Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize











OSLO (AP) — Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for fighting it.

Gore, who won an Academy Award earlier this year for his film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, had been widely tipped to win the prize. The win is also likely add further fuel to a burgeoning movement in the United States for Gore to run for president in 2008, which he has so far said he does not plan to do.

"His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change," the citation said. "He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

Ole Danbolt Mjoes, chairman of the prize committee, said the award should not be seen as singling out the administration of President Bush for criticism.

But, in a nod to the 2008 elections, he said "I am very much in support for all who support changes."

"Al Gore has fought the environment battle even as vice president," Mjoes said. "Many did not listen ... but he carried on."

Gore, who was in San Francisco as Friday dawned, issued a statement through his office that said, in part:

"I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. ... We face a true planetary emergency. 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.

"My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100% of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis."

The last American to win the prize, or share it, was former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who won it 2002.

In its citation, the committee said that Gore "has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians" and cited his awareness at an early stage "of the climatic challenges the world is facing.

The committee cited the IPCC for its two decades of scientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over 100 countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming."

It went on to say that because of the panel's efforts, global warming has been increasingly recognized. In the 1980s it "seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent."

"It was a surprise," said Carola Traverso Saibante, spokeswoman for the IPCC. "We would have been happy even if (Gore) had received it alone because it is a recognition of the importance of this issue."

The prize decision was greeted with skepticism in some circles, however.

"Awarding it to Al Gore cannot be seen as anything other than a political statement. Awarding it to the IPCC is well-founded," said Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist.

He criticized Gore's film as having "some very obvious mistakes, like the argument that we're going to see six meters of sea-level rise," he said.

"They (Nobel committee) have a unique platform in getting people's attention on this issue, and I regret they have used it to make a political statement."

This year, climate change has been at the top of the world agenda. The U.N. climate panel has been releasing its reports; talks on a replacement for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate are set to resume; and on Europe's northern fringe, where the awards committee works, concern about the melting Arctic has been underscored by this being the International Polar Year.

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said the prize would help to continue the globally growing awareness of climate change.

"Their contributions to the prevention of climate change have raised awareness all over the world. Their work has been an inspiration for politicians and citizens alike," he said in a statement.

In recent years, the Norwegian committee has broadened its interpretation of peacemaking and disarmament efforts outlined by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in creating the prize with his 1895 will. The prize now often also recognizes human rights, democracy, elimination of poverty, sharing resources and the environment.

"We believe that the Nobel Committee has shown great courage by so clearly connecting the climate problems with peace," said Truls Gulowsen, head of environmental group Greenpeace Norway.

The Nobel Prizes each bestow a gold medal, a diploma and a $1.5 million cash prize on the winner.

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 Capecchi and Oliver Smithies, and Briton Sir Martin 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.

GORE'S STATEMENT

"I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- the world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis -- a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. 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.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis."


Find this article at USA TODAY

Draft Gore Statement on Al Gore
Winning the Nobel Peace Prize


We are gratified by the awarding of this prestigious award to Al Gore. It confirms our judgment of the man, his principles, vision, experience, efforts -- as well as promise. He is in a unique position not only to lead our country, but to make America once again an agent for peace in the world.

This award will only add to the tremendous tidal wave of support for Al Gore and the growing demands that he become a candidate for President in 2008. He is in a unique position to make a difference in the world on the one issue he believes to be the most important of our times. We believe that under these circumstances he has no choice but to take the one step left to have the greatest impact in changing policy on global warming -- run for President.


Me, the big talker, went to bed at 11:00 and didn't get up until 6:00. No I didn't stay up waiting for the announcement - I had no doubt he would win, no one deserves it more, so why lose sleep over a sure thing?
CONGRATS MR. GORE!!!

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1 comment:

Linda said...

Girlfriend don't you ever rest? I know you probably got up this morning and the first thing you did was turn on the news and your computer to get the article on your blog. I can always count on you to keep up. I have to tell you Bev - Your spirit is contagious and I so respect your ambition to help get Gore on the ballots.