As many expected, Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize, but in conjuction with the often-derided and dully-named Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Gore, as usual, rose to the occasion in his 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.
Nice (if brief) on-line discussion with Martin Parry, co-chair of the IPCC, in the Wa-Po. My favorite question and answer:
Big question, but I’m curious: October 2037. What to you honestly see given your knowledge of science and politics?
Martin Parry: I
regret I am not that optimistic, given that 10 years have passed
without significant action to reduce emissions. It is now urgent.
And the best comment seen so far on why Al Gore isn’t running for president, from my editor at Grist, David Roberts, who also rises to the occasion in one of his best pieces, I think:
What many Americans don’t realize is that the rest of the world is
not distracted by the serial, lurid distractions that compose our
political dialogue. Our national conversation is dominated by the
resentful bile of core of nationalist, reactionary, authoritarian
ding-dongs, but it’s not like that when Gore goes overseas. In other
countries, they don’t care about his electrical bills or his waist size
or his clothing choices or his lack of that most important
qualification for leader of the free world, the ability to act like a
Gore can’t act like a regular guy. He’s smart, and he talks like a
smart person. He’s earnest and committed. He cares. He wants to help
save the world. Inside the glorified high school of U.S. politics,
those qualities make him a square, an easy subject of mockery. But
outside the U.S. they are assets. Gore can help bring governments
together; he can get powerful financiers, corporate titans, rock stars,
and energy scholars in the same room. He can help shape policy and
public opinion across globe, not just in the U.S.
Amen. Here’s Al at a book signing earlier this year in Redlands, CA.