So, former Vice President Al Gore is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, awarded every year with a nice bag of money “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.” The first thought that naturally springs to mind is a movie by a politician of him giving speeches about something that, well, won’t stand up in court.
And why not? Yasser Arafat took the honor, as did Mohamed ElBaradei just a few years ago for his efforts to stop nuclear weapons proliferation. No, seriously.
Kofi Anan shared the 2001 award with the United Nations, which force for global good actually boasts a handful of the trinkets. Henry Kissinger shared the Peace Prize in 1973 with Le Duc Tho, who refused it, apparently too busy planning the Communist conquest of South Vietnam (boy, was he embarrassed when it turned out they didn’t welcome him in the streets like his neo-Com advisors promised!). Gorbachev picked one up for ending the Cold War -- you remember that, don’t you? And so on. In short, the Nobel committee has a long history of sober, rational thought.
Most important, however, let us not forget the woman who blazed the trail for Gore, Rigoberta Menchu, who was exposed as a fraud and fabricator for her tale of Guatemalan oppression of their Indian population. Or, possibly, Milli Vanilli’s Grammy for lip-synching to the bad pop music of others is the more appropriate analog, what with the Nobel’s incredibly shrinking prestige.
So, Gore was the Menchu-rian Candidate for an award that, we must recall, is determined by Northern European politicians. Little old Irena Sendler, who saved 2,500 children during the Holocaust, didn’t stand a chance against a harrumphing American desperate to finger his country for causing Third World weather. I hear he also fended off a strong challenge at the end from the lady who wrote Harry Potter.
In an odd way Gore receiving the award just made sense, coming as it did on the heels of a court in London determining, after hearing three days of evidence, that the movie inspiring the award, “An Inconvenient Truth”, can only be shown in English schools if it carries a warning label. This is inconvenient in itself, as the UK government had decided that every secondary school student in England was to be shown the film. It seems that Gore’s movie, in the eyes of the court, is “partisan” and requires “balance”. Were it food to be served to the children in the school cafeteria, it could only be served with an antidote.
It seems that, shock, Gore made his claims up. And not little things, either. The court enumerated 9 discrete non-truths that Gore perpetrates in his celluloid screed against other people using energy.
• The Government’s expert was forced to concede that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Chad drying up were not caused by global warming.
• The film claims that ice core evidence proves that rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes temperature increases. The Court found that the evidence showed the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
• The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute Hurricane Katrina, et al. to global warming.
• The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. The study actually said that four polar bears drowned, but because of a particularly violent storm.
• The claim that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age was judged a scientific impossibility.
• Global warming causing specie loss and coral reef bleaching? The Government could not find any supporting evidence.
• The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The court found the evidence clear that Greenland would not melt for millennia even under warming.
• The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence is that it is in fact increasing.
• The film suggests sea levels could rise by 20+ feet, displacing millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise a matter of centimeters over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
• The film claims that global warming caused rising sea levels prompting the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government could not substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.
Rigoberta Menchu says the government killed her brother, though he happened to be alive and well and living down the road from her when she wrote that. Gore falsely says that energy use causes polar bears – ursa maritimus, mind you, among the world’s strongest swimmers – to drown and spun up Hurricane Katrina, and gets the cause-and-effect of temperatures and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 backward. It’s all good, if you’re a Nobel voter.
One might take solace in the fact that the Nobel committee were not so politicized as to award Gore in physics or, Heaven forbid, literature. But might a further silver lining to this absurdity be that this is one of those judicial opinions from around the world to which our courts demand we pray obeisance?
At minimum, might I interest the Nobel committee in purchasing some embarrassment offsets? I promise not to humiliate myself every year so that they may continue doing so in good conscience. For a slight fee, of course. The $1.5 million they gave Al Gore should do it.