prize on October 12 with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The United Nations Environmental Programme calls Gore a "Champion of the Earth" for "making environmental protection a pillar of his public service and for educating the world on the dangers posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions."


The World Resources Institute noted that Gore is a board member. "What Al [notice the familiar address] has done in the last two years has helped change the tide of history on the defining issue of our time," said WRI's Jonathan Lash. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee noted that he's also a former member of their club. "I remember a young, gutsy Congressman who criticized the Reagan administration for ignoring the effects of greenhouse gases," said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The Sierra Club's executive director, Carl Pope, had high praise, too. "Vice President Gore is, quite simply, the indispensable player in the drama of mankind's encounter with the possibility of destroying the climactic balance within which our civilization emerged and developed. Once, when I was particularly frustrated by challenges I faced in my job, Gore heard me out and replied, 'Never, ever give up.' That would seem to be his motto, as reflected in the thousands of speeches he has delivered, the Live Earth concert he built from scratch, the nay-saying he has endured, the movement he inspired."

Some speculated that Gore's winning the prize would make him more likely to run for president., which claims to have gathered 167,000 petition signatures for that purpose, is openly speculating about it. Capitol Hill blogger Brent Budowsky opined, "In my view, never before in memory have the man, the moment and the magic come together as they come together for Al Gore in 2008." And he said that before Gore won!

But not everybody is popping the champagne corks. Climate naysayers the Heartland Institute and had sour takes on this unwanted outcome. The latter said that Gore should win "The Nobel Prize for Propaganda." And interestingly enough, both these groups hung their opposition on the slenderest of reeds: A British High Court ruling declaring that there are factual errors in An Inconvenient Truth. The problem is that many of Justice Michael Burton's cited "errors," in a ruling delivered October 10, are speculation from a non-scientist.


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