Sunday, October 14, 2007

For Whom the Nobel Tolls

Once again establishing itself as a near-solitary redoubt of opinion page sanity, the editors of the Wall Street Journal gave us a list of worthy nominees for next year's Nobel Peace Prize, all of whom would have made outstanding recipients for 2007. The list includes the Burmese monks who exemplify the power of non-violent social change in their protests against the ruling junta in Myanmar, as well as Columbian President Alvaro Uribe, Britiain's Tony Blair along with Ireland's Bertie Ahern, Russia's Garry Kasparov, Presidents Viktor Yushechenko and Mikheil Saakashvili of Ukraine and Georgia respectively, and the brave citizens of a nascent Iraq.

It also includes many who have gone on to their eternal rest, such as the late Lebanese lawmakers Walid Eido, Pierre Gemayel, Antoine Ghanem, Rafik Hariri, George Hawi and Gibran Tueni, all of whom met their demise at the hands of assassins as they struggled to free their country of Syria's chokehold. Each of these brave souls and many more like them were more than willing to put their lives and fortunes on the line to secure the blessings of individual liberty, self-determination and peace for themselves and their countrymen.

And each of these persons would have much preferred for their people the lifestyle and sense of well-being enjoyed by this year's recipient. While Father Nguyen Van Ly rots in a Vietnamese prison for helping his country's pro-democracy movement, this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate takes his repose in a home known best both for its opulence and its energy consumption. Even as Morgan Tsvangiriai and Arthur Mutambara suffer beatings and detention for the act of protesting against Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Albert Gore, Jr. will continue to be hailed and feted by the glitterati of the civilized world.

But for Mr. Gore, great renown comes with great irony; beyond the obvious contradiction between his personal lifestyle - with its reliance on private jets and limousines (H/T: Ace of Spades) - and his alarmist rhetoric about the sacrifices required to arrest global warming, Mr. Gore (assuming that he has sufficient self-awareness) will have to reconcile himself with the fact that his contributions to world piece are only slightly less ethereal than those made by his fellow Nobel recipient, Yasser Arafat. While Mr. Gore has surely never personally abetted murder or terrorism, his mounting the ramparts of climate change has done nothing to secure global stability presently.

If there is a Nobel prize to be given vis-a-vis global warming, it will best be awarded in the year 2207, when the full effects of anthropogenic climate change might make themselves manifest. The members of today's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may yet be worthy of some sort of posthumous Nobel Award for science, should their hypothesis turn out to be correct. In any event, if we take the IPCC's recommendations and implement them as they would wish, it would surely not lead to world peace, but only to more global poverty. Moreover, they would diminish the developed world's ability to address such widespread penury.

And so a Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on the basis of a S.W.A.G. As discussed in mind-popping detail elsewhere, the idea that human activity has had an appreciable effect on the earth's climate is an unprovable theory currently. The abundance of plausible, scientifically supported theories that explain the recent changes in the temperature of atmosphere speaks to the speculative nature of the "science" supporting global warming. On the basis of what we know about the science and the politics surrounding this particular award, it would seem that Mr. Gore was recognized more for giving the one-fingered salute to the West than for contributing in any meaningful way to peace on earth.

P.S.: Mr. Gore's alarmism would fall flat on its preponderant arse were it not for willing accomplices in the media. This report from the Business and Media Institute entitled "Fire and Ice" addresses how the media have been on both sides of the climate change issue - at various times predicting both global warming and cooling - and have been wrong every time.