17 October 2007

Al Gore's Prize

I'm sure the pundits and commentators have already said all sorts of things about Al Gore's recent Nobel Peace Prize, and no doubt some of what I'm going to write has been said already... but I haven't really been plugged into the media much lately, so I'm not sure what's already out there.

Anyway, as I've said before, I saw Mr. Gore's movie and enjoyed it. I think it's definitely worth seeing. And I have come to deeply respect Mr. Gore's mission, passion, dedication and enthusiasm. I really think he's doing good work, and I was intrigued to see a short clip of him addressing the Senate (Congress?) in 1986, saying much the same thing he's saying today. The big difference is, people are listening now. How's that for persistence!

Having said that, I think he is a strange choice for the Peace Prize. Not a bad choice. Certainly not the wrong choice. Just a strange choice. According to Wikipedia, Nobel's will stipulated that the Peace Prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

That's not exactly what Mr. Gore's been doing. Yes, water is very likely to replace oil as the fluid of choice for future generations to fight over (and probably still in the Middle East). And Global Warming is likely to affect the water supply in places where clean drinking water is already terribly limited. So yes, fighting climate change is an indirect blow for peace... but rather indirect, don't you think? I'm not saying it isn't a peace issue - just that it isn't primarily a peace issue. It's been a while since I saw the movie, but I don't recall him talking war & peace very much.

So, I offer my congratulations to Mr. Gore on his award. I'm glad he's getting recognition for what is clearly his life's work. But I still think it was a rather strange selection.

2 comments:

Kim said...

Great summary, Dan. Thanks.

Mark said...

I think the connection is beyond indirect. I don't see how a public relations campaign about global warming (its not like he even did anything tangible - no policy change or technological advance or anything that would be a solution) has anything to do with peace. It's not like there were no other opportunities around the world where a little more peace is actually needed. The possibility of a future water war is interesting and a creative explanation, but on par with Mother Theresa? C'mon....