Al Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize & 2008

by Molly Kenney

This morning, Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

According to the BBC, the Nobel Committee called Gore “probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the [environmental] measures that need to be adopted” and praised his and the IPCC’s focus on the "increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states" posed by climate. In addition to the $1.5 million award he splits with the IPCC, an international team of scientists created in 1988, Gore’s political wealth just increased tenfold.

Gore’s activities after he lost the 2000 presidential election have arguably been better for his political career than his service in elected office. He has written several successful books, helpe to create the wildly popular An Inconvenient Truth (which won an Oscar in 2006), organized international speaking tours and the Live Earth concerts, lost his lockbox monotone (although his predictions about the lockbox were dead on), and gained a charismatic celebrity personality. Gore has brought discussion of climate change to the forefront of public debate, and in the process, his name has become inseparable from the topic. Talk about political capital.

With the Peace Prize announcement, draft Gore supporters aren’t the only ones wondering about a 2008 presidential run for Gore. Sure, Gore could jump into the race and blow Hillary Clinton away, but he’s already discovered a more powerful and effective route than political office. Without the trappings of party politics and the shrapnel of George Bush’s mistakes in Iraq, Gore can accomplish much more politically and socially. As he said in An Inconvenient Truth: “there are good people who are in politics who hold this at arm’s length because they acknowledge it and recognize it as a moral imperative to make big changes.” Especially in tandem with the neutral and international IPCC, the American electorate can see Gore as an issue man and not a dirty politician, trusting him more for this sincerity.

Nobel Peace Prize in hand, Gore has power and credibility that he shouldn’t risk by regressing to politics.

For other pieces on former Vice President Al Gore and his projects, please see these posts:

(Photo by the staff of the World Resources Institute of Washington, D.C. via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license.)

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Anonymous said...

Al Gore, congratulations on having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Now it is time to announce your wish to become America's president, take your seat in the White House, and be the leader we have all been waiting for to move beyond the corrupt system of Empire and towards Earth community. Kudos to the Nobel Committee for realizing that sustainability is peace.

Rick Rockwell said...

Well, sadly, Molly ended up being completely correct here. Gore now seems to want to work away from domestic politics. His dreams of being drafted by the Democrats to head a ticket or to start a third wave party are now in the past. At least that’s what he’s saying publicly. It is really too bad because this country is in such deep trouble that only someone like Gore can get us out.

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