Gore a convenient choice for committee
By Rob Ryan
It’s usually pretty hard to find faults with a guy who just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, received the prestigious award on Oct. 12.
According to the Nobel Prize Web site, they were given the honor “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.”
There are several problems I see with giving this award to Gore. The man basically won it for “An Inconvenient Truth,” which theoretically, is about the human impact on our planet in terms of global warming. While I don’t see an inherent issue with someone winning an award for a movie, I have problems with “An Inconvenient Truth” and Gore himself.
First, “An Inconvenient Truth” spends a great deal of time looking at Gore’s personal life instead of global warming. There are several lengthy interludes where Gore describes his early life — but wait, getting to know tidbits about Gore’s personal life doesn’t relate to global warming. I didn’t pay an admission ticket to see a story about how Gore nearly lost his son, Al Gore III, in a car accident; I paid to find out more about the environment. The first real batch of hard facts and figures doesn’t appear until nearly 20 minutes have elapsed — wasting a fifth of the film.
Similarly, the scenes recounting Gore’s loss to Bush in the 2000 presidential race are totally out of place and unnecessary. “I used to be the next President of the United States,” Gore says early on in the movie. Perhaps Al, but what does that have to do with what you think about global warming? Run for office again if you feel so bitter.
Next, I think Gore illustrates a fair amount of hypocrisy when talking about global warming, particularly when it comes to reducing everyday resource consumption. There are multiple scenes in “An Inconvenient Truth” of Gore driving around by himself in his non-hybrid car or flying in his private plane.
Finally, I think Gore’s presence within the movie itself is a problem. It makes too big of a political statement. We all know that Gore is an acknowledged Democrat and that he is a famous, divisive public figure – the Florida recount disaster is a perfect example, as he points out in the movie. By having Gore narrate the story, he becomes a focus of the film and detracts from the main issue.
In summary, The Nobel Peace Prize Committee would have been better off awarding the IPCC alone. Gore injects too much of himself and his politics into “An Inconvenient Truth,” hence why he does not deserve a part of the award.
Rob Ryan believes in global warming and thinks we need to do something about it. He also probably would have voted for Gore if he could have voted in 2000. Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Rob at email@example.com.
If not Gore, then who?
By Brian Malnes
The idea that Al Gore does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize is a bit ludicrous.
First, before I discuss the qualifications that Gore has for the Nobel Prize, I think it is informative to look at how nominations for the prize are handled.
Each year the Nobel Committee sends out letters of invitation to those who are qualified to submit a nomination. According to nobelprize.org, the following is a partial list of those offered the opportunity to nominate: “Members of national assemblies, governments, and international courts of law; university chancellors, professors of social science, history, philosophy, law and theology; leaders of peace research institutes and institutes of foreign affairs; Nobel Peace Prize Laureates of previous years.”
In my estimation, this is a pretty prestigious group. I would hasten to say that those asked to nominate are not going to be swayed by politics in the U.S. or by the production of a movie as some have suggested.
After the nominations have been sent, a “short list” is comprised of candidates. In recent years, as many as a 140 people have been nominated for the prize. After reviewing the candidates, the Nobel Committee chooses laureates by a majority vote.
The Nobel Peace Prize is by far one of the world’s most prestigious awards. Those on the committee no doubt take their decisions very seriously. In a direct way, individuals who question the qualification of a laureate are questioning the honor and ability of the Nobel Committee. I myself do not feel like I’m in that position, however, apparently some are.
Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared the prize in 2007. They were lauded “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.”
Nowhere is Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” mentioned. True, it won an Academy Award, but it is just a movie. In my estimation, the years, I mean literally decades, of work Gore has done on the problem of global warming, is what caught the attention of the Nobel Committee.
“An Inconvenient Truth” is a conglomeration of the speeches Gore has been giving around the world. Sure, the movie does go into a biographical sketch of Gore. I believe it was done to add context, not to add a persuasive edge. Let’s be real, most people totally distrust politicians. Introducing himself as a politician could hinder his message instead of helping it, but by including humanizing background information and being honest with his audiences about his political views, viewers can trust him as a narrator.
What’s more, Gore has written several books on the subject of our planet and the problems it is experiencing. He has become an expert on the subject and has spent the last part of his life as an advocate of change.
He has appeared in front of the U.S. legislature in addition to political bodies across the globe. In short, Gore has become synonymous with global warming.
“Disseminate greater knowledge” is exactly what Gore has been doing. He has become the spokesman for change. And in my humble opinion change is what is needed.
Congratulations Albert Arnold Gore Jr. You greatly deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.
Contact Brian Malnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.