Nobel Peace Prize goes to Al Gore???

Al GoreI subscribe to CNN’s “Breaking News” email alerts. This morning, I was “alerted” to the fact that Al Gore was just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Can someone please explain this one to me? What does Climate Change have to do with peace? Am I misunderstanding the word “peace” or “climate change?”

Sure, the prize has always been a little controversial, but let’s look at some of the recipients of the past:

I picked some names that I recognized and knew other would also. Sing with me now… “One of these things is not like the others.” That last entry just doesn’t fit. What does it have to do with peace? Especially when there is all kinds of controversy as to whether “man-made climate change” actually exists.

Is it just me or is this a joke? Someone please enlighten me.

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37 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Dan, we have only seen the beginning of the “resource wars” in Sudan, Haiti, and Iraq. As climates change, people are driven from their lands. There is nothing that will cause a war faster than migration, population encroachment, loss of land, etc. Halting climate change is one of the biggest things we can do to prevent war over the next 200 years.

    I’m not saying Al Gore has contributed to the science, etc. of the situation, but no one has done more to make the world aware of it than he.

  2. Mike W. says:

    The resource issue is a huge problem, but Western (mainly U.S. and European) nations have made this problem much bigger than environment change (but that’s an entirely different story).

    The award definitely smacks of politics. I agree that Al Gore has done a lot to get the information out there, but by comparing the earth to a child who has a fever and that we need to control the earth’s fever he sounded demogoguic, trying to appeal to the masses who least understand the fundamentals of the issue. For me the issue is a non-starter. The earth is getting warmer, the environment needs better taking care of, but it’s unclear whether the warming is man-made.

  3. Dave says:

    What will convince y’all that humans are contributing (to a dangerous degree) to global warming? Will it be a certain person? Is there a Warren Buffet-type scientist out there that you’re waiting to hear from? Is it a certain milestone, e.g., a clear Northwest Passage? What will convince you? (I’m not baiting, I’m really wondering?)

    And if we get crazy and take the suggested steps like reducing our carbon output, lessening our dependence on fossil fuels, finding renewable sources of energy, cleaning up our air and water, and it turns out global warming was just a hoax, then the worst that could happen is that we save millions of people from suffering respiratory problems (and deaths) and we live cleaner, healthier lives. Sounds like a Win, Win, Win to me.

  4. Dave says:

    Oh, and we make ourselves less susceptible to the whims of oil-rich nations and less likely to invade other countries for their oil.

  5. Reluctant says:

    My point is that Al Gore is all about sensationalism. Everything is about pushing his political agenda. His movie was based on general scientific evidence (which are in dispute), but the way he presented it was completely sensational.

    I agree whole-heartedly with Mike on this. I’ve never had an issue with the science that the earth is getting warmer. There is too much evidence of that.

    The idea that humans could have that much affect on the global climate smacks of incredible pride to me. I don’t think there is any way we can actually change the environment on that scale.

    However, I agree with you that taking actions to clean up the environment and reap all the benefits you mention will only be beneficial. In fact, I believe that is the real reason for the whole “global climate change” theory.

    It’s environmentalist groups wanting to bring more attention to the environment and get the average person to actually do something about it. If they get everyone to believe that we have a global crisis on our hands, then the average person is going to start reacting. I’m sure they believe their deception is “for the greater good.” But I believe deception is never for the greater good.

    Oh… and it doesn’t hurt that the environmentalists are making a pretty good living with the salaries from their non-profit organizations that get much larger donations because of this “global crisis.”

  6. Mike W. says:

    I guess what it would take for me to buy that human beings are the cause of this episode of global warming would be some unquestionable evidence of cause and effect. There is a lot of correlative evidence, but that stuff is sooo manipulatable that it really is only useful to accomplish the goals of an agenda. The scientists have their agenda (based on a certain world view) trying to get funding for their research that is only available from those who agree with this stance. The politicians have their agenda to increase their power and control.

    The problem is that there is no real dialogue about this. It’s all name calling and demonizing. Once a “consensus” is established, any disagreement about it is dismissed out of hand, even though there are very important questions being asked and needing to be answered. See my post: http://www.theidealist.us/2007/10/10/intellectual-tyranny-of-the-majority/

    This doesn’t change the fact that the environment needs help. It is just that using the fear factor and scare tactics that Gore and other are using is counter-productive because it ends the discussion. Without discussion, there is no way to arrive at truth and the best way to solve the problems that obviously are present.

  7. Dave says:

    I see what you’re both saying and I agree to an extent, but I still think Al deserves the Nobel Prize as much as anybody could for this year (there hasn’t been a whole lot of peace-making going on). I think it’s worth it for the undeniable benefits to the lives of billions.

  8. Mike W. says:

    Your probably right, I mean who else are you going to give it to? Reluctant…any thoughts?

  9. Dave says:

    “I believe deception is never for the greater good.” I’m glad to hear you say this, Dan. So you’re finally giving up defending GWB’s “justifications” for invading Iraq? Welcome; make yourself at home.

  10. Reluctant says:

    They don’t have to give it out each year. If you look at the list I linked to, there are several years where it just was’t awarded.

    By awarding it to someone who very questionably deserves it, they lessen the importance of the award. Not only for the future recipients, but also for the past ones.

  11. Zac says:

    I’m a little late in posting this; it’s been awhile since I last sought wisdom from Reluctant, but Dave’s comment on migration is a stretch. Nothing contributes to wars faster than intolerance and violence, which certainly isn’t attributed to climate change. Humans have the awesome ability to adapt to various climates and conditions, and the rate at which the climate is changing isn’t taking that ability away. Now, climate change is a concern and on a different post would be worth talking about. As for Al Gore, he should be embarrassed his name is on the same list on MLK and Nelson Mandella.

  12. Dave says:

    Zac, what are the causes of intolerance? I would say racism and scarcity. Let’s take the current situation in the U.S. for example. The greatest intolerance right now is of Hispanics (racism) who have immigrated here to “take jobs away (scarcity) from Americans.”

    I think migration is a very serious political problem that can indeed cause wars and domestic strife. Syria and Jordan are starting to see tension caused by mass migrations of Iraqis. The U.S. only absorbed refugees of the Irish Pototao famine because of its open western frontier. Refugees cause problems and are NOT tolerated. Climate change will indeed continue to lead, directly or indirectly, to violence and often to war.

  13. Reluctant says:

    I see where you are coming from Dave, but I think Zac’s point is that with tolerance, resources crunches and migration wouldn’t cause problems. They just being out the intolerance in people.

    It’s like the nice white folk in Utah who “are not racist,” but if their daughter brings home a black boy, they are all the sudden very concerned about who she is hanging out with and dating.

  14. Dave says:

    So why don’t we start protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gases anyway, and thereby avoid the need to police intolerance (and in the proccess have some massive collateral life-saving at the same time)?

  15. Reluctant says:

    I’m fine with protecting the environment. What I don’t appreciate is the sensationalization (is that a word?) in order to make it happen. I’m also not ok with the huge amount of taxpayer dollars that are going toward the “global disaster.” It doesn’t make sense for us to have to pay so much money to fix a problem that we don’t control anyway.

    It’s like spending billions of dollars on research to see if we can get the tectonic plates to stop moving.

  16. Dave says:

    Controlling the tectonic plates? Not a bad idea–we could certainly prevent millions of deaths by tsunami and earthquake that way. But the flaw in your analogy is that we aren’t pushing the tectonic plates while we ARE contributing to climate change. And now, thanks to Al, everyone knows it and can do something about it.

  17. Reluctant says:

    That’s partially my point Dave. We don’t know that we are contributing to climate change. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that confirms this. There’s just lots of speculation.

  18. Dave says:

    I guess you’re right . . . and all those scientists from the UNIPCC are wrong. We can just keep swimming away from land ’cause Rush Limbaugh and a dozen guys on the Internet said there’s an island out here somewhere that’s going to save us all.

  19. Reluctant says:

    Dave, just because a group of scientists agrees about a specific theory doesn’t mean it’s true. There is all kinds of evidence (circumstantial and/corollary — just like global warming evidence) saying that humans are not the cause of the warming.
    And just because most scientist have jumped on the bandwagon, doesn’t mean it’s correct. Take Eugenics for example. Or the whole “world is flat” thing.

  20. Dave says:

    I understand that my agreement with accepted science might be wrong. But which of the following scenarios is worse? 1) You find out that you accepted ideas that turned out to be wrong and you unfortunately took some steps to reduce pollution. Now you have to eat crow in front of your brothers. 2) You realize that the predominant scientific view was right and that, because too many people took your approach and ignored it, it will now take centuries instead of decades to reverse the damage, wars will ensue, people will starve and die, etc.

    I’ll take scenario #1, and if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it.

  21. Reluctant says:

    Dave, I’m not saying that I’m not going to take the same steps you are. But that has nothing to do with Global Warming or “Abrupt Climate Change” or whatever marketing term they are calling it now days. It’s about being a good inhabitant of this world provided to us.

    But I don’t agree with trying to convince the world that it is absolute truth without that knowledge. I would be totally fine with the scientists and the political community saying that there is a lot of strong evidence indicating that these global disasters might happen and we should take steps to reduce the possible causes.

    Honesty is always the best policy. Regardless of the good intentions.

  22. Dave says:

    So let me understand: you’re problem is not with climate change science or probability, but with the dishonesty, deception, exaggeration, hyperbole, disinformation, and disunderstanding of those who try to scare us into accepting the human effect on climate change and reversing it? Is that right? Because it might result in our looking dumb and their getting more research funding than they deserve?

    And yet, you’ll give carte blanche to GWB and his handlers when they use dishonesty, deception, exaggeration, hyperbole, disinformation, and disunderstanding to start a war, the result of which has been death, destruction, destabilization, life-altering injuries and PTSD for servicepeople and civilians, a just-now-becoming-problematic refugee catastrophe, sky-rocketing recruitment for terrorists, a colossal budget deficit, and an ugly rift in the citizenry of the U.S.?

    Isn’t this a double standard?

  23. Reluctant says:

    I didn’t say I didn’t have a problem with the science. From some of the stuff I have read and seen, there are all kinds of holes in it. Global warming is a reality. The facts show that. The problem I have with the “science” is the exaggerated projections and the idea that it is human caused.

    The fact it’s pushed as a proven fact when in reality it’s still very much a theory is secondary.

    All I said is that I think it wise to reduce pollution, find other energy solutions, recycle and reduce waste. But that has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with making sure my community (and the world community) doesn’t turn into a pile of human waste (as in garbage).

  24. Dave says:

    I hear a lot of crickets on the GWB thing. Anyway, here’s an alternate view to human-caused global warming: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/04/21/tds-jason-jones-refutes-an-inconvenient-truth/. Enjoy.

  25. Reluctant says:

    It was funny until it started getting incredibly sacrilegious.

  26. Reluctant says:

    Orson Scott Card, today, published a new article on this exact topic. What’s the saying… something about brilliant minds. 😉

    http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2007-10-14-1.html

  27. Dave says:

    Question: what does this mean? “The word hasn’t yet got down to the level of the sycophants and hangers-on — they’re still writing essays about how we should stop waiting for evidence and act now. In other words: It is by faith in global warming alone that we shall be saved, not by having ideas that work.” He’s disparaging prompt action, but criticizing a lack of ideas that work. How can ideas work if no action is taken? He is saying we should wait for “real” evidence, like an open Northwest Passage or such. And in the meantime just let the current carry us until we’re all chewing our air and pledging allegiance to OPEC. THEN we’ll take action!

    Question: can you ever take seriously a man who uses the phrase “Leftaliban devil”? Isn’t that a bit Ann Coulter?

  28. Reluctant says:

    Q1: You are missing his point, which is similar to mine. He’s saying that Global Warming has little to no evidence (when it comes to proof of human cause) but yet it is touted as an absolute truth. And that the essays are still saying that we should just accept it on faith and the proof will eventually come. The ideas are based on fiction, so of course they don’t work.

    Again, you are confusing good environmental sense with Global Warming. Taking care of the environment is not the same as Global Warming.

    Q2: I agree that it’s a bit Ann Coulter-ish. Sometimes he can become a little too extreme, but his logic is generally correct.

  29. Mike W. says:

    I’m glad you guys are enjoying this tet-a-tet. I was just checking in and noticed the very handsome picture of Al Gore. If he looked like that today (instead of 50-100 lb heavier) he would probably run for and win the presidency. Interesting thought, no?

  30. Dave W. says:

    I think I got his point. It’s that if it sounds like a bear, but it’s not close enough to tell if it looks like a bear or smells like a bear, go ahead roasting your wieners and marshmallows. And if anyone starts to get a little nervous about the bear sounds, make fun of him. If it is a bear, it’ll probably attack someone else first anyway.

  31. Mike W. says:

    Interestingly, with the way the world food crisis is going and the future violence that is lurking, giving Al Gore the Nobel Peace prize might appear a little more logical now. Our changes in response to global warming (or environment exploitation) however, may be 20 years late. If only we had listened to this guy 29 years ago:

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jimmycartercrisisofconfidence.htm

  32. Reluctant says:

    But is the food shortage related at all to global warming? It was my understanding that the search for alternative fuels has contributed the most to the food crisis.

  33. Mike W. says:

    I mention the food crisis and Al Gore together because what we are dealing with is the exact problems that Carter was talking about in his speech. We are exceedingly unwilling to conserve in any aspect of our lives. We exploit, we waste, we pillage and we ignore those who are calling for wiser stewardship and conservation. I think that most global warming folks are adamently opposed to ethanol and other biofuels that transfer cultivating food stuffs for use as fuels.

  34. Mike W. says:

    It is interesting that even the U.S. intelligence agency is getting involved in the effect climate change could have on security. But Dave, these are the same guys who said Sadaam had WMD? What do they know? Why should we trust them about global warming? Again, they are likely getting their information from the same source as everyone else, which is what got them into trouble with the WMD question.

  35. Reluctant says:

    There’s no vindication here. The report says that climate change _could_ contribute to government instability. Well…. duh! I’m glad we had a huge hearing on that. I wonder how much that cost the people.

    The point of this posting was that compared to all the other recipients, Al Gore does not deserve this prize. As far as I am concerned, his contributions to protecting the Internet have had more of an impact on establishing and maintaining peace throughout the world.

    Oh wait, that would be looking at something that has already happened. That he has already accomplished. Not something that “might” happen and is “projected” to happen.

    Now that would be weird — to base a world renown and very prestigious award on something that someone has already accomplished.

  36. Reluctant says:

    BTW, have you seen this?

    “Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average”

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