Gore's Nobel Prize: The Bigger Issue


There has been a great deal of focus today, both within the media and the blogosphere, about the possibility of Al Gore running for president following the announcement that he is to share the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for their work on the environment.
"I'm of course deeply honored to receive this award. ... It is even more significant because I am sharing it with the IPCC, which is the world's preeminent scientific body focused on improving our understanding of the climate crisis and it's made up of individuals who have tirelessly and selflessly worked on this for so many years. ... I will accept this award on behalf of all of those who have been working so long and so hard to try to get the message out about this planetary emergency." Al Gore, Oct. 12, 2007

Gore went on to say that he will be donating 100% of his proceeds from the prize to The Alliance for Climate Protection to support their work to bring and understanding of the urgency of the climate crisis to the world. He added that he would use the news of the award to help to bring the news of the increasing rate of climate change to the world community.

While it is understandable that there would be strong interest in the political possibility of Gore's presidential aspirations (or lack thereof) following the announcement of the award, the bigger issue is that the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to the two most prominent advocates for climate change. This focus on the two recipients, a political campaigner and a group of scientists assembled to validate the fact of climate change can only be taken as a signal from the Nobel officials that climate change and peace or war are inexorably linked.

But then, that should be obvious, shouldn't it? War and the availability of resources have always gone together. The fight over the limited advantages that the delicate balance our earth has to offer has been the catalyst for many conflicts and for many more as the increase in climate refugees, driven out by drought or crop failure or flood or disease, strains the resources of their neighbors dealing with their own loss of resources.

It is a recipe for war, not peace and, therefore, the Nobel Committee's focus on climate change as an issue of peace or war is absolutely appropriate for our time, this year, now, as the reports of the approaching tipping point grow ever more of concern.

So, congratulations Al Gore, the IPCC and to the Nobel Committee for their choice this year.

It couldn't be more timely.