The Buzz on Gore's Nobel Peace Prize

By Knickerbocker, Brad | The Christian Science Monitor, October 18, 2007 | Go to article overview
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The Buzz on Gore's Nobel Peace Prize

Knickerbocker, Brad, The Christian Science Monitor

That sound of grinding teeth you hear this week is coming from global-warming skeptics and their fans in the blogosphere.

The reason? Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for his work on climate change.

Mr. Gore's detractors have spent recent days fulminating about the former vice president's award, renewing their dare that he should "debate" prominent skeptics Dennis Avery and Fred Singer. They've also gleefully noted that a British court finds that the Academy Award-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth," which features Gore, contains several scientific errors.

The British court's ruling came on a challenge from a school official who did not want to show the film to students. High Court Judge Michael Burton said that the film is "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact" but that errors were made in "the context of alarmism and exaggeration," according to an ABC News online report. It adds:

"Burton found that screening the film in British secondary schools violated laws barring the promotion of partisan political views in the classroom. But he allowed the film to be shown on the condition that it is accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore's 'one-sided' views, saying that the film's 'apocalyptic vision' was not an impartial analysis of climate change."

In the British online journal Spiked, editor Brendan O'Neill says this reveals an environmental campaign that is "political and moralistic ... based on misanthropic ideas about human activity and on demands for ... the rewiring of people's expectations and desires." The Gore critic adds:

"Environmentalists have a narrow view indeed of what constitutes 'the truth'. They treat truth as something which is revealed to the public by scientists in a laboratory, which apparently green activists are allowed to exaggerate every now and then. "

In National Review online, American Enterprise Institute scholar Steven Hayward says, "Parson Al winning the Nobel Peace Prize ... represents the final debasement of a once-prestigious award." He continues:

"The Nobel will be one more quiver in Gore's arsenal of intransigent moral authority by which he refuses to debate any aspect of the subject and declares the entire matter 'settled.' It is ... problematic to suggest that climate change is not a political issue, but a moral issue, but then to demand massive political interventions in the economy to fix the problem."

But liberal analysts are pushing back.

"What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane?" asks New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

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