When the Nobel Peace Prize committee discovered they had already given the award to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991 they had to come up with something quick and decided to give it to Al Gore for making a really great slideshow about climate change… (actually, Al Gore only got half of the prize – the other half went to the IPCC).
The environment is important and Al Gore and his team have done great work to raise awareness. But why give the award to someone who is already on the up and up? Giving it to Shirin Ebadi in 2003 at least had the effect of putting Iranian women on the map. Last year’s award to the guy from the Grameen Bank really brought micro-lending to everyone’s attention.
Although Gore is a politician, his campaign for the environment is remarkably void of political recommendations, policy activism, or even awareness-building about the biggest human environmental crises in the developing world. Surely, there must be someone fighting for human rights at the risk of death or imprisonment who could use the Nobel fame and prize money better?
While there doesn’t seem to be outrage at the nomination, an early survey of the global blogosphere on Global Voices doesn’t seem to indicate much cheering going on either. Gore winning the Nobel Peace prize is even sillier than him winning the Oscar (over these films) for a film with very few cinematic qualities. How boring. Yes, I believe he won the presidential election in 2004. No, I don’t believe he will run in 2007.