(by Christina Bellantoni, WashingtonTimes.com) – Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore this morning won the  Nobel Peace Prize. The international accolade usually reserved for humanitarians went to the politician for his work on climate change.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced in Oslo the award went to Mr. Gore and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of Geneva 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.
“He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted,” the committee said about the former vice president.
Mr. Gore, a Democrat, announced he would donate his portion of the $1.5 million prize to his nonprofit the Alliance for Climate Protection.
“We face a true planetary emergency,” he said in a statement. “The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.”
Former President Jimmy Carter was the last American to win the prize for working to resolve global conflict.
The Nobel, a distinction previously won by Yasser Arafat, Elie Wiesel and Mother Teresa, caps an award-rich year for Mr. Gore, 59.
His 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” won two Academy Awards, one for best documentary, the other for best original song. His network, Current TV, recently nabbed an Emmy Award.
He also won international attention this summer for organizing a series of star-studded concerts -one on each continent – aimed to raise awareness about climate change.
The announcement gave already eager Draft Gore organizers more fuel for their fire.
Groups from New Hampshire to California have been collecting signatures to place the 2000 Democratic nominee on their primary ballots next year. They are growing in number, and the national Draft Gore group spent nearly $70,000 on a full-page New York Times ad begging their hero to mount another presidential bid.
The Nobel Committee chose the two winners from a slate of 181 nominees.
“Indications of changes in the earth’s future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds,” the committee wrote in a statement. “Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth’s resources.
Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world’s most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.”
The committee praised the IPCC’s scientific reports over its 20-year history and said the group’s collaboration “created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.”
On Mr. Gore, the committee praised his “strong commitment” to fighting climate change, “reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books.”
The Peace Prize went to Mr. Gore and the IPCC because the committee “is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control.”
Not everyone agrees.
“Al Gore should win the Nobel prize for propaganda,” said Steve Milloy of JunkScience.com, citing a new BBC report suggesting Mr. Gore’s film exaggerated some of the facts about climate change.
But mostly, the praise rolled in this morning, before Mr. Gore’s expected 10:30 a.m. press availability in front of the Alliance for Climate Protection in San Francisco.
Former Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, was the first presidential hopeful to issue a statement lauding Mr. Gore’s achievement, noting it was “often lonely” for the former vice president.
“His leadership stands in stunning contrast to the failure of the current administration to pursue policies that would reduce the harm of global warming,” Mr. Edwards said, adding the prize “shines a bright light on the most inconvenient truth of all Ã¢â‚¬â€œthe selection of George Bush as president has endangered the peace and prosperity of the entire planet.”
Two of the past three prizes have been untraditional, with the 2004 award to Kenya environmentalist Wangari Maathai and last year’s award to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank, which makes to micro-loans to the country’s poor.
The prize also includes a gold medal and a diploma.
On Thursday, Doris Lessing, author of dozens of works from short stories to science fiction, including the classic “The Golden Notebook,” won the Nobel Prize for literature.
On Wednesday, Gerhard Ertl of Germany won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for studies of chemical reactions on solid surfaces. On Tuesday, France’s Albert Fert and German Peter Gruenberg won the physics award for discovering a phenomenon that lets computers and digital music players store reams of data on ever-shrinking hard disks.
Americans Mario R. Capecchi and Oliver Smithies, and Briton Sir Martin J. Evans, won the medicine prize Monday for groundbreaking discoveries that led to a powerful technique for manipulating mouse genes.
The prize for economics will be announced Monday.
Copyright 2007 News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of the Washington Times. This reprint does not constitute or imply any endorsement or sponsorship of any product, service, company or organization. Visit the website at www.washingtontimes.com
1. a) Who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize?
b) Why did they win?
2. What is Mr. Gore going to do with his portion of the prize?
3. What other award has Mr. Gore personally won this year?
4. How did the Nobel Peace Prize committee link Mr. Gore’s work to peace?
5. Why did Steve Milloy of JunkScience.com say that Al Gore should win the Nobel prize for propaganda?
6. Name the other 2007 Nobel Prize winners mentioned in this article.
7. The Nobel Peace Prize committee says man-made global warming is a reality. Peace Prize committee chairman Ole Danbold Mjoes said “I want this prize to have everyone—every human being, asking what they should do [about man-made global warming].”
How do you think people should respond to Al Gore’s win?
- Read about the Nobel Peace Prize at the website at nobelpeaceprize.org.
- Visit the website for Al Gore’s organization The Alliance for Climate Protection at http://www.climateprotect.org/.
- For a documentary challenging the theory of man-made global warming, produced by Lars Mortensen TV-Produktion of Denmark and shown on Canada’s Ch. CBC “Doomsday Called Off,” go to http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3309910462407994295.
- For information British Ch. 4’s Documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” go to channel4.com/science/microsites/G/great_global_warming_swindle/index.html.
1 Corinthians 3:18-20
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