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Blane

Gore, IPCC share Nobel Peace Prize

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Interesting choice. The IPCC selection is a great coup, in my mind, as it adds some recognition to a process that's been under fire from a number of sides in recent years. Glad to see them get it.

Gore, U.N. body win Nobel Peace Prize

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.

"I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize," Gore said. "We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."

Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary on global warming, won an Academy Award this year and he had been widely expected to win the prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said global warming, "may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states."

Gore said he would donate his share of the $1.5 million that accompanies the prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan nonprofit organization devoted to conveying the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

"His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change," the Nobel citation said. "He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

Gore supporters have been raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for petition drives and advertising in an effort to lure him into the Democratic presidential primaries. One group, Draftgore.com, ran a full-page open letter to Gore in Wednesday's New York Times, imploring him to get into the race.

Gore, 59, has been coy, saying repeatedly he's not running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, without ever closing that door completely.

He was the Democratic nominee in 2000 and won the general election popular vote. However, Gore lost the electoral vote to George W. Bush after a legal challenge to the Florida result that was decided by the Supreme Court.

Peace Prize committee chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes said a possible Gore presidential run was not his concern.

"I want this prize to have everyone ... every human being, asking what they should do," Mjoes said. "What he (Gore) decides to do from here is his personal decision."

Mjoes reiterated repeatedly that the prize was not aimed at singling out the Bush administration and its position on global warming.

"A peace prize is never a criticism of anything. A peace prize is a positive message and support to all those champions of peace in the world."

The last American to win the prize or share it was former President Carter in 2002.

The Nobel committee cited the Panel on Climate Change for two decades of scientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming."

Members of the panel, a network of 2,000 scientists, were surprised that it was chosen to share the honor with Gore, a spokeswoman said.

"We would have been happy even if he had received it alone because it is a recognition of the importance of this issue," spokeswoman Carola Traverso Saibante said.

The panel forecast this year that all regions of the world will be affected by climate warming and that a third of the Earth's species will vanish if global temperatures continue to rise until they are 3.6 degrees above the average temperature in the 1980s and '90s.

"Decisive action in the next decade can still avoid some of the most catastrophic scenarios the IPCC has forecast," said Yvo de Boer, the U.N.'s top climate official.

He urged consensus among the United States and other countries on attacking the problem.

Climate change has moved high on the international agenda this year. The U.N. climate panel has been releasing reports, talks on a replacement for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate are set to resume and on Europe's northern fringe, where the awards committee works, there is growing concern about the melting Arctic.

Jan Egeland, a Norwegian peace mediator and former U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, also called climate change more than an environmental issue.

"It is a question of war and peace," said Egeland, now director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo. "We're already seeing the first climate wars, in the Sahel belt of Africa." He said nomads and herders are in conflict with farmers because the changing climate has brought drought and a shortage of fertile lands.

The committee often uses the coveted prize to cast the global spotlight on a relatively little-known person or cause. Since Gore already has a high profile some had doubted that the committee would bestow the prize on him "because he does not need it."

Gore's climate change effort has had its share of criticism.

A British judge said in a ruling published Wednesday that some assertions in his documentary were not supported by scientific evidence. The case involved a challenge from a school official who did not want the film shown to students.

The ruling detailed High Court Judge Michael Burton's decision this month to allow screenings of the film in English secondary schools. The judge said that written guidance to teachers, designed to ensure Gore's views are not presented uncritically, must accompany the screenings.

In recent years, the Nobel committee has broadened the interpretation of peacemaking and disarmament efforts outlined by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in creating the prize with his 1895 will. The prize now often also recognizes human rights, democracy, elimination of poverty, sharing resources and the environment.

Two of the past three prizes have been untraditional, with the 2004 award to Kenya environmentalist Wangari Maathai and last year's award to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank, which makes to micro-loans to the country's poor.

The prize also includes a gold medal and a diploma.

The prize for economics will be announced Monday.

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this is an excellent decision on the part of Nobel and signals the fact that we really do have an emergency on our hands right now, and hopefully it not too late. perhaps this might help to quell the idiotic contention that the IPCC is a sham, and that global warming is not real.

the new IPCC Synthesis Report is due out next month, and preliminary findings released thus far indicate that things are even worse than we have thought. it's not just about melting polar ice. its about drastically changing the way we live on this planet.

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the new IPCC Synthesis Report is due out next month, and preliminary findings released thus far indicate that things are even worse than we have thought. it's not just about melting polar ice. its about drastically changing the way we live on this planet.

.

This was an interesting article on AlterNet.

Ice Caps Melting Fast: Say Goodbye to the Big Apple?

By Paul Brown, AlterNet. Posted October 10, 2007.

The talk of sea level rise should not be in centuries, it should be decades or perhaps even single years. And coastal regions like New York and Florida are in the front line for devastation.

The glacier is now moving at 15 kilometres a year into the sea although in periodic surges it moves even faster. He has seen a surge, which he had measured as moving five kilometres in 90 minutes - an extraordinary event.

If all of Greenland melts, something we were previously assured would take thousands of years, but now could be hundreds, then sea level round the world would rise seven metres. That is without any contribution from the Antarctic, the glaciers of Alaska, the Rockies, the Himalayas, or the ocean water expanding as it warms.

So the talk of sea level rise should not be in centuries, it should be decades or perhaps even single years. For 10,000 years, during all of human civilisation sea level remained stable leading us to believe that coastlines remained roughly in the same place. A century ago the sea began to rise one millimetre a year, 20 years ago it had reached two millimetres and this century it has risen to 3 millimetres. This annual rise may not seem much but add hurricane storm surges and high tides and we are soon saying good bye to a lot of coastal settlements -- like the Big Apple.

Link

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One interesting comment I read is how giving the prize to the IPCC will lend weight / more clout to the conference in Bali in December - where they're expected to come up with a post-2012 climage change plan.

Something else to wonder about is the possibility of Bush pulling a u-turn on environment in hopes of establishing some kind of legacy in his dying days ahead. The moves he made at his environmental summit a few weeks ago in Washington don't seem to indicate any u-turn, but here's hoping..

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Something else to wonder about is the possibility of Bush pulling a u-turn on environment in hopes of establishing some kind of legacy in his dying days ahead. The moves he made at his environmental summit a few weeks ago in Washington don't seem to indicate any u-turn, but here's hoping..

yes, this is a hopeful possibility, although unlikely given the industrial machine behind the man. but stranger things have happened when personal legacy becomes a factor. now, who was that guy who invented dynamite and then decided to give money away so people wouldnt remember him as the guy who invented dynamite? ;)

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Unfortunately i think it's more likely to see Bush try to table a parallel regime devoted to letting science clean up our mistakes in the margains of the Bali meet.

Just got sent the UNEP statement on the award. They're definitely trying to frame it in a post-2012 context:

Statement by Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in Response to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore Jointly Winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Nairobi, 12 October 2007-The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has today made it clear that combating climate change is a central peace and security policy for the 21st century.

The two winners -the IPCC and former US Vice-President Al Gore- have contributed significantly to elevating public attention on the issue of global warming while outlining the enormous risks but also the enormous opportunities confronting the world.

In doing so, the IPCC and Mr Gore have contributed to the unprecedented momentum on the climate change challenge in 2007.

This now needs to be translated into negotiations on a decisive, post 2012 emissions reduction agreement, when governments gather in December in Bali for the UN climate convention meeting.

Established in the late 1980s by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation of the UN, the IPCC and its more than 2,000 scientists and experts has grappled with the science; the likely impacts of climate change and the economics.

2007 has seen the publication of the IPCC's fourth assessment report.

The IPCC, under the leadership of its chair Dr Rajendra Pachuri, have put a full stop behind the science-climate change is happening.

It has also outlined the impacts, from the melting off glaciers in the Himalayas to more frequent and devastating floods in New York to Bangladesh-impacts, not in some far away future but in the life-time of people reading and hearing the announcement off the Peace Prize Committee.

The IPCC has also calculated the price of peace and stability on this planet-perhaps 0.1 per cent of global GDP a year for 30 years for combating climate change and avoiding instability, rising tensions and conflict.

The IPCC, in validating the climate science, represents one of the most important contributions the UN has made in its history to humanity and its current and future choices.

UNEP has also recognized the importance of Mr Gore's contributions to environmental stability with our own more modest accolade.

This year Mr Gore was named a UNEP Champions of the Earth for "making environmental protection a pillar of his public service and for educating the world on the dangers posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions".

For more information on IPCC, see www.ipcc.ch

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i didnt see any mention of that iqualuit(?) lady (don't remember her name sorry) in the article. the newspaper here had an article about her last week and said that her and al gore were co-nominated. it really made it sound like she was just as important as him in the nomination.

or...not?

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i didnt see any mention of that iqualuit(?) lady (don't remember her name sorry) in the article. the newspaper here had an article about her last week and said that her and al gore were co-nominated. it really made it sound like she was just as important as him in the nomination.

or...not?

You're speaking of Sheila Watt-Cloutier. She was rumoured to be among the front-runners, but didn't win. A shame because I would have rather seen her share it with the IPCC than Gore. She is a really interesting woman that I had the pleasure meet a few years ago, and has done amazing things for raising awareness of climactic impacts on inuit peoples' livelihoods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Watt-Cloutier

Edited by Guest

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yes that's it, thanks blane. i was trying to find the citizen article i'd read earlier, and came across an editorial by her.

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=b92d96f2-18d3-4456-a74f-79e160cf3578&p=2

i guess i don't understand how the prizes work. how could gore be both co-nominated with her, and be co-nominated with the IPCC?

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as far as I understand there is no "co-nomination". Hundreds are nominated, and the selection committee (holy fuck I can't for the life of me figure out how to spell that, after like 25 years of schooling!) elected to award both Gore and the IPCC, on the same grounds.

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awesome quote in a recent article from the AP interviewing an IPCC author:

Piers Forster from the School of Earth and Environment at England's University of Leeds said in a statement: "It's every scientist's dream to win a Nobel Prize, so this is great for myself and the hundreds that worked on their reports over the years. It's perhaps a little deflating though — that one man and his PowerPoint show has as much influence as the decades of dedicated work by so many scientists."

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