The newspapers, magazines and broadcasting networks have been filled the past few days with the news of who got the Nobel Peace Prize as if this prize any longer meant anything save the $1.5 million that goes with it.
This year’s winners were Al Gore and a United Nations committee on global warming. Unlike the Nobel science prizes which are determined by Swedish committees made up of acknowledged experts in their fields, the Norwegian peace prize committee is made up of politicians. That should tell the reader all he needs to know, that is, politicians giving prizes to politicians.
Journalists and politicians who are impressed with the words “Nobel Peace Prize” are of course trumpeting Al Gore’s win as “vindication” of his now historic defeat in the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If you examine the full list of Peace Prize winners since 1901 (when Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventer of dynamite, created most of the prizes given today), you will note that until about a decade ago, the Prize was awarded almost always to deserving figures. In 1994, the co-recipient was Yasir Arafat, the very antithesis of “peace.” Since that time, it has been clear that the Norwegian committee often has a purely partisan political agenda. The science and economics prizes, in contrast, go to persons of great achievements later in their lives when it is clear that their work has had lasting impact.
The problem with this year’s prize is that the “irrefutable fact” of global warming, and its alleged clear and present danger to humanity is anything but fact. It is true that there is short-term warming, as has occurred with regularity over the past million years or so, as has longer-term warming and cooling (the latter produced the latest ice age about 10, 000 years ago). What global warming alarmists, including Mr. Gore and the U.N. Committee, are alleging is that industrial nations are causing this warming, that it will destroy or severely harm all of humanity, and that it can only be repaired by halting our current industrial practices (read as bringing the present capitalist industrial world to a standstill).A majority of scientists (many of whom know little or nothing about this specific subject) seem to agree.
But importantly, a number of scientists, especially those who are expert in the climatology and environmental fields, strongly disagree. Their disagreement varies from asserting that the dire predictions and narrow placements of blame are at best unproven and premature, and at worst, fraudulent.
I am not an expert in this area, so I do not know with certainty which side is more correct. But I do know something about politics, and I know a political agenda when I see it. Under the surface of the global warming “scare” is a whole program of dismantling Western (and now Eastern) industrial society, redistributing world wealth from developed and rapidly developing countries to undeveloped countries with little motive more than economic philanthropy.
Nor is the real effect of such philanthropy beneficial. That is because if the global warming threat crowd has their way, the prosperity of North America, Europe, China, India and Japan would evaporate, and the result would be dire unemployment, economic depression and human suffering. While this global warming movement does have a neo-socialist cast to it, it is instructive to note that the last remaining Marxist superpower, China, rejects it just as much as the U.S. government has. If anyone knows contrived economic redistribution, they do.
There is simply no factual evidence yet that global warming is long-term, although it is may ultimately be proven correct. There is no decisive evidence that the industrial world is primarily “causing” global warming. We do know that industrial pollution is destructive to human beings and the environment. When lead was removed from gasoline in the U.S. several years ago, there was an incontrovertible improvement in the American atmosphere. Carcinogenic or radioactive materials released in the air or exposed to workers and human populations are undeniably destructive and must be controlled or eliminated when possible. But just as the DDT scare was ignited decades ago by Rachel Carson, the scare turned out to be only just that, and wrong! In the meantime, not using pesticides meant, and means, denying hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of persons enough food and nourishment.
Those who claim the award of the Peace Prize to Al Gore “vindicates” him in history, vis a vis George W. Bush, are only disclosing their political agenda. It may be that history will judge Mr. Bush harshly and Mr. Gore well, but the award of the discredited Nobel Prize is proof of none of this, nor its ultimate confirmation.
Ask anyone in serious American politics of either political party if they would prefer to serve as president of the U.S. or win the Nobel Peace Prize. I think it is safe to say that the overwhelming majority would greatly prefer the former and say so without hesitation.As for Al Gore, good for him for finding something fulfilling to do with his life after politics. Show business is great, and an Oscar is a serious prize. As for the Nobel award, my unsolicited advice is: Take the money and run.