The Nobel Prize for - Peace?

Whatever you think about Al Gore sharing in the Nobel Peace Prize, a court in Great Britain has some reservations about his film on global warming. A decision handed down on October 10, 2007 by the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division in London qualifies the use of the film An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) in UK schools.

The rather lengthy text of the decision can be found here but of primary interest may be 9 errors the British court finds in the AIT (Nos. 24-33). In No. 40 you can find the language of a "guidance note" which teachers in the UK school system are to use when introducing the film to their students.

The film is rated PG, that is: Parental Guidance Suggested. Evidently the Queen's Bench Division rates the film TG, that is: Teacher Guidance Suggested.

An Internet blurb on the film gushes:
AIT offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man's fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. That man is former Vice President Al Gore, who, in the wake of defeat in the 2000 election, re-set the course of his life to focus on a last-ditch, all-out effort to help save the planet from irrevocable change.
One can almost hear the Superman cape fluttering in the breeze.

The Nobel Peace Prize was established in 1897 by the will of Alfred Nobel, a wealthy Norwegian inventor and industrialist. According to the terms of the will, the prize was to be given "... to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Go figure!


  1. An editorial in the Globe today, states "the Nobel committee has expanded it's vision of peacemakers beyond traditional heads of state to include citizen activist in various fields." Personally, I think if they want to award Al Gore a prize, it shouldn't come under the Nobel Peace prize, rather an environmental prize. Looking back on who has won the Nobel Peace Prize, Gore does not fit in this category.

  2. I find the movie and Al Gore's efforts on behalf of raising awareness toward global warming entirely commendable. He has nothing to gain from this work unlike many big businesses which would prefer not to see their polluting activities examined and curtailed. This was not really a very professionally-produced and effect-filled film but rather mostly a filmed version of a slide show which was rather dry. Gore is not generally charismatic so the message had to speak for itself. Rather than yet another lawsuit, I would prefer that people spent their energies trying to figure out ways to slow global warming. And, unlike the previous commenter, I do think the Peace Prize was appropriate as it is not difficult to imagine countries fighting over the scarce resources of the earth.

  3. I have been one of your many anonymous respondents, but I now have a new name for blog use "daisy"! I am very pleased that Al Gore won a share of the Nobel Peace Prize. I would like some day to see the Catholic Bishops of the World win the prize for their outstanding, outspoken efforts on behalf of an end to all wars. They need to speak louder and longer in order to be heard. Or we need to pay more attention to what they have been saying. I have finally read the RCAB Pastoral Planning Report and have left a comment at that posting. I wasn't sure how far you look back for comments!

  4. If I may, I'd like to take a part of what was written in the blog. "Fraternity between Nations".
    What better way to work together then to attempt to educate the whole world about global warming and other environmental issues. As anonymous states, "it is not difficult to imagine countries fighting over the scarce resourses of the earth." It is not difficult to imagine because that is the position we are in at the moment in the Middle East.
    It only takes one person to begin any process. I think Al Gore has begun that process, and hopefully, people throughout the world will see this, believe this, and work towards building an understanding as to how we can potentially eliminate, or at least drastically reduce the environmental issues that Al Gore has brought to the surface for the world and it's leaders to see and acknowledge. It certainly is better then what we are doing in the Middle East. Clearly, that is not working.
    I believe that what Al Gore is doing can be looked at as a "peaceful" educational issue since it involves every Nation. I say...Kudos to Al Gore and the people he works with and shares this prize with.

  5. I concur with the well-stated comment that "it is not difficult to imagine countries fighting over the scarce resources". I recommend to all a book "Green Sisters" by Sarah McFarland Taylor who passionately describes the lives of several communities of environmentally active Catholic nuns. I have had the true pleasure of getting to know a group of marvelous "green sisters" in Los Gatos, CA whose action is detailed in the Taylor book.

  6. Thanks for the book recommendation. Blog readers might be interested to know that in Boston, the Sisters of Saint Joseph built a "green" Mother House when they rebuilt and reconfigured in Brighton just a few years ago. Go Sisters!

  7. I was listening to WRKO yesterday and on a couple of the talk programs, comments were made that Al Gore is doing this because he's going to jump on the bandwagon for the presidency at the last minute. I don't think this is fact but, I do believe that he is truly concerned about the state of the earth. I, too, feel that this prize was totally appropriate to all who share it.
    * * *
    From the Internet:
    Nobel Peace Prize Winners 2007-1901
    brought to you by
    The Nobel Prize Internet Archive
    * * *
    The prize goes to:
    INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC) and ALBERT ARNOLD ( AL) GORE JR. 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.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - 1/2 of the prize - Geneva, Switzerland - Founded in 1988
    * * *
    Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. - 1/2 of the prize - USA - b. 1948
    * * *
    Titles, data, and places given above refer to the time of the award.

  8. One of the comments I heard on talk radio was that when Al Gore was told he wom the Nobel Peace Prize he would only accept it on the condition that the IPCC share in the honor.
    I also heard he would be using this as a possible step for a run for the presidency...a statement vehenemently denied by Al Gore himself and the people with whom he works tirelessly on the environmental issues with. I truly believe this is his passion. I believe he has found his calling and has repesented himself and the IPCC in a genuine and passionate way. There will always be sceptics, but I for one believe in what he and the IPCC continue to do, I hope they can maintain awareness about these important issues and educate people along the way so as to get involved themselves to help preserve the good earth that God has given us.

  9. addendum to the above comment...
    Thank you Novo about the information about the "green" Mother House. I had not heard about that. To repeat myself, it only starts with one person to get the ball rolling. Let's hope we all can find some ways to help the environment. No action is too small and It's certainly worth the effort.

  10. That's why we have recycling and more and more cities and towns are now catching on to the reasoning behind recycling and caring about our environment.

  11. A lot has happened since the last time Al Gore was elected president.


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