Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nobel Jumped the Shark

I'm not going to knock Al Gore. He's a legitimate smart, boring guy along the lines of a liberal Ben Stein and he's also a Level 10 Vice President. He's done, or rather, worked to do a lot of good in the world, but how has he gotten a Nobel Peace Prize? According to Alfred Nobel, the winner of the Peace prize should be someone who has "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."
I suppose that he might have gotten in under the "prevent global warming and you'll prevent a Waterworld-style conflict" provision, because that's the only way I can see it being even remotely connected. The annoying thing is that the Nobel committee overlooked so many other good candidates for the Peace prize. They could have given another to Aung San Suu Kyi or to the Buddhist monks who are peacefully trying to right their country in Burma. They could have given one to Rafik Hariri for giving his life to try and turn Lebanon into a perpetual battleground into a functioning country. What about even giving it to Gordon B Hinkley and/or the LDS Church for supplying millions of pounds of food, clothing, and water to people involved in humanitarian crises around the globe over the past decade? There's also my personal favorite, Bono, for trying to fix Africa by eliminating the poverty that breeds war. What about for those who are trying to stop the bloodshed in Darfur or trying to eliminate the poppy economy in Afghanistan?
There are so many good candidates that it is disappointing the Nobel committee decided to make a political statement by awarding Al Gore the prize essentially for making An Inconvenient Truth. Sure, he's done more and he's definitely pro-environment, but what does that really have to do with peace? I changed all the lightbulbs in my house to CFLs (in part because Rocky Mountain Power and Costco combined to get them to me for the low, low price of 8 bulbs for 3 bucks), reducing my carbon footprint, and I try to keep the heat down in the winter and the A/C a little high in the summer. Why wasn't I considered? The UN passed the Kyoto Protocol (which has to do more for global warming than Gore has) and they didn't get it.
Ultimately, while Al Gore is working to do good (even though I don't necessarily agree with him), just doing good isn't enough. It's got to be doing good that helps to reduce war and apparently that's where Alfred Nobel and I agree and where the committee disagrees with both of us.

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